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Why The Top 10 Health Concerns All Have A Common Trend [E044]

With health conditions and trends changing every day, it is hard to determine what really works and what does not! After practicing for 16 years, Dr. Bryan Joseph and Dr. Jason Hamed tackle the top 10 health concerns and the common trends they see. In this episode, they want to give you an opportunity to shift your thinking and stay on the cutting edge of your health!

Table Of Contents

An Introduction To Health Concerns & Growing Trends

An Introduction To Health Concerns & Growing Trends
Photographer: Hush Naidoo | Source: Unsplash

Bryan Joseph: We are bringing episode number 44 your way, so hold on and enjoy this conversation. It’s going to be an open conversation about some of the things that we are witnessing and experiencing and becoming aware of, as we’ve been in the healthcare sector or space, for now going on 16, 17 years. It seems like trends seem to swing one way for a little while, and then they swing a different way, but there are some commonalities that seem to stick out.

So in this episode we’re going to actually share some of the trends, or top conditions, or things to be aware of that we’re noticing in healthcare, so that you also can have an opportunity to be on the cutting edge. So hold onto your surfboard, right?

Jason Hammond: As we are sitting in the Midwest, and nowhere near an ocean

Bryan Joseph: I’m looking at a picture of the ocean, at least, right? That counts.

Jason Hammond: It’s wishful thinking.

Bryan Joseph: Yeah, mind you, there is an ocean on my wall and there’s definitely not a surfboard in that picture though.

The same game but on a different angle

Jason Hammond: You know what’s funny, as you said though, in regards to the 16+ years that we’ve been in this healthcare game, and you recognize there are trends, no doubt, but you’re right, there’s an underlying principle, all the trends, like people just want to feel better, live longer, and avoid disease. Whatever it was 20 years ago, it’s the same game, but now just with different gadgets, or different concerns, or different diets, and whatnot.

Bryan Joseph: Total agreement. So we are seeing a lot of the same health concerns or diseases manifest, but sometimes it’s kind of like an IndyCar race, right? Whether the green car, the red car, or the white car is going to be in the lead at the time the same cars are still in the race, but there’s sometimes different leaders. And so we’ll point some of those trends out to you, and actually just make you aware. And then, kind of share our reflection on why we think some of those things are happening.

Okay so, man, I can’t tell you how many times we have had discussions with patients when we do history, and we start to look into their family history a little bit, where the conditions we’re about to mention are listed in their family history. Right?

Why these health concerns are showing up

Bryan Joseph: And so when we talk about what we typically see in people’s family histories that could be concerning or diseases, things like cancers, things like heart disease, things like Alzheimer’s or cognitive issues, things like Type II Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, stroke. These are still a lot of what we see on a daily basis today, right? So back up a little bit, and have a conversation about why after decades, if not years or hundreds of years, why are these conditions still showing up to be the reasons or the ways that people, their bodies and their health breakdown?

Jason Hammond: It’s a pretty deep philosophical question and answer. I think it’s just the fact that even though that we’ve had a lot of advancements and awareness, and that information is everywhere, I would make the argument there’s still an ever-increasing amount of stuff, of technology, of foods, of things that make us go from awareness, and the other side of it is gluttonous, all right? So we’re gluttonous with our technology usage.

We want more and more of everything. Even though we’ve got more information that shows us that some of those things that we’re doing are not good, we’re still doing it. We can literally put on a screen and look at them, and do an actual FaceTime. So like the technology although is beautiful, and some of my buddies will joke about my anti-technology rants, but I definitely have embraced technology more over the last five years than I had, but I also recognize it’s still a detriment to human movement and human health concerns in many levels, in many levels.

