A quick examination of the past century’s health history can give us an understanding about our present state of health. The first half of this century witnessed the curtailing of common contagious diseases like typhoid, cholera, and small pox. Vaccines also became available for polio, measles, mumps, whooping cough, and others. The human lifespan was extended as trauma care and surgery methods improved.
During the second half of the century, when we thought we might be experiencing an improvement in our health, we watched the rise of degenerative disease. Heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer either shorten our lives or limit its quality. The final phase of this century has found our health continuing to deteriorate with the appearance of Immune Disorders. The increase in AIDS, Candida, Epstein Barr, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Environmental Illness is steadily growing.
Diseases we thought were on the decline, like malaria or tuberculosis are reappearing with a more virulent strain of microbe. New retroviruses such as AIDS and spirocytes including Lyme disease are appearing on the scene and complicating things.
Diseases such as AIDS and Lyme destroy the immune system and, at this time, there is no known medical cure. Why is this happening if we are so “advanced” in health care? What is going wrong? Can we do anything about it?
It is interesting that despite our advanced technology and proliferation of information, space travel and new discoveries, our quality of health basically continues to decline. Except for those who are directly seeking health information and education and applying those principles by changing their lifestyle, wellness remains elusive.
Money is the motivating factor behind our food industry, from the farm to the table. Chemicals in the form of fertilizers and pesticides permeate our food chain. Antibiotics and hormones infiltrate dairy and milk products. Sugar, salt and fats are consumed at levels never even thought of 100 years ago. And the refining process of grains has become a marketing art.
Common allergens such as dairy, corn, wheat, yeast, soy, sugar and MSG are distributed freely, and hidden, in many, many products as part of the product itself or as filler/flavor enhancer. These foods, especially in their common refined forms can be highly addictive. Repeated consumption of them either exacerbates our already existing allergies or creates new ones.
Processed foods weaken both our adrenal and immune systems. Our water and air supplies are polluted. Even the destruction of the ozone layer has been linked to a weakened immune system. We no longer have to chop wood, carry water, walk the “five miles through the snow to school,” or nor do our daily lives require much physical labor. Occupations are more sedentary. We drive everywhere and even teenagers seem to feel it is their constitutional right to have a car, gas and insurance supplied by their parents, of course.
Despite this gloomy picture, there is a bright side. Knowledge and information is constantly being brought forth from the Alternative health care field. This information continues to be substantiated by solid clinical and medical research. Understanding has emerged regarding the role of vitamins, minerals, and quality nutrition in health.
Prevention has become a key word, and with it, wellness and health are truly a possibility. We are learning daily that if we exercise, eat correctly, and take needed supplements we can prevent or correct such problems as heart disease, adult onset diabetes, and osteoporosis to name a few. In addition, clinical application of sophisticated tests, products, and information has advanced the treatment of allergies, candida, and other immune disorders to the point where recovery, or at least “arresting” of the disease, is possible.
Immune Disorders range from a mere “disorder”, to the actual destruction of the immune system. In this day and age babies are being born without an immune system, and people have diseases so advanced that the immune system actually turns against itself. Immune disorders are another manifestation of degenerative diseases.
When identical destructive elements enter two different people, each is affected differently. One may develop heart disease while the other develops an Environmental Illness. Many factors are involved with this manifestation, hereditary, genetic predisposition like weak lungs and respiratory problems, lifestyles choices such as foods, stress, exercise, smoking and drugs/alcohol use. Psychological and emotional experiences, like victimization, abuse, incest, etc. Environmental exposure to pollutants, chemicals, molds, and radon determine how the immune system will respond and how the disease process manifests itself.
Thyroxin, a hormone produced by the thyroid gland, is called into action to handle the abuse from our environment and poor food and lifestyle choices. An oversupply of thyroxin in the body increases the reactivity of the nervous system, which causes an increase in heart rate and motility of the gastrointestinal tract. If sufficient carbohydrates and fats are unavailable for energy, thyroxin causes rapid degradation of proteins which are used for energy through either gluconegenesis or ketogenesis. Stress upon the body, whether from an internal or external source, profoundly affects the thyroid and basic metabolism. Prolonged stress will deplete iodine and thyroxin.
The lymphatic system is not well understood by the general public, and yet is an extremely important component for the immune system. Because of the abundance of toxins that we are exposed to in the air, water, and food supplies, it should not be surprising that our lymph systems are clogged with debris. An accumulation of toxins will block proper functioning of the immune system and contribute to chronic disease.
Updated and adapted from “Allergy Free Eating, Key to the Future”
The Nutritional & Dietary Consultant/March 1994