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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Limit Age Syndrome

Well, it happened again today. After reviewing a patient's lab work, all the out-of-range results, the life-threatening consequences of these bio-markers and how we could tackle them to return her biomarkers to optimality, she basically summarized everything with "Stuff like this lab report and the way I'm feeling is normal for someone my age. Oh well."

Huh? I immediately had a 1995 flashback deja vu of the gal I told you about in yesterday's blog. I wanted to slap her silly---not to hurt her---but to wake her up. Like so many people, she doesn't get it! Disease, or better said dis-ease, is NOT normal. Our body wants to return to its state of healthy balance. Our body strives to return to a state of health. But our body can't return to a state of health when there are so many unhealthy stressors, like diet, lifestyle, emotional stress and toxicity, constantly pushing us towards illness.

In other words, we found the root cause of her poor health---and the enemy was her.

And when someone like me comes along and points this out to a patient--that the enemy many times is the lifestyle choices we make each day---the results aren't always pretty. I've realized that no matter how hard I try to sugar coat the deadly health implications of a patient's lab biomarkers, many patients either try to 1) deny that the problem exists or 2) shoot the messenger.

I guess I can't blame them for their behavior. After all, the stages of grief are 1. denial, 2. anger, 3. bargaining, 4. depression and 5. acceptance. After years of feeling unwell and being told by their doc that they are perfectly healthy, I guess I can understand how a patient would be stricken with the shock of grief (ie: denial or anger) when someone presents them with solid evidence for the reason(s) behind their dis-ease.

There is an elephant in the room, a health crisis, caused by our own lifestyle choices. The biggie right now and for years to come is Syndrome X which is at an absolute epidemic crisis point. Syndrome X, Metabolic Syndrome, pre-diabetes, Diabesity....they are all the same thing. And now, a new group of researchers wants to give this crisis another name: "LIMIT-AGE Syndrome". This new name stands for "Lifestyle-Induced Metabolic InflexibiliTy and accelerated AGEing Syndrome". I like this new name "Limit-Age Syndrome" because it tells us what we need to know---we are accelerating our aging process greatly by the lifestyle choices we make each day.

And, if you haven't figured it out yet, accelerated aging induced by "Limit Age Syndrome" is the opposite of youthification!

Now that we know there is an epidemic of Limit-Age Syndrome crisis in this country, that this crisis is destroying our youthfulness and that we know how to reverse it virtually 100% when caught soon enough, one would think our problems are solved. Right?

Wrong!

Because the crucial step between "knowing what to do" and "just doing it" is a huge chasm that must be crossed. That chasm that much be crossed....that chasm that keeps so many people from taking the necessary steps to save their own life is their own mind.

In many ways the mind is pretty simple. The mind dictates the body. The body is the stuff below our neck. Thus, our mind is what chooses that our legs run from a fire and/or that our hands stuff our face with Oreos. In short, our mind functions via pursuing pleasure and/or avoiding pain.

What does this have to do with the pursuit of health and the avoidance of Limit Age Syndrome? Everything!

Limit Age Syndrome doesn't bring any immediate pain other than unsightly belly weight gain or the joint pain caused by the extra weight and/or the many inflammatory hormones spewing out of the belly's viseral adipose tissue (aka: V.A.T.). All the other implications of this disease, such as greatly increased stroke, cardiac and kidney disease, are virtually painfree. But when a patient weighs the pain associated with Limit Age Syndrome vs the pain associated with giving up their favorite food, many times the toxic lifestyle wins.

In short, the patient isn't sick enough yet to make a lifestyle change.

If only they knew! If only they could hop in a time capsule and fast forward themselves to months down the road! If they could hop in a time capsule they could experience the pleasure associated with being thin, without inflammatory-causing hormones spewing from the V.A.T. belly, active, full of energy and free of aches/pains/depression. They would see that the pleasureful rewards are well worth giving up their unhealthy lifestyle choices. It would be so obvious. And thus, their mind would make the easy decision that the "pleasureful" rewards out weighs the "painful" lifestyle changes.

And so, that brings us back to where I ended yesterday's blog. Our mind. The three pounds above our neck is what is totally screwing up the youthfulness of the weight below our neck.

Simple. But true.

I love you all. And yes, I even have a special deep love and concern for that patient mentioned at the beginning of this blog. After several discussions with her she still doesn't get it---but hopefully I planted a seed in her mind and somewhere, somehow, and at sometime she will "wake up" and see the writing on the wall.

Of course, at the point where she see's the writing on the wall she'll be moving out of the "denial" stage and will most likely enter the "anger stage" and, at which time she will begin shooting the messenger---me.

Stay tuned...