Bad things are not always bad for you?

kayjonesMarch 26, 2008

I read and hear that some people have lived with unhealthy habits for years, and even decades, seemingly with no sign of harmful effects to them. Every day of their lives, they do things like drink more than normal amounts of unhealthy beverages, eat fast food and smoke tobacco. My Husband died last April, of pancreatic cancer. The doctors said one of the causes of pancreatic cancer is drinking too much alcohol and smoking - he did both. This was his second bout with cancer. He had esophageal and stomach cancer in 1999, but survived that one.

His 85-yr. old dad is battling cancer for the 3rd time - throat cancer from smoking the first time and two bouts with prostrate cancer. His 75-yr. old uncle is battling leukemia now. Was my husband's cancer genetic, meaning he would have gotten it whether he drank and smoked or not?

Do you think some people are just immune to the ill effects or is it all media hype? Immunity - is it by genetics or luck?

Personally, I think it's a little of both- immunity (genetics) and BS (media hype). The media hype comes into the equation with the shifting tides of correctness.

As an example, coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you; eggs are bad, eggs are good; drink tons of water, don't - it can cause over-hydration and death; and on and on....

We get so many conflicting stories, it's hard to keep up with what really IS bad, what's only bad in large quantities, and what's hype and marketing.

Genetics plays a huge role too... Example: My Mother was a chain-smoker for 40 years, never drank a drop of alcohol in her life, and died, at age 56, of a brain aneurysm.

Another example: my Dad was an alcoholic, used chewing tobacco every day, never smoked a cigarette in his life, and died of Alzheimer's at age 78.

All my sisters and brothers do (or have) smoked, but none of us ever drank. All of us, but a couple of sisters, have quit smoking. My two oldest brothers died of heart disease related to obesity.

It appears to be a balance of moderation, genetics, and picking out the marketing trash from valid science, and in my opinion... a dose of luck.

What do YOU think?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do what you want. Eat what you want. Death takes us all sooner or later. And not one among us knows what will take us or when.

Personally, I've never much cared for alcohol or tobacco but I've known many people who do. Among them I've known not one who didn't know it was bad for them health-wise. One teetotaling Christian Scientist uncle died at 75. His tightly-wound, social-drinking, life-long-chain-smoking brother died at 80.

(Interestingly, I've never met anyone who said they enjoyed being fat.)

You're alive. It's all you've got. Enjoy it. Do good things. Live, for heaven's sake. (And keep your smoke out of my face, please, and your dog off my lawn.)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for your insightful response, asolo - I perfectly understand what you think.

I am 20 pounds overweight and I will be the FIRST to say "It's NO FUN"!

I am a very responsible pet owner - I clean up after my dog - I don't want anyone's dog soiling in MY YARD, and I don't leave my dog's calling card anywhere.

I should have qualified this topic by saying it is strictly a hypothetical question - I have always believed health maladies are genetic. Stupidity, however, I can't explain.

I just wonder what others think.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's true that some over-indulge, and live long lives. I don't agree that we should eat what we want or do what we want. There are other ways of enjoying life. If you abuse your body, most likely you will pay for it later, and in some cases, we all will pay for you abusing your body. If there was a guarantee that we could reach our twilight years, or even tomorrow for that matter, in fairly good health, then I'd say, over-indulge! But there are no guarantees so why take the chance of living a long life, but can't enjoy those years because of ill health? This makes no sense to me. It's like playing Russian roulette.

