Non-communicable Diseases, the greatest health care challenge of the 21st century, can best be solved by maintaining health, versus “treating” the disease. A new model, based on Healthy Aging, is the solution to what the World Health Organization calls the “Dominant Public Health Challenge of the 21st Century”, Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD’s). In the May 16, 2012, issue of JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) devoted to Global Health, several articles point out the global importance of NCD’s and the emphasis placed on this global health crisis by both the World Health Organization and a special 2011 meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. The UN held a specific High Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases-cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, and cancers. To this list I add what are recognized as the most common chronic diseases (also NCD’s), arthritis, GERD/digestive diseases, and mood disorders.
The first 30 pages of my book, Your Inner Pharmacy, explains how NCD’s (although I use the earlier term “chronic diseases”) develop. Essentially, they develop when normal function of the body “breaks down”, which is a distinctly different cause from that of communicable or infectious diseases. It is an absolute “system failure” that modern medicine attempts to treat chronic diseases with the same outmoded “silver bullet” model that worked for acute and infectious diseases. With the exception of some cancers, treating chronic diseases or NCD’s this way does not cure them. Furthermore this ineffective approach has spawned a 2 Trillion Dollar a year Disease Management Industry in the United States. It is an industry that doesn’t cure chronic diseases; rather it thrives on managing them, using an obsolete model that worked for Infectious Diseases, and it now consumes 78% of our health care dollars.
The New Model that I am promoting is not about “treating disease”; it is about “maintaining health”. It is a core message of “Your Inner Pharmacy” that successful healthy aging comes from 1) diet, 2) lifestyle, and 3) health care that restores and maintains as much normal function as possible throughout life, as applied kinesiology does. Because of US cultural attitudes about health and disease, these 3 factors don’t just happen in healthy ways without some effort and attention. The Standard American Diet (SAD)-appropriately named-is responsible for a great amount of chronic disease. Hopefully other developing countries do not follow our example of how unhealthy diets and lifestyles create diseases that aren’t cured, but managed in costly ways that take resources from education and and other social needs just to pay for their management.
Use Your Inner Pharmacy to create Healthy Aging.