I wish, twenty or thirty (or preferably forty) years ago, someone had impressed upon me the importance of health and the implications of chronic disease. I wish I could have learned and absorbed a few simple lifestyle principles and made certain choices that would have enabled me to avoid developing rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve since learned many of these principles the hard way and I am living by them, and they are helping me to recover (again) from a thirty-five year struggle with severe chronic RA. These same principles could be used by anyone to help them avoid (or at least significantly postpone) the development of RA and many other chronic diseases.
This is not an easy post to write; I have been experiencing RA and researching RA, health, diet and other lifestyle factors for almost forty years now (there’s a lot to summarise). In that time I’ve identified a number of choices that can be made and actions that can be taken which definitely influence the development of rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic diseases in general.
I’m not talking about following the usual platitudes such as ‘eat a balanced diet’, ‘get some exercise’, ‘avoid saturated fats’ and the like, most of these types of phrases are shallow, meaningless or just plain wrong. They are usually spouted or quoted by people who have no knowledge of health, nutrition or biochemistry. Usually in mainstream media news and articles, food and drug marketing media or even worse; by people who have a vested interest in promoting their own agendas for fame and/or monetary gain. The Web is rife with thousands of websites full of conflicting information about how to achieve health, lose weight or treat chronic disease.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for anyone to form any meaningful conclusions as to how to treat their chronic disease or improve their health. It’s exasperating and so frustrating that it’s easy to give up the search for answers and to just accept the standard allopathic medical treatment and suffer the consequences, and there are always consequences.
The choices and actions (principles) I want to talk about are as close to certainties as I can make them. They are based on personal experience, research, experimentation and results, and also on conversations with family, friends, contacts and the kind people who post comments on my blog. I’ve also drawn on additional correspondence, communication, and dialogue with thousands of people all around the world over the last two or three decades (initially by letter, phone, fax and email, then Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp etc.). I’m now looking forward to Holographic Reality (HR) communications becoming mainstream :-)
I trust people’s personal experience and wisdom infinitely more than pharmaceutical & GMO/chemical agribusiness sponsored ‘scientific’ trials predesigned to foist unhealthy, toxic and often debilitating products onto the public. Let’s be honest, many of them are also lethal both in the short-term (acetaminophen – just 4 grams) and long-term (trans fats). There’s a world of good quality, unbiased, nutritional, health and lifestyle wisdom, knowledge and science out there; we just have to be careful what we believe and to whom we give credit. When reading articles, studies, papers, reports and trials; always check the independence of those involved – look for big commercial sponsors and conflicts of interest.
Now; drugs and other medical treatments can save lives, sometimes relieve pain, keep us mobile, postpone critical health events, fix mechanical injuries and so on – the mainstream health system is vital and extremely important and effective at keeping people alive. Sometimes it can offer a cure at a cost, with certain infectious diseases for example.
The most critical and important are the emergency and acute care & life support services. I have the utmost respect for those services and professionals that keep us alive or keep us functioning when things suddenly go wrong in our lives. Emergency ambulance and A&E personnel, systems and technology determine our chances of survival and recovery from accidents and other sudden health emergencies – this is their job and their responsibility.
It is our job and our responsibility to keep ourselves healthy long-term, to maintain our bodies and minds and to seek out the information and support we need in order to achieve this. We have to try our best to make good nutritional and other lifestyle choices every day to support and promote our long-term wellbeing and thereby avoid the development of chronic diseases.
It’s no use going to a mainstream doctor and expecting her/him to cure or find the cause of our long-term chronic illness. Our doctor’s main job is to identify and collate a series of symptoms, label our chronic disease and prescribe a treatment that will; reduce our symptoms, modify our body’s physiological processes to try to avert future critical illness events, and at best postpone our decline in health.
Likewise, it’s no use trying to modify our lifestyle or seek complementary treatments when we’re bleeding to death after a car accident or suffering a heart attack :-)
I know this has been a bit long-winded but there is a fundamental point I’m trying to make which is critical to accept if we want to remain healthy throughout our lives. “We have to accept responsibility for our own long-term health, wellbeing and healing.” We can’t wait until we develop the symptoms of a chronic disease and then hand the responsibility over to a doctor and expect her/him to make it go away – they can’t. If we find a patient and knowledgeable doctor she/he will be able to slow the progress of our disease and buy us time, and may be able to offer some useful lifestyle advice, but (sadly) most establishment doctors won’t help us with healing our body or curing our chronic disease – that will always be our responsibility.
