HOW TO IMPROVE THE AGING PROCESS

Aging_gracefully_pic1Over many years our lifestyle slowly changes our abilities to handle basic tasks. As children, we don’t look to support our bodies when bending over to pick up objects from the floor; we don’t question the safety of running fast without warming up first; we don’t think about morning stiffness after sleeping all night and we don’t question the stamina required to be active all day long. These are “natural” occurrences we take for granted as children. What happens as we age?
Doctors tell us it’s normal. Statements like, “everyone develops arthritis; it’s part of the aging process” are made on a daily basis.  This statement is both inaccurate and dangerous. It is very important to differentiate between the terms NORMAL and COMMON.  Arthritis is not a normal occurrence, however, it is very common. The same can be said for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer. Just because these conditions are common and growing in frequency does not make them normal (or a “natural” part of the aging process.)
When doctors create this false belief, it minimizes the patient’s responsibility for their current health status. In addition, it reinforces the belief that prescriptive pharmaceuticals are essential for good health to “manage” these diseases. This creates the illusion that doctors and their medications “keep people healthy.” In reality, many of these drugs cause side effects resulting in poorer health over time and the need for additional medications to counter the side effects of the originally prescribed medication. This does not mean that pharmaceuticals have no place in our health care system. Their role is essential in acute life threatening conditions as well as assisting in regulating some systemic disorders.
If we really think about it, isn’t it true that doctors often attempt to “manage” rather than “cure” some of the most serious health conditions including  diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer? I believe that most doctors have the best intentions, however, the medical and pharmaceutical systems in place generate billions of dollars “managing disease.” What incentives would these health care providers have to recommend products like red yeast rice and plant sterols in place of cholesterol drugs, turmeric(an indian spice) in place of celebrex (a non steroidal anti-inflammatory), etc… These are just a couple of examples of inexpensive natural products with little to no side effects that effectively address the same conditions without incurring the typical expenses. This same thought process would explain why doctors rarely if ever discuss nutritional needs and exercise programs during an office visit. A doctor is compensated for his or her exam, diagnostic testing (ex. MRI, CT scan, Ultra Sound, etc…), lab work and prescription. The medical model focuses on reimbursable procedures rather than patient compliance and lifestyle modifications. The consumer must realize that health care is a FOR PROFIT business. Even Newsweek and Time magazine have reported unnecessary and over utilized procedures and prescriptions ordered by physicians.
It is also important to realize that our current system follows a disease care model; not a health care model. Most often doctors are contacted once symptoms develop. Physicians commonly write prescriptions seeking symptomatic relief. How can the underlying condition ever resolve if the focus is on the symptom? This would be analogous to the “check engine light” coming on in your car and your mechanic telling you he removed the fuse to fix the problem. The symptom (“check engine light”) has been addressed, but has the engine problem been corrected? As the engine gradually develops more “symptoms” the mechanic (in this example) creates a revolving door or revenue. If the engine’s underlying problem was initially fixed, a “healthy” engine could have been maintained by the owner after the first visit. Therefore, the mechanic and car owner BOTH share a responsibility in maintaining a “healthy” automobile. It is my opinion that the patient and doctor share a similar responsibility in maintaining a “healthy” body.
What steps can be taken to improve the quality of care your physician provides?:
  1. Develop a working relationship with your doctor. Communicate to your physician your need to understand the CAUSE of your condition; not simply how your SYMPTOMS will be treated.
  2. Start with the most CONSERVATIVE approach that makes sense for your clinical presentation.
  3. Find out from your physician what your role is in preventing and maintaining good health.
  4. Never leave a doctor’s office without CLEARLY UNDERSTANDING YOUR DIAGNOSIS. If you are going to be part of the solution, you must understand what the problem is.
  5. Never begin any treatment protocol without INFORMED CONSENT. Physicians are responsible to inform you of the various options of care available for any diagnosis as well as providing risks associated with their recommendations. Doctors are human and make mistakes. They are also business people. Don’t assume the title “Doctor” means their recommendations are always in your best interest.
  6. If your doctor is unwilling to listen to you and provide the type of services you need, FIRE THEM! A little research on finding the right doctor can make a huge difference in the quality of care you receive.
Applying these six steps will help create a better working relationship between you and your doctor. They will also help reduce your chances of becoming another statistic following the COMMON (NOT NORMAL) path of the aging process.

What ideas can you share to improve the AGING PROCESS?

Advertisements

42 comments

  1. Excellent. This post is so in line with my own post today and just what the doctor ordered. No pun intended. I have to repost this article. Great Job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words and sentiment are wise and thoughtful. Many people will be able to relate to your emotions. I certainly have and have grown from the experience. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Simple Living Over 50 and commented:
    Excellent. This post is so in line with my own post today and just what the doctor ordered. No pun intended. I have to repost this article. Great Job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sweetpea2love · · Reply

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve realized that the drugs doctors give can and often cause other problems. I now live with ulcers due to this very thing. I’m plagued by gout in my right hand now for over a week, and after living through broken bones in my lifetime I can say the gout is worse than a break. I’m thankful to you for mentioning the turmeric as a natural anti-inflammatory.

