Pathology Prevention with Physical Health

People worldwide are living longer. Today most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond. Every country in the world is experiencing growth in both the size and the proportion of older persons in the population.

Evidence suggests that the proportion of life in good health has remained broadly constant, implying that the additional years are in poor health. If people can experience these extra years of life in good health, and if they live in a supportive environment, their ability to do the things they value will be little different from that of a younger person. If these added years are dominated by declines in physical and mental capacity, the implications for older people and for society are more negative.

A longer life brings with it opportunities, not only for older people and their families, but also for societies as a whole. Additional years provide the chance to pursue new activities such as further education, a new career or a long-neglected passion. Older people also contribute in many ways to their families and communities. Yet the extent of these opportunities and contributions depends heavily on one factor: Health.

Although some of the variations in older people’s health are genetic, most is due to people’s physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual, social, lifestyle, and environments – including their homes, neighborhoods, and communities, as well as their personal characteristics – such as their sex, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. At PathologyPrevention® we refer to these factors as Prevention Practices.

It has been shown that the environments people live in as children – or even as developing fetuses – combined with their personal characteristics, have long-term effects on how they age. Here on this website, we try to provide information and products to help people of all ages, become more healthy, improve capabilities, and learn to life a longer, more healthy life. This is why we say together, we can increase self-reliance, improve wellness, and prevent chronic disease.

The diversity seen in older age is not random. A large part arises from people’s physical, mental, and social environments and their impact on opportunities and health behavior. These relationships are skewed by the personal characteristics discussed above such as the family we were born into, our sex and our ethnicity, and personal habits leading to inequalities in your health – now, and in your old age.

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Pathology Prevention with Environment

When it comes to your health, the environment is often underestimated or even forgotten. The emergency first responder, is trained that the first step is to get the victim out of harms way. You need to look around an be sure that there is no immediate danger, then proceed to what ever steps are mandated. But first, we check the environment. At every level this is true. Check the environment if your working at the township level with interrelationships of the citizens. Check the environment within an individual as you examine internal organs. Tissues also are impacted by their environment. At the Cellular level, and even the organs within the cell body have environments. At every level, the environment is crucial in pathology prevention.

At the micro-cellular level, the meaning of the term epigenetics has evolved considerably over time. Conrad Hal Waddington coined the term in the 1940s to describe the “casual mechanisms” that give rise to phenotypes from genotypes in the developmental and differentiation processes of humans. It is at this level, the environment can impact the way DNA is replicated and control our responses to yet a larger, external environment.

Nowadays, the term is used to explain stable heritable chemical modifications to DNA and histones that affect gene expression without altering nucleotide sequence. This new concept has allowed the consideration of a new perspective from which the complexity of many cellular processes such as genetic regulation, cellular development and differentiation, genomic imprinting, embryology, aging and cancer, and other diseases is understood.

Also, epigenetic alterations may occur due to chance or under environmental influence. In the latter case, epigenetics moderates the genetic expression of a trait depending on the prevailing environmental conditions, a phenomenon which could confer us with the necessary plasticity to adapt to our environment and the capacity to induce alternative phenotypes from the same genotype through the regulation of gene expression patterns.

Environmental epigenetics emerges from the idea that the interaction between the environment and the epigenome may alter the phenotype and might be related to disease susceptibility. And most importantly, these alterations could be transmitted down through generations.

The epigenome is at risk of changes and alterations over time, and it will be dependent on internal, external, and/or stochastic factors. In this article we describe how external factors affect the epigenome and the consequences for health and disease during lifetime.

Recent works demonstrate how epigenetic mechanisms are affected by environmental aspects, such as different chemical and physical environmental stressors, diet, unhealthy habits, and pharmacological treatments.

It is well known that maternal tobacco smoke exposure is one of the most important risk factors during pregnancy for many diseases such as asthma, cancer, obesity, and type II diabetes. Tobacco smoke is known to produce epigenetic changes that can affect birthweight and fetal programing in children exposed to prenatal smoking compared to children who were not.

