Serious Illness Now Impacts Half of All Adults
Don’t let chronic health problems cause an early death. Read on to learn what are the most common American health conditions and what you can do to avoid (or reverse) these conditions before it’s too late.
Which half will you be?
This past April the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a disturbing new development in America’s health: approximately one-half (45%) of all adults in the U.S. have at least one of the following three conditions:
- high blood pressure, or
- high cholesterol.[1. Fryar C, Hirsch R, Eberhardt M, et al. Hypertension, high serum total cholesterol, and diabetes: racial and ethnic prevalence differences in U.S. adults, 1999-2006.]
All three of the above conditions are strong risk factors for developing heart disease, which, besides medical error (also known as “iatrogenic disease”), has been the leading cause of death for years. Even the study’s authors ask when people will wake up and take charge of their health?
Not only is it costing us our lives, but it’s costing us a lot of money. In 2010, heart disease will cost the United States 316.4 billion dollars. This total includes health care services, medications, and lost productivity.[2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006] And now it’s costing us our most precious resource – our kids – as heart disease has also been discovered in obese children as young as 3 years old.[3. Perrin, E., et al. Multiple Markers of Inflammation and Weight Status: Cross-sectional Analyses Throughout Childhood, Pediatrics, Vol. 125 No. 4, April 2010, pp. e801-e809.] Most people think that these rates are dependent on genetics, however when you look at world-wide statistics on heart disease and find that the countries that most Americans have as descendants have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world.
So where is the source of our increasingly sick hearts? It is the way we view and manage our health that leads to our serious dilemmas. Unfortunately, because it takes years for heart disease to manifest symptoms or serious damage, death can occur before anything can be done. So, why do half of all adults (a number that is growing), suddenly have serious illness? Since these diseases all develop quietly, people think “It’s not gonna happen to me.”
As doctors that have worked with hundreds of thousands of patients, let us assure you of something: denial is a terrible strategy for your health. It doesn’t work because the reality always catches up to you. There are two things that you can do with truth: You can let it transform you or you can deny it’s existence and let it ruin you. In the end, there is no escaping the truth. Another bad strategy is procrastination. When it comes to your body and your life, “Tomorrow” is often too late. Chances are you need a new strategy or “a” strategy, a strategy that doesn’t start with, “It is not going to happen to me.” That strategy will frankly kill you. The simple truth is that you cannot wait for a diagnosis or a crisis to make a change in your health. That’s too late. By that time, you are fighting a losing battle that you usually don’t win.
Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and almost every other disease that will rob you of your future have one thing in common: they form in your body long before you detect them. Unless you’re consciously doing something to prevent them, chances are, as you sit there reading this, one of those deadly diseases is destroying your body. Disease is occurring now. It just kills you later. What you do today, how your body is functioning, what drugs you’re on and how well you take care of yourself determines your future. Most people live today like there is no tomorrow. For many Americans, there isn’t.
The problem with this thinking is that the worst part about disease is not death. We work with 1000s of very chronically ill people. It’s suffering, misery and loss of potential that feels like the worse tragedy, the stuff that makes you not want to be alive. Many, many people we’ve met will tell you, the worst part about diabetes isn’t dying; it’s sitting in a dialysis center 3 days a week for 5 hours a day and not being able to work or support your family. It’s having your toes or other body parts amputated because they ache to the bone and have oozing sores that you can’t stand anymore.
More will tell you, the worst part about having a stroke isn’t leaving your kids or grandkids behind when you die. It’s having them have to take care of you or visit you in a nursing home where others are taking care of you – while you are still alive for 10 excruciating years.
Sound scary? At least it’s the truth and not a lie. Change your strategy. Don’t wait for these end stage events to happen. Take control now, like it can happen to you if you don’t.
You are not a victim.
The road to Maximized Living begins with a challenge. For better or for worse – you are the ruler of your future. The challenge is for you to change. Changing homes, spouses, diet books, gyms, churches, cities, or doctors won’t make the difference. To experience change, you need to be change. There’s a great old saying, “Wherever you go there you are.”
We’d like to encourage you to take The Maximized Living challenge – to get you moving away from the nursing home and towards the Cruise Ship. The fact that you can do something about your life and your health is good news. You can’t always change others or the things around you – but, believe it or not, you can always change you. You are not dependant on anyone or anything else. We see lives turn around in a hurry when people accept that fact. So accept responsibility and let’s get to work!
Right now is the time to take charge of your health and your children’s health. Rightnow is the time to draw a line in the sand and decide that you’re not going to be on the side that’s developing heart disease.
Right now is the time to register for the MAXIMIZED LIVING MAKEOVER. See your Maximized Living Doctor for details. It’s your life – you can change it!
Changing the way you think about and experience health through 5 Essentials of Maximized Living.