In the following section I want to outline some of the broad truths (principles) that I’ve come to understand over the last few decades, and then provide some more detailed guidelines towards the end of the post.
I realise of course that many people will be well aware of these ideas and will have knowledge and experience of the guidelines which I will cover later in this post. However, I’ve learned from my own experience that often we can ‘know’ something but not give it the importance it deserves. Please forgive me in advance for stating what might seem obvious, but if everyone gave sufficient importance to these ideas, there would be a massive reduction in chronic disease. The fact that chronic disease in the West has increased throughout half of the last century and is still increasing, indicates that many people are still not taking nutrition, gut & immune system health (avoiding or eliminating pathogens, nurturing a healthy gut microbiome) and lifestyle choices seriously.
So, How Do We Avoid Rheumatoid Arthritis and Other Chronic Diseases?
- We should make the development and maintenance of our physical and emotional health our number one priority throughout life. Please believe this statement, it seems obvious but it’s easy to gloss over. There is nothing more important in life than building long-term health.
- We need to invest substantial time and effort into our health. This helps to create new opportunities in our lives and ensures that we have the physical and intellectual means to take advantage of them.
- Start learning about health early! It’s like financial investing; the sooner we start, the greater the rewards and security further down the line. Whatever our age, learning more about health and taking steps to improve our health will always pay dividends.
- Wake up and ‘see’ the mass marketing and brainwashing that bombards each and every one of us every day and try to ignore the bullying from industrial food and drug companies. We need to make our own informed decisions about how we treat our body. We need to be smart with our food and lifestyle choices, be independent, self-confident and do what’s best for our body, mind and soul.
- Give food and drink the highest priority. No amount of exercise, sleep, or other lifestyle factors will keep us healthy if we don’t eat well. We are what our gut digests and absorbs. Every component of our body needs to be constructed and maintained with top quality materials.
- To achieve long-term health and freedom from chronic diseases we have to consistently provide the high quality nutrition our body, mind and soul need in order to repair and grow whilst at the same time, reduce or eliminate challenges and negative influences (toxins, pathogens, anti-nutrients, stress etc.).
- We need to view nutrition as more than just obtaining a range of isolated food components such as vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins etc. Nutrition = Life. Everything we need in order to live and thrive enters our body through our mouth, nose, skin, ears and eyes (and soul). Everything that enters will have either a positive or negative effect on the health of our body’s systems and psychology. Nutrition is really big! Really really BIG! :-) And the word ‘nutrition’ is too small, much too small, it needs to be bigger like this: NUTRITION.
- We need to have fun and enjoy life :-) Ideally we should eat well every day and follow a healthy lifestyle all the time but in the real world this is hardly possible, at least for most of us. Also, it wouldn’t be much fun if we couldn’t let our hair down and for example, binge on ice cream and chocolate sometimes :-) So there needs to be a balance between striving towards health and rewarding our achievements. A balance between making consistent choices that benefit our long-term health and allowing periodic treats to relieve short-term stress and have fun. Happiness promotes health and health promotes happiness ;-)
- If we work towards health most of the time then periodic indulgences won’t impact our long-term health. For example; socialising is very important in supporting and building good health (both emotionally and physically) but usually it will involve making some compromises in terms of food and drink quality. If we fill our long-term health ‘bank account’ for most of the week, then we can for example, enjoy a nice takeaway or restaurant meal with friends on a Friday and/or Saturday evening and the psychological (fun/happiness = stress relief) benefit will outweigh the short-term nutritional dip (no pun intended). However, it’s a different story if we eat comfort food every day in order to compensate for anxiety or dissatisfaction in our lives, this will inevitably lead to chronic diseases.
The exact good/bad lifestyle ratio for avoiding chronic diseases is hard to predict but based on forty years of experience and research I estimate that 75% / 25% is the minimum requirement in favour of good nutrition and good lifestyle choices. 80% / 20% would be a realistic ratio to aim for (this where I am currently) and 90% / 10% would be about the best you could practically achieve.
Of course if we are young we may just want to enjoy life to the full with all of its indulgences and deal with the consequences in later years, that’s also a valid choice. There’s a lot to be said for getting the most out of life every day in our teens and twenties, it’s incredibly liberating to live carefree and sample the whole cornucopia of life’s tastes and sensations no matter how unhealthy many of them may be. However, we then have to accept that if we subsequently survive into our thirties, forties and fifties there will be a price to pay in the form of chronic disease and/or debility.
