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Posts tagged ‘It’s Not NIce To Fool Mother Nature’

Its Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature–Part 3 Acute versus Chronic Illness

Somehow, a fear has developed about Acute Illness.  I’m sure that it was borne out of history, when people used to die more frequently from acute illnesses—fortunately, good hygiene and sanitation has made this less likely. The settlers brought over small pox to America and killed the natives.  In turn, the Natives gave the European settlers syphilis.  What a trade.  An acute illness (small pox) for an acute illness which turns chronic (syphilis).  We’ve been trading acute illnesses for chronic ones ever since.

First it is important to explain the difference between Acute illness and Chronic illness.  An acute illness is something like a cold or an ear infection.  A chronic illness might be arthritis or heart disease.

Acute illness, is by definition, self-limiting.  You either get over it (fortunately, most of the time) or you die (rarely).  Chronic illness goes on and on and on.  Acute illness has a short prodrome phase.  This is the time period where you are ramping up to get sick.  We’ve all been there, where we feel we are coming down with something.  You might even get sick suddenly, which is a very short prodrome phase.  Chronic illness, on the other hand, has a long prodrome phase.  Anyone who has gotten heart disease didn’t get it over night.  Most of the time the prodrome phase in chronic illness is not easy to identify, if at all.

Another interesting distinction between and acute and chronic illnesses is that an acute illness actually strengthens your vitality.  A chronic illness only continues to make your body worse.  Have you ever really felt good after having been sick?  I have.  I recently had a homeopathy client report a similar experience to me.  Perhaps acute illnesses are a way for our body to rid itself of chronic dis-ease.

A chronic illness will take a break when an acute illness appears.  When my son was younger, he developed a bad cough.  His constant stomach aches, which we later figured out were caused by a gluten intolerance, went away for two weeks without a change in diet and returned when the cough disappeared completely.  Some people who are seriously chronically ill cannot even produce an acute illness.

Over the years observant parents have noticed that when their child produces a relatively high fever, the episode is frequently followed by a growth spurt.  Because no one has ever explained WHY this happens, it is largely ignored.  Perhaps it is necessary to grow.

And how often do we fool mother nature by suppressing the fever?  If you call a nurse line when your child is sick with a fever, you will always be told to give Tylenol.  Fevers are good.  Why would you suppress them except for a seizure?  Your body generally produces the fever it needs to get over the bug that is present.  If you are uncomfortable with the fever, try homeopathy instead.  It doesn’t suppress a fever, but will make you comfortable.  I was given a book for a baby shower.  It was a western medicine book which was divided by disease name and then told under what conditions you should call the doctor immediately, within 24 hours, or not at all.  It was a really helpful book for a new mother.  It did say not to give your child fever suppressants (and not just aspirin) for certain illnesses because it actually resulted in a longer time for the disease to go away.

Since nature has given us acute illnesses, there is a reason that we get them.  For children, it is pretty clear that they need to exercise their immune system.  Studies have been done which reveal that when parents keep the house too clean, kids don’t develop a strong enough immune system to fight off the bad boys when they come around.  In fact, some believe that it is a source of autoimmune disorders, asthma, and allergies, because the body doesn’t know what needs to be fought off and what doesn’t.  So the body over reacts—which is what all of those diseases are about:  over reaction.  My house is not a shrine to cleanliness by any stretch, and BONUS, I grew up on a farm, so by all accounts, I’m good to go. Here’s a funny take on the whole issue of the exposure to germs:  In fact, a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000 showed that children exposed to a whole variety of germs and infections were less likely to develop asthma and wheezing by the time they are six years old.

But what if children are introduced to the germs via a vaccination?  Well, vaccinations are one way to fool mother nature, so you end up with the same result; that is, children who are vaccinated are more likely to have allergies and asthma than those children who are not vaccinated.  (See an earlier blog for more discussion: .)  So clearly, it is a fine line that we need to tread to make our lives healthy, but not be too miserable in the process of getting healthy.  We don’t want to trade an acute illness for a chronic illness, but we don’t want to be acutely ill so badly that we cannot recover from it.

Our unwillingness to embrace the value of an acute illness is a contributor to the rising cost of health care in this country. People take their children or themselves to doctors when they have acute symptoms that our bodies are perfectly capable of managing without outside intervention.  Our demand for results NOW ends up costing us in the end with more chronic illness because we cannot bear to miss a moment being sick, when perhaps we need to just slow down for a couple days.  Instead, doctors cave to requests for antibiotics when the cough is viral.

No one likes to be sick (I suppose that really isn’t true), but sometimes it is necessary.  There are ways to become sick less often and for shorter periods of time.  More on that later.

It’s Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature–Part 2

If you haven’t read my previous posting on Fooling Mother Nature, please click here.

