Home > Self Help Guide > Module 1: The Basics of Disease Prevention

The Basics of Disease Prevention

Created and maintained by Kim Crawford, M.D., F.A.C.P.M., A.B.A.A.R.M.

Get healthy, slow down aging, and help prevent heart disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and more. Learn about three of the main causes of disease and aging. We will cover the devastating effects they can have on your body and how to control them.

Don’t want to get old or sick? Who does?

If you are feeling or looking older than you think you should, chances are that you may have an issue with one or more of things we will discuss below. Fixing these issues will help you feel younger, look younger, and be on the path to weight normalization for life. In addition, getting control of these three issues will put you on a path to improved health. We’ll discuss the other issues to control when we get to solutions but first, let’s tackle what I consider to be the top three causes of disease and aging for most people. 

The three main causes of disease and aging

1) Oxidative Stress

This should be looked at as a reverse phenomenon since the fewer anti-oxidant rich fruits and veggies you consume, the more oxidative stress you will have. By reversing oxidative stress you will be able to prevent diseases, slow down aging, and improve your sense of well being. Oxidative stress ages you both inside and out; so taking care of this problem will accomplish many things including help you look younger.

Sources of oxidative stress include flying often, being exposed to the sun, living in a city (pollution), eating processed foods, smoking, and being overweight or obese. Inflammation (the next topic) causes oxidative stress and vice versa.

While the “ideal situation” would be for all of us to get our nutrition and vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidant vitamins and phytonutrients from the foods we eat, the reality is that we just don’t do it. When I do raman spectroscopy scans on patients; they all scan poorly because they cannot eat the required amount of organic, non-GMO fruits, and vegetables for optimal health. I therefore always recommend supplementation.

2) Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is not something we feel until an inflammatory disease gets us. Cancer, heart disease, and arthritis are all examples of inflammatory diseases. This makes prevention more important than ever.

Some of the causes of chronic inflammation include being overweight, eating processed foods, fast foods, starchy foods, drinking straight fruit juice, and consuming foods with high sugar content. The bottom line is that the worse you eat and the more you weigh, the more inflamed you will be. The catch 22 here is that the more inflamed you become, the more weight you gain and the harder it is to lose that weight. Infuriating isn’t it? And, as mentioned, the more inflamed you are, the higher your oxidative stress is, too.

As you may have guessed, the key to preventing inflammation is healthy living. Oftentimes people require anti-inflammatory supplements as well.

3) Glycation

Glycation is the fancy term to describe what happens to your cells when they are exposed to elevated (not necessarily diabetic) blood sugar levels. Your cells become stiff, less effective, and act older metabolically speaking and have a higher likelihood to mutate.

Many medical professionals simply wait until a diagnosis of diabetes is made and then address the issue with pharmaceuticals. This does not have to be the case; with proper lifestyle changes diabetes can be prevented and cellular glycation can be reversed. To completely reverse glycation, supplements (integratives) are often utilized.

Self Assessment

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Webinar with Dr. Kim

This webinar covers some of the basic solutions for oxidative stress, inflammation and glycation. You will find additional answers for these basic physiologic problems in the next portion of this self help guide: Solutions.


Download and/or print these PDFs below for in-depth solutions.

Solutions Handout

Anti-Aging (Anti-Inflammatory) Diet for Dr. Kim’s Patients

Diet Cheat Sheet

Helpful articles

These articles from Dr. Kim’s Aging Well blog address some of the concerns in this guide.

More About Oxidative Stress

More About Inflammation

More About Blood Sugar

The Other Issues That Cause Disease & Aging

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Kim Crawford, M.D. is based in Melbourne, Florida and serves patients all over the country.

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