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Antibiotics were first introduced in the late 1930s. This began an incredible period of effective disease care. Bacterial infections could now be treated. Subsequently pharmaceutical, surgical and a range of body therapies were developed to treat and manage a wide range of symptoms and diseases.
Alongside this revolution in acute disease care management was the subtle beginnings in the 1940s of what is now known as chronic non–communicable diseases. The onset of obesity, heart disease and diabetes began to gather pace. These chronic diseases are now beginning to financially cripple economies and have devastating effects on individuals, families and societies.
The acute disease care model is no longer effective.
There are massive ongoing attempts to find solutions for diseases but due to the extent of illness in all populations the “care” aspect has been disappearing. The falsely labelled healthcare system can more accurately be called the disease care system. Hospitals, insurance companies and many health practitioners have streamlined their functions in response to economic demands. Healthcare has become health management.
This state of affairs has fortunately led to a re-evaluation of what it means to be healthy and many of the beliefs about health and disease that have been prevalent for the last 40 years have been turned upside down.
Our ancestors knew how to eat well and this has been forgotten over the last 40 years. It is now known that high levels of sugar and processed carbohydrates are the drivers of chronic illness. High blood insulin levels and not the consumption of “health fat” is the culprit. We now know the central and critical role of the three big S’s …. Sleep, Sitting, Stress.
The bowel is now understood to be the second brain and the most effective immune system organ. We are beginning to understand the microbiome and just learning how to care for it.
The leading causes of death in the United States are related to lifestyle : tobacco use, narcotic medicine use, physical inactivity, diet and excessive alcohol. These poor lifestyle choices also adversely affect the microbiome.
On the flip side there are enormous benefits in health behaviour change both on an individual and on a societal level.
Pathways to Wellbeing is our framework for understanding the evidence-based lifestyle strategies that contribute to well-being.
Merely knowing this is not a recipe for change in itself. Changing one’s behaviour can be challenging. Success requires the development of a specific health action plan and in receiving
support to implement the plan in a sustained way. It requires the development of new habits.
Do you have a plan and do you have a support structure in place?
The answers to these two questions are likely to change the quality and quantity of your own life.