It’s 2017 and we have the most advanced medical technology at our fingertips that’s ever been available, so why are so many people still chronically ill?

According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are 387 million people living with diabetes; one in 12 people have diabetes and one in every two affected don’t know they have it. Every seven seconds one person dies from the disease. There were 4.9 million diabetes-related deaths in 2014.

To me, these statistics are heartbreaking when considering that diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma, and other related conditions are highly preventable.

So why are most doctors still using the same approach, putting a bandage over the disease rather than treating the root cause? Most doctors seem to treat the visible symptoms, but not the cause, leaving a lot of wiggle room for the disease to worsen if preventive measures are not taken or side effects from whatever medication is given.

The only person who can make real changes is the patient – no one can force him or her to take action. Some patients do not listen to their doctor’s advice out of stubbornness, but most people simply need more guidance than an insulin injection schedule and a list of dos and don’ts.

Evidence-based practices are applied as if humans are robots that can simply make changes on command. This approach negates the importance of bio-individuality – that no one diet fits everyone.

It’s hard to make and maintain meaningful changes in your diet and lifestyle without full support from an experienced person.

How do Health Coaches fit into healthcare? A Health Coach can guide you in making gradual changes to your eating habits and lifestyle, which lead to a complete health transformation. Health Coaches can also guide you in eating more delicious, home-cooked food and show you how to navigate the supermarket, among numerous other services. You don’t have to choose between being sick and eating cardboard-like, processed diet foods.

Health Coaches do not teach a one-size-fits-all approach – they listen to your concerns and goals and partner with you in creating a holistic, unique program that will work for you long-term – no quick fixes here!

Many diseases can be partially or fully treated through diet and exercise. That said, you should never go off medication or start a new diet or exercise program without explicit approval from your medical doctor.

Doctors and Health Coaches are both needed to help heal and prevent disease and create a healthier, happier society.