Trying to understand the root causes of disease and chronic illness can be ambiguous at best. So where do you even start? Watch as Dr. Rawls explains the five cellular stress factors that promote illness in our bodies, including physical and mental stress, poor diet, microbes, and more.
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Question: What factors promote illness?
Dr. Rawls: So along my journey, I was trying to figure this out, and I took out a piece of paper, and I wrote wellness on one end and illness on the other and tried to define, what are the factors that promote chronic illness? What are the stress factors that are stressing cells that keep cells from recovering from stress, prevent healing, and keep us in a state of chronic symptoms? And all of these things have been proven by science. They weren’t at the time when I was looking at this 15 years ago. But now we’ve got good evidence for all of these things, and so it really does help us.
So, factors. Big one – everybody knows you eat bad food, and that’s going to stress your cells. So our cells are groomed for how our ancestors ate, and for hundreds of thousands of years our ancestors ate a foraged food diet. We’ve only been eating grains for about 10,000 years, and nothing in the way that we’ve been doing for the past hundred years. And our cells are suffering from that. Overloaded carbohydrate, high fat foods just don’t feed our cells well. They’re getting nutrients, but they’re also getting overloaded with energy components.
Our world is really saturated with toxic substances more than ever before from petrochemicals that are just insidiously present in the environment, in our air, in our water, in our food. I was reading a book last night that found that virtually everyone has evidence of Roundup in their tissues, which is commonly used everywhere. Even if you’re eating organic, you still end up with some in your system.
Physical stress factors. The biggest physical stress for most people is just being sedentary, which is very much a stress. But physical stress would also include trauma. Trauma is a direct damage to cells from, like twisting your ankle.
Mental stress. Just pushing that stress button too hard. It’s like we’re constantly running from a tiger, and we keep our body in high-alert mode, and that disrupts communications. If cells can’t talk to one another, they can’t function, and everything starts breaking down. Chronic mental stress also affects sleep. And sleep is really critical for your cells to recover.
All of these things weaken your cells and make your cells vulnerable to microbes. And this is one that a lot of you are very familiar with. And so chronic Lyme disease would be a very good model for most chronic illnesses.
So my research, I’m finding connections to various kinds of microbes, and virtually every chronic illness, including the cancers. So wherever you look, if you dig deep enough, there’s research out there that’s starting to connect microbes with various kinds of cancer.
Now here, I’m not talking about just imbalances in the gut. I’m talking about microbes that we’re exposed to through our entire lifetime. And, you know, we are, a lot of us get tick bites, but everything that we’re exposed to has the potential to end up being dormant in our tissues. Things that we pick up when we were children, different kinds of infections. You know, when we started finding that 1 out of 5 people that had COVID have long COVID that, it’s just being chronically present in their tissues.
That was no surprise to me because that’s been documented with just about every influenza outbreak, and an awful lot of other chronic illnesses, with these low-grade pathogens, can remain dormant in our tissues, inside of our cells. All of these things are intracellular microbes. So multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, everything has a microbe connection and certainly a big connection to the cancers.
So it’s there. So when you’re looking at these illnesses that are commonly associated with aging, and you start looking at this whole thing. So when we go about life, and we’re eating bad food, and we’re exposed to toxins, and we’re, you know, we’re doing these things that stress ourselves chronically, that continual low-grade stress, not sleeping enough, our cells are weakened. Our cells become vulnerable.
So these microbes that we’ve been exposed to in life are able to surface and infect our cells and spread and create these low-grade things. So it’s not surprising when you look at things like chronic Lyme disease or fibromyalgia, there’s a lot of overlap with virtually all chronic illness, other chronic illnesses with the symptoms.
And you look at the root of the symptoms and define how the symptoms are rooted in cellular stress. And then you look at the vulnerability of the cells from stress factors and then different microbes that we’re exposed to having preferences for different cells in the body. You start seeing how there are the possibility of thousands and thousands of different illnesses. So it’s an issue.
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