I started smoking as a kid thinking it was cool. I quit around 27 years of age, and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Possibly I saved my life and my children's. My grandson's friend lost his mom through second hand smoke -- her father's -- and she left behind two young kids and a husband. At the wake, the father/grandfather expressed his tremendous guilt in losing his daughter through his doing. Who wants to carry that guilt around knowing that second hand smoke can kill your loved ones?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good thread Jo. I agree with asolo too. BUT, I think we can live happier lives when we try to live healthier. That being said, there are so many people that have tried that and they are not here to testify. I will say that I fully believe nutrition is the key, and that's why genetics may play a huge part in all of this. My mom never smoked a day in her life, and if she drank alcohol, everyone around her got more of a kick out of it than she did - she could never have become an alcoholic!! But, she died of bone cancer that stemmed from bilateral breast cancer. She also had liver cancer She was overweight - at least as long as I had known her, but not always. By looking at her pictures, Mom was a goreous sista when she young!! My sister has done so much research on nutrition since Mom's death. We are convinced that if Mom had better nutritional habits, she may not have gotten the cancer to begin with. She took BC pills for menopausal symptoms (before they realized how controversial it is), and we really think this combination - nutrition and the pill, contributed greatly for her cancer. No one ever in her family had cancer so cancer wasn't the genetic link. However, her genetic make up we think, created the fiasco called cancer.

I don't say this only because of my Mom though. My dad was the smoker - heavy!! He quit about 20 years ago, is still alive and kicking at 84. My uncle (by marriage)died of complications of alcohol. My dad drank as much as my uncle, and has no typical signs of it. My aunt is 86 and doesn't need glasses - never did. I, on the other hand, need 10 pair just to find the right pair to see with - LOL. I asked her about it, and she told me that the Dr. told her it was because she has a genetic condition that created a reversal of the typical old-age reason for reading glasses.

I could go on and on, even without talking about my family. I think the more we learn about the body, and OMG, the brain, the more we gain with regard to longevity of life and health. I think the links between genetics and cell/ brain nurishment are real things to continue researching. Genetic studies have proven that. I take magnesium. My step-mom was having the same symptoms I was having so I suggested it to her. She was so far gone that she couldn't think clealy enough for it to make sense to her. She had a stoke recently, and the 1st thing the Dr. said was that her magnesium was way too low and that probably caused the strok. Her blood sugar was through the roof. In my own case, I'm able tomanage my BS better with taking the magnesium. The body does not produce or maintains only low amounts of some primary vitamins, minerals and as we all know, hormones. In their absence, the body cannot function as it should.

OK, I'm off the soapbox...

Here's to good health, All.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

gneegirl.....I couldn't have said any of it better. None of us has a clue. The scientists are working on it...and getting better all the time.

All I can say is here I all the concepts of pleasure/pain/worthwhileness (is that a word?) I grew up with. The sum total of who I am and what I've accomplished (or failed to) has much more to do with the family I was born into and the environment I was born into than any other factor or combination of factors I can think of. (Why was I born here; to these parents; at this time? Why wasn't I born into some $%*&-hole, back-water cess-pit in Somolia, for example, as so many tens of thousands of others have been? I had nothing to do with that circumstance.)

Be good to each other. Try to do right. Try to avoid being stupid. Try to be an example to those who admire you and may want to emulate you. Try to be worthy.

But ENJOY living. Death will come to you in due course. Sooner? Later? Instantly and painlessly? Slowly and agonizingly? Nobody knows. When your turn comes it will be the way it will be. No sense agonizing over it.

The task is not living a long life. Whether long or short, it's mostly out of our control. (Don't tee off on that, please......stay with the concept.) The task is living a good life -- as good as we have the cerebral light to see the good.

FWIW...If I liked to smoke, I would smoke. However, I would avoid intruding upon others when I did. If I liked drinking, I would drink. However, I would avoid "operating machinery" when I did. If I liked the idea of racing cars or climbing mountains, or fill-in-the-blank, I would do that. However, I wouldn't expect my fellow taxpayers to pick up my pieces if I screwed up.

I think people should be satisfied with their conduct. "Proud" would be better, but "satisfied" will suffice. I'm talking today. Tomorrow is a gift to all of us.

In another decade, perhaps I'll be able to say it better. See you then?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 11:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey asolo - love your spirit. At this point, not sure whether my life habits will help towards that next decade, but if all goes well, I will see ya there!!

