Beyond Genetics: Natural Ways for Improving Health You Can Use Right Now – Part 1

Last time we looked at some of the promise and the limitations of genetic research. (If you missed it, it was called What Will Genetic Research Tell Us About Human Health.) In summary, genetic research shows promise for improving health, but there are plenty of limitations to what we can expect from it.

These limitations include the fact that it won’t identify functional, systemic, environmental or even specific nutrient requirements that someone might have. In addition, it’s not possible using only genetic information to sort out what’s happening at higher levels of body organization – tissues, organs, systems (circulatory, respiratory, digestive, etc).

Why It’s So Hard to Sort Out Health Issues

Think about how many different things go on within and around us that affect our health. Here’s an abbreviated list:

  • 50,000 biochemical reactions happen every day in the body, each of which affects our health and well-being.

  • External emotional stressors such as deadlines, relationship & family problems, political events & news stories powerfully influence us.

  • Exposure to toxic substances in our environment can block our ability to adapt and function at our best.

  • Most of us eat a wide variety of foods, some of which may push our metabolic processes out of balance. The same applies to our choices of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements.

  • We may have strong, but difficult-to-pin-down negative reactions (food sensitivities) to some foods we eat (food sensitivities).

In addition, each of these factors can affect one person in different ways than it might affect another. Among the areas that might be affected are (in order of importance):

  1. Our autonomic nervous system (master balance regulator of the body)

  2. The cellular oxidation rate (how fast we burn fuel in our cells)

  3. Our steroidal hormone balance (adrenal fatigue, thyroid malfunction, etc.)

  4. The balance of neurotransmitters in the brain (brain chemistry imbalances)

  5. Catabolic (aerobic) / anabolic (anaerobic) balance (how well our cells ‘breathe’ by taking in nutrients and letting out toxic byproducts)

  6. Our dominant endocrine type (thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, gonadal)

  7. The balance of electrolytes in body fluids (stress/insufficiency)

  8. Any of the 6 acid/alkaline imbalances that may occur in various areas of the body

  9. How foods affect us based on blood type

  10. Inflammation related to prostaglandin balance/imbalance

  11. Our constitutional tendencies

That’s a lot to think about at once!

Is There a More Practical Way to Improve Your Health?

Fortunately, you don’t have to understand every single detail of your situation to start feeling better right away. Each of us has a set of excellent tools for figuring out what to do for improving our health.

What are they? They are our senses and our ability to be aware of how we feel at any moment.

Before you dismiss this as too simple, hear me out.

The reason this works is because your body is continually giving you feedback. Some of this feedback you are familiar with. Things like being hungry or tired, knowing when you need to yawn or sneeze, etc. are so basic that we almost never think about them, we just respond appropriately.

HTML clipboard a:hover { color: #b63b3b; text-decoration: underline } body { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; padding: 0; margin: 0; color: #000000; scrollbar-base-color: #31684B;} p { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; color: #000000; text-align: left } ol, ul, li { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; color: #000000; text-align: left }You may be less familiar with the fact that there are signals your body gives you that you might not understand as clearly. However once you understand them, these are the body messages that give you the power to refine what you’re doing and often greatly improve your health.

Here are a few of the best signals to notice:

  • Whether or not you’re hungry again within a couple of hours of eating a meal.

  • Your level of energy – is it balanced and sufficient for the task at hand or do you have too little or too much (hyper) energy at times?

  • Your level of aches, pains & other discomfort.

  • Your ability to mentally focus and be productive.

  • Your emotional resilience – are you generally happy and bounce back from setbacks and problems or do things get you down and seem to keep you there?

  • Digestive efficiency – do you experience gas and/or bloating after you eat?

  • Any other symptoms of dis-ease such as respiratory problems (asthma, frequent colds, etc.), gynecological issues (PMS, missed periods, etc.), or elimination problems.

In other words, any symptom that interferes with your quality of life.

For each person the list of symptoms to notice will be different. When you notice changes in any of these areas, take it as a communication from your body that something is out of balance.

Of course this begs the question of what to do to correct these things when you notice them. We’ll be addressing that part of the puzzle next time.

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