List Celebrates Innovative Doctors Who Practice Integrative and Functional Medicine, and Who Focus on Research and Therapies to Treat Underlying Causes of Disease
The incidence of chronic disease is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. With experts ranging from researchers at the Center for Disease Control to local family physicians searching for ways to combat multiple chronic conditions, including: hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and arthritis.
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So we’re celebrating 14 Doctors who are making a difference in 2014, by celebrating the pioneers who are looking at and treating the underlying causes of chronic disease. These Doctors are using integrative medicine and holistic approaches based in solid research and whole systems— lifestyles, culture, habits and habitat- as well as symptoms.
Why Focus on Underlying Causes of Chronic Disease?
Chronic conditions are an increasing concern in the United States, where they affect nearly half of the adult population.
It is undisputed that the prevalence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other diseases has increased in recent years (1–3). These conditions result in numerous adverse health outcomes, increased health care needs, and subsequently higher medical costs (4–6).
In the past, strategies have focused on preventing and ameliorating a single disease at a time; however, the large percentage of people with 2 or more conditions, or multiple chronic conditions (MCC), has added a layer of complexity to developing prevention and intervention strategies (7–10).
The alarming fact is that more people are now dying from chronic diseases than infectious disease. Yet, modern, Western, medicine is structured to identify the disease and treat the symptoms, with a few exceptions. Therefore, many of this diseases are labeled “incurable” or “progressive” or, at best, “manageable”. But the onset of 70% to 90% of chronic illnesses, including obesity, can be correlated with lifestyle habits.
Yet, if lifestyle exacerbates or causes many of the illnesses (genetic predisposition is another strong factor), isn’t it possible that lifestyle changes can alleviate, or even reverse them?
Treating causes not symptoms
The Doctors we are celebrating are setting the trends of getting to the root of the problem, educators and advocates who are teaching us to change our lifestyles, and treat the underlying causes of disease— not just the symptoms. These are the Doctors who are attuned to the emerging science, tests and therapies that truly help prevent and reverse the course of chronic diseases by addressing the underlying causes.