BTW, what I meant to say in my other post, was that as we grow older, our bodies tend to slow down on producing or storing the helpful minerals, vitamins, etc. When we die, we die from mal-nourishment to one part or the other, of the necessary bodily organs.

Have a good one!!


    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 12:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mary is the winner, with this statement:

When we die, we die from mal-nourishment to one part or the other, of the necessary bodily organs.

ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! My husband didn't necessarily die from the cancer - all the nutrition he consumed was taken up to feed the cancer, thus starving him to death.

I can't recall exactly when, but a year or so ago, on the learning channel, there was a program on obesity and what 'causes' it.

It was stated that we inherit the genetics for the foods and chemicals we crave - be it alcohol, sugar, nicotine, whatever. Some of us can control those cravings, some of us cannot. Some of us never got the genetics to crave them, but almost all humans AND animals lust after sugar - it's a terrible drug that causes all kinds of health maladies!

I think the day will come when they can micro-chip the body and program our vices, so we arent enslaved by them.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you are very prone to cancer if your mom or dad or siblings have it. Every thing I read and the families have known confirm that. My parents and siblings have not had any at all. My mom is 95 and still living alone with no serious diseases at all. My husband's brother and sister died of cancer in their early 60's, his mom had it at 85 and my husband had prostate and a basal cell skin problem. I also think some people just don't get it. In my opinion it is good genes.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 4:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yep, that's it - good genes!

Check out the story, below - I have it saved in my favorites - this is me!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: France's Jeanne Calment, world's oldest woman

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Some of us can control those cravings, some of us cannot."

Don't buy this. I think we have a responsibility for personal control. I don't know anybody who doesn't have something to deal with....including myself.

Smoking, drinking, name it. Each of us in charge.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

None of those things are good for either of us. But, I think that, as Jo was saying when she started this thread, our bodies react to those bad things (and the good things too) as individually as we all are. When one person appears to handle smoking and outlives the person that does not smoke, there has to be something there. It's like someone that cries at the drop of a hat, while another rolls up their sleeves to help out at a car accident. That person's ability to cope is different from the person that breaks down in tears. Such is the same with physical health. One person's makeup is such that it can counteract the effects of our bad habits.

this is truly interesting...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Every male in my immediate family has died from the effects of smoking, drinking, or both. My mother and aunt both have emphysema from it.

My grandmother died from eating too many sweets, that caused liver cancer.

My sister died of a heart attack from overeating, and she was a chain smoker for years. The autopsy showed she had a congenital heart defect that, if it had been found, could have easily been fixed. She was such a cheapskate, she never had annual physicals, because there was a $100 deductible.

I have all sorts of medical ills, and I never smoked or drank to excess. I did, however, pretty much live on junk food and southern food, which is just as bad, I guess.

I've tried living more healthy, but it's very hard, because health food just tastes bad to me. I'm sure my eating habits will kill me sooner or later.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 5:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Healthy food doesn't have to taste bad. Word of caution - stay away from fake stuff and eat in moderation. Introduce new things a little at a time. After a while, your body will adjust to the new foods. I can't tell you how much I can taste the salt and sugar in foods now. I was scared into letting go of sodas (pop to some of you), when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I've never used a lot of "after" salt, but it's amazing how much salt and sugar are in foods.

I used to eat fried chicken a lot. I LOVE fied chicken - especially wings, and when I fix them. I had a taste for some about a month ago. It had been so long since I fixed them that I really had to think about how to cook them!!

Try some new seasonings - I hear that Suzanne Sommers has some good ones. There are others too.

Anyway, I know that this is a thread of a different subject, but just wanted to offer some suggestions to JYG - especially since she does have the health challenge of lupus. BTY, there are some things you can do to help out that are not traditional, BUT ARE SAFE and actually advocated by many in the medical community. I'll try to muster some together fo ya if you want - just email me. Your diet is HUGE with lupus. Good luck kiddo!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

None of us knows how much time we have. We can take the best care in the world of our bodies and get hit by a truck. That being said, I also think it is foolish to deliberately engage in things we know are harmful. Would you stand in front of a freight train just hoping it would stop before killing you?

