Stop Chasing Symptoms

January 4th, 2009

Are you letting your health deteriorate as you chase symptoms, or are you improving it by getting to the root cause? A shockingly large percentage of people are taking more than one prescription drug, and the ones who aren’t are frequently relying on over the counter medications. The result is a compromised level of health that slowly but surely gets worse and worse.

Are You Just Hiding the Problem?

Typically, when someone isn’t feeling their best, they identify one or more specific symptoms and do what they can to eliminate them. A common example is taking an over the counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. The more serious cases involve medications for blood pressure and cholesterol.

Whether you have frequent headaches, muscles and joints that ache daily, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, you can’t escape the basic fact that they’re indications of a deeper lying problem. You may temporarily feel better by addressing each complaint directly, but doing so is only a temporary solution that allows the underlying problem to persist and potentially get worse.

The Consequences of Ignoring the Root Cause

As an example, consider someone who regularly takes over the counter medication for headaches. They may experience headaches as often as several times per week or more, but as long as they can just take a pill to get rid of the headache, then no big deal, right?

Let’s say the headaches are the result of food sensitivities, which are actually a common cause. Frequent consumption of these foods, which is typical, will cause chronic inflammation and eventually damage the digestive system. The result is suppressed immunity and susceptibility to infection that will promote more serious problems, bring new symptoms, and encourage the use of even more medication.

Good Health Doesn’t Come Easily

Most people chase symptoms because it’s easy, but over time, they accumulate new symptoms, take more medication, start feeling worse, and begin to wish for a better way. There is in fact a much better way, but it requires a certain level of understanding and determination that some people are simply unwilling to embrace.

While many assume that they can rely on their doctors to keep them healthy, conventional medicine tends to be focused on chasing symptoms as well. This means it’s unlikely for a typical doctor to help you get to the root of your problems and puts the responsibility on your shoulders to educate yourself about good health or find a prevention oriented practitioner that will.

Our fast paced society certainly isn’t helping much either. It was easy for our ancestors to be healthy because they had little choice but to live in close accordance with nature. This meant a lot of nutritious food and plenty of rest. However, in today’s fast paced and technological world, we are bombarded with unhealthy temptations that can be difficult to resist. We eat harmful artificial foods because they taste good, we get little rest because artificial light allows us to lengthen the day, and we’re under immense stress with everything modern technology allows us to pack into a single day. And that doesn’t even include the thousands of toxic chemicals we’re exposed to every day.

What is Good Health and How Do You Get It?

Good health goes far beyond passing your yearly physical. It’s a state in which your body is functioning optimally and without discomfort. In today’s society, this is the case for a very small percentage of people. My article about optimal health discusses this in further detail.

Your body has an amazing ability to fix itself and knows exactly how to keep it functioning optimally, but for that to happen, you have to support it with a healthy lifestyle. Working toward optimal function is almost always the best way to address your health concerns. It’s a permanent solution that will stop the downward spiral of poor health dead in it’s tracks. However, it requires that you learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and dedicate yourself to following it. It’s more work than many of us are used to in this modern day of convenience, but it’s well worth it effort and will likely have you feeling better than you ever imagined possible.

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