Ellen Troyer of Biostyntrx wrote this excellent article on the growing incidence of self-inflicted disease and the dire need to start treating the cause as well as the symptoms. The body of scientific evidence is growing that suggests lifestyle intervention is an essential component in the treatment of chronic disease (including eye disease), and can be as effective as medications, but without the risks, unwanted side-effects and enormous public and private costs.
As eyecare professionals you are in a top position to introduce Lifestyle Medicine into your practice. Not only is it ‘Eco-Friendly’, it provides the #1 customer services and helps to compete with online companies and your brick and mortar competitors.
This is hardly new news. The public, employers paying for healthcare, advocacy organizations, and providers have been asking insurance companies and government for years for better and more cost-effective solution coverage that includes patient participation, as evidenced in today’s references.
“The world is experiencing an epidemic of self-inflicted disease. Scientific evidence suggests lifestyle, not genes, is the primary determinant of health or disease. Lifestyle choices can cause physical, mental and economic suffering. Unfortunately, our existing healthcare system emphasizes side-effect pills and procedures as the solution to manage consequences of destructive lifestyles. This approach too often leads to poor outcomes and higher healthcare costs. It’s time to address and correct the cause of disease, not ignore it. Our nation can no longer afford to continue our current rate of disease and costs.” This statement is from The American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s 2013 Annual Conference called The Treat the Cause Movement Begins! This event will be held in Washington, D.C. October 28-30, 2013.
The Biosyntrx President / Chief Medical Officer, Spencer Thornton, MD and I and members of our scientific advisory board have also been advocating addressing the lifestyle cause of disease for years. Dr. Thornton and I will support and attend this annual meeting because the diseases being successfully treated by Lifestyle Medicine include type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance syndrome and others that are clearly associated with vision loss, which should make it of interest to every eye care professional.
The body of scientific evidence that suggests lifestyle intervention is an essential component in the treatment of chronic disease is ever growing and suggesting that it can be as effective as medications, but without the risks, unwanted side-effects and enormous costs.
Who would not support and applaud cost-effective disease prevention and interventions, and the organizations and health-care-providers promoting them since chronic disease is developing earlier due to increased sedentary lifestyles, decreased physical activity, excessive empty calorie dietary intake, decreased sleep and increased hormonal effects.
Although the practice of Lifestyle Medicine incorporates many public health approaches, it remains mostly a clinical discipline administered on an outpatient basis.
It’s important to view Lifestyle Medicine as Integrative Medicine since reduction of medications prescribed before the lifestyle intervention often requires careful re-titration or reduction of medications prescribed before the lifestyle intervention begins, particularly where insulin dosing and anti-hypertensive medications are concerned. Lifestyle interventions obviously include diet (nutrient intake), exercise, stress management, smoking cessation and other non-drug modalities. This calls for improved and billable lifestyle screening, which allows for earlier lifestyle intervention counseling.
This will help cut the enormous healthcare costs we are now experiencing and may lengthen a healthy life span, which saves all of us money.
Ellen Troyer, MT MA
Biosyntrx CEO / Chief Research Officer