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The very question of why people are so unhealthy is not as simple as it sounds. In this case, the reasons are equal to the question results. In the early 1900s when there were rampant epidemics, a book called, “Dissolving Illusions – Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History” By Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bastianich painted a portrait with research that revealed some startling disregarded historical facts.
One of the primary differences is that people died in those centuries because of bacteria outbreaks, viruses, lack of nutrition, etc. In “Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,” Susanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk, discuss, “Infectious diseases were a constant terror during the 1800s. Since increasingly dense populations, wars, and abject poverty, diseases of all varieties extracted a horrendous toll. The poverty-stricken masses carried the brunt of the relentless assaults of these diseases, yet no class was spared. Periodic epidemics and pandemics swept across the globe, wreaking havoc, and killing millions, rivaling the horrors of war. Abysmal sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, and working and living conditions, combined with a sense of utter hopelessness, laid the foundation for the devastation.”
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In those days, a simple cut could eventually become infected, turn to gangrene, which meant the removal of an arm or leg, because the patient might easily die. But today, we are not dying off as quickly. We are living for decades with diseases that are not being cured. As an example, Type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, such as celiac or Crohn’s, thyroid conditions, high blood pressure (HBP), cardiovascular diseases, and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, Alzheimer’s, are just a few examples of the many conditions/diseases that the average American faces. These issues do not even address the tremendous spike in the number of children being diagnosed with ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder. Below are some other examples;
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In 2017, it is estimated that 647,457 or 23.5% of deaths in the US were caused by heart disease. The term “disease” is used to describe several conditions. Many relate to the build-up of plaque in the walls of arteries; however, what is causing the plaque build-up? According to Hanna Nichols, July 4, 2019, “to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease, a person can protect their heart by adopting a healthful diet and getting regular exercise.”
The American Heart Association (AHA) states, “nearly half of all adults in the US (48%, 121.5 million in 2016) have some type of cardiovascular disease (CVD)”.
Another article, published in Nutraceuticals World, “CVD remains the leading cause of death globally. After decades of steady decline in the US, CVD deaths are on the rise (840,678 deaths in 2016, up from 836,546 in 2015). Research shows approximately 80% of all CVD can be prevented by controlling high blood pressure (HBP), diabetes, and high cholesterol, along with adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as eating a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight. Most of those simple actions could have a positive impact on multiple conditions.” Americans need to take responsibility for their actions and health.
Obesity not only costs Americans billions in lost wages and healthcare costs, but is a contributing fact to a major loss in the Quality of Life. It will absolutely send people to an early grave. The sadist part about this condition, it is self-induced. Our bodies were not designed to consume thousands and thousands of calories a day, but then not utilize those calories for their intended purpose – energy production. Those calories are turned into stored energy – fat. Yes, fat can be a good thing in times of starvation.
The prevalence of obesity according to the CDC “between 2015 and 2016 was 39.6% for adults and 18.5% of youths, with 7.7% of adults and 5.6% of youth having Severe Obesity!”
Lack of Sleep
Society has become so busy with innovation; our health is a risk. We stay up late to study, working night shifts, or to have fun. However, many of us fail to obtain an adequate amount of sleep. The consequences can affect people in the present and beyond.
If we are supposed to sleep 8 hours per night, that only leaves an average of 6 hours free after work in a 24-hour day. It is impossible to take care of family, children, house, recreation, errands, etc. There simply are not enough hours, for the average American, to accomplish everything they need to do. However, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend “adults get at least seven or more hours of sleep per night, to promote optimal health.
A report from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) found that 65.2% of people in the US regularly sleep seven or more hours a night, but that means 34.8% of Americans are not sleeping that minimum of seven hours. And a meta-analysis of 43 studies found that too much or too little sleep (more than eight, and less than seven hours ‘per night) were associated with a greater risk of death from all causes.” As a side note, a meta-analysis is a study that reviews multiple other studies for commonalities and used to determine intervention and treatments.
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Severe stress can cause a variety of insults within the body. But if it is ongoing, continual negative stresses have the most effect. One of the biggest issues is increases in inflammation, and uncontrolled inflammation in the body will damage tissue and destroy cells.
