First Blog Post: A Basic Question

What does a person need to be well?

This is an important question for people interested in caring for themselves or for others.  It is the question that has guided care at Mayo Clinic for more than a century.  The Mayo Brothers placed before all else the needs of each person they served, and the organization they established has continued to do the same.  Nationally, despite the best efforts of so many to address human need, a complicated system of unprecedented expense and inequality has lead to a crisis in health and in health care.  So, as everyone from individual Twitterers to the Obama Administration works toward making things better, it may be worthwhile to consider that basic question: what does a person need to be well?

51 Comments
  • Robert Fines
    Posted at 21:01h, 24 June

    Finally, someone’s asking the right question.

  • KIM
    Posted at 19:41h, 27 June

    I HAVE A 2 PART QUESTION IN LIGHT OF THE PASSING OF FARRAH FAWCETT AFTER A REMARKABLY COURAGEOUS BATTLE WITH CANCER. GIVEN ALL THE RUN-OF-THE-MILL RECOMMENDATIONS OF STAYING WELL, THERE IS STILL A GREAT PART OF HUMANITY THAT INEVITABLY SUCCUMB TO CANCER, & THAT INCLUDES MS. FAWCETT. I OPINE THAT A CURE DOES NOT WANT TO BE HAD BECAUSE THAT LARGELY DESTROYS THE INDUSTRY. IS NOT THERE SOME REMEDY IN SOME RAINFOREST? WHAT ABOUT THIS TREATMENT WITH CESIUM? U. KANSAS DOCS ARE NOW INJECTING A FORM OF ASCORBIC ACID DIRECTLY INTO CANCER TUMORS WHICH CAUSE A CHEMICAL REACTION TO PRODUCE HYDROGEN PEROXIDE WHICH DESTROYS THE CANCER CELL. THEN WHY IS THIS TREATMENT NOT HEADLINES? WHY ALL THE NAYSAYERS? YOU WOULD FIGURE NOW WELL INTO THE 21ST CENTURY WE WOULD HAVE IMPROVED OUR CURE & REMISSION RATES. PESTICIDES, HEAVY METALS, BENZENE, & TOBACCO ASIDE, WHY ARE STILL SO MANY PEOPLE DYING. GOD WHEN I GO TO THE OUTPATIENT CENTER JUST TO GET ORDINARY BLOODWORK, ONE CANNOT HELP BUT VIEW THE MANY PATIENTS IN THE RECEPTION AREA OF THE ONCOLOGY DOCS. MY SENTIMENT IS WHAT’S THE USE? THIS IS ALL A GAME. MOST OF THESE PEOPLE ARE GONNA DIE ANYHOW, THEY’LL JUST DIE AFTER SPENDING LOTS OF MONEY. THIS DISEASE TOUCHES US ALL. I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY IN 1 BLINK THEY CAN FIND TAXOL FROM A YEW TREE, & YET CAN’T FIND ANYTHING ELSE ON THE GLOBE TO TARGET THESE CELLS WITH SUCCESS.

  • David Rosenman
    Posted at 11:30h, 02 July

    Thank you for your comment.

    I do hope and believe that cancer someday will be a thing of the past. In the meantime, I have never met a person involved at any level of health care who does not want a cure to be found as soon as possible. To be clear, there are many, many people who dedicate their professional and personal lives to finding cures for cancer and for countless other diseases. I have the utmost respect and gratitude for these individuals and for their work. I’m sure they would ask for nothing more than the obsolescence of their profession.

    Your point about the rainforest is an excellent one, and this is an area of great potential. A longtime friend, Dr. Eric Chivian, is Director of Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment (http://chge.med.harvard.edu). That center’s very mission is, “to help people understand that our health, and that of our children, depends on the health of the environment, and that we must do everything we can to protect it.” Dr. Chivian and his team make it their business to spread awareness of the many remedies already found in rainforests and other biomes and to protect environments that hold the innumerable other remedies yet to be identified.