    Take care and thank you once again, from Laura

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura,
      Thank you for explaining your personal situation. I am very sorry you are going through these challenges. Make certain you are aware of the foods and drinks that aggravate gout. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions. Wishing you continued successful healing and self empowerment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sweetpea2love · · Reply

        jncthedc, it is I that thank you for your post. I needed that jump start to use my brain, instead of just living with the pain. I’ve found that turmeric, broccoli, celery seed, and many more foods and spices may help as an anti-inflammatory. I’ve been drinking lots of water too, and hope that this new way of thinking helps.. I’ve also read that the turmeric needs to not become overheated as this breaks down the goodness of the spice. So I’ve found things that use the spice without heating it up. Thank you for your comments and I’ll let you know how this works for me.. Keeping my fingers crossed (but, not on my right hand.. )

        Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~

        Liked by 1 person

        1. First, feel free to call me Jonathan (jncthedc- the first 3 letters are my initials, the=the, dc stands for doctor of chiropractic) You are absolutely correct about the turmeric and other foods that offer inflammatory relief. I always encouraged my patients to slowly implement the lifestyle changes to make them easier to adapt to without overwhelming their efforts. Sleep and stress reduction are two components that aide in reducing inflammation as well. By combining the nutrients, exercise, water, stress reduction, and proper nervous system function the synergistic effects are amazing. Health is truly about balance. I’ll bet as you incorporate these tenets, you will notice significant improvement. If you have any questions along the way, don’t ever hesitate to reach out.

          Enjoy a healthy restful evening!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. sweetpea2love · · Reply

            Jonathan, thank you kindly again for your helpful comments.

            Yesterday I made a Turmeric, Ginger tea and last evening I made a Turmeric Tomato soup.

            I am amazed at the results after this morning. The stabbing pains have subsided and only a little lingering pain remains. I added apple cider vinegar too to the mix in both. I think after a day of the same eat and drink I’ll be feeling no pain at all.

            This is truly amazing, but spices do indeed hold so many healing properties.

            Day before yesterday I was almost in tears after suffering almost a week and a half with non stop pain.

            My garden gives me lots of exercise beginning from sun up and my lawn care..

            Stress is a definite culprit and I usually keep a handle on that.. But, thinking back two weeks I remembered I had a bit of a hard time, leading up to the gout outbreak.

            It’s nice to speak with you Jonathon, because you understand. Before, this gout in my hand I thought it merely affected the big toe, mercy have I learned a lot since then..

            Always, learning to better ones self is a good thing.. Have a wonderful day and take care from Laura ~

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Sounds like something I need to take advantage of. I significantly “tweaked” my lower left back at the gym this morning. Ouch.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. sweetpea2love · · Reply

                James, oh my goodness I’m so sorry to hear about your back injury. That is the worse too, because you can’t stand, sit or lay down and get relief… My concoction is all natural and I’m writing a post right now and will give the info on the tea. I hope your back feels better very soon..

                Take care and rest that back ~ from Laura

                Like

              2. Don’t push yourself. Give your back some recovery time. Feel better.

                Like

                1. Thanks. Feeling better this morning. Good thing it’s just cardio and abs today, though.

                  Liked by 1 person

            2. Glad to hear you are responding so well. Thank you again for sharing your personal story. The more people that are exposed to the reality of natural healing, the more accepted this “alternative” approach will become. Wishing you well on your continuing journey!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. sweetpea2love · · Reply

                Jonathon, thank you so much for helping me get my head out of the pain (sand) so I could regain control.. I just posted a blog on this very thing and gave you as a blogger a shout out to guide folks to your own blog..

                Take care from Laura ~

                Like

                1. I appreciate the thanks, but I give you the credit. I simply put an idea out there and you took control and directed the idea. Welcome to the world of self empowerment. Symptoms don’t stand a chance with your abilities!

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. sweetpea2love · ·

                  Jonathan, I am leaning on totally agreeing with you that symptoms don’t stand a chance with me… I’m like that itch that won’t go away… won’t be stopped ~ giggling

                  Take care from Laura 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                3. You just made my day! Any time a person in pain can write the word “giggling” in a comment, I know they are back on life’s path of unlimited opportunities. Stay the course. Smiling back at ya! 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                4. sweetpea2love · ·

                  Jonathan, will do 🙂

                  Thank you for the comments, they mean a great deal to me..

                  Take care from smiling, Laura

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. You are sooo GOOD! wonderful post! Please keep up the fantastic work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to another one of your waistline friendly preparations!

