Monday, May 9, 2011

Anti-Rejection Drugs

A while ago, I watched a very inspiring video about a UCLA hand transplant.  (it is worth the watch!!)  The video talked about a lot of things but one (and probably the least important to that particular story) was the patient would be on anti-rejection medications for the rest of her life to keep her body from attacking the transplanted hand (because the body sees the hand as not part of itself and therefore not good for her).

Yesterday, I was thinking about how diabetes is such a HUGE and growing medical problem in the US and it occured to me -- our bodies are rejecting our lifestyle (sedentary with virtually unlimited eating opportunities).

Diabetes meds (although they are necessary and VITALLY important for those of us who need them) are kind of like the anti-rejection drugs of the hand patient in the video.  The difference between her and most of us, however, is that we can change our environment so our body doesn't reject it.

I find it interesting that we would consider it a more palatable option to take medications day in and day out rather than make changes that would bring us back into better health.  The transplant patient doesn't have a choice -- many of us do.

Our bodies are designed to be fairly forgiving -- but at some point, after years of taking in large amounts refined sugars and gigantic portions -- it just can't take it anymore and it goes on strike -- rejecting the lifestyle that caused the overload to our system.

From this perspective, the anti-rejection meds that the woman from California can take so she is able to put her daughter's hair in a pony tail again is a scientific and medical miracle of the first order.  Contrast that to the medications that allow us to live even as we continue to overload our system's ability to keep up seems like a very short sighted answer to a relatively simple (not to be confused with easy) problem.

My thought:  Eat less, move more, no excuses.

What is yours?

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