    Also on the bright side, there is a growing movement from paper, subscription-based scientific journals, toward open-access, online journals. An already-observed consequence of this trend is a shorter turnaround from study conclusion to publication. Hopefully, this more rapid sharing of insights will lead us sooner to the cures we all want.

  • Hunter
    Posted at 11:06h, 11 July

    The difficulty with treating cancers and that seems to be the right choice of words is “cancers” that with so many different types there is not a one size fits all treatment. The expanse of treatments that are available do cannot be put into the one size fits all bin.

    Take breast cancer as an example. In addition to chemotherapy drugs, there are a variety of targeted drugs for breast cancer treatment.

    A physician might prescribe hormonal therapies, such as SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators) or aromatase inhibitors to prevent estrogen from reaching the tumor. This helps to slow the growth and reproduction of breast cancer cells.

    Then there is tamoxifen, the most common hormone therapy drug used today for both early and advanced stage breast cancer treatment.

    In addition to hormone breast cancer therapies, biological response modifiers, like Herceptin (Trastuzumab), are drugs that bind with specific proteins on breast cancer cells

    You can see when it comes to breast cancer what works on one type does no work on others. There is no one size fits all, and adding the genetic component make it even more difficult. I do believe that supplements that are natural such as resveratrol, which is a rich antioxidant compound that can be found mainly in the skins of red grapes (especially Vitis vinifera, labrusca, and muscadine grapes, which are used to produce red wines) blueberries, mulberries, and peanuts may offer a glimpse into treatment options of the future.

    However, taking the human element into the picture, people in general have to be more proactive when it comes to their own health, and that is the bottom line.
    Hunter

  • Jake Rhodes
    Posted at 12:45h, 12 July

    I think a varied diet rich in fruit and vegetables is the basis of good health. Your energy levels rise and your immune system is given the nutrients it needs to defend your body.

    Regular exercise is also a must.

  • Tente
    Posted at 17:46h, 10 September

    I agree Hunter.were very engaged

  • Alex McCarthy
    Posted at 17:50h, 10 September

    I believe this is a loaded question. Not only does a person need their physical health needs met they also need their mental health needs met as well. Usually we only focus on physical health and don’t even look at the effects mental health can have on the body. I’m not saying you can “think away” cancer but I believe your thoughts and feelings can help prevent it.

  • Steve
    Posted at 14:59h, 11 September

    A good diet will help make a healthy person. I believe exercise both physical and mental will do a lot of good as well.

    Steve

  • Anne:antiaging skin
    Posted at 17:01h, 12 September

    As Jake says a good diet and exercise can go a long way in keeping us well.

  • Travis
    Posted at 16:51h, 22 September

    I think this question varies from person to person. For example one person might think the right diet is the key to staying well, while others have the mentality of “we all are gonna die someday”. My personal believe is to be well its not just proper diet and exercise, but also mental health.

  • panic attacks
    Posted at 03:48h, 24 September

    balanced diet, regular physical exercise, know how to take a break when necessary are all the key ingredients for a well being of a person

  • Julia
    Posted at 15:49h, 24 September

    Interesting question. I have a chronically ill child, so I really focus on doing what I can to keep her healthy during the times when she IS healthy.

  • ssp
    Posted at 20:05h, 28 September

    Such a simple question if asked could provide so many useful answers. This questions should be asked by the doctor to himself and he should also ask the patient. Because people have an innate wisdom where they know everything if they could just trust themselves enough to listen to the wisdom from within.

  • Turisuna
    Posted at 22:49h, 29 September

    I usually doing regular exercise, eat healthy foods, and have enough rest. We won’t realize how important is our health until we get sick, so better doing healthy life before we loose our health.

  • todayselfesteem
    Posted at 00:20h, 04 October

    This made me immediate think that what does a person need to be really well is a sound loving partnership with their loved ones and understanding and peace within the family. I believe that without this stress will be a precursor to being unwell. Mental health is extremely important and we should all try to have harmony in our lives.

