Acceptance of what Paleo can't change?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 12, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Is there something that the paleo diet cannot change in your life regarding your physical health? How do you deal with these emotions? How do you know whether to blame yourself or not for not? How do you know how much control you really had/have?

I feel so overwhelmingly sad tonight. I found new tumors on my neck (I have a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow anywhere on the body). It is a progressive, unpredictable disease.

I know that soy (estrogen) feeds tumor growth, and I "cheated" last week. I know that logically, it probably did not contribute to these new growths in that short of a time. There isn't even a soy-free based prescription for this disease...there isn't any cure. But I can't help that maybe this is my own fault or that I didn't eat "clean" enough. People seem so hard-wired to respond on this forum by saying "pft, genetics isn't destiny" and that eating right is the magic answer.

I'm really sorry for rambling. I am just really sad tonight. I feel ugly, disfigured, and I feel like nobody will ever love me because each year, my body becomes more disgusting. Please no "love yourself, beauty is on the inside" messages. Yes, I know this. But do not kid yourself, someone covered in tumors would have a lot harder of a time finding someone. I have a fairly mild case right now, and every single day, I am happy that I can walk, have not had surgery, etc. etc. but sometimes I do a google search and am just so scared of what I can become.

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on December 12, 2012
at 01:36 PM

Genetics is not destiny, but it does severely limit where (not what) we can achieve. Sorry, but that's the truth. I am 5'9" I have a wicked shot and drain baskets in my men's league. But, I am too short, not quick enough -- I will never play in the NBA.

I also have a significantly reduced lung capacity and asthma. Even in high school I only had 90% of average capacity (which most runners are well above average). In fact I was medically rejected from the Naval academy because of that. After a nasty bout with bronchitis I dropped to below 20% (which is the lowest they can measure) for 7 years. Through eating clear, loosing a bit of weight, and going on a new asthma treatment, I have gotten back to about 75% of average capacity -- still far below where I'd like to be.

But that's what life has given me. Certainly having to run slower and shorter is no where near as concerning as the genetic disorder that is affecting you -- But the point is our genetics does limit us. We can work on gene expression and whatnot and hope for the best, but there are limitations. We need to accept our limitations, and push against them as hard as we can -- But our diet is not a fountain of youth.

Additionally, society has created an environment where people who would be considered "sick" throughout history can thrive and become significant contributors to society. In almost any other time in history (let's say pre 1930s), I would have died in childhood. Modern medicine was able to keep me around. But that also mean that the natural selection adaptation no longer is valid, so certain traits will be passed on that may not be optimal.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness reply. I guess my feelings can be summed like this: You were dealt a bad hand. It sucks, and I feel really sorry for you. But you have to keep moving forward. Even a perfect diet is not going to mutate your genes and change something like this. I mean hell you cannot change your hair color by your diet, somethings are just the way we are. Good for you for being out in front of this and checking yourself on a regular basis. That is the only thing you can control. Sweat what you can control, not what you can't. Good Luck!



on December 12, 2012
at 02:06 PM

Totally agree with CD... every single person on this forum could come on here and ramble about physical issues that give us trouble. Not all of them are severe but everyone has them. My sister has horrible issues with ovarian cysts. They randomly burst, sending her into horrible pain. Her doctor told her that she will probably be fertile for a couple more years and then will no longer be. It was really important to her that she have a baby so she made it happen at 20 years old and is due in 3 weeks. Did she want to have a baby so young? no way. I think she is a great example of making the best with the crappy situation though. She is one of the happiest people I know and it currently trying to figure out how to finish school with a baby.

We all have issues out of our control that give us trouble. I am sorry that you have an issue that gives you trouble. It sure does beat a lot of other situations that others are given though. You have to make the best of it and try to live your life happily, fixing and perfecting things in your control.


on December 12, 2012
at 02:00 PM

The people worth your time and love probably aren't the ones who would be put of by tumours anyway, come what may.

Genetics isn't destiny but it is fair to say that genes and associated predispositions are hugely influential in people's lives. Arguably this influence is similar to that of our environment at large - look at people who for broad circumstance, particularly regrading education and money, never have the chance to access many things in life most of us take for granted. I guess what I'm saying is that individuals in general have responsbiility for things that happen to a certain extent, but overall systemic influences (wheteher envrionmental regrading access or genetics, is a huge constraint on our 'choices' and ability to follow up on them. Unfortunately though much of current society features the promotion and entrenchment of idelogies that are centred on indivudalism, free choice and responsbiility, leading many (including myself at various moments) to believe in choice etc. Im' not denying the ability of indidvauls to change things, but emphasiing influences of genetics and one's enviornment over any ability to consciouls change many things (eg one's formative experiences regrading education and other developments of character, one's genetics.

In regrad to your context I don't think you shold blame yourself at all. I wish you weren't afflicted by teh condition, but given that you are, acceptance and managing it is key, not 'blaming the victim' (yourself). You deserve more than that. (I've been reading for myself about mindfulness based mediation lately, you might want to if you havn't already...) In this context you probably you feel particulary down in the acute period after the discovery, that is understandable. Like all moments this one will pass. There is still no point in pretending the moment isn't there though, or your condition. But I am sure based on what you've said and my overall impression that you aren't responsbile per se, and even if you are, blaming yourself will not likely be akin to self-punishment. You are worth more than that though, and probably, I hope, the people worth your time and love will see that in time too.



on December 12, 2012
at 01:49 PM

do you have neurofibromatosis?

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