Why do we get sick?

You were designed to be healthy.

You were also designed to live a long, healthy life for about 105 -115 years!

Why is it that almost all of us will never experience such a long, active life of good health?

Let’s explore this by considering what happens if you take a chimpanzee from the wild and domesticate it.

After a while your chimp settles into her new lifestyle. You are feeding her, so she no longer needs to spend her days moving through the jungle to seek food and water. With easy and regular access to food, comfortable shelter and any other needs taken care of, life would seem to be much better for her nowadays.

But over time things begin to change. Your chimp is now carrying some extra weight around her belly. She is often depressed and is becoming increasing agitated and aggressive. Her general health is suffering too. Her blood pressure has gone up, as have her blood sugar levels. Her bowel movements are irregular. And she lacks the energy she once had.

Why is this happening?

To answer this question, we must first appreciate that all animal species (including humans) have, over eons of time, adapted to the natural environment that they inhabit. In other words, the genes of the species have come to expect to encounter a familiar environment in which to live. In a genetically-congruent environment the genes will naturally express health.

By taking your chimp from her natural wild environment and her now living in a domesticated, genetically-incongruent environment, the expression of the chimp’s genes will be altered. In fact, this new and unfamiliar environment results in the genes adapting and initiating a stress response. A stress response that persists day after day, year after year, while the chimp remains in the unnatural environment.

A long-term stress response will create many changes in your chimp’s body, such as increased blood pressure, increased blood sugars, increased fatty substances in the blood, reduced immune function and so on. Eventually these physiologic changes manifest as illness such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, osteoporosis, cancer and many other chronic health problems.

So, why are so many humans sick… and getting sicker?

'Humans are wild animals living in captivity.'

Just like the chimp, we are sick because of our modern, unnatural lifestyle. We too no longer live in a genetically-congruent world. Humans are wild animals living in captivity. How we eat, how we move, how we think…are all very different to our ancestors from, say, 50,000 years ago. In a very short amount of time we have gone from being wild to being domesticated… and it is making us a sick species!

It is important to realise that human genes have changed very little over the past 50,000 years, meaning “bad genes” cannot be to blame for our poor health.

Living in a genetically-incongruent modern world, our genes adapt to our environment with a chronic stress response and we suffer poor health consequences.

The good news is that you don’t have to live in a bark hut or hunt your food to get your health back. Choosing to add genetically-congruent habits to your daily lifestyle means you can enjoy many of the benefits of a modern world...and live a longer, better life!

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