Fixing healthcare is a big topic in the United States at the moment.
No healthcare plan is going to work because no one in government or the medical industry is looking at healthcare the right way.
People should be healthy. Instead, they are sick and getting sicker – almost 60% now take a prescription medication. What does that look like? Line up 5 people. Three of those five are taking a prescription drug to treat some health problem. 15%, or almost 1 in 7, take five or more medications.
You cannot fix a system by shifting money around when the underlying causes of health problems are not being treated or prevented.
Doctors are trained to treat acute symptoms. Chronic diseases are being treated like acute symptoms. As a result, medications that are only supposed to be taken in the short term, like antidepressants and acid reflux drugs, are being prescribed for years or decades and causing all kinds of side effects.
Symptoms are being treated like disease states: anxiety, depression and dry eye are a few examples. Inflammation is another. These are symptoms with underlying causes. They are not diseases in and of themselves.
Nutrition is totally misunderstood. Malabsorption from chronic inflammation is almost never considered. People think you are what you eat, when in reality you are what you eat and absorb. If the body does not get what it needs, it breaks. Right now, the breaks are being treated with drugs and procedures instead of giving the body what it needs.
No. Healthcare is not going to be fixed anytime soon. A massive education program for the public and medical community is needed and frankly, no one realizes we need one.
Just look at celiac disease. It affects millions of people, but only a fraction are diagnosed. Why?
Because like I predicted in 2009, the focus shifted from celiac disease to the gluten-free diet fad, doctors did not receive the information and tools they needed and little changed regarding diagnosis or treatment.
Now, it is worse. Front line diagnosticians are not trained to recognize symptoms of nutrient deficiencies. Symptoms are being treated like disease states. Malabsorption and inflammation triggers are not even on the radar because absorption is assumed and food sensitivities are dismissed out of hand. Most pharmaceuticals are band aids and many exacerbate nutrient deficiencies that are producing the symptoms in the first place, leaving the underlying causes unresolved. Drugs and surgeries are prescribed when removing the trigger, healing the gut and nutrient replenishment would fix the problem.
My 2017 prediction is that people will get sicker and sicker as healthcare costs skyrocket.
A massive education campaign that teaches the public and medical professionals about nutrition, malabsorption, deficiencies and inflammation triggers is needed, but I doubt it will ever happen. I know this because we published the first medical reference on celiac disease, Recognizing Celiac Disease, in 2007. Although widely acclaimed by physicians and experts at Harvard, UPENN, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Jefferson Medical College and other prestigious medical institutions, there was little interest except by those affected by the disease.
Believe me when I say it is almost impossible to change healthcare culture. Doctors follow key opinion leaders. Doctors who pursue treatments outside the standard course are ostracized and black listed. Some lose their licenses. Government officials rely on institutions like the NIH, institutions that are in the dark like the rest of the medical community. If you don’t have a medical degree, no one listens to you.
So, who is going to be healthy going forward?
Only those people who learn what being well really looks and feels like and how to prevent, identify and correct health problems will be healthy. Only those who learn which foods contain the nutrients they need will be healthy. Only those people who take charge of their own health will be healthy.
This is why we created the Gluten Free Works Health Guide. It is your guide to good health. It is your way to make sure you have the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and avoid things that make you sick.
If you want to be healthy, subscribe to the Gluten Free Works Health Guide. It is a symptom and nutrition guide that will give you the information and steps you need to take to get well and stay healthy. Created by UPENN nurse and celiac disease expert, Cleo J. Libonati, RN, BSN, it contains hundreds of symptoms and shows you how to identify and fix the underlying causes. Find out more at https://glutenfreeworks.com/health.