Welcome healthcare providers to HeartStrong.com! This page is here for healthcare providers to learn what HeartStrong.com has to offer to patients looking to improve their health through diet and lifestyle changes. This is Dr. Steven Lome, a cardiologist in the Rush University Healthcare System in the Chicagoland area.
HeartStrong.com is an online, do-it-yourself intensive cardiac rehab program that is completely free for all people to use. No advertisements. Nothing for sale. No membership required.
America is suffering from an enormous amount of chronic disease especially heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. These are all preventable and even reversible diseases through the proper diet and lifestyle changes. At least half of cancers are also preventable with diet and lifestyle changes.
The groundbreaking publication in Lancet in 1990 by Dr. Dean Ornish showed that a whole food plant based diet and other lifestyle changes can not only prevent heart disease, but can even reverse the atherosclerotic process1-2. This has subsequently been confirmed3. After this publication, heart disease rates should have plummeted dramatically, however nothing seems to have happened despite a clear “cure” for cardiovascular disease. This is due to one simple fact: lifestyle changes are not profitable and thus there was no major corporate budget pushing this concept forward despite it’s tremendous power eliminate America’s #1 killer.
Clearly not enough effort has been put into changing our healthcare system towards prevention including changing the unhealthy food system dramatically. Culture and big industry hinders this change. The results are obvious as we see 80% of adult American’s being overweight or obese4. Already, 50% of adult Americans are pre-diabetic or diabetic5. despite diet/lifestyle interventions. Diabetes type II is most effectively treated with plant based diets6, More than 1 million American’s die every year from chronic, preventable diseases. The solution to the problem is obvious. It is not another drug, laser or high tech surgery. The solution is to treat the cause of the problem – an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
Healthcare providers are not taught nutrition and lifestyle change. Their education focuses on diagnosis, medications and procedures while not emphasizing diet and lifestyle change enough…essentially ignoring the cause of the person’s illness…the patient’s unhealthy diet and lifestyle. It makes sense to focus all efforts on treating the cause of the person’s illness instead of giving drugs which have only moderate benefit and let disease causing unhealthy lifestyle continue. Our approach to treating chronic diseases needs to change to save the healthcare crisis in America and more importantly to stop the needless suffering of millions of Americans every year.
Watch the following two short videos on the power of lifestyle medicine:
Why You Should Care About Nutrition
Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease
Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to watch the documentary Forks Over Knives which is available on Netflix to learn more about whole food plant based nutrition and the power that it has to prevent and reverse diseases. Attend conferences such as International Plant Based Nutrition Conference or the International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine. Support the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and consider attending the annual meeting.
Most people enter into the healthcare fields to help improve the health and the lives of their patients. Take a moment right now to think about the how much improvement your patients really get in quality of life and quantity of life from taking multiple medications which are expensive, have significant side effects and ultimately do nothing to treat the cause of the disease. Now compare taking multiple medications to what diet and lifestyle change can do. There are no adverse effects from a healthy diet and lifestyle and only a myriad of benefits.
I plea to you to emphasize diet and lifestyle change as the PRIMARY treatment for chronic diseases and learn more about the power of plant based nutrition. Make sure that you have a system in place to help your patients be successful with aggressive lifestyle change including regular follow-up, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and psychologists. Gather resources that you can share with your patients to help them be successful. As you go about your day today ask yourself this one question…was this patient’s problem preventable? Chances are that diet and lifestyle changes could eliminate a large majority of their medical illnesses, so be sure to focus all your efforts on helping your patients make positive lifestyle changes.
Feel free to read more about my personal story and where my passion for lifestyle medicine comes from. Contact me any time with questions about the HeartStrong.com program, plant based nutrition or any lifestyle related questions that you have.
Lets work together to change the healthcare system in America to one that promotes prevention through healthy eating and lifestyle change in order to avoid the continued suffering of millions of Americans every year crippled from preventable chronic diseases. The food industry and politicians will NOT stand up to solve this problem. It needs to come from the people, specifically from healthcare providers like yourself. Spread the message and focus on lifestyle changes in your practice. Support the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM.org) and their efforts to improve the health of America through lifestyle medicine. Together we can change the health of America!
By Steven Lome D.O.
Author – HeartStrong.com
Cardiovascular Disease Specialist – Rush University Health System
President – Plant Based Nutrition Movement – CPBNM.org
Explore the HeartStrong.com program and the HeartStrong.com plant based nutrition resource page.
Read the book “How Not To Die” by Dr. Michael Greger M.D.
Watch the documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix or at www.ForksOverKnives.com
Read the Kaiser Permanente Nutritional Update for Physicians on Plant Based Nutrition
Read Plant-based nutrition for healthcare professionals: implementing diet as a primary modality in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease
Support the efforts of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PRCM.org)
1. Ornish et al. Can Lifestyle Changes Reverse Coronary Heart Disease? LANCET. 1990;336:129-133.
2. Ornish et al. Intensive Lifestyle Changes for Reversal of Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA. 1998;280:2001-2007.
3. Esselstyn et al. A Way to Reverse CAD? J Fam Pract. 2014;63:356-364,364a,364b
4. CDC Statistics on Overweight and Obeisty
5. Menke et al. Prevalence of and Trends in Diabetes Among US Adults.
6. Toumpanakis et al. Effectiveness of plant-based diets in promoting well-being in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review.