As a practicing physician, coming to the realization that doctors did not have all the answers was a hard pill to swallow. As recently as 7 or 8 years ago, I was under the mistaken belief that American medicine was the finest in the world and that with proper drugs and surgery, most diseases could be cured or at least well-treated. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
Legal Drugs Are Worse
The statistics for the American population are dismal. In the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, the United States ranked 53rd in average life expectancy. Life expectancy in the U.S. is approximately 75 years, as compared to Japan, with an average life expectancy of over 79 years. We were also clearly behind Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Italy, and many other countries. Every year, more than 100,000 people die in the United States from complications of drugs prescribed by physicians.
Cancer incidence and mortality continues to increase. Despite the tremendous advances in medical procedures and medication, approximately one million people die in this country every year of heart disease.
A study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) noted that a heart monitoring procedure appears to have served no benefit, and even increased the risk of heart attack and other cardiac problems by approximately 300%. This procedure, known as right heart catheterization, is used more than a million times a year (and has been for 30 years) in this country during major operations to monitor everything from fluid pressure to oxygen content.
In an editorial accompanying this study, it was recommended that right heart catheterization not be used routinely. Although cardiac-angioplasty is a primary treatment for heart disease in this country, there have actually been studies published in the last few years stating that with certain forms of heart attacks, this angioplasty procedure actually increases mortality, compared to conservative treatment alone.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this: we all have to take responsibility for our own health. Too many people in this country abuse their bodies with poor diet and lifestyle, and they go to the doctor expecting a simple pill or procedure will make them all better.
Our bodies are the most important thing that we possess, and we should treat them with ultimate care and respect.
Cut down on smoking
Smoking claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in this country every year. If you are a smoker, now is the time to make a concerted effort to cut back. See your doctor about a nicotine patch or other therapy.
A useful technique that I recommend to my patients is that if they enjoy smoking, that they should choose times during the day where they allow themselves to have one or two cigarettes, instead of indiscriminately lighting up throughout the day.
Smoking one or two cigarettes after breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with one cigarette during one or two breaks during the day, may help you to cut down from 1½ packs a day to half a pack of cigarettes or less a day, literally overnight.
Trim your waistline
For the vast majority of people in this country who are overweight, reducing the intake of simple sugars (ice cream, candy, cake, cookies, etc.) and refined carbohydrates (high carb/low protein bread, pasta, etc.) can have an enormous positive result.
Obesity clearly increases your risk of mortality from multiple causes, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The low carb/high protein diet has been used successfully in this country and throughout the world, with several studies now proving the benefits and safety.
A Final Thought
Finally, I cannot reemphasize the importance of proper nutritional supplementation. There have been literally thousands of studies in the medical literature demonstrating the incredible benefits of the correct forms and levels of such nutrients as vitamins C and E, and B complex, along with CoQ10, lutein, green tea, grape seed, red wine, garlic, magnesium, and selenium, for reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. It is critically important that you take the right forms and amounts of these nutrients.
Take control of your life. Do it now!
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