Reducing Medical Risks and Costs

In 1971, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report entitled, “Benefits from Human Nutrition”, outlining nutritional correlations of diseases, as determined by epidemiological studies conducted in the U.S., with the relative human and economic impact of these diseases. The report also included statistics about the medical risks, lives, and dollars that could be saved by improving nutritional status.

Health Problem Magnitude of Annual Costs          Savings from Improved Nutrition
Allergies $49,693,000 66.6% reduction
Arthritis 16 million affected (1967)
$3.6 billion in unemployment
8 million fewer suffering
$900 million/year
Cancer 600,000 (1968) affected 20% reduction
Dental Health $6.3 billion 50% reduction (incidence/cost)
Diabetes 3.9 million 50% avoided or improved
Digestive complaints 20 million sufferers
$9.2 billion annual cost
25% fewer conditions
Over $1 billion saved
Eyesight $103 million in welfare costs 20% reduction
Infant Mortality & Birth Defects 50% fewer deaths
3 million fewer defects
Heart/vascular disease Over 1,000,000 deaths
$31.6 billion (1962)
25% reduction in disease
20 % reduction in costs
Obesity 50% of adults 80% reduction
Osteoporosis 4 million with severe disease 75% reduction
Respiratory Infections 242 million sufferers
82,000 deaths
$1.2 billion
20% fewer incidences
16,400 lives saved
$21 million saved

In the last 30 years, most of these disorders have sky-rocketed. For comparison, those suffering from arthritis have risen to 41 million.  By 1989, heart disease affected 43 million people and generated a $72.1 billion industry. Obesity has become epidemic in the past 15 years and is a major risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer, to name a few. Unfortunately, the medical profession, along with the American people, didn’t listen to the Department of Agriculture.  Our “standard American diet” (abbreviated “SAD”) has deteriorated since then and our medical costs are spiraling out of control.  Is it any surprise? The good news is that the potential savings are much higher in 1999 than what the USDA reported back in 1971.  We have much more knowledge of nutrition and effective supplementation than we had back then.

To make matters worse, the number one cause of DEATH in this country, as of 2003, is conventional medicine.  (See the report, “Death By Medicine”.) Drug therapy is killing far more than it is curing. On the other hand, Integrative Medicine is looking at the underlying causes of chronic diseases, including diet and lifestyle. We have the ability to identifying the underlying deficiencies, stressors, infections, and toxicities and to restore the body’s balance by correcting these problems.  This more often than not leads to a reduction or even total disappearance of the symptoms, eliminating or reducing the long term need for pharmaceuticals with their side effects and improving quality and length of life.

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