Dr Lucy here. Some people might be triggered by this post, so I wanted to give you a little bit of warning. It is not a post designed to blame and shame, but rather to highlight the importance of investing in yourself and your health.
You’ve all heard the saying “Health is Wealth”, but what does that actually mean?
As a person who has a chronic disease (muscular dystrophy), I know the cost of suboptimal health. It’s expensive to go to the physio, go to the gym and do hydrotherapy, but I want to look after my body so it can do its best. I know my health could be a whole lot worse if I didn’t manage the things within my control. I had pre-diabetes, fatty liver disease and was 20 kgs overweight. The weight affected my mobility. Had I not changed my lifestyle, I would be entering the land of what I call “Chronic Disease Hell”.
Being unwell is expensive.
Having any chronic disease is expensive.
It’s a financial cost.
It’s a time cost.
It’s a quality of life cost.
Most people don’t consider the expense of poor health.
The financial costs include:
Obviously, there is time off work. But we also need to factor in time away from doing the things we love.
Time away from your family.
Time away from holidays.
Quality of life
We know that chronic disease steals our quality of life.
It robs our future self of a life without pain.
It sets us up for a life of decreased mobility.
It increases our risk for mental health issues.
In short, it can steal our joy.
Let’s use Diabetes as an example.
The average annual healthcare cost per person with Type 2 diabetes is $4,025 if there are no associated complications. However, this can rise to as much as $9,645 in people with both microvascular and macrovascular complications.
That’s nearly $10,000 per year, every year.
Most people with Diabetes are on medication, up to 6 or 7 scripts per month. Most people need to see a podiatrist, an optometrist, a diabetes educator, maybe also a dietitian. These are people with Type 2 diabetes who are relatively well.
Add in the cardiovascular complications and we’ve got visits to the eye surgeon, the vascular surgeon, the cardiologist, and the kidney specialist.
Imagine the savings to your budget without all these medical costs.
Imagine how much time you will reclaim without all these appointments.
Sometimes people tell us eating Real Food is expensive.
But it’s not so much that real food is expensive, but that processed food is so cheap. That’s the appeal of processed food - it’s cheap and quick. All the marketing messages are around that. It’s so convenient.
But what’s the real cost long term?
How convenient is it to have to go to the doctor all the time? How cheap is it to have laser surgery on your eyes?
Don’t be fooled by marketing hype.
They’re not interested in saving you time. They’re not interested in your health or saving you money.
They are interested in the sale! That’s it.
Your body and your mind are your most precious assets.
You can look after them. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
Prevention is cheaper than cure.
You, your body, and your mind are totally worth investing in!
Health is indeed Wealth.