The Health Cliff Is Way More Treacherous Than Any Fiscal Politics
The drama of the "fiscal cliff" is riveting the country. Even when a political deal stops the threat of abrupt tax hikes and deep spending cuts, more battles over finances are sure to rock Congress for years to come, so the core issues will remain hot long after January 1, 2013.
While the fiscal issues are major news, the media spends little time focusing on the health cliff, which is a looming catastrophe for most Americans. You have the choice to make this most personal drama play out the way you want it to for yourself and your family. Here's what you need to know to avoid this gloomy slide into sickness and stay on track for a lifetime of health.
What Is the Health Cliff
Whether you've thought about it or not, you are facing a slide down a health cliff - an expensive slide for you in every way, costing you not just money, but also time, pain, and your freedom to live as you want with energy and superb health.
The descent starts when you are first diagnosed with a chronic disease, for example hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, depression, heart disease, chronic sinusitis, headaches, asthma, back pain, a digestive system disorder, kidney disease, osteoporosis, cancer, or an autoimmune disease. Modern medicine offers drugs and surgeries to perhaps control the worst symptoms and sometimes prolong life, but offers few cures. And the drugs and surgeries themselves can be hazardous, with their own lists of dangers.
One huge problem is that chronic diseases love to keep each other company. The technical term for this is "multimorbidity," which means you have more than one chronic disease at a time, and the number you suffer with at once will likely go up as you get older. As you accumulate these unwanted diagnoses, you health, energy, and ability to function keep slipping down the face of the cliff.
Several recent studies indicate that the health cliff is starting earlier and becoming steeper for most Americans.