If you are assembling a jigsaw puzzle, but you are not looking at the picture on the box top to see how the final puzzle will look, you will find a number of pieces that don’t seem to fit anywhere. They don’t appear to belong to the portions you’ve assembled so far, and you might even wonder if the puzzle maker had made a mistake.
Medical science is increasingly realizing how interconnected the body is, and some research studies, when they broaden their focus beyond just one piece of the puzzle, are seeing the big picture. Your medical doctor still may not have gotten the memo, however. Many of them were trained years ago, and unless they are spending a lot of time to stay current with the latest research, perhaps time taken away from seeing patients, they may not know that there is a common thread linking virtually all degenerative diseases, even many that are considered inevitable in old age. If they recognized this thread, they would test you and treat you differently.
Without this common factor, many conditions and diseases don’t seem to fit. What does digestive disease have to do with dementia, heart disease with cancer, or diabetes with arthritis? Actually, all those diseases, and more, are related to each other. Often having some secondary degenerative disease beyond the primary diagnosis just means “complications” to physicians, rather than meaning that they are part of the primary disease.
If you research the causes or risk factors of these and similar diseases, you will see the common factor. It is a risk factor in developing each of them. It isn’t hidden in the research, but not everyone makes the connection. And it’s not something very broad, like poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or toxicity, although those contribute to this common thread.
One Ring to Bind Them All
If you can answer these questions, then you know what ties diseases together:
- What happens to blood vessel linings when your sugar management is poor?
- How does any tissue in the body react when damaged, whether by toxins, pathogens, or physical trauma?
- What happens to arthritic joints?
- What always appears along with cancer, including pre-cancerous tissues?
- What happens in the brain with dementia?
- What happens throughout the body due to carrying excess weight?
- What appears in the body with chronic stress or worry?
- What appears when the body is poisoned, or just carrying a heavy toxic load? For instance, what happens to lung tissue for a smoker?
- What happens to irradiated tissue (sunburn or radiation therapy for instance)?
- What happens to any part of the body when irritated by anything?
There is only one answer: inflammation. Nothing else accompanies all these conditions. That alone should suggest that inflammation is the reason behind them. But, you can argue, that is circumstantial evidence. It is, so let’s look at some direct evidence. Take any two major diseases at random, and do an Internet search on “shared risk factors of (disease 1) and (disease 2).” You won’t necessarily see inflammation listed right away, but if you look at the effects those risk factors cause, you will see inflammation in every one. It is a suspicious character in every disease, getting there first and then lurking around the crime scene.
Should we then shut down inflammation to stop disease? We can shut down the immune system’s inflammatory response with steroids, and indeed some standard disease treatments, such as for arthritis, use steroids. There’s only one problem: inflammation isn’t a rogue operation — there is a reason inflammation occurs. Stopping the inflammation without addressing its cause stops the immune system from taking on legitimate threats.
Here’s another clue. There is one system that impacts even the remotest portions of the body — the circulatory system. Blood carries nutrients and oxygen to every cell, and takes away waste products from those cells. You could say that blood is involved in all disease, but obviously it is not a villain. Instead, the blood carries inflammatory products throughout the body. And blood flow requires blood vessels to carry and direct the blood flow where needed. The vessels can be impacted by inflammatory products; in fact, they are the first places likely to be hit by inflammation. Lining the insides of blood vessels is a thin membrane called the endothelium. So if inflammation precedes disease, it likely appears first in the endothelium.
Let’s look at how some diseases are related to cancer through inflammation…
Cancer and atherosclerosis
The pieces of the puzzle are coming together, connecting diseases that don’t seem related. In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, Hokkaido University researchers demonstrated that atherosclerosis and cancer metastasizing tumor progression share common physiological features; namely, the production of proteoglycan molecules that then accumulate and bind LDL cholesterol. The bound LDL then oxidizes, making it reactive and inflammatory. It then sends out inflammation signals which attract neutrophils. In blood vessels, this process can restrict the blood flow, and in cancer, it aids metastasis.
