Janet Levatin, MD
How do you want to approach your health and your healthcare in 2017? Would you like to proactively prevent illness, or reactively treat illness? Do you want to stay well using natural, holistic means, or do you want to take drugs for your “illnesses?” Do you want to consult doctors who will help you understand and eliminate the root causes of disease, or doctors who will prescribe you drugs after electronically noting down your symptoms and giving you a diagnosis (or diagnoses)?
You have choices. The lifestyle choices you make, whom you select for your practitioners, and what treatment modalities you choose in large part determine the health outcomes you will experience.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding how you will approach your health and healthcare.
Prevention is important.
When I talk about prevention I am not talking about the “preventive screenings” and “guidelines” that are promoted by our government and medical trade organizations. Prime examples of this type of approach are screening mammography, cholesterol screening, and vaccines.
Screening mammography is expensive, exposes women to radiation, and is not very accurate. Despite what is said about it, it is not preventive. Mammography is inaccurate in the sense that it has a high false positive rate and a high false negative rate. False positive findings lead to additional expensive procedures, more radiation, biopsies, scar tissue, and of course plenty of stress and anxiety. False negative results, on the other hand, mean that cancers are missed until they are well established. This leads to expensive treatments with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy; and premature loss of life and productivity. These are tragic results that could be prevented in many cases by the no-radiation, no-compression imaging technique of thermography.
Cholesterol screening is another so-called “preventive measure” that has led to many unnecessary prescriptions for statin drugs and the recommendations for low-fat diets that don’t work to prevent heart disease. It is now known that cholesterol does not cause heart disease, and that statin drugs have lots of side effects, including muscle inflammation, liver damage, elevated blood sugar, and memory loss and confusion. This doesn’t sound like prevention to me!
Vaccines is a huge topic that I have written about before. I will just say here that vaccines contain toxins that can cause chronic, irreversible health problems or death. and they do not do a good job of preventing the infections they are supposed to prevent. Despite what the establishment says about them, I consider vaccines very far from good preventive medicine.
So what is prevention?
When I talk about prevention, I mean living a healthy lifestyle that embraces healthy practices and avoids toxic exposures. This includes eating a whole foods diet free of preservatives, colorings, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed carbohydrates; using body care, cleaning, and laundry products that do not contain petroleum derivatives, alcohols, fragrances and other toxins; and avoiding unnecessary stress. Unhealthy lifestyle practices and products lead to more illness and more need for medical care. Much of this is avoidable by the choices we make as we live our lives day to day.
Remember that you are the boss when it comes to your healthcare.
Being the boss of your own healthcare means that you are your own (or your children’s) primary caregiver. YOU get to choose your health care providers and hire them to work as consultants for you. YOU get to choose the type of treatments you want and don’t want. It is important to manage your own care these days, as contemporary medicine is very much driven by incentives that fill the coffers of pharmaceutical companies and, to a lesser extent, pad the bank accounts of physicians…. not by what is best for you.
Unfortunately your personal health is not uppermost in the mind of most doctors. They are choosing therapies for you based on insurance company guidelines and incentives that require them to prescribe particular drugs for particular conditions. Significant portions of their income may derive from giving you vaccines, referring you for procedures, and prescribing you drugs.
If you do not like this approach, look around until you find a practitioner who has YOUR best interest in mind and will not subject you to treatments that are not in your best interest. You will most likely find this at a functional or integrative health center. When more consumers demand individualized, personalized care, then more doctors will provide it.
Choose holistic, natural solutions whenever possible.
The human body comes from nature and therefore is designed to be healthy and to be healed by natural methods. Of course we live in a world out of balance these days, so most of us are very far from this ideal. Sometimes pharmaceuticals are needed, but they should be used judiciously, and only when really necessary.
There are natural solutions for most problems. These can include dietary changes, supplements, herbs, homeopathy, hands-on bodywork techniques such as chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, and energy-based therapies that utilize kinesiology and acupressure or acupuncture. Utilizing these types of therapies is what has given my professional life meaning over the last 35 years. Seeking out these approaches will also help you get healthy, stay healthy, and avoid unnecessary and costly medical interventions.
Consider adopting this type of approach as one of your 2017 resolutions. You will not regret it!