Health and Disease Myths

by Steven Carney on November 12, 2012

This article will change your life forever!

It seems that many medical people still think you are healthy if you don’t have any disease or bad screening tests. I disagree with that view. That’s because there is a broader scale of health and disease, with disease an indication of lost or failed health. I’ve often worked from a scale where people can achieve total, wondrous health and vitality if they desire it. It’s a state of health where your body works like a well-tuned engine, performing at its peak of smoothness, efficiency and power!

Unfortunately, many adults live their lives, especially after age 40 or so, in a range of average or mediocre health. They get by, but they don’t necessarily feel great, have great energy, sleep, or healthy libido. They still get colds or flu yearly. Most adults don’t know how to reach optimum health so they never do!

Health to disease scale

When laid out on a scale, a simplified health continuum would look something like this (from high to low):

  • Wondrous health/vitality
  • Mediocre/average health
  • Chronic disease
  • Terminal disease

As I said, many U.S. adults spend their lives in average or mediocre health, moving into chronic disease (costing $3 of every $4 of healthcare), treating symptoms with drugs, then moving into terminal disease as they age because most drugs don’t cure you. I know many people blame family history or genetics, even though most of their health is not genetically determined, it’s lifestyle driven!

Recent breakthroughs in epigenetics, functional and lifestyle medicine are converging on common ground, and they all indicate that your lifestyle is the key to health. What you eat and how you live plays a deciding role in your health, especially after age 30 or 40.

Genetic causes are rare

If you have health problems similar to your parents or relatives, it’s more likely that you also eat many of the same foods, celebrate holidays the same way, and follow many of your family’s cultural practices, including alcohol use, activity, snacking, prescription drug use, etc.

Blaming genetics is a myth! Genetic influences in adulthood are more like possibilities than certainties. Most experts say that genetics is probably about 20 or 25% of your health status as you age. Significant gene abnormalities tend to show up in childhood and will often be obvious (such as limb or organ abnormalities). Sometimes, problems are found later but these genetic problems, often given dramatic coverage by the media, are more rare than common!

The good news in these numbers is that the choices we make every day are significant in determining our health and longevity. What we do every day matters! In most cases, we make our own destiny by the health choices we make.

Disease/drug model outdated

Currently, we have a disease-focused system, based on diagnosing and treating disease, mostly with drugs and procedures that don’t cure or heal you. This outdated disease model says that we diagnose and treat each condition, metabolic problem or disease as a separate, discrete disorder, isolated to specific body parts, organs or systems. The model is, “one pill for each condition” and it’s inherently so misguided and myopic, that only the proverbial trees are seen, not the whole forest they create!

The truth is that you are one being, one person, a complex and wondrous universe. The idea that your stomach, liver, pancreas or brain exist as some separate entity or realm is nonsense! And many doctors still fail to recognize the healing power of the brain, mind and emotions. The common approach of focus and treatment below the neck reflects a disintegrated view and discounts you as a whole, miraculous entity! Why have so many doctors become drug pushers rather than true healers?

One example of our failed disease-model is the misinformation we’ve been given about low-fat, low-cholesterol diets. They don’t work (and never will), yet this terrible advice has been pushed on us for decades, resulting in an explosion of obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and other chronic diseases!

Those low-fat and cholesterol recommendations were based on faulty and biased research by Ansel Keys in the 1950s, maintained to this day by corrupt drug companies and researchers friendly to their cause, willing to deceive and exploit us all, including doctors and the government. All for profit and greed.

Cholesterol is not, and never was the “cause” of heart disease. High cholesterol by itself is not the problem unless you already have arterial inflammation, often driven by oxidized LDL from vegetable oils/fried foods, plus small, dense LDL particles from constant sugar and refined carb/junk-food intake.

Those systemic problems and dietary choices were always the root of heart disease and atherosclerosis! People forget that research from decades ago was not as thorough. Keys showed bias and withheld critical data in his 7-country study and later, he became politically connected and worked his way onto the American Heart Association board to push his misinformation.

Scaring you into taking statins and related drugs for the wrong reasons is very profitable, worth billions to drug companies every year (one estimate put the number at more than 100 billion over 10 years). It’s a business, and like many, deception, dishonesty and marketing hype are widespread practices. You’re being naive if you think they care about your health. They want you to keep taking their pills; they want your money!

After years of research and writing about nutrition, health and chronic conditions, I have concluded that the chronic disease model (and the myriad of drugs that never cure them) is a massive fraud, based on a myopic view of how the body functions and a desire to make money at the expense of patients (it’s not just me saying these things, see many links below).

Chronic conditions and diseases

  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Atherosclerosis/stroke
  • Obesity/metabolic syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive problems/IBS
  • Cancers
  • Dementia/memory problems
  • High stress/stress eating
  • Emotional problems
  • Yearly colds and flu

These conditions are not separate and discrete but often intertwined! They are based on a few core problems and largely driven by our lifestyle (especially nutrition and activity). Think about what I’m saying: We are making our own sickness and diseases; the list above is mostly from our own bad habits amd the SAD (Standard American Diet). The results of our unhealthy lifestyles is a weakened immune system (with yearly colds, flu and infections), systemic inflammation, and metabolic dysfunction, primarily caused by things like high blood sugar, oxidized veggie oils, low fiber and low micro-nutrient/antioxidant intake.

This also means that by making better choices in nutrition and activity, we could bring down health costs by massive amounts, probably tens of billions annually. We need to focus on the right things: lifestyle modification and coaching support to help Americans understand how to make better choices in their lives, adding many healthy years for you and your family!

