The idea of health has been changing throughout history. Initially, people that were sick were thought to have been punished by a worshipped god for committing sins. Humans considered the management of risk regarding preventing disease by changing human behavior to avoid breaking the rules of a superior being. As ideology evolved, society began thinking more elaborately and began considering the idea that behavior could be modified to prevent both infectious and non-infectious diseases independent of a cause and effect that involved sin. In modern terms, the WHO (World Health Organization) considers health as physical, mental, and social well-being–meaning health is more than just the absence of disease.
Today, a large percentage of the world’s population has lifestyles that are unhealthy and produce countless preventable diseases. These lifestyle choices are independent of professional studies, socio-economic background, or country of origin. The lifestyle issues of patients raise concerns as these problems place pressure on healthcare providers to become more involved in preventative measures. The idea is that the healthcare sector should be involved in the prevention of disease and not just its treatment. Currently, the health care system of the United States is focused specifically on healing ailing patients. However, this exercise is more expensive. Countries that are focusing on the prevention of disease and education on healthier lifestyle choices have lower costs within their healthcare system.
Furthermore, it is regrettable to state that health care providers often replicate the unhealthy lifestyle choices of other professions when, in fact, such experts should know better and serve as examples. Compounding the problem further, medical professionals seem to be fixated on chemical treatments without considering the side effects of such treatments. For example, doctors often prescribe opiate-based medications to treat patients suffering from chronic pain. However, such medication is not only highly addictive but also cause damage in other parts of the body, such as the liver. Patients prescribed drugs such as oxycodone should ask the important question, “how long does oxycodone stay in your system?” The answer is alarming. Medical professionals state that the drug can be detected for up to 90 days after the last dose. The indication is that detoxification of the drug is required and such chemicals may cause significant damage.
Another example of the over-prescription issue worldwide is the antibiotic crisis that is currently taking place. The misuse of these drugs has caused bacteria to mutate into resistant strains. Although eating habits and exercise may not influence the mutation, behavioral patterns, consistent with behavior in health choices, does contribute to the problem. The solution is not for patients to stop listening to doctors. Medical professionals are experts in their respective area. The idea is to begin looking toward alternatives such as remedies based on science and solid research that do not cause side effects or severe chemical reactions.
For example, the medical profession does not understand the reason for chronic or essential tremors. Much of the treatment options available require prescription medication with significant secondary effects. However, patients suffering from the condition have options that include natural remedies for essential tremors based on the science of circulatory system improvement. In the field of pain management, patients have cannabis-based options that do not have the addictive qualities of opiates nor its chemical side-effects.
Doctors, medical professional, and patients alike must begin looking at behavior and lifestyle choices to improve health. Preventative medicine is not merely taking supplements to avoid disease. Instead, the concepts originate from the idea that being conscious of the behavior of choice leads to improving what individuals put in their bodies.