What makes us sick is, today, no longer the 64thousand dollar question! Medical researchers are busy finding the root causes of what disturbs the balance in our body systems.
There is growing consensus among scientists that either the proliferation of free radicals or chronic inflammation, or perhaps a combination of both is to blame for the Big Five modern illnesses that kill us: heart disease, cancer, strokes, lung disease and diabetes. We are concerned in this article not with complicated medical explanations, but with simple, yet clear statements of how these two causes manifest and what you can do to prevent or at least minimize these triggers so you can live as healthy a life as possible!
Free radicals are unstable molecules, which wreak havoc within our bodies by stealing oxygen electrons from other molecules that make up our tissues and are supposedly to keep us functioning at optimum wellness. Over time, little by little these free radicals, stealing oxygen molecules right and left as they move through our bodies, tear down our cells, our organs and anything in between and it's easy to see that disease or even death is often the result! Think of your body as a well-built house. Termites eat away at your foundation and, if nothing is done to repair the damage, the house unexpectedly collapses! This collapse leads to aging, disease and eventual death.
Researchers and scientists are also paying much attention on the various roles of inflammation. Inflammation, like so much in life, has a beneficial side and a detrimental one. Its intended role is one of defense. For instance, if, by working on a project, you accidently drive a splinter into your finger, your immune system reacts by sending messengers to that area immediately to ward off infection. You experience this as painful inflammation and that's a good thing because that's nature's defense mechanism at work. In this example, your immune system is saving you from a "terrorist attack;" soon the pain stops, the injury heals and you go on with your project and with life!
When inflammation becomes a bad thing, it's because the immune system attacks itself! Diseases such as heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, Alzheimers, cancers, such as colon cancer, arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and others, are thought to be caused by this self-attack. The inflammation, provided to be clear the way towards historical healing, does not know when to stop and chronic inflammation and swelling and pain is the result; you hurt – permanently! Once scientists understand this mechanism, remedies will follow. But for now, we are at the mercy of immune systems that can go awry!
To make matters worse, the anti-inflammatory miracle drugs, such as Celebrex and Vioxx, effective as they were, are now off the market because of detrimental side effects especially to the cardio-vascular system! Aspirin is effective in reducing inflammation, but its side effects, attacking the wall of the stomach lining and potentially causing ulcers, prevents many from using it for longer periods of time.
What's left for you to do? There is plenty! The first line of defense is prevention! Preventing disease and degeneration is much better than "fixing" and it's much easier. Sure, it takes some knowledge and awareness, but remember, you are responsible for your health! And there is plenty of help in the media to assist you. Multiple articles are written on what prevention and a healthy lifestyle looks like; they all incorporate daily exercise, nutritional foods and supplements, a variety of antioxidants, sufficient sleep, a spiritual life, harmonious and supportive relationships, laughter and humor, meaningful occupation, and probably a host more for a well-balanced, healthy life. You find this information in books and articles everywhere.
Educate yourself and become knowledgeable about how you can ease into a comfortable, but effective health-conscious lifestyle that will pay you large dividends in the enjoyment of your life!