Health & Eating Attitudes
Over the years, there have been huge advances in what can be done for patients with medical disorders and for healthy persons. There are many terrific new medications, diagnostic tests, great advances in surgery and also an enormous amount of proven information on how an individual remains healthy. By nature, people want to live long and well. Indeed, in the U.S. that is happening. The average life expectancy in 1900 was 47 years. Now, it is over 76 years and increasing. Not only are people living longer, they are living better. As a percentage of the population, fewer people today are disabled and in nursing homes, while most people reaching the age of 80 remain active and independent.
What accounts for these good facts? Well, tremendous improvement in public health is one answer. Typhoid, smallpox, yellow fever and widespread tuberculosis are all past history. Adult Americans are smoking less. Many of us are probably eating better, although obesity is a serious public health problem. Our cholesterol levels are dramatically improved compared to 30 years ago. Alcohol abuse and its liver and brain ravages are down. Adults exercise more. Modern medicine also now provides effective prevention for and treatment of all sorts of problems which previously were untreatable. Just to mention a few, there are hypertension, peptic ulcers, coronary artery disease and many forms of cancer.
Having said all these things, many people have an inborn desire, almost an instinct, to combine modern medicine with their own ideas and actions to promote good health. They accept what modern medicine has to offer but want to take out their own personal good health insurance, often by taking a mix of vitamins, minerals, herbs and supplements. Usually, patients take them without asking advice from anyone except a friend, a TV ad or a sales person at a nutrition store.
This information is designed to provide some insight into that side of health that physicians generally don’t spend much time on; all of the vitamin, mineral, and herb supplements to which the media and our friends expose us. Everyone assumes they have some benefits, although if pressed, we cannot be very specific about just what they exactly are. For those who want to take supplements of any type, it is worthwhile to have an understanding of the first two topics below so you can fit the supplements you take into your overall health program. You may, of course, click to any section below or take them in sequence. Let’s begin.