Science shows that our environment is more important than our genes in determining why we become sick and suffer from chronic disease. Only 1% of chronic illnesses are genuinely genetic, meaning that they can prevent chronic illness.
Over half of Americans have a chronic illness. Nearly 80% of health care spending (doctor’s visits, prescriptions, hospitalizations, etc.), has been spent on this condition. These conditions are a result of lifestyle.
Over the next few decades, this number will likely rise dramatically. Many believe this problem will lead to the nation’s financial ruin. It is fascinating because science has proven that this is possible! It’s pretty interesting.
What are chronic diseases?
This includes heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and depression, and autoimmune disorders and disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and chronic fatigue.
It isn’t easy to imagine stopping these conditions from developing with a list like this. These seem so inextricably linked. To understand how chronic illness develops, we need first to understand the environment in which it occurs.
I want to show you how our environment and lifestyle relate to chronic illness. Dr. James Chestnut (B.Ed.), M.Sc.D.C.C.W.P. The Wellness Practice in Victoria (B.C. It teaches. Imagine your life beginning in a pool of water. Two items are on your person: an empty backpack and inflatable water wings.
Although inflated for you, your water wings leak slowly. They are expected to last for 120 years, which is the “healthy” human life expectancy. You will lose more time as the air in them deteriorates. This is called “aging”. These water wings will last 120 years if there is no interference.
You add another “rock” to your bag every time you make a lifestyle decision that is not in line with your natural genetic needs for health. The blueprint for optimal health and function demands that we are pure and sufficient in our eating, moving, and thinking habits. It is how we give our bodies the best possible health and enough to sustain it.
We do not find toxic or deficient lifestyle choices in our blueprint for optimal function. Toxicity, deficiency, and homeostatic cell function are not compatible. These toxic and deficient choices are what make your backpack a minefield.
Can find these stressors in any aspect of your life: poor nutrition, poor lifestyle choices, chronic stress, unhealthy relationships, poor self-esteem, poor posture, smoking, or excessive exposure to nicotine, as well as poor posture.
Many of our unhealthy and toxic lifestyle choices are the result of an industrialized society. It is difficult to argue that we are “advanced in the area of health and wellness, when we experience drastic increases in chronic disease in all age groups, despite our advanced efforts to treat these illnesses.
The rocks are slowly submerging us. Over the years, they have had a cumulative impact on our health. We may not be aware of it at first. We may eventually notice that our daily lives have become more stressful and more complex. Of course, it’s not always clear how or when.
There are no drugs that can take out the rocks. The only way to fix the problem is to treat the symptoms or the effects. In fact, drugs can turn into another toxic stone. Listen to any drug commercial, and you will see the side effects. It doesn’t solve the problem as well as removing body parts. There are no drugs that cause us to sink, or we have too many body parts. The body isn’t stupid. It exhibits a perfectly normal physiological response to environmental stressors.
Your overall health is affected by the rocks. You sink lower as you add more rocks to your backpack, increasing the pressure on the water wings, causing the air to escape faster. Your years of life are lost faster than you thought. You age faster.
Incongruent lifestyle choices or stressors cause chronic illness. Our allostatic load is the result of toxic and deficient lifestyle choices. Chronic allostatic loads are the result of years and months of inconsistent lifestyle choices. They alter our genes, physiology, biology, and ultimately, our expression of health. It is how chronic disease develops.
It is obvious that the best way to get your health back is to get rid of rocks in your backpack, reducing pressure on your water wings.
This means that we can make better choices and reduce our toxic and inadequate decisions, which alter our environment and affect our genes’ expression. It is Epigenetics, the science that studies how the environment affects the expression of genetic code.
Science has provided us with the necessary blueprint. Science has shown us the path to health. The problem can be fixed. It is possible to live a similar lifestyle to our older (and healthier) ancestors and avoid chronic illness.
Note: Dr. James Chestnut (B.Ed., M.Sc., C.C.W.P.) is the author of this article.