7 Ways to Cut Your Medical Costs
Stop the CAUSE ... No Need for a Cure!
© 2015 Health Realizations, Inc. Update
The salutation "Be Well" is easier said than done.
We would all like to wake up with overflowing energy, a clear mind and a sunny disposition … invigorated and excited about what the day will unfold. But for many this scenario is fleeting or, worse, rarely attained.
“Sick care” is expensive ... fortunately, “wellness care” is not.
But there is something important you should know.
Taking medications to resolve your symptoms is only a temporary fix – one that often leads to side effects and typically does nothing to treat the underlying cause of your health issues, symptoms and illness complaints. Not only are medications expensive, but they will be hard pressed to give you the vim and vigor you’re truly after.
Are there options? Instead of taking medications, might you be better off seeking to stop the cause. When you focus on replacing the cause of the illness, instead of a cure for the symptom you are addressing your health issues by eliminating the root source, snuffing it out like fingertips squelching a flame. As then, there is no need for a cure.
You have within your ability the power to make positive changes in your life that will greatly reduce, if not eliminate the causes of fatigue, irritability, a clouded mind and even chronic disease.
And, again, when you stop the cause, you will have no need for a cure … you will already “be well.”
You’ve heard the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Taking the steps that follow will help you to prevent a host of chronic health complaints down the road, thereby drastically reducing your medical costs and keeping you in good health, naturally.
1. Ditch Your Nightly Cocktails (Even Wine)
Most everyone knows that heavy drinking is a big health no-no. But when you delve into moderate or light drinking, that’s where things get cloudy.
Moderate drinking -- one drink or less per day for women and two drinks or less per day for men, according to the CDC -- can in fact have health benefits.
For instance, while heavy drinking increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, moderate drinking has beneficial heart effects, particularly to those most at risk -- men over the age of 45 and post-menopausal women. It appears to reduce the risk of blood clots in coronary arteries that can lead to coronary artery disease and heart attack.
That said, drinking is well-known to increase your risk of cancer – by up to 30 percent, according to a Kaiser Permanente study.
Upon looking into the drinking habits and health of over 70,000 women, researchers found that even one or two drinks a day increased women’s breast cancer risk by 10 percent. The risk of cancer jumped to 30 percent among those who had more than three drinks a day.
"A 30 percent increased risk is not trivial. To put it into context, it is not much different from the increased risk associated with women taking estrogenic hormones. Incidentally, in previous research completed at Kaiser Permanente, we have found that smoking a pack of cigarettes or more per day is related to a similar (30 percent) increased risk of breast cancer," Arthur Klatsky, MD said in a press release.
Further, it didn’t matter whether the women drank wine, beer or spirits; each increased the risk of breast cancer similarly.
So while drinking a glass of red wine or a bottle of dark beer (two for men) every day is not likely to harm your health if you're healthy, you may be better off avoiding it entirely.
2. Eliminate Environmental Toxins
Scientists are now beginning to discover that exposure to chemicals -- indoors, outside, at work and even in the womb -- is a major contributor to chronic diseases plaguing the nation. The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) has released a toxicant and disease database that summarizes links between chemical contaminants and 180 diseases or conditions in humans.
Further, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report stating that one-quarter of the world is disease burden -- and one-third of the disease burden among children -- is due to environmental factors that could be modified.
So, needless to say, the more steps you can take to reduce your, and your family’s exposure to these toxic chemicals, the better! For instance, the following pervasive chemicals are harmful to your health and should be avoided:
Bisphenol-A: A chemical used in plastic bottles, toys, pacifiers, can liners and more that leach into the contents and mimics the female hormone estrogen, which may affect fertility and promote cancer.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Gases emitted from paint, carpeting, air fresheners and other building supplies that have been linked to cancer and damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system.
Phthalates: Chemicals found in soft plastics (plastic wrap, food storage containers, toys) and many personal care products that may cause reproductive and developmental harm, organ damage, immune suppression, endocrine disruption and cancer.
Organophosphates: Widely used pesticides linked to cancer, decreasing male fertility and Parkinson's disease.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs): Used in non-stick pans and wrinkle-free clothing, PFCs have been linked to cancer.