Cancer and diabetes
Cancer, due to its accelerated growth, requires lots of sugar. Diabetes allows blood sugar levels to rise too high. The high sugar levels are just what the cancer wants. In addition, sugar is highly reactive, causing oxidation damage. The bloodstream carries the high sugar throughout the body, inflaming everything. Since inflammation means physical stress to the cells, thanks to the immune system reaction, and cancer is an epigenetic attempt of cells to adjust to harsh conditions, diabetes sugar levels are an invitation to cancer. Published in Diabetes Care, a joint publication of the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society, a consensus of researchers combined studies to determine if cancer and diabetes showed correlation. They found that diabetes, primarily type 2, increased cancer risk, particularly of liver, pancreas, endometrium, colon, breast, and bladder cancer.
Cancer and arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, which is a fancy way of saying that the immune system reacts in a destructive, poorly controlled manner which damages joints. The word “arthritis” literally means joint inflammation. The synovial membrane of joints inflame, leading to tissue destruction if inflammation is maintained. Since inflammation can lead to cancer, and the immune system is not shutting down and backing off its attack, there should be a correlation between RA and cancer. Published in Cancer Causes Control, researchers conducted a California statewide data collection of 84,475 RA patients and looked for an association with incidences of cancer. Over a study period of 11 years they found significantly higher risks of some cancers: lymphohematopoietic malignancies (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma), lung, liver, and esophageal cancers in particular.
Cancer and dementia
Inflammation in the brain can lead to dementia. Neuroinflammation is linked to depression, psychosis, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. Once again chronic inflammation precedes disease. Published in Cancers, researchers studied data from the IQVIA Disease Analyzer database covering 92,868 cancer patients, and found that dementia was 19.7% higher than in non-cancer patients. Their study showed this higher risk with all types of cancer, and lung cancer was most pronounced.
Don’t pass the buck
With so much evidence of all chronic disease linking back to inflammation, you can’t afford to treat stress, toxicity, exercise, and diet lightly. You may also want to press your doctor for better monitoring of systemic inflammation.
Remember, you are in charge of your health, not a doctor. The doctor is your servant, giving you the information that you need to get and stay healthy. You hold the keys, and the responsibility to yourself and your family, to do what you can for your health.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Inflammation is the root of all disease. As the above studies showed, as you have one disease that has high inflammation it predisposes you to an increased risk of other diseases which also have high inflammation. So inflammation is the key. One must modulate it or balance it. This is the key that opens the door to health. Where does inflammation come from? Most of it comes from your immune system reacting to the environment. When there’s bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, or cancer cells present the immune system increases inflammation in its attack to rid the body of these pathogens. The immune system also secretes inflammatory molecules when there’s debris, chemicals or toxins in the environment in an effort to try to clean them up and dispose of them. So most of your immune system is reacting to pathogens growing on the inside of you and pathogens coming from the outside into you, along with debris, chemicals, and toxins that you are bringing into the body via breathing, drinking, eating — and also a big one which people are not aware of — by what you absorb through your skin. That’s why you must be very selective in what your skin is exposed to.
So how do we unlock the door to health and longevity? We must decrease the amount of pathogens coming into us from the outside and also don’t make an environment where the pathogens that naturally occur inside of us can grow or multiply rapidly. Next we must make an environment that is as clean as possible in what we breathe, drink, eat, and put on our skin.
Last and most important we must control the environment of our thoughts. When we think on the right thought we decrease inflammation; when we think on the wrong thought we increase inflammation — it’s as simple as that. What does thinking on the right thought mean? It means to think on what is true, what is right, what is pure — to think on that which is love. And what does thinking on the wrong thought mean? It means to think on what is fearful, doubtful, needful — thinking on and projecting a future possibility when you have no idea what the future holds.
So the keys that open the door to health and longevity include seven basic steps of air / breathing, water, food, sleep, exercise, detoxification and fasting, prayer with meditation and stillness, living one moment at a time.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.