Hospital Preparation & Recovery Program
Going to hospital is risky business according to research by the Grattan Institute*. One in nine patients who go into a hospital in Australia suffer a complication — ranging from the minor to the catastrophic." They quote that about 900,000 patients each year suffer these complications, and if they stay in overnight, the figure rises to one in four – about 725,000 patients each year. They say a patient’s risk of developing a complication varies dramatically depending on which hospital they go to, I would add here: and depends how prepared they are health-wise.
You wouldn't run a marathon without preparing your body, and no-one should go to hospital without preparing your body.
It is smart to be stocked up with all the key healing nutrients at least 3-4 weeks prior to surgery, and continue 4-12 weeks after. These essential factors help speed up the healing of wounds, supporting collagen synthesis and modulating fibrin production. It can reduce the incidence of colloidal scarring and adhesions while protecting you from infections and excessive swelling - which is what drives pain, slow recovery and prolonged debility. Adquate protein for this high-stress process helps to reduce the loss of muscle tissue and presverves energy and stamina through the healing process.
Major Surgery needs even more pre-planning. A Naturopathic Program is the best way to ensure you or your loved one are well protected from potential complications, and all the hospital-derived infections you become exposed to, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza, parasites (Clostridia difficile), urinary tract infections (Klebsiella), wound infections (Staphylococcus), fungal infections (Candida), and golden staph (MRSA).
Just as with a marathon, when people prepare properly for a hospital visit, their risk of complications are greatly reduced. Recovery tends to be faster, swelling is reduced, repair is enhanced, and less pain and swelling means less pain medication is needed - better for the liver, the brain (which doesn't like drugs or inflammation), the nervous system, sleep ability ... the whole being benefits, and that is a relief for everyone.
Surgery puts an enormous strain on the body, it is taxing and traumatic in the extreme. It is an extremely stressful experience for the body and mind, so it seems ludicrous that anyone would attend surgery without adequate preparation.
When you go into hospital you want to be as healthy and fit as you can possibly be. Preparing for this high-stress, inflammatory event ought to begin at least four weeks before, longer if you are unwell, but even a week is better than none if you don't have long to prepare.
Well-nourished, prepared bodies respond better to surgery, healing faster, suffering less. People who do a Naturoapthic program in preparation experience
- less tissue trauma
- less bruising
- less swelling and inflammation
- less pain relief medication
- less post-surgical complications
- lower risk of infections
- faster recovery (less sick days)
It makes sense preparing for any upcoming travel, teaching assignments, schools (especially in Winter), childcare visits, hospital visits, or medical procedures, anywhere that a person might be vulnerable to picking up an infection, to take herbal support and preventative action.
When it comes to surgery, chemo, radiation or other medical procedures, actively supporting the body through it is smart, giving the patient a better opportunity for improved outcomes, and reduced complications. Post-operative infections can impair and delay recovery greatly, and can be extremely distressing for the person infected, as well as their family and carers.
We are moving into a crisis situation across the world. The breakout of Ebola in Africa, and Coronavirus in China are new infections, but we have the older ones, like Klebsiella, Ecoli, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, and more to contend with as well, as they alter their genetics to become antibiotic-resistant worldwide. Not wanting to cause anyone to panic, but knowing that over 70% of all pathogenic bacteria in hospitals are at least minimally resistant to pharmaceutical treatment (2), I'm definitely keen on people being prepared ahead of time, to be extra prepared to prevent these situations arising.
Some strains of these pathogens are no longer being treatable with antibiotics, and new approaches are needed.
People who now enter hospitals, even for minor treatment, are at risk of contracting untreatable infections, even the least likely to be infected, young adults, can sustain a scratch, pick up MRSA (antibiotic-resistant strep), and die within days from systemic infection. (2)
Nutritional medicines and Herbals have a broad spectrum action on the immune system, helping to improve surveillance, lift white cell production and integrity while helping the body clear microbial wastes and toxins which can further impair immunity.
Post-hospital Dementia (Delirium)
Hospital visits are inflammatory experiences, and one of the organs in the body that is particularly vulnerable is the brain. Delirium is an abrupt change in the brain that is common after hospital stays, reminiscent of dementia, presenting with mental confusion, loss of short term memory and emotional disturbance. It makes it difficult to think, remember, sleep, pay attention, and be co-ordinated.
Delirium reflects inflammation of the brain and can last from days to months. It is common in older people who are vulnerable to dementia later in life.
Preventing and treating this condition nutritionally and herbally, allows the brain to reset, and accelerate brain recovery and function after this enormous body-stress.
Naturopathy - preparing the body & supporting recovery
Naturopathy is a tailored system of natural medicine that is attuned to the functional needs of the indivdual. Making sure that all nutrients are in place, the diet is nourishing, sleep is good, and the immune system is ready, is a great way to improve outcomes and get people back into their normal lives more efficiently.
1. Grattan Institute Article: https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/897-All-complications-should-count.pdf / Podcast - https://grattan.edu.au/podcast/deconstructing-the-data-on-hospital-safety/ August 2018
2. Herbal Antibiotics - Stephen Buhner, 2012. p42