Question: There seem to be a lot of issues being discussed that have an impact on people’s health such as obesity — different vitamin deficiencies, food allergies, pesticide use, electromagnetic radiation and stress.
I am just wondering if you could just wave a wand and have people change their habits what would be your wish?
Answer: In an ideal world I would have anyone who struggles with weight to have restricted access to sugar, including pop, baked goods with refined flour, basically anything where simple sugars are the main ingredients. Desperate times require desperate measures. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, meaning if we recreationally eat too much of the wrong foods then to neutralize that behaviour we would have to equally restrict.
I meet people every day whose problems could be helped by changing what they do or don’t ingest. I would wish for people to be more knowledgeable about how their bodies work and what affects their well-being. I also feel that hormonal imbalances can inhibit people from reaching and maintaining normal weight, in spite of good eating habits.
We are often overfed, yet undernourished in the area of many vitamins, minerals and good fats. That, in turn, leads to a whole host of signs and symptoms. Failing to address fundamental nutrient requirements and relying too heavily on drugs is ignoring the obvious in how the body’s work. Many would not meet their recommended daily intake (RDI) for nutrients, minimal amounts of nutrients that have not been updated since the 1940s, which do not factor in today’s stress levels, chronic diseases, drug induced nutrient depletions or current nutritional research. In the area of diet, I would also love to see the improvements for many in weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, digestive, respiratory and pain problems especially just by following a wheat free, cow/dairy free and low sugar diet.
I would like our government to become more involved in addressing the concerns around cosmetic and agricultural pesticide use. Like the smoking debate, before the impact on human health was so clear and could no longer be ignored, we need to address the concerns around pesticide use and its impact on our health and the environment. If an elementary school principal were to chain smoke today in a school it would be ludicrous. However, I am 42 years old, and that was my reality 31 years ago.
I suspect that eventually the perception of any gain from routine pesticide use will be considered equally ridiculous. Anyone who sprays their lawn I would say educate yourself about the reasons not to continue such behaviour and farmers as well to consider the impact on their health, those they love and the population at large. In my experience, many who say that pesticide use is not a problem have failed to take the time to really look at the evidence. For those who share these concerns speak up, avoid pesticides and choose organic foods (especially local) whenever possible.
Radiation from cellphones has been associated with brain tumors on the side they are used. It is known that a CT scan, equivalent to 400 chest X-rays, is a carcinogen. Then there is the cumulative effect of daily low levels of radiation from microwaves, computers, wifi everywhere and hd-TVs.
Stress and how we define it is a whole other column.
Kali Simmonds, ND is a doctor of naturopathic medicine who practices in Charlottetown. The information provided is not intended to diagnose or substitute the advice of your healthcare professional. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes. She welcomes questions for this column, which is published the first Tuesday of the month in The Guardian. She can be reached by mail at 34 Queen St., Charlottetown, C1A 4A3 or by email at email@example.com.