Disease Infections – 5 Secrets to Lifelong Health

Infectious diseases are maladies caused by living organisms that are vectors like parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi. Many of these organisms are normally harmless, and they can even be living on the human body. However, under certain conditions, some of these living creatures can cause disease.

Infectious diseases are a direct result of inappropriate relationships that people have with their environment. The way we live directly affects health, well-being, vitality and our immune system.

AIDS, Sexual Transmitted Infections, Heart disease, cancer, and degenerative diseases like diabetes, cirrhosis, kidney failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and many others accounted for more deaths than everything else combined.

Degenerative diseases, which are some of the major lifestyle diseases, accounted for 60 percent of all deaths since the late 1990s. Follow these five basic principles and watch the results.

1. Eat “good” fats in the proper ratio – Because of processed foods, conventionally-raised meats and the abundance of vegetable oil in our diet, most of us consume far too many omega-6 fats (bad fat) and far too few omega-3s (good fat).

The latest scientific research not only continues to validate the important roles of EPA and DHA in human health, but it also shows that there is a whole family of omega-3 fatty acids, a total of eight in all, that contribute to optimal human nutrition.

2. Keep your blood sugar normal and stable – Chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels dramatically speed up the aging process and are primary risk factors for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, reduced immunity and more. Control your sweet taste and stay away from added sugars.

3. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are most crucial in our daily diet – Oxidation within the body is a primary cause of physical aging and diseases infections. It can be controlled by consuming a diet that is rich in antioxidants phytonutrients.

These are plant-based nutrients which support a strong immune system, normal cell growth, and long-term health of the heart, lungs, and eyes. But less than 9% of us are getting the recommended optimal servings of fruits and vegetables each day!

4. Exposure to sunlight for vitamin D – The benefits of vitamin D are so many, it’s impossible to list them all here. It is a powerful protector against cancer, heart disease and diabetes and is necessary for hundreds of functions within our body. Most of us don’t spend enough time in the sun. If you’re not able to enjoy the sun several times a week, then you should take at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 each day.

5. Exercise several times daily – Your body is meant to be active. It will quickly deteriorate if it’s not. Physical activity should be as high a priority as eating and sleeping. Be sure to engage in some form of exercise at least five days a week. Clean the house or wash the car.

Do some gardening for health – it gives multiple benefits against disease infections. At work, replace a coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk. Ask a friend or colleague to join you. Most important, do the things you enjoy – have fun while being active.

Life And Health In The Year 1000

Compared with the way things used to be, we have it so very soft today. It’s easy to take our modern conveniences for granted. We can fill our days with leisure, bustle around in comfy autos, work only 40 of the 168 hours in a week, chat with therapists, read philosophy, shop for unnecessary stuff to clog our closets and garages, climate control our dwellings and complain about the softness of our mattresses.

In the year 1000, even when agriculture had been around for some 10,000 years, life was entirely different. In Anglo-Saxon society, a precursor to the modern West, the possibility of famine was ever-present and memories of the last one made dread and fear a part of everyday life. Looming natural disasters were constant specters.

Domiciles were not the neat and clean hygienic environs we experience today. They did not smell of disinfectant or exhaust from engines wafting in the windows, but the exhaust from every manner of farm creature and humans always hung in the air. Manure was everywhere with each one having its characteristic bouquet of fragrance. The human nose in the year 1000 could certainly not be so prissy as ours today.

Latrines were located at or near the back door and moss was toilet paper. Flies filled the dank and earthen floor homes where there were few if any hard surfaced utensils and there was no understanding of disease vectors or antiseptic. If you dropped food on the filthy floor, you picked it up and ate it with relish. Five baths a year for monks was thought to be fanaticism by Saxon standards of personal hygiene.

In time of famine, their law code permitted fathers to sell their sons aged seven or above into slavery. Infanticide was not a crime. Communities of 40 or 50 starving emaciated people would join hands at the edge of a cliff and jump. Some chronicles report that “men ate each other.” They would comb the forests for beechnuts overlooked by the wild pigs and would grind acorns, beans, peas and tree bark into a flour to bake as bread. Hedgerows were scoured for paltry herbs, roots, nettles and grasses. “What makes bitter things sweet?” asked a Yorkshire schoolmaster. “Hunger.”

A “crazy bread” of ground poppies, hemp and darnel gave our poor starving ancestors some relief with visions of paradise. Molds that laced the rye that was aging contained a variety of mycotoxins (and lysergic acid [LSD], the psychedelic drug of the “60s) that could not only make people appear mad but would severely weaken the immune system, permitting disease to run rampant. (Note that the cause of the great plagues and epidemics was not the disease agent, but the fragile or non-existent immune system of the starving and poisoned host.)

