Taking Charge of Our Own Health - Practical and Achievable

For many people, the  thought of taking charge of one’s own health sounds scary, remote and unachievable, bearing in mind that our conventional health care providers (in particular physicians) undergo a very extensive training program to gain the medical and related health care provider status, and yet, they still face a multitude of challenges to keep us health. So what is the underlying magic for an ordinary person to achieve this? We can answer this by drawing parallels to 3 scenarios of health care within the animal kingdom (1. Humans, 2, Domesticated/captive Animals and 3. Wild Animals).
A closer look at health care provision for the three scenarios provides us with the answer as to how taking charge of one’s own health is practical and achievable. Humans rely on highly trained physician and other health care professionals to counter ill-health, obviously with some challenges; Domesticated and Captive animals rely on highly trained veterinarians and other animal health care personnel to fight ill-health; and animals in the wild depend on what is known as “Zoopharmacognosy (animal self-medication - use leaves, roots, seeds and minerals to treat a variety of ailments), certainly with some challenges but not so well known to us. Essentially, in zoopharmacognosy, animals are part of the nature, depend on resources from nature and when they get sick, they become their own doctors.  From this point of view, it is very practical and achievable to take charge of ones own health based on the zoopharmacognosy model of combating illness and of cause through conscious lifestyle modifications, in particular optimum nutrition. Of interest to note is that, in the wild animal scenario, as in the case of humans, there is Professor Turtle- Phd Geriatric Medicine; Professor Coyote- Phd Psychiatry, etc., but there are no claims that indicate that in the wild, animals live unhealthier lives than humans. In fact the opposite might be true, especially with respect to chronic non-communicable diseases.
A classic example: Personal experience.
I remember very vividly as of my youthful age till adulthood, when catching a flu was a very uncomfortable annoyance. Assistance from conventional health care providers focused on advising me to drink lost of water, take pain killers including over the counter medications to relieve stuffing of airways, and to take a good rest. As far as I remember, these interventions did not give me much of the appreciable relief and recovery would be achieved after a considerable number of days. However, a turn around of events occurred about three years ago, when I started to take charge of my own health. I have not had flu for three consecutive years, to date. This was achieved by use of vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), following the alternative/holistic/natural, or alternative medical approaches, as opposed to the conventional medical approach. The success of alternative medical approaches on prevention and treatment of cold, cough and flue lies in use of fairly higher doses of vitamin C , (15-50 times more) The average recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults for the conventional medical approach is 75mg. While this is likely effective in prevention of the classic vitamin c deficiency disease called  scurvy, it is ineffective in meeting the vitamin C requirements for many other vitamin C health-related conditions, such as enhanced immunity system and healing effects on the cold and flu ill-health.
A fascinating point of view to note is that what is considered by some of the main proponents of conventional medicine (USA) as the tolerable upper limit for vitamin C (2000mg), is actually the dosage considered by proponent of alternative medicine, a dosage at the lower spectrum of therapeutic effects of vitamin C.  In fact proponents of natural health do not have an established upper tolerable limit, but recognize bowl tolerance (a measure at personal level were by stool starts to get uncomfortably loose) and at this point the dose should be lower than that level of vitamin C intake (usually experienced well above 5 000 - 10 000mg a day). A further remarkable controversy in the 2 000mg upper limit in that other proponent of conventional medicine (European Union, 2006 and Japan 2010) could not establish a tolerable upper limit for Vitamin C, which leaves a lot to admire, as to the real reason behind establishing tolerable upper limit for ascorbic acid at 2000mg. An article by Vinu Arumugham (2017) argues that most epidemiological studies ignore mechanism of adverse event causation. If you ignore mechanism, you cannot design the study with appropriate controls. So the results of such epidemiological studies have to be discarded due to confounding, and this can help us scrutinize the validity of evidence or claims of medical or biomedical research findings.
Take home message
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) prevents and cures colds, cough and flu at appropriate dosages (higher quantities).     
My favorite excerpts from All4NaturalHealth.com  that can help us better understand the basics of taking charge of your own health goes as follows:
A pinch of salt

Yes, the volume of information out there can make things confusing. In fact, many experts disagree on things. I can tell you, sometimes, the more I read, the more confused I get. What is good, what is not? What to eat, what not to eat? Here, let me point out to you the importance of taking everything you read, hear or find out about with a pinch of salt. Nobody knows everything, and bear in mind that everyone would be biased.
Thus, nobody - doctors and naturopaths included - and especially not those who are trying to sell you a product, would be telling you the full truth. Don't even believe everything that i tell you! Do your own research, and use your common sense, intuition and personal judgment.

Take charge!

The crucial thing here is to learn to TAKE CHARGE, and then listen to what your body tells you. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It is the best gauge of your state of health. In taking personal responsibility for health, it means not following the instructions of others blindly, but for you, and only you, to ultimately make the decisions and choices for yourself.
Yes, taking personal responsibility does come with some risk. But, what doesn't? Going to a doctor does, too. This is the body given to you, so who’s better to be accountable for it than yourself? But of course, do your homework - read, ask, speak to people, try, etc.                                                                                                                                              
With good health, more to come in the next post.


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