There is another key point here though; it’s much easier to influence our long-term health when we are younger, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid or treat chronic diseases as we get older and it’s not a linear relationship. A few relatively small but positive (and cheap) decisions and choices made during our childhood or teens can have a huge impact on our long-term health (care of teeth and gums for example), whereas much greater and much more demanding (and expensive) changes need to be made to achieve the same results when we are in our forties or fifties for example. I am generalising to make a point but it’s a point based on four decades of observation and three and a half decades of suffering.
I have made my own tough choices and decisions, and for the rest of my life I will work hard to continue reversing my rheumatoid arthritis and build my health in order to avoid other chronic diseases. ‘You’ have choices and decisions to make too; do you want to hand over responsibility for your long-term health to the government, mainstream medical industry, pharmaceutical companies and multinational ‘food’ and agricultural corporations? Or, do you want to invest some of your time and effort into making good lifestyle and nutritional choices that will maintain and improve your health and prevent you from developing chronic diseases and illnesses sooner or later in life?
Do you really want to put your future health and wellbeing in the hands of large organisations that are driven mostly by quotas and profits? Organisations that treat you as a number, a marketing target, a voter, or at best as a customer/cash dispenser. All of your future hopes and dreams dependent on the morals and integrity of CEOs, committees, lobbyists, politicians and the stock market…
I don’t and I never will again.
Lifestyle and Nutritional Principles For the Avoidance of Chronic Disease
- Eat whole foods (preferably organic). Vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices, seeds, nuts and certain grains (preferably soaked, sprouted and/or fermented). Except where toxic or unpalatable, try to include the skins, seeds and pith too :-)
- If you eat meat, eggs or fish, try to find (‘organic’) grass-fed or wild-caught.
- Minimise dairy foods (except for treats as I mentioned earlier in this post) and eliminate milk as a drink altogether. If milk is too difficult for you to eliminate completely, then use only raw (A2 beta-casein) cow’s milk or raw goat’s milk from reputable, safe, clean dairies. Try to eat only pastured (preferably raw) butter, and cheeses. If you want to eat yoghurt then make your own or even better, start making your own kefir. A2 cow’s milk or goat’s milk kefir is possibly the only health promoting way to consume liquid milk. Unfortunately, milk is one of the most common contributors to chronic disease that I’m aware of (it caused major problems for me), but there is a huge difference between fresh organic raw (pastured) milk and mass produced, homogenised, pasteurised, hormone & drug infused, pus & blood contaminated, enzyme & beneficial bacteria devoid industrially produced milk.
- Except for occasional treats; avoid all industrially packaged and processed foods, microwavable, fast, junk, TV, chemically preserved, irradiated, gassed and long shelf-life ‘foods’. If it isn’t capable of going mouldy or rotting, then don’t eat it. Exceptions are dried foods such as tea, beans and nuts for example and also raw honey. (There are lots of other minimally processed natural whole foods that come in a packet or jar of course, but too many to list here.)
- Oils and fats. An anti-inflammatory omega 3 to omega 6 balance is critical to long-term health and the avoidance of chronic disease (I will write in depth about this in a later post). Avoid all vegetable oils and fats (especially margarine and other trans fats) refined or otherwise, except for genuine cold-pressed virgin olive oil and cold-pressed raw coconut oil. For animal fats; eat only pastured (preferably raw) butter, raw milk cream (see paragraph 3 above), and fish/krill oil. Additional healthy fats can be obtained from whole food sources such as avocados, nuts and seeds (hemp and linseed for example).
- Avoid caffeine (except for treats). Use decaffeinated organic tea and try to avoid coffee altogether. Coffee does have some potential health benefits but the caffeine content negates them and the chemicals used in decaffeinating coffee create their own problems. At the moment, I’m not aware of any safe (for long-term use) coffee product.
- Sugar – avoid it in all its forms if at all possible. At least minimise it in your diet, try to have it only when you have treats. Avoid soda drinks (cola, orange, lemonade, sports drinks etc.) like the plague, they are one of the most powerful and consistent contributors to long-term health problems and chronic diseases. For sweetening drinks (if you have to) use a little raw honey, organic coconut sugar or xylitol. I use xylitol for my tea and it’s enabled me to remove all other forms of sugar from my diet. I am now working on slowly reducing the quantity of xylitol.
