It’s no surprise that when you’re feeling unwell you look for the best advice to help you feel better. But with the endless options of doctors, naturopaths and nutritionists to consider along with the myriad of health and wellness blogs out there, you can start to wonder which source you should really trust with your health. To help you make the most conscious decision about your health, let’s take a closer look at what is available.
Poor health is not caused by a deficiency of pharmaceutical drugs
Let’s be clear about something: your aches, pains, indigestion, crappy mood, insomnia, asthma, eczema, sinus problems, high blood pressure, or whatever it is you suffer from is not caused by the lack of pharmaceutical drugs you take. Modern medicine has been hijacked by the pharmaceutical industry and many doctors, unwittingly, have lost the real art of treating the unwell. Instead, they spend much more of their time dispensing drugs to achieve a temporary fix. You may have also noticed some actually spend more time looking at their computer screen than you!
We are now seeing people, whose health would benefit greatly from minor diet changes, being prescribed drugs and suffering significant side effects as a result. Furthermore, in the US, medical intervention has become the fourth leading cause of death. Thousands of people are dying from medical drugs and hundreds of thousands (millions worldwide) of others experience adverse side effects. For example, taking statins to lower your cholesterol increases your risk of diabetes by up to 25 per cent. It can also create memory problems and cause aches and pains, but does very little to reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you do visit your doctor for advice on treating your ailments, remember that you have the right to ask for alternatives therapies instead of just being prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. These may include any diet and lifestyle changes you could make. And make sure your doctor fully divulgse all of the possible side effects if you do decide to take what are prescribed, even if it is only for a short time. The vast majority of long-term use prescription medicines are only intended for the ‘management’ of chronic conditions, not to cure them.
Prevention is better than a cure.
You may find it hard to believe but less than three per cent of healthcare costs are spent on real prevention and tackling the actual contributors behind disease and illness. This includes poor diet, a lack of exercise, stress, smoking, drinking, insufficient sleep and a lack of ‘love and fun’.
Interestingly, one of the most well known ways to improve your health in a natural way is to visit a naturopath.
Naturopathy uses both conventional and natural health sciences to assess, treat and prevent health conditions. In contrast to what a doctor may prescribe, a naturopath will provide you with herbal medicines that are plant and mineral derived, which can remedy a variety of illnesses. Often naturopaths are also qualified nutritionists and they will take into consideration your current diet to provide you with a carefully selected food plan to nourish your body and address specific health concerns.
Seeing a naturopath is a very natural approach to your health. They invest time in monitoring the progress of your health with their diet and lifestyle recommendations and adjust them accordingly. If you are already on a form of prescription medicine, don’t despair, your doctor can recommend a naturopath to work with your existing circumstances, and progress you onto a more natural treatment plan.
Don’t believe everything you read.
The Internet is a wonderful thing, full of cat pictures, online shopping, and endless amounts of health related information. But how can you be sure whether the information you read comes from a reliable source? With the wellness industry growing rapidly, there are more ‘health’ experts with information packed websites convincing you to buy super foods you can’t even pronounce (hello embarrassing trip to the health food store when I asked for açaí berry powder). It is important to remember that a good portion of these ‘experts’ don’t actually have any formal qualifications, and the advice they offer may not be right for you.
A general rule to keep in mind when you are absorbing all this wonderful health advice is to ‘consider the source’. If you can determine that the person has formal qualifications, such as being an accredited nutritionist, you know that there is some experience backing the advice they are offering.
Otherwise, it may be worth checking that a medical specialist with knowledge in that field has vetted the health information.
In saying this, I don’t want anyone to be discouraged from following the advice of their favourite health expert; sometimes they are speaking from personal experience and have found a natural way to treat their ailments. So take their advice lightly, and see what works for you.
The most important thing to remember is that your health is as individual as your personality. What works for one person, may not be as successful for another. I urge you to do your own research (and no, I don’t mean ‘Google your symptoms until you think you have cancer’ – we’ve all been there!). If you have a particular ailment you want to treat, gather as much information as possible so you are the most well informed person in the room. That way, when you visit your doctor or preferred medical professional for advice, you can discuss all your options and be well on your way to living a healthier and happier life that is perfect for you.
Oh, and for all of our beautiful medical practitioners reading this blog (conventional, traditional or otherwise), we’d just like to say a great big thank you. Thank you for investing your time, energy and love into helping us embrace healthier + happier lifestyles. You rock.