I love this article because it touches on the many ways I can help people even if they don’t have back pain. Daily I help manage diabetes, cognitive decline, blood pressure, cholesterol, hyperlipidemia, and osteoporosis.
The article was written by Bill Morgan, DC who is a chiropractor for Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Most healthcare money is spent on conditions resulting from lifestyle choices, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis, hyperlipidemia, sexually transmitted diseases, pulmonary disease, hearing loss, skin cancers and vascular diseases. We spend billions for treatment of easily prevented diseases, instead of seriously promoting prevention.
Managing Conditions Without Medication
Do the drug companies have a vested interest in having our nation’s health care based on treatment vs. wellness and prevention? The answer is obvious. The drug companies continue to brainwash our country and our physicians that health can come from chemistry. The system is fully willing to pay millions for kidney dialysis, an amputation or an organ transplant that may be required as a consequence of diabetes, but it does not have the fortitude to confront the lifestyle changes that could prevent diabetes and its many consequences.
As doctors of chiropractic integrate into mainstream health care, it is our responsibility to hold true to our banner of patient empowerment, personal responsibility and self-management of health. We need to continually remind our patients and our medical colleagues that an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.
Here is a succinct but impressive list of conditions that are much easier to prevent with lifestyle changes than treat with drugs and procedures:
Adult-onset diabetes and metabolic syndrome, especially in the early stages, can be effectively managed or even reversed with diet, exercise and weight loss. Yet, these syndromes are poised to break the national bank as the number of obese Americans continues to balloon, and with it, the number of patients with adult-onset diabetes.
Mental exercise and stimulation may slow cognitive decline when used along with physical exercise, proper diet and adequate sleep. Currently, physical exercise and activity have the greatest supportive evidence for slowing cognitive decline.
Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Hyperlipidemia
Exercise, weight loss and diet can control or at least aid in the control of these conditions. Of course, lowering dietary sodium is also cited for affecting elevated blood pressure.
While taking calcium does not reverse osteoporosis, a lack of calcium (and other nutrients) can contribute to the development of this disease. Weight-bearing exercise along with diet seems to be the natural treatment of choice.
Exercise, adequate sleep, diet, temperance, sunlight exposure and strong supportive social networks have been shown to help with depression. Certainly, isolation and loneliness are contributing factors to many behavioral health conditions, and we should recognize that some of the patients coming into a doctor’s office are there as much for the therapy of social interaction as for any medicinal intervention.
This list could go on, but I would be preaching to the choir. Chiropractic is based on homeostasis and the restoration of the body’s inborn ability to heal itself. It has always been our goal to remove any impediment to healing. These impediments may range from spinal dysfunction, to obesity, an unhealthy diet or a sedentary lifestyle. Our society wants to have a simple solution, a pill to solve its healthcare woes, instead of accepting the hard answers of personal responsibility and discipline. As we integrate, we must promote wellness to our patients and colleagues, not passive prescription-pad health care.
To find out more about Dr. Morgan go to www.drmorgan.info.