Suppressing symptoms becomes a game of Whack A Mole

Tinkering with the food chain is but one way that man tries to fool mother nature.  Medicine is another.

Let me begin by saying that I think there are definitely times where western medicine and pharmaceuticals are necessary.  However, there seems to be an attitude in the philosophy (if one can call it that) of western medicine that we have a shortage of antibiotics or antidepressants or Lipitor in our bodies.  The problem with this view point, in addition to it being a fallacy, is that it fails to get to the root of the problem.

I remember first hearing about the idea of a “Chemical Imbalance” in the brain used as an explanation for a particular health issue experienced by a friend.  The very first thought I had was, “Well, why is there a chemical imbalance?”  That question, of course, has never been answered to my satisfaction by Western Medicine.  The history of that explanation is that in the 1950’s antidepressants were accidentally discovered when a drug designed to help Tuberculosis made the patients unusually happy.  Other unintended discoveries made researchers conclude that if one could improve with chemicals that there must be a chemical imbalance.

If it were true that adding chemicals to improve someone’s mood meant that there was a chemical imbalance, then one could say that if drinking alcohol made someone jolly, there must be deficiency of alcohol (or other chemical easily replaced with alcohol) present in that person.  Although there could be a grain of truth to the idea, it is a gross oversimplification.  And it still doesn’t answer the question of Why?

What does it mean to get to the root of the problem?  One thing I know for sure is that it does not mean balancing the chemicals out with other chemicals.  Imagine, if you will, a pole with vines growing on the pole.  If you don’t want the vines on the pole, the logical thing would be to cut the vines down.  Of course, they would keep coming back.  You could cut the vines down together with the pole.  That would be a little like doing surgery to remove a body part—say a hysterectomy for excessive bleeding.  But the vines would just grow on the ground with a vengeance, perhaps doubling in number because the stems were cut.  That is like getting a stronger new disease when the old expression of the dis-ease has been removed.  So rather than excessive bleeding, perhaps you develop fibromyalgia over time.  To rid the problems of the vines growing, you need to dig them out by the roots.

To do anything but solving the source of the problem is like playing a game of Whack A Mole.

It is well known that Western Medicine suppresses symptoms.  Physicians will agree with that.  What is not agreed on is whether this is a problem.  Eczema is one of the expressions of dis-ease that is commonly suppressed, frequently with cortisone cream.  And if you trick the skin into not expressing that dis-ease, the body will express it elsewhere, usually in the lungs.  Chinese Medicine doctors have known about the relationship between the skin and the lungs for thousands of years.

I once had a client who sought help with her asthma.  A good remedy for her presented itself clearly.  She took the remedy.  Mid way between appointments, she called me to report that she now had a ring of warts on her finger.  She had had them frozen or burned off (I can’t recall which form of suppression worked for her) many times and they had finally stayed away.  They had returned quickly upon taking the remedy.  Her asthma was gone.  One stronger dose of the same remedy a few months later removed the warts as well, this time without any asthma and no Whack A Mole.

There are many studies which confirm that tricking the body has consequences.  As long ago as 2000, there were already 6 studies confirming the increased incidences of allergies and asthma in children that had been received the DTP and Tetanus vaccines versus those who had not.  In fact, they were 50% more likely to develop this dis-ease.  Conversely, The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports that when a parent chooses good nutrition, such as giving their child nutrient dense food like raw milk to prevent acute illnesses studies show a DECREASED incidence of asthma and allergies.

Many people will argue that antibiotics are not suppressing illness because they actually kill the cause of the disease—the germ.  It is getting to the root of the problem, they claim.  Alas, it isn’t true.  Germs, like Real Estate, rely on location, location, location.  Many pathogenic bacteria are found in perfectly healthy people.  You have to be dis-eased before you can become diseased.  Even Louis Pasteur recanted his research on germs.  On his death bed he is reported to have said, “Bernard was right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything.”  This is why frequently children with ear infections and adults with sinus infections end up on a cycle of antibiotics from which it is hard to extract oneself. (Check out the Wellness Directory of Minnesota.  The Antibiotics do nothing to change the terrain.  Too many antibiotics and the game of Whack a Mole is on once again, presenting itself as yeast infections and digestive disorders and recurring infections. 

Changing the terrain?  That is a subject for a future blog…

Its Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature

In listening to all the latest on GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) foods, I was reminded of a television commercial that I found pretty humorous when I was young.  It was an advertisement about Mother Nature who was fooled into believing that the food like substance known as margarine was actually butter.  She was not pleased and immediately created a natural disaster of some sort.

That commercial for Chiffon Margarine  reminds me of the current situation in our country of health care and our increasingly unrecognizable food supply.

