I have been recommending a wide variety of dietary supplements to my patients for the past 18 years. Needless to say, this is not the norm for physicians. The medical establishment as a whole is treatment driven rather the prevention driven. There is much more profit in treating illness and disease rather than preventing it. As a matter of fact, the healthcare industry, including the American Medical Association (AMA), medical schools, hospitals, research institutions, and drug manufacturers, have made a concerted effort to obfuscate the truth about health supplements and their intrinsic value. What little legitimate research and data, detailing the benefits of supplementation, that actually reaches the public is quickly dismissed by the medical community as being “unsubstantiated” or “preliminary.” Whenever I relate to a colleague a patient’s recovery from a chronic condition by simply adjusting their diet and prescribing the appropriate health supplements, I often become the recipient of an incredulous laugh or sarcastic comment. At best, I am summarily dismissed with any one of a number of explanations to contradict what I know to be empirical evidence of successful treatment. Supplements can neither treat nor prevent any serious illness or disease according to the vast majority of healthcare providers.
“Only highly trained medical professionals are able to successfully treat chronic illnesses.” This is the mantra of the traditional medical community. The most disturbing aspect of this attitude is that medical students receive little or no education regarding nutrition, dietary supplements or any alternative treatments. There is no curriculum that includes preventative medicine. Similarly, physicians do not augment their education with post-doctoral fellowships in nutrition or alternative treatment research. Additional education or training in this area is non-existent. Again, the primary motivating factor is not the patient’s health and well-being, it is treatment. The healthcare system is reactive, not proactive, to such an extent that physicians do not recognize they are, in part, responsible for their patients’ poor health. Physicians wait for symptoms, diagnose the symptoms, and then attempt to treat the condition. A more pragmatic and cost-effective approach would be to administer healthcare systemically and organically. Ignoring the importance of preventative medicine contributes to the astronomical cost of healthcare in this country, along with Medicaid/Medicare, frivolous lawsuits, and unlimited tort awards. For all these reasons, the average person is woefully misinformed about the benefits that proper nutrition and quality health supplements offer.
Proper nutrition and regular exercise is the cornerstone of any effective health maintenance program. Again, most people do not appreciate the tremendous impact their diet has on their overall health and longevity. There are countless illnesses and diseases that are directly attributable to vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies. It is crucial for you to learn about the nutrients contained in the foods you eat (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, etc.). The only way to accomplish this is to read. There is far too much data to impart to be sufficiently addressed in this article. The Internet is probably the best and easiest venue for obtaining this type of material.
For patients with pre-existing conditions or new patients with previously undiagnosed conditions, I will, in many cases, prescribe additional supplements based on a dietary deficiency that may be causing the condition, case history, medical profile, symptomatology, and test results.
I consider pharmaceuticals a second-tier modality and surgery and/or hospitalization a final option unless otherwise indicated. Connective tissue and bone ailments are most easily treated with supplements and have the most dramatic results. Vitamin K1, silica, chondroitin, MSM, minerals, collagen, and elastin are all elements that will facilitate connective tissue and bone (joint) ailment recovery. I could cite a litany of conditions that were markedly improved. Suffice to say, there have been very few patients, whether their condition(s) were minor or chronic, who did not realize at least some relief after taking the recommended supplements for an appropriate period of time. To their pleasant surprise, many patients also experience unexpected ancillary health improvements beyond that of the targeted condition.
Although I have not methodically tracked the recovery success rate, I feel confident in reporting that a significant percentage of my patients have responded well to a nutrition modality. To the extent that the use of more traditional modalities were not required.