Monday, July 27, 2015

Number 1 Health Problem

Given that more people die from heart disease than any other disease, you can make the case that Heart Disease is the Number 1 Health problem.

But, given that cancer affects so many of us, you can make the case that Cancer is the Number 1 Health problem.

And, since almost 2 out of every 3 people in the U.S. are overweight, you can make the case that Obesity is the Number 1 Health problem.

And, since Type 2 diabetes is now reaching epidemic levels around the world, you can make the case that Diabetes is the Number 1 Health problem.

However, would you believe that none of these diseases is the Number 1 Health Problem. Surprised?

Unfortunately, the Number 1 Health Problem is something that fuels all of these diseases and goes undetected until we are diagnosed with one of these diseases or, like me, you end up in the hospital fighting for your life, wondering what happened.

The Illusion of Good Health
Almost every few years or so, most of us are surprised to hear about a friend, relative or co-worker who ends up in the hospital, has a stroke or drops dead of a heart attack. We are shocked and sad for the person and his/her family but life goes on and we eventually forget what happened. Very seldom do we think that this is going to happen to us. Why? Because most of us have never almost died or been in a coma; plus, most of us don't have diabetes, heart disease or cancer at this time.

This is known as the "Illusion of Good Health". We think that we're okay and believe that we're not going to end up in the hospital because we feel pretty good for the most part.

I am a prime example of this: I had never been sick or been in the hospital, plus I had just had a complete physical and everything looked fine.

And, then, BAM! -- the next thing I knew I was in the hospital in a coma, fighting for my life.

But, truth be told, if I had paid attention to my SYMPTOMS, then, I would have realized that something was wrong.

My symptoms included some fatigue, frequent urination; and, also some gradual weight gain over the past few years. So, I called my doctor, who told me that, given my age, the fatigue and weight gain were age-related and the urination problem was probably a problem with my prostate gland. But, to be on the safe side, he set up an appointment for me for the following week. But, because things were busy at work and since it didn't seem like a major problem, I re-scheduled the appointment to the following month.

Unfortunately, I never made it to that appointment, because about a week later, I was in a coma at the hospital.

None of the doctors were able to figure out what actually happened to me -- how did I go from being a non-diabetic with no major health problems since my last physical exam to having full-blown diabetes in less than a month?!

Now, I am not the only person who experiences this type of health crisis. Like I said, this happens every day -- hundreds of times a day around the world.

In fact, every year, about 35 million people visit the hospital (average 4.8 days stay) in the U.S. That's about 96,000 people a day.

Every year, about 2.5 million people die in the U.S. (56 million worldwide). In the U.S., that's roughly 6800 people a day that die (153,000 worldwide).

Death Statistics
Heart disease: 611,105
Cancer: 584,881
Medical errors: 210,000
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 149,205
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 130,557
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,978
Alzheimer's disease: 84,767
Diabetes: 75,578
Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,979
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 47,112
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 41,149
Death rate: 821.5 deaths per 100,000 population
Life expectancy: 78.8 years

Additional Information About Heart Disease 
About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.


Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 (71%) are a first heart attack and 210,000 (29%) happen in people who have already had a heart attack.
In a 2005 survey, most respondents—92%—recognized chest pain as a symptom of a heart attack. Only 27% were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1 when someone was having a heart attack.
 

About 47% of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside a hospital. This suggests that many people with heart disease don't act on early warning signs. 

Additional Information About Cancer
Approximately 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20. The causes of childhood cancer are not well understood

While treatment advances have increased the survival rate for many childhood cancers, it is still the second leading cause of death by disease in children 5-14.


Overall, more than 80% of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer will live at least five years after their diagnosis

The most common types of cancer in children 0-14 are acute lymphocytic leukemia, brand and central nervous system, neuroblastoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


The most common cancers among adolescents age 15-19 are Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid carcinoma, brain and central nervous system and testicular germ cell tumors.


The most common cancers among adults are breast, prostate and lung. 

