Why Do We Keep Getting Sicker?

The medical field has made major leaps in its ability to diagnose, treat and cure illnesses during the last 100 years.

Doctors and scientists have discovered how important vitamins and minerals are to the human diet. They’ve developed vaccines for polio, tuberculosis and the flu. And they’ve created medicines to provide relief to millions in pain.

These things are all commonplace today. Yet at one point, each was the major medical breakthrough of its time.

And it wasn’t that long ago that they didn’t exist at all.

What we’ve accomplished in just the past hundred years is significantly more than the previous thousands of years combined.

Some examples …

  1928: Scottish bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin.

  1937: Bernard Fantus started the first blood bank at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.

  1953: James Watson and Francis Crick at Cambridge University described the structure of the DNA molecule. This has led to our ability to map out the entire human genome. And that can help scientists use genetics to custom-treat diseases.

These are just a few of the thousands of major medical innovations made in the recent past. And each year, these advancements compound at a rate we’ve never seen before.

Here in 2017, we’ve arrived at a point where once-outrageous concepts like 3D-printing organs … building bionic limbs … and editing single genes in cells will soon become routine procedures.

With all these advancements, though, I can’t help but wonder why there are so many new health epidemics in America.

One in three people is considered obese … nearly 50% of adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes … and one in four Americans will now die of heart disease.

And it’s not just the United States.

The World Health Organization believes the global burden of cancer will grow by 70% over the next two decades. This could mean an estimated 22 million new cases and 13 million deaths each year by 2032.

By mid-century, though, things may look a little different …

Around the year 2050, researchers believe cancer will be overtaken by antibiotic resistance as the world’s deadliest disease.

This is where all the cures we’ve discovered over the past 100 years suddenly stop working.

Image credit: World Health Organization

That’s because the bacteria in our bodies figure out how to morph and adapt to the disease or disorder that the treatments were designed to target in the first place.

The issue here is a question of life span vs. health span.

  With today’s modern technologies, hospitals and doctors can keep people alive much longer (life span).

  But that doesn’t necessarily mean someone’s quality of life will be good or even tolerable during that extended time (health span).

Life span is how long you are technically alive. And health span is the length of time you are truly healthy and thriving during that time.

Ideally, you want your life span to equal your health span.

Yet, as a society, we obsessively seek to extend our life spans … without considering the consequences.

A study suggests that longevity-increasing genes might not significantly increase a healthy life span. This study came from scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The findings, which were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, point to the need to measure health as part of aging studies going forward.

Heidi A. Tissenbaum Ph.D. was the principal investigator of the study. In her words …

“Our study reveals that, if we want to find the genes that help us remain physically active as we age …

“The genes that will allow us to play tennis when we’re 70 similar to when we were 40 …

“We have to look beyond longevity as the sole criteria.

“We have to start looking at new genes that might play a part in ‘health span.’”

Tissenbaum is a professor of molecular, cellular & cancer biology and the program in molecular medicine at UMass Medical School.

The implication for scientists, she says, is that the set of genes that influence longevity may be distinct from the genes that control our health spans.

“This study suggests that there is a separate and unexplored group of genes that allow us to perform at a higher level physically as we age.

“When we study aging, we can no longer look at life span as the only parameter; we also have to consider health as a distinct factor of its own.”

Here at Uncommon Wisdom Daily we started this weekly health column to accomplish just that. To arm our readers with the knowledge and tools to not just live longer, but also live healthier and at a higher quality of life.

We hope you have gained some valuable insight so far, and we look forward to providing you with even more exceptional information about your health and your wealth.

We would love to know the most effective health and lifestyle changes you’ve made in your own life as well.

Please leave a comment in the comment section below to share your story with the other Uncommon Wisdom Daily readers.

Happy and healthy investing,
Brad

Your thoughts on “Why Do We Keep Getting Sicker?”

  1. Changing genes is all well and good, if you can do it. And how can we do that??? What we CAN do is change our lifestyle–diet, exercise, etc. Americans are obese and unhealthy because they bought the “low-fat, high carb” line the American Diabetic Association and the food industry fed us about 30 years ago. Get most of those carbs out of your diet and replace them with nutritious proteins and high-quality fats, and your life will change. Yes, you heard me right; and incorporate an exercise program of some sort, and you will be amazed at how much you can do for yourself.

  2. It is remarkable that an investing site regularly presents cutting edge information on health issues! To differentiate between longevity and heath genes, I think, is important.

    The economics of medical care needs to be fully exposed. Over diagnosis and treatment have a lot to do with the people’s deteriorating health.

