HomeConditionsWomen's Health

5 Basic Health Requirements We Don’t Talk About

5 Basic Health Requirements We Don’t Talk About

Healing starts with how you approach health. An obvious statement, right?

Looking at mainstream medicine, however, we can see that healing often gets lost in translation. It is common for doctors to ask questions to assure you are not overdoing things that are detrimental to your health, such as smoking, drinking, overworking, lack of exercise and/or sleep, and a diet that is high in sugar, salt, and bad fats. They ask questions to ensure you understand the bad things that will cause illness, which is great! However, these questions are typically rather general and unfortunately, not all people know what bad fats, high sugar, too much alcohol, or poor sleep look like. Other patients may be in denial as to how these things impact their health. Typical answers that show a lack of understanding or denial are “my diet is good, I sleep fine, I only socially drink,” and so on. But what does this actually mean?

Understanding What Is Good for Us, and Why
There needs to be more discussion at medical visits about what you can do that is good for your health to ensure you’re on the path to wellness, not illness. Just because you may avoid the bad, does that automatically mean you’re incorporating the good?

This is the important part. This is what needs to be discussed.

You can avoid the list of things that are detrimental to your health, but if you’re not adding in what is required for wellness, you will remain unhealthy. Approaching health as a list of what not to do to prevent illness—the DON’Ts list—can lead to confusion, embarrassment, non-compliant patients, and worsening health. Providing a health and wellness action plan – the DOs list – to improve function first, on the other hand, can result in life-changing improvements.

We often shrug off the DON’Ts list, as though it can’t really be that bad. The difference between “don’t stay up past 11 pm” and “be in bed by 10 pm,” or “don’t eat processed foods” and “get most of your foods from the perimeter of the grocery store,” can be life-changing for someone struggling to improve their health.

The idea of diving into what is required for minimal health seems too basic for many doctors to consider discussing at length to ensure optimal wellness. Though for many of us, not understanding the minimum requirements is the root cause of much stress in our bodies. Focusing on the basic needs can improve your response to how you handle stress, resulting in less stress overall.

Focus your attention on the minimal health needs to naturally reduce stressors that negatively affect your health.

Air quality matters. Your home is a place for hidden off-gassing of many harmful chemicals. You breathe these into your lungs and distribute the chemicals throughout your cells. This is a physiological strain on the body (stress). Using house plants or an air purifier, opening your windows regularly, and allowing new items, such as mattresses and furniture, to off-gas outside before bringing them indoors can remove those detrimental airborne toxins.

The quality of how you breathe can also greatly improve your wellness. Deep belly breaths can switch the nervous system from the sympathetic (stress, fight, flight, fawn, freeze) to the parasympathetic (rest, digest, procreate). When breathing exercises are regularly performed, you will have a calmer approach to everyday triggers. And if that isn’t convincing enough try ten belly breaths upon waking, mid-day, and at bedtime, knowing that shallow breathing causes anxiety chemicals
to be released in the body may help further
encourage this practice of breath work.

Shelter and Warmth
The strain of being homeless or without reliable warmth is unimaginable if you have not experienced it. This category is more difficult to address because if you are without it, it may be impossible to obtain it. Discussing the importance of shelter and warmth as a basic health and wellness requirement and providing resources for assistance is crucial.

Patients can also benefit from a discussion in this category because wearing appropriate clothing for the season can improve health. Wearing pants and a coat in the winter can reduce the stress your body experiences due to the primitive brain being on high alert trying to warm the body. Overdressing can be just as bad for health, as it may cause overheating in hot climates.

The quality of your water is crucial! Many people in America don’t understand that clean water can be a real struggle for communities both in the U.S. and around the world. Chlorine, fluoride, and even other people’s prescription medications may be found in public water supplies. Water in plastic bottles is not any cleaner when you consider the huge amount of endocrine (the organ system that makes hormones) disruptors leaching out of the bottles and into your body. These can be corrected by a water filtration system on your faucet. Drinking out of glass or natural materials, not plastic, will decrease this burden of stress on your body as well. Unfortunately, these remedies may be financially out of reach for some people.

Keep your food as close to nature as possible. Shop the perimeter of the store to get the most nutrient-dense, natural foods. Your largest meal should be eaten in the morning when your insulin is highest, and the last meal should be eaten in the early evening. Quality should surpass quantity at every meal. This is the category patients overlook most because it’s so easy to believe, “If it’s on the shelf, it must be OK for me and my family.”

Changing our perception of commercially driven and marketed foods should be a national concern, as our poor diet is responsible for the leading cause of death in America: heart disease. According to Cleveland Clinic, “Ninety percent of the nearly 18 million heart disease cases worldwide could be prevented by people adopting a healthier diet, doing regular exercise, and not smoking.” Join the discussion!

Seven to eight hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep! If sleep is disrupted, you are not meeting this basic health requirement. Complete darkness is best since many hormones are produced by the body in response to light exposure. Overnight light is detrimental to our health.

We all want to reduce stress, or physiological strain, though trying to avoid stress can itself be stressful. Instead of focusing on avoidance, try improving overall calm within your body by addressing the basic health requirements with a positive to-do list of practices. Surprise yourself with how the strain and discomfort you experience from being stressed naturally resolves when you give your body what it truly needs.

Dr. Nicole Kerr, ND, LAc operates an all-natural fertility clinic in Wallingford CT, Fertility Oasis. At Fertility Oasis, Dr. Kerr teaches her patients the importance of preconception care and about all treatment options available to couples struggling to conceive. Male and female infertility factors are addressed by Dr. Kerr to offer comprehensive fertility care to her patients. Fertility Oasis, 857 N Main St Ext Suite 1, Wallingford CT, 203.265.0459.