Health vs. sick care

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Here is a tie-in with last week's column. At times, advanced medical science moves toward healthcare and away from sick care. Research genetics has advanced to the point of being able to prove a prescribed drug, or supplement, will work for an individual before it is used. This advance isn't ready yet but if it pans out, then side effects and disease caused by the drug could be eliminated while effectiveness of the drug is assured.

I'm adding a teaser here. Recently I've come across strong university science based published papers supporting the use of a little known herb. I will be writing about this in the next column as I want to be certain of what I say. Amazing? Wow? Yes if the data holds true, just one herbal could be anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, improves memory and learning and more. So far the studies indicate this herbal shows benefit above placebo and in some cases on par with prescription drugs. It's very safe, too! Again, look for the next Natural Way column.

Here is another case of new research which is much more on the side of healthcare and away from sick care. Research is underway in people that could change the paradigm of statin drugs and cholesterol lowering. Suppose raising to optimal (not normal) levels of hormones would reduce cholesterol (lipid) levels naturally? In most test subjects, cholesterol dropped without statin drugs just by optimizing certain hormones. Seems the body needs cholesterol to produce hormones and if hormones are low, the body naturally produces more soup stock of cholesterol. The expense of the statin drugs as well as all of the long-term side effects would not exist for most people. Side effects are medically treated and billable units assigned. While complicated, I'm excited with what this approach could mean to the quality life for an aging nation.

Here's one final thought: the sense of village and belonging is increasingly lost in our time of billable units and sour politics. When patients are known by name, the human incentive is moved in the direction of connection. The healer of the old days knew this and while limited perhaps in what could be done added that element of human importance. Laughing, loving and respecting had nothing to do with the assessment of the billable unit. Maybe we have changed too much but I'm hopeful. It's time to have that glass of red wine and practice part of my own type of healthcare.

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