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.