Besides Lebron, Integrative Medicine Moves to Cleveland

Consider these figures:
*Americans make up 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 75 percent of the world’s pharmaceuticals
*Seven out of ten Americans take prescription medications

We can argue about the merits of Obamacare all we want. These arguments do nothing to address the problems with the basic foundation of our medical system. We take more pills, spend more money, yet have worse health outcomes than most industrialized nations. The thorn in our side along with the rising rates of obesity is our inability to address the causes of chronic diseases, especially the autoimmune types.

The problems lie not only with western medicines approach to treatment, that is, give a name for a group of symptoms and prescribe a drug, but also with the pharmaceutical machine( aka “money machine”) that is driving the system. Even the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, says, “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” Strong words coming from such an influential player in the community.

However, for the optimists and progressives out there, big news has been brewing in Cleveland over the last several months. The Cleveland Clinic, considered one of the best hospitals in America, has teamed up with well-known functional medicine proponent Dr. Mark Hyman. They are pouring millions of dollars into their Center of Integrative Medicine. What this means is that mainstream medicine is finally starting to recognize the success that this type of practitioner is enjoying. What seperates integrative and functional medicine doctors from typical “western” doctors is their goal of rooting out the  cause of what’s ailing the patient and help them reverse or eliminate the disease, not just manage it. Sounds like a logical aspiration. Outcomes will be the determinant of future directions and I am certain the adoption of integrative techniques will succeed.  In fact, they already do.

My book Living Wheat-Free for Dummies addresses the causes of chronic disease including blood sugar raising foods and foods that lead to intestinal permeability and inflammation. Making the simple changes the book recommends will be enough for most people to lose weight, feel better, and get off many of the medications they are currently taking.