Western culture and medicine emphasizes the practice of going to the doctor each year for an annual physical. These doctors and health care centers, though doing their job as they've been formally taught, often dig deeper than necessary. In doing so, they may be causing more harm than good. The best advice? Focus on a wholesome, primarily raw plant-based diet and save your doctors visits for when you're really sick.
Doctor Visits Cause More Harm Than Good
Over the years, a growing body of research has highlighted inconsistencies with annual check ups at the doctor's office, highlighting the notion that they are not in fact necessary. In 2012, the global independent health network Cochrane conducted a review of numerous randomized studies of more than 150,000 patients. It was concluded that the potential harm related to annual physicals far outweighed the potential small benefits.
"One possible harm from health checks is the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that were not destined to cause symptoms or death," wrote the authors. "Their diagnosis will, therefore, be superfluous and carry the risk of unnecessary treatment."
"Annual doctor visits have resulted in an increase in overdiagnosis."
The authors concluded that there was no decrease in morbidity or mortality for reasons related to cancer or cardiovascular disease. In fact, the opposite was true. Annual health check ups at the doctor actually resulted in an increased number of diagnoses.
Overdiagnosis and Early Screening
At the 2012 Healthy Lifestyle Expo weekend conference, Dr. John McDougall echoed the above sentiment. He strongly advised against getting an annual physical. When an individual's body contracts an infection or becomes riddled with illness, it will be immediately apparent. This is when one should seek medical attention, not before, he explained. Early screening often leads to overdiagnosis, which is one of the biggest problems in America today.
"It is dangerous to look for problems that will never surface, but they'll become problems if you look for them," McDougall said. "If we look hard enough every one of you will be sick."
Using the example of the PSA test for prostate cancer in men, McDougall highlighted that although one man's life may be saved through early screening, as many as 48 men for that one will be diagnosed with prostate cancer that would not have caused symptoms or death. As a result, those 48 men will then be faced with suffering the numerous side effects of treatment for the disease.
Promoting Health Through Lifestyle Choices
According to Hallelujah Diet Research Director Dr. Michael Donaldson, McDougall has done a lot of great work in using healthy lifestyle choices as real alternatives for people, rather than focusing on treatments and medications for problems that will never amount to anything of consequence. Looking for problems will only help doctors find abnormalities that will never truly become a pressing health issue, Dr. Donaldson agreed.
Instead, a focus on a lifestyle that promotes the body's miraculous, self-healing capabilities is the most natural and effective way to prevent disease and illness in the first place.