By Clifford M. Sonnie, M.D.
In many of the journals I have been reading, scientists have been reporting about a breakthrough therapy to lower the risk of developing some of the most common and deadly diseases by over ¾. The therapy is a new concept called, “taking care of yourself”. Namely stop smoking, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
Right now the American healthcare system is crumbling and each American is paying approximately $8000 or more a year for that care. Obesity is costing the American healthcare system approximately 100 million dollars, diabetes is 150 billion dollars, cancer over 200 billion dollars and heart disease is the all-time leader at over 300 billion dollars annually.
The healthcare system is lacking one huge aspect, prevention. There is no holistic approach to health; there is only a pitiful proposal of what to do once you get sick. The focus in healthcare needs to shift from “what can I do once I get it”, to “how can I prevent it from happening” It makes sense, it doesn’t cost as much, and it will save us a lot more than it actually does cost. There is a recent study in Europe involving about 25,000 Germans. It lasted approximately 4 years and the results are quite startling. Problem is you won’t see it reported in too many high powered medical journals. The result of this study showed that there are four factors, just four, that reduced cancer risk by over one third, reduced the risk of diabetes by over 90% and reduced the risk of heart disease by over 80%. It was the four things we listed before; stop smoking, get off your butt and exercise, eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. So ultimately what I am saying is that it is not our fine government or our government’s involvement that holds the answer to healthcare. It is YOU.
Your own personal involvement, your own personal commitment is the best form of healthcare. A lot of people will state that they can’t afford preventive care, when in reality can you really afford not to practice it? Things like exercising, eating whole foods, sleeping enough, getting some sun, reducing stress in your life, all would drastically reduce your dependence on traditional healthcare. Sure the cost of supplements is getting more expensive, and I can’t understand why organic foods that have no preservatives in them cost more that the processed foods that do have preservatives in them. Oh well, another one of life’s little mysteries.
The other thing we have working against us is we have an incredible juggernaut of a drug industry spending over 15 billion dollars a year twisting your perception of what a proper healthcare system should be. Again drugs are based on the idea of waiting till you get the disease then giving you something to take the symptoms away. The food industry actually spends twice that much trying to convince you, and more importantly your kids, that when you chose the highly processed convenience foods that you can microwave in a few seconds it tastes great, and it is good for you. When in reality, it actually accelerates your path towards disease and an unhealthy way of life.
So, how do we fix this? There are a few basic tenants in health that I have mentioned before that I want to mention again. Gain optimal exposure to sunlight. To do this you have to get outside and by doing so you have to move around. And by moving around you are exercising. So get off your butt, and exercise. Even if it means just walking down to the corner and back again. Next week walk around the block. And so on and so on and so on. It’s worth it, your worth it and your favorite TV show will always be shown in reruns!! Drink plenty of clean water. You know my adage, one half your body’s weight in ounces. That’s not negotiable. Limit your exposure to toxins. Eat a healthy diet consisting of proteins, fats and carbs all in appropriate amounts. Increase the amount of raw foods in your diet. This will increase the amount of digestive enzymes in your system as well as the probiotics. Get plenty of sleep.
Lastly, address stress. Find some way for you to deal with it and look for ways to reduce it. Not everything has to be taken care of right this minute. Stop and smell the roses, watch a funny movie, smile for no good reason or just hug your kids. Common sense and a healthier lifestyle will help build a healthier mind, body and spirit which in the long run is a better healthcare plan. Try to remember what is most important to you.