- All other refined carbohydrates should ideally be avoided or at least minimised, again, except for occasional treats. Refined carbohydrates are starches and sugars that have been processed in a way that usually creates a very tiny particle size and also strips away most or all of the fibre and many other nutrients. They are rapidly broken down by our gut and the sugar is very quickly absorbed causing a rapid rise in the release of insulin. If this occurs on a regular basis, over time it will lead to chronic diseases. Refined carbohydrates include: all kinds of flour (to a greater or lesser extent), all commercial sugars and honey, all other starchy plants that are processed or rapidly milled into a fine powder. Examples of ‘food’ products that contain or are made from refined carbohydrates include: chocolates, biscuits, cakes, doughnuts, ice cream, most desserts, waffles, sweets, crisps and other savoury snacks, sodas, most breads, pastas, pizzas, cereals and white or polished rice.
- Dental (and overall oral) health needs to be mentioned here for two reasons; one because sugar and refined carbohydrates contribute to or facilitate a whole range of tooth and gum problems, infections and diseases, and two because dental health has such a massive impact on our overall long-term health. Ideally we would take control of our nutrition and dental health from birth :-) However, as this is not possible, we have to rely mostly on our parents to take care of us in this department until we are old enough to do so ourselves. Our parents have the ability (if they choose) to set us on a course of oral health and freedom from a lifetime of stressful, painful, expensive and often unnecessary dental treatment. If we then continued this course for the rest of our lives we could make a huge contribution to our long-term health and the avoidance of many oral pathogen (and mercury amalgam) initiated (or facilitated) diseases such as heart disease and other autoimmune diseases. Following the dietary and lifestyle principles outlined throughout this post would go a long way to ensuring long-term oral health. In addition, the regular use of a good quality sonic toothbrush and a water flosser would remove plaque and prevent the formation of calculus (and its inherent biofilm protected pathogenic oral bacteria).
- Salt is good for you, it is essential for life and it helps you to digest food by helping to stimulate hydrochloric acid in your stomach. However, it is important to use the right kind of salt and to add the salt yourself (a healthy estimate is up to 4 or 5 grams per day on average, possibly more depending on physical exertion and environmental tempreature). Avoid all packaged and processed foods to which salt has already been added except for high quality foods containing ‘sea salt’ such as pastured butter and organic wholemeal sourdough bread for example. Use Himalayan pink salt (actually from Pakistan) or good quality Celtic sea salt (gray and moist). Don’t consume any MSG which is often found in curries and other sauces.
- Alcohol should ideally be avoided completely, again, except for an occasional treat or celebration. There is no safe regular level of alcohol consumption despite frequent tabloid articles and social media marketing to the contrary. Alcohol will hasten your journey towards chronic disease. I stopped drinking alcohol thirty-four years ago and I haven’t touched it since. Again, I refuse to let commercial bullying and fake ‘norms’ on TV and in other media pressure me into destroying my body for the profit of destructive commercial interests. Ask any police officer what they consider to be a safe level of alcohol consumption after they’ve dealt with the consequences of a fatal drink/drive RTA. Ask any nurse on a Friday or Saturday night shift in A&E. Alcohol is a lifestyle choice it has no nutritional value. If it’s an important part of your life then try to minimise its consumption and compensate by increasing your efforts in terms of better nutrition, exercise and sleep in order to help detoxify your liver. Eat plenty of anti-oxidants and take periodic courses of milk thistle to repair your liver. Stay hydrated with electrolytes dissolved in water before you sleep and upon waking the day after drinking.
- Cooking methods have a big impact on long-term health. The methods chosen affect the nutritional content of food as well as the amount of toxins produced. The best cooking methods for long-term health are; steaming, boiling (and in many case retaining and using the cooking water), poaching, ‘frying’ in water and lightly grilling (mushrooms for example). Avoid frying in oil if possible but if you must, then use pastured butter or cold-pressed coconut oil. Cold-pressed virgin olive oil should only be used at low temperatures (slow cooking). Baking can be OK for homemade sourdough bread for example but try not to burn the surfaces or brown them too much (to minimise the production of AGEs and other carcinogens).
- There are several ways to improve your digestion when eating, helping to protect your gut and increase nutrient absorption. Try to eat some fermented/cultured probiotic food at the start of each meal (sauerkraut, miso or a small amount of kefir for example), relax while eating, chew your food well (obvious but important), eat slowly if you can, don’t drink liquids while you are eating solid foods (it can reduce the PH of stomach acid and dilute digestive enzymes) except maybe a few sips of water – wait for about thirty minutes after the meal before drinking a larger amount of liquid.
