A doctor friend recently asked me if our Institute for Progressive Medicine was ahead of the curve of medical practice today, and if I thought our methods were economical, or were so expensive that only the rich could afford them. I told him that we are ahead of the curve, that our philosophy of preventing and treating illness with lifestyle changes and nutrient supplements was far superior to the current practice of offering a drug for every illness or possibility of illness.

Our effort is to empower all patients with the knowledge to prevent disease, to enlist their cooperation in applying those lifestyle changes most effective in preventing and reversing the rampant 21st century problems of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and dementia. Last week I had revisits with three older married couples, all in their late 70s or 80s. All were actively engaged in health programs including nutrition and exercise. All were on supplements, most were taking no medications, and all were doing quite well. Contrast this with the 85 year old woman who came in recently complaining that she didn’t feel well. She was taking 11 medications that had been prescribed for her various problems. I submit that it is not possible for anyone, at any age, to be on 11 medications without suffering side effects.

Indeed, without lifestyle changes, many medications work poorly, if at all. This especially includes treatment for hypertension and diabetes. Obesity responds not at all to medication, but only to lifestyle change. It does, however, respond to gastric bypass surgery, if one is willing to go that route.

One hundred thousand patients die every year from side effects of “properly” prescribed medications. Many thousands of others die from medical errors, or from surgery. Death from taking a vitamin or mineral is rare, indeed. A relative of mine was recently hospitalized with acute gastrointestinal bleeding, and required three units of blood for her severe anemia. She had been taking an NSAID for treatment of pain in her knees, along with aspirin for stroke prevention, though she had never had a stroke. Both of these drugs often cause gastrointestinal bleeding. She also had both upper and lower endoscopy, requiring anesthesia. Not to mention the risks incurred just by being in the hospital.

It is unsafe to request or to accept a drug approach to treatment when other, safer and more effective means are available. A recent editorial in a medical journal indicated that just a 25% reduction in salt intake would save 150,000 deaths yearly from cardiovascular disease in the United States, MORE THAN ALL THE LIVES SAVED BY ALL OF OUR ANTIHYPERTENSIVE MEDICATIONS.

Progressive medicine is not only safer, but also cheaper. We are spending over 200 billion dollars every year on prescription drugs. Furthermore, hospitalizations are the most expensive aspect of medical care. Many of these would be preventable, if only people were taught how to live defensively, how to exercise, how to get off drugs, how to relieve stress, how to maintain a positive outlook, how to remain active.

The best answer to the healthcare crisis, where we are spending $7000 a year for every person in the United States, where nearly 50 million people are uninsured, where health outcomes are far from the top of industrialized nations, is to educate people on how to prevent illness. People should be responsible for creating their own health, and should not depend solely on drug or surgery recommendations from their physicians, who, after all, do not suffer the consequences of bad decisions. Their patients do.

Allan Sosin, MD

(*The information contained in this article is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or condition. These recommendations have not been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). No content contained in this article is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never increase, reduce or discontinue any medication or treatment without first consulting your doctor. If you are seeking the advice of a medical professional and wish to make an appointment with one of our doctors, please call our office at (949) 600-5100. Unsolicited e-mail may not be answered and is not a substitute for obtaining medical advice in person from a qualified health professional. If you have a medical emergency, contact your personal physician or local medical emergency service immediately.)

Author's Bio: 

Allan Sosin is the founder and medical director of the Institute for Progressive Medicine. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Nephrology, the study of kidney disease.

For thirteen years Dr. Sosin ran a private internal medicine practice in Philadelphia. During that time he became increasingly interested in alternative approaches to medical problems including nutrition, vitamin and mineral therapies, chelation therapy, acupuncture, natural hormone replacement therapy, exercise and stress management. He also held the position of Assistant Medical Director at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, a world-renowned facility for the treatment of brain injured children.

Dr. Sosin is an expert in the use of natural approaches to replace drugs and surgery. He has over 40 years of clinical experience in treating patients with traditional therapies and 15 years experience using alternative methods in combination with conventional medicine. He is a member of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) and is a certified Defeat Autism Now!® physician. Dr. Sosin has also worked extensively with IV therapy, acupuncture and natural hormone replacement therapy. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with serious medical conditions. Dr. Sosin is the author of two books, Alpha Lipoic Acid: Nature's Ultimate Antioxidant, and The Doctor's Guide to Diabetes and Your Child, and has appeared on both radio and television.