One of the words that I most use in my practice, besides the phrase “Are you kidding?”, has to be deficiency. Now in the dictionary it is defined as “a lack or shortage; a failing or shortcoming”. We frequently think about the first definition, but how often do we think about the second? If you think about the idea of nutrition, we mean vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, etc. We all understand the need for these things… or do we? Actually it isn’t these nutrients themselves that we care about. It’s what we do with them. Now I really mean DO! Because without them, our body stops doing things: producing enzymes, synthesizing hormones, balancing our blood pressure, focusing our vision, repairing a broken bone … you get the idea.
So we may be aware that we should have more protein, but do you really understand that without the protein, your skin sags? Without enough essential fats, our joints begin to ache. Without enough water, our vision starts to weaken. Every day you are feeding more than 1000 body processes, and if you go without some of those today, then tomorrow, then next week, then next year… your body can’t work the way it was meant to and you begin to experience changes. Can’t lose weight – there’s a reason! Getting hot flashes – guess why! Stiff when you get up in the morning – it’s not because you’re older!
Taking drugs simply pushes the body around, forces processes to continue even when we don’t have the energy or the resources or the nutrients to do it. That is why you get side-effects. It’s not the drug that causes the side-effects, it’s what the drug does to your body. This is why some people get side-effects and some people don’t. Even herbal medicine might not fix a problem because it doesn’t feed you. It doesn’t make up for the nutrients you have been deficient in.
So deficiency isn’t about simply missing a particular vitamin – it’s about falling behind in body function, creating illness one deficiency at a time. More illness is caused by poor food choices and starving the body from the real nutrition it needs. Man cannot live on Cheetos alone, nor should you make Coke your beverage of choice every day. Our obesity and illness epidemic has one cause – nutritional deficiency. So start paying as much attention to your food as you do anything else in your life. Then you’ll have a life worth living.