The total national health expenditure in the USA increased 70 times from 1970 to the present. From $50 billion to $3.5 trillion . Expenditures on prescription drugs also increased 70 fold. From around $4 billion in 1970 to around $350 billion now. At the same time, health expenditure as a percentage GDP quadrupled, from 5% to 20%. Do you see the consequences of lifestyle disease?
The rate of diabetes increased 10 times in a single lifetime. The percentage of cancer incidences doubled from 20% to 40%. This means that almost half of us will suffer cancer during our lifetimes. This is the sate of US health care over the last 60 years. The same trends exist worldwide. Chronic lifestyle disease expenditures account for 75% of total national health expenditures.
When we pose the question,”How many persons that have one or more lifestyles diseases?” It is half the population. We can also look at people who are pre-diabetic and diabetic. Again, half the population. , What’s happening in the medical industry? Look at the Fortune 500, the largest corporations in the world. The arms industry, energy construction industry, automobile industry and medical industry, among others. Take the 10 biggest pharmacological companies out of these 500. Their income is about the same as the rest of the 490. So we are talking about big money.
Why have we experienced such large increases in the amounts of money used on health care. 70 times increase over 60 years? We have more and more incidence of cancer. We have more and more incidence of diabetes. Why? We need to answer this question. That’s what we are attempting to do here. We will look at the health paradox. The need for paradigm shift. We will see this is a question of responsibility. Who should take responsibility for your health?
If we look at the situation right now – I call it the “paradox-now) – it is about medication. How does it work? One could call all the diseases that are non-communicable diseases “lifestyle diseases”. They are by definition not contagious. What is the cause of those diseases? The cause of the lifestyle? We have mental stress. We have wrong nutrition. When we have a lot of stress in our lives, our breathing patterns are wrong. A lot of metabolism in our body changes for the worse. Movement is wrong.
The immune systems deteriorates. Inflammation increases.
The result is that we get a chronic lifestyle disease. Many, many of us – it depends on our genes. The industry and health system says that chronic lifestyle diseases are incurable. You go to the doctor. You assume it is the doctor’s responsibility to diagnose you and give you medication. Your responsibility is to take the medication. This is how it is right now. Perhaps I have simplified it, but it should put things in perspective.
The doctor’s role, right now, which is the biggest failing of the doctor, is to give you medication. Prescription medication. There is little consultation. Doctors don’t seem to have time to consult you and follow-up. An important aspect of the consultation is follow-up. So what they do is they treat the symptoms of the disease, not the cause.
They don’t treat the causes, the lifestyle problems. Because they do not have time. It is not how the system works right now. Medication is the basis of the system. Look what happens. The first time we go to the doctor, we get prescription medication. We get prescription drugs. These work with some symptoms. They can remove some symptoms. Actually what happens is we have a “symptom tree” and the distribution resembles chaos. Each medication gives a further variety of symptoms.
So you get symptoms: You can have high glucose , blood pressure, pulse. Asthma, arthritis – you have side effects. They build up. It is important to see what is promoting lifestyle disease. It is Chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation levels in your body are going up.
This is “Positive Feedback Loop” #1. When you take medication you have a variety of symptoms. This medication promotes other symptoms. The system goes out of control. The positive feedback loop up-regulates the whole thing. Then you go to the doctor again because you have some other problems. He prescribes a new medication which give you new symptoms and then you have new side effects. Then you have the second occurrence of a positive feedback loop here. The third time it goes the same way. You promote the disease – you promote the “incurable” disease and that’s a problem. The second positive feedback loop applies to the medical industry. At the national level, this is how the system works now.
We are talking all the time about the growth, economic growth, not so much about personal growth. This economic growth is unsustainable because the system is going out of control. The positive feedback loop is always characterised in the system by always going “havoc”. That is, it will collapse. Bear in mind that the health component of GDP increased 4 fold over the last 60 years. Health expenditure increased 70 times! We also have growth in the cases of lifestyle disease. So this is an extremely unstable system.
I see two positive feedback loops that make the system more and more unstable. The positive feedback loop that concerns YOU, because YOU are taking the medicine. The medical industry is responsible for the other positive feedback loop. It is about money, it is about profit, The growth we are discussing here is unsustainable in the long term. There is a synergy between the medical industry, the nation states, the insurance companies. Everything is working together here to actually increase the positive feedback loop.
Economic growth – yes, we have 1 or 2 percent in yearly growth, or 3 percent is some countries. A big part of it, is coming from a very unreliable source. Actually, it is coming from promoting chronic inflammation in us, the people.
We have “economic growth”. It is not real economic growth because it is on the wrong premise. The result is increasing public health costs. They go up and out of control. Two positive feedback loops make the system as it is now. Unsustainable in the long term. What we need, what we can change is a change in the way doctors operate. Of course we need doctors, but there are some small corrections we can make . So let’s look what we need. A paradigm shift and it is coming here – you, doctors and the industry. The state has to be the regulator for sure. It is a big system that has operated in its current form for a hundred years.
