I’m reading The End of Illness by Dr David B. Angus, a professor of medicine the University of Southern California. His tips for ending illness are too good to keep to myself – and perfect for this blog!
“If I had to sum up this book in a single phrase, it would be this: get to know yourself,” writes Dr Angus in The End of Illness. “I’m a big believer in what’s called personalized medicine, which refers to customizing your health care to your specific needs based on your physiology, genetics, value system, and unique conditions.”
If you want to be healthy – and end illness – you need to avoid the sweeping, general guidelines that are one-size-fits-all (think of the most popular weight loss diets, and remember that what works for others may not work for you).
In The End of Illness, Dr Angus challenges our long-held medical myths and gives us new theories to chew one, such as how taking multivitamins and supplements increases your risk for cancer over time. If you’re struggling with a chronic illness or you just want to feel and be healthier, you need to read The End of Illness.
Ending Illness – 3 Tips From Medical Professor Dr David Angus
Here are three tips from Dr Angus’ book. He describes them in more detail in The End of Illness – he gives you just enough information to answer your questions, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed or lost.
Cancer is something your body does – not “gets”
“Honor the body and its relationship to disease as a complex emergent system that you may never fully comprehend,” writes Dr Angus. “Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases reflect breakdowns in that system. Cancer, for instance, isn’t something the body ‘has’ or ‘gets’; it’s something that the body does.”
He says we’re all probably cancering all the time, and our bodies are checking the problems in various ways, to make sure the cancer doesn’t get out of control. When it’s out of control, then your body is doing cancer or cancering. What keeps cancer in control is the language of the proteins that communicate between your cells.
Does this make a difference to how you think about cancer and other illnesses? In The End of Illness, Dr Angus describes how and why cancer starts, which changed how I think about cancer.
Keep a strict, predictable schedule
In The End of Illness, this medical professor recommends eating, sleeping, and exercising at the same times day in and day out. He also says to avoid napping, unless you nap every single day at the same time (that’s a tip I won’t be following – I love to nap when I can!).
Take eating, for instance : if your body isn’t fed or exercised on a regular schedule, it goes into survival mode because it’s suddenly unable to predict when it will get its next meal. The stress hormone cortisol surges upwards, and your body will hold tightly on to fat to conserve energy.
“Of all the things a body loves, predictability is one of them,” writes Dr Angus. “one of the biggest components of stress for our bodies is not our finances, marriages, or kids – it’s the lack of a regular schedule.”
Stop inflammation – especially chronic inflammation
The DNA in our body is incredibly resistant – and vital to our health! Our DNA is repairing itself constantly, unless it’s coping with chronic inflammation (ulcerative colitis, which I have, is a type of inflammation – as are most diseases).
“In the face of chronic inflammation, such as repeated trauma or a prolonged injury or illness, the body can shut down DNA repair,” writes Dr Angus. “It does this to conserve energy; it goes into survival mode….when the body’s DNA repair shop is closed, the body can become vulnerable to cancer and other diseases.” However, this medical professor says this is still just a hypothesis and is still being tested.
Dr Angus encourages us to take charge of hidden, sneaky sources of chronic inflammation that can trigger illness. To end your illness (or at least reduce it!), wear comfortable shoes every day, get an annual flu vaccine, and talk to your doctor about taking a daily statin and baby aspirin if you’re over age 40.
“The end of illness resides in all of us,” writes Dr Angus. “It’s up to each of us to do what we can to put an end to it.”
To learn more from this medical professor, read The End of Illness - it’ll change how you take care of your body.
What is your illness…and what can you do to end it?
Me, I have to stop eating rice crackers dipped in salsa, plain yoghurt, and canned corn. That’s my favorite lunch, but it’s almost all processed carbohydrates. And I have to stop eating in front of the TV! More mindful eating would help me cope with ulcerative colitis.