What really kills us prematurely, and all too often imposes years of misery beforehand, isn't a list of chronic diseases, but the factors that cause those diseases. What really takes years from life and life from years is a willingness to know WHAT, yet neglect the opportunity to know HOW.
Many people are searching for functional medicine doctors because they're unsatisfied with what conventional medicine offers. They're unhappy with the way conventional doctors think about their health. They're discouraged by the focus conventional medicine places on just suppressing symptoms.
I realized how I came across to them. A sweaty young man with blood sugar problems, crutches leaning precariously against the counter, a form from the State of Connecticut sticking out of a pocket of his faded jeans.
When a health plan, especially with its own delivery system, as Kaiser has, carries the responsibility for a population of people, working or poor, young or old, healthy or sick, they can't pick and choose.
Patients like Robert make clear that the very personal meaning patients find in their illnesses can be profoundly empowering. All too often, however, health care does not allow patients to explore the personal significance of their diseases.
We need to stop the fear, denial and excuses that hold us back from doing our simple, timely self-checks and from practicing the prevention steps that will help save our lives and the lives of those we care about.
Did you know that switching the focus from treating chronic illnesses to preventing chronic diseases will not only improve the health of individuals and families all over the country, but will also rein in health care costs and strengthen the economy?