It is alarming when looking at statistics in America today how healthcare measures up to the rest of the world. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine it shows that the US ranks 1st in healthcare spending, but only ranks 37th overall in healthy individuals. Also the findings show a ranking of 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy. I don’t know about you, but if we are spending the most money on healthcare we should be the healthiest people as well, but we are not.
I then extended my research to look into where Utah falls in the ranks compared to the rest of the country. We live in a state that is predominantly of the LDS faith and follow a very strict health code as members of the church. A lot of us don’t smoke, drink or participate in taking recreational drugs so we should do pretty good in the comparison. Well when I looked up the US Census Bureau and looked for the healthcare ranking comparisons between the states, to say I was shocked was an understatement. Utah, our little “Mormon” state, ranked 46th out of 50 in healthcare. What this is really saying is that there are 45 other states whose healthcare and mortality rate is better that ours. What was really amazing was that the number one state in America that had the best health was a state called Mississippi. This was followed by Maine, Alabama and Tennessee. So I decided to take it one step further and compare how many medical doctors per 100,000 people were also available. So where does Utah rank in the census? Well we are at number 43. This is pretty close to our 46th ranking for Health so that is how they all should be right? Well if Mississippi is the healthiest they should have the most healthcare providers? Well they rank 48th out of 50 for the number of healthcare doctors. Out of all of the states in the US there are only 2 with less doctors per capita than Mississippi. So if you have less doctors and are the healthiest what does this say about our healthcare in America today? I remember when I was in school in the Bay Area of California, a couple hospitals went on strike. The doctors were out for 3 weeks and the patients were all cared for by the nurses. Guess what happened? The number of deaths, medication induced diseases and medical complications dropped to nearly 0. What has happened to health care in America?
In doing my research and trying to find a better way to take care of my patients, I found a new and upcoming practice method. It is called Functional Medicine and is quickly gaining popularity across the nation. Functional Medicine uses the same exam procedures as medicine like blood work, CT scans, MRI scans, but instead of giving medicine they use natural substances without side effects. In Functional Medicine the patient is encouraged to change their diet, eliminate certain foods that will irritate their system, make lifestyle changes and take supplements to support the areas of their bodies that are not working correctly. The doctors that are practicing this way are finding amazing results and their patients love them for it. So I searched out where to study this technique and enrolled in Functional Medicine University in South Carolina. After long hours of study and multiple patients I am now practicing Functional Medicine in Utah.
Now I am not slamming medicine, it is great for acute conditions like broken bones, cuts, and other disease processes that need some immediate attention but, when it comes to chronic conditions it just doesn’t measure up. They tend to use acute treatments for chronic conditions and it doesn’t fix the problem it just makes it so you don’t know you have a problem. For example let’s look at diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic degenerative problem. Medicine looks at it as a blood sugar problem that can be helped by lowering the blood sugar, but that is all they are concerned about. The condition will get worse so more medicine will be needed and the degeneration will continue. In Functional Medicine we see it as a blood sugar problem and it may need insulin or medication to get the sugar under control so we can now work on the CAUSE of the problem. By digging deeper to find and fix the cause, we can take away what was causing the sugar problems in the first place. I personally have seen diabetic patients on 60 units of insulin a day. They start the Functional Medicine approach and start treating the cause and get completely off of insulin in 6-8 months.
There are many degenerative chronic problems that affect the population that respond very well to Functional Medicine. In my office I have treated patients with diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Hypothyroid problems, Hashimoto’s, Thyroiditis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy (numb hands and feet) and chronic migraine headaches.
Functional Medicine is sweeping across the nation and now it is available in Northern Utah. If you have just about given up on medicine and want to try something different you need to look into Functional Medicine as your ticket to a new way of life and a new you.
Dr. Lewis D. Harper has been in his chiropractic practice, Advanced Health Center, for over 12 years and is currently practicing in Layton, Utah. To learn more about Dr. Harper and how he treats fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, Dizziness and Insomnia please visit http://www.mymark.com/drlewdc or visit his blog at http://www.mymark.com/blog/drlewdc