Death is in everybody’s future
How are you dealing with the major causes?
Yes, we are all going to die someday, but are you doing anything to push that fateful date further into the future? I am!
An article that I recently read in Medical News Today listed the Top 10 Leading Causes of Death in the United States. I looked at each of them, thought about what things I had done to increase my odds of beating each cause, and what more I could and should do.
How about you? Have you made any effort to protect yourself from these top causes of death?
#1 Heart Disease
614,348 Deaths per year in the USA.
Heart Disease nearly killed me in 2016. Over the course of one week in June 2016 I had several heart events (doctors tell me it was all one heart attach, spread over a week). In November 2016 I had a quadruple heart bypass.
After doing a lot of research, I started eating a Ketogenic diet (High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carbs). After a couple of months, further research led me to fasting. I started out doing intermittent fasting (fasting 16 hours per day, with an 8-hour eating window). I progressed quickly to doing OMAD (eating One Meal A Day). Not long after that, I started doing extended fasting (I have fasted as long as 28 days consecutively, but usually aim for 5-day or 10-day fasts).
It was not long, and my Cardiologist completely released me from his care. He said that my heart was in good shape. He said he hoped to never see me again because if I came back to see him, that meant that my heart was no longer doing well. I intend to keep my heart healthy, and so far I believe I am doing well.
In addition to diet, I do daily exercise, mostly walking. I try to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, and sometimes as much as 20,000 steps. My heart is feeling great!
591,699 Deaths per year in the USA.
Thankfully, I have never had cancer. My mother and my brother both died from cancer, and other, more distant, family members have died from cancer. Cancer is scary, and I hope to avoid it as best I can.
Many medical studies in recent years have indicated that fasting, especially extended fasts, kill cancer cells. Because I fast regularly, I feel that I am fairly well protected from cancer.
Watch the video below to see about the link between sugar (all carbs break down to sugar in your body) and cancer:
Dr. Jason Fung, a doctor that I follow very closely, says that if you fast for 7 consecutive days each year, there is very little chance that you will experience cancer. If you already have cancer, and catch it early enough, fasting can also cure the cancer. Cancer cells need sugar to survive, and fasting will flush the sugar out of your body (glycogen that is stored in your liver).
I believe, and hope, that I am well protected from cancer. Are you?
#3 Chronic Respiratory Disease
147,101 deaths per year in the USA
There are a number of diseases that comprise Chronic Respiratory Disease. These diseases cause airflow blockage and give breathing related issues. The primary chronic respiratory disease is COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
To date, I have not had any respiratory problems, except when I was having heart issues. Heart problems can cause shortness of breath, and that is a sign to watch for in terms of heart disease. Other than that respiratory issue, it is not something that has hit me, and I know of no deaths in my family from Chronic Respiratory Diseases.
This is something that I am going to look into more, given that it is the 3rd largest cause of death in the USA. However, did you notice the big drop in the number of deaths from #1 and #2, going to #3? Heart Disease and Cancer were fairly close in terms of the number of deaths that they cause, but Respiratory diseases dropped off by about 75% in terms of deaths caused. That is good news, but we have to be aware of these issues and protect ourselves!
136,053 deaths per year in the USA
I suppose accidents are something that is difficult to protect ourselves from. The best thing we can do is to be aware of things going around us, paying attention, and being careful.
No matter how careful we are, though, accidents do happen. All kinds of accidents. Car accidents and other types of accidents too. Some accidents are caused by the actions of others, we are just victims of the accident.
Be careful out there!
133,033 deaths per year in the USA
I had a stroke in 2001. I was only 39 years old when I suffered a stroke. Luckily, I made a, more or less, full recovery from my stroke. I can walk, talk, and do most anything. From time to time, I take a misstep while walking, or I have trouble saying certain words. But, those things are only from time-to-time. I consider myself lucky to have survived the stroke and to have recovered as well as I have.
In 2016, when I had a heart attack, in preparation for my bypass surgery, I had many tests. One of the tests was related to the likelihood of another stroke. They looked for the amount of blockage in my carotid arteries. Everything looked good, they said I was in good shape in terms of the likelihood of future stroke. Since I have been eating a good diet and doing fasting, I believe that my risk of stroke has even decreased since that time.
