Do we need to Micromanage our Bodies?

Do you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin insensitivity, depression, joint pain, back pain, leg pain, a pain in the neck . . . No problem, just get down to your friendly local pharmacy to get the right pills and you’re good to go.

I hope that sounds sarcastic – because it is. Why do we spend so much money and effort trying to micromanage each little hormone or chemical imbalance in our body? Often times these approaches just end up offsetting something else anyway.

Most drugs have side effects

For example:

• Statins reduce cholesterol but they also reduce coenzyme Q, important for energy production and maintaining good blood pressure.

• Aspirin is great for a headache but also reduces vitamin C, important for immune function.

• Ibuprofen is good for general pain but also reduces folic acid, important for neural and cardiovascular function.

• Many antibiotics fight bacterial infections but they also reduce potassium, important for regular heartbeat and they reduce beneficial bacteria that help you digest your food.

This list is very long and I could go on for pages.

Don’t get me wrong. There are appropriate times for pharmaceutical drugs – when your situation is serious. The point is that when we try and micromanage our ‘imbalances’ we don’t really do that great of a job. In fact, many people are on medication to treat the side effects of a different medication.

Do our bodies make bad stuff? Let’s just challenge dogma for a second here. I’ll use cholesterol as an example since it get so much press.

I’m sure you’ve been told that LDL is the ‘bad’ cholesterol and HDL is ‘good’. But here’s a question – do you think that your body naturally produces things that are bad for it? Do you think you body makes LDL just to mess you up? Of course not.

Many medical professionals are beginning to believe that current definitions of ‘high cholesterol’ are not accurate. In fact, new studies show that if your cholesterol drops too low then you increase your risk for Parkinson’s disease. I predict that this is the first of many associations that will link a disease with our attempt to drive down cholesterol levels.

LDL has a role in repairing damaged arteries and in delivering cholesterol to places where it is needed. Cholesterol is actually an important component of cell membranes. LDL is not bad – it’s just that the foods we typically eat cause it’s levels to raise higher than optimal. When the levels get too high then it starts sticking to the inside of arteries too much.

The 4 pillars of health

So what are we to do? It will probably be no shock to you that many ailments are the consequences of lifestyle choices. Simply eating a better diet and getting regular exercise will improve many conditions, reduce your reliance on drugs and generally improve your quality of life.

You may be thinking ‘Yeah, I’ve heard that before. Isn’t there anything new?’ Well, I encourage you to stop looking for the latest trick or pill to improve your health. Lifestyle choices are the fundamental skills of good health. You can break it all down into what I call the 4 pillars of good health.

1. Nutrition – Diet and Supplements 2. Exercise – Mental and Physical Activity 3. Sleep, Rest and Relaxation 4. Positive Mental Attitude

All of these factors will feed each other. When you eat well and take quality supplements you will have more energy to exercise, which will help you sleep better, which will cause your stress levels to drop and improve your mood and lead to overall improved health.

There is no magic bullet. If you have life threatening illness, work with your doctor and take your medication. But you should always go back to the 4 pillars to help you recover faster and reduce your reliance on life-long drug therapies. Those are the fundamental treatments that our bodies are designed to respond to the best.

Copyright (c) 2007 The Brain Code LLC