America is failing itself as it becomes ever more chronically ill, less abled, and chronically stressed. Chronic illness is a choice. Personalized proactive predictive primary prevention practices and protocols are needed to address the causes more than the symptomatic consequences. Compared to the rest of the world, we urgently need to change course. We have gotten off track. We are falling behind on almost every measure of health and wellbeing. We can speed the transition to health promotion by saving a million lives annually; that saves a trillion dollars to incent and facilitate health promotion. We can create virtuous cycles of health enhancement rather than vicious cycles of decline. We can add life to years and years to life. The 21st century provides many potential hazards and too few incentives for lifelong health. Much of this is common sense, the lack of which is too common today. The recent macrotrends are further cause for re-evaluating what healthcare means and how to achieve health promotion goals. Little steps can yield substantial health dividends.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs” as of 2020. These illnesses are a direct result of chronic stresses, nutritional deficits, exposure to environmental toxins, and lifestyle choices. Healthier diets and safer supplements can correct these nutritional deficits, help moderate distress, and add years to life.
Repair and Renewal can start now
Renewal is always possible. Bones are the oldest part of you. They renew every 10 years. Joints and large vessels renew in about seven years. Muscles, connective tissue infrastructure, organs and systems are constantly renewing when the have they have all essential nutrients in adequate amounts. Connective tissue includes collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans that must be made inside the body by specialized dendritic cells. Swallowing collagen does not build collagen in the body. (It is an incomplete protein and has been linked to chronic kidney disease.)
Most chronic ill health is due to a short list of risk behaviors and lifestyle choices. Here are the top risk factors along with some recommendations on how to mitigate risk.
- Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke or indoor air pollution. Reduce or eliminate exposure to tobacco products. Consider getting an ULPA air cleaner. Avoid VOC products; let new products ventilate outside, or better yet, buy natural products without volatile chemicals. Consider growing plants that take in toxins and give off oxygen.
- Poor nutrition, including diets low in fruits and vegetables and high in sodium and saturated fats due to processing and ultra-processing. Consume as much organic or biodynamic certified food as possible. Eat low on the food chain; increase fruit and vegetable intake. Reduce sodium and saturated fat intake. Eliminate ultra-processed packaged foods & beverages completely. Consider a comprehensive multi system detox program to mitigate the effects of toxic exposure.
- Physical inactivity. Sitting is the new tobacco smoking. Get up and stretch for 5 minutes every hour. Stretch and walk for at least half an hour each day. We also recommend more moderate activity for 20-30 minutes each day. Our “Aging Well” article provides additional guidance.
- Excessive alcohol use. Reduce alcohol consumption and avoid contaminated spirits, beer, and wine. Did you know that many commercially-produced wines contain toxic chemicals either from the environment or from production itself? Choose organic wherever possible.
- Dehydration and Digestion. Hydrate with uncontaminated fluids regularly. Start each meal with something wet and warm. Use broths, soups, fermented beverages, and other wet foods to promote healthier digestion. Consider adding prebiotic, probiotic, and symbiotic digestive supplements as well as digestive promotors to restore healthier digestion. Ask your healthcare practitioner about the PERQUE® digestive health quintet. Be careful of tap water; it may well be contaminated with toxins.
- Lack of restorative sleep. Consider adding a sleep ritual to ensure restorative sleep. We recommend creating a 30 minute transition to restorative sleep including an Epsom salt and baking soda bath with or without a preferred cold-pressed aromatic oil. Include 5 minutes of abdominal breathing and 15 minutes of active mindfulness practice… or listen to classical music while soaking. Dry off, including dry skin brushing with an absorbent towel. Take your evening supplements. Stretch in bed for five minutes before drifting off in a cool, dark, WiFi-free bedroom.
To round out your path to self-renewal, consider four self-assessments and eight predictive biomarkers to assess your functional metabolic status. These tests can be personally interpreted compared to best outcome goal values, which will more specifically pinpoint the lifestyle changes you need to make to positively affect your chances of better health. Since only 8% of your chances of lifetime health are affected by genetics, and the other 92% are affected by what you eat, drink, think, and do (epigenetics), the great news is that with the proper information, education, modification, and implementation, you can make positive changes that will pay huge dividends. This will allow you to add years to life and life to years.
Books by Dr. Jaffe: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Russell-Jaffe/author/B09KYJPVVB