Illness mainly lifestyle related, expert says
Dr Egger discussed metaflammation - which describes ailments resulting from an unhealthy lifestyle - last night at Southern Cross University when he addressed the first meeting of the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association.
The association was established by Southern Cross University's School of Health and Human Sciences to bring GPs and health professionals, such as nutritionists, exercise scientists and physiotherapists, together to effectively deal with the alarming increase in diabetes, heart disease and a number of other lifestyle-associated illnesses.
"About 70% of people who visit a GP are there because of their lifestyle," Dr Egger said.
"The big two causes are a lack of nutrition and a lack of exercise.
"They underlie just about all the lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.
"If you get fat, you then get sore joints and then you don't exercise.
"The disease feeds back on itself and makes it worse."
Dr Egger said the new association would provide an opportunity for specialists and GPs to meet once a month and share knowledge to make treatment more of a 'team care arrangement'.
The association's interim president Dr Andrew Binns has been a doctor at Goonellabah Medical centre for 29 years and said it was frustrating to witness the increased prevalence of lifestyle-related disease.
"These days there is a lot of incentive to over-consume energy dense foods and become more physically inactive," he said.
"Now there are a lot of environmental factors causing illness that GPs can't fix when dealing with their patients."
Southern Cross is the only university in Australia to offer postgraduate courses in lifestyle medicine. Dr Egger said this made it a leader in this new model of patient care.