The environment is one of the most important factors of influence in the disease triad. The environment can be defined as the biological and physical factors and the chemical interactions that influence the life of a living organism. In the case of human beings like you and I, our environment refers to all the living and non living things we interact with and the chemical interactions that influence our lives. The living component of the environment includes all our neighbors, our domesticated plants and animals and the wild animals and how we interact with them. The physical component of the environment includes all non living things that influence our life like rainfall, sun, rocks and many more.
It is therefore clear that the environment which is our surrounding has a direct bearing on our lives. Just how does our environment influence diseases that attack us? In order to effectively answer this question, we need to remember the components of the environment and consider them as possible risk factors for a disease. We are exposed to several risk factors of diseases that are physical, chemical or biological components of the environment. For better understanding, consider an environment with poisonous gas, constant flooding and mosquito infestation. In this risky environment, the chemical component that is a risk factor for disease is the poisonous gas. The physical component that poses risk is the flood and the biological component that is a risk factor to disease is the mosquitoes. The environment also influences alterations in the way we behave in response to the risk factors to which we are exposed.
An organism exists in a larger environment whose definition is given above. This larger environment is sometimes referred to as macro environment. However at times interest may be only on the immediate surrounding which is relatively small, effectively isolated and characteristically differs from the larger environment. For example if we are to consider a family living in a city environment, the conditions of their house could be different from that of the surrounding. Individual members of the family might wear clothing of different levels of cleanliness. All this makes the micro environment.
At the lowest level microenvironment would refer to the environment in and around the calls that make up our bodies. At the cellular level, our bodies carry out billions and billions of chemical reactions that are aimed at maintaining life. These reactions alter the composition of the environment within and around the cells of the body. Even in spite of all these reactions, the body has to maintain internal conditions that are relatively constant and stable. The body therefore undergoes a process of self regulation that helps it to restore the balance after it is shifted by normal biochemical reactions and daily stresses. A healthy microenvironment is thus one in which the body’s self regulating capabilities function well and thus the environment in and around the cells is well balanced thereby discouraging disease from taking hold.
It is of very great importance for every individual to maintain a healthy microenvironment in order to prevent and control diseases. So as to make this importance stand out, we need to answer the question of how disease takes hold in our bodies.
Disease occurs in our body due to the failure of the body’s self regulating mechanisms due to physical, chemical and emotional strains and stresses pushing this system out of balance.
Some of these stresses include toxicity and poor nutrient intake. A naturally balanced and healthy microenvironment is very hostile to disease factors.
Maintaining a healthy microenvironment not only helps in preventing diseases but also helps in controlling diseases that have already taken hold.
An example of a micro environment in our body is that of bacteria in our gastro intestinal tract. These bacteria benefit us in several ways. They metabolize nutrients that we cannot digest and convert them to important end products. They also control the assembly of gut associated lymphoid tissue, they modulate proliferation and differentiation of the gastrointestinal tract lineages, they train the immune system, and they regulate angiogenesis and modify the activity of the enteric nervous system. Owing to the vast important physiological and immunological roles of these microorganisms, it becomes clear that maintaining a healthy microenvironment within the gastrointestinal tract could go a long way in improving their function and thus boosting the body’s ability to fight disease.
Another example of microenvironment is that of antimicrobials in the mucosal surfaces of the female reproductive system. This microenvironment is effective in protecting the body against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Maintaining a healthy microenvironment in the female reproductive system would thus go a long way in solving the problem of sexually transmitted diseases that have been world’s worst nightmare.
It is therefore evidently possible to control and prevent majority of diseases of mankind through maintaining a healthy microenvironment that boosts the body’s immunological functions. To achieve this, we need to feed on unadultered nutrient rich foods, breath oxygen rich air and drink purified water which will help in providing the needed elements and clearing toxins and thus maintain the body’s microenvironment in a state that prevents disease from taking hold.
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