© 2014 Dr. Sharon Norling
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Many individuals have achieved all of the above and more through simple lifestyle changes. Understanding the root causes of many common health issues and making specific lifestyle changes can improve health and decrease symptoms. FirstLine Therapy is an example of a therapeutic lifestyle program presented and monitored by certified educators. This is an easy-to-follow, individual plan that has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in controlled clinical research trials. The program stresses that lifestyle changes are vital and “first line” in protecting your health against an array of diseases including those of the heart, diabetes, arthritis, obesity and much more. In short, when your underlying cellular health is better, your energy levels are higher, your body metabolizes fat better, you lose unhealthy fat easier, your mental function is better, your sex drive is stronger, you sleep better… you just feel better all over!
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2005, “There is a large gap between what physicians do for patients with chronic diseases and what should be done. Most physicians lack the time, information technology and financial incentives to develop organized processes to systematically improve the quality of care provided to these patients (patients with chronic disease).”
Furthermore, A scientific statement published in Circulation in 2004 called Preventing Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, and Diabetes; a Common Agenda for the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association, states the following:
It is also our individual responsibility to take charge of our health, become educated, and make choices that support a healthy lifestyle. If we choose not to take action, the life expectancy for obese men and women is shortened by 8 to 20 years. The American College of Cardiology (March, 2004) national guidelines recommend therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC) as a standard of care in the management of CVD risk factors. The value of TLC in actual practice is often discounted by clinicians and health insurers who instead frequently turn to widely available pharmacotherapeutic agents: “Many patients with classic CVD risk factors can achieve risk reduction goals without medications within only three months of initiating therapeutic lifestyle changes.”
It is important to remember that lifestyle changes are also a family matter and that includes our children. Frighteningly, today 1 out of 6 adults have an obese child at home. What’s worse, if a child is obese as a kindergartener and continues as an adult, he or she will have a decreased lifespan. According to the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005, compared to individuals who did not develop heart disease, those who were hospitalized for or died from coronary heart disease had relatively small body size during the first two years of life, and thereafter put on weight rapidly. Of the obese children, 49 percent have metabolic syndrome (obesity, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and low HDL cholesterol) and are predicted to be disabled and die of cardiovascular disease in their 40’s!
Prevalence of obese children in the US:
Age Range 1980 2002
6-11 years 7% 16% (More than doubled)
12-19 years 5% 16% (More than tripled)
US Dept. Health and Human Services
Healthy choices are a path to better health, increased energy and more success! Do not wait! The time to put your health first may never be “just right.” Start where you are mentally and emotionally right now, and work with whatever tools you may have at your finger tips. Better and more effective tools will be developed as you progress.
You will not have a chance to experience healthy aging if you fall into one of the common and often fatal pitfalls that claim people in midlife. To avoid many common illnesses, you must be aware of your personal health risks as suggested by your past medical history, your family history and medical examinations. Today, specialized state-of-the art testing using organic acids and genetic testing is available to help complete our medical profile. Comprehensive health assessment and analysis can determine many types of energy imbalances within the human body such as food allergies, hormonal imbalances, environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies, metabolic disturbances, underlying stress and other imbalances that may be impacting our health.
Current approaches to health promotion and prevention of CVD, cancer and diabetes do not always utilize the potential of the existing state of current knowledge. Healthcare providers and medical organizations must transform healthcare into systems that provide preventive care as well as early detection as an integral part of standard medical practice.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips:
Dr. Andrew Weil, the father of integrative medicine, says, “Health is wholeness – wholeness in its most profound sense, with nothing left out and everything in just the right order to manifest the mystery of balance.” 2013 is a great year to bring balance into your life and bounce back into your step. A healthy mind, body, spirit not only improves your health but makes your life more fun! Take the first step toward better health today.
Written by: Dr. Sharon Norling, MBA