Modern medicine has its strong points, especially when we consider how effectively it treats and heals acute, life-threatening injuries or conditions. If you are badly injured in a car accident, having a heart attack, stroke or other acute symptoms of that nature, EMS, first responders and emergency room staff can literally be the difference between life and death for you. They are a godsend! Modern medicine is also adept at early diagnosis of chronic diseases such as CVD and cancer.
But what does modern medicine do for us to help us build our health and stay healthy to avoid those chronic diseases and to live a long, happy and healthy life? Let’s take a look at some statistics:
As a nation, we are sicker than ever. We’re suffering from record levels of autoimmune disorders, cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s, autism & digestive ailments like GERD & IBS:
- 50 million Americans suffer from one or more autoimmune disorders like MS, Crohn’s, Celiac, and Rheumatoid arthritis (there are between 100-140 identified autoimmune disorders today).
- Over 13 million Americans are dealing with cancer and over 40% of Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. According to this, almost everyone we know, including ourselves, have close to a coin toss chance of developing cancer in our lifetimes.
- Heart disease, a completely preventable illness, is the leading cause of death in the US.
- Neurological diseases and disorders like Depression, Bi-polar illness, Autism, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s are skyrocketing. From 1997-2008,1 in every 6 children were diagnosed with a neurological disorder. Think about that. 1 in every 6!
- 60-70 million Americans are afflicted with a digestive disorder like hernias, constipation, diverticulitis, gallstones, GERD, infections, hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, and pancreatitis.
- One quarter of the world’s adults have metabolic syndrome, a collection of the most predictive risk factors for heart attacks.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING, DESPITE ALL OF THE ADVANCES IN MODERN MEDICINE OVER THE LAST CENTURY?
It is fair to say that if you go to a doctor for treatment these days you are going to experience one or a combination of the following 5 outcomes:
- A non-diagnosis – aka they have no clue what is wrong with you and it’s “likely in your head”.
- A diagnosis and prescription drugs.
- A diagnosis and surgery.
- A diagnosis and chemo.
- A diagnosis and radiation.
Pills, surgery, chemo, radiation. That is the way modern medicine attacks our health issues today. Agreed?
I’m not saying that this approach is ALWAYS bad. sometimes pills are necessary. Sometimes surgery is necessary (again, especially in acute emergency situations). However, there are 2 problems with this method:
- None of those options seek to discover and eliminate the cause of your symptoms. They only seek to squash the symptoms. For instance, if you have chronic sinus infections you’ll be prescribed an antibiotic like augmentin. It will kill the infection. But does it find and eliminate the root cause of why your immune system is compromised? Does it take your diet and lifestyle into account and find out what areas of your body are malfunctioning or out of balance, and create a lifestyle reboot of sorts to help restore balance and function? Not even close. Thus, you will just keep getting sicker and sicker as your body continues down the road of malfunction while only addressing symptoms and not the underlying cause.
- Pills, chemo, & radiation involve some of the most toxic substances we can put in our bodies. From heavy metals to many pharmaceutical drugs and chemo/radiation, these toxins serve to further disrupt our bodies’ normal function while alleviating symptoms. Surgery many times removes body parts that are necessary for optimal bodily function.
Antibiotics, for instance, kill an infection, but also are known to cause increased intestinal permeability and gut dysbiosis, both of which are intimately connected with onset of autoimmune conditions. It also leads to food sensitivities, as a widening of the tight junctures in the small intestine that are supposed to keep I digested food particles out of the blood stream are now letting them through. What follows is an immune reaction and the creation of antibodies against those food particles. So, kill the infection, destroy the lining of your small intestine, and cause food sensitivities. Good trade-off? I don’t think so…
Symptoms don’t just appear out of nowhere. Our bodies are brilliant organisms that do a terrific job of shifting and adapting to constant insults and assaults on their cellular function. Over time, the burden of these chronic insults from diet, lack of sleep, stress, lack of exercise, and the thousands of chemicals, toxic metals, pesticides and preservatives take a toll on our bodies and impairs functionality at the cellular level. It might take years of functional loss at this level before symptoms ever even appear.
So, if you are one of those people proudly burning the candle at both ends and bragging to friends and family about how much you are able to take on and how productive you are on such little sleep and with intense stress levels (you know who you are), the message to you is: you are human, and it will catch up to you. One day, one or more symptoms will smack you over the head like a sledgehammer and you’ll think “woah…what is this? I am healthy! One day I’m fine and the next day this? What gives???” That’s because your body was silently losing function at the cellular level for years before your symptoms appeared. And that happened because you weren’t taking care of it properly.
You had too many holes popping up in your ship and you finally ran out of material to plug the holes!
And now your ship is starting to sink. Now here is the question: Do you just need more plugs, or do you want to find out what is causing the holes and eliminate that? Because the answer to that question is the ultimate determinant between vibrant health and simply surviving for the rest of your life on a cabinet full of pharmaceutical drugs or surgeries.
This is the type of stuff that I work on with my clients: implementing a total paradigm shift in the way they view their health and especially their symptoms. Symptoms are not just a nuisance that need to go away. They are our bodies way of communicating to us that something is malfunctioning and needs our attention. Once we start viewing symptoms in that way we start to ask “why?” Why am I feeling this symptom? What is my body trying to tell me? And then we can begin our detective work and find the cause.
And the cause usually has to do with poor diet, poor sleep, poor exercise habits, poor mechanisms or protocols to cope with external and internal stressors, and a lack of properly supporting bodily function through intelligent supplementation. Unfortunately, this holistic view of the body and lifestyle as a major factor in disease prevention and building health is vastly overlooked by the conventional medical community.
If you are interested in building your overall health, restoring optimal function, energy and vitality to your body, this is where you need to start. Change your perception of what health is and what symptoms are, and change your life!
Rick Gold, Functional Wellness, FDN Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.
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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author. Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.