We all deal with stressors. Some people worry/stress about money, maybe job security. Still, others have family and or health issues or dealing with hour-long commutes to and from work. However, not all stressors are bad. Many stresses are happy, like an upcoming marriage or the birth of a child. But it is the negative, ongoing, unrelenting stressors that many Americans deal with that are causing many health issues.
To understand the concern, we must look back to our ancient ancestors; tens of thousands of years ago. Generally speaking, there were two major stressors; 1) food, and 2) threats to life. It was a very big deal. Nonetheless, going back thousands of years, the lack of food could be a stressor. The body needs food to stay alive, so not having the convenience of a restaurant on every corner would cause stress.
The other major stressor was the threat of survival. It might have been by another person, animal, or a weather condition such as a flood, hurricane, etc. But generally, those were our two primary stressors. Consequently, our body developed an organ called the adrenal glands that are the primary stress responder.
The adrenal glands are two small, walnut-size glands, sitting on top of the kidney. They formed, in response to a perceived need; in other words, because humans genetically developed with only two primary stresses, the glands work in an on/off function as needed, in response to stressors. Adrenals produce three hormones, cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, all of which are mandatory in the body. Life could not exist without these three hormones.
As with many Americans, the consequences of so much stress can cause sickness and disease. In this case, the adrenal glands simply wear out. They are made up of cells and tissue-like every other part of the body; yet, we demand more than what they can produce, all because of the stressors in modern society. They are always on! The results lead to extremely depleted hormones in our bodies; once this occurs, disease is not far behind.
An excellent example of how stress can affect the body, watch an HBO special, titled, “One Nation Under Stress” hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, MD. It is enlightening, it depicts how stress is affecting the average American. Again, with this uncontrolled progression, inflammation and disease are not far behind.
Inflammation is also another major contributor to the interference with the Quality of Life.
According to Functional Inflammatory Protocol with Clinical Implementation, Dr. Alex Vasquez, DO, ND, DC, states “medical schools teach students and doctors that 1) most diseases are complex and “idiopathic” and 2) drugs are the answer.”
The medical community defines idiopathic as a disease/condition that arises spontaneously from an unknown cause. The explanation does not make sense; the body would not just decide to harm itself. So, in other words, the body spontaneously changed and impaired the function of its cells to cause damage and could potentially terminate its very existence! The simple truth is that the medical community just doesn’t know the cause or can’t find a solution, so they simply tell a patient, “it is idiopathic”, meaning we don’t know and will not spend the time necessary to find out. Remember, Health Care is a business like any other.
Inflammation is a natural process within the body that must occur with any type of damage/injury/insult before healing can begin. Nevertheless, it is the uncontrolled and relentless production of inflammation that causes a great deal of tissue and cellular damage. Again… to assist the body, it must have help to control chronic, long term, inflammation. One must recognize its existence and understand how to help the body regain balance. Not simply provide a drug that reduces pain. The result must be in finding the underlying reason.
Please realize that just because the pain is reduced or even gone, does not mean that the underlying cause for the inflammation has been eliminated. The problem is still there, want proof stop taking the drug and see if the pain doesn’t return. If it does, the problem is still there!
The reader must understand this article is not criticizing any one individual, I am saying, is that our current system of dealing with chronic disease and health, in the US, is failing. When this system fails, it means that patients die!
The Quality of Life of the chronically ill patient in America is appalling. Drugs, drugs, and more drugs without researching the cause of why the cells have changed, is not the answer. Many “professionals” will tell you, “you’re getting old” or “that is just the way life is,” but these are simply excuses. The important factor is to understand there is a better way of helping the body heal itself other than using pharmaceutical drugs because they are not the answer.
Drugs cover up the causes but do nothing to rid the body of the problems. Therefore, resolving the underlying reason for cellular dysfunction can lead to allowing the body to heal and become healthy, all without drugs. If you are searching for genuine health care and not just a prescriber, search for a local Functional Medicine Doctor. I did…… it saved my life. I hope this information can help you find a better quality of life.