In adults’ tobacco use has been related to an increase in promoter gene-specific DNA processes, which in turn is linked to increased predisposition to diseases such as cancer. Methylation is a chemical reaction in the body in which a small molecule called a methyl group gets added to DNA, proteins, or other molecules. The addition of these methyl groups can affect how some molecules act in the body. For example, methylation of the DNA sequence of a gene may turn the gene off so it does not make a protein. Changes in the methylation patterns of genes or proteins can affect a person’s risk of developing a disease, such as cancer.

To investigate in more depth the effect of tobacco smoking on DNA, researchers have performed genome-wide DNA analyses. As a result, tobacco use has been related to changes in DNA methylation sites related to the development and function of the cellular, cardiovascular, detoxification, hematological, immune, tumorigenic, and reproduction systems.

High alcohol consumption is also widely recognized to have many negative effects which lead to a deterioration in an individual's health. Alcohol can interfere with cellular metabolism through the inhibition of methionine synthase. Other studies have revealed that the use of alcohol alters DNA patterns in hepatocarcinogenesis and neural stem cell differentiation.

Apart from DNA changes, ethanol induces gene activation through an increase in histone, which may lead to immune system dysfunction. Interestingly, epigenetic changes due to ethanol seem to be different depending on whether there is chronic or binge ethanol intake. Furthermore, prenatal alcohol exposure also significantly affects the correct development of the fetus.

Substantial stress during early life can be a risk factor in the initial appearance of symptoms for individuals susceptible to bipolar disorder and other mental disorders. Many studies have reported a relationship between early life stress and the aberrant DNA of many genes. Also, stress is able to produce changes in histone modifications. In this regard, there is an interesting study showing how prenatal maternal stress, generated by a natural disaster, was related to changes in DNA patterns of blood cells, which could influence the immune function of the offspring.

Physical exercise enhances or maintains physical fitness and is beneficial for human health in several ways. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms responsible, but several studies have shown that epigenetics is related to the effects of exercise on human health, since epigenetic changes in germ cells, skeletal muscle, and brain have been observed following a period of exercise.

In conclusion, our pathology prevention efforts should consider the environment, both in the short-term, long-term, and generational perspectives.

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Pathology Prevention with Spiritual Health

In this day and age, many people are losing their religion. These people don't beleive that spiritual health sould be discussed in context of pathology prevention practices. So I need to explain that this 'Spiritual Health isn't what you think. For our discusion, your Spritual Health is about finding your purpose of life, actualization processes, maintaining a world balance, and emotional stability. Your church may be different, it may address these things, but for the majority, these topics are out side of religion. For the Health Guardian, or person concerned with pathology prevention in your life, these topics must be evaluated, understood, nurtured, and managed.

Many seem to believe that a purpose of life arises from your special gifts and sets you apart from other people—but that’s only part of the truth. It also grows from our connection to others, which is why a crisis of purpose is often a symptom of isolation. Once you find your path, you’ll almost certainly find others traveling along with you, hoping to reach the same destination—a community.

Here are a few things that have been shown to build a sense of purpose in life. Reading - So, if you’re feeling a crisis of purpose in your life, go to the bookstore or library or university. Find books that matter to you—and they might help you to see what matters in your own life. You can also Turn hurts into healing for others. Of course, finding purpose is not just an intellectual pursuit; it’s something we need to feel. That’s why it can grow out of suffering, both our own and others’. Certain emotions and behaviors that promote health and well-being can also foster a sense of purpose—specifically, awe, gratitude, and altruism. Of course, awe all by itself won’t give you a purpose in life. It’s not enough to just feel like you’re a small part of something big; you also need to feel driven to make a positive impact on the world. That’s where gratitude and generosity come into play. Giving thanks can help you find your purpose. But you can also find purpose in what people thank you for.

If you’re having trouble remembering your purpose, take a look at the people around you. What do you have in common with them? What are they trying to be? What impact do you see them having on the world? Is that impact a positive one? Can you join with them in making that impact? What do they need? Can you give it them?

As we try to improve our spiritual health, self-actualization sould be part of your practice. It's important to remember that self-actualization is not a one-time event, but goes on throughout life as one is faced with opportunities, just like our spirtual health is not a fixed status. In self-actualization, and spiritual health development, intention, intuition, and action are all required to move toward an actualized life, and that process is not linear. 