- Sleep is extremely important. Good quality sleep is critical to long-term health, second only to nutrition/diet. From my own experience and research I believe that between seven and eight hours sleep each night is necessary in order to avoid chronic disease, but seven hours sleep appears to the ideal for most adults. For example, too much sleep is associated with the development of heart disease and diabetes while too little sleep increases susceptibility to infections, migraine, irritability and other emotional problems which can affect long-term health unless corrected. The length of sleep we need also depends upon its quality; low quality sleep is linked with depression and poorer immune function (pdf).
- Exercise is often promoted as one of the main ways to help a person to lose weight. Whilst it can help in this regard, it doesn’t do so just by ‘burning’ calories as is often stated or assumed (calories have relatively little to do with health or weight gain but are extremely useful for marketing expensive, nutrient poor, heavily processed foods; fad diets, and weight loss programs). Exercise tones muscles and improves muscle strength, it enhances the body’s waste removal systems, it oxygenates tissues and improves nutrient delivery throughout the body, it builds lung capacity and improves sleep, it reduces stress and releases feel-good hormones, and provides many other benefits. The improvements in the efficiency and overall health of the body’s systems is what then leads to weight loss. This occurs by the removal of excess water from tissues (edema), more efficient metabolism of fats and other nutrients, the utilisation of stored body fat for additional energy, improved removal of toxins and other waste products and so on. For all these reasons (and not just weight loss per se) exercise will promote long-term health but it has to be the right kind of exercise. For the avoidance of chronic diseases the best kind of regular exercise should stimulate deeper breathing and improve circulation; walking, light running, cycling etc. Also, the most important part of exercise (especially for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis) is movement. The movement of all the body’s joints along with the careful stretching of muscles and tendons is the most important aspect of exercise for long-term health (yoga, Tai Chi etc.).
- Any pharmaceutical medicine or other drug (legal or otherwise) will create health problems, especially if taken over the long-term. When medicine is essential to keep you alive or manage a serious disease then it has to be taken, at least until you are able to find a long-term cure. However, many unnecessary medicines are taken for symptoms, illnesses or minor diseases which could be better treated using natural methods. Examples are over-the-counter pain killers, anti-inflammatories, antacids, and overly prescribed antibiotics. When these medicines are taken they can damage your body or alter the way your body’s systems function. Your body can recover from occasional use but unfortunately these medicines are often used regularly throughout people’s lives and this ongoing negative challenge to your body can make it more susceptible to chronic diseases. Pain killers and anti-inflammatories can damage the stomach and gut and often cause death through relatively short-term use. Antacids neutralise the hydrochloric acid (HCL) produced by your stomach yet hydrochloric acid is essential for proper digestion of food (especially proteins), this can lead to amino acid and B12 deficiencies affecting long-term health. A lack of HCL can even lead to death; hydrochloric acid is necessary to prevent infection via the gut and prevent food poisoning. Antibiotics kill many of the friendly bacteria in your gut causing a huge challenge to your immune/digestive system increasing the likelihood of developing chronic diseases such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, leaky gut, IBS and cancer. Antibiotic use tied to Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis & Crohn’s after antibiotics.
- For long-term health your brain needs two kinds of nutrition; dietary and mental. All of the dietary and lifestyle guidelines covered in this post will help with the brain’s physical nutrition and prevention of chronic brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. However for long-term health the brain needs regular positive mental stimulation in the form of reading, conversation, problem solving, creative work and regular learning activities. I’m not talking about sitting in front of the television being brain-washed by commercials and labotomised by soap operas and reality TV. Good mental/mind nutrition is achieved by reading books (novels, factual, historical, textbooks etc.) and certain magazines (technology, science, hobby, fantasy etc.) and by reading blogs, forums, news websites etc., online. Taking courses to enhance your career or improve your business potential, learning a new language, skill or hobby are all examples of good mind nutrition :-)
- Socialising can help improve health and reduce the chances of acquiring chronic diseases. Socialising (positive socialising that is) creates support networks, close friendships, and many emotional and physical benefits such as improved confidence and self-esteem. Chronic stress, uncertainty and anxiety lead to chronic disease. Socialising can reduce these negative emotional pressures and enhance the production of positive emotional responses and feelings such as happiness, excitement, security, trust, empathy and respect etc. Reducing chronic stress (and fear/anxiety) by socialising (especially when combined with shared pastimes and hobbies) also reduces the likelihood of developing long-term physical and mental diseases.
