Injuries don't seem to heal as well as when we were younger

As we grow older a number of factors prevent us from healing as well as we did when we were younger:

HGH (human growth factor) the most powerful rejuvenating substance in the body decreases after puberty.  We can maintain higher levels with anaerobic exercise, adequate sleep and lower blood sugar levels (watch those starchy carbs).

Poor digestion can prevent adequate digestion of key nutrients needed for healing.  Eating a largely plant based diet can restore digestive capabilities. 

We have great needs for phyto-chemicals from plant based food.  Research is now showing that for NORMAL functioning we need approximately 8 pounds of vegetables a week.  Our needs are even greater when we are recovering from illness or injury.  Explore the Dr Pat's Support Pages for information on nutrition.

Muscles and Connective Tissue receive less of a blood supply and less nerve signals as we age, both of which slow down healing.  The biggest cause of this- USE IT OR LOSE IT.  Keep moving.  I read recently that we should never invest in comfortable seating, instead we're better off if we have uncomfortable furniture which forces us to get up frequently.  The advice was to never sit more than 45 minutes at a time.  This includes when we are on long car trips.

Chronic Low Grade Inflammation

Chronic low grade inflammation can be triggered by dietary stress, emotional and mental stress, environmental allergens, toxic overload and infection.

  1. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury, infection or a foreign invader may cause an acute or chronic reaction. It is necessary for healing, but when it becomes chronic and gets out of control, problems begin. The buzz word these days in Medical Science is Inflammation. We now know that inflammation is the trigger that not only causes the expression of undesirable gene traits, it is also a catalyst for chronic degenerative diseases and cancer and contributes to the acceleration of the aging process. Many times it is difficult to pinpoint the causes of chronic low-grade inflammation, which seems to put otherwise healthy people at risk for various diseases. Dr Peter Libby, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, says: "I think we have an epidemic of unhealthy lifestyles, and the way in which the lifestyle is wreaking havoc is through inflammation." Understanding the common causes of inflammation is your key to creating a truly healthy lifestyle and diet.
  2. Dietary Stress is probably the most common and the easiest to control cause of chronic inflammation.  Your unique genetic makeup often determines your risk and susceptibility to food sensitivitiesand insulin resistance.
  3. Chronic emotional and mental stress can set up for food sensitivities by increasing gut permeability, allowing undigested food to enter the blood stream and trigger an inflammatory response.
  4. Chronic emotional and mental stress can increase free radicals in the body, which also lead to increased inflammation.  Adopting coping mechanisms for stress that we incorporate into our daily life can go a long way towards protecting us from the ravages of emotional and mental stress. 
  5. Our reaction to environmental allergens is often a sign that the body is being stressed in other ways.  When we adopt a clean diet and lower that stress load, our reaction to airborne allergens decreases.  It's worth following an elimination diet for a short while to see the difference for yourself.  Too minimize being triggered by airborne allergens use the ENT created Grossan Hydro PulseĀ® Pulsatile Nasal & Sinus Irrigation System   The HydroPulse allows you to gently rinse away the allergens before your reaction is too severe.
  6. Obviously, we avoid exposure to toxins that we are aware of.  Too many times people are unaware of how they are contributing to toxic overload.  Two of the most common ways are with household cleaning products and cosmetics.  By consciously addressing these two issues, we can greatly reduce our toxic exposure on a daily basis.  Look fortrusted, environmentally conscious companies for safe, effective cleaning products. 
  7. Low grade viral or bacterial infection can go unrecognized, contributing over time to constant inflammation in the body.  Eating high plant-based, nutrient dense diet can protect us from being at risk for low grade infection.  A common, underrecognized source of low grade infection is in our mouths.  Infection left after root canals can contribute as well as decay under bridges or crowns and periodontal disease.  Find a dentist who will address your concerns and be diligent about dental hygiene.  The diet described above will minimize your risk of common periodontal conditions.

Are we getting adequate resources from our diet?

How do we know if our daily intake of food is supplying us with adequate amounts of key nutrients?

Intake is one thing, then we also need to ensure digestion, absorbtion and assimilation.

Ayurvedic Medicine, a 5 thousand year old system of healing, finds that many if not all diseases and conditions start with a "derangement" in the gut, i.e. some imbalance in the gastrointestinal tract.

Periodic rest from dietary stresses- animal protein, dairy, fats and oils, refined carbohydrates- can help restore proper function of the GI tract.  Sometimes this is enough to repair damage or "derangement" in the gut.  Other times we need prolonged avoidance of these stresses.  Research is showing that a high plant based diet with much less of anything else is the best insurance policy against all chronic degenerative conditions and cancer.  Explore the Foundations of Health pages and the role of Inflammation pages on Health 101 for guidance.

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