If there’s one thing I have learned from both working with clients for 12 years and trying this thing called parenting is that beliefs dictate behavior. If someone believes they can do something, they will at least attempt it. If they don’t believe they can do something, they won’t attempt it. Their belief dictates whether something is true or not. If they feel something is true, there is subsequent action. If they feel something is a lie, there is subsequent action in the opposite direction.
With that said, your belief regarding health will have a massive determining factor on your action steps, which will result in the promotion or negation of health expression. I will present you with 3 statements. Your belief in their trueness factor will be a good indication as to which path you choose in creating health. And if you’re not satisfied with your health expression, then maybe you have to challenge some beliefs you hold regarding health.
TRUTH or LIE: The Body Never Does Stupid Stuff
This statement, whether you determine it to be true or false, sets the stage for the next 2 determining statements. Every time you turn on the TV, you will see a commercial for a medication that is aimed at treating a symptom or managing a disease. You have to decipher if those symptoms or diseases are stupid.
Let’s say you step out of your car and someone is pointing a gun at your head. Not so fun, right?
What do you think will happen to your heart rate? It should go up. Is that smart or stupid?
What do you think will happen to your blood sugars? They should go up. Is that smart or stupid?
What do you think will happen to your sex drive? It should also be compromised. Is that smart or stupid?
I can hear you now, “those are all circumstantial to get you out of trouble.” That’s exactly my point. Your body produces symptoms to buy you enough time to get you out of trouble. Who cares if it’s a real danger like a mugging or an emotional trigger like you got cut off in traffic. Your nervous system isn’t going to wait around to see if it’s real or fake?
More often than not, those triggers are non-immediate, life-threatening events. But it doesn’t matter. The more you place your life experiences into the category of perceived danger, the more you will internally adapt to prime yourself to escape. The functions that help you escape get enhanced while the functions that help you repair are suppressed.
What are the functions of the top 5 best selling drugs? They are interventions to suppress symptoms that also happen to be the top adaptations you develop in the middle of a mugging to help you escape. So is the body inadequate or sneaky smart and you can’t tell the difference?
1. Atorvastatin Calcium (generic for Lipitor)
Atorvastatin is used to treat high cholesterol. What happens to cholesterol when there is danger, real or perceived? It goes up. Your survival hormones like cortisol are cholesterol based and need an increase in production. Was that smart or stupid? Does treating millions of people with cholesterol lowering drugs decrease heart disease? Not even close.
Cholesterol is also the basic building block for other hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and even Vitamin D. Could our 40 year battle against cholesterol have the unintended consequences of creating hormone imbalance and contributing to vitamin D deficiency?
2. Levothyroxine (generic for Synthroid)
Levothyroxine treats hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). With your thyroid being involved in functions of metabolism, GI motility, nervous system development, and digestion to name a few, how important is thyroid function if you are trying to escape an attacker? If you are in a chronic state of stress, why does it surprise you that the thyroid suffers?
3. Lisinopril (generic for Prinivil)
Lisinopril is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) or congestive heart failure. Let’s say you’re taking blood pressure meds and another attacker came at you. What’s your chance at surviving the repeat offender? If you can’t adapt to the danger, then your chance of survival decreases. Medications may make you feel better but at the expense of long term survival. We can no longer say we’re living longer.
4. Omeprazole (generic for Prilosec)
Omeprazole is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions caused by excess stomach acid. But is it really excessive stomach acid? Your gut is one of your first line of immune defenses. If you need to swim through a nasty sewer to escape an attacker, you aren’t going to worry about the potential pathogens in that muck. Your gut will illicit an immune response to protect you until you get to safety.
The more you place yourself in the face of danger, the more that gut-immune response has to work, thus creating a constant immune load, which could in fact be the damage occurring with acid reflux, not actual acid refluxing.
5. Metformin (generic for Glucophage)
Metformin is used to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. It is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other medications, but this medicine is not for treating type 1 diabetes. Blood sugar will spike for many other reasons than just eating the endorsed low-fat diet pushed by the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and traditional registered dietitians. But looking at that diet is the best place to start. Eating low fat is as dangerous as getting mugged.
TRUTH or LIE: There is Only One Disease
This is a tough statement to decipher since we live in a time in history where we have the most specialties within our healthcare system. You can have a heart doctor, a lung doctor, a colon doctor, a brain doctor, a general doctor, an immune doctor, and a behavioral doctor. Your health outcomes will depend on what you believe is the root cause of your ailment.
