As Dr. Alain Vadeboncoeur said in one of his books: “Prevention is not about identifying diseases earlier on; it is to reduce the risks before they appear”.
Did you know that Chinese doctors aim to keep their patients healthy? It even seems like a matter of honor for them. They are not there to treat sick people, but to keep them healthy. You are probably saying to yourself: “Yes, but our doctors don’t have the time for prevention”. Here, it’s probably the idea of chicken and the egg; if we put more emphasis on prevention, we would have more time to improve the preventive approach. However, patients should want to consult to stay healthy and not wait until they are sick to find a solution to their symptoms. Indeed, for many health problems, we do not want the solution for the cause, because it is often more difficult and requires more willpower. We want to take a pill to cure the symptom. For example, some people with poor nutrition will be prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs; heartburn medication) and they will develop vitamin deficiencies in the long term because in addition to eating poorly, they now absorb less of certain vitamins and minerals (there are of course cases where these medications are essential).
Our modern medicine is strongly oriented towards diagnosis; “where does it hurt?”. The usual solution is to add medication. We thus end up being one of the populations that consumes the most drugs per inhabitant. Three articles already deal with the problem of too much medication taken by aging people (read here).
In a process of awareness, we should consider that we are all terminally ill. Many people will wait until they are sick before deciding to improve their lifestyle, to live in the moment, to take full advantage of the people they love; if they still can. We can see life as a sexually transmitted disease: we won’t make it out alive.
There are some easy tips that can greatly increase a healthy life expectancy. Improved sleep, for example. It reduces blood pressure, the risk of depression, the problems of inflammation, the pain felt and the risks of cardiovascular disease. A person who sleeps 5 hours or less per night has 5 years less life expectancy. Recent studies have also shown that even a small improvement in eating habits reduces the risk of many diseases (Mercedes Sotos-Prieto et al, 2017). Considering data from 51 countries, the biggest dietary imbalance, causing the most deaths from cardiovascular disease, is the low consumption of whole grains (Meier et al, 2019).
In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, certain quality natural products can also greatly reduce the risks of certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, vision loss, prostate cancer, nerve degeneration, etc. Their uses are often supported by studies on populations, generally more than 20,000 people, for several years. For example, a man consuming 20 mg of lycopene per day (the red pigment in tomatoes and certain fruits and vegetables) reduces his risk of developing cancer by 28% (Chen et al, 2015). On the other hand, if he has an inflammation of the prostate, he triples his risk of developing cancer in the next few years, but taking a food supplement could reduce his inflammation to its normal state. For those wishing to deepen this subject in particular: read here.
It is sometimes possible to avoid taking certain chemical medications by using products of natural origin. We recently wrote an article in regards to quality natural health products in the health field: read here (French only).
As much for healthy lifestyles as for supplement use, there are a large number of preventative approaches to consider that can add quality years to life. Don’t wait until it’s too late; consider your health as if you are already terminally ill.
- Association of Changes in Diet Quality with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality,” Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, Josiemer Mattei, Teresa T. Fung, Yanping Li, An Pan, Walter C. Willett, Eric B. Rimm, and Frank B. Hu, NEJM, July 13, 2017.
- Cardiovascular mortality attributable to dietary risk factors in 51 countries in the WHO European Region from 1990 to 2016: a systematic analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study. Toni Meier, author Kira, Gräfe Franziska, Senn Patrick, Sur Gabriele I., Stang l Christine, Dawczynski Winfried, März Marcus E., Kleber Stefan, Lor kowski. European Journal of Epidemiology. January 2019, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 37–55.
- Lycopene and Risk of Prostate Cancer : A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Chen P, Zhang W, Wang X, Zhao K, Negi DS, Zhuo L, Qi M, Wang X, Zhang, X. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Aug ; 94(33).