There are over 55,000 unique labels given to various clusters of symptoms in the new ICD 11 code book. You certainly don't have to look very far - go to a website, read a blog article, pick up a newspaper or a magazine article - to hear about something else that can go wrong with the human body, something else that you can be diagnosed with, some sort of "indictment" that can be handed down.
The world of diagnosis and labels of disease promotes a huge amount of fear, disempowerment, frustration, and confusion. It is no wonder that people feel overwhelmed when it comes to the many different disease dynamics that they can be diagnosed with and experience strong negative emotion around health-related concerns.
There is a general belief that our genes are deterministic and that we "get" a disease based on what we inherit from our parents, when the truth is that, although our actual genome may be fairly fixed physically, the activation of our genes is highly adaptive. Our human physiology and biochemistry is highly adaptive. It is constantly responding to our environment. That is, the choices that we are making, knowingly or unknowingly.
When we are struggling, especially when we are struggling with a chronic inflammatory or lifestyle disease, it is seldom because the body has suddenly just stopped working properly. Rather, it is more often the choices that we are making on a day to day basis, again knowingly or unknowingly, that are driving our body to respond in a way that is not consistent with our ultimate health goals.
Everything in the human body is connected. Take this little bonsai tree as an example. In the same sense that we would never expect the health of the little tree trunk to be separate from the health of the soil, or separate from the quality of the air surrounding it, or that we could optimally affect the health of a leaf without also considering the quality of the nourishment coming up through the roots, going up through the trunk, spanning out through the branches and the stems, we must also consider the interconnectedness of these things as it relates to the human body.
We have to look beyond the separate medical specialty areas, for example dealing with the nervous system as though it's somehow separate from the other systems, or that you could separate the central nervous system or the enteric nervous system from the heart, from the gut microbiome or the behavior of our mitochondria. Just like you cannot separate the endocrine system - the orchestrated hormonal axis regulating the responses and the provocations of the brain from the resulting behavior of our organs and glands. We cannot even separate our life experiences from how our gut responds, how our brain responds, how our circulatory system responds or how our immune system responds.
This brings me to the things that we CAN control and there are 3 factors that are largely responsible for us being unwell:
Nutrient poor food (or as my Functional Medicine teacher refers to as "Crap Food") - high in calories and laden with artificial ingredients (artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, etc, but void of nutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals - the raw materials and building blocks of our cells)
Toxins - those we consume through our food and beverage intake, inhale or slather on our skin
Stress - physical stress (e.g. an injury or excessive exercise), mental-emotional stress/trauma, or physiological stress from say a pathogen or virus.
So if our environment, dictated by our choices, could be making us sick, is it possible then that we can change our choices, which will impact our environment and ultimately our health outcomes? The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES, and it consists of 3 areas:
Things we can MAXIMIZE in our daily lives. These include things like consuming whole, nutrient-rich foods, water, fresh air and fostering a positive mindset.
Things we need to MINIMIZE in our daily lives. We have to remove what could potentially be harmful, such as toxins, stress, negative emotions, attitudes or mindsets and nutrient-poor high-calorie food sources.
Things we need to PRIORITIZE in our daily lives. We have to make sure we are getting ample, good quality sleep, laughter, appropriate exercise, deep breathing and relaxation, engaging in meaningful and connected relationships, reducing stress and practicing positive visualizations and having positive expectations.
The bottom line is that we are not designed to be
and still easily
EAT ANYTHING WE WANT
ENJOY PERFECT BOWEL MOVEMENTS
and have GREAT ENERGY and LIBIDO.
This combination would not be NATURAL!
I hope this article has been helpful and of value to you and that there are things you can start applying right way. Reach out and let me know if this blog post resonated with you and why. And as always, if you need help getting started, or if you're so overwhelmed that you don't even know where to start, reach out to me and let's design the blueprint for your health, TOGETHER.