Many cancers are treatable without chemotherapy and radiation -- if caught early enough. Unfortunately, many cancer patients are pressured into getting these treatments too soon. With a 3% success rate for chemotherapy, you would think that the doctors would consider other options that were less evasive and less expensive and maybe even more successful. 

Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and cuts across all ethnic groups, socioeconomic class and geographic region in the U.S.


The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown and are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environment, unlike many adult cancers

Cancer incidence and death rates vary considerably between and within racial and ethnic groups. Of the 5 broadly defined population groups, African-American men have the highest overall cancer incidence and death rates—about double those of Asian/Pacific Islander (API) men, who have the lowest rates. 

Cancer incidence and death rates are higher among black than white men for every site with the exception of kidney cancer mortality, for which rates are similar. The largest disparities are for stomach and prostate cancers, for which death rates in black men are about 2.5 times those in white men. 

Factors known to contribute to racial disparities vary by cancer site and include differences in risk factor prevalence and access to high-quality health care, including cancer prevention and early detection, timely diagnosis, and optimal treatment.

Additional Information About Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is growing at epidemic levels in the U.S. and around the world.
 

Prevalence: In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes.
 

Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes.
 

Undiagnosed: Of the 29.1 million, 21.0 million were diagnosed, and 8.1 million were undiagnosed.Prevalence in Seniors: The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.9%, or 11.8 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
 

Ethnicity: African-Americans are twice as likely to develop diabetes compared to Caucasian-Americans.

New Cases: The incidence of diabetes in 2012 was 1.7 million new diagnoses/year; in 2010 it was 1.9 million.
 

Prediabetes: In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010.
 

Deaths: Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2010, with 69,071 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 234,051 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.

Diabetes may be under-reported as a cause of death. Studies have found that only about 35% to 40% of people with diabetes who died had diabetes listed anywhere on the death certificate and about 10% to 15% had it listed as the underlying cause of death.

CVD Death Rates: In 2003–2006, after adjusting for population age differences, cardiovascular disease death rates were about 1.7 times higher among adults aged 18 years or older with diagnosed diabetes than among adults without diagnosed diabetes.


Heart Attack Rates: In 2010, after adjusting for population age differences, hospitalization rates for heart attack were 1.8 times higher among adults aged 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes than among adults without diagnosed diabetes.


Stroke: In 2010, after adjusting for population age differences, hospitalization rates for stroke were 1.5 times higher among adults with diagnosed diabetes aged 20 years or older compared to those without diagnosed diabetes.

$245 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2012
$176 billion for direct medical costs
$69 billion in reduced productivity

After adjusting for population age and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.

Disease Warning Signs
The good news is that the body sends us warning signs that something is wrong -- long before you find out from your doctor. These warning signs are called Symptoms.

As depicted in the following diagram, these symptoms, if ignored, gradually develop into more serious symptoms, which can lead to cellular dysfunction; and, then, a major Biological Dysfunction; and, finally, a full-blown disease. 

Biological Dysfunctions


And if these symptoms and biological dysfunctions are ignored, this will lead to a full-blown disease such as heart disease or Type 2 diabetes  -- which is what happens to most of us.

General Disease Pathogenesis
Unfortunately, your doctor don't really know how or want to test for any of these biological dysfunctions  because there's no drug that your doctor can prescribe -- until you develop a full blown disease or a health condition that your doctor can measure, e.g. high blood pressure, high cholesterol. 

Most of these diseases and health conditions are fueled by one or more of the following biological dysfunctions, which are the pre-cursors to most of these diseases: 
-- Biochemical/Hormonal Imbalances
-- Glycation
-- Impaired Digestion/Absorption

-- Impaired Immunity
-- Impaired Repair/Healing

-- Infections
-- Inflammation
-- Nutritional Deficiencies
-- Oxidative Stress
-- Toxicity

There are hundreds of other biological dysfunctions, but these are the key ones that fuel most diseases and that we will be discussing during the next several posts.

