Monday, April 20, 2009

Is Reactive Medicine Cheaper Than Preventative?

Are you in the habit of eating poorly and then taking medications regularly when you become sick? If so, you may want to consider what you spend on medications, insurance premiums, and low-quality food versus preventative care and good quality food. In the long run, preventative care can save you thousands of dollars in prescription drugs and trips to the doctor and hospital. And it can certainly afford you a much better quality of life and avoid suffering, pain, and misery.

As one example, if you went to the doctor and received a prescription for Levaquin, without insurance you would spend approximately $161.00 for ten pills. This medication is used for illnesses such as sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. If you are insured, you are still required to pay a monthly insurance premium to offset the cost of prescription drugs - which will vary according to your plan. Depending on your insurance plan, you will receive certain "benefits" and reductions of those costs. Insurance premiums are only slated to increase over time. The bottom line is, you are still paying a hefty sum for prescription drugs which may or may not make you well. In general, prescription drugs (at best) will remedy symptoms for a short period of time - but over a longer course of time the problem often remains unchanged and then you have other issues that are caused by the drugs such as side-effects (both short and long term), nutrient depletion, and the fact that what is causing your health issue has not been addressed.

Also, because Levaquin is an antibiotic, all good bacteria is being wiped from your body. This may seem unimportant, but when another virus or bacteria enters your body, it will be much less able to fight off the intruder and build up immunity to it and other invaders which your body will encounter. Once the good bacteria is gone from your body, it will take a great deal of time to regain your immune function and you will never be able to build it back up to what it once was before you took the antibiotic.

Clearly a preventative model for maintaining health is preferable. In some cases, antibiotics are needed, but not to the frequency that many practitioners prescribe them. Good, regular health habits can help eliminate the need for dangerous prescription drugs and medications which can further hinder the healing process of the body. Some suggestions include the following:
  • Engage in regular, moderate exercise
  • Eat healthy foods - fermented foods (such as ghee, grains, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, and other similar foods from raw sources), grass-fed meats, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, raw dairy, nuts, and seeds.
  • Drink plenty of purified water that is alkaline in content.
  • Avoid refined, processed foods of all types - including store-bought breads, crackers, pasta, cereals, food bars, snacks, deserts, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, muffins, crossaints, bagels, sauce mixes, salad dressings, dips, drinks, etc.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Engage in stress-reducing activities.
  • If you are in a position to do so, obtain regular care from a knowledgeable practitioner who can support a holistic and preventative method of keeping your health at optimal levels.
  • Make certain you are receiving enough probiotics, fiber, minerals, and essential fatty acids in your diet.
  • Don't wait until you have a serious problem, practice health maintenance every day. If you do, your body and your bank account will thank you.
For more information on how prescription drugs can deplete the body, read Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutrition by Dr. Hyla Cass, M.D.

For more information about making fermented foods, visit The Healing Crow.

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