Finally, the heart health experts agree with grandma’s adage. Her wisdom no longer goes against the medical code. Well known for her common sense wisdom, grandma would often say that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Anyone who has experienced an avoidable life altering event such as hospitalization due to a drinking binge, a severed toe from a whizzing lawn mower blade or a car crash while reading a text message will quickly tell you that “grandma” was right.
After much observation, investigation, and thousands of case studies the researchers believe that grandma’s philosophy holds the key to many of our current health care woes. They have proven that it is easier to prevent certain diseases than it is to cure them. Prevention has also proven to be the most effective way to reduce rising health care costs. It has become the preferred option for clinicians and patients alike. The new paradigm of preventative medicine has virtually replaced the old paradigm of disease state medicine as a first choice approach. The older approach focused primarily on the disease state,its management, and treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now claim that more than 75% of our diseases are preventable or reversible. Although many of us are seeking ways to take charge of our health profiles and improve our health status, the majority still fail miserably when it comes to reducing our risk for certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. In our quest for a preventative lifestyle change we often find ourselves imprisoned by the shackles of habit and ignorance.
In the Ancient text, Proverbs tells us that desire without knowledge is not good. Behavioral science has demonstrated that inspiration without information leads to frustration, and ultimately failure. Because most of us don’t understand why, we often choose behaviors that are counter- preventative, and become victims who can only react to a health crisis.
To achieve a lasting preventative life style change requires a clear understanding of the urgency for change. This is means more than “knowing your numbers”. It means knowing what your uncontrollable and controllable risk factors for heart disease are. Ask your health care professional what your numbers are and what they mean. Then follow your health care professional’s advice.Let this insight into your health status(risks vs outcomes) become the motivation to make for change that is necessary and lasting.