Anne Dunev, PhD
So many people are concerned that disease seems to run in families that I wanted to address this issue and put those concerns into perspective.
Think about the fact that there was hardly any cancer or heart disease before 1900. So, it cannot be that we are all destined to die from ancestral diseases since our ancestors did not have these modern illnesses. And it is not just that we are living longer. Many of us had grandparents who lived long lives- often achieving greater age than our parents’ generation.
Cancer, Diabetes Type II, Heart Disease and Obesity are called Diseases of Modern Civilization. I call them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The popular medical viewpoint is that these diseases are genetic. However, that implies that there is nothing you can do about them, except manage them with medication. Any Holistic Doctor will tell you this is not true.
First of all, these diseases can often be prevented, despite any family tendencies. And it makes far more sense to adopt a lifestyle that does not lead down that path, because they are all serious conditions.
Genes are unable to cause disease until they “express” themselves or get switched on. Whether they ever activate depends a great deal on the “environment” of the body. That internal environment is created by the availability of vital nutrients (from foods) and the toxic load of the body. So diet and lifestyle have everything to do with how your body repairs and ages.
At the root of all the contemporary diseases is disorder in sugar metabolism, which is governed by the pancreas. Closely connected is fat metabolism, governed by gall bladder. That is why Holistic Doctors urge you to do everything to save a gall bladder rather than bow to surgical removal. Gallstones are not a reason to excise a gall bladder, since gallstones can be eliminated through a gall bladder cleanse and new stone formation prevented with correct supplements and dietary changes. Only if the gall bladder itself is diseased beyond redemption is it necessary to remove it. There is a concern about larger gallstones, but a cleanse and purge program seems to handle this, since gallstones are soft and made out of cholesterol. Most are the size of peas and pass easily and painlessly.
When dietary fats such as olive oil, butter and avocado are broken down and emulsified by the bile stored in the gall bladder, the fat can be utilized by the body for energy, repair and protection of the walls of individual cells. The brain is the only organ that is 80% composed of fat and uses fat for energy.
With sufficient dietary fat in the system, and a low carbohydrate intake (particularly sugars, breads, refined and processed foods) the blood sugar is more stable and the burden to maintain the level of blood sugar through insulin release is not as great for the pancreas. Type II Diabetes might as well be called “worn out pancreas” disease. And Diabetes leads to cancer because cancer cells love sugar and feed off of it.
So, what should you do if your family has a history of one or more of the diseases of modern civilization? Decide to become better informed and make better choices. Don’t rely on your medical doctor for information because MD’s are very well trained in many areas. Prevention is not one of them. They are not really taught that prevention is possible.
Find a wellness practitioner who will treat you as the individual you are and who believes in the innate wisdom and healing ability of the body. You may need nutrients unique to your lifestyle, gender or toxic burden-or even your genetic make-up.
In Medicine there is a small but growing number of researchers and physicians who realize that “one size fits all” does not work with medication. In the future we will be able to test people before giving them medications to see how their individual bodies respond and prevent some of the terrible side-effects some people experience.
There is far more to know about optimum health and wellness. Most people know more about technology for their computers and cell phones than they do about the technology of keeping their bodies healthy. When our electronic technology breaks down, we know whom to call. But when our bodies break down we need a genuine fix, not “shut up in a bottle” that only treats symptoms.