Friday, May 29, 2009

How to Stay Sick

My associate and I have been doing a radio program, every Tuesday morning between 9:30 and 10:00, called A Healthy Concept for the last five years. We discuss everything from how to stay healthy to how to get healthy. Some recent events in the clinic prompted us to use “how to stay sick” as our theme for that week's program.

About one month ago, a new patient came to our clinic for examination and treatment of cardiovascular problems. He reported that approximately two years earlier he had received two stents due to blocked coronary vessels that caused chest pain. He was placed on statin drugs to help lower cholesterol and an aspirin a day for protection against a myocardial infarction. Then, more recently, angioplasty was preformed due to a recurrence of experiencing angina on exertion. He reportedly did not receive any counseling from his internist on modifying any of his habits, including diet, to help ameliorate his symptoms. He also reported that his doctor had even emphasized that his cigarette smoking did not contribute to his cardiovascular condition.

Another patient, whom we have treated for the past year for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), reported a respiratory specialist had told him that smoking did not contribute to his dyspnea. In fact, dyspnea parallels cigarette smoking in the history of this 55-year-old Caucasian. He reportedly had begun smoking at an early age. During his adult life he would “get short of breath” periodically and found he could again breath normally simply by refraining from smoking for a while. However, when his respiration would become normal again, he would resume smoking. This was a cycle that reportedly had repeated itself, but the last time his respiration did not improve with cessation. When he first came to our clinic, he could not sleep lying down and was forced to sleep in a recliner. He has improved to the point he can now sleep lying down. His disability judge instructed him to make an appointment with the respiratory specialist, who told him that his cigarette habit had not contributed to his respiratory disease.

Again, about one year ago, a patient brought his diabetic sister to our clinic for examination and alternative treatment of type II diabetes. She was obese and on several medications, including glyburide and glucophage, and she also reported receiving very little counseling on dietary approaches or the necessity of exercise. Following the history, multi-channel blood profile with a CBC and differential, a glycol-hemoglobin A1C, a urinalysis, and circulation studies, we started her on an individualized natural approach for controlling her blood glucose and regaining her health. Her management was successful. She was losing weight, her blood sugar was decreasing, and she was experiencing increased energy when she was forced to go back to her original doctor. When he learned of the alternative approach she was following, he admonished her to get back on the medication and off the lifestyle modifications. I have only been kept abreast of her condition by her brother, my patient. He informed me that he had taken his sister back to her doctor, who asked her why she was losing weight. She told him she was eating more salads and less fatty foods. He then reported that her cholesterol was too low, but he didn’t want to take her off Lipitor. Instead, he instructed her to substitute ham with butter on it for her salads.

On our program we discussed ways a person could stay sick. The first, and most important, is to keep the status quo. If you are consuming copious amounts of highly processed, high-calorie and nutritionally depleted foods, by all means, keep it up. If you do not take nutritional supplements and want to stay sick, continue to avoid them at all costs. If you are a practicing couch potato, please do no more exercise than is absolutely necessary. If you can get someone to bring your nutrition depleted meals to you, so you don’t even have to walk to the dining area that is even so much better. It is also important to keep your excuse sticker so you won’t have to walk so far to get to the scooters that are provided by the store. And, last but not least, if the same doctor has treated you for some time without improvement, it would seem like a good idea to keep your appointments.

Good health does not just happen. The first commitment for optimum health is education. We must have an understanding about what it takes to enjoy good health. After acquiring the understanding it takes for good health, two very important steps remain, desire and determination. Without desire, you can comfortably stay sick. Even with desire, without determination, poor health, huge medical bills and an early demise can literally be guaranteed.

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