GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS: You are who you become; this applies to all aspects of your life especially your health.
Holistic - Your health is only as strong as the weakest link. Focusing on only one area of your health could work for a time but it’s not sustainable, eventually some other health area will block your progress.
Cooperative Medicine vs. Siloed Medicine - Cooperation between health team members including professional care providers, is critical, and must be based on a clear and elevating goal. The Team Lead must have P&L responsibilities. Usually the Team Lead is the Health Guardian and not a single professional.
Aging is not Disease - With aging comes change. Just because you get older doesn’t mean you have to become ill. You can develop good health habits now that strengthen your body’s organ systems to prevent pathologies now and in the future. You should experience increasing wellness as you age.
Chronic Disease Is Preventable - At least 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and over 40% of cancers could have been prevented. These health conditions and other chronic diseases can be prevented and managed through pathology prevention practices.
Mental Attitude - If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, it will impact your health. Positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles. Having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. Positive thinking means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way.
Regardless of your socioeconomic status, an improved quality of life impacts those around you; families, friends, religious communities, neighborhoods, towns and cities, states and even countries, one person at a time.
ISSUES: When preventing pathologies, you have some choice of how debilitating any health condition becomes and the effect it has on your quality of life. You can have control over your health status. There are some leading factors in how people react to disease and illness.
Personal Behavior & Lifestyle - is a key contributor to deadly diseases from pathologies. Most of the time you have no one to blame but yourself. The cause and consequences are, that if you don’t change your current behavior, chances are you will develop a chronic illness that will lead to death.
Environment & Genetics - there are some factors that are out of your direct control, like an unhealthy or dangerous work environment, city or community. These can be contributing factors to pathologies and diseases. Because of your DNA, you may be predisposed to certain types of pathologies, diseases and autoimmune issues. Even though heredity sometimes isn’t fair, you still have a choice of how debilitating your condition becomes.
Access to Health Care - you may have low access to health care because of financial constraints or where you live. If you do even some the practices of pathology prevention, you can keep yourself healthier, so you won’t need access to health care quite as often or at all.
Lack of Health Management and Leadership - how can you achieve your health goals if you’re not managing your health? Marketing folks seldom have the same goals as you do. Changing your health requires monitoring your diet, exercise, sleep etc. in order to take control. Your health impacts every area of your life. Unhealthy lifestyle choices brings down the quality of your life and hurts your ability to lead, and enjoy the benefits of self-reliance.
Spiritual Weakness - Some research shows a connection between your beliefs and your sense of well-being. Positive beliefs, comfort, and strength gained from religion, meditation, and prayer can contribute to well-being. It may even promote healing. Improving your spiritual health may not cure an illness, but it does prevent downward spirals.
Human Anatomy and Physiology Ignorance - no one knows how you feel better than you do, but not understanding how your body’s systems work together holistically hinders your progress towards better health. The more a Health Guardian’s’ understanding of human anatomy and physiology become, the more significant gains are found in communication comfort, health goals and compliance intent.
Nutritional Misconceptions - a nutritional diet is a long-term lifestyle change, not a short-term quick fix fad. Don’t let yourself go through life not thinking about the food you eat. Is your plate colorful, with only one or two drab colors? Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, but don’t leave out grains, protein and dairy, they are all needed to have a balanced diet.
Poor Mental Perspective - you’ve heard, “you are what you eat,” but “you are what you think,” also applies. Avoiding difficult emotions, keeping feelings to yourself, or stewing over problems reduces well-being. Those not able to process their emotions well typically experience poor mental health, increased stress, and cellular inflammation.
Every one of these factors, that could lead to chronic illnesses, disease or death, can be moderated or eliminated by using pathology prevention practices.
STRATEGIES: These 7 steps to Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) are important to the Health Guardian’s pathology prevention efforts, because they help you make better health care decisions that affect yourself and others. The seven steps of EBP are:
Step 1: Cultivate a spirit of inquiry refers to an ongoing curiosity about the best evidence to guide your health practice decision making. Maybe you’ve read an article that causes you to question a health practice. Perhaps you’ve wondered if an intervention is really necessary, why you should do it, what evidence supports it, if it benefits you or your family, or is there another way to do it better.
Step 2: Asking compelling clinical and health practice questions (The PICOT format) takes a priority health problem and asks searchable and answerable questions about it. EBP does not seek to generate new knowledge through conducting research but uses existing evidence to assess the need for health practice changes.
The PICOT format: to guide the search process:
P=Population: What is the group of interest? (e.g., patients, community, demographic, diagnosis of an illness or disease etc.)
I=Intervention: What procedure or process is planned? (e.g., therapies, medications, herbal infusions, behavioral program or educational program, etc.)
C=Comparison: Is there an alternative to the planned intervention? (i.e., may compare to no treatment/program, a different type of treatment/program, or have no comparison)
O=Outcome: What is the desired outcome? (e.g., fewer symptoms, no symptoms, increased knowledge, wellness, improved quality of life, self-reliance)
T=Time: What is the time frame? (e.g., within a specific period, no time period, while under your care)
Step 3: Finding relevant information search for and find external evidence that addresses your question. YouTube is not evidence, at best it refers you to evidence. A well-planned search increases the likelihood that you will find relevant evidence that answers your PICOT question. Ask yourself, what type of evidence is needed to answer your question and where should you search?
Step 4: Critically appraising evidence assess the reliability, importance, and applicability of the external evidence. Critically appraising the evidence can help you determine if the conclusions from one or more studies can help guide your health practice decision. Appraise the validity of the evidence you have found.
