I’ve noticed a propensity I have for blaming myself if something goes wrong with my body. Particularly, I zero in on eating habits, exercise habits and the like. And you know, that often IS a big part of the problem. But this book I’m reading now, The Ultra Mind Solution: The Simple Way to Defeat Depression, Overcome Anxiety, and Sharpen Your Mind by Mark Hyman, M.D., while supporting that as an essential factor to look at in disease, is also calling to mind external causes and internal causes over which we have no control – our genetic makeup.
This book is truly fascinating – broadening my perspective in so many ways and providing clear antidotes to the issues raised.
Example: “Researchers from the Free University of Berlin discovered a new virus called Bornavirus found in the limbic system (or emotional center) of the brain in 30 percent of the population. One in six people who carry the virus have depression and can be cured by treatment with short-term anti-viral medication. Think about it: a virus can cause depression and treating the virus can cure, not just reduce the symptoms of, depression. Even the best antidepressant drugs don’t’ cure depression.”- p. 181
In the chapter I read last night on detoxification Dr. Hyman gave an example of a patient named George who had 4 different gene abnormalities, all of which impaired the ability of the body to detoxify heavy metals. That’s the loaded gun – the genetic predisposition. George couldn’t do anything to change the loaded gun. However, it was George’s environment – his exposure to mercury (among other ways through the fillings in his teeth) that pulled the trigger.
The great news for George – and for us, really – is that Dr. Hyman’s 7 steps towards ultra wellness and specific herbs, vitamins, nutritional recommendations, et al – provided a way for George’s body to clear the heavy overdose of mercury.
By the way, George got to Dr. Hyman because of early onset dementia. After clearing the mercury from his body he was able to resume a normal life.
So for Puritanical Diane who assumes all problems are from the other causes Dr. Hyman calls out (nutrition, etc.) it is eye-opening to consider that the toxic soup we all live in could be contributing to any malaise I might be having. For instance, almost every year since I’ve lived in my upscale Chicago suburb, we get a notice from the EPA about the heavy metals, including arsenic, in our water. It always says “but this water is safer for human consumption.” Uh, yeah.
So, on my next doctor visit, I’m going to ask for some blood tests for heavy metals in the spirit of ‘can’t hurt, could help’. And I’m forging ahead with the positive changes I continue to make in caring for my body/mind.
What’s your take? Do you believe that our genes doom us to ill-health? That it’s “luck” or “just the way it is”? Do you depend on drugs to save you if “bad luck” sends disease your way? Or do you prefer Dr. Hyman’s approach? As always, I really want to know!