WELLNESS WATCH-Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the nation. The ramifications of being ill and without proper housing are daunting to say the least, and sadly over a half a million Americans including US veterans are experiencing homelessness today. This epidemic in America is closely related to health, and nobody is immune.
What often starts out as a simple malady can quickly become chronic, causing people to lose their employment and health insurance. Factor in the absence of a proper support net and this situation can quickly snowball into the inability to pay the bills and the subsequent losing of one’s home.
Homeless people have higher rates of all major diseases due to crowded homeless shelters, malnutrition, harmful weather and violence. Getting proper health care to the homeless is proving difficult and at times almost impossible.
While the answer to this problem is complex, one thing is certain; preventative and natural medicine could help cut down on illnesses before they begin which could prevent the domino effect of illness that eventually leads to homelessness. A study published by the American Medical Association in 2004 showed that half of all deaths in the year 2000 could have been prevented with behavior shifts and by cutting down on certain exposures.
Preventative medicine will not only help drastically reduce homelessness; it will also cut down on all premature deaths in the Unites States. There are a number of ways to use preventative medicine, but at the top of the list should be building a relationship with your primary care providers and going to see them for periodic screenings to see if you are predisposed to any illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.
Another crucial element in preventative care is to get the proper amount of exercise. It is estimated that up to 400,000 people die each year simply by living a sedentary lifestyle. Finally, a healthy diet filled with vegetables and whole grains will help ensure a long and healthy life.
(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist, TV host and writes regularly for CityWatch.)