Aging Does Not Have to Mean Decreased Quality of Life Thanks to Holistic Medicine

One unavoidable facet of the human condition is the progression of time and the correlating health changes that go along with the passage of time. Those who are aging typically face conditions that weaken the body and reduce the quality of life as the years add up. There are various holistic approaches that can help these individuals tone their bodies and improve their quality of life again. These approaches avoid the prescribed medications of functional medicine and focus on other treatments that utilize natural compounds and therapy focused on movement and invigoration.

Healthy Eating Habits

Fruits and vegetables are important to help the body stay fit and operate as it should. Eating organic is a big boost to the body’s efforts to maintain strong muscles and healthy skin. Making sure to include the right amount of Vitamins C, D, E and K as well as Vitamin A will keep the body functioning as it should and help individuals enjoy their remaining years.

Supplements

Holistic medicine believes that providing the body with the natural compounds it needs, the body’s capabilities return to what they were in the individual’s younger years. It is important to take supplements rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants in order to help the body complete processes as it should.

Skin Care Taken Seriously

The first step is to minimize sun exposure and also cut down on the amount of chemicals the skin is exposed to on a regular basis. Next, it is important to use topical vitamin C and moisturizers to help the skin stay supple and healthy.

The aged look of skin can be addressed and reduced, provided you utilize the right products and don’t -buy into the promises from make-up or cleansers that are sold for profit and not for the true benefit of the consumers.

Exercise and Sleep Can Mean the Difference

It is important to get enough sleep and make sure to take proper care of teeth and gums. This allows the body to handle illness and any pain or discomfort as it should, rather than having the focus diverted to these issues or the energy available reduced due to lack of sleep.

For those who want to stay healthy, it is important to fit in some exercise, even if it is a regularly scheduled walk. The body needs the exercise to help burn fats and process certain compounds to remove them from the system.

Functional medicine revolves around a specified pain or condition, the diagnosis of said illness and prescriptions meant to resolve or at minimum keep the issue at bay. For those who want to feel healthy and avoid taking too many prescriptions, it is wise to turn to the holistic option to evaluate the potential answers for the condition the sufferer deals with on a daily basis. The prognosis may be better, and the sufferer may get more immediate resolution to the problem. A happy ending using natural solutions can be within reach quickly. Functional medicine has its place, but holistic medicine is an undervalued resource for those with chronic conditions.

Bringing Scientific Rigor to Medical Research Using Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology applied to medical research can improve trust in science by creating an unchangeable, time stamped record of the research findings. Blockchain technology, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, ensures that transactions entered into a ledger cannot be changed with time. As applied to the cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC), the result is a monetary system that, cannot be manipulated by a centralized government because it creates a permanent and accurate record of all transactions. The strength of the system comes from its use of a distributed database as compared to current monetary systems that require a centralized database such as is used by credit card companies and banks. Applying this same technology to medical research increases trust in the results because just like bitcoin, the transactions (scientific data collected) are permanently archived in an unchangeable, immutable manner.

The exchange of money, just like the conduct of medical research, requires a high level of trust. Money in the past has generated this trust through government regulations and central bank oversight. Medical research in the past has attempted to create high levels of trust through peer review conducted by reputable medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine. Both methods of generating trust rely on a trusted central authority, either the government or a medical journal. As such, both methods are highly susceptible to fraud via corruption or innocent errors of the centralized authority. This has led to widespread distrust in medical research. Bitcoin operates differently, because it sets up a method of relying on a distributed network based upon a mathematical algorithm, rather than centralized authority susceptible to human error.

Financial transactions require perhaps the highest level of trust. People need to know that all transactions recorded in the ledger be entirely accurate and totally resistant to being changed in the future. Because blockchain technology as implemented in bitcoin has earned this trust, bitcoin has become a widely used store of value with a market capitalization of over $100 billion USD. When other cryptocurrencies are considered, the total trust in blockchain based financial systems exceeds $250 billion USD. Similarly, health care professionals need to be able to trust that data obtained from medical research is both completely accurate and completely immutable. Physicians need to know that medical research isn’t plagiarized or fraudulent in any way. Blockchain technology has made bitcoin a trusted, global currency. In the same way, blockchain based medical research will greatly increase trust in the results and as a result, improved medical care.

American Health Care Trends: Old, Fat and Lazy

The recent AMA Executive Summary “Health in the United States: Health Care Trends” contains both a little hope and a lot of gloom.

Population Trends

By 2050 the segment of the population over 65 will double from today to 83.7 million. This means that the prevalence of chronic illness will rise dramatically. Since 1990, smoking has decreased from 29.5% to 18.1% of the adult population. Probably as a result, stroke has declined 34%, heart disease 27%, and cancer 17%. This sounds good but…

Fat and Sluggish

Since 1990, the obesity rate in adults (defined as BMI over 30) has increased from 12% to 29.6%. During the same time diabetes increased from 4.4% to 10% of all adults. Not old adults, all adults. The CDC predicts that by 2050, thirty percent of adults will have diabetes. As a result, obesity is now the leading cause of heart attacks. Physical inactivity is a major reason. Only 21% of adults get the US Department of Health and Human Services recommended 150 minutes of exercise weekly. My observation is that most get no exercise. Many employers now offer wellness programs that give financial rewards for healthy behaviors. This could be a big step in the right direction. Of course, punitive actions denying health insurance to the morbidly obese or uncontrolled diabetics could also be coming, especially if the federal government leaves the health insurance business to private companies.

Is There a Doctor in the Zip Code?

The AMA reports that primary care doctors are closing their practices and either retiring early or moving to non-clinical areas like insurance, quality management, the pharmaceutical industry or even medical informatics. Since the demand for health services will increase dramatically, an increasing percentage of primary care will be provided by PAs and Nurse Practitioners. I expect they will have increasing independence. This is not necessarily a bad thing, many of these caregivers are excellent and offer compassionate and comprehensive care. A possible byproduct of this trend may be an increase in demand for referrals and subspecialty care, such as sending diabetics to endocrinologists and COPD patients to lung specialists.

Take Responsibility or Someone Else Will

A dystopian future looms where the cost of medical care is greater than our resources can manage. In this rather terrifying situation, someone will have to be denied services, probably either the powerless or those who refuse to adopt mandatory health guidelines. It hasn’t come to that yet. We still have time to make recommended changes in diet and activity. Remember, who could have predicted everyone would stop smoking?