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Chronic Diseases

Chronic Diseases

Matt Canning

Matt Canning, Webmaster

I took this commentary from a conversation I had with some friends in a blog. These are solely my opinions of course, but I leave this topic open for discussion.

I will put my comments in plain text, with comments from speaker one in red text and comments from speaker two in blue text.

I find that many people are constantly looking for a scapegoat when it comes to what causes death and illness.

Always looking for a scapegoat.

There are basically three items to look for here (re: cancer). Known carcinogens, known anti-carcinogens, and the unknowns like steroid abuse. Decrease the first, increase the second, and maybe try to avoid the unknowns too unless there is a damn good reason not to (e.g., keeping your sanity). I think the best way to look at chronic diseases is using the diathesis-stress model. 100 years ago there was far less heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other rates of chronic diseases. Same goes for obesity. People seem to want stupid and simple solutions like low carb potatoes - just a bit of news - potatoes existed long before obesity rates went through the roof - it ain't the damn potatoes. It reminds me of when Ryan's mom asked me why I eat so many potatoes despite trying to stay lean. I really had no choice but to tell her that the diet industry is full of shit. Use some common sense and take a look at what has changed since 100 years ago. Without question, more controllable factors have changed than things we can't avoid like environmental toxins or genetics (as if we evolve that quickly). We didn't have fast food restaurants on every block spewing out their processed garbage in 1905. Do you think that maybe (just maybe) years of drinking, doing drugs, self abusive stupidity, and general neglect contribute to the increase in chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc? You think? Wow, no shit!

What I would like to see is a study comparing rates of chronic diseases between health freaks and the general populace. Did you know that 1 out of 2 people in this country die from preventable causes!

The problem with looking at these things in terms of what can be controlled and what can't is that an individual will just blame one or the other. An extremely health conscious conscious individual who has a very strong internal locus of control like myself will be biased and minimize the effects of the uncontrollables. The majority of Canadians would rather just pretend this is all uncontrollable to give themselves rationalization to carry on with their horrid lifestyles. Trying to pretend they can't help the inevitable, so why even bother (great attitude!).

I've gone on a ramble. Oh well, I reap the benefits of my lifestyle on a daily basis. People can carry on with their delusions since no one will be hurt but themselves. As for scapegoating steroids - steroid abuse is not a wise idea, nor is eating poorly, letting yourself go mentally, smoking weed, and so many other things. Like I said, some things are clearly good, some are clearly bad and some are an X. Those which are an X should be looked at with caution (smoking weed, steroids, etc), and probably avoided just to err on the side of caution.

It's not my gut, it's not my heart attack, it's not my lethargy. This is what keeps me from going crazy when people foolishly ignore good advice. You WILL pay the price if you allow yourselves to be exploited by the food industry and our on demand cultural crap. Trust me on that.

I love how sneaky Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi and all them are named. It's not for a weight-loss diet, that's for sure-- aspartame causes weight gain, and the people gaining the weight are likely to ascribe it to any other possible cause; anything but the diet cola. Truly, the only people with a special diet that requires diet soda are diabetics.

This is true. Aspartame is one of those new age variables that wasn't around in the days when chronic diseases were so much lower. That said, label it an X and consider avoiding it or minimizing it. Don't be a guinea pig.

Sugar on the other hand, as been around for ages - years and years. Sugar is ok. Just moderate it.

There, that is the problem. All these hidden chemicals and marketing gimmicks.

Now you say, "Ryan, they're not hidden. It's right on the can/bottle/box/etc."

Just because they have the word "Hyperbutabenzonate" doesn't mean, that they're telling people what that's going to do. Lets be serious. Not everyone... well, a very few amount of people know what these scientific words mean... they should have it clearly spelt out what the hell they're ingesting.

pfft... garbage I say...

But ya, if after they hear what it is and what it's effects are, if they still want some... then by all means gorge.

