Establishing a rational approach to health

Dr. TonyNSA

I’ve been meaning to write about supplements for a long time now. I will often recommend supplements to new patients as well as order supplements at the clinic but I realized that I have never focused on the topic before.

Often when I start to write about something, I get to a point where I realize I could go off on 10 different tangents, writing 10 different articles. The same has happened here: I started writing about supplements and I’ve decided to first focus on what underpins the use of supplements towards the maintaining or improving of one’s health.

Like tending to a garden, before you go dumping loads of fertilizer on your plants, maybe you ought to start by making sure the soil is healthy and watered. Maybe you want to look at what plants are growing in case there are some interlopers that have germinated, so as not to feed them as well as the plants that you want to grow.

So I’d like to lay out a foundational hierarchy upon which anyone can build their health regardless of what disease or health concern they have. Supplements are a part of this hierarchy which we’ll get into a bit.

First and foremost, the foundational practices that you can do to improve your health regardless of its state, is behavioural strategies such as sleep, exercise, nervous system optimization and light exposure. These are things that will improve your health the most. And without these practices, your efforts will have to increase because it’ll be like you’re walking up a hill or mountain rather than down a gentle slope.

The second tier is nutrition. Some people will consider it to be first and maybe it is. Nutrition refers to all that you eat and drink, what nutrients that your body can extract and absorb from the food that you eat. These nutrients literally become the building blocks of your body, your physiology and your overall health and longevity.

Thirdly is supplementation, to either help support a specific gland or organ or body function or as a way to top up nutrients that you may or may not be getting from your nutrition (the food you eat).

And lastly I would consider pharmaceutical compounds. Now especially for those who have known me for a while, you may be surprised that I am listing “drugs” as an option to help improve your health. I don’t think I’ve ever been “against” the use of medication. I would rather you address the bottom three tiers first, taking as much responsibility as you can for your health and if you’re still in need, then consider pharmaceutical solutions. Taking medication, can save lives and/or they can tide you over during a healing process. What I am “against” is the over-reliance on pharmaceuticals in the health care system rather than focusing on more foundational strategies to improve one’s health.

In the next few articles, I’d like to address various aspects of supplements. After that I’d like to continue an exploration into a few of the behavioural strategies that I mentioned earlier namely sleep, exercise, nervous system optimization and light exposure.

I hope you can join me.

The sexy world of supplements
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