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Do you ever pay close attention to drug commercials? You know, the ones where everyone is happy, butterflies float around, and at the end you are somehow convinced that you should follow their advice and “Ask your doctor if our drug is right for you”? My favorite part is when they spend the whole middle section describing the side effects, which sometimes include the condition you are trying to treat.

Quite often they will include the line, “When exercise and diet fail, try our drug!”   The painful truth here is that while using exercise and diet to address a health issue do sometimes fail, it is rarely the diet or exercise that is the cause. The typical issue of the failure is not following through or not knowing what is the best nutritional change or exercise for your specific situation! Whenever I see a new patient for functional medicine, I ask them if their prior doctor ever advised them to try diet or exercise first. You can guess the answer.

We have become used to leaving our health care choices in the hand of others.   It’s like we think we can drop off our bodies and pick them later all new and polished up and ready to go. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Health is not as easy as a 15-minute office call to decide that you should be on a certain drug the rest of your life. You didn’t lose your health in 15 minutes; you’re not going to get it back in 15 minutes. And while some drugs are certainly necessary in some situations, they should be turned to only after healthier options have been tried. They should be used only after diet, exercise, chiropractic, nutrition, etc. have truly failed — which, by the way, they usually don’t.

As fall approaches and the season changes, I want to encourage you to take your health into your own hands. You may need some coaching, like finding out what nutritional change or which exercise is the best for you. You may need some chiropractic care to make sure your body’s own nature healing mechanisms are fully engaged. You may need some good advice (and not from Dr. Google — I said good advice) on the right vitamins and supplements to take. With the help of an experienced expert in functional medicine, taking your health into your own hands may be the smartest and healthiest thing you can do.

One example I have seen a lot of recently: insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when your body no longer responds to the insulin your body makes because you have been eating a certain way and bombarding your body with insulin all the time. Insulin resistance is caused by diet and exercise choices we make (or in the case of children, choices that are made for them). Insulin resistance results in needing to take insulin and/or a number of other medications while you get incrementally sicker. Insulin resistance is treatable by taking your health into your own hands — with some guidance and assistance.

I recently got to celebrate with a patient who lost 30 pounds AND was able to get off of insulin for the first time in 20 years! He did not do this by taking a different drug. He did this by changing his lifestyle. He changed his diet, started exercising, started seeing his chiropractor for more than just pain relief, and getting science-based nutritional advice and supplements to restore his body’s own natural energy metabolism. He was told this would never happen. Then again, his doctor never told him to try diet and exercise — or chiropractic and supplements for that matter.

This could be your story. This could be your victory. Imagine where you would like your health, energy, and vitality to be in 10 years, and ask yourself if your current path will get you there. You know the answer to that question. But now you know there is a better way. Take your health back. The result is a transformation of life and health that will amaze you.

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