The Key To Optimal Health: Nutrition and Disease

by Rita Louise, ND

During the past 20 years, we have heard a lot about controlling disease through diet, exercise and food supplements, but not much is being said as to how to prevent disease before it occurs. We are all are born with both inherent strengths and weaknesses as part of our genetic inheritance. All of the tissues in our bodies, whether of bone, muscle, gland or organ, have a unique balance of chemical elements that are designed to work in harmony with one another. It is now believed, that all chronic diseases are accompanied by nutritional deficiencies and imbalances in the essential chemical elements that make up the body.

Many of us think of nutritional deficiencies in terms of an inadequate diet. This is often the case. According to Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., the leading nutritional problem in the US today is that many of us eat too many empty calorie foods. It is not that we do not eat enough food, but instead, we don't eat enough of the right kinds of foods. It is now felt that it is the consumption of a majority of inappropriate foods that lead to nutritional deficiencies in the body.

There are, however, other ways in which the body exhausts its valuable supply of chemical elements. Excessive mental work, for example, can deplete the brain, nerves and glands. Stress can wreak havoc on our immune system. Toxins can to build up in our bodies, leading to chemical depletion. We can simply neglect our bodies or forget to get enough fresh air, sunshine and exercise. Any abuse or overwork to our bodies, in addition to any inherent weakness we may have, can leave us with nutritional deficiencies.

Once the body is depleted of its needed chemical elements, the breakdown of tissue beings to occur. It is typically followed by the gradual accumulation of toxic materials in the tissue. Once nutritional deficiencies have weakened a particular organ, gland or tissue, toxic material begins to accumulate because they have no power or energy left to throw it off.

Symptoms of ill health are the consequence of nutritional deficiencies and chemical imbalances in the body. Deficiencies may not express themselves as symptoms for quite some time. Typically, the first symptom of disease to appear is fatigue. Next, we may get frequent infections, colds and the flu. Many times symptoms are taken for granted as a natural sign of aging. When left unchecked, however, these same deficiencies can contribute to chronic disease such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Finally, after 10 - 20 miserable years of limping through life, we die.

The appearance of symptoms marks the clinical stage of a disease. When the skin becomes dry, when we have pain in the shoulder, when we have excessive bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea each tell us that something is wrong.

Scientists now recognize that even mild nutritional deficiencies and biochemical imbalances can create subtle symptoms of disease. Although there IS a point of no return in tissue damage caused by severe long-term deficiencies, it is surprising to see how well the body responds to nutritional correction. It has been found that with nutritional supplementation and dietary improvements, you can work toward the remission of symptoms and the reversal of the disease process. As the chemical signs of deficiency are eased, it has been found that many of the sub-clinical symptoms being experienced are alleviated.

Prevention of chemical depletion is the key to optimal health. Even in cases of AIDS, people don't die from AIDS proper. They die from AIDS related diseases. In other words, they die from weaknesses in the body. The same holds true for individuals with Cancer. Currently the only cure western medicine has for cancer is chemotherapy, radiation or cutting it out. What they do not realize is that anyone with cancer also has many other conditions that should be taken care of. Such a person will never be truly cured until integrity is restored to the rest of the inherently weak tissues that have toxic settlements and mineral deficiencies.

Natural Health Practitioners think in terms of treating the patient, not just the disease or the symptoms. They consider each patient as an individual with individual needs. Their goal is to see their patients return to normal health, but normal for one patient may not be the same as normal for another.

One way to evaluate your nutritional needs is to obtain a Biochemical Health Assessment. A complete Biochemical Health Assessment not only evaluates your health based on lifestyle factors and symptoms you may be currently experiencing, but also utilizes information derived from a simple blood test, which identifies your specific bio-chemical needs.

Standard blood tests only identify clinical signs of dysfunction. They tell you when something is broken. A Biochemical Health Assessment, on the other hand, evaluates your body's biochemistry based on a state of optimal physical health and wellbeing. It identifies when there are imbalances in your body's biochemistry and chemical make-up.

This evaluation can provide you with a portal through which you can detect health or disease. By looking for sub-clinical discrepancies, you may prevent disease before symptoms, occur. Knowledge of your body's blood chemistry is your best defense against degenerative disease. This allows you to begin a health program long before these issues reach the clinical or diseased state.

A complete Biochemical Health Assessment, should evaluate your Cholesterol Levels, including your Coronary Heart Risk Ratio, your Liver Function, Kidney Function and Thyroid Function. It should also assess your Blood Sugar Levels, Blood Electrolytes as well as check for signs of Anemia and Infection.

Today, an estimated 46% of adult Americans take nutritional supplements. It is part of a growing trend as more and more people take a proactive approach to their health. Currently, there is no "How To" guide to good nutrition and nutritional supplementation. We all are different and have different nutritional needs. To eliminate a lot of the guesswork and frustration, it is to your advantage to work with a trained health professional who can asses your health needs and that can help you develop a nutritional supplement program that is tailored specifically for you.

Think about it. If you start feeding your body the biochemical elements it needs, disease can be eliminated before any symptoms begin. That is why a Biochemical Health Assessment is the key to optimal health.

Dr. Rita Louise is a Naturopath, Medical Intuitive, lecturer, teacher and the author of the book entitled "The Power Within". Visit the author's web site at

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