By Dr. Melissa Sonners
Here is what I know to be true…
Cancer rates are rising, diabetes rates are rising, autism rates are rising and autoimmune conditions are more common than ever. Our genes have not changed and yet the graph of these conditions continues to go up. We cannot play victim to and blame all of these conditions on our genes. We can sit in our stories and wait for these devastating diagnoses or we can make the choice to make the time to take care of ourselves. We live in a society where we are taught to wait until something is a problem or health challenge before addressing it. In traditional medicine if your glucose and blood sugar is steadily raising you might be told to start making dietary changes but no drastic measures are introduced until these numbers hit such a level that you are diagnosed with diabetes. We are not victims. Our bodies are not designed to fail. They are designed to thrive. If our body is failing, there is something we are not giving it (deficiency) or there are things it doesn’t need that it is getting too much of (toxicity). After spending the weekend in a medical conference with experts from all over the world, and touring the world renowned Amen Clinics and the Cancer Center for Healing in Irvine, here is what I am reminded of: When faced with a diagnosis of these conditions, eat all organic, limit gluten, diary, sugar, corn and all GMO foods, be sure to restore gut health and support a healthy microbiome. Take time for yourself, create balance. Why, why, why do we have to wait for these conditions to occur before we make these common sense changes?
Functional medicine is a relatively new field in which practitioners do lab work that delves deep and can identify malfunctions as they start to happen and catch them before they get too advanced. I often hear feedback from patients – ours and others – that their recommended regimen from functional medicine doctors is difficult. Yes, it requires a lot of effort to clean out food, take the recommended supplements and make drastic changes. But my question to these patients is this: If you were diagnosed with cancer and you were told you had to do these things, then would you? Do you have to wait until things get that bad? Again, we have been raised in a society that doesn’t yet embrace prevention. Ideally, we shouldn’t have to. We shouldn’t have to limit certain food or take supplements to get key nutrients. But we live in a society where our food is longer food. Where supplements have to be taken because we aren’t getting the nutrients that nature intended. If we can’t/won’t live the way our bodies are genetically designed to live, we have to make these choices and make major changes to get back to that life.
Think of it this way: You aren’t cutting out things and depriving yourself. You are depriving yourself by keeping them in. Depriving yourself of energy, of health, of vitality, of a clear mind, of positive emotions and neurotransmitters, of being the best version of yourself. Of being that miracle and living the miracle that you are meant to be. We can no longer use the excuse of not having the time, not having the resources. We choose how to spend our time. We make time for the things we value. I’m often surprised to hear people say they just don’t have the time, right before they tell me about the Netflix show they just binge watched. And I’m not knocking binge watching! We also need to take time for ourselves and self-care, and if that includes binge watching then go for it. But please, don’t tell me you don’t have time for your health. Because the reality is, you are either going to make time for it now or be forced to create time for it later.