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Positive Choices Avoid Chronic Illness

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by ggingues, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    by Linda Carlson, citizen journalist
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    (NaturalNews) Millions suffer from chronic illness that may be prevented by new lifestyle choices. Knowledge and the desire to make positive changes could be the answer.

    Chronic illness afflicts 100 million Americans... consumes two-thirds of all U.S. health care costs and causes 7 out of 10 deaths. ($2.00 out of every $3 spent on health care is for chronic illness caused most often by preventable poor lifestyle habits), according to Mike Leavitt, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

    The (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that close to half of Americans suffer from, at least one chronic disease. More than two-thirds of the deaths in the U.S. are caused by a combination of heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes. Their web site showing the ways chronic diseases might be managed on a nationwide level is www.FightChronicDisease.org.

    A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that four healthy lifestyle choices could reduce your risk of most common chronic diseases by 80 percent. By eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight you could significantly reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other ailments.

    The American Diabetes Association conducted a survey and found that 52 percent identified developing a chronic illness as the worst possible thing that could happen. At the same time when it came to making changes to reduce the risk of disease the survey found that 67% admitted to following a poor diet. 62% maintained an UN-healthy weight while a whopping 83% recognized that being overweight or obese was a contributing factor to developing diabetes.

    The conclusion seems to be, that while more than half of the people in the survey thought chronic illness was the worst thing that could happen and understood that being overweight or obese could lead to diabetes, they still maintained an un-healthy weight and followed a poor diet.

    What is the answer?
    The key to reducing the risk of chronic illness is prevention. We must focus on a healthy lifestyle and develop healthy habits by eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, keeping stress levels down and getting regular daily exercise.

    More knowledge may be needed about the relationship between chronic disease and poor lifestyle choices. Many may not be convinced that making better choices will help and some are simply unwilling to make the changes in spite of the knowledge.

    Choices and habits that have a negative impact on our lives can imprison us. If we learn about the choices that are available to us and then develop good habits, it can give us all the power we need to improve our health.

    We really have nothing if we don't have our health. It's a choice.

    Linda Carlson CNWC

    http://www.sixwise.com/Newsletters/...
    http://www.sixwise.com/Newsletters/...
    http://www.healthandage.com/Obese-p...
    http://www.centerforcreatingwellnes...



    About the author
    Linda Carlson is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Counselor with 21 years experience. Dragonfly Health at www.cree77.com
     
  2. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    I'd take the 'lifestyle choice' of being tested and treated for xmrv if it were ever offered. Instead I've had the 'lifestyle choice' of a painful living death for a quarter of a century - with just contempt and abuse from the medical profession.
     
  3. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    I agree. And patients should also avoid the "lifestyle choice" of attempting to exercise themselves back to health, including graded forms of exercise, as both are potentially dangerous.
     
  4. MarxyGrouch

    MarxyGrouch *****

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    Hi, new here.

    ggingues do you agree with this article? Do you think it applies to CFS?
     
  5. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    While it is true that healthy lifestyles are good for you in general, I object to the judgemental attitude of this article - many of us with ME/CFS lived healthy lifestyles before getting sick. The fact is that bad things happen to good people. My father in law died of lung cancer - he looked after himself, and never smoked in his life.

    If you live to a great old age, you have a good chance of ending your life with dementia. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6346873/.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    There is some truth in the idea that positive choices are helpful.

    I turned the corner after 10 years of suffering when I made a positive choice to walk out of my doctor's surgery never to return, and further improved when I made a positive choice to seek out an alternative approach.

    The positive choice to join Phoenix Rising was another big milestone for me.

    None of it has changed my situation of chronic illness and acquired immune dysfunction, but all these positive choices have had a dramatic effect on my ability to cope better with the situation.
     
  7. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Mark,

    Positive choices have made the world of difference for me.

    Quitting my job (when I had significant debts & an uncertain financial future) ended most of the stress in my life.

    Taking the positive steps of seeking out the things I could do (& trying not to focus on the things I can't do) made a big difference.

    And most importantly, aiming to get out in the fresh air with some slow walking (despite extreme back/hip & foot pain initially), turned out to be the best step in improving my health. I am not fit & certainly not without pain, but the walking has finally had a beneficial impact.

    (When working full time, I had to stop several times on the 15 minute walk home through exhaustion. On the worst days, I had to stop every few steps, when walking up the smallest slope in the footpath).

    Coping with chronic pain & illness is not easy, but once you get the hang of it, pace yourself, and strive to live beyond your illness, it's surprising how very much better your life is.
     
  8. MarxyGrouch

    MarxyGrouch *****

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    Well that's fine, but the article says that with positive choices we would all avoid chronic illness. See title. Call me grouchy ( ;) ) but I am offended by that. i am not sick because of negative choices.
     
