Best way to measure health/wellness

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1taskaday
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 1taskaday »

7Wannabe,I have two words to describe that frenetic activity(even if you do say you love doing all that stuff).

Warning you may not like them...

1st Female martyr and 2nd "Out of balance"

What are you like?

"Topple over,fall asleep on floor,wake up and do the next thing."

Something always "gives/suffers" from working at a pace like this...

Prioritize...put yourself first.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@1taskaday:

I hear you on the female martyr syndrome, BTDT and lapsed a bit into it a couple weeks ago under stress of multiple simultaneous family crises. Very well do I remember the years when I was working full time, driving long commute, hauling kids to lessons, cooking dinner every evening and had fantasies about locking myself into anonymous women's bathroom stalls and not coming out. That's not what I'm talking about. I was busy all the time in September, and I was loving it. It was like I was in the zone. Like everyday the postman was bringing some new challenging, fun, interesting or sensually fulfilling item to my mailbox. If I could figure out what I did right (if anything) to make that happen, I would definitely do it all the time. It even felt good toppling over onto my carpet, like collapsing on the beach after a hard swim. I'm thinking it may be the case that I am somebody who usually under-paces herself because I put too many things I really don't much want to do on my list. When I have no reason to procrastinate, I want to get up and go, even if my body has hit the wall.

jacob
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by jacob »


Dragline
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Dragline »

To mix a couple threads, are these people innocent/worthy or guilty/unworthy?

Perhaps we have degenerate alcohol-and-heroin-abusing white junkie problem resulting from cultural deficiencies in suburban and rural areas that have bred a generation of lazy and stupid people.

Compare with urban crack epidemic circa 1990.

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Ego
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Ego »


In January, a CDC Vital Signs report found that alcohol poisoning kills more than 2,200 Americans a year, three-quarters of them adults aged 35 to 64. A 2012 Health Affairs study found that life expectancy for white, female high-school dropouts has fallen so much over the past 18 years that these women are now expected to die five years younger than their mothers did.


Incredible statistics.

A few years ago Wired ran a great story about how Americans have become so accustomed to taking pills to solve problems that the placebo effect has gotten stronger. It got so bad that drug companies began offshoring drug trials because real drugs weren't testing any better than placebos with Americans but worked just fine overseas.

It seems we've now reaching the point where reasonable amounts of pills and drink no longer solve the problems. They have no other choice but to up the dose.

With half of all Americans taking a prescription at least once a month, it may be a good baseline measurement for health and wellness.

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jennypenny
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by jennypenny »

Ego wrote:With half of all Americans taking a prescription at least once a month, it may be a good baseline measurement for health and wellness.
Here's we go again. ;)

I wouldn't rank all prescriptions equally. Sure, there a lots of pills that people take daily to cure lifestyle diseases, and they might be a good indicator of (bad) health. (And let's agree to ignore any related pills to mental health for the moment.) Some pills are to tweak deficiencies that aren't the result of lifestyle, though. Are they really indicators of bad health? Some deficiencies can be fixed with diet and non-prescription supplements, but some can't. Are all supplements an indicator of bad health, or only prescription ones?

Maybe we should distinguish between 'bad' health and 'fragile' health. Someone who needs a prescription supplement for something like iron or B12 or thyroid hormone or low testosterone might be in 'good' health, but their dependence on that supplement makes them more fragile than other healthy people.

---
Full disclosure: I admit I'm not a healthy person, but I'm not healthy in the not-my-fault sort of way and not the did-this-to-myself sort of way, so I'm always trying to adjust your definition so I get included on the 'healthy' list. :D

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Ego
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Ego »

Yeah, that's true. For prescriptions to be an accurate measure we'd have to distinguish between drugs that solve problems that could be better solved in another way and those that do not.

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jennypenny
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by jennypenny »

Ego wrote:to be an accurate measure we'd have to distinguish between drugs that solve problems that could be better solved in another way and those that do not.
That's a good way to look at it. I also feel differently about a person who takes lipitor because changing their lifestyle didn't help and a person who takes lipitor so they don't have to change their lifestyle.

