Prosperity and Health
By Aleksander Strande, Ph.D
I feel prosperity and health are directly linked. According to the World Health Organization ó 2003, the most devastating killers in the world are HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Childhood Diseases and conditions related to Childbirth. Certainly not in our country, but in developing nations this is what people die of and most of them are preventable diseases.
Also according to WHO ó 2003, Malaria kills one million children a year, mainly in Africa. Almost two million per year die of Tuberculosis ó 98% of them in developing countries. AIDS kills three million people per year. More than half a million women die from complications of pregnancy mainly in Asia and Africa.
The saddest statistic is that eight million children die per year from completely preventable deaths including pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition. These are diseases that take only a small amount of money to completely eliminate.
According to the American Red Cross, for 33 cents you can orally rehydrate a child suffering from diarrhea and stop them from dying. This is incomprehensible and does not seem to affect us as we make our mortgage payments and decide which SUV we are going to buy. Or does it?
In industrialized nations we suffer from different illnesses that most people in the third world donít live long enough to experience. It does not make our suffering less. Particularly since I now see children and teens suffering from anxiety-related disorders and autoimmune disorders.
Autoimmune disorders are rampant because of the damage to our environment and toxins we ingest in our food and water, as well as a stressful lifestyle that induces our immune system to attack itself.
I see more cases of ALS, MS, Ulcerative Colitis, IBS, Chrohnís Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and a host of others. Our stressful lives affect us differently than those in the third world.
How are prosperity and health directly linked? The answer is obviously different for those living in the third world versus people in the U.S. The good news is that according to Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of the World Health Organization, ďThe prospects of intervening to prevent death in developing countries have never been better.Ē
There has been a concerted effort from the international communities to making an effort of eliminating the diseases in the developing countries and we can see it as a reality in the coming years. Many nations have made a concerted effort to eradicate preventable diseases. According to WHO, Ethiopia, Kenya and Vietnam have all shown success in rolling back malaria. In a five-year time-span, Vietnam has reduced malaria by 97%.
In Thailand government determination to promote 100% condom use in brothels and HIV prevention in schools has dramatically reduced new HIV infection. In Mexico improvement to safe water and sanitation succeeded in reducing childhood deaths from dysentery by 60% in 10 years. Although we are making small steps, we are progressing in the third world.
However, at home in the U.S. the number of diseases is increasing, including the preventable diseases that are due to lifestyle, diet and exercise increase.
The following is a list by percentage of cause of death in the U.S.A according to the Nutrition Institute of America:
Cardiovascular Disease - 47%; Cancer - 22%; Smoking- 7%; Prescribed Pharmaceutical drugs - 5%; Alcohol - 4.5%; Preventable Medical Mistakes by M.D.ís - 2.4%; Motor Vehicle Accidents - 2.2%; Suicide - 1.4%; Murder - .94%; Pedestrian Vehicle Accidents - .37%; Food - .24%; Drown-ing - .21%; Home Fires - .19%; As-thma - .19%; Poisonings - .17%; Firearms Accidents - .079%; Freezings - .048%; Electrical Accidents - .038%; Penicillin Allergy - .014%; Horse/Animal Riding - .005%; Lightning - .004%; Sports Injuries - .002%; Honey Bee Stings - .0008%; Dietary Supplements such as Herbs - .0001%.
This seems like a lot of statistics to absorb, but I use it to illustrate a point. By and large American deaths are highly preventable, as well as those in the third- world countries. Yet in the third world their diseases are decreasing and ours continue to increase. We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world and we are dying of diseases due in large part to lifestyle and stress. What can we do to prevent these diseases?
We must change our lifestyle and our mindset to healing. As well as stress reduction methods that work for the individual such as exercise, meditation, spiritual fulfillment, or even simple laughter. I fully advocate the use of allopathic medicine and routinely send my patients to their M.D.ís when necessary. I also work in conjunction with patients who want to utilize allopathic medicine and alternative medicine at the same time, and promote cooperation of the two professions.
I find it interesting that use of pharmaceutical drugs is one of the fourth leading causes of death in this country. Herbs are the last leading cause of death or twenty-third on the above-referenced statistics. Herbs donít kill, but pharmaceutical drugs do. It is interesting that many patients are terrified to take an herb but they have no problem popping an assortment of pharmaceutical drugs that may or may not cause death.
If herbs were a fourth leading cause of death as pharmaceutical drugs, people like me would be chased out of this country or into prison. We keep fighting to have viable herbs available to the public. I use only organic herbs generated by FDA-controlled labs and never buy from sources in other countries other than Australia, one of the cleanest countries in the world.
The reason herbs are not promoted by pharmaceutical companies is that you cannot patent an herb. It is a food product. A simple product like celery or chamomile that can be grown in your backyard is a current threat to the pharmaceutical industry only because they canít profit from it. These simple herbs and plants are created for the purpose of healing and have been used for thousands of years.
In developing nations economic prosperity is limited on a global scale. In the
U.S., personal prosperity is denied if you are ill. It can limit your ability to
work and generate income. It limits your ability to think clearly. Many of my
patients call and simply want to be able to work regularly and get back to their
busy life-styles. It is possible to recover if you are ready.
Alex Strande, PhD, is a Naturopath and a Microbiologist. His special interests are difficult conditions. He can be reached at his office in Irvine at (949) 587-1513 for questions and appointments. You will find additional information about Dr. Strandeís background, articles published and testimonials at his website www.simplyhealingclinic.com.
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