Note: If your doctor measured and tested these biological dysfunctions, we could easily prevent 90% of these diseases from becoming fully developed and wreaking severe damage to our cells, tissues and organs that leads to heart disease, cancer, heart attacks, strokes, hospital stays, surgeries, etc.

If I had to select one of these biological dysfunctions as the Number 1 Health Problem, I would probably select Inflammation (or Nutritional Deficiencies). Why? Because Inflammation (and Nutritional Deficiencies) are connected to all of the other biological dysfunctions along with several biochemical/hormonal cellular pathways in the human body.

Because these biological dysfunctions are interdependent and inter-related, some of them trigger other dysfunctions and create multiple feedback loops that cause one dysfunction to fuel another, which, in turn, fuels a previous dysfunction, creating a continuous loop of cellular and tissue damage that eventually leads to achronic  disease.

As depicted in the following diagrams, a disease develops when your body goes through the following stages: Biological Changes, 1-2 Symptoms, Multiple Symptoms, Increased Severity of Symptoms, Organ/System Dysfunction, Health Conditions, Health Impairment, Stages of Decline (Mild, Moderate, Severe), Disease, Multiple Diseases, Levels of Debilitation; and, if these is no intervention, the final stage is Death.

General Disease Pathogenesis

The good news is that all of these biological dysfunctions can be prevented, interrupted or reversed -- long before you develop a full-blown disease or health condition that lands you in the hospital!

In addition, if you have already developed a major disease or health condition, most of them can be reversed or least slowed down in its progression -- long before the disease becomes more serious and lands you in the hospital!

What to Do
And, yet, despite this information and the overwhelming statistics, most of us don't expect to end up in the hospital or die anytime soon. As a result, most of us won't make any changes until we have a health crisis. Why? Because it's basic human nature.

However, for those of you who are able to overcome that nature and be proactive to prevent (or reverse) a major health crisis, there are some simple things that you can do.

Proactive Steps
Educate yourself about nutrition, disease, drugs, etc. -- don't expect your doctor to have all the answers. Whether you do anything else, remember this: Knowledge is power that can set you free or the lack of which can doom you.

Pay attention to your body and be aware of your symptoms, especially if they persist or become more severe.

Get an annual physical exam, plus additional tests for hormone levels, inflammation markers, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, heavy metals, etc.

Start eating a healthier diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, plant oils, fish, beans, nuts and seeds.

But, don't deprive yourself of your favorite foods -- treat yourself every once in a while. This will allow you to stick with your dietary changes.

Take a brisk 20-30-minute walk 5 days a week.

Work with a naturopath, homeopath, health coach, holistic practitoner or other healthcare professional that is versed in nutritional science and has the skills to perform a nutrient gap analysis. This is critical step, because this will help to determine what is really going on inside your body.

Use wholefood supplementation to close nutritional gaps. Avoid synthetic supplements at all cost.

Try to avoid any dependence on medications to manage your disease. It just doesn't work in the long term.

Note: If you're following some particular diet or nutritional program, be careful -- some diets and nutritional programs can actually make your health worse. For example, a low fat diet can rob your body of critical nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2. Ironically, these nutrients are key in preventing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and most autoimmune diseases! We'll discuss this in more detail in future posts and what you should be doing to protect yourself and your family.

Future Posts
We will discuss these biological dysfunctions in more detail in future posts. We will explain specifically what foods, supplements and lifestyle changes that you need to make.

We will also discuss the top 3 major nutritional deficiencies that are fueling most of the top 10 diseases, especially heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

We will discuss the top foods and supplements that control and reverse most of these diseases, including the specific foods, supplements and compounds that may kill cancer cells.

And, we will also discuss why the supplements you're taking right now may actually be fueling a nutrient deficiency that is going undetected.

If you have a health concern or a topic that you want us to discuss in this blog, feel free to contact our office via email, this blog or our toll-free number.

Note: Refer to the DTD Science ebook or online training program for more information.

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