Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why Today’s Medicine Will Never Cure a Chronic Illness?

light microscopy of a paraffin embedded mouse ...

Image via Wikipedia

As I dive deeper into nutritional medicine, I never stop asking why we in main stream medicine are different when the starting points are the same and honest smart people are present in both schools. I think, I finally came to a plausible explanation. I cannot state that this explanation is fully addressed by either schools of medicine. The coming three paragraphs will take you through my new understanding. I beg you to halt passing judgments before finishing the three paragraphs. Once you’re done, pass what every judgment you want. However, please do that after giving yourself few minutes of imagining the picture that I am trying to draw.

Before I start with my first of the three paragraphs this is the wards that started it:

The main error of the biomedical approach (today’s medicine approach) is the confusion between disease process and disease origins. Instead of asking why an illness occurs, and try to remove the conditions that lead to it, medical researchers try to understand the biological mechanisms through which the disease operates, so that they can then interfere with them.

Fritjof Capra (1982)

For example in the case of diabetes, we study in details what happen to diabetics at the macroscopic, microscopic, chemical and physiological levels. Then, we use this knowledge to develop treatment methods to change this disease state. We have been doing this for decades if not more. What happens to patients using these treatments? Diabetes slows down. The general deterioration in a diabetic health slows and complications do not occur or occur at a later age. But, we never cure diabetes.  You can draw another parallel with other chronic diseases as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Now, stop here; imagine of what I just said trying to suspend judgments. When you are ready move to the second paragraph:

In chronic diseases as diabetes and MS there is less number of cells to do a vital function. In the case of diabetes it is the pancreatic beta-cells (beta-cells for short) in MS it is the central nervous system Glial cells. Let say that a healthy individual has 1000 beta-cells, a newly diagnosed diabetic (type II) will have 500 of these cells. And over seven to ten years the number will drop to zero. This is weather being on treatment or not. Beta-cells like almost all living cells are in a dynamic state of regeneration. The 500 cells that we were left with die and new ones will regenerate just like in healthy individual who has 1000 cells. Could the reason that lead for the number of beta-cells to drop to 500 still exist, and unless removed the constant states of cell regeneration will never lead to having 1000 beta-cells?

The final paragraph:

Let assume that the cause of diabetes is not having enough beta cells, and the produced disease state is because of this drop in number of beta-cells. Then, if we ignore the cause of the drop of the number of beta cells from 1000 to 500 (that are in a dynamic state of regeneration) and just focus on the state existing with 500 cells we will never cure diabetes.

I finished drawing the picture. When you are ready, please write your thoughts.

In conclusion, I hope you can see with me that two of the main reasons why today’s medicine can only slow the progression of chronic illnesses and never cure them is the fault of  ignoring the two facts presented:

  • assuming that understanding the disease status will lead to understanding the underlying cause of chronic illnesses
  • de-emphasizing the reality that the human body is in a constant state of regeneration thus the disease process being studied by today's medicine is not merely a single event as those that break down a machine, disease process is being constantly regenerated. My humble proposal for a way out is to address this process of regeneration and improve it. The solution may turn out to be extremely simple as proposed by nutritional medicine and as done by any farmer: to grow healthy cells (and plants) you simply need: 
    • Nutrients (including water and oxygen)
    • Expulsion of waste
    • be in the proper environment

Capra, F., 1982. The turning point: science, society, and the rising culture. A Batman Book/ Simon and Schuster, New York, USA.

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  1. Very nice assessment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I think it is a different thinking Style that is worth thinking of and consideration.
    I hope this will be fruitful in the near future.
    Hafedh AlMahfoudh