Fortunately, changing your lifestyle to minimize your exposure to these and other toxins may NOT be as cumbersome as you think. For starters you can swap your chemical cleaners (which linger on surfaces and in your home’s air) for far safer and more effective antimicrobial cleaning supplies that can eliminate the need and use of toxic cleaners eliminating toxic exposure.
One example is antimicrobial ultramicrofibers, which are not sold widely on consumer basis as they are used primarily by leading hospitals and other healthcare organizations.
Airborne toxins in your home -- which are worse than the air outside due to nano (smallest) particles and microscopic soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals and aerosols that cannot be seen by the human eye -- are being recirculated daily. These air toxins, which may cause cancer, asthma, and other health issues, are in the indoor air we breathe every minute -- making you and your loved ones the air filters as it all collects in your lungs.
Nano Pollution and Health
For this reason it is highly recommended that you use a high-quality air filter to clean your home’s air. The Environmental Protection Agency says indoor air can be anywhere from two to five times as polluted as outdoor air -- and sometimes more than 100 times more polluted!
When you breathe in polluted air, the pollutants reach much further than your nose, mouth and even lungs. Polluted air affects all of your body's systems, particularly your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Because people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, having clean air inside should be a top priority.
What should you look for in an air purifier?
The challenge with most air filters or purifiers is that air must be drawn to the unit, either through natural air flow, or through the use of a fan. This method results in uneven treatment and can leave pockets of polluted air, plus fans are noisy, subject to failure, and require higher levels of electricity.
There are a few top-rated air treatment system that do NOT wait for pollutants to contact a filter or plate. Instead, the these generates air-purifying technology that migrates through the area and neutralizes organic odors, microbes and molds at their source. As a result, systems like this produces fresh clean air throughout your home or office uniformly, by addressing the pollutant source -- without the use of fans, filters, or plates!
These type of air treatment systems use the most effective air purifying technology, called "photocatalysis," which is actually a replication of how outdoor air is naturally purified. Some air treatment companies also provide excellent room sizing guides so you can choose the power level that is best for your individual family’s needs.
3. Relieve Pain Naturally
Prescription and over-the-counter painkillers are big business in the United States, and only you and your medicine cabinet know how much money you’ve contributed to their billion-dollar market.
When pain strikes, a nationwide phone survey sponsored by Stanford University Medical Center, ABC News and USA Today found about 80 percent of Americans reach for over-the-counter drugs or home remedies to help, while 60 percent have also tried other pain-relief methods including prescription drugs, bed rest and prayer.
More than 10 percent of adults now rely on prescription painkillers everyday -- but interestingly, the survey reported that prayer and prescription drugs worked best, and equally well, in addressing Americans' pain.
So rather than reaching for a medication to relieve pain, what else works … for just pennies a day or less?
- Regular exercise: Although you may be tempted to not move around much when you're facing pain, a regular exercise program can actually help to relieve pain. According to the Mayo clinic, exercise works by prompting your body to release chemicals called endorphins that actually block pain signals from reaching your brain.
Plus, exercise will help you to sleep better, have more energy to cope with your pain, and lose weight, which will relieve any excess strain on your joints. Try a variety of gentle exercise to start, either joining a health club or create your own home routine using an exercise DVD or CD like "P90X" or the at home less extreme program from "MySheaNetics.com".
If you're currently in pain, remember to consult your physician before starting any exercise program.
- Stretching: After three weeks of stretching, stretching expert Jacques Gauthier was able to reduce his pain by 50 percent. Stretching helps to reduce tension in your muscles, improve flexibility and range of motion, and may slow the degeneration of your joints. The act of stretching daily alone will also improve your blood circulation and help you to relax--a key to pain relief..
- Deep Sleep and Relaxation: Whether you're in pain from an injury or due to an underlying condition, your body will be able to fight and work toward healing that pain while you sleep.
Pain and sleep is a bit of a catch-22 though, in that often people with pain have trouble falling asleep. If this sounds familiar to you, you may want to try using a "Sleep Easy" type CD with guided sleep meditations with meditation music to help you find the deep rest and sleep your body needs.
