Written by Kate Tietje, Contributing Writer
These days, it’s hard to pinpoint what health really is. Our country’s health is going down the tubes – there are constantly reports on how more and more people are suffering from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic infections, stomach disorders, reproductive disorders/infertility, cancer, neurological disorders, learning disabilities…. And yet, if you talk to most people, they’ll claim “Yes! My family is pretty healthy!”
Something doesn’t match up. How can individual people believe that they are “generally healthy,” yet we know that our population as a whole is not healthy? Is it always that “someone else” is unhealthy, not us? Or maybe it’s that we don’t really know what health looks like anymore. I believe the latter is the case.
We don’t want to believe that we are the unhealthy ones. And when everyone around us is struggling with the same issues we are, especially issues that generally aren’t seriously debilitating, it’s easy to think that we are normal. We must be healthy, at least in general.
A lot of people will say, “Okay, so I’m overweight…but I still feel good, I don’t get sick very often, and everything else is great!” or “I’m struggling to get pregnant, but I’m really healthy in other ways!” They don’t realize that it’s all connected. We can’t be “really healthy” in one way, yet have a huge struggle in one area. It’s like saying, “Well, I only have a little cancer, but otherwise I really am healthy!” (That’s not to say that those who are really only slightly overweight are really unhealthy, it’s just a common example.)
Image by mcfarlandmo
Signs of Not So Good Health
So what is real health? How do we know when we are really healthy, and when we are not? I wrote awhile back on Early Signs of Bad Health, but I’d like to follow up a little on that list here. If you have the following signs, you are not as healthy as you could be:
- Being overweight; especially if unable to lose the weight (even 15 – 20 lbs.)
- Frequently being fatigued
- Suffering from depression or anxiety; panic attacks
- Struggling to get pregnant; suffering infertility, unexplained repeat miscarriages
- Chronic sinus/ear infections (especially in children)
- Allergies, especially several or severe
- Auto-immune conditions
- Eczema (a sign of allergies)
- Frequent constipation and/or diarrhea
- Frequent heart burn or indigestion
- Acne or other skin rashes
- Frequent or chronic stress
Do you have any of these signs? Something’s going on. You could feel so much better! When your body is truly healthy, many of these little annoyances go away. You may lose weight without trying, your skin will be clear and smooth, you’ll have energy, you won’t have sinus infections anymore, and you’ll feel good most of the time!
Most people don’t realize that they just don’t have to live with the minor annoyances above. They are caused by our modern diet (which is poor) and our busy lifestyle, as well as the chemicals/toxins in our environment. By moving towards a more natural diet and avoiding chemicals in our lives, we can minimize the symptoms we suffer.
Most people suffer from adrenal fatigue these days, because our adrenal glands are very sensitive to stress (emotional and physical). You’ve read some about that this month already and you’ll read a lot more about it. By eating a healthy diet, though, you can combat adrenal fatigue.
Image by DrJimiGlide
Signs of Good Health
How do when know when we are really, truly healthy? Obviously we can’t be perfectly healthy all the time. We’ll still catch minor colds and other temporary illnesses. We’ll catch them less often and they’ll be less severe (probably), but it’ll still happen. How do we know, though, when we have achieved true health?
- Plenty of energy
- Restful sleep
- Infrequent stomachaches, rare diarrhea or constipation (accompanying acute illnesses only)
- Feeling “really good” most of the time
- Normal, regular menstrual cycles (if female and adult, obviously!)
- Ability to conceive easily; no pregnancy complications (conceive within 6 months}
- Stress is temporary and manageable; no panic attacks
- Feelings of happiness; mood is well regulated
- No autoimmune conditions, or pre existing conditions are well managed and symptoms are minor
- Clear, beautiful skin
- Elimination of allergies or lessening of symptoms
Doesn’t this sound wonderful? We can be healthy. We can feel great. It is not unobtainable. It’s especially important to know, even if your health has not been so great for awhile, even if you do suffer from diabetes, fibromyalgia, PCOS, or other chronic diseases, you can overcome them and be healthy again![By the way, very small plug, I just released a new ebook, Healthy Pregnancy Super Foods, aimed at helping women simplify healthy pregnancy nutrition! A good diet full of super foods can help at any time, but especially when preparing for conception or while pregnant or breastfeeding.]
How is your health? What is “real health” to you? Have you overcome any of these challenges, or are you attempting or hoping to soon?
Top image by stacy michelle
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- What it Means to Be Well
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- Developing the Exercise Habit
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- Naturally Neutralizing Stress: Herbs that Calm
- The Terrible Thirst of Depression
- Treating Depression Naturally: Supplements, Herbs, and Foods for Feeling Better
- Panel Discussion on Burnout and Fatigue: 3 Women Get Real About Their Struggles part one and part two
- What is Adrenal Fatigue and Do I Have It?
- Adrenal Fatigue: Help and Resources for Healing