    Thanks for excellent articles

  3. My greatest improvement in health came when I eliminated all forms of refined sugar from my diet. It transformed my life. Simple and impactful.

  4. If people are going to live longer, then managing money in retirement is important. There are many articles and books about growing money. Not so many about managing money in retirement. If people don’t retire until later, then that affects the job openings for younger people.

  5. Read the book “Wheat Belly” by William Davis MD’ I learned about diabetes by wheat much too late.

    Please don’t publish my email address.

  6. One factor is surely the GMO corn, wheat, canola oil, etc. that has been developed for pesticide and herbicide resistance. These crops are sprayed with deadly chemicals, to which they are immune. Then we eat the residue pesticide and herbicide in our food. These are poisons and unlike the crop plants, we are affected.

    1. So true- most definitely! It doesn’t help that that particular industry is fighting us tooth and nail to prevent the labeling of the those foods so that we don’t know when we’re buying those GMO-treated foods. The best option to avoid them is to go organic which can be an expensive proposition if you’re on a fixed income, depending upon your budget.

  7. For the answer, look at the diet and lifestyle of Loma Linda, California…..the only “Blue Zone” in the USA.

  8. I suppose when most people died of an infectious disease, not as many died of heart disease and cancer. Many people probably eat too much junk food. It tends to make people fat and give them high blood pressure and diabetes. Everyone can be exposed to the pathogens around the world now, because of advances in transportation.

  9. The best thing I did to myself { and Iam not saying you should do it}:
    Swithced to vegan and organic food, if not organic I chose NGMO.
    Minimize processed carbs.
    Excercise and no smoking, and good night sleep.

    J Srour,M.D.

    1. Current health span 93, zero Rx, Have personal trainer for11 years, ( 2 sets 20 push-ups, 3 min plank).

      Genetic span expired about 20 years ago.
      Avoid GMO, prepared foods and sugar when practical most carbs from fat, little meat (substitute B1 shots) heavy on vitamins especially anti-inflamatory such as O3.
      Will update 1/21/24

      Bob Harm

  10. Antibiotics that don’t knock down infections like TB . Already commonplace in much of the world ! Why little development of new antibiotics ? Not profitable ! Twelve weeks and cured pales in comparison to a lifetime cash flow for high blood pressure pills ! Get more public funding to universities and public research facilities to specifically develop new antibiotics. Capitalism has already proven it doesn’t care about new , desperately overdue, antibiotics. We’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun.

  11. I am 48 years old and in the best health I have had since I was in high school. I sleep really well, have no digestive issues, no headaches or migraines, no autoimmune conditions, excellent mental health (no anxiety or depression), abundant energy, a 57 resting pulse, blood pressure of 96 over 60 checked a week ago, high sex drive, low body fat, no body aches or pain, never had cancer, take zero pharmaceuticals. I get told all the time I look nothing like my age. The secret? Simple, eat organic and GMO. Lots of veggies and high fat foods like advocados, coconut oil and grass fed butter. Get those toxic cancer causing pesticides out of your body that also disrupt your gut, the foundation of your immune system and now being discovered is vitally linked to mental health (research gut – brain linkage). Americans gut linings are trashed from GMO’s, pesticides, sugar, antibiotics etc. Avoid processed, refined wheat products like the plague. Avoid vegetable oils like canola oil. Eww! Eat grass fed free range meats not the disgusting toxic CAFO meats you find at most supermarkets and restaurants. Drastically limit sugar. Avoid pharmaceuticals and use food as medicine. Exercise. It doesn’t take much. Three times a week for 30 mins does it, but must include at least one weight lighting session to build muscle. The allopathic medical model is broken and completely overtaken by pharma in the last 20 years. Third leading cause of death in this country is Western medicine. If you are a woman stay the hell away from hormonal birth control. Avoid statins as well. Horrible side effects and very minimal effects. Takes hundreds of people to take statins for one person to possibly avoid a heart attack. (Check the absolute reduction #’s in heart attacks versus the relative reduction). Your body and your brain membranes NEED cholesterol. Absolutely under no circumstances take any flu shots (Check Cochrane report – most respected, unbiased research source. Meta analysis shows it is basically completely ineffective. It is also the #1 vaccine on the list being compensated by the Vaccine Injury Court every year). And vitally important, drink clean pure water. I drink lots of alkalized, mineralized, chlorine and fluoride free water from the Carlsbad Alkaline Well. It changed my life drinking pure water. No soda which aside from either sugar or toxic diet sweeteners, is made from crap water, as are almost 99% of the bottled drinks you get at the supermarket, in a restaurant or in a gas station. Avoid them like the plague. I also don’t drink alcohol at all anymore, not good for your body. Clean your house out of all the crap personal care and cleaning products that contain endocrine mimickers or endocrine disruptors that are messing up your hormones. Buy sulfate, paraben and phthalate free personal care and cleaning products. We just don’t need these chemicals in what we put on our body! I feel absolutely freaking amazing, but it takes commitment and a ton of personal responsibility for your own health. Do not farm authority for your health to outside sources. It is up to YOU!

