All over the world, the way people look at disease, prevention, treatment, and recovery are being re-examined fundamentally. The “fix me” era of healthcare is coming to an end. Prevention and personal responsibility – recognizing our own role in sustaining our health and well-being – is the future of health.
The effectiveness of healthcare measures ranging from new drugs to new procedures and protocols is declining in many cases. As just one example, the journal Health Affairs identified a consistent decline in the incremental effectiveness of new drugs since the 1960s. Physicians, economists, and public servants have begun to observe that the path we are on in healthcare cannot continue in its current direction.
Instead, today’s leading causes of death all have a behavioral component. That means that the way we live is the key to living longer. The sustainability of health care, too, is being examined carefully and there is growing agreement that the current ways of supporting health cannot support us for the long haul.
Preventing the Greatest Threats
Fortunately, the greatest threats to our health are among the most preventable. Heart attack, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are all powerfully influenced by how we live. Yes, there are hereditary factors in each of them, but overwhelmingly the power of health habits to reduce your risk is remarkable.
Exercise and diet are big preventative answers to heart attack and stroke. The amount of exercise and type of diet that’s right for you depends a lot on you – that’s another reason why consulting a family physician is a great first step. The same goes for diabetes – and the obesity that often leads to it. A life that includes regular exercise and sensible diet is likely to be a longer life.
Though the risk of cancer can be reduced by diet and exercise, early detection is the common denominator in preventing and treating it. The ongoing awareness that leads to early detection can come from an ongoing relationship with a family physician.
First, Quit Smoking
First and foremost, stop smoking. Smoking has been the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths for generations. If it were easy, we would have solved it by now. One thread runs throughout all the data on quitting: people who get help, like the help of a family physician, are more likely to quit successfully.
An ongoing relationship with a family physician is the foundation of preventative medicine in the new world of sustainable healthcare. It is the basis around which prevention and detection of every kind can revolve. Why not schedule an appointment with us at Global Family Medicine to begin, and take your rightful place in the future? Call us at 843-815-6468.