Relaxation is also important, not only in helping you to fall asleep, but by reducing tension in your muscles, which can help to relieve pain or keep it from getting worse. Ask your practitioner for advice as to what may best help to give your body "permission" to relax, and will calm your mind, soothe your emotions and create a state of deep relaxation in your body.
4. Nix Sinus Problems at Their Source
Sinusitis, an extremely common illness that affects an estimated 33 million people every year according to the Mayo Clinic, occurs when the lining of your sinus cavities (which are in the facial bones around your nose) become inflamed. This can prevent mucus from draining out of your sinuses, allowing viruses, bacteria and fungi to multiply and cause infection and swelling.
While acute sinusitis is usually caused by infection with a virus or single type of bacteria, chronic sinusitis is usually caused by infection with a mixture of bacteria or allergies. It can occur at any time but may also follow a respiratory infection, such as a cold.
There are a number of steps you can take to prevent chronic sinusitis from flaring up and help reduce the symptoms naturally.
Eat a variety of foods, like fruits and vegetables, to boost your immune system, which may help fight off an underlying infection, and reduce inflammation in your body.
Try nasal cleaning. Nasal cleansing, also known as nasal irrigation, involves using a neti pot to pour a lukewarm saline solution (pure water mixed with natural salt) inside one side of your nostril while tilting your head sideways so the water runs out of your other nostril.
This simple, inexpensive and soothing technique is actually one of the six purification techniques traditionally done by many prior to doing yoga and some of various religions do it before going to prayer.
This practice is quickly gaining many modern-day followers across the globe, simply because of how good it feels. Nasal cleansing using a well-designed neti pot can help you:
It’s an incredibly simple process. The first step is to make your saline solution, which should be made with pure (distilled or purified) water that’s as close to the temperature of your body as you can get it mixed with about 1/4 teaspoon of natural, non-iodized salt, such as Nasal Cleansing Salt also found at Bed Bath and Beyond store although a bit more expensive there than online.
Then add it to your high-quality neti pot. Look for one made from sturdy, lead-free ceramic and coated with a food-grade sealant and that is dishwasher safe. Some are not.
5. Eat a High-Quality Diet
How healthy are your eating habits?
The American food system is in crisis, plagued with an industrial mentality that puts profits ahead of the people it is supposed to nourish. At the heart of the problem are the prevalent “filler” ingredients like corn, corn syrup, soy and wheat, which are found in virtually very processed food. A diet high in processed foods has been linked to obesity, heart disease, cancer and other chronic health issues.
Your diet really has a major influence on your health and your mood. For instance, according to Food and Behavior Research, a charitable organization trying to advance scientific research into the links between nutrition and human behavior, diet can play a role in preventing and managing the following conditions:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Autistic spectrum disorders
Bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder
So if you’re not feeling at your peak, it makes sense to try to eat a healthier diet. Some simple healthy eating tips include:
Cut out excess "empty" calories like those from soda, candy, cookies, sweetened drinks and chips first.
Include a healthy protein like lean meat, yogurt, cheese, nuts or beans with every meal to preserve muscle mass and satisfy hunger.
Limit added sugars in your diet in foods like soft drinks, candy, cake, cookies, pies and fruit drinks. For a healthier alternative drink more water which will quench your thirst faster.
6. Eat More Raw Foods
As The China Study, one of the most comprehensive looks at how your diet impacts your health, bore out, “a good diet is the most powerful weapon we have against disease and sickness.”
But what you may not know is that eating a diet solely of cooked foods, even healthy cooked foods, will leave a major nutritional gap in your body because they contain no enzymes.
Raw plant and animal foods (such as raw milk) are loaded with beneficial enzymes for your body. (Enzymes are actually special proteins that act as catalysts for the chemical reactions that occur to keep your body functioning.) However, enzymes begin to be destroyed at temperatures above 110-115 degrees. So if your food is cooked, pasteurized or processed, it will contain no enzymes whatsoever.
Your body contains 2,500 or more different enzymes, and they are very important. Enzymes in your saliva, for instance, help break apart starches, while those in your stomach help break down protein. Enzymes in your intestines, meanwhile, are responsible for breaking apart all of your food, whether fat, protein or carb.
