What’s in it for me? Say goodbye to illness.
The End of Illness Book Summary – Health can be confusing; like any lucrative business, it’s become unnecessarily complicated. According to the news headlines, chia seeds, broccoli, red beets, ginger, turmeric, spirulina, vitamins, goji berries, almonds and many other exotic or expensive foods are essential to a healthy life. Not only is this combination of ingredients likely to make a hole in your budget, but it might also lead to indigestion.
That’s where this article comes come in. They’re all about discovering what is good for you and recognizing that that may be something different for each individual. So how do you find out what you need?
In this article, you will learn
- why there is no magical health cure for everyone;
- how to optimize your own health; and
- why you’re better off exercising than taking vitamin supplements.
One-size-fits-all guidelines don’t work for many illnesses, but there are other routes to health.
Some health problems have simple solutions. For instance, if you get strep throat, it can be a bother, but your doctor can simply prescribe the right medicine, and you’ll quickly be better.
Strep throat is an infectious disease, and doctors know which drug will cure it, but the illness isn’t always so straightforward.
The human body is so complicated that it isn’t suited to simple solutions or one-size-fits-all treatments – especially in the case of chronic illnesses. Just take cancer. This disease is a symptom of bad communication between and inside cells.
Cancer is a breakdown of the system itself and is, therefore, unique to the system it’s affecting. It’s not a straightforward infection that can be eradicated with a magic bullet. The same is true of most chronic diseases.
But even if you can’t understand the human body in all its complexity, you can still find ways to improve your health. Begin by accepting that the body is complex to the extent that science will likely never fully comprehend. From there, you can move on to figuring out which remedies are the right ones for you.
Galileo Galilei is a good analogy. Every night, Galileo would take notes on the positions of the stars. After a while, he knew exactly what he could expect on a given night. While that didn’t mean he understood everything about the night sky, or even what a star really was, it allowed him to make tremendous progress in his field.
Trade-offs are inevitable when it comes to health, and progress should be based on personal metrics.
If everybody had their own personal genie who offered one wish, lots of people would ask for good health. Unfortunately, there’s a real shortage of genies these days and, if we want a healthy life, we’ve got to do something about it ourselves.
The first step is to accept that the human body, and therefore health, requires tradeoffs. After all, since the body is so complex, compromises are unavoidable. So, while you can take a treatment for pneumonia, you might end up affecting or even harming another part of your system.
Just take statins, a drug prescribed for high cholesterol because of its ability to impede an enzyme that’s crucial to cholesterol production. One recent Harvard University study found that when women older than 60 and men older than 50 take statins for several years, their risk of a stroke or heart attack significantly decreases. However, statins also result in migraines, sleep disturbances, nausea and other unpleasant side effects.
So, it’s important to remember that some benefits come with drawbacks, but it’s also key to identify personal metrics. These are data points, like your weight, which give you information about the state of your health.
To determine your own health metrics, just pay attention to your body and lifestyle. For example, you could check your blood pressure regularly and keep track of your weight from one year to the next.
Beyond that, your metrics should also track habits that impact your health. Do you have a donut craving every week? Do you need to go to bed early to be at your best?
By figuring out what’s normal for you and pinpointing the habits that influence your health, you’ll have an easier time determining when something isn’t right and why.
View health news and research critically.
Most people deeply and sincerely want to be healthy and, as a result, are terrified of illness. So whenever a headline proclaims the health benefits of some behavior or product, people tend to act accordingly…