  9. dancer

    dancer Senior Member

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    I'm grouchy, too. It is a myth that if we don't smoke, don't drink, exercise daily, and get our yearly mammograms that we will be granted the reward of health. Yes, wise choices are... well, wise. But I'm fed up with the implication that I must have made some "bad choice" that caused CFS/ME or have kept me from recovering. I ate healthier than any of my friends, exercised more than most of them, ideal weight, had a happy, fulfilled life rich with healthy social structure, had none of the "big" bad health habits. Yet I got some sort of flu, reactivated mono/EBV...and have been sick ever since. My junk-food-eating friends are all fine. Sure, over time their bad health choices may bring a little extra burden on their body, but from the point of view of someone with a debilitating illness that I CANNOT CONTROL, (and medicine has no treatment for) I find this sort of article deceptive and irritating.
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Hi grouchy! In case you misunderstand me, the positive choice not to listen to insulting garbage articles like that one is another part of what I intended to imply. "The turning away" can cut both ways...
     
  11. Stone

    Stone Senior Member

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    I agree MG. When I became ill, I had just quit smoking 4 months prior and was exercising daily for several hours. I was eating a very healthy diet and rekindling my spiritual life. I was in the best shape I had been in for years and things were also going very well for me in my career and family life as well as my social life. Then I was hit by a Mac Truck called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I did nothing to bring this upon myself, and quite frankly I've had it with being held responsible for getting sick as if I had some control over it. I think it's common knowledge that NO ONE knows how or even if this disease can be prevented. If it is a retrovirus, how can you say that children who were infected via their mother's breast milk had any choice in the matter?

    Yes, certain lifestyle choices lead to health problems; no question about it. But how do you explain it when a toddler gets cancer? Did the baby make poor lifestyle choices? Give me a break. I think it's pretty clear that most thinking people already know that a healthy lifestyle can prevent many diseases. I'm sure the intent of the post was meant to be positive and helpful and it's clear that several people have received it as such, but sadly, after so many years of being blamed for my illness and suffering so much at the hands of the medical profession simply because I happen to have a disease that doctors do not understand and do not know how to cure, this rubs me in a very sore place indeed.
     
  12. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Yes, I agree that positive choices are helpful. No studies really needed for that....

    But for heaven's sake, before I got ill, I had been for many years eating a really clean, balanced organic diet,
    zero smoking, drinking, or drugs either recreational or pharmaceutical, daily yoga practice, daily meditation practice,
    no junk food, white sugar, coffee, or chemically-laden foods, rode my bike, swam...you get the picture.
    I had even, a few years before becoming ill (or perhaps I just didn't recognize it yet) quit my high-stress, long-hours job.
    I then moved from the big polluted city to a pristine high-desert countryside and
    BOOM!!
    ME/CFS was my big reward for all those positive choices. I have long felt, though, that it was in fact those positive lifestyle choices
    that were in part responsible for the fact that I am not in a dark room unable to care for myself at all (though stuck on the couch unable to leave the house
    for any extended period is no picnic either.)

    So yeah, the article does seem ind of superficial and makes me grumpy too!
     
  13. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Quite! No need to prove the blindingly obvious really - over and over again.

    Indeed it is, just suggesting making the positive choice to ignore it and read something else! Not saying it doesn't deserve attacking, but if it's making you grumpy or angry, simple solution seems to be to find something more positive.

    A poster on this board used to have a sig: "What we feed is what will grow. How we respond is who we are". I found that one of the most profound things I'd ever heard. But whoops...am I missing the point by feeding this thread about a crappy paper?! DOH!
     
  14. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Kind of.

    From the Article "The conclusion seems to be, that while more than half of the people in the survey thought chronic illness was the worst thing that could happen and understood that being overweight or obese could lead to diabetes, they still maintained an un-healthy weight and followed a poor diet.

    What is the answer?
    The key to reducing the risk of chronic illness is prevention. We must focus on a healthy lifestyle and develop healthy habits by eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, keeping stress levels down and getting regular daily exercise.

    More knowledge may be needed about the relationship between chronic disease and poor lifestyle choices. Many may not be convinced that making better choices will help and some are simply unwilling to make the changes in spite of the knowledge.

    Choices and habits that have a negative impact on our lives can imprison us. If we learn about the choices that are available to us and then develop good habits, it can give us all the power we need to improve our health.

    We really have nothing if we don't have our health. It's a choice."

    I don't agree with daily exercise, not with our medical condition. Perhaps I should have gotten more sleep when I was healthy?! But I didn't know how that impacted my immune system and besides, if we have a RetroVirus, would it really matter?

    I like the line "We really have nothing if we don't have our health.!! I can relate to that!
     
  15. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    I guess I didn't have a problem with this article the way others have. I underlined the areas above where she had some clear caveats in her article. The two items I bolded are instances where she didn't use caveats, and might have been good if she had.

