CLEARWATER, Fla. -- As the largest annual gathering of gastrointestinal medical professionals convenes in Orlando for Digestive Diseases Week, May 17-22, it is at a time when conventional medicine is once again failing the American public. The statistics tell a frightening story: digestive disorders, including indigestion, nausea and vomiting, currently drive almost 38 million Americans into their doctor's offices each year, and this epidemic is quickly spiraling out of control.
Brenda Watson, author of "Renew Your Life," and founder and president of ReNew Life Formulas, Inc., believes that there is an urgent need to effectively reach out to the general population with better education in support of preventative medicine.
"Traditional medical experts and counselors need to offer more options for treatment and prevention," says Watson. "Currently, the public is primarily dependent on over-the-counter drugs that often mask the symptoms of serious underlying conditions, leading to medical emergencies and irreversible damage to the gastrointestinal system."
Watson continued, "Physicians too readily try to resolve these problems with prescription drugs that come with a range of unnecessary and often harmful side effects, or invasive procedures that can require hospitalization at great expense to both the patient and society. While alternative medicine may not offer solutions for everyone, it can provide additional healthful and preventive measures for many."
Leonard Smith, MD, a renowned general, gastrointestinal and vascular surgeon, and medical director at ReNew Life Formulas, adds, "As a surgeon, I have first-hand experience with the problems associated with faulty digestion and the surgical necessities they can cause. I view my roll as a doctor to include teaching, and my career as a surgeon has always incorporated teaching the laws of healthy digestion, so my patients may avoid surgery."
Digestive disorders may arguably be the most insidious cause of hospitalizations, disability, school and workplace absenteeism and illness- related economic costs to our society. Often trivialized, untreated, over- self-medicated and misunderstood, gastrointestinal disorders chronically plague more than 95 million Americans. Some estimates suggest that this number represents a 60 percent increase during the past decade.
Environmentally, the average American is exposed to more toxins (through water and air pollution, household cleaning supplies, pesticides, disinfectants and food additives) than ever before. Furthermore, a rapidly- growing percentage of the American populace suffers from increasingly weakened immune systems; not just from obvious conditions such as AIDS and cancer, but from the aging process and the many aging-related conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Since 1996, one baby boomer turns 50 every seven seconds. The "graying of America" has become something of a cliche, but in health terms it means a population growing more and more susceptible to external toxins and infections in an environment that is becoming more and more toxic and hospitable to bacteria and viruses.
According to the latest statistics:
* Two of the top five most widely prescribed prescription drugs in this country are for digestive disorders. The other three drugs in the top five are prescribed for heart disease-related conditions and arthritis, and yet digestive disorders receive little attention compared to these other two conditions.
*Colorectal cancer, one of the most severe digestive or gastroenterological diseases, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths behind lung cancer.
* More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and about 25 million are daily sufferers, leading to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which, when left untreated, an lead to more serious conditions.
* As many as 37 million episodes of diarrhea occur annually among America's 16.5 million children age five or younger. This problem leads to three million physician visits each year and 163,000 hospitalizations, and accounts for 13 percent of all hospital stays for children in this age group.
*More than 25 million Americans develop peptic ulcers each year due to many factors, including a growing exposure to newer and more virulent bacterial infections.
* Food poisoning, which is second only to the common cold as an illness in America, affects 76 million Americans annually.
* Bacterial, parasitic and viral poisoning of food and drinking supplies can be fatal for fetuses, young children, the elderly and adults with weakened immune systems.
For more information, visit: http://www.renewlife.com/