What is Lifestyle Medicine and How Does it Work?
Treatment and reversal of chronic diseases have taken a new direction by deviating from the traditional practices and treating it with Active Edge functional medicine, also known as Lifestyle Medicine. Although named Lifestyle Medicine, it does not depend on medicines at all but instead focuses on diet and lifestyle corrections like including whole food and plant-based dietary elements in the menu and supporting it with regular physical activity. In addition, the treatment focuses on infusing more positive elements to the lifestyle of patients by taking care of their mental health by building positive social connections, stress management, restorative sleep, and avoidance of risky substances. All the factors work in unison and provide the therapeutic modality for treatment. In short, Lifestyle medicine works toward creating a healthy lifestyle based on healthy habits and behaviours that affect health and quality of life.
For sustainable health and healthcare
Most chronic diseases treatments turn unsustainable due to the high costs, and unfortunately, chronic diseases are on the rise. Type 2 diabetes is affecting millions of people across the world, and the threat of a global pandemic is looming large. Most of the healthcare spending in the US happens for diseases that result from poor lifestyle, as evident from a large number of people suffering from other chronic conditions like osteoporosis, obesity, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, and many types of preventable cancers. Against this background, the practice of Lifestyle medicine provides hope for sustainable treatment with positive results.
Model of treatment
Looking at the following model of treatment should help to understand Lifestyle medicine better. To promote wellness, the physician will pay attention to three primary areas – nutrition, physical activity, and stress management. Patients must take a lot of plant-based whole food diet, or at least 90% of the food must belong to this category. Every day they should have at least 30 minutes of exercise or its equivalent, which translates into taking 10,000 steps a day and practice some stress management technique daily. Simply put, the routine becomes a part of their lifestyle.
The practice of lifestyle medicine
Lifestyle Medicine is a new treatment technique practised by 1,000 members belonging to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine founded in 2004. Any MD, DO, or physician can practice Lifestyle Medicine alongside their usual practice of medicine and can even include group wellness classes as part of the treatment. For example, a surgeon who practices general surgery can choose to combine endoscopy and lifestyle medicine. In a group setting, patients can set their own goals as through building peer relationships can seek help from one another.
The speciality of Lifestyle Medicine is that it takes a holistic approach to cure the disease of the root by treating the underlying cause instead of addressing the symptoms. Since most of the diseases result from a poor lifestyle, the treatment makes changes in the lifestyle by encouraging an active lifestyle that includes exercises and proper food.
Lifestyle Medicine effectively alters and controls the conditions that cause the disease and not only saves healthcare costs but also does a lot of god for the body by reducing the dependence on medicines.