Step 5: Implementing sustainable practice change research evidence alone is not sufficient to justify a change in your health practices. Good judgment integrates your accumulated wealth of knowledge from your Health Guardian experiences as well as your research and educational background. You learn quickly as Health Guardian that one size does not fit all. What works for one person may not work for another. What you can do, is draw from your past experiences and expertise as a Health Guardian to make informed decisions going forward.
Step 6: Evaluation the outcomes of changes it's important to monitor and evaluate any changes or outcomes, so that positive effects can be supported, and negative ones remedied. Monitoring the effect of the change had on wellness, quality of life and self-reliance can help you as a Health Guardian to spot flaws in implementation and identify more precisely how you or your family can benefit. When results differ from those reported in your research, monitoring can help determine why.
Step 7: Disseminating implementation outcomes As a Health Guardian you can achieve wonderful outcomes through conducting an EBP, but often you fail to share your experiences with others. This leads to needless duplication of effort and perpetuates health practices that are not evidence based. Some ways to disseminate your successful health practices initiatives is on social media, writing reviews on products and practices, commenting on related blogs or suggestions.
INTERACTIONS: Pathology Prevention efforts must address change. Change causes movement, which causes friction, which is managed with good conflict resolution plans if the change is going to be sustainable. Your conflict resolution plan should include addressing these potential interactions.
The Primary Care Interactions – The typical primary care team is dysfunctional at best. The nutritionist may not consult your health record at all. Other primary care specialists such as the dentist, physical therapist, optometrist, and yoga coach have survived a long time by compartmentalizing their separate practices. A holistic approach to pathology prevention requires each Health Guardian to bring these different disciplines together through common record keeping, integrated goals, using strong orchestration and communication, while considering and leveraging their various interaction points in a broader sense than what is normally perceived.
The Nutritional Interactions – What you consume as food is more than a social experience and sensory stimulus. It should be thought of as a drug that either helps or destroys your organ systems and can be abused either knowingly or not. Nutrients work together in many different ways to produce and support the human physiology. There exists typical actions you come to expect, but each time you eat a bowl of peas, the micro-nutrients delivered to a cell could be different, depending on what the body needs at that time. Just how these nutrients interact with your organ systems can be influenced by the Health Guardian’s pathology prevention efforts.
The Management Interactions – These practices impact every other pathology prevention practice. Pathology prevention is about change management. These management efforts focus on either encouraging, resisting, or guiding change direction. Baselines, strategies, roadmaps, thresholds, budgets, and projects are all some of the methods used to influence the Health Guardian’s practices, eventually increasing personal wellness and quality of life through successful pathology prevention activities.
The Mental Health Interactions – Where the Head goes, the Body follows. You still don’t know specifically how mental health contributes to the success of pathology prevention efforts. But your mental health status has been proven over and over again to interact with pathology prevention activities impacting, but not limited to, stress reduction, anti-inflammation, and autoimmune responses. Recall the early experiments of the 60’s and 70’s that demonstrate these principles. The Health Guardian knows that there are few things more powerful toward warding off and curing disease, than good mental health and attitude.
The Physical Health Interactions – The interactions between physical health and personal wellness is so complicated and intertwined that you sometimes have a hard time differing between them. However, a person may do 30 push-ups, but still have cardiovascular issues that can become life threatening. The Health Guardian must work with the rest of the primary health team to assure that wellness goals and strategies are aligned with capabilities and reason. In general, good physical health is correlated to pathology prevention effectiveness, and is one of many causes. A good understanding of how the organ systems work together as a system of systems to produce good physical health and strong pathology prevention capability is the work of every Heath Guardian.
The Spiritual Health Interactions – What happens when you have a purpose in your life? What does it take for you to be fulfilled? In this condition, regardless of your physical strength, with just a little effort, you will impact the lives and wellness of others. You will gain world balance, and emotional courage. This is a positive feedback loop, that will provide opportunity for stress reduction and meditation. In turn, this will build a deeper purpose of life, and so on. If ever facing life threatening attacks, and each of us do, you want to face the attack in a position of spiritual strength. In this position the Health Guardian can generate mental strength, then physical strength … no, you won’t be immortal, but you will have joy, experiencing improved wellness, and higher qualities of life. Start today, it’s free.
The Environmental Interactions – Those who experienced the Covid-19 pandemic can understand the importance of managing the environment in pathology prevention activities. The epidermal system creates a boundary between your internal bodies and the external environment. This is your first line of defense in pathology prevention. Your healthy skin, being well cared for, and washed frequently, combined with good habits and self-discipline will defend against 90% of what this world can through at us. From there, your bodies depend on internal systems, tissues, and cellular constructs for defense. With each of these smaller hierarchical systems, there exists an environment defined by boundaries. Pathology prevention efforts have an opportunity to impact the inter-connections and dependencies between these systems and sub-systems.
The Lifestyle Interactions – When pathology prevention practices begin to work, they impact your wellness and quality of life. Pathology prevention is both impacted by and impacts your social wellness. Be ready to adjust your social activities. Your cultural wellness is also inter-dependent on pathology practices. Together social and cultural health becomes an integral component of your lifestyle directly impacting chronic illness as much as any pharmaceutical approach to treatment.
What is really important to you? Think about your motivation. Maybe you want to set an example for your children. Maybe a spouse or parent depends on you. Maybe you still have something you want to accomplish in this life. Whatever it is, you need to ask yourself if it is important enough for you to change and use pathology prevention practices.