  • Noah Group
    Posted at 09:08h, 07 October

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

  • Chicago Fitness
    Posted at 03:13h, 09 October

    “what does a person need to be well?”

    That’s a toughie – But there’s a basic formula:

    Look at what a person desires to gain and fears to lose. Everything can be determined after that.

    Dave Johnson

  • Biz User
    Posted at 21:58h, 09 October

    I think the main thing many need to start doing is getting back to caring for your basic needs. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and limiting your sugar/salt intake. It seems many in the US are getting away from fixing there own food and are starting to rely on fattening restaurants for their every meal. If people would be educated in what to eat and if others would help make this food affordable to lower incomes then we would see some progress. I also believe that we need to get health-care reform done soon so we can take control of our own health again and not leave it to profit hungry corporations.

  • beth
    Posted at 22:10h, 09 October

    Being healthy is really important to each of us. It is more essential if one should be very aware of his well being. Besides, all life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

  • Coder11
    Posted at 11:12h, 10 October

    But taking care of your mental health is too important to ignore, even if it embarrasses others close to you. ,

  • Samuel Lavoie Web
    Posted at 22:41h, 12 October

    Very good question, good health is of course a big part of the equation as others already comments on.. but who can’t say what we really need. I think more we need more stuff more people tend to not be happy.

  • Alex87
    Posted at 17:06h, 22 October

    Feist books at once, the man MUST be good. ,

  • tanwa1234
    Posted at 11:46h, 23 October

    good food, some exercise and enough rest.

  • John G
    Posted at 03:01h, 24 October

    Oh well, we could bring to memory Maslow’s pyramid of needs and start with hygiene needs first. Physical health is very well connected to our mental condition, and that is based on how well we do in life. Some say, we are what we eat. Start with food, maybe?

  • mark
    Posted at 05:58h, 24 October

    This is one of the best posts I’ve read. I plan to refer to it often. Is it alright if I put a link to it on my blog?

  • gap year volunteer
    Posted at 17:49h, 03 November

    Diet and exercise is great but the key to a long and healthy life is really just simple happiness. My grandparents both lived into their hundreds and they commented regularly they had never been happier.

    They also traveled EXTENSIVELY and took a sojourn to South America on a 10-day Panama Canal cruise both when they were in their late 80’s.

    I’d settle for a lifespan a couple decades less than them. Here’s hoping I inherited their long-living genes.

  • shuvo
    Posted at 04:48h, 04 November

    nice article and will be shared with others.

  • Healthly As
    Posted at 01:39h, 05 November

    I agree with Kim. The Cancer Society receives approx $400 million annually. If it finds a cure there goes there $$.

    Good healthshould be taken holistically and include diet, fresh air, clean water, exercise, anti stress techniques and living more NATURALLY.

  • Dave @ milwaukee SEO
    Posted at 16:37h, 05 November

    What does a person need to be well encompasses more than just medical care. Emotional well being along with physical is very important. Does this mean we cover everything that has to do with well being? The original question to me deals with “what do ALL people deserve for medical care?” I am not sure.

  • schwinn trike
    Posted at 21:10h, 06 November

    I think at least 8 hours of sleep per day will make a big difference in your well being

  • kari Simon
    Posted at 14:33h, 19 November

    That is a good question. Well is defined differently by what region you are from and your economic status. It would be hard to pin that down. I will be interested to see how Obama defines it. Am not sure that sort of definition is best for everyone and somewhat impinges on my freedoms and liberty. Doesn’t anyone else see that?

  • Zac
    Posted at 14:59h, 19 November

    Very true, keeping your body healthy is the key!

  • Raças de cachorros
    Posted at 06:49h, 26 November

    Not only the body, but it´s also very important to take care of the mind.

