Thursday, 15 May 2008

Re-Naming our Symptoms

Disease names like diabetes and osteoporosis are misleading and misinform patients about disease prevention

by Mike Adams

There is a curious tendency in conventional medicine to name a set of symptoms a disease. I was recently at a compounding pharmacy having my bone mineral density measured to update my health stats. I spotted a poster touting a new drug for osteoporosis. It was written by a drug company and it said exactly this: "Osteoporosis is a disease that causes weak and fragile bones." Then, the poster went on to say that you need a particular drug to counteract this "disease."

Yet the language is all backwards. Osteoporosis isn't a disease that causes weak bones, osteoporosis is the name given to a diagnosis of weak bones. In other words, the weak bones happened first, and then the diagnosis of osteoporosis followed.

The drug poster makes it sound like osteoporosis strikes first, and then you get weak bones. The cause and effect is all backwards. And that's how drug companies want people to think about diseases and symptoms: first you "get" the disease, then you are "diagnosed" just in time to take a new drug for the rest of your life.

But it's all hogwash. There is no such disease as osteoporosis. It's just a made-up name given to a pattern of symptoms that indicate you've let your bones get fragile.

As another example, when a person follows an unhealthy lifestyle that results in a symptom such as high blood pressure, that symptom is actually be assumed to be a disease all by itself and it will be given a disease name. What disease? The disease is, of course, "high blood pressure." Doctors throw this phrase around as if it were an actual disease and not merely descriptive of patient physiology.

This may all seem silly, right? But there's actually a very important point to all this.
When we look at symptoms and give them disease names, we automatically distort the selection of available treatments for such a disease. If the disease is, by itself, high cholesterol, then the cure for the disease must be nothing other than lowering the high cholesterol. And that's how we end up with all these pharmaceuticals treating high cholesterol in order to "prevent" this disease and lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in the human patient.

By lowering only the cholesterol, the doctor can rest assured that he is, in fact, treating this "disease," since the definition of this "disease" is high cholesterol and nothing else.
But there is a fatal flaw in this approach to disease treatment: the symptom is not the cause of the disease. There is another cause, and this deeper cause is routinely ignored by conventional medicine, doctors, drug companies, and even patients.

Let's take a closer look at high blood pressure. What actually causes high blood pressure? Many doctors would say high blood pressure is caused by a specific, measurable interaction between circulating chemicals in the human body. Thus, the ill-behaved chemical compounds are the cause of the high blood pressure, and therefore the solution is to regulate these chemicals. That's exactly what pharmaceuticals do -- they attempt to manipulate the chemicals in the body to adjust the symptoms of high blood pressure. Thus, they only treat the symptoms, not the root cause.

Or take a look at high cholesterol. The conventional medicine approach says that high cholesterol is caused by a chemical imbalance in the liver, which is the organ that produces cholesterol. Thus the treatment for high cholesterol is a prescription drug that inhibits the liver's production of cholesterol (statin drugs). Upon taking these drugs, the high cholesterol (the "disease") is regulated, but what was causing the liver to overproduce cholesterol in the first place? That causative factor remains ignored.

The root cause of high cholesterol, as it turns out, is primarily dietary. A person who eats foods that are high in saturated fats and hydrogenated oils will inevitably produce more bad cholesterol and will show the symptoms of this so-called disease of high cholesterol. It's simple cause and effect. Eat the wrong foods, and you'll produce too much bad cholesterol in the liver which can be detected and diagnosed by conventional medical procedures.

Yet the root cause of all this is actually poor food choice, not some bizarre behavior by the liver. If the disease were to be accurately named, then, it would be called Fatty Food Choice Disease, or simply FFCD.

FFCD would be a far more accurate name that would make sense to people. If it's a fatty foods choice disease, then it seems that the obvious solution to the disease would be to choose foods that aren't so fatty. Of course that may be a bit of simplification since you have to distinguish between healthy fats and unhealthy fats. But at least the name FFCD gives patients a better idea of what's actually going on rather than naming the disease after a symptom, such as high cholesterol. You see, the symptom is not the disease, but conventional medicine insists on calling the symptom the disease because that way it can treat the symptom and claim success without actually addressing the underlying cause, which remains a mystery to modern medicine.

