Regular DW readers may know I have made some significant changes in my life over the past 21 months. The biggest one, which set the stage for all the others, was getting over my food addiction to carb-laden foods like pasta, breads, pies and pastries.
Learning about Paleo helped me push those highly processed carbs aside in preference for real foods. And generally the Paleo lifestyle has served me well. I have dropped 35 pounds and kept it off for well over a year.
But from a health and wellness perspective, I felt like I had leveled off. Perhaps I’m not eating enough (at least I wasn’t until the last 30-Day Challenge). Perhaps my meds are holding me back. Maybe I’m taxing myself with too much exercise and it’s time to cut back the schedule and rest a bit more. These were some of the questions rattling around in my head. But my General Practitioner and my Cardiologist really don’t quite know what to do with me. I needed someone skilled in understanding my body as a series of feedback loops.
Imagine a simple household thermostat. You set it for 68 degrees. When the temperature drops below 65 degrees, the furnace kicks on to heat the house. When the Thermostat senses that the temperature has reached 68 degrees, it turns off the furnace. In a perfect world, with a boundless supply of fuel, this cycle could go on forever.
But one day the temperature drops below 65 and the heat doesn’t come on. In fact the temperature has dropped down to 59 degrees and the furnace still doesn’t kick on. Some outside force has disrupted the feedback loop. Upon investigation, you find that someone has placed a decorative table with a lovely lamp right by the thermostat. The heat from the bulb continuously rises through the lampshade to the thermostat. The thermostat is deceived by this false heat source, into thinking the room is warm, so it never fires the furnace.
That where I am with my diet and nutrition. My feedback loop is broken and in need of repair.
For years I have been treated for hypertension. High blood pressure is not an illness, it is a symptom of something else going on in my body. To resolve the issue, we must travel upstream to locate the source of the trouble. Perhaps it is a nutritional deficiency. Or a food sensitivity. Or even a hormonal issue. If so, a course of action should be established to rectify that source issue.
But that is not how conventional “medicine” has approached this issue. My experience has been, rather than work to identify the source of my malady, doctors have felt it more convenient to simply prescribe medication. If that doesn’t work, increase the dosage.
This is like continually turning up the thermostat because the house is still cold, without investigating what may be disrupting the natural feedback loop.
How many people do you think have high blood pressure because of a deficiency of Beta-Blockers or Calcium Channel Blockers?
Let’s look at the type of medications used in the treatment of hypertension. They are often Beta-Blockers and Calcium Blockers. How many people do you think have high blood pressure because of a deficiency of Beta-Blockers or Calcium Channel Blockers? If you answered Zero, you are correct.
The irony is that rather than looking to resolve the issue upstream, these medications, while dealing with one symptom, purposefully disrupt feedback loops for other downstream processes. The “Blockers” are designed to block or inhibit receptors or hormones.
These medications are designed to limit the body’s functions, rather than facilitate the body’s healing. This produces other issues. Healthcare should be about promoting health and wellness, unfortunately it has devolved into Chronic Disease Management. Having experienced this over the years, it reminds me of a high stakes game of Whack a Mole.
All is not hopeless. In recent months I have been experiencing the benefits of Functional Medicine and nutrition healing. Unfortunately, such a departure from the traditional medical establishment is not covered by health insurance. But we won’t go there, ‘cuz you don’t wanna get me started!
Get Defiant! Get Well!