Doctor James on Health and Wellness

Common sense answers to your most burning health questions

Degenerative Disease, “IT IS YOUR CHOICE!”

Posted by doctorjames on September 24, 2008

Everyday I have patients coming into my office suffering from this or that. Symptoms that just don’t let them live the life they have dreamed of. They need this medication for that, and this medication to treat the side effect of the other one! They live a life full of pollution simply because they are not willing to make a change.

Don’t get me wrong, I do know the value of medicine especially in acute bacterial and viral infections and life saving cases. What we absolutely need to get rid of is medicating the nation for life. We have done this to ourselves folks! By following our very rich western diet, we have brought degenerative changes on! This should come as no surprise. If you don’t take control of your own health, who will?

It should not take a rocket scientist to understand that all the degenerative disorders we suffer from today are because of our dietary decisions we have made for the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years! All degenerative conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, syndrome X, fibromyalgia, obesity, hypothyroid, high blood pressure, and arthritis all respond to the very same dietary change! In fact, cancer has been shown to also respond to this diet by preventing the genes from “turning on.” Here is the problem all of us are NUTRIENT DEFICIENT!

In fact, this diet has been shown time and time again to reverse the horrible affects that these degenerative changes can have on your body. For example, Dr. Dean Ornish is one of the pioneers in reversing cardiovascular disease with a very simple dietary change. Dr Neal Barnard is another doctor who comes to mind who has done the same with type II diabetes. Dr. McDougall, yet another pioneer in lifestyle medicine who works with many patients to reverse these degenerative diseases.

You may be asking yourself, well what is it that can change the health of our nation so greatly. Staying out of the aisles at the grocery store! Basically, you need to be on what is called a whole food plant based diet that is well published in the new book that has just come out called The China Study. Now, I tend to agree almost completely with the China Study, but I do believe that clean, lean protein is also good for us if it is organic free range and grass fed.

It should be no secret that the more organic fruits and vegetables, lean, clean, organic grass fed protein, and gluten free containing grains you take in, the more your health flourishes. Also, the more you get rid of GMO foods (genetically modified), pasteurized dairy in any form, non-organic foods, and plastic filled bisphenol A, the more your health flourishes everyday in everyway! The more grain fed beef, chicken, and pork a person takes in is directly related to diminishing health. Did you know that the animals on our planet consume 70% of the antibiotics in the world? This is because they are in feed lots and are so sick they have to be in order to live! And, guess what…we turn around and eat it at almost every restaurant and grocery store we go to!

You see, all of these degenerative diseases that have been mentioned all are one in the same with a different name! It is a label applied to a subset of symptoms or clinical values. Guess what…WHO CARES! Personally, I think labels are the absolute worse thing you can have. Labels allow enabling! Then, what is the next step, a medication designed just for you for the rest of your life, or until you body gets used to it and you have to take something stronger. I don’t think this is HEALTH CARE, this is SICK CARE! It does absolutely nothing to make you healthier. Sure, it may lower your blood pressure, decrease your pain, change your cholesterol level, and on and on, but really what has it done for you if you have not changed your diet, started exercising, and found a way to reduce your stress?

I believe most medicine, except in the case of cancer and lifesaving medical emergencies, is here to be a crutch…not a pill you take for life! The pharmaceutical companies will love it if you do take it for life, but that should not be the intent of your doctor and you should be very worried if this is your plan. I can promise you without a change in your lifestyle one med will lead to two, and two to four, and four to eight and so on.

This is my medicine…FOOD and increased nutrients through vitamins and supplements! Just think, on a whole food plant based diet you can eat as much as you want. It is not a diet, but a lifestyle. The more you follow an organic diet with clean water and good lean organic grass fed protein the more your labels will go away. Food is your medicine and your jump start is medical foods, supplements, and vitamins. Everyone on the planet must be taking a multi, something to clean your toxins out everyday, an omega 3 that is guaranteed to be pure and potent, and plant based nutrients in the form of fruits and vegetables. If you simply do this and get rid of the “crap” in your diet, your weight reduces and your immunity and your health gets better one bite at a time!

I believe some day they will find out that type II diabetes and fibromyalgia are directly related. They are a condition where the cell is insulin insensitive and where the mitochondria are deficient and are not working as well as they could be because the cell is full of lipids. The lack of mitochondria causes us to use less sugar, and also produces more pain due to lack of energy production and corresponding ischemia. Ischemia creates pain folks! WOW! I hope some of you take this information and run with it.

Health is not about taking 10-30 supplements every day neither. It is about taking certain nutrients, but not about taking a pill for this condition or that just like you would take a medication. I can see some, but some patients that come into my office honestly have one for every ache and symptom. This folks is practicing medicine but using a supplement. Keep in mind, medicine and plants are not very far apart. Medicine in most cases is a plant derived molecule that has been made more potent. Aspirin is from white willow bark, and Tamoxifen is a cancer drug from the Yew tree. I am sure there are a ton more examples, but I do not want to belabor the point. To be honest with you, if you are having to treat yourself for a condition through massive amounts of supplements or vitamins, chances are your diet is deficient and is poor. The cause is the diet! We need to stop beating around the bush and treating effects.

A whole food plant based diet is more simple to follow than you would think. You constantly can eat and you constantly feel satisfied. Doesn’t that sound like enough to try it. Once you start feeling so good, you can’t go back to eating the “crap” and allow it like once a week. This would be like someone smoking and they quit for a year and now you allow them to have a cigarette once a week. I have to believe that one cigarette will turn into two, then four, and then eight. You go back to the old ways once again. That is why this is for life…just like exercise. On a whole food plant based diet you are expected to lose one pound per week! Add in a bit of exercise and now you lose a bit more. But, the really neat thing is that you don’t have to beat yourself up with exercise because the diet alone will bring you back to health. So, I recommend 20-30 minutes of exercise three times per week…again, for the rest of your life!

The studies have been done, and the literature has been cited about whole food plant based diets. In fact, in rural China, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity are rare because this is what they eat! The fact is your body is constantly in a state of change and repair to maintain homeostasis. But, if you constantly beat it up, poor health will result. For example, you take the cigarettes away from a 20 year smoker and in 1-5 years his lungs will become close to normal! Why, cause the stress is taken away and now the body has a chance to heal and reproduce brand new tissue!

I see diet the same way. It is a constant stress to the body producing poor health. In fact, I think a poor western diet is worse than someone smoking a few cigarettes every day! All the food companies making all these processed foods and marketing to us are no better than the pharmaceutical companies. They are all about the same thing…PROFIT! They are loading us up with toxins everyday that disrupt the function of our endocrine system. Not a good thing!

We have to start thinking more about how important our diet is and look at the studies to show people how poor health can be reversed by simply making a lifestyle change. This is how we save lives and let grandchildren grow up with their grandparents, or in some cases children grow up with their parents. We cannot continue to go down this same road. Start today by making a decision to change the way you eat.

At our clinic, when we make a dietary change, clean the toxins out, and nourish the body with clean, pure, and potent vitamins, minerals, and supplements, you won’t believe what goes away and stays away. I manage all my patients with literally the same diet. ADHD, autism, colitis, intestinal disorders such as IBS and Crohns, all can be helped greatly by following a whole food plant based diet too! That is why every patient with some crazy label that enters my office is put on this diet and we get tremendous results.

Please let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you.

Your Health and Wellness Advocate,

Dr. James R. Haakenson

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