      Like

  5. Great post. Thanks! To improve the aging process: Spend time outdoors. -Valerie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for viewing the post. I appreciate your time as well as your feedback. I could not agree with you more. Spending time outdoors is a great way to improve the aging process. In fact, if we could get the very young to join their parents and grandparents outdoors, I’ll bet many diseases would reduce. This would be a simple act that all generations would enjoy with profound results!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. The thing about arthritis is that I started getting it in my 20’s (one of my daughters is following completely in my footsteps poor kid). I went to the dr 5 years ago and had back and neck pain with numbness. They sent me for xrays and the came back exactly as I expected. The person who called me with the results was all happy “oh it is nothing it is just arthritis.” I felt like screaming at her, “that arthritis has been there for 20 or more years!!” I didn’t scream, but I told her that is old news, nothing new and not really explaining the numbness. After being sent to an orthopedic dr I found out I had a pinched nerve due to herniated discs in my cervical spine and by the time we were done we found herniated discs in all 3 sections and close to 1/3 to 1/2 of the discs were herniated. However as the pain kept getting worse and more symptoms showed up they finally sent me to a rheumatologist because they were sure it was probably Fibro too. A double whammy. And my daughter has had the same problems since she was 30 or so. She was actually diagnosed before me because I don’t like drs and don’t like hearing have no idea what is wrong. Every time I have a problem it takes 5 or 6 drs to tell me they have no idea what it is. This is not the first time I have gone through all that. Now I am stuck between 2 worlds a chiropractor and regular drs. None of them agree. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This shows that health care is as much an art as it is a science. I used to encourage my patients to focus on what they can do and enjoy every moment. There are always people in worse predicaments, therefore, we need to step backwards every now and then to compose our emotions and realize how fortunate we really are. Every day a new opportunity awaits if we are willing to open our hearts and minds. I hope this message creates additional hope and counters the understandable frustration you are experiencing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks I feel sorry to pass all of this on to my daughter, but she is stronger than I and had made a goal that as soon she could she would become a nurse. She put up with all that pain and 4 years of college and is now the nurse she wanted to be. She is not letting her pain hold her back. I am proud of her for following her dreams.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad my doctor fits the bill, according to your bullet list. Of course, he’s oriented around the traditional medical model and isn’t much of a fan of holistic or alternative treatments. That’s where my wife comes in with her voracious reading of books on those topics. My arthritis almost never gives me a problem, and when I do feel it, the discomfort is minor. Getting older doesn’t mean falling apart. Right now, I’m probably in better shape generally than both of my sons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a combination of traditional allopathic and non traditional holistic have been the ticket for you. Make sure you keep that wife of yours! Her knowledge is vital.

      Your comment also proves aging does NOT have to be a nightmare in progress. When we assume responsibility for our lives, we stand a much better chance at improving the outcome. I wish you continued success on your journey.

      Like

      1. We’ve been married for 33 years so I think I figured out that she’s a keeper. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for this great advice. As I have mentioned before, I have been gradually weaning myself of my medications. Thank you for reminding me about turmeric. I had forgotten all about it and celebrex is one of the meds that I take. Keep up the great work! I too will repost this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Life is truly in the shape of a circle. We started with plants and nature to heal; we created synthetic drugs attempting to duplicate the process, and we are now coming full circle as plants and natural alternatives gain popularity and acceptance. Glad you had a chance to read the article. I always appreciate your comments. Wishing you continued success on your journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on on beacon ridge and commented:
    This is not your average doctor. I have gradually been weaning myself off my medications. Here is why.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Elaine · · Reply

    Great post. I think most people don’t understand that health care is a huge business and unfortunately conflicts of interest occur. Also, thank you for the distinction between common and normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, a conflict of interest reduces the credibility of our health care system. There is a dichotomy between giving the patient an evaluation and basing treatment on the findings and giving treatment based on the average dollar cost per patient visit. When statistics determine treatment, there is a serious problem. As consumers become more aware of their options, the “bad apples” will be weened out of the system. Today’s patient has greater health awareness as a result of technology. The next challenge is getting the patient to IMPLEMENT the changes they know they need to. Thank you for your comments. They are always appreciated.

      Like

  11. Loved by my Father · · Reply

    Great post! I have Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion in 1981 … I will not go to traditional drs. I go to a naturopathic dr. who has 350 hep c patients is well read and listens to me. I will never do traditional treatment for hep c unless it has very high results and also has been on the market for 3-10 years without side effects that stick to the patient and are a trade off for a better life. I take about 40 supplements a day (mostly trial and error as to what works with advice from naturopathic drs.) and without DHEA I wouldn’t have nearly the ability to live an energetic life as I do. I take nothing on faith when it comes to drs. Our family has a great tradition of not trusting them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your sentiments are well understood. I respect your decision to take such an active role and responsibility for your health. Patients with your insight and attitude enjoy a much better quality of life. I’m glad you found such good doctors to work with. I wish you success on your journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Loved by my Father · · Reply

    Reblogged this on Just Me and commented:
    Great ideas on how to manage your health … and keep it …

    Like

    1. Thank you for re-blogging the post. I appreciate your efforts to spread the word. Wishing you and your family good health and happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Loved by my Father · · Reply

        Thanks so much and you’re welcome.

        Like

  13. […] There are glimmers of hope, such as found at the All About Healthy Choices blog, including the timely article How to Improve the Aging Process. […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words. As an optimist, I usually find or create hope if possible. I hope the article helps motivate you on your aging quest.

      Like

  14. […] one more thing. On Jonathan’s blog All About Healthy Choices, Laura (sweetpea2love) commented in […]

    Like

Your comment can positively impact the lives of others.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: