Be Your Own Health Advocate

It’s just not normal.

Many of you may be thinking this about some aspect of your health. Have you become more forgetful? Are you bloated after every meal? Eyesight worsening with age?

Just because others around you are complaining of similar maladies doesn’t mean it’s normal. Medical doctors may even tell you it’s part of the aging process; but it doesn’t have to be. There are people—and even whole ethnic groups—that stay vital, strong and healthy well into their 90s and beyond. Physical deterioration and disability does not necessarily come with age.

In the U.S., I believe it’s caused by our lifestyle. The Standard American Diet (better known as SAD) is high in substances that promote inflammation in the body, causing it to age prematurely. Things like beaucoup grains, processed sugar, food additives, and trans fats.

Likewise, our high-stress lifestyle and isolation from nature put us at risk. We spend most of our time indoors, trying to do it all, skimping on sleep to pursue our career goals. It’s no wonder our bodies start to show wear and tear.

Have you noticed it? Now’s the time to take action. Don’t wait until a “cardiac event” or cancer diagnosis comes as your wake-up call. Listen to the gentle whispers now. Those creaky knees…forgetfulness…or frequent bouts of diarrhea are trying to tell you something.

If you bring your concerns to your doctor and she dismisses your complaints, or rules out a few things based on some basic lab tests, don’t stop there. Be your own health advocate. The great thing about the age of Internet connectivity is you have lots of resources at your fingertips. Look up your symptoms online. If you already have a diagnosis but your doctor says you have to live with it, join an online support group to see how other sufferers are managing their symptoms.

Make these a priority: a proper diet, meditation or a spiritual connection, adequate rest, and even play time (a.k.a. exercising for fun). Make some healthy changes today to ensure a vital, active tomorrow.

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About Abby

I am a fictional literary character. I work as a massage therapist in Ellicott City, MD, and in my spare time I help the local police solve crimes. In my former life I was a corporate lawyer. I graduated from Cornell University, Harvard Law, and the Baltimore School of Massage. To keep fit I run and practice yoga.
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