“ Health is not valued till sickness comes” – Thomas Fuller
Since the quest for the elixir of youth, man has continued to crave for immortality. But unfortunately, it seems the greatest doom of man remains, we all must die! But wait, what causes death in the first place? Naturally, our bodies are not machines hence as we grow older, our cells weaken and die. Of course, it’s normal. It’s normal for you to die. In fact, each day, a thousand cells in your body undergo programmed cell death (or apoptosis) even to keep you living. So even death, is part of life. So why then do we all complain about death? In truth, death is not the true foe, but sickness is! That time when you feel down for some reason you can’t explain, when you feel feverish, feel weak, feel easily fatigued, that time when you get plagued with diseases, that’s all sickness. And that itself, is the menace of living. So why do we get sick? Today we’re vibrant and energetic and suddenly tomorrow we’re feeling sick. Where on earth does it come from? There’s just one simple answer and that is, your environment and you! Almost all the time you fall sick, you’re the cause. When it’s not you, then it’s your environment. And what forms your environment? Everything you do forks your environment. So in summary, may be we can just state that man is the sole cause of his menace. Now, how does this happen, how does our habits and our environment cause us to fall sick? This happens through four major mechanisms:
- Build up of toxins in the body.
- Deficiency of essential nutrients in the body.
- Biochemical anomalies in the body.
- Trapped mental and emotional stress.
There are two basic things we do that is responsible for how we and our environments cause these four things mentioned above to happen.
- What we eat
- The activities we engage in
What we Eat
You would have heard the statement “you are what you eat”. This is in every way, true! But as much as this statement has been preached, we refuse to take heed. It seems so hard to believe. Like how on earth am I what I eat? Consider this analogy. Everyday we take in food substances. Obviously this food ends up in our stomach and we can feel it. That’s our own little way of knowing we have eaten. But do you know that food doesn’t end in your stomach? In fact, your stomach is just the first of many landing points of your food. After eating, the food has to go through a series of processes collectively called digestion. Digestion is the breakdown of food substances into simple constituents that can be absorbed by the body. Digestion typically takes an average of four hours to be completed. However, it can vary for some food substances. For example, fruits take approximately 3 hours to get digested, vegetables 6 hours and grains about 18 hours. Additionally, not just grains, but also artificial foods such as ice-creams, bread, cake and noodles can take long time to digest. And as it is for most of us, these are foods we derive joy in eating. Now when we pile up our stomach with more food when the ones that were there before haven’t been completely digested, what happens? They just get lost? Or they are eliminated? No! Instead, they ferment, decay and get locked up in our body as waste. With time, this waste accumulates and is stored in various parts of our body. When they get stored in the intestines, they cause constipation and indigestion, in blood vessels they cause atherosclerosis, in ovaries they cause cysts, when they accumulate in the respiratory tract they block our airways and make it difficult for us to breathe (what we call asthma) and when they accumulate and cause stones in the kidney, we term them kidney stones. Apart from the digestive aspect, there are harmful substances which we feed ourselves with daily. A good example of this is cigarette. Do we know what we take in when we smoke that stuff called cigarette? We take in a whole lot of nicotine. Nicotine is a very toxic substance. When we keep taking in this nicotine, it accumulates and cause our body trouble. Another thing is drugs. The drugs you take everyday also play a role in the build up of toxins in the body.
The Activities We Engage In
Another major contributing factor to sickness is the activities we engage in. So many of us take delight in sitting for 24hrs at home without taking a walk. We see movement as a burden. We sit in offices for almost the whole day. And when we’re back home, we’re off to sleep. We give no room for exercise. Time and time over, the effect of exercise in improving the functioning of the body has been proven even scientifically. But still, we pay not even an iota of attention to exercise. Also, most of us are becoming unnecessarily glued to screens. These include TV screens, laptop screens and phone screens. This things expose our dear body to so many radiations. And these radiations are terribly harmful. They can cause all manners of sicknesses ranging from the mild sicknesses to terrible ones like cancer. Even additionally, so many of us fail to keep a clean environment. How easy can it get for you to just pick up a dirt and put it in the bin? But no! We choose to leave the dirt on the floor. When these dirt accumulate, they encourage the growth of microorganisms. These microorganisms can then move into our food and water. When we eat, we invariably take in these microorganisms into our body. They then grow in our body and cause a host of infections. These microorganisms can either be bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Thus, giving rise to bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections.
Conclusion The food we eat and the activities we involve in are what makes us sick. These two things are responsible for the myriad of pathological conditions that affect our dear body. So if you want to live healthy, it’s that simple, watch your food and watch your activities!
HOW WE REALLY GET SICK