    But I don't view her article as being judgmental or inordinately negative towards anybody. And she certainly didn't single out any specific illness, such as ME/CFS, as one which is 100% preventable. Lord knows there's plenty of journalists/authors who did single us out with some very judgmental opinions.

    I understand some of the sensitivities some have, but I just don't see any malevolence in the article. Though I might have tweaked it here or there, I can see how a large number of readers who do NOT follow good lifestyle habits might be inclined to consider it after reading the article. And I think that would be a good thing.

    Best to All, Wayne
     
  16. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I'm totally with you on this, Mark.

    Did want to mention though that I was not attacking the article (in fact gave credit for my positive choices keeping me less ill than I likely could be.) Just giving a thumbs-up to the people who also found it grump-inducing; because to be honest, I believe that we PWCs are total HEROES and CHAMPIONS that we can wake up every day, feeling like crap, and still smile, and still do what we need to do to move toward wellness, and still take a deep breath and understand when our friends and families don't get it. We are, as a whole, the most positive bunch of people I can imagine, because we keep going, and embracing hope, despite months and years and decades of suffering by degrees.

    I strongly believe we as a group live positivity every day, just by not giving up or in to a situation that can be so rife with uncertainty, loss, pain, and fear.
    I think what comes across as irritating in the article is a superficial suggestion that ill or good health is entirely a matter of choice. Yes, to some degree it's true--but we did not choose to be chronically ill, no matter what our lifestyles were before.
    As a global society we would be better served to choose to refrain from poisoning our air, water, food and culture so that humans might be less prone to stress and illness in the first place.
     
  17. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Yes I think there may have been a little over-reaction, healthy lifestyles and positive choices are all well and good of course. But it's the frustration of getting only a part of the story - and you rightly say that most of these lifestyle issues are in reality not truly a matter of choice. Just try making the choices you need to make in order to get the sort of healthy foods and products you need to cope with MCS and environmental illness. You're going to need a lot of money, and real dedication to seek those solutions out - and you'll have to disregard lots of official advice saying there's no evidence that these things really are that much healthier you know...

    Added to which I seriously doubt that those of us with ME/CFS have it because of unhealthy lifestyles and negative choices in our past lives before. So many of us were fit, healthy, clean-living people before it struck. There's nothing wrong with the points in the article per se - but it's a choice about what you choose to emphasise. The choice I see all around me is to always blame the individual for everything, and not the structure of the society in which they live which imposes their 'choices' on them.
     
  18. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    maybe I'm paranoid (or just very negative atm) but it's a small step from articles like this designed to change public perception (or re-enforce it) that large amounts of money going into healthcare is essentially wasted on people who made themselves ill - smokers, drunks etc. - there's been a lot of this sort of thing going on at least in the UK recently - Tv series ("documentary's" etc.) - it's only a small step IMO from refusing to treat a smoker or an alcoholic (already a reality in the UK) to refusing to treat people in traffic accidents on the basis they chose to get in the car

    it's all drip drip propaganda - designed to slowly chip away any empathy that the general public has for anyone that might cost money - the UK goverment at least goes in heavily for this sort of tactic for a couple of years then instutes "efficiency" or "anti-fraud" measures once it's made sure the public see's it's victims as lazy scrounging criminals

    and yes - I can provide sources - lots and lots of examples over the last 20 odd years

    dont be fooled - this isnt a postive helpful article at all - it's just designed to look like one
     
  19. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Yes, making healthy lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of developing some chronic illnesses. HOWEVER, that does not mean that everyone who gets one of those illnesses has made poor lifestyle choices. Some people who live a healthy lifestyle will still get diabetes, cancer, etc. Nor does it mean that ALL chronic illnesses are the result of unhealthy lifestyles, something which the "citizen journalist" doesn't mention. She also doesn't mention the effects of genetics and environment. I think this is classic "blame the victim." By suggesting that good health is "a choice," she implies that those who are sick have made poor choices.

    I completely agree that people should be educated and encouraged to make choices that promote good health. I don't agree with telling people that good health is completely withing their control. I don't agree with promoting the idea that chronic disease is the result of a character flaw. People want to believe that, because they want to think that if they just make all the right choices, IT CAN'T HAPPEN TO THEM. The idea that serious illness could strike and that they can't prevent it is scary. People used to wear amulets and talismen to ward off illness, and people today aren't a whole lot more rational about it.

    Funny, isn't it, that people are more willing to accept that even if they do everything right --clean living, wholesome diet, exercise, washing their hands, getting enough sleep-- they will sometime still get a cold. They can accept that colds happen, and that while you can reduce your risk of getting one, you are unlikely to avoid them completely. But they simply don't want to believe that the same could be true of disabling or life-threatening diseases. It scares them. To reassure them, some "authorities" are willing to use the ancient technique of blaming the victim. It's as old as Job.
     

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