The New Age Technique for the Healthcare Sector
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Health is a fundamental driver of our overall quality of life. Healthcare sector globally has seen a massive transformation in the last 40-50 years and India has been no different. If we look at deaths and diseases before the 1970s, they were primarily infection driven like malaria, tuberculosis, polio and much more similar nature. However post the 1970s, there has been a sharp rise in lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid, cancer and many more. And post-1990s, lifestyle diseases have been on a steady rise year on year.
While lifestyle diseases have been growing every year because of many reasons like the rise in the processed food industry, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits of people, acute or infection driven diseases started decreasing rapidly due to multifactorial reasons like the rise in antibiotics, vaccination, better hygiene and sanitation facilities and many more. However what is ironical is that the health professionals or physicians or specialist are treating lifestyle diseases the exact same way as they were treating infectious diseases i.e. drugs, medicines & pills. Now “pill for every ill” may work apt for infection diseases, but it has clearly failed in addressing or reducing the fast rise of lifestyle diseases. And therefore lifestyle diseases have become an epidemic today.
Today in India 68 per cent of people die due to chronic lifestyle diseases, something which should not even exist in the first place. So how do we address the epidemic of lifestyle diseases? The answer lies not in another pill and what lies on our plate. The healthcare sector has to undergo a sea-change in three broad ways if we have to combat the rise in lifestyle diseases.
Mindset change - Majority of the population suffering from lifestyle diseases have a very wrong mindset that these diseases cannot be reversed. It is absolutely false. Lifestyle diseases are completely reversible with the help of right lifestyle changes. People don't have to live with these diseases. They should start thinking and planning to reverse their diseases with the help of right food and lifestyle rather than just manage or control diseases with more and more pills. Because taking pills will not save them from the complications of lifestyle diseases. The key is to treat the root cause of the disease and not to suppress the symptom of the disease.
Right Awareness - We are in two epidemics. One is an epidemic of lifestyle diseases and another is an epidemic of misinformation. Today with advancement in science we now know that lifestyle diseases are completely reversible with the help of plant-based foods but people are not aware of the right information and are thereby making wrong food choices which is the root cause of majority lifestyle diseases.
Food is Medicine - Once the mindset and right awareness have achieved, then one can understand one of the most scientific discoveries of 21st century i.e Nutrigenomics, the science that shows the interaction between nutrition and genes. The answer to our healthcare crisis is Nutrigenomics or in other words, the concept of Food is your Medicine. It is wrong food that has got us into the trouble and it is only the right food that can help us to come out this trouble. We see this in our research and among our patients that food has the ability to turn on health-promoting genes and turn off disease-promoting genes.
Healthcare sector needs a more holistic approach and should seek the active involvement of patients. Along with huge research database supporting countless benefits of plant-based diets, healthcare professionals and practitioners are worldwide seeing awe-inspiring results with their patients. Today the best weapon that we have to completely reverse lifestyle diseases is lifestyle itself. Food and exercise are the new wonder drugs. In the same way that penicillin revolutionized first age of medicine, it looks as though plant food and exercise will be the new age of medicine. It’s all about choosing health-promoting foods and avoiding disease promoting foods. Remember, if food is wrong, medicine is of no use and if food is right, medicine is of no need.