Opinion: If You Weren’t Born with the Disease, The Disease Doesn’t Have to Make You Sick

Have you ever wondered- why this person smoked cigarettes for only twenty years and developed lung cancer, and another person smoked cigarettes sixty years of their life and never developed lung cancer? Or, have you ever wondered- why did the doctor diagnose my spouse with prediabetes after gaining a few pounds, but his or her sibling is obese and has the perfect glucose levels? Well, the answer may be directly related to susceptible organs.

All our lives, many of us have heard how our parents or grandparents passed down this disease or that that disease to their offspring. I’m not saying that this doesn’t have any truth to it or doesn’t make sense. In fact, there’s a lot of truth to it. One of the points I’m trying to make is that if we look at different diseases differently, then we may be able to live a better quality of life and even prolong our lives.

Now, there are diseases that we are born with that we have no control over. These diseases are caused by mutations in our DNA and are responsible for causing illnesses. Some of these diseases and disorders includes: Sickle Cell Anemia; Haemophilia (also Hemophilia); Cystic Fibrosis; Huntington’s Disease; etc. There are also diseases like Down’s Syndrome that we are born with and have no control over because it’s caused by extra genetic material in our chromosomes.

However, there are a whole host of other diseases that we are not born with that we have a lot of control on whether these diseases develop in our bodies. These diseases are known as noncommunicable diseases and includes diseases like Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Asthma, certain mental diseases, etc. Understanding how to control or prevent these diseases from developing in our bodies, is understanding how our genes make us susceptible and vulnerable to these diseases.

These noncommunicable diseases primarily affect our organs by making them dysfunctional; later, making the organs sick. Unlike the diseases that are genetically passed down due to mutations in our DNA or errors in our chromosomes, noncommunicable diseases primarily develops due to genetic predisposition or susceptibility. So, when it comes to these noncommunicable diseases, your parents didn’t necessarily pass down a “disease” to you, but rather, a genetically inferior organ or organs.

This may help in understanding why this person smoked cigarettes for only twenty years and developed lung cancer and that other person smoked cigarettes sixty years of their life and never developed lung cancer. And maybe help explain why the doctor diagnosed my spouse with prediabetes after gaining a few pounds, but his or her sibling is morbidly obese and has the perfect glucose levels. You see, we can greatly reduce the chances of these inferior or susceptible organs from ever getting ill or becoming dysfunctional in the first place by healthy dieting and exercise. For many of us, the moment we begin putting on a few pounds from bad eating habits and lack of exercise, some of these noncommunicable diseases rear their ugly head (especially as we get north of age 40).

Never look at how someone else can smoke, drink, be overweight, do drugs, eat terribly, etc. and never develop any of these noncommunicable diseases and figure you can do the same. By knowing what noncommunicable diseases are prevalent in your family, you’ll know what inferior organs you may have; thus, knowing what you need to do to stay as healthy as possible. Also, I don’t want to underestimate my statement earlier about “certain mental diseases” as it pertains to noncommunicable diseases. Remember, the brain is an organ. Just as we can inherit genetic material that can make our pancreas susceptible to Type II Diabetes, we can also inherit genetic material that can make our brain susceptible to Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. This explains why some doctors prescribes healthy diet and exercise for some patients with these mental diseases. This link is a good source to help in understanding some of this.

On a personal note, I would recommend seeing, or at least getting a second opinion if you develop a noncommunicable disease, from a doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) versus a medical doctor (M.D.). D.O.’s takes a more “whole-person” approach to illness and injury. In other words, if you have a crusty yellow big toenail, the M.D. will likely want to treat it with some kind of topical antifungal cream or even remove it. On the other hand, a D.O. will likely want to get to the root cause of what, about the rest of your body, is making your toenail sick. So, let’s eat healthy and exercise!

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