I think the trick is balance: all things in moderation, enjoy each day as much as possible, be the best you can be, and live the golden rule. There are certainly no guarantees, and if we can look back at the end and say we had a good life, then we have our rewards.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 2:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

my grandparents die well in their 90s. They were exceptionally healthy, just died of old age, no illnesses ever, no dimentia, nothing. they did not smoke or drink but they were both very much overweight, ate a lot and never denied themselves food. my grandmother never exercised in her entire life and cooked huge meals and ate like there is no tomorrow.

I used to work in assisted living and there was this guy who was over 90, he was an alcoholic, drank every day. When he was in assisted living he did not drink in bottles anymore, but he had a glass of scotch every day at 2PM with a greasy hamburger. he was in clear mind and reasonable health, he also smoked his whole life. he was in a great shape and had no plans on

I am not endorcing drinking smoking or overeating, but unfortunatelly life is unfair. plenty health concious people die in accidents. My other grandpa was healthy, athletic, healthy eater, no drinking no smoing and worked full time engineering job at 74! he contracted meningitis and died within a week. life is unfair.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 10:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Fast food has a bad reputation, it is not going to hurt you unless you order 2 big macs or super size everything all the time. Then it is the calories that make you obese. If I buy the ingredients for hamburgers and make a meatloaf and salad out of it, there's no difference. My Mom is 96 and living alone. She was raised on food fried in lard. When I told the doctor my sisters were worried about Mom eating to many sweets, he said it doesn't matter what she eats because of her age. She is no longer building a strong body and bones. Let her eat what she wants. My mother in law didn't do a thing for the last 15 years of her life except make her bed, cook and do the dishes and she lived to be 85. Exercise does not extend your life only keeps you more agile, if it doesn't cripple you because of worn out bones. I don't believe all the stuff the health experts say. Remember the "drink 8 glasses of water at day"? It was a myth, no studies or proof that it was necessary. A doctor on TV said an abundance of water causes more problems than drinking only when you are thirsty. My doctor said eat a wide variety of food all in moderation.

As you can tell, this is a pet peeve of mine. I've lost two doctors because I don't bow down the them and do preventative drugs

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If I liked being fat, I'd eat more. If I liked smoking, I'd smoke. If I liked drinking, I'd drink.

You live once. Do what you want. However, I would appreciate it if I wasn't required to pay for pay for caring for your self-inflicted problems. I don't expect anyone to pay for mine.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You said yourself,

"If I liked being fat, I'd eat more. If I liked smoking, I'd smoke. If I liked drinking, I'd drink."

Well maybe some wanted to and they did.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 6:42PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Oh my I am so bored
I settled the problem with my home owners association,...
Merry Christmas!!
I'm not living the single life anymore, but that doesn't...
How many of you are spending it alone? Compared to...
Last weeks snow
I didn't know how to post 2 photos in one thread so...
Good Morning Everyone
It is such a beautiful day here in Kansas and I feel...
Sponsored Products
It's A Wonderful World
$34.99 | Dot & Bo
KOHLER Diverters Deck-Mount Two-Way Diverter Valve in Oil-Rubbed Bronze
Home Depot
Metal Tile: Merola Tile Building Materials Baroque Pewter Scroll Stick 5/8 in.
$3.97 | Home Depot
Luli Sanchezs Purple 14 x 20-Inch Decorative Pillow
$55.20 | Bellacor
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Home Decorators Collection Rugs Optics Red 2 ft.
Home Depot
Furniture of America Jordan 5 Piece Dining Set - Antique Oak - IDF-3123T 5PC SET
$779.91 | Hayneedle
Allure Fuchsia 20-Inch Decorative Pillow
$66.70 | Bellacor
Amba Q 2016 Hardwired Towel Warmer - Q 2016 B
$432.00 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™