Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Healthcare or is it really just disease care?

There has been much confusion on what nutritional supplements and natural therapies do and what drugs do. Many people think that nutritional supplements are a natural substitute to the drug they have been prescribed and work as quickly in suppressing the symptoms. They expect the pain or illness to go away in a few hours or a day when they take the “natural pill”. This is how well the media has brainwashed the public, that if you don’t feel well, pop a pill to take away the symptoms, and you’ll feel good again. But, are you and your body really well by suppressing the symptoms with presciption drugs?

I would like to highlight a few distinctions here, between nutritional supplements and drugs and between health care and disease care. First of all, health is about wellness, a state of equilibrium, feeling full of life, energetic, and good about yourself. Health is not defined as the absence of disease. Therefore, healthcare is a proactive approach to your wellbeing, looking at your food choices, lifestyle and social connectedness. Health affects our quality of life immensely.

Dis-ease, on the other hand, is a state of disequilibrium, where a problem large enough has arisen and the scale has been tipped. In our culture here, we go to the doctor when we are not in a state of health, i.e. to treat a certain disease. It is uncommon to go to the doctor if you are not sick and just want to feel better. A friend of mine told me once that her sister-in-law who is a doctor told her she spent only 3 days in her entire time at medical school studying nutrition. So in short, what we always think as healthcare, really, is disease care.

Also, there is a vast difference between natural healing through nutrition and a treatment using drugs. Drugs have a place in our lives, especially in times of emergency and in some acute conditions. However, for many conditions, especially chronic conditions where drugs only work by suppressing the symptoms, healing through nutrition in many cases are better solutions, dealing with the root of the problem rather than suppressing the symptoms.

So, we always have choices, we can choose the state of health we want like everything else that we do. There are only 2 things we can’t choose (or 2 persons rather), our parents!