Lifestyle Medicine is the practice of living intentionally in a way that creates and sustains healthy life choices. The practice of lifestyle medicine contributes to the prevention and mitigation of up to 90% of chronic diseases, including autoimmune disorders, heart disease, and many cancers.

The annual health expenditure in the United States exceeds $4 trillion annually (according to the Center for Disease Control). This amount is twice as much as any other wealthy Country. This comes out to approximately $22,000 per person. The cost is about three times as much for a person with type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 1/3 of Americans are diabetic and another 1/3 are at least pre-diabetic.

If you are wondering why there is so much more healthcare expenditure in the United States than other Countries, consider for a moment how fast food has grown over the past century. In addition to fast food, there are so many packaged foods, convenience foods, many of which are banned from other Countries, contributing to and exacerbating many chronic diseases. Many diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes are a result of eating excessive salt and sugar in the packaged foods and fast food that we eat. Between 2005 and 2020, the number of type 2 diabetes tripled in the United States. This, over time, leads to inflammation, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, organ failure, various cancers and more. All the while the average life expectancy in the US has been decreasing since 2017.

Lifestyle Medicine has been practiced for centuries, dating back to Hippocrates who used lifestyle changes to help mitigate disease. Over the past several decades, lifestyle medicine has been researched and practiced becoming an evidence-based therapeutic approach, using practice such as eating whole foods to treat, reverse, and prevent chronic disease and reverse the effects of convenience and fast foods have developed over the years.

More recent research has presented evidence of the connection between gut health and the brain. We have learned that the gut and the brain are interconnected through a complex communication network, often referred to as the gut-brain axis. Researchers have also discovered that when there is dysregulation in the gut inflammation intrudes through this axis causing destruction. Depending on where the destruction takes place, this can affect mood, resulting in anxiety or depression, increase inflammation, resulting in many diseases, and can cause the body’s immune system to attack itself, resulting in any number of autoimmune disorders.