Who Wants Longevity?
I know I do!! Especially now that I am a 40 year old mother of a 1 year old.
It is probably not a surprise to most, if you hear that in our society, we are spending more than ever on health care, yet mortality rates are on the rise, disease rates are on the rise, and for two years in a row, the average life expectancy has declined! Concerning?? I’d say so! We already know that this current generation of children are not expected to live as long. There are a lot of reasons for this, and FORTUNATELY there are a lot of things that are still in our control.
The CDC declares the reason for lowered life expectancy is due to drug related deaths, particularly pain medication prescriptions, but really there is more to it than this. We are also seeing a rise in many different disease states- diabetes, heart disease, cancers, etc. I’m sure these conditions lead a lot of people to need pain medicine. Did you realize that people can also feel more pain when they are not nourished adequately, or when they have genetic patterns that affect pain and inflammation, and these patterns become further compromised by nutrient deficiencies. Depression, also on the rise, can lead to altered pain tolerance and pain perception…. again, impaired nutrition can make this worse.
Let me give you an example:
What if a 45 year old female who is fair complected and has always taken very good precaution to avoid the “damaging” effects of the sun using her sunscreens and shielding her skin with hats, etc, unknowingly has vitamin D deficiency? This puts her at risk for a number of health conditions as a result of having low vitamin D levels- depression, fatigue, inflammation and more. If her health care provider isn’t checking her vitamin D level, she will not know this needs to be corrected. She may end up on Prozac (depression) and Adderall (ADD) at first, then maybe Mobic (anti-inflammatory) and down the road Ultram (pain med).
Poor food choices, increased exposures to environmental toxins, lack of sleep or even lack of quality sleep, increasing number of prescription medications used which are not without side effects and are not often studied in a polypharmacy setting (I once saw a patient in her mid 50s who was on 23 different medications-GASP!)- all of these things contribute to health, or should I say lack of health!
Would you believe me if I told you that the 3 rd leading cause of death in the U.S. is medical related errors?! These are the errors that we know about. I’d imagine that this is even higher, as a lot probably goes unreported or even unnoticed in this area.