Is Disease The New Normal?

if only this were the case

if only

I’d like you to take a minute and think about the people in your life – friends, family, colleagues.

Now think about how many of them are battling health issues.

Currently, in my immediate family I can list Dementia, Leukaemia, Parkinson’s Disease and Endometriosis.

And that’s just in my immediate family.

It’s not that we’re a family of disease-ridden bad blood, but rather that ill health is really that prevalent.

disease is skyrocketing

According to the WHO, the number of cancer deaths rose by 35% in the period 1985-1997 and global cancer rates are expected to increase 50% by 2020.

image courtesy cancer research uk

image courtesy cancer research uk

And it’s not just the big C, autism rates in the US have increased by an astounding 74% in the last four years.

Neurological diseases such as Alzheimers and PD are also on the rise. A 2007 study determined that nearly 1 out of every 1,000 people in the US has MS (a 50% increase since 1982) and  67 out of every 1,000 elderly Americans has Alzheimers.

I could go on. The stats for diabetes, strokes, heart disease and even celiac disease tell the same story.

The scariest thing to me is that few people actually question why we are rapidly becoming a terminally ill world.

When disease started rearing its ugly, painful head in our family, I remember saying to my brother in exasperation: “It feels like everyone is falling apart!”

He replied: “Well that’s what just happens as you get older.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. That’s just what happens?! REALLY?

Thankfully for the human race, he’s wrong. It doesn’t have to be this way.

But to determine the solution, we have to address the cause.


In my opinion, there are a number of culprits to blame for our declining health.

1. Food. Or rather the lack of it.

The majority of the developed world is regularly eating stuff that I hesitate to even call food. Highly processed garbage that is specifically formulated by food companies (who, needless to say, prioritise profits over your health) to sit on the shelf for longer, withstand lengthy journeys to the food store and trigger an addictive response in your body that keeps you coming back for more.

McDonald's never cured anything

McDonald’s never cured anything

They achieve this by manipulating the sugar content, pumping it full of additives/preservatives/artificial flavourings (MSG, high fructose corn syrup and aspartame to name a few) and using the cheapest ingredients possible.

And don’t even get me started on GMOs. Those have been linked to neurological diseases, cancer, infertility and digestive disorders. Monsanto has a lot to answer for.

Bottom line: most people are not eating nourishing food and if we don’t feed our bodies the correct nutrients how can we expect them to build an immune system capable of fighting off disease?

in a perfect world

and diet is very wrong indeed

2. Pesticides

Food is an issue in so many ways. Not only are we not eating enough good quality, real food but the produce that is available is usually subjected to a heavy dose of pesticides before it even gets to the table.

When Parkinson’s Disease first began appearing in the 1980s, scientists were able to directly connect the disease with exposure to herbicides. More recently Monsanto’s Roundup has been linked to PD and other associated neurological conditions. In fact, even low level pesticide exposure can lessen your cognitive abilities…scared yet? I know I am.

I doubt that

and yet the evidence says otherwise

If you want to avoid pesticides, you’re best shunning the so-called ‘dirty dozen‘ and buying these organic if you can. The ones to watch are: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell pepper, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale/collard greens.

3. Other Environmental Toxins

Let’s talk about cosmetics – one of the largest, but least regulated, industries out there.

Every day women, and men, slather themselves with a combination of the following: perfumes, aftershaves, soaps, lotions, make-up, deodourant, shampoo…and more.

That’s a pretty heavy toxic soup.

this is a good summary

read it and weep

Many of those products contain phthalates – chemicals known to damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system – and/or parabens which have been found in breast cancer tumours.

so what do we do?

There are many more issues that I’ve not covered here for lack of space – reliance on prescription drugs, the (in my opinion) complete corruption of the FDA, the role of the media in promoting unhealthy ‘bad science’ that says we should shun butter in favour of margarine (ugh, trans fats galore!) – it’s a topic that is pretty vast and my goal here was just to open the door for further reflection.

I get frustrated when people like my brother shrug their shoulders and accept that disease is just the way things are. It can’t be normal to watch the people you love suffer and deteriorate and I refuse to accept it as the status quo.

We have more power than we realise and it’s worth fighting back. Buy organic, stop buying cosmetics you don’t need, eat well. These are all things we can do and things we can encourage others to do.

This weekend is the March Against Monsanto – a series of rallies across the country drawing together everyone who’s sick and tired of having their food supply monkeyed around with without their consent.

I’m going, are you?

Weigh in: is there disease in your family? are you worried about the high prevalence of disease? do you buy organic?

This post was also shared at Party Wave Wednesday


11 thoughts on “Is Disease The New Normal?

  1. In my family there is cancer, asthma, IBS, epilepsy, autism, hypertension, MS, Spondylitis, CFS and depression. I suffer from four of these and am at genetic risk of cancer.

    I try to maintain a healthy diet. I use organic products as much as I can (only shampoo from Lush will ever touch my hair) and I almost never wear make-up. I’m a bit of a hippy and prefer to shower rather than use deodorant – I don’t actually perspire that much and therefore only really need deodorant (roll-on – not spray – as I have asthma) on really hot days when I have to leave the house.

    Unfortunately most of the medical issues in my family cannot be eased by diet, but I maintain a low salt and dairy free diet to prevent hypertension and to ease IBS.

    • That’s quite a list Gemma. I know some problems cannot be cured completely by diet alone sadly, but I’m a firm believer in at least controlling the symptoms. Good for you for shunning deodourant, that’s next on my list but I just can’t seem to find a good, natural option that actually works 😦

      • As I said, I really don’t perspire that much. I’m at the age where I’m getting night sweats, but it’s nothing a good shower can’t fix.

        I love the smell of fresh, clean perspiration on my husband and I firmly believe in smelling “au naturel”. I rarely even use perfume, as I hate smelling “fake”.

        If you’re not comfortable going completely without, then Lush do a range of dry, organic, deodorant blocks. They also have a dry shampoo, but I like their “I Love Juicy” liquid shampoo because my hair is oily and the shampoo is full of yummy smelling fruit oils.

  2. 3 weeks ago I stopped using shampoo and conditioner. I started using baking soda and vinegar as replacements. My hair is no different, but my skin is not itchy any more.

    • I use baking soda as a shampoo and apple cider vinegar as conditioner – the recipe for shampoo is v easy, just 1 tbsp of baking soda per 1 cup of water. I live in a hard water area so have to boil the water first so that the baking soda dissolves. Then I just pour it over my hair, comb and rinse. Your hair might take a few days to adjust but it’s done wonders for my curly mop. More info here

  3. Good post, with interesting opinions. There must surely be an environmental cause for many conditions, but if I can just add my two cents to the discussion.
    Perhaps another reason for higher rates of various diseases is simply because more and more people have access to a standard of healthcare that can identify those diseases. However, on the flipside, many doctors do also over-diagnose, and a person may not actually suffer from the condition (quite common in branches such as mental health, where there isn’t necessarily a definite test, such as with cholesterol levels or blood pressure).
    So that’s all I wanted to say. Also, nice blog 🙂

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