By Christina Major | 23 May 2020
When you go to the doctor and you just don’t feel right, the doctor is going to look for disease. Unfortunately, the doctor will rarely test for nutritional deficiencies and probably blame your ills on training. Problem is, many of the issues in today’s society stem from a lack of nutrients, not an actual disease.
History of Nutritional Deficiency
When vitamins were first discovered, they were found in reverse. First, identify a disease – think of scurvy. They found that vitamin C completely eradicates scurvy. Therefore, scurvy was caused by a deficiency in vitamin C. However, the amount of vitamin C required to eliminate scurvy is exceptionally small. That’s why the RDA for vitamin C is less than 100 milligrams per day.
However, we found out that optimal health is quite different. The optimal health requirements for vitamin C falls somewhere between 1,000 mg and 5,000 mg per day (Liska, et al, 2004, Clinical Nutrition). It all depends on what's going on in the body.
For example, doctors recommend you increase your vitamin C intake when you’re feeling sick. That’s because they know vitamin C help stimulate the immune system and fight off infection.
Many studies have shown that increasing your vitamin C and zinc intake helps reduce the duration of the common cold.
Doctors know that vitamin C helps decrease the incidence of many lifestyle diseases. In fact, many prescription drug companies are so afraid of vitamin C intravenous therapy, that they actually petitioned the US government to ban this as a healing therapy (they succeeded).
Why? Because it's incredibly useful.
So, if we look at nutritional deficiencies as not having the optimal amount of nutrition, we can see where many lifestyle diseases stemmed from not having enough vitamins.
What is Nutritional Deficiency?
Real nutritional deficiencies, like not having enough vitamin C to cause scurvy, are exceptionally rare. But, most people recognize that low vitamin D is prevalent in our society. But, it’s not actually to the point that it’s a true deficiency. It’s just not enough to be optimally healthy.
When you don’t have enough vitamin D to be healthy, you experience depression, lethargy, and just a general feeling of mal-ease. It can also contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and autoimmune conditions to be worse.
But, if you let your vitamin D levels get to the point that it’s causing an actual deficiency, you would be experiencing Rickets or Osteomalacia – both exceptionally rare in today’s society.
Still, doctors recognize that prescribing vitamin D supplements helps many people overcome their depression. What would make even more sense is to tell people to go out and experience some sunshine. It might help get people off of their cell phones and away from the internet and actually experience interacting with each other.
Most Lifestyle Diseases Are Combination Lacks
Here’s a shortlist of some of those common lifestyle diseases we face in our societies and some of the nutritional supplements that you can make sure you’re getting to be healthy.
High Blood Pressure
Many times, a lack of water is the cause of high blood pressure. It thickens the blood and causes the heart to work harder. It can also be from a lack of antioxidants. So increasing your vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc can also help decrease your risk of high blood pressure.
High cholesterol is a symptom of other problems, not a problem in itself. In fact, we actually do need a higher level of cholesterol on our system. Cholesterol helps repair the body, so every time we get a punch or an abrasion, the cholesterol in our body gets sent off to repair the damage.
First, you need to determine why you are experiencing high cholesterol. Often, a diet that’s high in processed foods and other unhealthy ingredients causes your digestive system to be inflamed and damaged, so the cholesterol is being used to repair that damage.
So, switching over to a diet that’s mostly fruits and vegetables, you’re going to stop the inflammation, which prevents high cholesterol. Basically, eat healthy and you’ll be better.
Otherwise, give your body what it needs in the form of antioxidants. Vitamin C, D, E, magnesium, and zinc are all great ways to start.
Arthritis plagues many people and is very common in martial arts that involve unhealthy forms of kicking like taekwondo, kickboxing, and more contact sports like boxing and MMA. As you grow older, the abuse you took when younger manifests in the body’s inability to repair the scar tissue.
Supplements that can help are things like glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamin A.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder, and that's a whole other issue. Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease caused by eating too many sugars over too long a time. The first thing you need to do is if you have type 2 diabetes is to stop eating sugar.
Then you can add in some supplements that help the body increase its ability to heal. These things include vitamin e, zinc, manganese, and B vitamins.
These supplements are a great place to start, but if your diet isn’t healthy, you’re not going to experience healing just by taking a few pills. You have to switch over your diet to something that resembles mostly fruits and vegetables and eliminate processed food.
We recommend working with a nutritionist or naturopath to learn about a proper diet specifically for you. Look for independent practitioners that focus on foods first, with supplements being added only afterwards. These people will have Master or Doctoral degrees, combined with residencies and apprenticeships, that gave them the education and knowledge to know how to recognize health problems and what natural foods and remedies to help the body heal itself.
Avoid ‘health coaches’ or ‘nutritional coaches’ who do not have the education or experience to be able to determine what illnesses or diseases may or may not be attributed to nutritional deficiencies. They can and have missed serious health problems because of their lack of training and education.
You may also talk to dietitians; however, many are attached to hospitals and doctors and may be inclined to recommend prescriptions and expensive supplements because it can benefit the system over the person.
We recommend talking to your doctor about any health concern first to eliminate potential problems. You should remember very few doctors have the education or training in nutrition, supplements, or foods to be able to advise you on foods and vitamins. This is where you need to be pro-active and seek out a nutritionist or naturopath to advise you to get your optimal amount of vitamins and minerals.