    http://www.cochrane.org/CD001269/ARI_vaccines-to-prevent-influenza-in-healthy-adults

    The preventive effect of parenteral inactivated influenza vaccine on healthy adults is small: at least 40 people would need vaccination to avoid one ILI case (95% confidence interval (CI) 26 to 128) and 71 people would need vaccination to prevent one case of influenza (95% CI 64 to 80). Vaccination shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalisation.

  12. Dr. Mercola has recently interviewed Dr. Seyfried who believes disease is not caused by genetics but instead is due to toxins in environment and in our processed foods which damage the mitochondria in our cells and the gene mutations are a downstream effect of the mitochondrial damage.

    Cancer as a Metabolic Disease
    articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/…/cancer-metabolic-disease.aspx
    Aug 7, 2016 … Cancer is a metabolic disease, not a genetic one. As long as your mitochondria remain healthy and functional, your chances of developing …

    1. Culprits: social & cultural
      Abuse of ” freedom” to do this & that:
      . Illicit drugs
      . Too much alcohol intake leading to liver & brain
      damage
      . Driving motor vehicles without regard to safety
      . sexual exposures to std’s due to multiple partners…..disregarding the relative safety of marriage
      . Exposure to “food toxins” due to industrial / manufacturing waste products etc.

  13. The Medical and Pharmaceutical INDUSTRIES want customers, not cures. There’s big money and repeat business in chronic illness. Wellness doesn’t pay and since all that matters now are stock prices and shareholders, don’t expect anything to change.

  14. With cancer rates escalating at crazy rates, you have to gain knowledge to be prepared. Join TTAC, The Truth about Cancer. Excellent source for ways to prevent and cure cancer. As we all know, the mighty dollar is the driver to make big pharma even bigger, which doesn’t help anyone but the top 1%.

  15. Three Major and very different reasons:
    1. The dawn of the chemical age and our lack of understanding of their individual and combined effects. Analyse the tissues of nay human on earth and you will find a long list of manufactured chemicals.
    2. The growth of “Food Manufacturing”.
    3. “Modern” cultures impact on our diets and lifestyles. Cultural images of acceptable body styles and healthiness, of recreation and work/play balance choices.

  16. I agree with many of the comments that have been made so far, especially with Michael Hall’s comment. I just recently found out about all the poisonous toxins that are being applied to our mattresses, furniture, clothing, and carpeting in our homes and being sold to us as beneficial because of the flame retardant properties these items possess. It is against the law to sell any of these items without treating them with these noxious substances, and we as the consumer require a prescription in order to have them made for us, without the chemical treatments in place, if we can even find a vendor who will take the risk. These manufacturers are being forced to sell us poisoned goods for our own good. These laws have been established since 2007 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. So they believe it is not good for us to risk a fire that “could” happen, but it is okay for us to constantly, on a daily basis, breath and absorb poisons from our living environment. They tell us there is little risk, but these chemicals are not required to be listed and labeled on the items so treated. I think they know we would refuse to buy if we know what it is we are actually getting. An then we wonder, why are we all so sick all the time?

  17. The most effective health and lifestyle related change I’’ve made in my life has been the development of a mindset that is focused on improving my health. It implies being alert, aware and conscious about the threats ignorance and the marketing tricks of the agro-pharma-processed food industries expose us to. It implies willingness to abandon old habits and to try new things. It implies investing time and some money in knowledge and education.
    Changes: no more processed food, no more junkfood, no more smoking, no more sodas, much less sugar, less alcohol, less meat. I make my own kefir and kombucha drink and sprouts, I use lots of supplements.
    Results: I (at age 64) haven’t seen my family doctor in more than a year, don’t use any medication. I feel in great shape. I give talks about health and nutrition.

  18. Maintaining an active spiritual life and devotion to God as well as a loving marriage aid tremendously in my overall health.

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Brad Hoppmann originally grew up in Florida, but has lived in Baltimore, Charlotte and New York as well throughout his career. Always an athlete, he played varsity football and water polo at the University of Florida and received All-SEC/SCC honors.