Lifestyle Medicine

hippocrates

Lifestyle medicine is defined as the application of environmental, behavioral, medical and motivational principles to the management of lifestyle-related health problems in a clinical setting. It is an established branch of medicine which discusses lifestyle’s contribution to health in addition to non-pharmacological intervention in the treatment and management of lifestyle diseases such as exercise in diabetes mellitus and weight management in obesity. It should not be confused with lifestyle drugs (medications which treat non-life threatening and non-painful conditions such as baldness, impotence, wrinkles, or acne).

Lifestyle medicine is often prescribed in conjunction with a typical medicine approach of pharmacotherapy. For example, diabetic patients who may be on medication to help control the blood glucose levels in the short term might also be prescribed a lifestyle intervention of a healthy diet and exercise to assist in the long term management of their pathology. In some cases lifestyle interventions are more effective when augmented with appropriate pharmacotherapy, as with tobacco use where medications such as buproprion may be prescribed to assist the patient to quit smoking and adopt a healthy lifestyle change.

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