The Silent Killer: Hypertension

An Introduction To Health Concerns & Growing Trends
Photographer: Hermes Rivera | Source: Unsplash

Bryan Joseph: Let me just read what the National Institute of Health actually lists as some of the top 10 conditions right now that are affecting Americans, and we can’t speak outside of America right now for today, but here’s some of the things that we’re seeing. And some of these could be thought of as symptoms that patients are experiencing or people are experiencing, and some of them may be listed as a disease. But number one is hypertension, and I think that goes right in line with what you’re just talking about right now is when we’re not using our bodies correctly, as you just mentioned with gluttonous consumption and lack of motion and movement, then hypertension is a form of stress, a response that the body is going to go under.

Jason Hammond: On top of all the stress we put ourselves under, right? You and I were just talking about before we get on the mic, with kids and obligations, and trying to get them in different sports, and school, and all the everything, all the stressors. Now we add in the fact that we’re not moving. Now we add in the fact that we have a culture of … where things are so convenient, way more convenient than they’ve been ever in our history as mankind.

Bryan Joseph: So hypertension, also listed here as a silent killer, which basically leads a lot of people further down the pipeline and running into heart issues or blood vessel issues that can cause strokes or heart attacks later on in life. So it’s a significant risk factor or issue that’s showing up as people … their inability to be able to process stress, and have their body basically run into a state of hypertension.

Medications prescribed for hypertension

Bryan Joseph: What do you think, like medications that are prescribed right now? I mean, I don’t … rarely see somebody come in that’s over the age of 50 that’s not on high blood pressure.

Bryan Joseph: And then followed up by that, they’re taking a cholesterol medication.

Jason Hammond: It’s cholesterol, right.

Bryan Joseph: And then followed up to that, we see blood sugar medications.

Jason Hammond: Yeah, there was a research study that was shown … it was done, it was by an independent group as well. And it demonstrated that being on hypertension medicine and cholesterol medicine didn’t actually increase your lifespan. You actually still died at the exact … well, I should say you should say died in the same range had you not taken it. You just died with lower cholesterol and lower blood pressures.

Yeah, so technically the drug did what it was supposed to do, which was lower your cholesterol or lower your hypertension levels, but it didn’t actually do anything to prolong your life, because the factors that increased it in many cases, the factors that caused hypertension or the cholesterol to go up, those factors were never truly addressed, because the pill just took away the sign of a problem.

Bryan Joseph: I think at the root of everything that we’re going to discuss is we have to start asking herself a little bit different questions, better questions. If everybody is experiencing hypertension, and everyone’s on these different type of medications, whether it be blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar medications, how about we stop and ask, why is that happening, right? Why are our bodies in these situations where they’re no longer able to take care of themselves without something to suppress the elevated numbers?

The Rampant Growth Trend Of Depression

The Rampant Growth Trend Of Depression
Photographer: Sydney Sims | Source: Unsplash

Bryan Joseph: Number two on this list is actually depression. Not just mood swings, but depression. There’s a lot of people in this world right now that are experiencing and suffering with different forms of depression. Now, I’m not here to say depression is not real, right? But what I do recognize, and I think you’ll agree, is that depression a lot of times is attributed or even accentuated by also the same thing, poor food, too much stress, and a lack of movement. And it can play games on your hormones. Yes, there are some mental illnesses, and there are some things that are uncontrollable, but there is a rampant, rampant growth trend in depression in America.

Jason Hammond: Man, I tell you, again, not to be the deep guy of the day, but there’s also just the fact that you can access so much information again, right? So you look at what you think is reality on Facebook, on Twitter, on whatever site you’re able to now preoccupy your time, because no longer do you have a task that you’re out doing work on, or you’re putting yourself wholeheartedly into a project that you’re putting that energy and that effort into.

But instead you’re now at a desk, you’ve got your tasks down, you’re doing your technology work, and then what are you doing? You’re flipping through Facebook, you’re flipping through social media, etc. And there’s all these filters. I call it the flossing and the filter, right? People just showing off what they have, or filters of what they look like. And now all of a sudden you get the self-image, on top of the fact that food choices, lack of movement, are creating a negative chemical cascade in our brain.

