Today's discussion about foundational health and aging is degenerative disease. In this blog, we summarise the key causes of degenerative diseases, which are:
- Lifestyle choices
Subsequent blogs describe these factors and their impact on our body, health and wellbeing in more detail.
1. Lifestyle Choices
Many experts (ref 1) now acknowledge that degenerative diseases are mainly caused by our lifestyle choices.
In recent years, products and services which promote a quick, easy convenience lifestyle rule the day. Consumption of processed foods, denatured dairy products, refined sugars and unhealthy fats have increased dramatically. Simultaneously we are eating less fresh fruit, vegetables, naturally raised and toxin free animals and fish and minimally cooked foods.
Lifestyles are becoming increasingly stressful and frantic. Chronic i.e. prolonged stress (ref 2) has become ‘normal’ leading to likely imbalances in the endocrine and hormonal systems. This may prompt constantly elevated cortisol and insulin levels leading to impaired weight control and muscle building functions. Diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders may develop.
Your food, drink, medications and air are all saturated with microscopic chemical debris – environmental toxins and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). You can’t see, feel or smell them, but they are real and over time, very dangerous to your health and wellbeing.
It appears that the result may be compromised digestive, metabolic and immune systems struggling to cope with toxic overload.
Toxicity may lead to all sorts of metabolic disorders like IBS and GERD. In fact, it is now becoming increasingly recognised that gut health is not only vital in itself. But also it appears that there is a very closely regulated gut-brain connection: many experts now view the gut as our second brain (ref 3). It is able to significantly influence mind, mood and behaviour.
For example, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in the intestines, not in the brain. Think about ‘butterflies in your stomach’!
Researchers are also finding that depression and a wide variety of behavioural problems appear to stem from nutritional deficiencies and/or an imbalance of bacteria in the gut.
To summarize, the words of our Founder, Warren Matthews are pertinent:
“Our modern diet will make you fat, sap your energy, lower your immune system, destroy your vital digestive system, and make you disease susceptible. In turn this will increase your risk of cancer and brain disease, age you prematurely and literally 'take away your life'.”
In the following blogs, we’ll see how exactly this ‘modern lifestyle’ may accelerate aging.
- Effects of stress http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body
- Gut-brain connection http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-gut-brain-connection