Saturday, March 23, 2013

Escape Fire

CNN recently aired "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare"-- a fantastic but utterly depressing documentary that focuses on the problems facing America's broken health care system and attempts to define solutions. The issue that most resonated with me, as Dr. Andrew Weil puts it in the film: health care today is really just a "disease management" system as opposed to one that is concerned about "preventing disease."

I'll never forget when I was first diagnosed with osteoporosis fourteen years ago at the age of 45. I wanted to know what caused my bones to become fragile in the first place and how to fix this situation. Five different endocrinologists simply wanted to put me on bisphosphonate medications--to artificially harden my skeleton and "manage" my condition. There was no discussion about nutrition, other than the advisory to drink milk. There was no discussion about my gastrointestinal health, other than the admonition that diarrhea (which I did not have) was a possible symptom that could be of concern. There was minimal investigation into possible food allergies/sensitivities that I may have had: one doctor tested me for anti-tissue transglutaminase (for gluten sensitivity). The result came back as 24 EU/ml and declared it as "normal." (25 EU/ml or greater is considered positive for celiac disease.) There is no doubt that these doctors were focused on"disease management;" there was no attempt to "fix" the things that were causing my bones to become fragile in the first place.

It is time to change how people think about and treat osteoporosis. I've made this my mission. Drugs are not the answer to osteoporosis. Quality nutritional supplements like OsteoNaturals are very helpful, but they too can't beat osteoporosis by themselves.

"Escape fire"* is a term used to describe an unconventional or counter-intuitive solution to a difficult problem. The escape fire for osteoporosis is to use a "whole-body" approach. A thorough diagnostic evaluation is needed to figure out where the destructive forces are of an individual's particular bone loss. With these results, you can take steps to eliminate or dampen destructive fires, improve gastrointestinal health, and promote normal bone remodeling. The focus for treatment can then turn to reducing fracture risk by taking a comprehensive approach that includes diet and lifestyle changes, exercise, nutritional supplements, and, when necessary, pharmaceutical intervention.

If you didn't catch the broadcast "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare", I urge you to visit Get educated, speak up, spread the word and be part of the solution to the health of our nation.

* To survive an approaching fire, fire fighters will burn the grass around them to create a fuel-free spot--thus allowing them to escape the fire.  

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