Mad Cow Disease was a big scare a few years ago.  The source of it was traced to feeding animals foods that they were not naturally designed to eat.  Animal byproducts were fed to sheep and cattle, which are, by nature, vegetarians.  Why would anyone want to mess with the food chain? In hopes that the animals would gain weight more quickly.  What developed was a prion disease which was able to be passed onto humans.  This is a pretty isolated example of a natural disaster with which Mother Nature rewarded us.

Similarly, cows are not meant to eat corn.  That’s right, they have a stomach designed to eat grass and hay. Ancestors of modern cattle were first domesticated 8000 – 6000 BC, so there is a lot of history to work through.  Beef cattle that eat grass produce meat that is higher in Omega 3 fatty acids.  Dairy cattle that eat grass produce milk that is safe to be consumed by humans in the form Mother Nature intended, i.e., unpasteurized.  The milk from cows that are allowed to graze in the meadow contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which prevents cancer.  Perhaps that is why there is such an increase in cancer…the dairy we are consuming is from cows feeding in Confined Areas and the cows are fed corn (probably GMO corn—see below for more on that). In the early 1800’s the alcohol distilleries became big business.  The distilleries had a lot of waste that they had to dispose of, so they created dairies and fed it to the cows.  As a result, they produced milk which was bluish in color not fit for human or cattle consumption and in which the e-coli flourished. Grass fed cattle produce Lacto Ferrin, which naturally kills the bad bacteria in milk.  After all, Mother Nature wanted cows to survive as a species and built this protective mechanism into milk.  Cows were meant to graze happily in the meadow on grass, chewing their cud, not stand around knee deep in mud and feces, confined to a small area with 100’s of other cattle.

I remember when my father told me about Round Up Ready Soy Beans.  I also remember a few years later his telling me that Japan wouldn’t buy any Round Up Ready Soy Beans. GMO foods, sometimes called Frankenfoods, are human’s way of really messing with Mother Nature.  It is important to distinguish between GMO foods and hybrids.  Hybridization involves selectively cross breeding over time to increase what are perceived as positive traits in a particular plant or animal and decrease negative traits. So perhaps a tomato variety evolved which appeared to have a resistance to a particular pest or disease, but it wasn’t a particularly tasty tomato.  Plant scientists could use the genetic materials from two or more different varieties of tomatoes to create a “better” tomato. This dates back to the time of Gregor Mendal who recognized dominate and recessive genes (in a primitive sort of way) in peas to selectively breed for certain traits.  For nearly a century this was done by grafting on branches from different plants.

GMO foods on the other hand, splice genes from different genus and species of the particular kingdom to create, again, what is perceived to be a more desirable plant or animal. Let’s say you are hoping to develop a tomato with a longer shelf life.  GMO might take a piece of genetic code from perhaps a Brazil Nut and splice it into the tomato which might create a longer shelf life.  The problem with this, of course, is if you are allergic to Brazil Nuts, you could die from eating that tomato.  Thus the demand from consumer groups to label GMO foods.

Both Hybridization and GMO are fooling mother nature.  Hybridization, however, may cause only a small thunderstorm compared to the Tsunami that is GMO foods.  Plants actually do hybridize on their own via cross pollination, so it is perhaps only speeding up what mother nature might be able to do on her own.

GMO foods, are another story completely.  Studies on Monsanto GMO corn show that it leads to organ failure, including the liver and kidneys.  Of course, Monsanto came up with some legal mumbo jumbo about faulty analysis, etc.  But if the rats got sick from eating their corn, the rats got sick, right?  The even bigger problem with GMO foods is the cross breeding that occurs naturally with other non-GMO foods.  Remember, Mother Nature will cross pollinate on her own.  It makes it nearly impossible to have Organic Food if GMOs are allowed to proliferate. That sounds like a natural disaster just waiting to be put into place by Mother Nature.

As an aside, I sometimes wonder if Roundup Ready Soy Beans and other grains invented to be resistant to Round Up (also a Monsanto product—how convenient) were crossed with wild Buckthorn.  That is most certainly naturally resistant to Roundup.

Many believe that the reason there are so many people with allergies to corn and intolerances to gluten is due to the GMO crops.  Counties and States all through the United States are hoping to tame the wrath of Mother Nature by banning GMO crops all together.  In July of 2011, the Hungarian Government ordered GMO corn crops plowed under so the seeds weren’t allowed to pollinate. Farmers planted them unknowingly, but they were ordered destroyed to protect the future food supply.

Knowing the results of messing with the food chain in animals and trying to control the world’s food supply with GMO food, next time I will turn to medicine and question whether we can get by with fooling Mother Nature there either.  There is always a price to pay when tinkering with the grand design of things.  Can we really get by with it?

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