Disease always has a cause. The names of pathological diseases are normally not confusing, but diseases of lifestyle i.e. diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. are misleading, and misinform patients about potential disease curing and prevention options.
When symptoms are given disease names, we automatically distort the selection of available treatments for such a disease. If the disease is high cholesterol, then the cure for the disease must be nothing other than drugs to lower the high cholesterol. However, there is a fatal flaw in this approach to treating diseases of lifestyle. The symptom is not the cause of the disease. There is another cause, and this deeper cause, the root cause, is routinely ignored.
As long as we define symptoms of diseases of lifestyle as the cause of the disease state, we are reducing the possibility of a solution. We need to re-define the “disease” to be able to reverse it effectively.
Take high cholesterol as an example. Conventional medicine drugs lower cholesterol by reducing/inhibiting the production of cholesterol in the liver (the organ that is suppose to produce cholesterol). Upon taking these drugs, the high cholesterol (the "disease") is regulated, but what was causing the liver to overproduce cholesterol in the first place? That causative factor remains ignored. The root cause of high cholesterol, as it turns out, is primarily dietary and not some bizarre behaviour by the liver. A person who eats foods that are high in saturated fats and hydrogenated oils and little fibre will inevitably produce more bad cholesterol, showing the symptoms of this disease of high cholesterol. It is simple cause and effect. Eat the wrong foods, and your liver will produce too much bad cholesterol which can be detected in the blood. Maybe the disease high cholesterol should have been called Fatty Food Choice Disease (FFCD).
FFCD would be a far more accurate name for the symptom of high cholesterol. If it is Fatty Foods Choice Disease, then the obvious solution to the disease would be to choose foods that aren't so fatty. Of course these statements oversimplify the causes and treatment of high cholesterol but at least the name FFCD gives patients a better idea of what's actually going on rather than naming the disease after a symptom. The symptom is not the root cause of the disease and if treatment only addresses the symptom and not the underlying cause, health will not be restored.
Another disease of lifestyle that is caused mostly by poor food choice is diabetes type 2. Type 2 diabetes is the natural physiological and metabolic result of a person consuming refined carbohydrates and added sugars in large quantities without engaging in regular physical exercise that would compensate for such dietary practices.
The name "diabetes" is meaningless to the average person. The disease should be called Excessive Sugar Consuming Disease, or ESCD. If it were called Excessive Sugar Consuming Disease, the solution to it would be rather apparent; simply eat less sugar forming food, drink fewer soft drinks, etc.
Another disease that is named after its symptom is cancer. In fact, to this day, many patients still believe that cancer is a physical thing: a tumour. In reality, a tumour is only a side effect of cancer, not its cause. A tumour is simply a physical manifestation of a cancer pattern that is expressed by the body. When a person "has cancer," what they really have is a sluggish or malfunctioning immune system and previously healthy body cells that have changed their behaviour completely because of a long term chemical imbalance. Why not name it Sluggish Immune System Disease or SISD. If it were called a sluggish immune system disease or a suppressed immune system disorder, the effective treatment for cancer would be apparent.
Though the above examples oversimplify the cause and treatment of these diseases it clearly demonstrate how one can easily revert to symptom treatment and never treat the root cause of the disease.
We need to start describing diseases of lifestyle and understanding these diseases in terms of their root causes, not in terms of their arcane, biochemical actions or symptoms. Then treatment can focus on the root cause and the probability of healing maximize.
The constructive process of managing healthy living actions, diet and activity also have the opposite effect moral hazard.
The focus of the solution must be on healthy eating and activity / lifestyle (the problem) independent of some other measuring number. The numbers are there to evaluate the result of your actions.
When you notice yourself thinking; “I’ve got to do something about my weight” (notice the body disassociation in that way of thinking), stop and re-define. Think something different. Think about your actions. “Have I shopped so that I have nutritious foods available to me?” or “How can I fit my workout into my day?” Hear the focus on self-care actions instead of body criticism. Notice how this way of thinking is engaging and empowering. Instead of waiting until your weight changes to feel successful, you can take action today to change your life. You can succeed now.