You have probably heard of the Hippocratic Oath that many doctors recite upon completion of medical school. It encapsulates the standards and principles of medical care since the time of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates.
But you’ve likely never seen the actual text of the oath! Note that it has been updated from its original form, so here are some excerpts from a more current version:
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
I will not be ashamed to say, "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
Where we’ve failed miserably
While most of the principles above describe a fair number of physicians, there is one that sticks out as an area where we’ve failed miserably:
“I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.”
Sorry, but I don’t see a lot of disease prevention going on in modern medicine.
What I DO see is a lot of customers being created for pharma, and this is a double-edged sword.
First, with very few exceptions (such as an antibiotic killing a bacterial infection), no one is being “cured” of anything! They are experiencing a chemically-induced absence of symptoms and false health.
Second, they are actually becoming sicker because every single drug in existence comes with side effects, so your list of symptoms and health issues will undoubtedly grow. It might not happen right away, but sooner or later, trust me, the tide will roll in.
What makes this worse is that most doctors have little knowledge of, or downright poo-poo, the effectiveness of natural measures like supplements and a healthy diet!
A nutritious diet and supplementation where needed can go a LONG way in helping your body work the way it’s supposed to and thus preventing disease!
See the difference?
This had better change…or we’re doomed
We are now at a point in our existence where we are the sickest we have ever been.
The vast majority of us are overweight, chronically ill and medicated, and that includes our kids.
It’s time to wake up and realize that, with the exception of acute/emergency care, our modern healthcare system is an abysmal FAILURE, and if we don’t do something about it, we’re doomed to be walking disciples of drug companies.
A shift needs to take place from disease management to disease prevention and the creation of health!
The promising news is some doctors (including my personal physician here in Florida) are on board already and have pursued additional training and education in integrative medicine, natural healing measures and nutrition.
But even if your doctor is not as forward-thinking as mine, or if perhaps your choices are limited because of insurance or whatever, there is still a lot you can do to push the envelope towards the creation of health.
Here’s what I mean:
It starts with you!
Although doctors bear a good amount of the responsibility for our lack of health, that’s doesn’t get you off the hook, my friend, because you do your part too.
So if you want to start turning that around, here are 3 places you can start:
1) Eat real food
If you are sickly and overweight, your diet is most assuredly one of the primary reasons why.
Admit it, own it, and DO SOMETHING about it!
Aim to construct the majority of your meals to include proteins (meat, poultry, wild-caught fish and eggs), fresh vegetables (other than potatoes and corn) and healthy fats (including real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado and lard).
On the flip side, stay far away from processed foods (aka anything in a package with ingredients you can’t pronounce), soda, fast food and refined carbohydrates (including breads, pastries, cookies, crackers, pasta and grains).
If you eat like this, you will be astounded at how much better you can feel and how quickly it will happen. Plus you’ll probably take off a bunch of weight to boot.
So clean out your pantry, refrigerator and freezer and get going.
No, I don’t mean change residences—I mean move your backside (and the rest of you too).
Exercise can take many forms, and you just need to find the one that works for you.
There are countless gyms out there, many of which provide instruction and guidance if you are a novice.
There are also classes (like yoga or dancing), home DVDs or TV programs that take you through a workout, or even home exercise equipment if you are disciplined enough.
Even walking in your neighborhood counts!
It’s never too late to get in shape! Start now.
3) Challenge your doctor with alternatives to medications
In many cases, there are safe, natural measures to pharmaceutical drugs that are just as effective, and it’s time to have a conversation with your doctor about them.
Here are some examples:
Instead of medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol, how about fish oil and regular exercise? Plus grapefruit has been shown to help lower blood pressure too!
If you are on acid reducers (Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, etc.), start by changing your diet like I described above—I bet your heartburn decreases dramatically. Also helpful are digestive enzymes and herbs like mastic gum and ginger—see if your doc is willing to let you try those.
Are you frequently constipated? Instead of MiraLAX or stool softeners, balancing your microbiome with probiotics can help turn that around, plus you’ll be supporting sound immune function too.
And if you have elevated blood glucose and/or insulin resistance, ask about turmeric as an alternative to Metformin. A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism has shown that curcumin (the compound that gives turmeric its golden color) can lower blood glucose levels and inflammation, stimulate pancreatic function, and reduce insulin resistance.
Our healthcare system needs to change, but YOU can be the source of some of that change.
So get going, start creating health, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of your doctor.
To your health,