- Our psychological wellbeing is most enhanced when we help and support others; this is the source of true happiness and fulfillment – period. For me it’s also the meaning of life. Dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, jealousy, feelings of inadequacy all stem from a self-centered or self-first view of the world. Truly happy and usually healthy people have an outward view of the world embracing a shared responsibility for everyone’s health and wellbeing (both people and animals). When you buy something for yourself (a new gadget or a fashionable item of clothing for example) you feel good, for a while, then the feeling fades (you get bored with the gadget or the item of clothing goes out of style) – this is gratification, the same feeling you get when you eat ice cream or chocolate for example. However, when someone else gives you something to show their appreciation of you as a friend, the thought, love and intention behind the action give you a feeling of connection, wellbeing and closeness which lasts a long time, perhaps even forever under certain circumstances. These feelings are enhanced if the same person gives you their time, attention and support. In short; gratification alone (although it’s fun and useful) can lead to a constant cycle of short-term diminishing enjoyment followed by the need for more and more stimulating things or experiences to mantain the same level of satiety (consumerism). While true satisfaction and fulfillment lead to improved long-term health, happiness and wellbeing. Helping and supporting others promotes long-term health for them and for you.
- Anger, resentment, jealousy and other negative emotions have serious detrimental effects on the body’s physiological and psychological systems and general health. These negative emotions can hasten the development of chronic disease and shorten lifespan. It’s natural that these negative emotions exist for a short time when we face challenges, serious problems, unfair or unjust events in our lives, but if they persist they begin to create disease. They have a particular impact on our immune system. Therefore, in order to avoid chronic diseases it’s important to let go of these feelings as soon as possible and replace them with positive feelings and try to move on with our lives. If a negative event can be corrected, resolved or balanced in a short time, then we should fight to achieve this, however if this is not possible then we need to turn our energy and time to other parts of our lives that will produce positive results and outcomes and continue our growth and development. Easier said than done but there are many techniques that can be used to help with these issues such as Emotional Freedom Technique, meditation, yoga and of course seeking help and support from friends (as listed above). Information about all these methods and more can be found with a quick Google search but here are a couple of interesting sites as a starting point. Tips on How to Control Anger & Unmasking Anger.
- Getting plenty of sunshine and fresh air, and being in a natural environment as often as possible promotes long-term physical and psychological health. Sunshine boosts the immune system and creates vitamin D3 in the oil on the skin which is then absorbed back into the body. Fresh air improves oxygenation of body tissues and the removal of waste products. Connecting with a natural environment (a walk in the countryside, fishing, a picnic) reduces stress, relaxes muscles, slows time and creates a feeling of wellbeing. All of these elements lead to improved sleep and better concentration & focus the following day.
- Finally it’s important to remember that long-term health depends upon good quality dietary, physical, mental and spiritual nutrition. All of these aspects of life working together in synergy as a whole to maintain health and wellbeing (a concept largely unknown to the mainstream medical profession – sadly). Chronic diseases can only be avoided if all of these components of the human being are nurtured and developed on a daily basis throughout a person’s lifetime (with periodic breaks for treats to have even more fun of course!).
There are many more lifestyle and environmental factors that can and do affect our long-term health, however I believe the twenty or so points that I’ve outlined above are the most important, intrinsic and consistently beneficial; with plenty of experience, evidence and common sense to back them up. Crucially, they are also the most likely lifestyle factors to be under our personal control.
As I mentioned at the start, this was a difficult post to write but it contains the things (my beliefs) that I’ve learned from my thirty-five year struggle with rheumatoid arthritis. I hope with all my heart that this information and my experience will encourage others to start taking control (those that haven’t already done so) of their long-term health as soon as possible and start learning more about nutrition and the real causes of chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, i.e. government greed and weakness in the face of corporate lobbying, marketing and compliance media, peer pressure, pharmaceutical companies & agribusinesses, alcohol and tobacco companies, lack of nutritional understanding and education in schools, and too much reliance on so-called ‘experts’ for long-term health advice, knowledge and support.
I’m not an expert, I’m just an amateur with almost forty years’ experience of dealing with chronic diseases; rheumatoid arthritis, gout, asthma, hay fever, depression, eyesight problems and so on. I’ve cured all of them in myself long-term except for my RA which recurred a couple of years ago after a prolonged course of strong antibiotics. I am now slowly recovering from my RA for the second time :-)
I am painfully aware that most of our mass food production and long-term ‘health’ systems are broken and diseased. If we want long-term health for others (all around the world), and our families, friends and ourselves, we need to understand how far removed we are from a healthy human lifestyle and diet, and steer away from a course leading to inevitable chronic disease and suffering.