Dealing with unrealistic expectations

Jason Hammond: It’s already set up for disaster. And now I look at what the world tells me, success, beauty, fit, whatever, whatever is, and I don’t look like that, it only reinforces a story that I’m no good, and it’s BS. And it’s triggered by not only some of those chemical challenges, and not moving your body, but also it’s triggered by the fact that we’ve got this crappy false fake front that’s out there that people don’t think they’re good enough. And again, I’m not a psychologist, but I love people enough, and I’ve seen a lot of people turned themselves around because of stopping to look at what they don’t have, and start to look at who they are, and what value and blessings they do have in the world, and move their body, and eat right.

Bryan Joseph: J, you’re so right. And I think we’ve kidded around over the years about even ourselves dealing with unrealistic-expectation-itis. And I think that we’re almost forced to believe that there’s this perfect world that exists, a perfect way to look, a perfect way to act, a perfect way to run through this course of life, and there is really no such thing.

And I heard somebody say this before, which I really liked. If you look at nature and you look at a row of flowers as an example, as … nature doesn’t make mistakes. And there’s now … if you had a row of 50 different roses, you can’t say, “Okay, that one’s not beautiful,” right? We do that to ourselves where we’re starting to think that we want everything to be perfect, no blemishes. And I just don’t think that’s realistic, and therefore we trick our mind into going into the toilet bowl sometimes, right?

Motion can help depression

Jason Hammond: Well listen, real quick though on that, just with respect to depression itself, again, a peer reviewed study out of Duke University demonstrated that physical activity, AKA exercise, was actually more, I repeat, more effective than a pharmaceutical means to increase the good hormones in the brain to battle depression. So again, one of the best universities in the world demonstrated that by exercising you can change the chemistry of your brain, and not better than if you just took pills for it. So that right there can help.

Bryan Joseph: Well hey, that goes back to episode, I can’t remember, one, two, three or somewhere where we’re talking about motion being life, right? Motion is life. We have to move, and if you’re not moving, you’re going to effect the most vital organ that you have, or the most vital aspect of your body, which is your brain, right?

High Cholesterol, Coronary Artery Disease, and Type II Diabetes

High Cholesterol, Coronary Artery Disease, and Type II Diabetes
Photographer: Robina Weermeijer | Source: Unsplash

Bryan Joseph: So number three, we already talked about just a little bit ago, that’s high cholesterol, right? So that goes in line with what we talked about with hypertension and high blood pressure. Number four is coronary artery disease.

Bryan Joseph: Number five, Type II Diabetes. Holy smokes.

Jason Hammond: There’s an absolute trend in here. Folks, if you’re not aware that … and again, all due respect to those that may be dealing with depression on some level, so I’ll just use though the outset of depression, every single one of those have been shown improvement in clinical medical research to be lifestyle-based diseases. What does that mean? It means that your choices, or lack thereof, or positive choices can actually create those diseases that Dr. Bryan just alluded to, the, the top four out of the five have been shown.

Bryan Joseph: So, watch this, J, as I’m looking here at this research article, and it says 90% of the cases in the United States of Type II Diabetes have a cause of obesity or lack of physical activity. Are we seeing a trend?

Jason Hammond: Totally.

Bryan Joseph: Right?

Jason Hammond: Yup.

Bryan Joseph: So, we can’t kid ourselves to think that we can get away with a bag of potato chips and the sitting on the couch watching all of our favorite sitcoms every night, and expect to have this quality of health concerns that we all dream of as we age, right? They don’t match, right? They don’t match.

Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorder
Photographer: Michael Busch | Source: Unsplash

Bryan Joseph: So number six, Substance Use Disorder. A trend we’re seeing right now that’s really, really heavy in the news is all the different damaging effects of people that are smoking or vaping, and these different types of activities. Drugs, we have a massive crisis with the opiate.

Jason Hammond: Yup, opioid, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Bryan Joseph: Right … being used for different pain sedatives, trying to help people take the edge off. But these things are so addictive that they’re eventually running into issues.

