Straight Talk Advice

Jun 23, 2010

Poor health and lots of it

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: I’m 20 and just got diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I’m not even overweight. A friend has something wrong with her thyroid. Another takes high blood pressure meds. Another has asthma. Another Asperger’s. A couple of friends are on antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicine, another takes Adderall. Another friend has back problems. Include the friends who are overweight or have eating problems and there is something wrong with almost everybody I know. Are we really this unhealthy or just over-diagnosed pill poppers? — T. C., Monterey, Calif.

Catherine 23, Amherst, Mass. Ask me a question

We are over-diagnosed and over-medicated. I have been personally diagnosed with ADD (after taking meds, it turned out I’m just a bit of a daydreamer), bipolar disorder, chronic back pain, acid reflux, high cholesterol, and vitamin D deficiency. My friends have been diagnosed with similar things, plus Asperger’s, diabetes, thyroid problems, testicular cancer, allergies, breast cancer, insomnia, endometriosis, Crohn’s disease, Lyme disease, hepatitis C, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and on and on. I can hardly think of a friend without a health problem! There are many alternatives to pharmaceuticals. I started treating my acid reflux naturally and it got better. For depression, my friends have tried pill after pill with little or temporary success.

Lennon 23, Fair Oaks, Calif. Ask me a question

I mostly blame the pill-popping culture. We don’t care about root causes, we just want things “fixed” so we don’t have be “challenged.” In “A Beautiful Mind,” the main character deals with the challenge of schizophrenia because he doesn’t want the meds to change how he can think. It’s inspiring. I just have seasonal allergies and psoriasis, but friends have ADD/ADHD, epilepsy, diabetes, learning disabilities, kidney stones, scoliosis, depression, and digestive disorders. Western medicine both dopes our systems, and weakens the gene pool by keeping so many unhealthy people alive to pass on their genes.

Matt 16, Villa Park, Calif. Ask me a question

I see the quick-fix mentality every day with my peers. Medicine is a great thing, but it is overused and often ineffective. I hate taking it unless I’ve exhausted all other options. Weight management is a perfect example. Calories in-calories out determines a successful weight loss program, not “magic potions.” Remember the old saying: “Nothing worthwhile is easy.”?

Jessie 18, Ashland, Ore. Ask me a question

There is too much hovering! (My mother ran my brother to the doctor because he wasn’t eating as much.) It makes our generation health-paranoid, imagining ailments we don’t have. I have anemia and back pain, but I don’t eat right and get my back popped instead of stretching, resting or massage. You don’t always need a doctor.

Liva 20, Santa Barbara, Calif. Ask me a question

What I see in college: ADHD, anxiety, depression, ovarian cancer, thyroid problems, chronic fatigue, diabetes, back problems, bipolar disorder, hip and knee problems, food allergies, environmental allergies, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome. Probably 65 percent of my friends have had mononucleosis. I personally suffer from anxiety, environmental allergies, and lactose intolerance. After a healthy childhood, I’ve been sick every month in college, including West Nile, mono, pneumonia, and H1N1. I have no friends who exemplify radiant health. Most have underlying health issues and frequent general sickness.

Katelyn 15, Huntington Beach, Calif. Ask me a question

It’s lifestyle. Our food is chemically-treated and we lack proper exercise. And yes, if something goes wrong, we want a synthetic pill. We also harm ourselves by poisoning the environment, smoking, doing drugs/alcohol, having casual sex. We reap what we have sown.

DEAR T.C.: I don’t mean to be a downer, but Katelyn’s right, we are reaping. Because of lifestyle, you inherited a weakened body from your parents, who inherited a weakened body from theirs. Unless we start eating an omnivorous whole-food organic diet, begin walking more, seek natural remedies over quick-fixes, and clean up our planet, the next generation’s health will take another step downhill — into largely infertile territory.