Yes... like on pill bottles... That's what the soda should say, side effects.

May cause: drowziness, nausea, diahria.

Contains addictive chemicals.

May increase risk of: heart attack, melenoma, John-dis, liver cancer, hair loss, erectile disfunction, weight gain, liver spots, leafy growths, third nipple, stroke, canker sores, blindness, and the wild mongoose flu.

There... if they want to injest that garbage after they know what it can do... then by all means.

I've come to realize I quite like capitalism if it could actually work the way it does in theory. This is even more unlikely than communism working out in theory though.

I still like communism better.

BUT - capitalism breeds way more corruption. People exploit others by doing exactly what you said. Hey, just because it's legal doesn't make it moral. It's disgusting. Just remember, you don't need to allow yourself to be exploited though. I make a huge effort to read what hyper-benzine-methyl-proximate is, but you think this is easy? It's freaking nearly impossible.

People's neglect is a large part of the picture, but I still feel for them because it's sometimes hard to avoid being exploited no matter what you do.

Still, common sense is ok. How hard is it to just take a look at what's on your plate and feed half of it to the dog? How hard is it to take a walk? These are the common sense things that almost everyone ignores, and I can't say I feel too badly for them. But they reap the consequences of their actions, both health and social. I hope people consider their lifestyles worth it. I sure as hell do.

I agree. Quote: "you think that maybe (just maybe) years of drinking, doing drugs, self abusive stupidity, and general neglect contribute to the increase in chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc?"

Wait a second... booze was created thousands of years ago and has been drank throughout the ages, it's definately not new.

Same thing with drugs. Many tribes of people have smoked or ingested herbal drugs. Perhaps not Crack Cocaine or heroin. But there were still some drugs.

Now the self abusive stupidity and general neglect... if this is refering to eating fast food and sitting there watching tv all the time... then I agree with that.

But other then that. I think people should have the choice to do these things.

That women shouldn't be bitching at you... even if someone sells steriods to this man, and gives him the proper warning about them, then it's his own fault. He has the right to ingest what-ever he want... well not little boy penis, but you get my point. As long as he isn't directly hurting anyone else, let him kill himself, let everyone who wants to hurt themselves.

You are correct about alcohol and drugs.

Alcohol has been around for ages. It's been tried, tested, and proven that drinking in moderation is pretty much ok. But alcohol and drug use has still been going up.

Also, alcohol and nicotine are quite carcinogenic when combined. They always have been.

Cancer is the most insidious of chronic diseases since (relatively) we know so little about it. But let's further demonstrate our ignorance by pretending it's some random shot in the dark in all cases and that it's completely unknowable or anything.

Cancer rates have increased dramatically in the past 100 years. So have rates of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Would anyone be so naive as to say those other chronic diseases are going up due to environmental toxins like air and water pollution? Last I checked, I don't recall seeing air pollution as a risk factor for diabetes. Yet people love to pretend that cancer is caused by these uncontrollables because we don't know that it isn't (this is the fallacy known as the argument from ignorance).

Likewise, it's wrong to assume it is completely controllable too (same fallacy). The difference being that the incidence of cancer has increased alongside those of other chronic illnesses which we know are caused by controllable things. Why exactly would cancer be any different?

Also, any geologist will tell you the air pollution nonsense is overplayed. Natural pollution is far more damaging than what we've done as humans. Water quality has (if anything) improved in the past 100 years. Thunder Bay might not be a good example of this though, since the quality is (relatively) poor. But still better than it was years ago.

Then there are the poor souls who get cancer through shot in the dark genetic problems. This is very sad, but out of the 22% of people in North America dying of cancer, how many health freaks just randomly get it out of the blue? Probably not a lot at all.

There is a LOT you can do to help your health. Forget about cancer - think in terms of the diseases we know more about and use some common sense. If you have the time, do more than that. That is, if you want a long healthy life (I know I do).

Take care,

Matt Canning

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