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Health Myth: I Don't Need to Worry About My Health Right Now

How sick is the American population? More than three out of four Americans have a diagnosable chronic disease, according to a study in the April 1999 Effective Clinical Practice. We are not a healthy population and our health continues to deteriorate with each passing year.

Most people feel that they are "healthy" as long as they have no symptoms of disease. Disease does not just randomly happen. It occurs for specific reasons. You're not perfectly healthy until you "get sick". And perfect health does not return once disease has run its course, although people tend to think about their health this way. Health begins with your cells. So only after a massive number of your cells malfunction or die, do you begin to notice symptoms of illness. By then, you have been sick before you "get sick."

Teenagers and people in their twenties should be at peak levels of health, right? In Los Angeles, autopsies performed on accident victims revealed that nearly 80 percent had early stages of heart disease. Fifteen percent had arteries that were more than half blocked. Had these young people survived, they most likely would have had a stroke or heart attack eventually. They may have appeared normal, but they were definitely not healthy. It's a matter of perspective.

In 1996, the Journal of the American Medical Association documented that twenty-five percent of Americans under the age of eighteen have at least one chronic disease.

Take diabetes, for example. In August 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced its most recent statistics on the increases of diabetes. In 1980, two percent of newly diagnosed cases of adult-onset diabetes were in people under the age of nineteen. In the year 2000, that number jumped up to a staggering 50 percent. From 1990 to 1998, diabetes jumped 33 percent nationally and went up a whopping 70 percent among people ages thirty to thirty-nine. The experts at the CDC cautioned that even these numbers are low, because about one-third of American diabetics do not realize they have the disease.

Asthma has increased 45 percent and is the leading cause of school absenteeism. The death rate from asthma is increasing 6 percent per year. Cancer is now, after accidents, the leading cause of death for children - and cancer used to be rare in kids! Cancer kills more children than any other disease - more than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and AIDS, combined. For the last two years, the number one cause of death in people under the age of thirty in the U.S. has been cancer. In fact, one in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of twenty.

So what can we do?

Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. says "extensive scientific studies on nutrition and supplementation have demonstrated that many diseases associated with aging can be avoided, or significantly reduced, by following simple nutritional guidelines and avoiding behaviors that increase risk. The earlier such programs are begun the more effective they are. Good nutrition and supplementation can significantly protect you from disease."

If you want to change your health, you have to change your life.