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Going For The Throat: What Happened To The Health In Health Care

Post Published: 07 January 2010
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Category: Column, Going for the Throat, Health Care and Health Care Reform Column
This post currently has 14 responses. Leave a comment

Written by, Robyn Davis Hahn

How did it get so complicated?

Health care is a mess.   It’s a fucking mess from the ground up.   I’m not talking about HMO, PPO, HSA, employer portions, and benefits.   I’m not talking about insurance (although, just wait, I will…).

Let’s talk about what the word “health” means.   Freedom from disease?,   The actual definition has been debated for decades.   Yup.   Here, in the US, we debate the meaning of “health”.   And at the end of it all, our health care system does not view health as a positive, a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” as proffered by the World Health Organization (WHO).   The US health care system by default defines health as that respite between diseases.

This is the first problem, or maybe the root of the problem.   Because we focus on disease states, and not necessarily the prevention of those diseases or on the individuals who are not currently diseased, our “health management” has evolved from PROactive to REactive.   The current system of health/medical care is geared to getting us out of or managing a disease state as quickly and cheaply as possible, but does almost nothing to prevent the disease or educate us about how to avoid it.

I’m certainly no thyroid disease expert.   But I do know that Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease are auto-immune diseases.   And I know that thyroid cancers arise as a mutation of a single gland cell caused by oxidative stress (damage) to it’s DNA.   This stuff is no accident–it’s all caused by something outside us to start the process.   Clearly once the thyroid is diseased it is very hard to manage, and impossible to fix.

Here’s a novel idea.   Maybe the solution is to keep the thyroid healthy to begin with–protect it or isolate it from environmental damage, nourish it with the right foods, nurture it and promote it’s proper function.   Maybe the medical community needs to educate us what our thyroid is, why it is important, and how to keep it healthy and performing at it’s best.

Well, fat chance.   That doesn’t come in a pill, and can’t be accomplished in a 6 minute office visit.   Prevention isn’t sexy.

Written by,

Robyn Davis Hahn

What are your thoughts on American Health Care?

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14 Responses to “Going For The Throat: What Happened To The Health In Health Care

  1. Kat Caverly says:

    YES, Prevention isn’t sexy but being healthy is!

  2. Jody/yodat says:

    Sad but true – the “health” system doesn’t make money off of healthy people. They make their $ off of Sick people. But IF they realized it would be beneficial to have healthy people being more proactive I think they can make just as much $ with yearly checkup’s and such. But the cost to flip it to the other side is going to be heafty. Like moving the Titanic away from an Iceberg. We need to instill in our children and teach others what it means to be healthy in general and keep ourselves in good health with Doctors appts. etc. When I was little I understood what it meant to go to the doctor for a yearly checkup – what I didn’t understand was the reason for doing it. NOW – hindsight is 20/20. I really wish I would of been aware of a lot of things when I were younger, things that were happening to the food I ate (pesicides etc..) and why it was important to keep on top of Dr. appts. Just add it to the list! 🙂

    BTW- if I think we are more proactive our insurance wouldn’t cost so much either. Just my opinion.

  3. amy says:

    I agree that people need to be educated about the thyroid. I didn’t know jack about it until I got sick and began educating myself. Was it the same for a lot of you?!!
    Job well done, Robyn!

  4. Tammy says:

    We have got to take our health into our own hands and not rely on a doctor, who is only out to keep you sick for the most part. I suggest researching companies of products who are dedicated to promoting health and use things that help one to prevent disease and perhaps heal.

    Our food supply has been so damaged by processing, pesticides and chemicals that we are not getting the nutients that our body requires. I would almost bet, if I was a betting person, that a lot of our diseases are brought on by our diet’s deffiencies.

    Most doctors just want to treat our symptoms and never seem to want to fix the underlying reason’s for the symptoms. And the physicians, today, have become so fixated on one part of the body and have forgotten that all of our body parts, organs and systems are interelated. You know the song, “dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones….the head is connected to the neck bone”, etc. And when one part goes wrong it can effect other parts. So why not fix the underlying part and then go from there? BECAUSE THEN WE WOULDN’T BE SICK AND HOW WOULD THEY HAVE A SIX FIGURE INCOME ANY MORE? There is big business in the unhealthy and too it means population control as well.

  5. Heather says:

    I didn’t no jack about thyroid health until it affected me. Now, I have to pay out of pocket for my meds. So glad insurance covers my Nurse Practitioner.
    Thanks Robyn for such a well written article!!

  6. Robyn says:

    Hey all!
    Thanks so much for the positivity! I am REALLY interested in how to improve our lives by improving our doctor-patient relationship. I also hope that by increasing my knowledge (and passing it on) about insurance issues, we can all get better care as well. I admittedly know NOTHING about insurance, and fear it may be as convoluted as the IRS tax code, but I’m gonna give it my best shot.
    I’d love any ideas, questions you’d like me to explore, and opinions you’d like me to ponder. I am not afraid to debate, so lay it on me even if you disagree with anything.
    I am going to try to put a “tie-in” discussion on the “Going for the Throat” forum over at DT Forums (http://www.dearthyroid.org/forums/) so we can talk in a more “real time” format.
    Thanks again! Robyn

  7. Dear Thyroid says:

    Kat;

    Beautifully said and so true! I love what you wrote. Thanks for chiming in, cookie.

    xo

  8. Dear Thyroid says:

    Yodat;

    You make such a great point regarding insurance. The more proactive we are, the more we come together to demand change, the better our insurance will be.

    Currently, many of us have what I like to call the “Get-ready-set-die-plan” or the “your fucked plan” or “shitsurance plan”.

    I totally agree with everything you said regarding preventative treatment, it’s so fucking true. If we had preventative care and, and, and, if we knew what measures to take to treat ourselves well, maybe a lot of these issues would be preventable or more manageable.

    Beautifully said. Thanks for chiming in, lovey.

    xo

  9. Dear Thyroid says:

    Amy;

    YES. YES. YES. Did I say, Yes? I meant YES. I didn’t know what a thyroid was, where it was located or what it could do and it can kill a person. Oh, hindsight.

    Education and awareness. We’re same paging hard.

    Thanks for sharing your two cents.

    xo

  10. Dear Thyroid says:

    OMG, Tammy, I’m crushing on you hard right now. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.

    First, please check out Liz’s column HOW TO KICK YOUR THYROID’S ASS http://bit.ly/62PsPe

    Second, finding good doctors who actually see as more than the sum of our numbers and want to heal us and find a cure is damn near impossible.

    Together, I believe we can invoke change. The more we speak up and out just has everyone here has done, the more change we can hopefully continue to achieve!

    xo

  11. dearthyroid says:

    Heather;

    I know, right? No idea! So glad your insurance covers your NP, too.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, babycakes.

    xo

  12. Manda says:

    sheesh…glad to live in Australia right now. our system is not perfect but i can’t imagine having to worry about insurance etc. on top of everything else this disease brings, who needs that?

  13. katie says:

    I am so happy you’re in Australia too, Manda. You have socialized health care, correct? I know that most of Europe does, which I have benefited from. Nothing is perfect, agreed. Knowing that your medication and doctor visits, etc. are covered eases the stress. I am GRATEFUL You have this.

    xo

  14. Lolly says:

    What makes anyone think having the NHS is any better. They are trying to make changes within the system but it’s the patients who suffer for lack of funding by the gov and protocol.True nothing is perfect and I guess it’s better than nothing.

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