Editor’s Web Note: Who needs global warming or nuclear bombs? We can go extinct with Cheetos and Big Gulps. We’re definitely at a precipice. Some experts predict infertility to double in the next seven years — to one in three women unable to conceive. The discoveries of Dr. Weston Price (known as the “Charles Darwin of nutrition”), and the experiments Dr. Pottenger, show that when it comes to diet, the “sins” of the parents pass to the child. As a result of poor nutrition, each generation births increasingly weaker offspring. Pottenger experimented with healthy cats by putting them on a fixed non-ideal diet. With each passing generation, their health became progressively worse. By the fourth generation, his cats experienced all the problems humans have (heart disease, cancer, immune system disorders, etc.), with the addition of mental illness and infertility. At that point, he turned the experiment around and fed the cats an ideal cat diet again. It took seven generations on their ideal diet for optimum health to return to the population. Millennials represent the third or fourth generation of people eating a non-ideal diet. And we, too, are beginning to see mental illness and infertility emerge on a grand scale. It’s time we turned our food experiment around, too. The book “Nourishing Traditions” (available on this website) teaches the ideal human diet that Dr. Price discovered in living action among 14 independent villages of people who he found with perfect radiant health in the 1930s. The website for the Price-Pottenger Foundation is http://ppnf.org. The Weston Price Foundation website is http://westonaprice.org. —Lauren

  1. By Maureen, age , from Redding, CA, USA on 06/23/2010

    Honestly most of my friends are quite healthy.  Yeah, I can think of a few people that have minor health problems but nothing that alters their lifestyles.  Most of my friends are active, try to avoid excessive TV watching/internet using and even eat healthy.

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  2. By Gregg, age , from Sacramento, CA on 06/23/2010

    I and most of my friends are in pretty good physical shape, but I only think that is because we are still young. I know that my diet is pretty healthy and probably a little better than my friends, but I still consume a large amount of sugar everyday. I try and stay conscious of my sugar intake and sometimes I am able to control it but it is still out of hand. I think a larger concern for my friends is the use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Maybe it’s just summer and people want to drink, but four days in a row seems like an unhealthy habit and a tough one to break.

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  3. By Lauren Forcella, age , on 06/23/2010

    As you can see from Maureen and Gregg, not all the panelists who weighed in on this question, experience the onslaught of health problems that others do. But, in general, the biggest challenge this generation has is their health. For instance, excess weight and obesity are hardly even mentioned and they are rampant.

    I would love to hear from you! What do you experience in your own health and the health of your circle of friends? What do you think it’s from?

    Thank you for your input.
    Lauren

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  4. By Alexis, age , from Sacramento, CA on 06/25/2010

    My twin sister and I are exact opposites when it comes to this.  I’m very healthy and happy while she is constantly sick and depressed and is very overweight.  The reason is obvious.  I eat healthy foods and exercise while she stuffs herself with junk food and never exercises.  People can’t believe we’re sisters, much less twins, since we look and act so much different, although we are fraternal, not identical twins.  She has such a negative, depressed attitude that my friends don’t even like to have sleepovers at our house since we share a room.  She’s so ashamed of her body that she actually demands that anyone but me leave the room when she undresses the rare times that anyone is willing to spend the night.  I love her and have tried to point out why she’s in the condition she’s in, but she just gets angry and continues to be depressed and feel sorry for herself.  Health may not be 100% in someones control, but it is too a very large extent, but you can’t force someone to take care of themself if they are not willing.

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  5. By Leela, age , from Pacific Grove, CA, USA on 06/29/2010

    I read your column with interest and usually appreciate your thoughtful comments.  Your response to “Poor Health, and Lots of It,” is distasteful by your statement that, “Unless we start eating an omnivorous. whole-food, organic diet…the next generation’s health will take another step dowhill…”
    I agree with the whole-food, organic diet; however, I raised three incredibly healthy and athletic children who have grown into healthy adults who have given me three healthy grandchildren—all on a vegetarian diet.  Why omnivorous?  You’re usually more objective.

    I do think we seriously need to address what children are eating.  Meat consumption, if you haven’t read, is contributing to our global carbon footprint more than almost any other food source.  I don’t have objections to those who wish to eat meat, only to those who insist that it is the only way to be healthy and to those who put their heads in the sand about the ramifications of meat eating.

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