Disclaimer: If you have serous medical challenges, work closely with your physician.
Prevention – Not Detection
I spent last week attending to one of my focus areas in my Energized Aging Blueprint – Fitness and Wellness. I am absolutely consistent with movement and activity. I rotate a daily 3 – 4 mile walk with bicycling 5 – 8 miles. I decided I needed to change things up. I added Tai Chi and Qisong. I love the gentle movement. It is truly moving meditation.
I also needed to revisit one of my health issues – IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is a totally annoying functional disease that conventional Western medicine pretty much dismisses or attempts to stick a Band-Aid on since there is no known cause or cure. Doctors use to say “It is all in your head.” With new research that has changed, but the protocols to treat it are way behind the research.
It can be quite limiting when it flairs up. It is frustrating because you never know when it is going to hit and what causes it. No matter how careful you are with your diet and management, it appears at the most inopportune times.
Seeking a Solution
As I was researching IBS and new studies and possible ways to manage it I came across Dr. Mark Hyman. There are new protocols I am pursuing. But what I really what to share with you is this book co-authored by Drs. Mark Hyman and Mark Liponis. Ultra-Prevention: The Six Week Plan That Will Make You Healthy for Life. It is right up my alley. I hope it will interest you, too.
Flawed Medical Models
“For those of us who just want to stay healthy, conventional Western medicine doesn’t work”. The Western model of medicine treats symptoms – not causes. The number one myth about medicine is Your Doctor Knows Best. Doctors simply cannot know everything that is needed. They treat each body system separately. Western medicine has no organizing theory. It is a model that is seriously fragmented. You may end up taking a drug for one symptom that causes major issues in another system. Most Western doctors are not knowledgeable about how to promote health.
So, What ‘s the Solution?
Go look in the mirror. You are the solution. Start educating yourself. Of course, I personally think you should start with Ultra-Prevention. Get a copy and start reading. Then, if you can find a doctor to partner with in your wellness plan. Because you NEED to create a personalized road map to health. Why? Because doctors cannot possibly know everything and you can’t ask for the tests you need to determine your WELLNESS. For example, did you know that a test for homocysteine levels is more accurate in predicting heart disease than cholesterol testing? Neither did I. Now I do.
I also learned that genetics does not determine my health. “We may have genetic tendencies, but those must be activated by a certain environment, by certain habits, stresses, behaviors, and activities.”
And, finally, “What must be identified are the interrelationships between a given condition and a variety of other factors and conditions.” So get to work on taking the responsibility for your own wellness. And if you can find an open-minded medical professional to partner with you, all the better.
Food is Medicine
After reading Ultra-Prevention I went on to read Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? By Dr. Mark Hyman.
It only makes sense if you are going to take the time to understand the myths about medicine, the next step is to include an eating plan for optimal health in your personalized wellness plan. This is the book that debunks food myths and aligns food choices so you truly know what to fuel your body with for energized aging.
Dr. Hyman discusses each of the food groups and the misinformation abounding about each one. One section, for example is titled Eight Things You Should Know About Meat. Did you know animal foods are our only source of vitamin B12 and a great source of vitamins E and D? He goes on to translate research studies into language people like you and me can understand. I personally haven’t eaten red meat for forty some years and I don’t plan on putting it back in my diet due to moral and ethical concerns about animal welfare. However, I now know I need to add Omega 3 and 6s in my diet.
To Your Energized Aging
While diseases seem to be a part of the natural aging process, the reality is this is just not true. No matter your age, it is not too late to take control of your optimal health. Get educated and create a personalized road map to great health.