Basically, if you take steps to protect yourself from heart disease you are also protecting yourself from stroke.
#6 Alzheimer’s disease
93,541 deaths per year in the USA
In recent years, Alzheimer’s disease has been identified as a type of diabetes, or at least related to diabetes. Many doctors are now calling Alzheimer’s disease “Type 3 Diabetes“.
If you eat a diet that will protect yourself from diabetes, that should help prevent Alzheimer’s disease as well.
Given my diet, my fasting, and my situation with diabetes (see #7 below), I feel safe from Alzheimer’s disease. I hope I am correct!
76,488 deaths per year in the USA
I believe that being at #7, and causing 76,488 deaths per year is not doing diabetes justice. I think diabetes should be considered the cause of death in many more cases than it is.
I was diabetic for more than 25 years! In 2016 I beat diabetes. I am no longer diabetic. My blood sugar is normal, I use no medications or insulin to keep my blood sugar under control. At one point, my blood sugar hovered around 450 or even higher. Continuously. Now, my blood sugar is almost always in the 70s.
In 2016, I was using 100 units of Insulin per day. I was taking 3 oral medications for diabetes. Now, I take nothing. Diabetes is gone from my life.
Diabetes causes problems in your body that lead to death. For example, diabetes causes blockages in your arteries. When you die from that, it is a heart disease death, but the underlying problem was initiated by diabetes. Same for Stroke. As I said above, Alzheimer’s disease is now considered a type of diabetes. Cancer has also been shown, in recent medical studies, to often be initiated by excess insulin in your body (produced by your pancreas, or injected). Insulin levels are closely related to diabetes. These reasons are why I think that diabetes should be ranked much higher on the list of causes of death.
I believe that diabetes will no longer be a reason for my eventual death. You can beat diabetes too, and if you don’t, you are likely to experience some serious health problems in your future.
#8 Influenza and pneumonia
55,227 deaths per year in the USA
Influenza is the flu. We all get the flu. Preventing virus is not easy, but we can all take steps to protect ourselves.
Especially as we age or have other health problems that weaken our immune system, we need to be more aware and more proactive in protecting ourselves from viruses. I believe that for older people (and those with weaker immune systems), getting a flu shot is a good preventative measure to follow. Remember, though, sometimes the strain of flu that we experience is different than what was expected, and the protection in the flu shot that year.
Keep yourself clean. Wash your hands often.
#9 Kidney Disease
48,146 deaths per year in the USA
Kidney disease, again, is something that has a relation to diabetes. If you are diabetic, kidney disease is probably down the road for you if you don’t take action.
Many diabetics end up needing kidney dialysis.
Dr. Jason Fung, whom I mentioned earlier, is a Nephrologist, a kidney doctor. His studies into a ketogenic lifestyle and particularly into fasting were done to help his kidney patients.
With my diet and my fasting, I feel well protected from kidney problems. I believe that with the progression of diabetes in my body, I was lucky to have avoided kidney disease. I am happy to have eliminated diabetes from my body!
What are you doing to prevent kidney disease?
42,773 deaths per year in the USA
Thankfully, suicide is not something that I have ever seriously considered. I think that for most people, during times of trouble, suicide does come to mind, but when the thought has ever entered my mind, I have quickly dismissed it.
There was a time when seeking help for mental issues was considered shameful, but in most parts of the world, that shame is gone now. If you are suicidal, please seek help before it is too late.
I do not feel threatened by suicide. Do you? If so, you can change it!
So, this is my wrap up of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. I would imagine that for most countries, especially other developed countries, the list is very similar. I plan to write additional articles, focusing on each of these causes of death, preventative measure, and so on.
Gregory T Bunn
Hi Bob, when you first started fasting, 16 hours per day, what did you do initaially for the stomach cravings? Certain food? Just water?
Hi Gregory, thank you for your comment. Well, doing a 16 hour fast to me, it’s not very difficult. Basically that just means you skip breakfast, and then eat lunch and dinner. I didn’t really find the need to do anything for cravings at that level of fasting. But, during fasting, I will drink coffee or other such hot drinks, as long as they are not caloric. Good luck to you.