I lost my father to undiagnosed prediabetes, he had lived a healthy lifestyle in India but inexplicably gained about a pound of weight per year after arriving in the united states, no matter what exercise or diet he tried. My father was a scientist, both a statistician and a physicist, and he was highly disciplined. Like so many other people, he relied on the federal government healthy eating guidelines, shifting to a “healthy” low fat diet, and abandoned saturated natural fats for industrial seed oils. As he became progressively more overweight and metabolically unhealthy, his physician added the recommended statins, which only hastened his disease progression. He became a casualty of big food marketing, governmental policy and big pharma. At the time, I could see what was happening, but didn’t have the insight.
I also noticed that as I was becoming middle aged, I too started to gain weight, despite heroic physical activity. In fact, I learned of my father’s unexpected death while on an intense mountain bike trip in the canyonlands of Utah. Clearly something was wrong, and it wasn’t for the lack of physical activity.
I was slowly gaining weight and found that it was difficult to return to my ideal weight. Even though no one would consider me outwardly obese, my body percentage fat was slowly climbing, and as my biomarkers for autoimmunity became positive (lupus antibodies and elevated CRP), I developed clinical symptoms of a hyper inflammatory state. I had a history of severe endometriosis with its associated abdominal pain which had brought me to the emergency room and operating room on multiple occasions.
As I journeyed my way back, it became painfully clear that standard medical care was merely a treatment of symptoms and failed to address root cause. At one time, medicine had provided life altering disease specific cures and preventions, when diseases could be easily identified due to infectious causes or other traumatic events. Once the dietary information (our largest daily physical input) presented to our bodies was corrupted everything changed. The system wide effect of multiple variables has resulted in a focus on symptom management, rather than disease reversal.