You might find this rather unsettling, but the #3 cause of death in the US behind heart disease and cancer is…
Getting medical care!
That’s right. According to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical errors kill at least 250,000 Americans every year and should be considered the third leading cause of death.
“Medical errors” include unnecessary surgery, surgery to the wrong body part, getting the wrong treatment, medication errors in hospitals, other hospital errors, hospital acquired infections and taking drugs exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Think about that the next time you see a drug ad showing happy, attractive actors that says, “Ask your doctor if XYZ drug is right for you and get relief now!”
Yeah, your relief might be permanent.
The CDC is mum on medical errors
Note that you won’t find medical errors listed as a mortality cause on the CDC’s website. According to them, the third leading cause of death is respiratory disease, which claims about 155,000 lives each year.
This is at least partially due to inadequate data collection and the fact that death certificates don’t include a coding class for medical errors.
The mortality statistics that are published only look at the condition that led the individual to seek medical treatment in the first place.
So for instance if someone went in the hospital for heart surgery and died while they were in there because of a medication error, the cause of death would likely show as heart disease.
Very misleading to say the least!
Note that the Johns Hopkins researchers I mentioned above have written the CDC requesting that medical errors be included as a cause of death on death certificates, but thus far nothing has changed.
Minimize your chances!
While the ideal situation would be to always stay healthy and never need medical care, the fact is that sometimes it is necessary.
But you can stack the deck in your favor and minimize your chances of being a victim of medical errors!
Here are some ways you can help:
Question everything. Don’t just blindly accept your treatment plan. Ask why and explore alternatives if possible. For example, if you have a back condition and the doctor is jumping right to surgery, explore non-invasive alternatives such as acupuncture or chiropractic treatment.
Get second (and even third) opinions. A doctor should not be offended if you want a second opinion and if he/she is, then take that as a sign to get another doctor. Also, make sure the second opinion doctor is not in the same practice as your doctor.
Get an advocate. If you are facing a serious illness, it can be overwhelming trying to take everything in when you meet with your doctor. Have a family member or trusted friend with you that can think objectively, take notes and even ask questions you might not think of.
Don’t sign anything without reading it. This should apply to any type of document or contract, but it’s especially important when you are giving authorization for medical care. Make sure you know exactly all they can do and plan to do. And if you don’t understand something that is on a form they want you to sign, ask for an explanation.
If you sense something is wrong, speak up! When my (now deceased) mother fell and broke her hip several years ago, the doctor had ordered her pain medication in the ER, but she was given Tylenol instead, which didn’t touch her pain. Thankfully we spoke up when we saw she wasn’t getting relief.
Do your part to create HEALTH!
Although medical care is necessary at times, now more than ever before in our existence it is vital that you do your part to not just prevent sickness but to create HEALTH!
And the good news is it’s not rocket science. Instead there are 7 tried and true ways to take care of your body and make it less likely that you will need medical care to begin with:
1- Get enough sleep. The health effects of too little sleep are numerous—it can make you more prone to depression, increase your risk of accidents and seriously impair your immune system functioning.
Seven to nine hours a night should be your goal.
2- Eat real food. Your body needs crucial nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, dairy, healthy fats (like butter, coconut oil and olive oil), eggs and whole grains.
At the same time, ditch the processed junk, fast food and soda as much as you can. Even baby steps in the right direction are helpful. For example, if you’re a soda-holic, try swapping out one of your sodas for a glass of water. Or instead of fries with your burger, opt for a side salad.
3- Take a daily multi-vitamin. Our food is inherently less nutritious than it used to be, and our hectic schedules sometimes make it difficult to eat the way we should, so the best way you can ensure your nutritional needs are consistently met is to take a high-quality multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core.
In addition to providing a complete, health-supporting blend of essential nutrients, Super Core also goes beyond typical multi-vitamin formulas and gives you the added benefit of natural antioxidants (to fight disease-causing free radicals) and anti-inflammatories (inflammation is a leading factor behind most chronic diseases)!
4- Stay hydrated. Dehydration is a leading contributing factor to a variety of illnesses including kidney problems, chronic back pain and constipation. Eight 8-oz. glasses of filtered water per day should be your minimum goal.
Avoid tap water at all cost, as the fluoride and chlorine added to most municipal water supplies are toxic to your body, plus they may contain any number of other contaminants and heavy metals.
5- Support your immune system with probiotics. The world is finally catching on to the importance of the gut microbiome in the maintenance of health, including strong immune function, better digestion, elimination of toxins, reducing inflammation, efficient nutrient absorption and so much more.
Many things can impair your gut flora (including most medications!) so supplementation with a full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield is important for, well, just about everyone! Super Shield’s blend of 13 well-studied probiotic strains provides a well-rounded “shield” of protection and support to your precious immune system and overall health.
6- Get regular exercise. Don’t let excuses come into your mind. Instead, focus on how important exercise is, and the enormous health benefits it provides—including less pain, weight loss, lower blood pressure and better digestion.
Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK, especially if you and the couch have been BFFs for a while.
7- Keep stress under control. Stress is extremely damaging to your health and especially to your gut microbiome.
Do whatever it takes—counseling, meditation, exercise, prayer, deep breathing, etc. Even adopting a pet has been shown to help.
Now you are on your way to not only minimizing your chances of being the victim of a medical error, but also to paving the way for better health and quite possibly a longer life!
I can’t think of anything nicer than that.
To your health,
The information in our articles are NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice.