Public Health Issues

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Public Health Issues

The freedom to manage your health is always being challenged – be vigilant! And, Our environment is important as a factor in our health. The air we breath, the water we drink, the rugs and furniture we live on, the ground our food is grown in, the air inside our buildings, these all have measurable impact on our health, but the impact is largely unmeasured.

The best flu shot alternative

Flu shot signs are sprouting up in front of pharmacies, health clinics and doctor's offices. The medical world is preparing the public to protect itself from the 2012-2013 flu season. While the shot is available to help those avoid the influenza there are a group of...

The Importance of Drinking Water for Seniors

The Importance of Drinking Water for Seniors

By Lisa LaCount Water is an all important component in our lives. Drinking water is vital to our health and lack of it for more than 24 hours becomes a life threatening situation. 2/3 of the body consists of water and various tissues and organs in the body are made up...

Public Health Issues – The freedom to manage your health is always being challenged – be vigilant!

We are ultimately responsible for our own health, and it pays to be an informed consumer of health care. There are polarities in the health care business, notably the medical/drug industry verses the holistic/health food/supplement industry. There are abuses on both sides, so you must look at the whole picture. But the watchdog FDA is not much help in understanding the total picture, not when their approved drugs kill an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 people a year. The supplement industry is far better on that score – most years the number killed by nutritional supplements is Zero.

Our environment is important as a factor in our health. The air we breath, the water we drink, the rugs and furniture we live on, the ground our food is grown in, the air inside our buildings, these all have measurable impact on our health, but the impact is largely unmeasured. We in the USA have a government agency, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), commissioned to insure that various aspects of the environment we live in are minimally harmful to our health. I say minimally, because eliminating every hazard to health is practically impossible; in practice, we can only reduce known toxins to levels which cause no long-term harm, or protect ourselves from that which we cannot reduce to harmless levels. The EPA seems to pay more attention to industrial and agricultural corporate concerns than those of every day citizens – it is up to us to assess risks and protect ourselves accordingly.

There are now tens of thousands of chemical compounds present in our living environs, and while many are understood and their impact on health quantified, most are not. More importantly, there are opposing forces working to promote or restrict the use of all of these, based on economic benefit or negative health impact. It often takes decades for “truth” to be fully known, and incorporated into practice.

When I was a kid, smoking cigarettes only stunted growth, then we found that it caused lung cancer, but it was couched in terms of acceptable risk, to be balanced against pleasure, which proved to be really enslavement to an addictive substance and the displeasure of repeated withdrawal symptoms. But crazily, knowing the certainty of the long-term damaging effects, we still sell cigarettes everywhere.  Increasingly, we are asking other people to pay for our care for life – where does that money come from? Well, taxes ultimately, but more importantly, it looks more and more like the taxes imposed on generations yet to come.

This category is intended to keep you up to date on the current tug and pull of these forces as they battle in the economic, medical, judicial and political domains. Talk about the ‘right to choose’…. To optimize our aging process we need to understand the risks and consequences of product uses, those chosen or unavoidable, known and suspected, and adopt patterns of living that promote our greater health.

One of the better resources we have is the website of the Public Citizen Health organization WorstPills.org. The site has mountains of research on side effects and interactions for essentially all drugs., some of which are free (noted so on the home page) and all of which (since 2004) are available to subscribers. Subscribe for a mere $15/yr for an online subscription and stay informed about the complexity of drug use and your health.

6-Pillars of Senior Fitness

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