I sat next to a long-time friend at a social event recently and, being a doctor, I asked him how his health was. He immediately proceeded to tell me about his cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which he said were “normal.” Now, that’s a pretty well accepted way most people measure their health, by their lab numbers, which don’t really say much about a person’s health. One can have “normal” numbers and still have a stroke or heart attack, especially if one is medicating to mask their symptoms to keep their lab values looking well within “normal” ranges and them feeling better. But, what’s really “normal?” One man’s normal is another man’s illness and worry.
I put “normal” in quotation marks to emphasize that there really isn’t a one-fits-all norm — and so-called “normal ranges” are based on the medical model of treating the symptoms of disease, not fostering health. Medical students study cadavers that died from diseases and medical studies are based on treating the sick, not the well. Generally, doctors don’t treat the well. They treat the sick. So their standards are based on the sick and not the well. Also, what is “normal” for one person may not be appropriate for the next fellow. I’ll give you an example. The “normal” range for triglycerides in the average person is <150. The healthy range for triglycerides is much lower than that at <80, so I’m told by my brilliant colleague, teacher and clinical nutritionist at Whole Health Associates in Houston. This points to a choice we have to be merely outside the range of health failure and disease or to be well above that range experiencing great health and vitality.
THOSE WORRISOME CHOLESTEROL NUMBERS
Another example is the worrisome cholesterol numbers. In the first place, cholesterol has nothing at all to do with cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is caused by inflammation. Cholesterol is simply the body’s way of dealing with inflammation and the damage it does to the blood arteries and vessels. It’s a patch material used to keep the eroding blood vessels from springing a leak. It’s an adaptation and not a marker for coronary heart disease (CHD).
It’s only in America where high cholesterol is said to be a marker for CHD, and that’s only been so since Big Pharma developed and started flooding the market with statin drugs (Lipitor and its cousins) to suppress the liver’s production of cholesterol, a fat that every cell in your body needs to build its outer membrane that protects it from free radicals and oxidation. A fat that your body makes hormones, nerves and brain tissue out of. An essential fat in your skin needed to turn sunshine into Vitamin D.
We elderly need more of this essential fat than you youngsters for our brains cells to regenerate as they begin to die off as we age. So, higher numbers are normal and good for an aging person.
It’s the ratio between the HDL and LDL that’s important and not the total cholesterol. Your HDL needs to be at least 25% of the total cholesterol. For example, if your total cholesterol level is 200, your HDL level needs to be around 50. The total cholesterol number will vary with the level of demand for cholesterol in the body. LDL’s carry the cholesterol from the liver out to where its needed in the body. HDL’s go around collecting what’s not used and then taking it back to the liver to be eliminated as bile from the body. Cholesterol is an essential fat in your body. There’s no such thing as “bad cholesterol.” That’s medical programming designed to engender fear in people so they will buy Lipitor and other Statin drugs. It’s pure and simple propaganda folks. Mute those commercials. Don’t let that programming into your subconscious mind.
The logical thing to do is not treat the cholesterol but rather determine why there’s an increased demand for it in the first place and treat the cause of the demand. When you remove the necessity for more cholesterol, the numbers will come down. In most cases, the cause is stress and high insulin in the blood stream from consuming to many starches and sweets. Insulin erodes the inner lining of the blood vessels if it accumulates too much. Food allergies and sensitivities are another trigger for inflammation. Uric acid in the blood, as in gout, is another common trigger.
ALLOPATHY, HOMEOPATHY AND FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
Your lab numbers do not measure your health. They measure a momentary snapshot of the current conditions of your body fluids. That’s all. Your blood and your urine. That’s the terrain in which allopathic medicine works. Your lab numbers say nothing about the health of your body’s organs and tissue cells. That’s the domain of “functional medicine,” which is what I practice.
Allopathy is defined in my New World Dictionary as the “treatment of disease by remedies that produce effects different from or opposite to those produced by the disease: loosely applied to the general practice of medicine today, but in strict usage opposed to HOMEOPATHY.” Those “different” effects are what mask the symptoms of disease.
Homeopathy puts a small dose of the same disease in the form of a coded water solution into the body in order to trigger an immune response in the body so that the body learns how to deal with the actual disease on a safe “do-no-harm” level. This works beautifully, and is completely harmless.
Functional medicine explores organs and systems malfunction and then supports the body’s own innate healing intelligence with nutrition and herbs in order to catalyze the healing process into action. Chiropractic also takes the functional approach, offering spinal care to restore nerve flow to organs and tissues and thereby restore their normal function.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IS NORMAL
Here’s another example of numbers dictating one’s sense of health and well being. High blood pressure is normal, given the circumstances in the body that require it. Blood pressure, like cholesterol, will increase in response to a need in the body for more pressure behind the blood flow. It could be thick blood caused by toxins in the bloodstream. It could be constricted blood vessels due to cortisol pouring into the bloodstream to handle stress. It could also be kidney failure causing fluid to build up in the tissues and around the heart and other organs. Whatever the cause, it doesn’t make a bit of sense to lower the blood pressure with drugs — drugs that deplete CoQ10, the very energy source for the heart and kidneys — without finding out what’s causing the necessity for higher pressure in the circulatory system and correcting that. That’s what we do in functional medicine: find the cause and correct the interference to the normal function of organs, hormonal glands and body systems. Now, the person would be wise to take the HBP medicine to avoid having a stroke — and take 60 mg. of Coenzyme Q10 daily to replace what is leached out by the medicine. This goes for anyone taking Statin drugs as well.
YOUR BODY KNOWS BEST– TRUST IT
Well, I think that’s enough for one post. I hope you learned something from this one. I will leave you with these encouraging words: Trust your body. It doesn’t make mistakes. It knows exactly what it is doing. Help it do its job better. See an alternative healthcare practitioner. Stop measuring your potential for disease and focus on building up your health . . . and don’t sweat the numbers.
Here’s to your health and healing,
Anthony Palombo, D.C.
Visit my Healing Tones blog for inspiring reading on a variety of timely topics.