5 Reasons why we are sick and what we can do about it
A healthy outside starts from the inside.
22 years as a practicing physician I have heard the same complaint “Our healthcare system is broken”.82% of our 3.4 trillion dollars in healthcare is spent on chronic disease management.
This only means we have
1.Doctors who do not know what they are doing(maybe true sometimes).
2. We are suffering from diseases that we have no solutions for.
I would like you to have a look at this situation from a different perspective.
A system as big and powerful as the healthcare plays to its consumers wants.
Most life coaches and success and wealth coaches will all tell you that what you have in life today is what you chose, either subconsciously or consciously.
Can your disease state also fall into that category of personal choice?
I know people get rare cancers, there is a genetic component and then there is this never-ending chronic stress.
However, I will enumerate the 5 reasons I see why we continue to be the most burdened developed nation in the world with a growing population of chronically sick people on medications.
1. We outsource our health
If you don’t take care of yourself, the underwriter(insurance)will overtake that responsibility for you.
Everybody I know wants to be wealthy, have awesome relationships and great health.
The last one is usually taken for granted unless you have actually lost it and had to regain it with great education and trouble.
Most people go to the doctor after something is “broken” i.e, they do not feel well. This feeling of being unwell can be resolved easily if it is a disease that we get.
Diseases that we get are influenza, pneumonia, urinary tract infection. They are diseases we “get” from being attacked by a “bug”. These were the kind of diseases we died from in the early part of the 19th century: the plague, sepsis etc.
Once we discovered a “cure”(antibiotics) and people survived what they once died from, this became the best way to treat these illnesses.
A pill for every ill.
Unfortunately, we are dying today of what is known as non-communicable diseases or NCD. These are the diseases we do not get or give to others.
However, when we go to the doctor after we are “broken” the choices are we have is to take a drug out of the toolkit or a scalpel and get to repair the “broken”.
This only leads to a lot more drugs and scars and complications and a slow dwindling of our lives which we all have accepted as the natural process of aging.
So here is another way of thinking.
We do not get diabetes. We do not get hypertension. We do not get Lupus. We do not get Alzheimer’s. We DEVELOP these diseases.
They are therefore not amenable to medications. Yet that is the only way we have accepted it can be treated.
These diseases are that is a journey we make to illness.
Several steps, several deficiencies, several insults that get us there.
We seem to seek this one medication that can resolve them. So yes our education (both doctors and patients) have to change.
2. We think our health is priceless but we put a price on it
The greatest wealth is health.
Having been educated in functional medicine which is simply a different way of thinking I have learned that we can ‘dig” deeper to help people get back their health.
I have patients wanting a different approach and suffering for years with symptoms that no one has been able to help them with. However when I ask them to do a specific test the very first question will be “ how much does it cost?” or “does my insurance cover this?”
I do not think there is anything wrong with knowing the cost, however, when they refuse an alternative testing because of cost, but have a trip planned in the next month to vacation, it comes down to priorities.
If your health is not your priority it is no one else’s.
For so long we have been used to paying into an insurance system we do not understand or even know what it offers and hope that it will do, for all that we need.
Even your homeowner’s insurance does not cover floods or some odd occurrence but we know how to look for it and buy what we need.
Why are we not vigilant about our most precious asset our health?
3. We tend to be angry with an outside force when something catastrophic happens with our health
A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ.
When you review the number of medical lawsuits it is mind-boggling how many doctors are sued for something they did not do or create. Many are valid but huge numbers are unnecessary.
Every cancer patient diagnosed in a late stage is upset with their doctor.” My doctor missed it. They did not do the test early enough.”
The doctor did not put cancer in there.
80% of the cancers are due to external environment or internal.
It is how we live our lives when we get diseases we develop.
If test results miss this, it is the false negative unfortunately the reality of every test we have today.
Somehow when a person with long-standing hypertension dies of a stroke or heart attack the families are upset, their doctor did not do enough. Did the patient do enough?
364 days of the year you are responsible for the outcomes of your health. The 15-minute relationship you have with your doctor makes him or her responsible.
A young woman who uses cocaine during her pregnancy dies due to complications of her pregnancy it is the fault of her doctor. The doctor should have been more proactive.
A patient who procrastinates to go in for her diagnostic colonoscopy because of blood in her stools sues her provider for not reminding her to do so, because now she has stage 4 colon cancer, a year later.
We have somehow decided we are not responsible for anything to do with our health because we have been seeing our doctor once or twice a year.
364 days of the year you are the one who takes care of you, the one day we see our healthcare provider they become 100% responsible.
What will we do when this basic health care gets taken over by AI (Artificial Intelligence: do we just sue the computers if they miss a diagnosis?
This constant need to blame someone else has driven up our health care costs, reduced the value of our sacred relationship with our provider by both the provider and the patient.
This is only getting worse as the health system is beginning to penalize providers for poor outcomes.
4. We need and expect instant gratification but want to put no effort toward this
The obsession with instant gratification blinds us from our long-term potential.
With the climbing cost of health care, we are finding two types of consumers.
One that walks around saying they are healthy and do not take any medications. You see them walking in the supplement aisles buying and taking 25 supplements but still look chronically ill and have soaring blood pressures.
The second that will search and consult “Doctor Google” then after failed efforts at self-treatment and the false sense of knowledge, comes in asking for a specific test or medication.
If the diagnosis and treatment do not resolve in the next 72 hours, their long-standing problem, they are done. They need a new doctor. Soon they find themselves doctor shopping and never finding someone that will meet their google search requirements.
All the while their medical issues get worse till it becomes a crisis.
5. We feel like a victim of our inheritance
Genetics is a loaded gun the environment pulls the trigger
Accepting that a disease runs in the family so it is only natural that one will get it, is the most important myth we need to bust.
Even if your family struggles with certain cancers, or diabetes, or hypertension everyone can find a way not to struggle with the same problems the entire family may be struggling with.
All these needs for you to know how you can avoid it by partnering with the right health care provider who can get you to the path of wellness, far away from what you think you may be destined for.
Genes are just the messenger, it is up to our environment to translate that message.
So the solutions to our every rising health care problem lay within our capacity and willingness to solve them.
You do not need great insurance, or a great doctor or lots of money. Simply the awareness that your health is 100% your responsibility like everything else in your life.
5 Important points to remember to solve this
1. Have an awareness of your symptoms (that fatigue that needs the first cup of coffee to wake you up, the stiffness that goes away as you get moving). They are alarms of a failing system, not something that needs to be suppressed or managed or tolerated. We need to get to the root causes.
2. Your healthcare provider is someone you trust like your financial advisor or lawyer, not someone your insurance will cover or someone who is close to where you live.
3. Your goal should always be a true sense of health and well being not control and maintenance or acceptance of diseases.
4. If you have failing health then review what you may be doing to make this happen. Partner with a health provider who will work with you to identify and resolve this.
5. When you are sick it was a journey you made there, you need to make a journey back to wellness. Remember there are no quick fixes and magic potions.
Simply like anything else hard work, accuracy and proper education and an equal 100% partnership with your healthcare provider.
Check to see if you are truly healthy.
I have prepared a checklist to help you identify if your symptoms need to be addressed.
dR.Nisha Chellam MD
Founder of Holistic and Integrative Center of Novi (HolisticICON)