In general healthy life expectancy has increased due to several factors of out lifestyle. During the span of the 20th century, average life expectancy jumped from around 49 years of age in 1901 up to 77 years by the century’s end.
The center for Disease Control and Prevention gives the following as the big reasons for our increased healthy life expectancy:
Improvements in motor-vehicle safety
Better infectious diseases control
Decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke
Safer and healthier foods
Healthier mothers and babies
Fluoridation of drinking water
Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard
Another factor contributing to the increase of average life span has been the drastic reduction in infant mortality rate.
The biggest piece of the life expectancy puzzle missing from their list is the ability to remain free from illness and disease. Modern medicine has become very involved with developing methods to mask symptoms and thus prolong our ability to live with a condition, which has contributed some to increased longevity. However, the person still has the root cause of the illness or disease. And most of the time there are side affects of the treatment the patient must live with, stated as a lesser suffering than the original symptom. The question becomes, is their quality of life actually improved when new symptoms from the treatment are then needed to be treated, it’s more like the symptoms are just transfered and altered but not eliminated. This is because the cause has not been altered.
Remaining healthy is the greatest quality of life and anti-aging strategy that can even increase your healthy life expectancy. Imagine if you were healthy enough not to get seriously sick you would not need to get involved with taking drugs and medicines that many times cause more additional unwanted symptoms that the initial ones. And once on these drugs you are likely never off of them because they don’t actually alter anything that supports the real cause. Doesn’t it make you wonder why our huge medical resources are not applied to stopping or preventing the cause?
There is a school of thought that focuses on the root cause and questions why disease has been allowed to take hold in the body at all. If the body’s immune system is functioning properly, disease should not occur. It is thought that the only way for a disease to take hold is for the body to be in some sort of state that is less than optimal or as it should be. Standard medical therapies such as drugs, surgery, and chemotherapy help mask and even diminish the symptoms but the causative condition is really still there. A surgeon can remove a tumor, but the reason the tumor grew in the first place is not addressed. Through this medical process we have been led to believe that treating an illness or disease is a complicated process that takes time and of course lots of money. But what is usually going on is the masking of symptoms rather than a cure, nor restoration to a state of wellness.
In order to look at enhancing prevention of illness and disease we must change our focus from treating to wellness. Treatment is done after something has happened, wellness keeps it from happening. Actually focusing on wellness can also better serve curing or healing what has occurred better than treating the symptoms because it aims to restore the core cause to a desired healthy state rather than just masking symptoms.
Studies have shown that the problem is at the cellular level where the bodies cells are designed to perform many functions, as long as they are healthy. Two things happen which both work against you. Disease can only thrive in the kind an internal environment that is also not good for your cells. So, your body is in a weakened state and the disease is thriving. Plus, your immune system is weaker too and less able to fight off the disease. When in this condition it is very common for multiple problems to exist at the same time making the immune system choose what to focus it’s reduced abilities on.
While all the areas of life expectancy improvement listed above are important the greatest factor knocking us down is still our general health. If your body is truly healthy and able to do it’s job, it would not be normal to be taking medicine every day, rather an exception. And many would not spend years living with a restricted lifestyle because of debilitating ailments. Doing all you can to enhance your overall wellness is key to quality of life and longevity.