So you just went to an apple orchard. You picked a basket full of ripe autumn apples, each one selected for its own unique quality.
“Ooh, get some small ones, some bright red ones, some sour, sweet and round ones!”
Back home you feel amazing, staring down at your sorted bounty. And you will probably feel great that whole week too; an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?
But maybe this old saying, itself representing an entire paradigm of medicine really–is wrong. If you eat an apple, or many apples in this case, and you feel great, maybe that is when you should go to the doctor. Because whether you choose to visit a ND or MD, any nuanced health professional worth seeing will recognize the power of preventative medicine, and that’s what we are getting to here.
Exercise and proper nutrition (ideally customized to your own unique physiological and/or genetic profile) tremendously reduces the chance that you will develop diabetes, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, you name it. So go to the doctor not only when you are sick, but when you are well. Talk about your health and nutrition. Work together to make changes here and there that make sense for your body and family history.
Preventing disease before it occurs ends up being a much more natural process, which is a major bonus. Changes to lifestyle and habits will simply require you to eat more or less of something, exercise a bit more or in a different way, or maybe take a supplement or two. However once you have developed a disease, these natural preventative means often become less powerful, and synthetic medicines may be required. Pharmaceuticals are scientific achievements; decades of research may go into the development of one extremely effective compound and this may be the only thing that can help some people. But–they often have side effects, are annoying to take and above all don’t taste juicy, crisp or sweet. Therefore drugs should be considered a last resort.
Just eat an apple a day. Go outside and play. You’ll be amazed how robust you can feel. Then go see your healthcare professional, someone who cares about you and your lifestyle goals, and tell him or her you feel great!