Vitamin games

Another failure to understand optimum health is demonstrated by the endless (and well-funded) political-style games used to attack vitamins. Did you know that most vitamin and mineral levels are set just high enough to avoid disease? (That outdated disease model rears its head again.) The levels are not set for optimum health, wellness or vitality. They are not set to give you a high-functioning immune system so you don’t get sick to begin with (imagine if you stop getting colds)! Some examples are vitamin C levels set to prevent scurvy and vitamin D levels to prevent rickets.

Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant, it helps immune function, blood vessels, stress response, bone health and is critical for numerous bodily functions including skin, collagen production, joint health and more! So many of us get far too little vitamin C.

Vitamin D is actually known as a hormonal regulator, especially for the immune system, critical for the inflammatory process, plus bone health, blood pressure, blood sugar and more. Many experts say we need far more vitamin D than the government states on vitamin labels (and D is hard to get from diet or sunshine in winter months). These and other vitamins are set far too low for optimum, wondrous health!

Research manipulation

The drug industry and researchers friendly to them love to treat vitamins like drugs, testing them separately to prevent or cure major diseases like heart disease (it’s neither appropriate or useful as vitamins and minerals work together along with food). Many researchers design these studies with low doses for vitamins and include people who already have health problems, then generate headlines that this or that vitamin doesn’t cure the disease!

It’s junk science created to manipulate and scare people! Worse are claims that vitamins cause diseases like cancer or shorten your life. These are falsehoods (I’m excluding those very rare situations with possible overdoses).

I’m being honest when I say that I have never read an anti-vitamin study that was unbiased or used credible scientific methods. They all have major flaws in design, analysis and hyped headlines that mis-state their findings. Don’t believe them!

Drug companies also use bias and math manipulation to generate hype for drug studies that offer few (or no) real benefits but have significant side-effects! We are manipulated constantly with billions spent on drug ads and undue influence on doctors and medical practitioners to sell their wares.

Many drugs are only a little better than placebo, and the placebo effect is a big reason why they appear to work. Subjects on placebos often feel improvement in the 20-35% range because they believe the pills will help them, a demonstration of the power of the mind and emotions at work.

And many drugs have significant or deadly side-effects that the industry minimizes and doctors ignore. Plus, many drug companies have been fined billions for their illegal practices and marketing over the years. I bet your doctor never mentions those problems to you.

And did you know? Most doctors do not study nutrition, fitness or lifestyle modification. Yet we are told to seek their advice before we change these areas! It’s like asking your plumber to help you with a lawsuit. Chances are he or she won’t know the intricacies of the legal system or the courts to give you good advice.

The future is now: epigenetics and functional medicine

Epigenetics, the study of how our environment, including diet and activity affects health and genes, and functional or lifestyle medicine, based on how we live and what we eat to improve our health. These are the real future of medicine! My prediction is that within 10 years (hopefully big changes by 2020), drugs and procedures will finally take a back seat to lifestyle intervention for non-contagious, common/chronic conditions (I tend to exclude emergency medicine, accidents or similar problems because those can be from different origins).

Studies in the last decade have shown that food choices can indeed change your genes. For example, eating healthy foods can turn on healthy genes, and conversely, unhealthy foods (sugar, refined carbs/wheat, fast foods, vegetable oils and processed meats), with too few whole foods like fruits, nuts and veggies, will activate more disease genes.

Fortunately, there is a growing list of pioneers in functional medicine who, like me, focus on diet and lifestyle to prevent or improve chronic conditions. They include people like Dr. Weil, Dr. Hyman, Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Davis, Dr. Lustig, Dr. Nagy, Dr. Willett, and others, all experts I follow. These experts will tell you that food and lifestyle choices are indeed powerful, in many cases, more powerful and effective than drugs!

A recent article quote about diet and heart disease, our #1 killer:

“Studies have shown that up to 70% of heart disease can be averted with the right regimen, according to Walter Willett, MD, chair of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. But is diet alone as powerful as drugs? “Oh, no, it’s much more powerful,” says Dr. Willett.

“Statins, the most effective single medications for reducing heart disease, only cut risk by 25 to 30%.”

In fact, you would need a cabinet full of prescription drugs to bestow all the benefits of a serious heart-healthy meal plan. There’s nothing a drug can do for your heart health that foods can’t do, too.”

Activity changes genes too! 

The same applies to activity! Regular activity and exercise can activate health and metabolic genes, whereas inactivity will often deactivate good genes and activate more unhealthy, disease-oriented genes. I’ve written posts and articles on these issues before and so I included some of those links below (each article has more links and sources at the bottom so scroll down to see more).

In the end, my goal is to help clients and the public reconnect to the miracle and potential of their bodies so they can enjoy wondrous, super health, well into old age. You can stop giving yourself chronic disease! You might also be able to stop taking drugs! You’ll feel great, with a better immune system (fewer colds flu, more resistance to cancer), age more slowly or reverse aging, and live with a good quality of life as you age.

It really is a matter of improving nourishment and adding fun activity! In short, I can help you become a high-performance sports car instead of a clunker! That’s what good health and wellness is all about!

For a more complete list of my previous site articles (over 60 and counting), scroll down below this article or chose a category/subject on the right. Feel free to ask a question or comment! I’m here to help you.

Drop me a line and together, we can devise an affordable, customized plan that will change your life forever! Finally, imagine that I have just placed a golden key in your right hand. Will you use it to unlock the secrets to life-long health?

As a special gift, mention the golden key in an e-mail question or comment and get a special discount on coaching so you can try it for yourself! 

Helpful links:

Dr. Oz finally had a segment about cholesterol NOT causing heart disease on 12/11/12:

I saw this stunning study about 150,000 deaths from misdiagnosis on 2/26/13 and I decided to add here:

On 2/27/13 I saw this additional study on cholesterol NOT causing heart disease:

© 2012 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now


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