Things I Wish I Knew About my Health As A Young Adult
Dear mothers, fathers and young adults. I write this post not only as a naturopathic doctor but as a once young adult myself.
Don't share food! Sharing is caring until it's not. As young children, often times we are so comfortable with sharing food with our friends and family. We may even drink through the same straw. Although post pandemic of 2020, this may change as people are socially distancing to prevent more serious viruses, which I am pleased with. Viruses have a way of staying in our body permanently and stick out their heads when we are weak. Herpes outbreaks known as cold sores and mononucleosis from the EBV virus are two of the most common transmitted viruses through contact at a young age, that are a big nuisance to our health.
When a cold sore is active, we are likely to contract it from the other person through touch. This is why it is imperative you do not kiss anyone when they have an active lesion or share food especially via a cup or straw. Not that you should be smoking but sharing anything, which may even be smoking products. Also the person who gets these cold sores would likely experience a day or so where they feel tingling in the area of the lips before the sore appears. At this time they are contagious as well, and no one would know except them. This is why it is important for the other individual to take extra steps as to not spread the virus to others. But as you may know, not every young adult is a responsible one. This herpes virus comes in 2 forms and can transmit to our private areas as well with contact.
In the case of mononucleosis, this is more serious. EBV stays in the body permanently and can cause chronic fatigue and can even lead to throat cancer in certain individuals. It is well known as the kissing disease.
When it comes to sexual health all the same applies. Not only do you have to worry about sexually transmitted infections, but herpes and EBV. These viruses do not show on labs because they are not routinely tested as there is no treatment. Just palliative care until the symptoms resolve.
I know the notion of eating a healthy diet is lost on most young adults. However, I thought that it is still worth while to mention why for the sake of it. When we are young and growing up fast, our cells that make up our body, are fast dividing. More-so than ever again. This is why we heal from wounds faster and bounce back faster from any ailment. During this high cell turnover, we want to give our body the best nutrients to excel. If we choose not to nourish our body and instead fuel it with toxins, our cell division and thus DNA division collects errors. These errors, collected over time with exposure to toxins, radiation, stress and from our genes "turning on" result in things like cancer in adult life as well as other illnesses. This is the most important reason why it is so important to eat well when we are growing up at a young age.
Making friends can be hard and it seems like when things go wrong, they might just haunt us forever. It is so important in our environment to simply enjoy ourselves and not take offense or get upset quickly. Things will go wrong but we need to be resilient, adaptive, strong willed and focus on our path. Cultivate new friendships and strengthen old ones. Friendships create your future and are very important. If you don't feel like you fit in, acquire hobbies and pursue them. You never know who you will meet through a hobby or interest.
Don't mind love. It comes and it goes. Don't take it too seriously, especially at a young age. We are so wired to get lost in fantasies of a future love that we stop living in the moment. Be present, make friends and focus on your own growth journey. If someone likes you and you might like them, only offer friendship; and if they are worthy, it will transpire to something greater in time. An individual has to earn your trust, respect and time. They don't earn it just because they like you; and you shouldn't allow them in without having them prove themselves to you via friendship first. This is also a great way to quench rumours and not find yourself being teased or bullied quickly.
5. Overall health
Many young adults, out of fear of the doctor or perhaps feelings of embarrassment, don't speak up to an adult about their health issue. They believe they are suppose to have acne, painful periods, constipation, diarrhea, headaches and so on. Seeing a naturopathic doctor is one of the best things you can do about your health. As a naturopathic doctor myself, I see all the ways I can help young youth, who have all the ability to heal, to achieve and exceed optimal health. Most things are curable at this age, so speak up for your health; everything is confidential unless you are at risk of hurting yourself or another person.
If you are reading this, you found the article interesting and of use. I truly wish I thought like this from elementary school onwards. It would have helped me become a stronger person quicker and more efficiently and would have helped my health quite a bit. If you feel that this article would be of benefit to someone, please share.