These digestive enzymes are what allow your food to be broken down, and the nutrients absorbed by your bloodstream.
The ideal way to add enzymes to your diet is simply by eating more raw foods. Be generous with consuming raw fruits and vegetables, and also consider adding other sources of raw food to your diet, such as raw milk and raw-milk cheese.
For some delicious, enzyme-rich raw food recipes, try out the book "Alive in 5": Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes. Even those who are new to raw foods will enjoy the simple recipes (most can be prepared in five minutes!) for lasagna, spaghetti marinara, stuffed mushrooms, broccoli in cheese sauce, apple pie and more. They're healthy and delicious, and will make you want to eat raw for the taste value alone.
Another option if your diet consists primarily of cooked foods is to take an enzyme supplement. There are numerous enzyme supplements available on the market to help increase your levels.
Vegetable-based digestive enzyme systems can combine effective ratios of proteases, amylases, lipases and cellulases with two "acid-tolerant" bacteria or a probiotic combination, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Such products address not only the digestive enzyme system deficiencies recognized in most adults, but some combine two effectively beneficial bacterial strains that are metabolically complementary and help create a symbiosis with the digestive enzyme system complex and helps promote immune system excellence.
7. Stay Out of Hospitals as much as Possible and Reduce the Amount of Antibiotics You Take to Avoid These Superbugs
"C. diff" (C. difficile) and "MRSA" infections have been spreading across the United States like wildfire. More people died from each of these superbugs that thrive on antibiotics than the number of people who died from the Swine Flu (H1N1) in last year but you don’t see government-paid TV commercials about deadly “MRSA” or “C. diff”. That’s likely due to there not being any highly profitable drugs that stop either.
In fact it’s interesting that if anything the antibiotic drugs are known to strengthen these superbugs, which could hurt sales and profits of the large drug companies if the word gets out!
That is why we are here to warn you!
In both cases (“MRSA” and “C. diff” superbugs), you are more likely to become infected if you’ve recently spent time in a hospital and / or if you’ve taken antibiotics.
Fortunately, the healthier you are, the less likely you are to contract MRSA or C. diff. Even the CDC states, “People in good health usually don’t get C. difficile disease.”
However, taking antibiotics even when you are healthy makes you susceptible to both deadly superbugs. That’s something you won’t likely hear stated on the nightly news. They have drug companies as advertisers and can’t afford to rock the boat!
Along with following the steps above and using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary, you can further lower your risk of “C. diff” and “MRSA” (and any associated medical costs) by balancing the good and bad bacteria in your gut.
Why? Because 70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system. This means that if your gut is overrun with bad bacteria, there’s a good chance your immune system will not be functioning at its best.
You can help balance your gut bacteria and support immune system health with a superlative probiotic supplement that provides clinical activities supporting systemic health and wellness through immune-system protection, allergy reduction and effective and enhanced nutrient absorption.
Look for a probiotic that has at least 30 billion organisms per capsule, with two clinically effective and dominant genera Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus: L. acidophilus and L. salivarius in a 2:1 ratio and B. lactis and B. breve, also in a 2:1 ratio. Each bacterial genus-species should have its own specific metabolic activities, which lead to their effective inter-species synergism.
Studies have shown that probiotics may be helpful with both immune system modulation and allergies, plus they’re imperative if you’ve recently been on antibiotic therapy.
One More Major Reason Why These 7 Steps Will Save You Big Bucks
When you purchase health insurance, your rates are based on your current health status. If you are eating healthy, not drinking excessively, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, you will receive the best price available.
As you integrate the seven cost-saving measures into your everyday life, you may find that you lose weight and become healthier, as well. If your health improves (lower weight, better blood pressure, cholesterol readings, etc.), you can then contact your health insurance carrier and request to have your premium reduced to the preferred category (you will likely need to show medical proof of this for consideration).
So while reaping all the benefits of staying well, you will even be able to save on your health insurance costs.
The Collaborative on Health and the Environment Toxicant and Disease Database
WHO: Preventing Disease Through Healthy Environments
Kaiser Permanente News Center