The body is made of spaces encased by membranes allowing each to have particular environments. There are bigger pockets like a muscle or the lining of the small intestine, which are filled with other pockets and them with others and so on down to the smallest pocket still considered to be a unit of life, called a cell. This goes the other way too such that every pocket is within a pocket that ends with the skin wrapping them all together in one.
Tonicity is a topic we are currently studying as part of my Bachelor of Physio degree and simply it can be classed as the difference between the contents inside pocket and the contents of the pocket it sits within. At a cellular level this has a bunch of chemical relevance because we are constantly trying to balance these environments. Less thought about, is how relevant balancing chemicals is between the inside and outside of the body as a whole. This is the entire premise of nutrition and health, and from my perspective is the number one thing marketers are exploiting to sell their products.
Cells like to be in equilibrium with their outside, or the interstitial fluid, they sit in. When I first learnt this it made it sound like the cells contents were always trying to match or be the same as the outside, but chemically this is not the case. Equilibriums can be low or high for certain chemicals so that the cell is stable at a point where there is more of a chemical inside or outside. More often than not this is the case and these specific equilibriums allows cells to perform specific functions. That is saying that its actually important for some cells to have really high amounts chemicals; even fats, salts or cholesterol. It would be very easy, however, to manipulate an explaination of this to make the fact that cells have high concentration of particular substances sound like a very negative thing.
“Fat build up in cells caused by excess fat in diet.”
“Fat from food that is not required for immediate use is stored in adipoctye cells specifcally designed to hold it and is relased as needed.”
The same science and malubility of explainations can be said for the body as a whole with ony one difference; the control of what goes in and out of our bodies is in our own hands not controlled by a balancing system. The number one thing I have learned through studying human sciences is that each person’s body, their pocket, is completely different. Some people are missing two whole muscles for no known reason, your veins are laid out how they please (sort of) and other non-vital things like this can be ultimately opposite between people. More importantly some people have differences which negatively impact their health; allergies to parts of foods, tendency towards nutritional deficits, disease affecting processes, chemical imbalance etc. Which is why is is utterly ridiculous for a company to promote something that will fix you without first knowing you.
I am writing this to highlight the neccessity of a few things, share some personal realisations I’ve made as I learn to be a health professional and promote health professionals as I have decided for myself they are worth listening to.
1. You know your body better than anyone, trust your insticts with it and don’t let emotive advertising affect that.
2. By all means try non-medical nutritional things, fads even, thats what eating well is. But do not expect fads to work because someone said it worked for them and a population of people in Europe.
3. Second to you, and occassionally before you, health professionals have the best ability to understand your specific body. They are trained extensively in all the ways they can be different and ways to help issues going on with each type.
4. If you’re not happy with your health professional go to someone else. Although they’re all qualified, they’re not all passionate about you. Find one that is and you’ll get the treatment you need.
5. ‘Google Define’ the fancy words on packets to see what they really mean alongside the place you’ve found them. Use a medical dictionary if you can, but if they don’t make sense someone somehwere has probably summariesed it simply.
6. You need to accept that your body is different from everyone elses and that it does not define who you are. It also does not define who someone else is – this becomes very relevant as you begin dealing with great people in terrible physical states. Healthy people aren’t better people; mental illness, disease, age and disability included.
Disclaimer: Sorry for no references, it’s a merge of learning from the last 4 years. But hey, as I have said throughout this article don’t base your life on emotive things you’ve read on the internet. Test it yourself or check with someone who’s qualified to know.
Fun fact: Carbohydrates or ‘sugars’ include glucose, fructose, galactose and a bunch of complexes of these.
Glucose in chains is a primary ingredient of potatoes and is called starch. Fructose is in fruit, lactose is in milk etc etc; i.e. it is very hard to cut out ‘sugar’ from your diet and really doesn’t make sense. Also your brain relies on it. Check what you’re aiming to achieve and ask a nutritionist how to achieve it. #checkthefactsbeforeyoufad