Degenerative Disease Overview

WHAT IS DEGENERATIVE DISEASE?

More than 70% of us will die from degenerative disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, adult onset diabetes, and others. This is tragic in of itself, but made even more so by the fact that degendegenerative disease is largely preventable.

Degenerative disease is all caused by chronic cellular stress, and relieving cellular stress will prevent and even reverse it.

Cellular Stress. The predominant cause of cellular stress is lifestyle factors. Lifestyle means many things, but we divide it into four pillars: diet, exercise, spiritual discipline (stress reduction), and circadian rhythm (quality and quantity of sleep).

Lifestyle issues are not the sole cause of degenerative diseases. Both cancer and heart disease can be caused by microbial infection. HPV virus can cause cervical cancer and hepatitis virus can cause liver cancer. Chlamydophila pneumonia, a bacteria, can cause or aggravate atherosclerosis. However, while these should be watched carefully and treated, they cause only a minority of the degenerative diseases.

Diet. The body is far better equipped to deal with food shortage than with excess. While occasional shortages may not be a problem, the body expects a broad range of nutrients when food is available. Unfortunately what we currently give our bodies is abundant quantities of low quality food. Most such food is converted into glucose, a form of sugar. (starch=glucose/sugar.) Thus there is usually a huge excess of glucose, far more than the cells need. Hence they tend to be overloaded with these products. Some of the unneeded food will go bad inside the cell due to oxidation. This is toxic to the cell and will cause it to mis-perform or worse, can lead to cancers.

Atherosclerosis is caused by oxidation of sugar and fat products-produced in response to too much sugar- that get stuck behind the artery wall. This causes cellular damage and sets off a cascade of immune system repair responses. If the immune system’s repair attempts are unsuccessful, the result is high blood pressure and possible heart attacks or strokes.

Exercise. Quality is far more important than quantity. Exercise has multitudinous advantages, but two that pertain directly to cellular health are more efficient clearance of reactive oxygen species and the increase and activation of HDL.

Reactive oxygen species, otherwise known as free-radicals, have gotten a lot of press over the last 10 years, with endless trumpeting of the antioxidant properties of this or that. In fact, the body uses these free radicals for various important purposes, and meddling with this has typically backfired. The blood is loaded with antioxidants already, so supplementation is meaningless, if not harmful. Where things can go wrong is in the cells. An idle cell will tend to produce reactive oxygen species. An overloaded cell will do the same. These can cause trouble. They also send a cell wide signal to cut energy generation. Exercise directly relieves this situation. Energy generation is maintained while the possibly dangerous reactive oxygen species are actively cleared from the cell.

HDL, sometimes confusingly called good cholesterol, is the body’s wonder drug. It directly assists the immune system. Its specialty is offloading toxic materials found in cells. HDL is tiny and can get in and out of just about anywhere. In atherosclerosis, it helps out the immune system by unloading toxic junk from white cells. HDL is raised by exercise, but more importantly it is ‘activated’ as well. With the right exercise, the body’s HDL will collect and dispose of 2 to 3 times as much garbage as otherwise. Beware of just knowing your HDL number; they may all be freeloaders. Measure your activated fraction of HDL too.

Spiritual Discipline. This could also be termed meditation, mindfulness, or tranquility. One major health benefit here is reduction of cortisol, one of the fight or flight hormones. Cortisol will jump in response to any frightening or threatening situation. The threat/stress response releases a cascade of hormones; some for immediate strength and power like adrenaline and for the long haul, cortisol. Cortisol, in part,  disables immune system repair activities so the body’s energy and resources can be directed to more basic survival strategies. If the stress is chronic, as is often the case in modern society, then cortisol is raised continuously, and its undesirable side effects are also present chronically. This increases cancer risk. Meditation or other forms of spiritual discipline reduce cortisol and adrenaline and helps alleviate this problem.

Circadian Rhythm. Most cellular repair functions occur at night. Hence a good night’s sleep is essential for good health. This separate category, to highlight its importance, is also improved by adhering to a formal spiritual discipline.

If all four of these ‘pillars of health’ are in good shape, you will be too. Atherosclerosis will not be progressing and will likely be reversing, cancer risk will be diminished, adult onset diabetes will be prevented or reversed, and aging retarded. This is where we want to be. Figuring out where you are and how you can get to peak health is the primary purpose of Quantitative Medicine.

Future posts on this topic will include.

How to determine your level of cellular stress.

How to change or relieve cellular stress.

  1 comment for “Degenerative Disease Overview

  1. September 17, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    These articles have been very easy to understand and have given me a better understanding of HDL’S AND LCD’S
    also regarding saturated fats as apposed to carbohydrates
    the greater meaning or intake of the two. Will be sure to read the book also as I have downloaded it and look forward to reading it Thanks, Regards
    Mr. A Seymour

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