Healthcare is a misnomer

We can stop the charade now. Many are seeing healthcare for what it has become ~ a profit machine. We are waking up to the facts. This is not about our health, at all.

The definition of misnomer is ‘in inaccurate description’. The term ‘healthcare’ is an excellent example of a misnomer.

By the time we seek treatment, it is sickcare. Healthcare is not the accurate term for what is being delivered. Let’s stop calling it that.

Medications, imaging, scans, surgeries and treatment are all wonderful, lifesaving measures when used to find and correct a root cause of a body not functioning properly. But when used as many Americans do them they are simply dollar driven, destructive crutches.

We cannot treat our bodies like we have more than one and expect them to work well. Our fast-food, sedentary lifestyles are wreaking havoc on our health. Traditional medicine is designed to combat the damage, but it is incredibly flawed.

A typical doctor statement: “Your blood sugar is creeping up, you’ll need Metformin.” What they don’t always tell you is it causes lactic acidosis which sets the stage for needing additional medicine.

Or “Your blood pressure is a little high, take this.” Enter more prescriptions with more negative side effects.

Or this, which happened to me, “Your total cholesterol is 212, I’m going to e-prescribe a statin”.  I know statins cause weakening of the muscles in every area of the body, especially the legs. That doesn’t sound like a good trade-off.

In my very strong opinion, it should look more like this: “Your blood sugar is creeping up. Let me recommend a nutritionist that can help you eat to beat diabetes”.  Or “That pain keeps coming back, will you get a massage if I prescribe it?”.

Before I go on, I want to say I am all about some western medicine. I have a few loved ones that think I’ve gone weird, hippy and anti-medicine. To be clear, both approaches have benefit.

I try to stay healthy naturally, but if I get bronchitis, I march straight to a clinic and beg for a steroid dose pack! But do NOT try to put me on a long-term maintenance drug for a condition that falls in the category of lifestyle disease. 

What we put in our bodies is what leads to these diseases. Which is unfair ‘cause I really love Wendy’s and Steak-N-Shake and Taco Bell. But we cannot live on fast and processed foods free from negative health effects.

When my cholesterol went up, I knew in my bones it was reversible. I was right. I cut out some of those places I adore junk food from and in two months, the levels were healthy again.

It did creep back up a year later and when he tried a second time to put me on a statin for cholesterol, I found a new doctor. Thankfully, he explained additional causes of high cholesterol.

Doctors really are in a Catch-22. I believe many come out of medical school with grandiose ideas about changing the face of healthcare. But then see patient after patient, who have been marketed into believing the latest wonder drug will cure their ail. They lose enthusiasm and become prescription dispensers.

Some are focused solely on making money. That singular focus is exactly why healthcare isn’t about our health. Doctors, hear me. If you are in it for the money and not actively trying to fix root problems, you may as well be just dealing drugs.

Fortunately, some brand-new MDs also go the extra mile to educate themselves in nutrition and natural health. These rockstars combining western medicine with supplements to help boost overall health are the ones dispensing true healthcare.  They believe physical health includes so much more than ‘symptoms controlled with [medication]’.

Those men and women have my respect. They sought a tough degree which validates them in the eyes of many. But the most important thing they possess is a well-rounded view. They sought the comprehensive knowledge to understand and encourage whole person health. They take a holistic approach and look at the entire body and lifestyle, not just a single symptom or disease.

I have taken medicine for hypothyroidism for about fifteen years. It seemed under control. I got my TSH level checked regularly and made monthly trips to Walgreens.

But I was generally tired, didn’t sleep, had hair loss and struggled to focus. So, I began questioning the TSH levels. Were mine ideal for my body? The more research I did, the more I realized we were not getting to any depth in the numbers.

There are multiple markers in the blood to consider when regulating these important hormones. As it turns out, uncontrolled thyroid hormones often lead to high cholesterol. I didn’t know that , but the doctor giving me drugs for the condition(s) should have.

My new doctor makes me say wow. He’s the kind of doctor genuinely fascinated by his patient’s situations. The new patient questionnaire enquired the details of my diet, exercise habits, sleep quality, hydration and support system. He wanted to get to know how I cared for myself overall, not just dive into prescribing for a previous diagnosis.

I learned more about hypothyroidism in twenty minutes with him than in fifteen years with my previous PCP. He believes there should be no concern about my cholesterol until the thyroid is in check and plans to try a natural supplement first, NOT a statin if any intervention is needed.

He explained on a napkin how those multiple thyroid markers interact and asked me three times in one visit if I had any more questions.  He is providing real healthcare!

I’m fortunate, he practices within a health system covered by my insurance. If he were on his own practicing alternative medicine, it would be all my expense. Most insurances do not cover anything outside of traditional medical doctors and hospital provided services.

Reform is needed. Reform that allows people to have alternative treatments that suit their needs more precisely. HSA’s should allow outside the box expenses. Often, it makes much more fiscal sense to allow holistic treatments.

Short story. I strained a muscle in my back, but fortunately scored an appointment with a massage therapist on short notice. She used what’s called ‘myofascial release’ and it worked miracles.

I couldn’t stand fully straight going into her office but walked out fully vertical, armed with stretches to keep it from tightening back up. A hundred bucks, an open mind, and two days of rest is all it took. This is healthcare.

Traditional treatment would have likely involved an office visit, possibly an x-ray, prescriptions for muscle relaxers, a week of rest and several hundred dollars. How does it not make sense to cover the more natural, less expensive treatment?

But insurance covers nothing in the alternative/natural medicine world. They rarely cover massage and never cover supplements, many of which can replace synthetic medications. This deck of tricks called healthcare is heavily stacked against being healthy.

We’re trapped in a system that is not at all concerned with our health. If health organizations were truly looking out for us, advice for prevention of disease would be first and foremost. The right foods and how to build immunity to viruses would be part of your treatment plan.

But this isn’t about our health. Try finding some advice on how to boost immunity on the CDC’s website. I’ll wait.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of great healthcare providers and treatments out there, but the system in which they work is broken. Is it broken beyond repair or does it begin repairing when you start taking your own health back?

We must step out of tradition. The current healthcare system is about profit, not health. You know that, right? Deep down in your bones, don’t you feel it too?

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