I recently attended an Intravenous Symposium by the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine (A4M) in New Orleans. It was wonderful to be a part of a group of highly educated professionals including Surgeons, ER doctors, psychiatrists, osteopathic physicians and Naturopathic Doctors. All but the Naturopathic Doctors looked at this type of medicine (Functional and Regenerative Medicine) as thinking “outside of the box”.
Looking at medicine, not as a disease-based model (ie for each disease there is a drug therapy) but a more patient-centered model where treatment of the “cause” is examined. I had a big smile on my face because treating the patient is one of the fundamental principles of Naturopathic Medicine. Here are the 6 principles of Naturopathic Medicine, the medicine I LOVE to practice:
- First Do No Harm
- Treat the cause of disease, not the symptoms
- Treat the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine
- Treat the whole person through individualized treatment
- Emphasize prevention
- Support the healing power of the body
Essentially, I was in a room of physicians and scientists from all around the world learning to do what Naturopathic Doctors have been taught and practicing for years. In that room, I was proud to be a Naturopathic Doctor J
Now I am not saying I did not learn anything new. I learned so much about IV therapy from physicians with over 35 years of experience who have administered over 350,000 IV’s. I am excited to start implementing new intravenous vitamin, mineral and amino acid protocols that I learned over the weekend.
The conference was also eye-opening in the realities of what is happening to the health care system in America. I would like to share some stats with you:
The 4th leading cause of death in America is properly prescribed FDA approved medications. Every day, 290 people are killed by FDA approved medications prescribed properly. That’s about 1 jumbo jet of people everyday!
20% of US patients take more than 5 drugs a day.
1 in 4 women 50-64 years old are taking an antidepressant.
Eye opening statistics! The amazing doctors I met this weekend attended the symposium because they wanted to learn other options to treating patients. Options that were different from what they learned in medical school. How vitamins, minerals, herbs, even homeopathics (yes I did hear some remedies being mentioned), nutrition and diet can be integrated with or used instead of drug therapy. It was fascinating to hear a cardiologist, oncologist and plastic surgeon sitting around a table talking about vitamins J It was a great day!
Here are some other interesting health statistics I can share:
- For women, if your index finger is shorter than your ring finger, you have a 40% higher risk of developing degenerative joint disease or Arthritis
- Women with stocky legs have a higher risk of developing liver disorders
- If you cannot smell lemons, bananas, and cinnamon, you have a 5.6 times higher risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease (due to the fact the area of the brain involved in PD may be affected if you cannot smell those foods)
- If you have high abdominal fat after 40 years old, you have a 3 times increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia
- Women with a small calf size have a higher risk of developing arterial disease when they get older.
The reason I wanted to share these facts is to have you think about preventative medicine. For example, if you have a shorter index finger, take supplements to prevent DJD and focus on foods and exercise that help your joints. If you have stocky legs, take a supplement and eat foods to support liver function; also consider limiting alcohol. Focus on losing that belly fat to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Lastly, focus on preventative medicine by eating healthy and exercising to stay off the medications!
The Anti-aging doctors who presented at the conference had an acronym that nicely summarized the sequence of therapy necessary to regain health and have you feeling the way you did in your 20’s. It is: FAMED VIP with HELP ME.
Fatty Acids Vitamins Herbals
Amino Acids Immune modulators Endocrine
Minerals Probiotics Life extenders
I love this acronym as it nicely summarizes the key pieces of the puzzle we call GOOD HEALTH. To feel good, look good, both mentally and physically, we must focus on all of the above. I would add one more, Detoxification!!!
This is the secret of the anti-aging doctors. I am happy to know we, as Naturopathic Doctors, are already practicing this way. I am eager to get back to Vancouver and start practicing the new therapies I learned and keep practicing the medicine I know.
Good night from New Orleans!
Yours in health,
Dr Tasreen Alibhai, ND