What is Better - Treatment or Prevention? A Doctor’s Analysis - Tiger Medical Institute

What is Better - Treatment or Prevention? A Doctor’s Analysis

10 minutes  to read
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“The greatest medicine of all is to teach people how not to need it.” ~ Hippocrates

What is Better - Treatment or Prevention? A Doctor’s Analysis

Is Prevention Better Than Cure?

When it comes to preventing illness, we often hear common phrases like ‘prevention is better than cure’ or ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.

We generally instinctively know as well that prevention is a good investment. Yet, only some of us invest in it directly, and presumably in part because the reasons are only sometimes top of mind.

The cost of treatment can be steep regarding the quality of life, loss of time in productive or fulfilling endeavors, and factoring in the psychological or physical damage that can result.

Regarding investments in prevention where we can, we generally ‘spend less and make more’ in terms of time and financial success.

Across industries, our health is our best asset overall and one with the best return on investment.

When we improve our health, we can simultaneously improve our careers and relationships and live longer lives with improved well-being.

Prevention Gives Us Time Back

One thing that often holds individuals back when working preventively on their health is the upfront investment in time.

Working out, buying healthy groceries, meal prep, and taking time for medical visits and massages, etc., can be hard to carve out time for. The time gained, however, in productive hours put into worthy goals and healthy years down the road typically far exceeds the upfront investment.

In the case of many common illnesses, the same can be said. For example, individuals who work preventively with a functional medicine expert may discover through genetic testing that they have genes predisposing them to Alzheimer’s disease.

Upon this discovery, working preventively with an Apollo-trained practitioner on the variables that lead to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease can drastically improve outcomes if started at the right time.

Other common chronic illnesses where prevention can radically improve outcomes are…

…and countless other mental and physical health conditions that burden the healthcare system and lead to countless unnecessary or premature deaths.

Prevention is Cost Effective

According to a 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistic in the United States, the cost associated with chronic illnesses was over a trillion dollars, with diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and osteoarthritis being the most expensive among them.

If productivity costs were considered, the number was estimated to be 3.7 trillion dollars, approximately 1/5th of the entire United States economy.

Keeping in mind that these statistics are only for what is considered ‘chronic illnesses’ as opposed to those caused by infection, viruses, or trauma (which can also be prevented to some extent), that number becomes exorbitant.

In our individual lives, the cost of prevention vs. treatment mirrors what happens on a societal scale.

We should invest slightly more in better food choices and checkups with our family doctor, gym memberships, and the right preventive medicine programs. In that case, the cost ends far, far less over time than what might otherwise be spent on treating anyone chronic illness.

To use Alzheimer’s as an example, the cost of formal care is estimated to be approximately 30 thousand per year. When multiplied by 10 or 20 years, and potentially losing years of work, that number grows enormously quickly.

Given that many adults will develop multiple chronic illnesses throughout a lifetime, which may require surgeries, assisted living facilities, and countless other medical expenses, it only makes sense to start making the right choices for your health now.

Prevention Creates a Domino Effect

When people invest their time and energy in prevention, it tends to have a spillover effect in all areas of their life.

When people are mentally and physically healthier, they tend to not only feel better but also perform better at work, have improved relationships, and have the energy and vitality to engage in worthwhile activities and goals.

Our current disease model emphasizes ‘sick care,’ but the truth is that our health is on a spectrum between optimal health and disease.

The closer we are to optimal health, the more benefits we’ll experience in the multiple essential areas of our lives.

The goal for most of us would be to share that vitality with others and create a positive impact around us.

Investment in Disease Prevention > Waiting for a Diagnosis

When investing in prevention vs. waiting for diagnosis and treatment, it’s pretty evident which side wins in terms of cost-benefit.

Although it is not always possible to work preventively, and more aggressive treatments are sometimes required, there’s so much more we can do to take the burden off ourselves and our healthcare system.

With the right approach and practitioners, we can often save ourselves a considerable amount of struggle later on, both personally and financially, with a proactive and preventive approach to healthcare. The investment is almost always worth it.

For further reading, view the following articles on our learning center:

You have what it takes inside you to make a definite choice that will change the future trajectory of your health.

Our team at Tiger Medical has the experience, clinical skills, and coaching acumen to help you get your health and energy back while preventing the progression of chronic illness.

To talk to one of our professionals, click here to schedule your call!

Dr. Adilia Kreps

Dr. Adilia Kreps

Naturopathic Physician

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