Chronic health conditions account for the majority of the health care costs while greatly impacting the quality of life.
Chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis account for the majority of the health care costs while greatly impacting the quality of life. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 10% of US population has diabetes or prediabetes. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the US with an annual cost of $500 billion. Similar to other chronic conditions, the costs include the direct care, the complications, the loss of work productivity, and the reduced quality of life.
The current treatments for those chronic conditions have been medications, surgeries, and supportive modalities. They treat the symptoms but not the root causes. It is estimated that 80% of the chronic health conditions are lifestyle related. Much research has shown that adopting a healthy lifestyle is as effective, if not more effective, than current treatment options. More importantly, adopting a healthy lifestyle can frequently arrest, reduce, or even reverse multiple chronic conditions.
Unfortunately, lifestyle medicine and components of a healthy lifestyle are rarely included in health care programs. When health care providers are not educated on the concept of lifestyle medicine, or when they are suffering from the chronic conditions, it is hard to image how they can teach the concept of lifestyle medicine to their patients and reverse the epidemic of chronic health conditions.
The Lotus Health Foundation (LHF) is an emerging nonprofit prepared to undertake this task. Through education, research, and collaborations with community partners, LHF seeks to improve health and wellness of the communities.