So, how can we change the system? We need to understand that when we go to the doctor we need to see the disease. The whole understanding is that we have to work not with the symptoms, but with the causes. And that requires intelligent people and that requires intelligent doctors. It also requires intelligent control from a state which understands the status quo. This is a paradox. At present this does not work. The paradox is that we are increasing expenditure and the percentage of GDP on health care. Despite the growth of disease. It does not work like that – it is not normal.
We understand that we need to work with causes. We need to stop working with symptoms, simply because it does not pay off. Understand that lifestyle disease, what we call non-communicable disease, are curable. Not by addressing the symptoms, but addressing the causes. We have to work with the lifestyle. We cannot work with the lifestyle unless YOU ask yourself: How Do I Take Responsibility for My Health? You take the responsibility, and the doctor understands the need for this. Industry wants to make money, but in a sustainable way. For the whole state. Understand that it is curable, that’s the first thing. That’s why we have this course. Thats why we give you 50 weeks, so you can learn that lifestyle diseases are curable.
So if you go to the doctor if you have any problem, the doctor’s responsibility is to diagnose you and consult you. Well, sure, we need medicine where there is a communicable disease. Where we have contagious diseases. When we have traumas. We need the medical industry. When we have any kind of injuries, acute diseases or acute conditions. We need good drugs that work. We don’t need drugs that work with symptoms of chronic lifestyle disease.
It doesn’t work this way, because our system is complicated. The only way to cure those lifestyle diseases, is to change the causes so the system will adjust by itself. Your responsibility is to get for doctors to diagnose and consult you. Then let you understand the physiology and then advise you how to proceed. Taking responsibility for your health is the process. Building a strong process.
WE need to make a transition from the current role of the doctor. This is where too much weight on medication and too little on consultation. Because they don’t have time. We have to make a transition. We then go from treating disease to promoting health . That is the real understanding of the word “doctor”. The real meaning of the word “doctor” is teacher. Many doctors want to do this. Let’s make a transition from medication to education. So what would happen in the future? You go to the doctor and on the first consultation the doctor makes you aware of the things that are curable.
You have to address lifestyle diseases and doctor has time to make some kind of control on this. It has to be a part of the system. You get more awareness, you are working with the causes. It promotes your knowledge, your experience, your real learning. You establish a strong process for the rest of your life.
And what does it promote? It promotes lifestyle change. What does it do to chronic inflammation which actually promotes the positive feedback loop? It diminishes! it’s called a “negative feedback loop” Wow! Negative feedback loop! What is an interesting quality of negative feedback loops for engineers? Negative feedback loops promote stability of the system. In mechanical engineering, biology and chemistry. the most stable systems have built in negative feedback loops. Such as glucose regulation in our own bodies. It’s a negative feedback loop that regulates glucose.
Chronic inflammation goes down. Glucose level goes down, blood pressure goes down, pulse goes down, arthritis goes down. Well, that is a simplified thing to give you an insight. It takes some work to understand the causes, establish the process. It requires effort. That’s why we have the 50 weeks course. This helps you with that understanding.
The negative feedback loop down regulates inflammation. You see you only have two times with the doctor. The second time you go to the doctor, he or she analyses what is happening with your process. You gain more awareness, and you may adjust your process. The chronic inflammation improves. The negative feedback loop is promoted. The diseases are curable. The disease goes down.
And what is negative feedback loop #2? This is real sustainability. It’s just not growth, unsustainable growth and profit. No, it is real sustainability. it takes real intelligence to understand this. From both you, your doctor, the industry and the state. What we want is to diminish the healthy life expectancy gap. That is the best situation , ? You start from you are are born. On becoming an adult you have reproductive health. Reproductive health is with us until to about 40. Then you start getting diseases. This is called post-reproductive health and that is where we shift. We are working with this in this course, understanding about the productive health and post-reproductive health.
Our lives consist mainly of the two, the reproductive health and the post-reproductive health. If you live to a hundred, you live a healthy life – you don’t have disease. That’s called “Healthy Life Expectancy”. But what is normal is that we have healthy life expectancy is 75, which I don’t think actually is right.
I often think that healthy life expectancy is only about 40. This is because we start having these lifestyle diseases, earlier in life. The medical industry works so well that it promotes the length of our life. These positive feedback loops create so much instability in our system. The healthy life expectancy gets diminished. And that what happens.
What does it create? It creates a long life to 100, to 90 , to 80, whatever. But, you see, the diseases come earlier and earlier. The first disease. And that is what we want to you understand here. We want, to diminish this gap between healthy life and the moment that you die at 100, 90 or whatever. We want to reduce it. This gap is too big right now. This gap is good for unsustainable growth and profit.
Do you really want to be a part of this? I don’t think so. Because this gap is suffering, we need to make this transition and that’s the paradigm shift. From all those paradoxes that we have built in here to real sustainability. That’s what we want to we do. It will cut public health costs. Economic growth will be just as important as your personal growth. This will be real sustainability.
So, we need to take responsibility for our health. Do something to better understand your body and its systems. Take responsibility to establish the process. Understand that all these lifestyle diseases are curable. All these non-communicable diseases – asthma, diabetes, cancer, and so on and so on,. You have a responsibility to work with the causes of illness.
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