Whether you believe the previous statement, the body never does stupid stuff, is true or false, will dictate your pursuit of a diagnosis. Just look back at the top 5 selling medications. The symptoms those drugs are geared to suppress or manage are all changes that happen within microseconds of each other during an attack situation.
They stem from the nervous system assessing and organizing the current situation and sending signals to your cells, to talk to the DNA, to expose the appropriate code, to copy that code, to produce the proteins and enzymes, to be used in the equations that create high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gut imbalances, thyroid suppression, and high blood sugars. It’s all happening simultaneously, in microseconds. There’s no time to delay to see if we need to wait on the blood sugar aspect or the blood pressure rising.
If a life threatening event happens repeatedly and your body needs to make these adaptations on a continual basis at a rapid rate, it’s going to be hard for the cells to keep up with demand. And since it’s happening repeatedly, the body just keeps you in that state so there’s no delay in time responding. As a result, they don’t get the nourishment and rest they require. It’s like a hangry 3 year old. When your 3 year old is tired and hungry, how much fun is he to be around? Your 3 year old is just an ecosystem of 50-70 trillion cells.
Your diagnosis is no different. Your ecosystem of cells have been hangry for decades and have decided to throw a tantrum that looks like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and obesity. How that cell hangriness (now I’m just making up words) is expressed is how we are individuals. But no matter the disease or diagnosis, unless you have a plan of action to support your cell’s ability to adapt, you are going to enter the specialty circus of having multiple docs labeling you different ways but missing the one common feature and true cause of it all…over burdened cells.
A favorite test of mine to assess your level of cellular hangriness is through organic acids from Genova Diagnostics. It’s a nutritional test providing insights into organic acids and a view into the body’s cellular metabolic processes. Organic acids are metabolic intermediates that are produced in pathways of central energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter breakdown, or intestinal microbial activity. Marked accumulation of specific organic acids detected in urine often signals a metabolic inhibition or block. The metabolic block may be due to a nutrient deficiency, an inherited enzyme deficit, toxic build-up or drug effect. Several of the biomarkers are markers of intestinal bacterial or yeast overgrowth. This organic acids nutritional test is valuable for determining:
- Functional vitamin and mineral status
- Amino acid insufficiencies like carnitine and NAC
- Oxidative damage and antioxidant need
- Phase I & Phase II detoxification capacity
- Functional B-complex vitamin need
- Neurotransmitter metabolites
- Mitochondrial energy production
- Methylation sufficiency
- Lipoic acid and CoQ10 status
- Markers for bacterial and yeast overgrowth
In other words, it’s like an emissions test for your cells. The less efficient your cells operate, the hangrier they get and the more you need to support those specific needs.
TRUTH or LIE: Medication Makes You Healthy
Something clever that is in advertising for medications is that they in fact never say they make you healthy or get you better. They tell you their drug is to either suppress symptoms, manage a condition, or make you die just a few months slower. There is truth in their advertising. Whether you believe medications make you healthy or not, the manufacturers have said they don’t.
It’s like the fast food industry. They aren’t selling you on the price of their food, they are selling you on the convenience of it. It’s way less expensive by weight and volume to buy all the ingredients for a burger and fries and make it yourself. But it’s not convenient. We, as a society have put the label of ‘cheap’ on fast food so we falsely associate cheap with convenient.
We, as a society, have done the same with ‘healthy’ and ‘symptom management.’ The pharmaceutical industry has never said they cure anything but since they are treating and managing you, we have falsely associated those interventions with creating health.
That means, no matter your belief in the other two statements, this is absolutely a lie. If you think that medication makes you healthy that’s because you’ve created that narrative on false assumptions. This doesn’t mean medications don’t have a time and place. What medication is great for is making sure you don’t die quickly.
If I do get injured in that mugging and break a bone, sustain a gun shot wound, or get slashed with a knife, I want the drugs. I don’t want to feel the scalpel, stitches, or resetting of bones. But those medical interventions aren’t a long term solution to my recovery. They aren’t appropriate. The problem is that doctors have also been duped into thinking medication makes you healthy and they routinely apply emergency interventions (drugs and surgery) that manage your symptoms and apply that to all symptoms, regardless if they were triggered by an emergency stimulus or a chronic state of cell hangriness.
I don’t care if you take meds or not. What I care about is the false assumption that they make you healthy from an industry that doesn’t even support that statement. Don’t confuse convince with cheap. Don’t confuse healthy with management.
If you’re ready to accept 2 truths and denounce a lie but not sure where to start? You know how to find me.