Beyond the Bandage: The 8 Root Causes That Underpin Most Ailments
If you are looking to improve your health, how do you go about it? It may seem like such a strange question, but the fact is that when you are trying to be healthier, a lot of people tend to firefight the problem rather than go for the root cause. It’s something that we have done for decades: putting a bandage over the wound when, in fact, we should be addressing the root cause. And this is why, when it comes to healing, we need to look much further than what we think the cause is. So let’s look at some of the potential causes where health conditions can arise.
Imbalanced Circadian Rhythms
One of the fundamental tenets of functional medicine is addressing circadian rhythms. We have to remember that we live in an age of 24-hour convenience and night shifts, not to mention the dreaded devices. Circadian rhythms are not just about when we sleep but it’s about when we wake up, when we eat, and everything in between. But one simple thing you can do is keep your sleep schedules consistent, and this means every single day.
Lack of the Fundamentals
This is something that we can all benefit from addressing. Because if our bodies are missing vital ingredients, like magnesium or vitamin B12, the body focuses its efforts on the things that keep the body surviving. And while you may “survive,” the fact is that you may not have a good quality of life. If your body misses the key ingredients, the body has to focus on the priorities, meaning that an important task might not get done. When we have suboptimal nutrient levels, we may not benefit from a good quality of life. One of the most common examples in the modern day is vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is crucial for so many parts of the body, from bone health to immunity, and this is why, time and time again, it’s recommended that we all take a vitamin D supplement. But this is only one piece of the puzzle. We can talk about fiber, fat, magnesium, and so much more.
Insufficient Gut Bacteria
Gut bacteria is a relatively new phenomenon, but our microbiome can impact our health in so many ways and play a role in producing the hormones that have an impact on our metabolism, our stress, and our circadian rhythms. An imbalance of bacteria caused by stress, medication, inflammation, or poor diet can all have negative effects. This is why we need to focus on a diet rich in dietary fiber, fermented foods, and flavonoids to heal our gut.
Our Stress Response
Everybody is aware that stress is one of the biggest problems in the modern world, and if we are constantly feeling that “fight or flight” response to modern life, it will become an obstruction where we cannot care for ourselves effectively. Chronic stress can contribute to a number of medical issues, not just depression, and anxiety, but insomnia, chronic pain, digestive issues, and even problems with your brain. This is why we should all be taking time every single day to calm down and destress. We should also focus on handling stress through appropriate practices.
Being “Nature Defective”
A nature deficit disorder might be something that most of us are experiencing. We live in the modern world, which means that we’ve gotten further away from nature. There are theories abound that mental health issues like ADHD come from our tendency to alienate our children from nature. We have to remember that thousands of years ago we were immersed in nature. So when we remove ourselves from it, we can feel the negative impacts. Therefore, having a bigger connection to nature is important. Spending more time outside or connected with our food by consuming more natural foods can be beneficial in this respect.
Inflammation is amazing when it comes to injury but when we are constantly exposed to stresses that overly inflammatory response could be the source of many chronic diseases. The gut is usually the source of chronic inflammation because our gut is 70% of our system. So if you eat something that your immune system doesn’t like, this will cause an inflammatory response, whether it’s digestive issues, arthritis, or mood disorders. Tackling inflammation through nurturing the gut microbiome is essential for keeping your inflammation low. There are other practices that you can potentially benefit from, such as cold immersion. However, we must remember that if we are constantly exposing ourselves to inflammation, we have to dial in our exposure to these inflammatory markers, whether it’s diet or even excessive exercise and stress.
Avoiding Powerful Emotions
Something that is not spoken of in the same breath as inflammation or gut bacteria is our ability to deal with emotions. Because chronic stress can have an abundance of negative impacts, learning how to deal with powerful emotions can prove beneficial to how we heal. However, many of us avoid painful feelings and we deal with them by turning to alcohol or overeating. But the solution could be in learning to deal with uncomfortable situations. We live in a world where comfort is everywhere. But if we start to view stressors as challenges, this can result in greater life satisfaction. We can do this through engaging in gratitude, mindful meditation, or cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s also important to remember that resilience is an excellent thing for our body and practices such as fasting and high-intensity interval training are uncomfortable practices that can boost our health in many ways.
A Lack of Attention
Concentration problems are rife in the modern world because of our reliance on smartphones. If we want to heal, we need to be more aware of our bodies. Many of us are not cognizant of how much we eat or don’t know our routines and habits inside out. When we start to pay attention to ourselves mentally and physically, it gives us a far better understanding of what we need to heal.