Nutritional counseling and supplementation is a vital component of a Lifestyle Medicine (LM) practice. But it is much more than just prescribing a multi-vitamin supplement for your patients.
Proper nutrition is best achieved through proper diet, knowing what to eat and, just as importantly, knowing what not to eat. The field of nutrition is still in its infancy and there is so much more that will be discovered in the future. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include nutritional products in your treatment program. By applying what we already know about nutrition to your patients you can greatly improve their health.
Lifestyle Medicine is defined as the application of environmental, behavioral, medical and motivational principles to the management of lifestyle-related health problems in a clinical setting. In practice it means that by improving overall healthy living, the patient can prevent, manage, or even reverse a wide variety of diseases. It is not a new concept for many alternative healthcare providers, but in the world of allopathic medicine it is a relatively new idea.
Only recently has there been a big push to prevent diseases by the medical establishment. There has been no incentive for doctors, or anyone in the medical field, to prevent diseases or manage them through lifestyle changes. The first attempt to influence overall health was, and is, through the campaign to prevent or stop smoking. Very recently there has been an increased push to educate the American public on a healthy diet and reduce the number of calories in the typical diet in order to fight and prevent obesity.
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.