I was reviewing the list of the most common diseases resulting in death in America. The latest year for which we have complete data is 2018. Of the 2.8 million deaths that year, the top 10 in order of most frequent: heart disease, cancer, accidents, chronic lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, flu/pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide. When someone dies, they may have several illnesses but the primary disease is listed as #1 on the death certificate. The real question: What is the true underlying:
CAUSE? For example, Sam died of a heart attack. What CAUSED the heart attack? He was a longtime smoker. Smoking is not listed as a “cause” of death in the top 10 but it is a top preventable CAUSE of death. Aunt Susie died of a stroke. What CAUSED the stroke? She had a long history of uncontrolled high blood pressure. High blood pressure is not listed in the top 10 causes of death, but it is an underlying culprit in many heart attacks, strokes, kidney diseases, and other serious illnesses. Let’s go further. What CAUSED Susie’s high blood pressure? Was it her poor diet, physical inactivity, stress, or a genetic predisposition (family history) that was not managed adequately? None of these are on the top 10 list.
For each of the CDC top 10 causes of death in America, we are really looking at what happened downstream at the damage. The truth lies in what happened upstream that led to the deterioration downstream. The CDC list of causes of death does not tell the true story! It’s not an “authentic” list. Sam may have died of a heart attack, but SMOKING is the actual CAUSE. Aunt Susie died of a stroke, but she was obese and didn’t come anywhere near meeting the fitness guidelines outlined by numerous organizations. PHYSICAL INACTIVITY AND UNHEALTHY FOOD CONSUMPTION are the contributing underlying CAUSES of her demise.
Let’s get down to basics, as painful as they may be for all of us. What would you rather have listed on your death certificate as a primary cause of death:
- Diabetes OR Excessive, Unhealthy Food Consumption?
- Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke) OR Unmanaged Stress and Physical Inactivity?
- Motor Vehicle Accident OR Texting While Driving?
- Chronic Liver Disease OR Excessive Alcohol Consumption?
As the saying goes: The truth hurts. BUT DOES IT? ONLY if we allow ourselves to have such detrimental thoughts. I personally realized I had many habits that were a setup for problems down the road (downstream): unhealthy food intake, exposure to toxins and allergens, stress – to mention only a few! The more truthful we are about the actual CAUSES of our unhealthiness and unhappiness, the greater the likelihood we can address the issues. That’s powerful! The potential of the human body to stay healthy and vibrant is beyond our imagination. It relies on our help. That’s what Living WELL Aware is all about.
What are the REAL Top 10 Causes of Disease in America and how can we eliminate / modify them? Stay Tuned! That will be the focus of an upcoming weekly webinar series in 2021: Living WELL Aware: What REALLY Makes Us Sick? What is Healthy? Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information / to get on the limited list. Make 2021 Your Year of Health and Happiness.
THANKS to teachers from Troy ISD and Belton ISD who attended the Living WELL Aware Adolescent Wellness Training last week. The totally revised 6th grade curriculum was reviewed and got a Thumbs Up from the group. Everyone is excited about the new video format which includes components on wellness for parents and school employees. The next training will be virtual on December 3 from 9am to 3pm. For registration information, contact Sandy Adair at email@example.com
DOES YOUR SCHOOL or ORGANIZATION NEED A WELLNESS AWAKENING PROGRAM? Have Dr Sulak and Dr Waxman speak to your group – virtually or live.
Have Dr. Sulak and Dr. Waxman speak to your group.
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