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Why Americans Are Dying in Record Numbers. Here Are 4 Reasons

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

For the second year in a row, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a dire report: Americans are dying in such alarming numbers that U.S. life expectancy has dipped. Again. It’s been 100 years since numbers like this were last reported, and PBS explains that suicides and drug overdoses are the leading causes. However, heart disease and cancer still account for 44 percent of deaths overall.



There’s only one thing more tragic than all these deaths, and that is that all four causes are completely preventable. We can sit around asking questions like why are so many people committing suicide, or we can debate what we need to do stop drug overdoses, but the bottom line is we need a lifeline we can offer people in these situations. For example:

We know suicides are on the rise. But do we know the warning signs that someone is considering ending their life? With depression one of the most common mental disorders in America, it’s critical to know these signs, which include increased anger or rage, sleeping too much or too little, talking about wanting to die, isolating yourself and expressing feelings of hopeless, to name a few.

If you see these signs in someone, make it a point to ask about their well-being and to offer help if they need it. Reach out to them daily, and suggest ways for them to seek help.

(If you live in the U.S. and are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.)

That said, I also believe that, while a number of headlines scream for new drug treatment, we'll get nowhere fast unless we address mental health from a more holistic perspective.

Nutritional deficiencies, a decline in social interaction brought about by increasing reliance on social media and technology, excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields, lack of sleep, "lack of life purpose" or spiritual connection, and chronic, unresolved stress are just some of the factors that can contribute to depression, none of which can be addressed by new or more drugs.

The same can be said for drug overdoses, which calls for an understanding of why we’ve turned into an opioid-overdosed nation. For too long we’ve allowed the very creators of this epidemic — narcotic manufacturers — drive the sales and, now, even the treatment for the addiction their products caused.

You need look no further than the Sackler family, dba Purdue Pharma, which has racked up multimillions of dollars in OxyContin sales, while their product continues to kill. And now they’ve come up with their own solution to the deaths by creating an alternate lower-dose drug to “treat” addiction to the higher-power one.

The thing is, unless we address the underlying reason people need pain relief, we are never going to end the desire to purchase these products — and possibly end up dying unintentionally. Please see my article, “Understanding the Opioid Epidemic” for better solutions that go beyond the prescription pad for this concern.

And finally, whether you’re dealing with heart disease or cancer — or both — it’s important to know that these and other chronic diseases are preventable and possibly curable with a focus on nutrition and regular exercise. A ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting can help get you on the right track to lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, as well help you lose weight.

The ketogenic diet provides many health benefits that will help most people experience significant improvements in their health — including not just weight loss, which is more of an inescapable side effect of the metabolic improvements that occur, but other benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity and increased longevity.

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