It is beleived that there are three key processes in moving towards an actualized life—intention, intuition, and action. They are woven together. Each is integral to the other. Each is necessary for actualization to happen.

These three processes can be used to discover what an actualized life means to you. What calls to you? What are you passionate about? This will be different for everyone, but the discovery process will be the same.

Both conceiving a purpose and desiring to bring it into realization will streangthen your spiritual health. The clearer you are about your intention, the more likely you are to realize it. Intuition is the ability to understand instinctively, without conscious reasoning, the rightness or wrongness of something. It’s your right brain function. As you explore your options, when you land on one that resonates, you will feel a bodily felt sense of rightness. Action is taking what you have intuited and intended and committing to do concretely what is needed to bring your intention into reality. Although spiritual health is straightforward, the processes can be challenging and unique to everyone. It is not linear. It involves giving yourself the space to explore your innermost thoughts and feelings, discovering a clear intention, and then having the courage to act.

I'm not sure that maintaing a world balance is something we can achieve, check off a box somewhere, and move on to other goals. Philosopher and physician Albert Schweitzer wrote that a culture can only be as healthy as its worldview. What is the worldview of healthcare today? It is that disease must be conquered. We attack disease, not realizing that the very inclination to attack is the genesis of disease. We trumpet the successes of this incomplete approach in our medical journals while waging a never-ending battle.

We will know when health care is really serious about shaping up when we begin to pay as much attention to health and wellbeing as we do to disease; when medical education and practice requires self-care as much as it requires the practice of prescribing and cutting; when doctors learn about food as medicine; when medical education teaches us how to collaborate inter-professionally across different healing systems; and when medical science catches up to the physics of 100 years ago and recognizes the human body as more than a physical structure.

Today, we can no longer talk only about local cultures. The culture of wellbeing we will create in healthcare cannot be separated from the culture of food, housing, politics and every other culture. If we’re serious, we have to talk about our global culture – literally, across the globe. The world has become small enough that our worldview must encircle the planet. The internet and social media have made it so that local change can become global change within minutes to hours. The successes and failures of our neighbors on the other side of the planet are our own, as our own successes and failures are theirs. It has always been this way. Now, we are seeing it more distinctly. What is the worldview that will sustain us and carry us forward? Wellbeing.

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Pathology Prevention with Mental Health

Why is mental health important for overall health?

Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health.  For example, depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like, heart disease, and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk for mental illness.

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.

  • More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
  • 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

It’s important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors.  When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health.

There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as

  • Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for example, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.)
  • Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes
  • Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Having feelings of loneliness or isolation

There are many ways to perceive mental illness, and their impact on over all wellness. As we at PathologyPrevention consider mental health we check our thinking and consider our thoughts through the lens of eight psychology theories. The Biological Theory looks for biological explanations for our behavior. On perhaps the other shoulder sits Behavioral Theory. Together they provide a perspective just a little more complete than the one or the other. Then there is the Cognitive Theory and the Humanistic Theory, each with is own set of strengths. The Evolutionary Theory explains in terms of the evolution of mankind. All these theories add to the depth of our understanding. I'd be hard-pressed to say there was one theory more correct than the rest.

The Theory's of Psychodynamic, Sociocultural, and Biopsychosocial are set of theory that attempt to consider an overlapping, holistic sets of thinking. As we approach explanations for our mental health status, normal your going to want to search with all theories in mind.

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Pathology Prevention with Lifestyle

Lifestyle factors such as use of tobacco and alcohol, diet and physical activity are closely associated with myriad chronic health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Scientists have found, for example, that unhealthy body weight, limited physical activity and poor diets are associated with an increased incidence of 13 cancers.

By altering hormones, lifestyle factors also can affect energy metabolism, cellular growth, steroid metabolism, inflammatory mediation, DNA repair and immune function. In addition, malnutrition increases morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases, and can increase the severity of an infection and hinder the response to treatment.

To address these conditions, researchers are using rigorous interdisciplinary and epidemiologic methods to understand the health consequences of nutrition, exercise, genetics, biomarkers, access to health services, community-based characteristics on disease rates and outcomes, epigenetics of obesity, lifestyle interventions in oncology care, breastfeeding and the impact of climate change, among other factors.


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