4 Health Issues You Could Be Treating Naturally
At this point it shouldn’t surprise anyone that many “treatments” offered by conventional medicine have the potential to do as much harm as good. While many amazing and life-saving discoveries continue to be presented, many people are finding their journey to wellness lies on a more traditional path. Sometimes instead of a leap forward into the next big thing, we find what we have been looking for all along on a simpler path.
As always, before you consider any treatments, please consult with your family doctor or a physician familiar with your medical history. These alternative treatments ( as a general rule) have not been subjected to significant case studies and this information is purely based on the experiences and success stories of individuals who embarked on the natural path of their own accord.
Listed below are a few of the most common ailments in the US. They also have proven beatable without huge lists of prescriptions and dependency on modern medicine.
Almost 2 million people will be diagnosed with diabetes this year. These new additions, along with the 28 million already diagnosed, will lead to healthcare costs of almost $245,000,000,000 (yup, that’s with a B) If you would prefer to keep your billions to yourself ( and who wouldn’t?) Maybe it’s time to consider making some changes. While it’s true that affected individuals have a genetic disposition to type 2, or insulin dependent diabetes (the most common form) , study after study has shown that excess weight and improper diet are major contributing factors. A regular exercise regimen that includes plenty of cardio and endurance training is a great place to start. Dropping saturated fats and processed foods from your diet is the next step. There are a variety of diet plans available that are intended to help diabetics control their blood sugar without depending solely on insulin and other medications.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects an extremely large percentage of the population. The CDC estimates that up to 30% of adults over the age of 20 are affected and the number continues to grow. As with diabetes, there are a number of factors causing this. Obviously processed food is a major culprit. Believe it or not, Americans are actually working out at much higher rates than they have in the past. It’s recommended to get at least 30 minutes of cardio 4 times a week to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Exercise alone won’t get you there, however, and without making significant changes in your diet it will be hard to stay ahead of the treatment curve. In this case, a raw diet seems to be the path to wellness. Avoiding processed foods rich in sodium, red meats, sweets and candy will give your body the head start it needs. Incorporate foods rich in magnesium, potassium and calcium into your diet to promote good cardiovascular and dietary function. Garlic, hawthorn, fish oil, folic acid and cocoa are great supplements to add to your diet, and many people have reported positive results from the addition.
Avoiding or dealing with stress in a healthy manner is also a major factor. Modern technology and the go-go-go lifestyle may seem to make us more efficient and streamlined, but almost every study done shows a major impact on our bodies by how much stress we deal with on a daily basis. It’s important to remember that we only get one life and rushing through it at breakneck speed is really no way to live. Make sure you’re taking time for yourself, your family and friends. Happy relationships are one of the most important factors in leading a low-stress life. Take “mental health” days, with no plans or electronics and go do that thing you’ve been thinking about. Visit a nice park, volunteer at a shelter, catch up with your downtime ‘dreams’ a little. Also it’s good to take some time for quiet contemplation every day. If you don’t meditate, maybe just have a quiet cup of tea out on your porch, sit in the yard and just enjoy the moment. Being at peace with yourself will have a calming effect on your daily interactions.
Respiratory illnesses of all kinds are on the rise, and while there are many that have higher morbidity rates, none affects so many on a daily basis as does asthma. There is no cure for asthma, although children may grow out of it and adults can experience less symptoms by avoiding triggers, such as allergens, dry air, and over-exercising. Asthma is the #1 chronic illness in children and results in over 3,000 deaths every year. (Although over 90% of these are adults) The most common form of asthma attack is triggered by dust mites, pollen, mold and pet dander. Since there is no specific cure, controlling the symptoms becomes the focus of most treatment plans.
At the beginning of your treatment plan, it’s good to start a journal. In this you can keep track of when the attacks occur and events preceding it that might include triggers. Daily use of a peak flow meter will also help you track your progress and improvement. A peak flow meter measures your lung output and is a good daily exercise.
Certain foods can be beneficial in treating and preventing asthma symptoms. For instance, coffee drinkers tend to experience 1/3 less symptoms than non-coffee drinkers. Onions and chili peppers have anti-inflammatory properties. Orange juice, salmon and peppermint are also foods of choice for avoiding attacks.
Daily aerobic exercise is also very important. Building and maintaining lung capacity will give you a physical reserve to work from when symptoms flare up.
Much more frequent than hyper, hypothyroidism is the result of the thyroid gland under-producing hormones vital to the body’s function. This disease has reached what some consider epidemic proportions in the United States. The causes of hypothyroidism are many and include autoimmune disorders that attack the thyroid gland, decreased levels of iodine, protein, magnesium and zinc. One of the most concerning causes, however, are the chemical factors. Heavy metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic and poisons such as pesticides are contributing factors that have all been shown to significantly reduce hormone production and damage the thyroid. It’s probably no coincidence that the use of these substances has also increased dramatically in the past decade.
Hypothyroidism can lead to a large variety of related health problems. From weight gain, cold intolerance and bowel issues to more severe issues like depression and bradycardia. Again, the path to healing starts with avoiding what we already know is unhealthy. Refined foods, saturated fats, sugar and other foods can limit the body’s production of the hormone thyroxine and lead to exacerbated symptoms. Maintaining a healthy level of iodine is important and can be done by adding certain foods to your diet. Black walnuts, Irish moss and kelp all boost metabolism and blood flow to the thyroid gland.
Foods rich in Vitamin A aid in thyroid hormone production. And they’re foods that you should be eating daily anyway. Carrots, eggs, liver, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe are all excellent foods for thyroid health.
Remember, always consult with your family doctor before making any significant changes in your health plan or diet. This article is intended to offer suggestions on alternative treatments for common ailments. If possible, we should all seek to decrease our dependency on a healthcare system that doesn’t have our best interests at heart, and start living the life we dream of.
Jonathan Parker is an EMT-Paramedic and Preparedness Instructor with a love for emergency medicine, self-sufficiency and homesteading. His goal is to empower people towards a natural and sustainable lifestyle.