Top Killer Chronic Diseases in the Philippines

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The top three causes of death among Filipinos in 2016 are ischemic heart diseases, neoplasms (or cancers), and pneumonia, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). These diseases are responsible for 33% of total deaths in the country that year. Following these are cerebrovascular diseases, hypertensive diseases, diabetes mellitus, other heart diseases, respiratory tuberculosis, chronic lower respiratory infections, and remainder of diseases of the genitourinary system.

This is not far off from the data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which identified noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) as top killers in the country in 2008. Back then, the fatal four NCDs were cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease. They accounted for 57% of total deaths in the Philippines. WHO attributed these deaths to the continuous exposure to NCD risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity. “This makes millions of Filipinos vulnerable in developing NCDs in the future,” WHO noted in the 2008 report.

These risk factors are still present in our society today, and Functional Medicine aims to address them. Instead of focusing on the symptoms of diseases, Functional Medicine delves into systems biology, medical science, and clinical medical practices to identify the root causes of illnesses. Doctors practicing Functional Medicine explore the patient’s medical histories, genetics, lifestyle and environment to understand why they are afflicted by certain illnesses. Dr. Hyman, Board President of Clinical Affairs of the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) calls it “the future of conventional medicine available now”. Internationally, this science-based framework is guided by the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).

Here in the Philippines, Functional Medicine is brought to the fore by the LifeScience Institute (LSI), a medical research, training and education social-enterprise. LSI, together with IFM, will be hosting the first Advancing Functional Medicine (AFM) Conference in Southeast Asia. The conference aims to help physicians learn to deal with underlying causes of complex chronic diseases through the Functional Medicine model.

To know more about Functional Medicine and the AFM Conference, please visit www.lsi-sea.org or call us at +63 917 829 7075.

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