Jason Hammond: You know what? This is a very, very deep topic that actually probably would span far greater than 20, 30 minutes because these continue … All of these, including the depression, all of these are still a cultural issue of either you don’t feel like you’re enough, you’re overstressed, or you’re putting too many toxic things into your mind, or your body. Like, literally, my mind is blown away that these continue to show up.

It’s a similar trend. I mean, think about … listen, I’m 42 years old. I got a ton of stress, and I’ll be open with you, everyone, listeners, there’s been times when I’ve been so stressed that, man, I found myself having a glass of bourbon like multiple days a week to take an edge off. And I found myself catching myself and saying, “Whoa, what are you doing? Why are you drinking my glass of bourbon, like three or four days a week now, versus when it’s a celebratory thing, or on a date night?”

A need to get away

Jason Hammond: Because I found myself needing, “A way to get out, to get away from some of the stress.” Now again, I’m not perfect, but I’m aware enough where I’m saying, “Well wait, I don’t know if that’s the trend that I want to continue.” So I actually made a course correction and said, “I’m not going to do that.” I created a little rule, saying I’m only going to do it on date night, and on Friday night, whatever, right? But if you’re not doing that and all of a sudden stress continues to snowball, and now before you know it, you’re having a vodka … a couple of glasses of vodka, you’ve got a wine on Friday, you got some beers on the weekend. Before you know it, you’re drinking six, seven days a week.

And then listen, are you literally … when you’re in that state, do you make better or worse choices with food? I mean, every time I get a hammered, I’m not eating vegetarian, right? I’m going for the greasiest, nastiest thing I can possibly find. That’s the truth, right? So I mean and you’re not inspired to get up and work out the next day either if you’re waking up with a little bit of a hangover. So it’s a nasty snowball effect.

Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder
Photographer: Adam Wilson | Source: Unsplash

Bryan Joseph: So you jumped right into number seven, whether you knew it or not, but number seven was Alcohol Use Disorder, right? So we were talking about Substance Disorder first, which is number six, and that was really just drugs that are being used, whether it be prescription or nonprescription. But then next, alcohol, as you just mentioned, is a big issue. And you make a really great point in regards to how it’s being used socially or even to take the edge off, but the issue doesn’t come with having one beer.

The issue comes when the repetitive behavior becomes destructive to the point where it’s affecting the quality of your life. And whether you see it or you don’t see it, sometimes these things sneak up on you, and you don’t realize that you went from having maybe a drink once every month with your buddies to I’m having a drink once a week or once a day by myself. That’s when you’re now starting to affect some of the vital organs in your body, and it’s affecting your health concerns.

Jason Hammond: And there’s still also that connection like you just said, what’s the purpose behind it? You know, I think about … do you remember when we were kids, The Today Show you used to have … used to celebrate like the people who turned 100. Do you remember that?

Bryan Joseph: Kind of.

Jason Hammond: The weather man would always do a, “Hey, we’re going to congratulate-

Bryan Joseph: Oh, yeah. Yes, I do, yup.

Little Betty Lou

Jason Hammond: … congratulations to Gertrude who is 102 in Sioux City, Iowa. And she said her secret is every night she has brandy and a Manhattan.” Know what I mean? That’s a difference. Maybe it’s in my mind, but it’s like, that’s different, like when you’re just at a place, or you’re just … you’re so comfortable with who you are, you’re comfortable with your lot in life, and you love who you be, and you know what? Screw it. I’m going to have a brandy and a Manhattan tonight versus, “Oh my God, I hate my life. I’m so fricking stressed. I can’t speak to my wife” And I’m before you know it, I’m getting a buzz, just so I don’t have to look at life, totally different. I want to be like Little Betty Lou from Sioux City.