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Ego
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Ego »

jennypenny wrote: That's a good way to look at it. I also feel differently about a person who takes lipitor because changing their lifestyle didn't help and a person who takes lipitor so they don't have to change their lifestyle.
That's where you lose me. Right now we're going through the culture shock of witnessing just how drastically different many Americans are from.... everyone else? The gap seems to be widening. What we consider positive lifestyle changes - eat a pizza only twice a week, don't eat all the leftover Halloween candy and get more iceberg lettuce into your body - is not really a change at all when you consider how we ate a hundred or a thousand years ago.

Last night we went to buy a sofabed on craigslist and found the seller, an obese young woman, sitting on it with a drink in one hand a slice of pizza in the other and the smell of marijuana in the air. I asked about the bike in the corner and she told me about how she is an avid cyclist. The disconnect is astounding. We didn't buy it.

Slevin
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Slevin »

Ego wrote:Yeah, that's true. For prescriptions to be an accurate measure we'd have to distinguish between drugs that solve problems that could be better solved in another way and those that do not.
I have probably been reading too much Taleb recently, but I think this is just a measure of fragility. Fragility in this case would be the second order derivative of health. Those who are not incredibly sick and take medicine and supplements "to keep them healthy" rather than trying to solve the problem by adjusting lifestyle are increasing fragility (because the lifestyle is certainly not helping the situation and negative side effects often outweigh the small gains made by supplements). People who are very sick (i.e. somebody with an autoimmune disease, etc) are already in bad health, and a lifestyle change is not going to change the situation. Thus the side effects of taking a pill won't make things much worse for the person. Thus the medicine is more likely to be good for them than bad for them even over long periods, and so they are decreasing their fragility, or increasing antifragility.

So our metric may need to take into account its first and second derivatives.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think a lot of it has to do with anxiety or dis-ease. In our culture, we are mostly only taught two methods for dealing. Variations on the dichotomy of either take action/gain control or get drunk/lose control. The third option is learning how to release anxiety without taking either action or drugs. One way to do this is to put yourself into the role or position of the person who is standing still while the knife-thrower tosses the blades in very close around you. Any action will only increase your risk and any form of chemical obliteration will also increase your risk. All you can do is consciously choose to relax. Then this ability to choose to relax can be applied to non-immediate dangers that may cause anxiety such as fretting about becoming a bag lady if the stock market collapses. Of course, doesn't help all that much with pathogens, but at least it gives you a clear space from which to evaluate the field of possible operation.

GandK
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by GandK »

jennypenny wrote:I also feel differently about a person who takes lipitor because changing their lifestyle didn't help and a person who takes lipitor so they don't have to change their lifestyle.
So do I.

To me, this is an extension of DIY-ness. Can I solve this problem myself by making my lifestyle more healthy? Sometimes the answer is yes (obesity). Sometimes it isn't (cancer***). If I can change my lifestyle and fix my problem, and I choose not to do it because it's hard/uncomfortable and I medicate those symptoms away instead, then I'm using money instead of skills to solve a problem. At best, I'm throwing money away and I'm lazy. At worst, I'm creating another problem that could easily be worse than the first. Addiction springs to mind.

BUT, if I've tried my best to heal myself, and in the end I still have a medical problem that's bad enough that I have to plan my life around it, it's time to call the professionals and there's no shame at all in that. Zero. That is doing your best and accepting the reality of the outcome (strength). It's not the same as popping pills at the first sign of a twinge (weakness).

*** Lipitor lowers the risk of dying from colon cancer.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I don't think it's that simple. For instance, if a woman dies of endometrial cancer because she made the lifestyle decision to never give birth, is that her "fault." I think that there often is a level of classism and Puritanism involved in these matters. For instance, I think affluent people are often better able to hide their questionable drug use decisions. Like I would be curious to learn what the current statistic is for middle-aged affluent American women taking thyroid medication as diet pill and/or buying herbal colon cleansers at Whole Foods.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Best way to measure health/wellness

Post by Stahlmann »

1) Do you wake up full of energy?
2) Are you full of energy throughout the day?
3) Do you sleep well?
4) Are you "happy"/content?
5) Are you never/rarely sick?
6) If you ask strangers to guess your age, do they undershoot?
7) Can you easily do what people X years chronologically younger than you do? (Given that the average health is decrepit, this might be a useful marker).
hmm, personal jaw breaker.

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