But let's move on to some other diseases so you get a clearer picture of how this actually works. Another disease that's caused by poor food choice is diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the natural physiological and metabolic result of a person consuming refined carbohydrates and added sugars in large quantities without engaging in regular physical exercise that would compensate for such dietary practices.

The name "diabetes" is meaningless to the average person. The disease should be called Excessive Sugar Disease, or ESD. If it were called Excessive Sugar Disease, the solution to it would be rather apparent; simply eat less sugar, drink fewer soft drinks and so on. But of course that would be far too simple for the medical community, so the disease must be given a complex name such as diabetes that puts its solution out of reach of the average patient.

Another disease that is named after its symptom is cancer. In fact, to this day, most doctors and many patients still believe that cancer is a physical thing: a tumor. In reality, a tumor is only a side effect of cancer, not its cause. A tumor is simply a physical manifestation of a cancer pattern that is expressed by the body. When a person "has cancer," what they really have is a sluggish immune system. And that would a far better name for the disease: Sluggish Immune System Disease or SISD.

If cancer were actually called Sluggish Immune System Disease, it would seem ridiculous to try to cure cancer by cutting out tumors through surgery and by destroying the immune system with chemotherapy. And yet these are precisely the most popular treatments for cancer offered by conventional medicine. These treatments do absolutely nothing to support the patient's immune system and prevent further occurrences of cancer. That's exactly why most people who undergo chemotherapy or the removal of tumors through surgical procedures end up with yet more cancer a few months or a few years later. It's also another reason why survival rates of cancer have barely budged over the last twenty years. (In other words, conventional medicine's treatments for cancer simply don't work.)

This whole situation stems from the fact that the disease is misnamed. It isn't cancer, it isn't a tumor and it certainly isn't a disease caused by having too strong of an immune system that needs to be destroyed through chemotherapy. It is simply a sluggish immune system or a suppressed immune system. And if it were called a sluggish immune system disease or a suppressed immune system disorder, the effective treatment for cancer would be apparent.
There are many other diseases that are given misleading names by western medicine. But if you look around the world and take a look at how diseases are named elsewhere, you will find many countries have disease names that actually make sense.

For example, in Chinese medicine, Alzheimer's disease is given a name that means, when translated, "feeble mind disease." In Chinese medicine, the name of the disease more accurately describes the actual cause of the disease, whereas in western medicine, the name of the disease seems to be intended to obscure the root cause of the disease, thereby making all diseases sound far more complex and mysterious than they really are.

This is one way in which doctors and practitioners of western medicine keep medical treatments out of the reach of the average citizen. Because, by God, they sure don't want people thinking for themselves about the causes of disease!

By creating a whole new vocabulary for medical conditions, they can speak their own secret language and make sure that people who aren't schooled in medicine don't understand what they're saying. That's a shame, because the treatments and cures for virtually all chronic diseases are actually quite simple and can be described in plain language, such as making different food choices, getting more natural sunlight, drinking more water, engaging in regular physical exercise, avoiding specific food toxins, supplementing your diet with superfoods and nutritional supplements and so on.

See, western medicine prefers to describe diseases in terms of chemistry. When you're depressed, you aren't suffering from a lack of natural sunlight; you are suffering from a "brain chemistry imbalance" that can only be regulated, they claim, by ingesting toxic chemicals to alter your brain chemistry. When your bones are brittle, it's not brittle bones disease; it's called osteoporosis, something that sounds very technical and complicated. And to treat it, western doctors and physicians will give you prescriptions for expensive drugs that somehow claim to make your bones less brittle. But in fact, the real treatment for this can be described in plain language once again: regular physical exercise, vitamin D supplementation, mineral supplements that include calcium and strontium, natural sunlight, and avoidance of acidic foods such as soft drinks, white flour and added sugars.

In fact, virtually every disease that’s prominent in modern society -- diabetes, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, clinical depression, irritable bowel syndrome and so on -- can be easily described in plain language without using complex terms at all. These diseases are simply misnamed. And I believe that they are intentionally misnamed to put the jargon out of reach of everyday citizens. As a result, there's a great deal of arrogance in the language of western medicine, and this arrogance furthers the language of separation. Separation never results in healing. In order to effect healing, we must bring together the language of healers and patients using plain language that real people understand and that real people can act upon.
We need to start describing diseases in terms of their root causes, not in terms of their arcane, biochemical actions. When someone suffers from seasonal affective disorder or clinical depression, for example, let's call it what it is: Sunlight Deficiency Disorder. To treat it, the person simply needs to get more sunlight. This isn't rocket science, it's not complex, and it doesn't require a prescription.

