The Preventative Approach: Listen to Your Body Speak Before it Starts to Scream!

by Jessica Mishra on June 13, 2011

It is my belief that before the onset of any illness, whether it be a chronic condition or simply the flu, the body sends out some warning signals. It speaks to us, letting us know that it will soon be in trouble. Often times we ignore these signals because either we are too busy to slow down or simply do not want to think about the fact that we might have to tweak some of our habits in order to improve our health.

However, if we really listen to our bodies, and make adjustments at the time when we are receiving these gentle nudges, we prevent the body from rebelling against us and starting to scream, so to speak.

What are these signs you ask? Well, I am going to tell you. If you start to see some of these signs below, really pay attention to what your body needs. Usually if you make a few habit or diet changes, you will be so glad that you did.

1. How are you sleeping? Sleep is the time when your body detoxifies and rebuilds essential cell tissue. Would you really want to mess with this? Quality sleep is so essential to the health of the body. If you have difficulty falling asleep or frequently wake up during the night, then you may have to examine a few things going on in your life. Are you overly stressed? Do you drink too much caffeine during the day or later in the afternoon? Are you eating too much sugar during the day or drinking too much alcohol? All of these things could be affecting your sleep patterns. Take a close look at some of your habits, and adjust where possible to see if you can get better beauty rest.

2.How often are you getting sick? Frequent colds or flu can be a sign that the immune system is not working as it should. If you find that you are getting more than 1 or 2 colds in a year, you may need to take a closer look at your health. Factors such a stress, diet, and nutrient deficiencies can be contributing to a less than perfect immune system. This is something that should be addressed early on so as to prevent the development of a more serious chronic condition. Reducing stress, eating a real, whole food diet, maintaining a regular exercise routine, and getting quality sleep will all help to support a strong immune system.

3.Listen carefully to signs of digestive unrest. Ok, I have to say it, diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and acid reflux are not symptoms that you should have to live with. These are signals from your body that your digestive system is not functioning properly. They can represent delayed food allergies, malabsorption issues, and inflammation. If left unresolved, these pesky symptoms can develop into chronic conditions that can be difficult to heal. Even conditions such as arthritis, migraines, and heart disease can be linked back to the health of the digestive system. It is your digestive system that helps you to assimilate nutrients, houses a majority of the immune cells and the enteric nervous system, and helps you to rid toxic waste from the body. There is a delicate balance at play in this system, and it is essential that you address any factors that may be affecting the functioning of your digestive system.

Identifying delayed food allergies, adding in fermented foods and probiotics, and removing major causes of stress can greatly improve digestive health. This in turn can improve many other health conditions, as digestive health is key to the total health of the body. If some of the suggestions I just mentioned are new to you, I encourage you to reach out to a trained professional or do some research online.

4.Pay attention to symptoms that seem unusual. Unusually cold hands and feet, sinus congestion that does not seem to go away, chronic allergies, fatigue even after getting enough sleep, joint pain, acne, excessive sweating. These are all examples of symptoms that should be addressed. It is easy to write some of these symptoms off and say, “Oh, I just always have this, it is part of my body”. These symptoms should not be taken lightly as they can be signs that your body is a little out of balance. I bring these up not to worry you, but to encourage you to listen to your body. When appropriate you may need to dig a little deeper to understand what is going on.

If you would like more information on the topics I discussed above, you may want to consider working with a professional. A health coach, naturopathic doctor (ND), or any doctor with an integrative approach would be the best ones to really help you assess your overall health using a holistic approach. These professionals will look at all the factors in your life that are affecting your health, and help you come up with a plan to address any ongoing issues or adjustments that need to be made. You deserve total health!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

thumbelina June 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

>Wow, what a great reality check that just bc we've been putting up w/ certain symptoms for longer than we can remember, doesn't necessarily mean we have to. A great reminder that, although nutrition is crucial to good health, there are often other factors at play as well. Thanks for bringing this up!


courtney July 12, 2011 at 9:07 am

>I really enjoyed this article. Thanks!


Martin Rolloff March 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm

>I have to agree with you that quality sleep is so essential to the health of the body. Sleep is a necessary aspect of life and is essential to our health.A lack of sleep contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls or mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.

natural sleep aids


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