The attempt to identify factors which make illness more likely and take steps to avoid that illness is called "preventive medicine." The practice of preventive medicine is not particularly lucrative and therefore there are few practitioners of this discipline outside government and medical school settings. Within government agencies and medical school settings the term "preventive medicine" almost always has something to do with vaccination programs. The widespread use of vaccination as a method of illness prevention is another topic which deserves its own article. The use of vaccines has been implicated in asthma, autism, hyperactivity, AIDS, MS, and cancer. Suffice it to say here that when all the data is in, avoidance of vaccination may be the most effective method of disease prevention yet discovered; but that is off point for this discussion.
If a fraction of the money spent on illness were spent on preventing illness, America’s health care financial crisis would be over in a few years. However, the style of living and thinking we have developed in the U.S. leaves very little room for relevant and effective public preventive medicine and allows for effective preventive medicine on an individual basis only.
For example the cost of a coronary bypass operation is around $75,000 per procedure. The amount of vitamin C it would take to more than cut in half the incidence of vascular disease can be measured in the mere hundreds of dollars per person. Many people are taking their vitamin C and we are seeing a dramatic decrease in the incidence of vascular disease. However, there is not one single federal agency promoting the idea of people taking extra vitamin C. This leaves the benefits to those who are intelligent enough to take this action for themselves, a kind of default government program for survival of the smartest.
This nicely demonstrates one highly effective method of disease prevention: question authority. The FDA advises people that they need only 60 mg. of vitamin C daily. This is the amount needed to prevent scurvy, but has nothing to do with prevention of other illness. People with the mental resources to question government recommendations such as this will, as a population, live longer and stay healthier.
If you ignore the statistics on abortion which account for around 40% of deaths in the U.S., and concentrate on what adults can do to save themselves, vascular disease, cancer, and diabetes account for over 2/3 of postpartum (afer delivery) deaths in the U.S. If you manage to avoid these highly preventable causes of death, you are much more likely to live a long life. Much of this web site network is devoted to supplying information which will allow you to do just that. Please see the following links as starting points.
|Vascular Disease||Vitamin C and Vascular Disease
Your Relationship with Your Heart
|Diabetes||Adult Onset Diabetes|
The tests which can delineate your risks of developing these and other health problems are available, but few people every approach a doctor with the question "What can I do to prevent disease?" We are accustomed to seeing a doctor only after symptoms of illness are present. In fact, this is the expensive and deadly way of using medical resources. Maintaining your health through such methods as medical checkup, organic foods, nutrient supplements, exercise, life style changes may seem expensive now, but compare it to the cost in dollars and suffering and you will find it to be the most attractive bargain available. The wisest investment you can make in your health is to make an appointment with a doctor who practices preventive medicine. Learn all you can and make the changes necessary to avoid illnesses you are likely to develop. Never mind if your HMO doesn’t cover the expense. Every HMO I have ever looked at is myopic in the extreme. Pay it out of your own pocket. In the long run you will save more than money. The choice is: spend on health now or spend on illness later.