Thursday, December 26, 2013

The neighborhood you live in and all the little block parties

Think about this for a minute with me. The neighborhood you live in  has a big influence on your life style.

If you live in a city, you walk many places, carry  things home or sometimes take cabs or public transportation. There may be some not so nice areas near by that limit your walking around - unsafe or unlit at night. If there are bad influences in the neighborhood - gangs etc - you may be stressed and trapped inside your residence.

If you live in a suburb you might have a good combination of places to walk and get exercise but you probably hop in your car to do shopping. So while you may get some exercise you probably spend more time in your car in a sedentary life style.

If you live in a more rural are there are probably even more opportunities for exercise, gardening, fresh air but the amount of time spent in your car getting to places may drastically increase. You may have less stress from fear of crime but more time stressed in traffic.

There is a give and take on everything in every neighborhood. You can visualize these with me.

A couple of years ago I saw Dr. Susan Love talk about breast cancer treatment and new research. She said there was more and more interest in learning more about the environment around a tumor. Why did those cells become cancerous? What is going on in that area of a patient's breast which allowed the cancer cells to take over and form a tumor? Is it a protein issue, an amino acid, or one of the other many little thingies that make up a human body?

Going a step further, now medical research is looking at the human body is a microbiome made up of a bunch of co-existing ecosystems. There is a Human Microbiome Project which is looking at all the block parties being held in your body every minute of every day. I find this immensely fascinating and hope that you will take the time to go through the slides in this article: Your Microbiome and you: What Clinicians Need to Know. (If you can't read it but want to, leave me a comment and I'll figure out a way to send you a copy or the text.)

If you do develop an issue in, say your digestive system, what is going on in that system that allowed the issue to begin? Stress, outside influences, etc?

I find  this a very interesting way of looking at issues in the human body and what allows them to go bad. A whole new concept that involves a lot of thought.

So think about the neighborhood you live in or the ecosystems and their block parties going on in your body.

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