Bryan Joseph: Speaking of Little Betty Lou, do you remember maybe five or six years ago, I was actually out in the community giving a presentation on basically youthful living, the secrets to staying young and vibrant. And I was doing this, mind you, at a nursing home environment, right? So I was predominantly speaking to the employees, but there was a glass window so that the residents were able to look in to see that obviously there was a community workshop going on. And the residents were made up of predominantly old people, elderlies. and as I finish up the talk and I leave, I’m on my way out and I see three elderly couples, or not couples, but people, a woman and two gentlemen that were sitting next to each other, and they said, “Hey, what were you speaking of? We kind of glanced through the window.”

The secret is “happy hour”

Bryan Joseph: And I said, “Well, I was speaking on the secrets to youthful living, of how to reduce stress and how to stay well, and how to keep yourself vibrant and youthful.” And the lady looks at me and she says, “Doc, do you mind if I tell you my secret?” And I said, “No.” I said, “Well first of all, what makes you an authority in being able to tell me your secret?” And she says, “Well, listen, I’m 97 and she was vibrant.” The guy next to her says, “I’m 91,” and then the guy next to him says, “I’m 89.” And at the same time they all raised their glass and they say, the secret is happy hour, right?

Bryan Joseph: And I look at that and okay, look, we’re talking about not over abusing alcohol, but the takeaway for me was a couple things is, camaraderie, right?

Bryan Joseph: To have some type of social comradery throughout your life.

Bryan Joseph: A connection in which you’re still actually communing with other people. And then yeah, every once in a while if you choose to have a drink, so be it, but don’t make it where you’re actually-

Jason Hammond: As an escape, as as much as it is just to enjoy, agreed.

Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease
Photographer: Robina Weermeijer | Source: Unsplash

Bryan Joseph: Correct. All right, So going down the list, the next one actually has to do with lung health concerns, Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease.

Jason Hammond: COPD.

Bryan Joseph: Yeah, so things like cigarette smoking and other types of smoking that may be out there are certainly going to affect your ability to turn oxygen properly, because you take oxygen in your body and breathe. If you can’t breathe, you’re going to have a problem, right? Then we run into psychotic disorders, and then we go into digestive disorders, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis. You know what doesn’t surprise me is we tend to see cancers and heart issues always in the top, always in the top. Blood sugar issues as a rising trend, and then also things that are affecting the mind. Whether we talk about substance abuse, alcohol, or depression.

Jason Hammond: It’s funny, I would make the argument and if Dr. Libby was here, I know she’d be able to support this through her research and her knowledge, is that although it’s down there that that gut health is a huge contributor to the cognitive issues, to the cancer formations, to their cholesterol issues, knowing the role of the immune system and how connected it is to the gut, I mean we know that now.

So I would … I’m curious if how much of our intestinal challenges in our country in United States are actually going undiagnosed and people are progressing so far that they’re not addressing it correctly, I mean, digestive issues, and then it’s leading to these other challenges. I mean, the gut and the role of the gut in health concerns, and the role of gut health, and even cognitive or brain health is becoming very well-published these days.

Closing Thoughts: Check Your Habits

Bryan Joseph: All right look, let’s not make this episode sound like it was just doom and gloom that just because you’re in America, you’re going to run into one of these things. So I think what we need to take away from this, and I think you’ll agree with me, is that we just have to shift our thinking to say, what is contributing to these, and what do our daily habits look like at home, or our weekly habits look like at home in our own personal lives? And are those habits contributing and leading us closer to one of these disorders or are we heading in a better direction?

Because as we preach on, it seems like often that a lot of our decisions that we make on a daily basis, these micro-decisions ultimately lead to the bigger problem, and if we make conscious choices to reduce the amount of stress and have proper movement in our body, and feed our body the right things, then the likelihood of us grabbing onto one of these things too early goes down significantly

We do this for one particular reason, just to help more people get well and stay well, and it’s a pleasure to be able to share what we see and some of the bits of the information that we get exposure to, so that other people in different areas are staying really on the cutting edge of probably, if not the most important asset that you’ll have, and that’s your health concerns.

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