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The Good News About Disease

I thought I would let you know the good news about disease, and no, it’s not that you can stay home from work. The good news is that almost all conditions you are likely to acquire can be prevented at the exact same time.

Drug commercials are spending billions of dollars trying to sell you Viagra, Cialis, Lunesta, Ambien, Lipitor, Crestor and a list of others for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, insomnia, diabetes, and other conditions that most Americans are likely to end up with sooner or later.

I say conditions because let’s face it, people don’t die from high blood pressure. They die from the heart attack, stroke and kidney failure caused by high blood pressure. Just as bad, the lucky folks who manage to not die from these diseases end up spending the second halves of their lives sitting around nursing homes after having their organs cut out, or sitting on the coutch watching tv because they are too overweight and out of shape to do anything fun.

That’s the bad news. The good news is you don’t have to fight to prevent all of these conditions separately.

Let’s say you are interested in preventing high blood pressure. You would start with your diet. One approach would be the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It consists of eating lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats like turkey, chicken and fish, as well as nuts, seeds and legumes.

After diet you would start an exercise program designed to reduce stress and lose body fat. The most common would be to include some type of cardio training like a treadmill, exercise bike or elyptical machine, along with weight training.

The great thing is that this will also help to lower triglycerides and cholesterol, and help you reduce your risk for:

  • diabetes
  • heart attack
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • kidney failure
  • cancer

It will also help you sleep better, increase your energy and strength, improve your immune system, and make you look better. How’s that for side effects?

In other words, in your attempt to eliminate the risk of one condition, you are simultaneously reducing your risk for almost every other condition. That’s the good news about disease.

If you have risk factors for any of the disease listed above, or are just interested in being healthy in general, I would recommend not going it alone. You have probably already tried that and didn’t get the results you expected. There are a number of health and wellness professionals in the Sacramento area that spend an extraordinary amount of time becoming experts at what they do. Use them. If you need a referral, just call me.

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