Don’t take your body to the doctor as if
he were a repair shop. ~Quentin Regestein
Back in the early 1900s, you would have been
considered very lucky to live to the age of 50.
The most likely reason for your death would
have been an infectious disease like pneumonia,
tuberculosis, or diarrhea and enteritis.
Now it’s 2013, and the average life expectancy
in the U.S. is 78 or 79, and with most infectious
disease under control, what’s killing is now
is our lifestyles.
Are We Healthier Now?
The leading causes of death now are
heart disease, cancer, chronic lower
respiratory disease, and stroke.
Chronic diseases develop slowly, often
due to poor nutrition, lack of exercise,
poor stress management, smoking and
use of alcohol and other drugs that cause
side effects that affect the immune system.
We no longer have to worry about dying from
infectious diseases as much as we do from
diseases that result from lifestyle habits that
we have (some) control over.
No “Blaming The Victim”
We walk a fine line in saying we have some
control over the disease that we get. It is not
fair to blame anyone with a medical condition
for their problems and not every chronic disease
sufferer has made unhealthy lifestyle choices.
We don’t want to blame anyone for getting sick,
but we want to emphasize that there are things
people can do to decrease the odds of ending up
with some chronic diseases.
Empowering the Patient
To the extent that chronic disease can be
prevented, it can give all of us hope that
the choices we make every day can have a
positive impact on our long-term health picture.
When you know that the top four reasons
why you are likely to end up in a hospital or
die are from chronic diseases that you can
have an impact in preventing through taking
better care of yourself, it can be empowering!
There is actually a reason to improve your
nutrition, get some exercise, stop smoking,
and practice good stress management…your life.
Is that a good enough reason?