Making Vitamins an Important Part of Your Practice
Since ‘preventive’ care and procedures is the buzzword of the day in healthcare, now is the time to increase nutritional supplements used in your practice. Vitamins and other nutritional supplements will improve your patient’s health and improve your bottom line. But, you need to be knowledgeable in the use of nutritional supplements, or have someone on your staff who is an expert in the field.
Over the next several weeks I will discuss how utilizing nutritional supplements in your practice can benefit your practice and your patient’s health. There will be difficulties and challenge that you will face if you decide to make this transition, but the rewards will be well worth the effort.
Any traditional medical doctor who wants to increase the use of supplements in their practice must be aware of the difficulties that you will face. Just like the pioneers of the 1800’s you will have to blaze the trails and take the arrows so that others may follow your lead. There is still a bias against nutritional supplements in orthodox medicine, though the tide is beginning to turn. As Gladys Block, Professor Emeritus of public nutrition at the University of California-Berkley recent stated: “It used to be most the entire scientific world was against most types of supplement. That has changed over the last fifteen years. A lot of people recognize the benefits of multivitamins. There is increasing support in the science, like folate, like calcium.”
The real truth in healthcare is that up until the last 100 years, nutrition and natural supplements were the only medicine available, so doctors knew and used natural products to prevent and fight diseases. Ayervedic medicine and Chinese acupuncturists still rely on traditional, natural remedies with great results. If sheer numbers are the measure of successful healthcare systems then these two healing arts, practiced in India and China, are by far the most successful.
Allopathic medicine has completely turned healthcare upside down. Only since WWII have drugs become the treatment of choice in medicine. You can argue that the modern drugs have greatly increased the life span of people all across the world. I could argue that increased sanitation, the lack of a major world war, and the huge reduction in dangerous jobs has done much more to improve life expectancy than any medical break through, and I could provide statistics to back up this claim. The belief that “better living through chemistry” has brought us to where we are today in healthcare, is not necessarily true. The decrease in the nutritional value of the commercially grown, processed, and packaged food supply, along with the over medication of the American population are a large component of why the healthcare costs in America have been skyrocketing over the last 30 years, while morbidity has been increasing.
Almost every article that discusses the possible use of nutritional supplements to prevent or fight any disease ends with the statement: “You should always consult with you medical doctor before you begin any nutritional program” and/or “Some supplements may interfere with prescription drugs”. We need to return to just the opposite viewpoint: You should always consult with you nutritionist before beginning any drug program, or consult with your nutritionist to see how any drug may interfere with your nutritional program. I know this goes contrary to what every medical school teaches, but they have only been teaching about drugs for less than a century. It is not etched in stone and is not always the best choice for the treatment of many health problems.
Yes, I realize that nutritional products are not regulated by the FDA, so caveat emptor is the order of the day. But the FDA does not regulate cars or clothes or tools yet people buy these items everyday. There are many good, ethical companies that produce and distribute nutritional supplements that are safe and accurately labeled as to content and potency. You will also hear about how overdosing with supplements can be harmful or even fatal, and yes they can be. But let me remind you that the heavily regulated and controlled pharmaceuticals cause an estimated 100,000-200,000 deaths every year, so let’s keep this in perspective. Let’s keep this discussion on how you can improve the overall health of your patients and your practice by incorporating nutritional supplements into your practice.
Blog subscriptionReceive email notification when a new item is added in this blog.
Saturday, 21 April 2012
posted by Steven M. Weil
Just a small point, it is not accurate to say that dietary (nutritional) supplements are not regulated by the FDA. The FDA regulatory scheme for dietary supplements, is not the same as it is for drugs and 'medical foods', but it does regulate dietary supplements, albeit in a much less influential and rigorous way.
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.