Dietary Supplement Use Reduces Health Care Expenditures?
Health Care Expenditures by Country
In one of my previous posts, I reviewed a study which compared dietary supplement users vs. non-users. The results of this particular study suggested that people who use dietary supplements differed from non-users in several key aspects. To understand an overall gestalt of how they differ, I think we need to take a step back and look at how we as individuals cope with illness.
Illness… It’s just a terrible word isn’t? To most people it’s something that we would rather not have to think about or have to deal with. For the unfortunate among us, it’s something that we have to deal with sooner rather than later. However, as we age it’s something that in one shape or form, none of us is lucky enough to escape.
Coping with Illness…
Eventually, we all generally have to learn how to cope with illness. In particular, this often includes common conditions including high blood pressure, cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis as well as various types of cancer. Though we often consider illness as something that we need to diagnose and treat, perhaps, we should expand our efforts at methods of preventing rather than treating illness.
As individuals, we all have a choice in how we cope with the diagnosis of a medical condition. A diagnosis of cancer or heart disease can be tremendously stressful and people diagnosed with these conditions can potentially develop depressive or anxiety disorders. Some people will react with a general sense of denial and avoidance while others will take ownership of their illness and take a more active role in their treatment.
In general, people who take dietary supplements whether or not they are actually well enough informed or whether or not there is enough scientific evidence to support the use of a particular dietary supplement, often fall in the later category of people who take an active roll in their treatment and more importantly in seeking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. What does this entail? For the most part, it involves learning about your illness, asking your treating physician questions and reviewing your treatment options. These are just some of the options that we as individuals have in taking ownership of their illness. Aside from this, seeking to maintain a healthy lifestyle involves choosing to be more informed and taking active measures to actually attempt to prevent illness.
Now, I would suggest that you take one more step back and reflect upon how your choices as individual affect society in general. Health care costs are burgeoning at an enormous rate. Given that we have an aging population and that many illnesses are somewhat age-related, costs to our health care system will only continue to escalate.
Rising Cost of Health Care
[box type="important"]What can we, as individuals, do to help reduce our escalating health care expenditures?[/box]
Recently, I came across a series of four health-impact studies by the Lewin Group. These particular studies were commissioned by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA). The supplements studied in this health-impact study only included those with both the highest level of evidence as well as Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved health claims. As you may expect, the focus of these studies encompassed the idea of consuming these dietary supplements to prevent rather than treat specific diseases.
The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly supported by the potential health care savings of preventing rather than simply treating diseases.