A Perspective on Diseases and Disorders that Plague Humans

DiseasesDo you worry about getting polio? Of course not – you were undoubtedly vaccinated as a child. However, there are other very serious diseases.

For centuries, going back to the Egyptians, people were threatened by diseases such as: Measles, Mumps, Diphtheria, Polio, Smallpox, Influenza, Meningitis, Tuberculosis, Syphilis, Pneumonia, Diarrhea, Cholera, Typhoid fever, Bubonic plague, Malaria. These are often referred to as Communicable Diseases or Infectious Diseases because they are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites and can be transmitted (communicated) from one person to another.

These diseases could not be prevented until their causes were known, and this was not established until the middle 1800s by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. Good sanitation and vaccination were the answers. Once infected, techniques for cures were slowly developed through scientific methods. Different vaccines and antibiotics were developed for each disease.

Nowadays those diseases that plagued people for centuries are seldom encountered in first-world countries. If an incipient plague springs up anywhere in the world, the World Health Organization initiates quarantine steps and mobilizes the medical communities for cures. Instead we are assailed by a variety of chronic debilitating disorders that are not caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites.

You might worry about getting cancer, and rightly so, Over a lifetime, 50% of men and 33% of women are likely to get cancer and about 40% of those who develop cancer will die of it. And as we are well aware, there are several other serious health problems to worry about: Athersclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Rheumatism, Chronic kidney disease, Autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Obesity. Of course we want cures for these health-robbing disorders. More importantly, we would prefer to never get any of these disorders.

To avoid these dreadful afflictions we need to inquire about their causes. Volumes of medical studies clearly indicate three causes: genetic defects, toxic chemicals and chronic stress. Nothing can be done about the genes we inherit, but we can eliminate or avoid toxic chemicals in the home, workplace and community. We can also eliminate or reduce chronic stress by changes in how we live, and by yoga and meditation. This entire blog site and my book are devoted to identifying toxic chemicals, describing how they damage us, and how to avoid them.

More needs saying about genetic defects. At least at the present time, we cannot do anything about the genes we inherit from our parents. However, there IS something that can be done about the genes that our children will acquire, and that something must be done BEFORE the child is born. The fetus must be protected from toxic substances that have been proven to cause damage to the genes; radiation and alcohol are two well known deadly culprits. Hundreds of toxic chemicals have been found in the blood of umbilical cords – that lifeline from mother to the fetus – and they are implicated in many of these disorders.

A summary statement was issued by the prestigious American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine: “Toxic chemicals in our environment harm our ability to reproduce, negatively affect pregnancies, and are associated with long-term health problems.”

What lessons are here? One, many chronic, debilitating diseases can be prevented by persistent conscious attention to avoiding the toxic chemicals that daily assault our bodies. Two, pregnant women need to keep their bodies free of toxic chemicals. Three, mothers need to keep their growing children’s bodies free of toxic chemicals.

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Miscellaneous Health Hazards

toxic planet

  1. Two Harvard professors of neurology and a dean for gobal health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine state that there is a silent pandemic of toxics that have been damaging the brains of unborn children. They name 12 common chemicals that they believe are causing not just lower IQs but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.
  2. According to the The American College of Obstretics and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproducttive Medicine, toxic chemicals in the environment harm our ability to reproduce, negatively affect pregnancies, and are associated with numerous other long-term health problems.
  3. Researchers at a Denmark university found that women whose blood had high levels of perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, were up to 16 time more likely to suffer miscarriages. They found PFCs in the blood of 392 pregnant women, including 56 who miscarried and who had much higher levels of PFCs in their blood.
  4. In March of 2015 the World Health Organization classified the active ingredient (glyphosate) in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Although mainly used on corn and soybean crops, Roundup is also widely used around homes.
  5. The World Health Organization in early 2014 stated that world-wide cancer rates are expected to increase 57% in the next 20 years. In the U.S. the incidence of cancers such as childhood leukemia and brain cancer, as well as diseases such as diabetes and obesity, continue to rise alarmingly.
  6. Scientists at the Silent Spring Institute reported in Environmental Health Perspectives that 17 types of chemicals cause mammary tumors in animals, and likely in women. They include gasoline, diesel and auto exhaust, flame retardants, stain-resistant textiles (treated with PFCs), paint removers and disinfectant byproducts in drinking water.
  7. A 2014 report by the Environmental Working Group and Duke University found that all the children in the study had been exposed to a fire retardant (TDCIPP) linked to cancer and endocrine disruption. The children also had elevated levels of three biomarkers for the fire retardant mixture Firemaster 550. You may want to check the labels off your children’s bedding and furniture for fire retardants (if used, they must be identified on the label). In a different report, another fire retardant (TBBPA, cousin to BPA) was detectable in house dust and in people, including umbilical cord blood and breast milk.
  8. We know that much fruit and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides, but potatoes? According to the Pesticide Action Network, almost two million pounds of pesticides were applied (in 2012) to U.S. potatoes. Topping the list is the probable carcinogen, chlorothalonil.
  9. Now an incoraging good note: organic food consumption leads to dramatically lower pesticide exposure. The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Research, found that non-smoking participants who ate a diet at least 80 percent organic had 89 percent lower organophosphates (i.e., pesticides) in their urine.

 

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