Sick Care System /sik ker ˈsistəm/ noun
- The standard westernized healthcare system.
- A proposed system of health care maintenance that was better informed in terms of information, yet produced remarkably poor results.
The 20th century saw perhaps the greatest improvements in human health in all of history (with some notable caveats). This was due in large part to public health, sanitation, vaccination (controversial, I know!), and antibiotics. In the developed world, infectious disease has largely been banished.
This is, of course, incredible. Overlooked, under-appreciated, but incredible.
Unfortunately, these advancements in health have proven ineffective in addressing the major causes of early death, enormous costs, and diminished quality of life: chronic degenerative diseases.
“People are fed by the food industry which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry which pays no attention to food”
— Wendell Berry (Environmental activist, author, farmer)
The Sick Care System.
Where once there existed “juvenile” and “adult onset” diabetes (the former being autoimmune in nature, the latter being largely due to over consumption of food) there are now toddlers with type 2 diabetes. Every year tens of thousands of peer reviewed research papers are published on these topics, yet both rates of occurence and associated costs of these conditions continue to escalate.
We know more about disease than ever before, yet we appear largely incapable of changing the course. Why? Greed, ineptitude, conspiracies…
I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
Bad news first…
We are told the wrong advice, offered the wrong solutions.
For example: Type 1 diabetics proved to have substantially better glycemic control and health markers when eating a low carb diet than ANY intervention tried to help type 1 diabetes to date (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29735574). It was a Herculean effort to even get this study done and it is in complete opposition to the current standard of care which is “eat what you want, just cover it with insulin.”
This might seem like a tangent from the topic at hand, the Sick Care System. However, I bring it up because this type of information—the efficacy of a low carb diet for an otherwise intractable health condition—is now in the crosshairs of tech companies such as Google and Facebook. These companies have taken such a dim view of paleo, keto, low carb diets that now they’ve made some of the best resources on these topics extremely tough to find.
If The Information Monopolies (Google, Facebook, etc.) had acted 5 years ago as they do today, it’s highly likely this study would have never happened.
Now, the good…
Chronic degenerative disease is largely preventable and, in many cases, reversible.
However, this process requires a complete reorientation.
We must move away from the “magic bullet” cures of the antibiotic discovery era. This process is not one of potions, pills, and one-size-fits-all bandaids.
We must embrace species appropriate diet, movement, socialization, and circadian biology.
For those just beginning their journey to health, this may feel completely out of reach.
But just know, many people have been in your shoes. And they changed course—redirecting out of the Sick Care System—to take their health into their own hands.
So far, it has been possible in large part due to the free exchange of information, arming sick, fed up people with the knowledge needed to self experiment to find what works for them.
This enormous opportunity, of the citizen scientist relying on the greatest repository of knowledge in history, coupled with the ability to test and assess efficacy of everything from diet, to exercise and pharmaceuticals, is now in jeopardy due to the monopolization of information retrieval and discovery.
The information gatekeepers have now entered the scene and are curating what they think We need.