Are you cutting back on medications to save money?
You’re not alone.
The New York Times tells us that “For the first time in at least a decade, the nation’s consumers are trying to get by on fewer prescription drugs.” As a doctor, I’m not too excited about patients discontinuing medications without the advice of a physician. But there is a potential upside. With radical reductions in the amount of money available to spend on medications, I hope that people are going to consider more seriously the option of taking care of their bodies. Not only will that prevent the need for many medicines, it will keep them alive longer and make them feel better than taking pills.
Health is more important than healthcare.
While nobody wants to get sick, people assume that if they -or their children – do fall ill, they’ll be taken care of. I see this attitude taken to dangerous extremes. Some examples of what I see:
- Diabetics eat cake and cookies whenever they want by adjusting their dosages of medication to lower their blood sugar levels. Keeping blood sugar under control this way puts them at high risk of sugar swings. While it does prevent developing diabetic coma from their terrible diets, it does little to prevent the long term damage done by high sugar.
- Women know that breastfeeding reduces ear infections and other illnesses in their children, but if formula is covered by their insurance, they stop breastfeeding much sooner than women whose insurance doesn’t pay for formula.
- Adults with cholesterol problems caused by diet would rather take the cholesterol pill than change their diet. Of course, cutting cholesterol out of your diet is not the way to reduce your cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t know this and will tell you to avoid healthy foods like milk, eggs, and meat.
I hope that a reduction in healthcare coverage will lead to a rise in people’s interest in healthy lifestyles!
And it will save money:
In 2005, a Northwest region study showed that “obesity increases annual medical spending per person by 37.4%, or around $730 a year. And overweight increases spending per person by 14.5%, or $247 per year.” In 2007, the American Diabetes ssociation calculated that “the 2007 per capita annual costs of health care for people with diabetes is $11,744 a year…”
Deep Nutrition, my new book, will help you understand the power of food to reduce your need for prescription medications and make you healthy!