If someone is suffering from osteoporosis, let's get realistic about the words we use to describe the condition: it's really Brittle Bones Disease. And it should be treated with things that will enhance bone density, such as nutrition, physical exercise and avoidance of foods and drinks that strip away bone mass from the human body.

All of this information, of course, is rather shocking to old-school doctors and practitioners of western medicine, and the bigger their egos are, the more they hate the idea of naming diseases in plain language that patients can actually comprehend. That's because if the simple truths about diseases and the causes of health were readily available to everyday people, that would lessen the importance of physicians and medical researchers.

There's a great deal of ego invested in the medical community, and they sure don't want to make health sound attainable to the average person without their expert advice. It's sort of the same way that some ultra-conservative churches don't want their members talking to God unless it all goes through their priest first. Doctors and priests all want to serve as the translators of "truth" and will balk at any attempts to educate the public to either practice medicine or talk to God on their own.

But in reality, health (and a connection with spirit) is attainable by every single person. Health is easy, it is straightforward, it is direct and, for the most part, it is available free of charge.
Don't believe the names of diseases given to you by your doctor. Those names are designed to obscure, not to inform. They are designed to separate you from self-healing, not to put you in touch with your own inner healer. And thus, they are nothing more than bad medicine masquerading as modern medical practice.


Melody Polakow said...

BRAVO!! I heard on the news the other day that something like 60% of Americans are on prescription meds. That blew my mind.

Alternative Andrea said...

AMEN!!! My sentiments exactly. Now, why are doctors using these long words to convince their patients to take more foreign substances into their bodies to complicate the illness? Or, why not focus on the source rather than treat the symptom? The body should be treated as a whole; rather than treat just one of the dominoes, treat all the dominoes to reduce further damage.

violet said...

don't get me started! add to this heap of lies- innoculations. those shots for people and pets. i refuse to take part in this hype.
fight corporate medicine!

Alex Mac said...

I like the idea of renaming our symptoms to move us closer to our own solutions. I have some good doctor friends who are frustrated with their patients lack of interest in their own health and well-being. They don;t understand why the patient feel spowerles and looks to them to have the magic cure. They don't grasp that the entire system in which they work is designed to professionalise and mystify our bodies and how to look after them.

Quite how to move that power with out people feeling abandoned and putting their health at risk is a whole other question. It's easy to throw suggestions around, but the practialitie of such a change are immense.



becoming whole said...

Miss reading your blog. Where are you?

Rawkin' said...

Hi Melody,
Yeah, it blows my mind, too!! Those tv ads for drugs send me over the edge too. Maybe I need a pill for that. NOT! :)

Rawkin' said...

And AMEN to THAT, alternative andrea!

Rawkin' said...

Oh violet, yeah. Two weeks ago, I scalded my arm with water, resulting in a trip to Emergency. Minor burns, keep it dressed 10 days. Ok, then the doctor asks me when my last tetanus shot was. I made a mild wtf face and said, "Um, I dunno..." And he says, "Well we're gonna give you one, then." I asked him what a tetanus shot had to do with a water burn, and he looked sheepish when he said, "Well to be honest with you, it has nothing to do with your burn. It' just an adult vaccination that we..." And I cut him off and said, "Nope!!"


Rawkin' said...

Hi Alex mac, you bring up some good points. Interesting to hear the Doctor's point of view and it really must be so frustrating. I hear what you're saying about people looking to the magic cure. I know that in my mother's generation folks were taught to just listen to doctors and not ask too many questions. I see that changing now, with alternatives, education, people have more choices, etc.

Ultimately, we're taught to call a Doctor at the first sign of a sniffle, and they are taught to 'fix it'. From what I understand, nutritional healing is not the focus of medical training, but I really feel it's a huge missing link.

The whole mentality of drs as gods, and pills for everything is hugely funded by the media and I find it frightening, personally.

Rawkin' said...

Hi becoming whole, thank you. And sorry. I've let things slip away as other things in my life needed tending. I have returned, and I apologize for dropping out. xo Rawkin'

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