  • Motor Trade Insider
    Posted at 12:39h, 26 November

    Interesting debate. Doesn’t the fact that more people (certainly in the west) are living much longer innevitably mean that cancer rates increase? Does the fact that cancer is still mainly a disease of “old age” mean that it is, for certain susceptible individuals, a natual part of aging?

  • Katie Weston
    Posted at 06:57h, 27 November

    We need to cut down out exposure to chemicals, in what we use and eat etc. But I don’t agree with ‘healthy as’ that people are deliberately stalling the search for a cure for cancer just because they would lose their funding – that is a ridiculous notion!

  • John
    Posted at 18:38h, 28 November

    Finally we come to this topic.

  • Roseanna Leaton
    Posted at 11:51h, 29 November

    To be well means to me to feel well, to feel good, to feel happy. It involves an interaction between mind and body. You can have elements of physical ill health and yet still feel well. But you will never feel well unless your mind is focused positively.

  • Ducard
    Posted at 22:56h, 29 November

    While maintaining a healthy diet is important, we can’t downplay the fact that it’s incredibly important to have good genetics. Unfortunately, you can’t always control that. So in the meantime, proper diet and exercise while we wait for technology to catch up.

  • OweEng2
    Posted at 01:36h, 30 November

    Great article! I hope other writers can step in and help out more by making informative articles like this. Keep up the good work.

  • Blogster
    Posted at 12:13h, 01 December

    Are there admin here to monitor the comments? to get a good answer to the question? or is it up to the users to do it?

    NFL.com just started Play60 for kids, and everyone should get 30-60 minutes a day of exercise of some kind and to lose weight almost 90 minutes a day. Which I need to do.

    http://www.agctr.lsu.edu/en/administration/about_us/chancellors_office/Chancellors+Challenge+Blog/
    The Surgeon General recommends 30-60 minutes of physical activity almost every day (up to 90 for weight loss). Believe it or not, this includes holidays, too.

  • Buffalo Limo
    Posted at 23:26h, 05 December

    I think a person needs to have the right diet, exercise and rest in order to have a balance of well being.

  • Vance
    Posted at 02:50h, 08 December

    What does a person need to be well is a subject that will never be exhausted. While health care prices continue rise, you think everyone from Obama to the common voter would to health practitioners would turn some of their efforts to prevention in the way of what we eat and exercise. The old saying “You are what you eat” is so true and it starts with our children. Garbage in garbage out. Our bodies can only take so much and then the finally start “complaining” in the form of “disease”. Yes, there are folks that did everything right…and still developed cancer, etc., but that is not the average. Education on foods that heal and natural health itself should at least be some of our focus.

  • Javad
    Posted at 16:32h, 09 December

    Excellent question – good questions are a great start.

    One clue about the answer may relate to the fact that we are each different and what does a person need to be well, mat be best answered in terms of the person. Obviously the health needs of an anorexic are totally different from those of an obese person. Then there is the issue of our unique genetic make up.

    But I do find smiling, a little exercise, good mostly vegetarian food helps most people.

  • Tsedaka
    Posted at 18:33h, 14 December

    Nice article!

    I think you only need no to suffer to much and feel loved!

    My aunt died very slowly because of lung cancer… it took her 11 years to die. But even during the worst moments she was able to find her own happiness!!!

    Tsedaka

  • Steve Benedict
    Posted at 18:40h, 14 December

    I agree completely with Alex McCarthy ( Sept 10th). There is a strong link to the mental state, when fighting cancer. My dad just went through it. His faith and his “Best Generation” never say die attitude..along with treatment… got him into remission, even though his chances were limited.

    I’ve had him as a mentor, all my life… and I hope I’ve passed his attitude down to my children.

  • Sarasota Homes
    Posted at 14:14h, 15 December

    Good question and I think the answer varies depending on the individual or group. But I guess my question is after spending billions and billions of dollars, does anyone else think it odd that we are not closer to a cure?

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