The church would help allay the pain by harnessing hunger to spiritual purposes. Lent made virtue of necessity, coming as it did in the final months of winter when barns and larders were growing empty. Feast and famine were linked to spiritual purification and gave meaning to hardship as well as hope for better times.

July was particularly tough since the spring crops had not matured and the barns were empty from the previous year’s harvest. Starving was common in the balmiest month of the year when so much toil in the fields was necessary.

Every single hour of the August harvest month was filled with urgency, since everyone knew from the pains of July what was in store for them next year if they did not fill their larders now. Work was not a right, a place to lobby for benefits and ease. It was a life and death struggle.

The contrast between then and now is astonishing. They were on the verge of starvation; we are fighting an epidemic of obesity. They might have to subsist for months on potatoes or stale bread; we have a glut of food options at our instant disposal. They had shortened life spans and were highly vulnerable to injury and disease. We live longer but suffer cruel lingering degenerative conditions.

It is clear from a realistic view of times gone by that it was not the advent of modern medicine that brought relief, it was, as I mentioned in a previous article on SARS [http://www.wysong.net/health/hl_919.shtml], it was the plumber bringing public utilities and with that the possibility of hygiene and the trucker distributing food supplies that brought us our present long lives.

For them it was a daily struggle for survival. Necessity and muscle ruled the day. It was the physical stress of enduring cold, harnessing 8 oxen to a plow to break new soil, hand harvesting and making their own way every moment of the day. It was the true helplessness and victimization (unlike modern day contrived social “victims” clamoring for rights and handouts) from floods, droughts, winds and rain that could wipe out their only hope to avoid starvation in the coming year. For us it is a surfeit of choices requiring intellectual decisions – decisions that make the difference between whether we experience full health or its slow insidious ruination by mindlessly partaking of every offering that promises yet more ease and flavor just because it is there.

Effects of Dams on Health

Dams are massive barriers built across rivers and streams in order to impound water. Usually, they are built across valleys.

They are usually constructed because of the numerous benefits derivable from them.

Dams have been used to generate electricity in many parts of the world. The Hoover dam on the Colorado river supplies much of the electricity of Las Vegas in the USA while the Kainji and Shiroro dams in Nigeria generate a large volume of electricity which is supplied to a number of cities and villages. The provision of electricity has enhanced productivity in many industries hence improving earning power and thus purchasing power. This enables him to afford basic necessities of life like good nutrition and shelter which in turn promote good health. Electricity itself improves health care provision in the various health care facilities since many modern diagnostic and therapeutic equipments used in hospitals are also dependent on electricity for proper functioning.

Dams are also used for irrigation. By constructing a dam across a river, a large reservoir of water can be held back and later released at any time of the year to feed adjacent farms with resultant increase in food production which enhances nutrition and well-being.

Detention dams are dams which either stop or slow down the flow of water in a river. These help to control flooding. Thus farmlands are protected from flooding and destruction. The increased food production impacts positively on health.

Water is a basic necessity of life. Provision of portable water reduces the morbidity and mortality associated with water-borne diseases. Some dams have been used as sources of portable water supply. For example, the Ikpoba dam in Benin-City, Nigeria supplies 70% of the water supplied to to the city and its environs. Dams can also serve recreational purposes which also promotes good health. They can also be used for debris and silt collection for improved agricultural yield.

In spite of these benefits, dam construction also inadvertently creates some problems.

The downstream areas are deprived of nutrient-rich silt resulting in poor agricultural yield in these areas.

There may be species extinction. Dams have harmful effects on fish and marine mammals. Majority of dams do not include proper bypass systems for these animals, interfering with their life cycles and sometimes forcing species to extinction.

Though dams can be used to control flooding, they can also cause flooding with destruction of vast expanse of farmlands and animals with negative implications on health and nutrition.

Dams can also lead to spread of diseases. The containment of water in the reservoir and the irrigation channels promotes the build-up of water snails which are vectors of schistosoma. There may also be build-up of mosquitoes, since the stagnant water favours the breeding of mosquito larvae and pupae. This will increase the incidence of malaria. The larvae and pupae of the insect vector of onchocerciasis, the black fly thrive in highly oxygenated water attached to submerged vegetation and stones. The upstream area which is fast-flowing and well-oxygenated is thus a favourable breeding area. This may result in increased incidence of onchocerciasis.

Since dams have beneficial and deleterious effects on human existence it is necessary to do a proper evaluation before embarking on dam construction.