If you’re suffering from the symptoms of a chronic disease you may not be sick, you may just be unwell. The whole concept behind alternative medicine is not so much that it is an either/or proposition, but that it is another way of looking at things, especially if you’re suffering from the chronic symptoms of any disorder. In fact, many of the commonly diagnosed chronic diseases may not be diseases at all, but rather, just symptoms of an imbalance or deficiency.
Things like chronic headaches, chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic depression and chronic anxiety may be nothing more than the result of an undiagnosed imbalance or deficiency. Chronic disease may mean nothing more than long-term suffering for no known reason. But what if it were possible to put an end to all of this suffering once and for all?
What if you could finally eliminate the guesswork and frustration associated with chronic symptoms for which you’ve been told are normal for your age, require more time and/or testing or are all in your head. Once you really understand what’s going on inside your body and can identify the imbalances and deficiencies commonly associated with the development of chronic disease you’ll have the information you need to address the cause of your chronic symptoms.
For example, if you’re feeling stressed, you can seek a remedy by responding to a commercial solicitation promising resolution of the symptoms through a pill that suppresses the production of cortisol. You could also choose to stop for a moment and listen to the sounds of hoof beats, which suggest that the stresses producing the excess cortisol need to be identified, minimized, eliminated, managed, or reorganized.
If you are dealing with the symptom of excess weight, you could hop on the merry-go-round of pills and diets designed to produce “incredible results” and produce additional issues for you to deal with at a later date.
You could also stop for a minute to recognize that there are no panaceas, and that everything works. You could then initiate a search for a process that will allow you to identify the behaviors and beliefs that are contributing to relentless symptoms and seek a solution specific to your needs. If you are dealing with the symptoms of a physiological dysfunction causing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, or skin rashes, there’s a pill for that. But there’s also a solution, if you look in the right place.
Looking in the Right Place
Perhaps we are looking for answers in all the wrong places. Perhaps we assume that if something manifests itself as a physical ailment, the cause must be rooted in the physical realm as well. Since there are three realms, statistically there is a one-third possibility of this being true. In fact, in many of the cases I’ve evaluated, an unexpected trauma, nutritional deficiencies or chronic imbalances are at the root of the associated physical problems. But this is the benefit of having some simple guidelines in place to serve assist you in navigating these uncertain waters.
In a symptom complex associated with a physical cause, when you hear hoof beats, you find horses. However, when what appears to be obvious does not respond to the obvious, then the cause typically resides in one of the other two realms. As you may recall, the three realms of human existence include the physical, chemical and emotional (virtual).
If the physical symptoms seem to have no causal basis in the physical realm, then because of the dynamic process of realm interaction, the biochemical realm is explored next. If the treatment directed toward the biochemical realm does not improve the physical symptoms, then the virtual realm must be evaluated next.
If you are dealing with depression, anxiety, insomnia, unhappiness, lack of self-esteem, anger, frustration, lack of fulfillment, or any other intangible symptom of affliction, you could “ask your doctor,” or you could “ask yourself.”
At some point, you must recognize and acknowledge that relief is not necessarily a long-term answer. You must also submit to the fact that life and its experiences are a process. Consequently, it is by your conscious or unconscious participation that circumstances, situations, and symptoms arise.
The Source of Symptoms
Ultimately, you are always nearer to the source of your symptoms than any outside reference because you are the source of our own experiences. As you sift your encounters through the filters of perception, you alone become responsible for the consequences, the results, the responses, and the symptoms.
While superficially this may sound harsh, unrealistic, and impractical, it is also full of promise and hope. As you begin to accept responsibility for your actions, you also assume influence over the reactions. Thus, you begin to move from the domain of physical encounters, through the conduit of biochemical transformation, and on to the virtual realm.
The emptiness, loneliness, and dissatisfaction you feel along your journey through the more tangible realms will be more than compensated for by your arrival in the virtual. After all, the expression of symptoms in the other realms is a mere reflection of our discontent in our virtual realm. In feeling that you have lost contact with your creative origins, you frantically seek to fill the developing void with indulgences. This provides little more than temporary gratification, which proves fleeting at best. These transitory efforts to restore a sense of wholeness fall short of your true aspirations. With each failed attempt to satisfy your desires, you become more vulnerable to the promises of predators seeking to realize their own visions through your quiet desperation.
Disorders Diagnosed as Diseases
Some examples of common disorders that are diagnosed as diseases and managed with medications might include elevated cholesterol, osteoporosis, obesity, depression, acid reflux, and heart disease. Even with these common, widespread disorders, there may be more than meets the eye. But the scenarios for evaluating and treating them are all very similar to those involving the thyroid, which I discussed in a prior article.
Consider the common scourges of society that we’re all reminded of through our exposure to the media, or our own family, friends, and coworkers. We know them by name. We even know the names of most of the common remedies for dealing with them. But is there any real hope available for eliminating them altogether? Your doctor might say, “Well now, just relax. Everything’s going to be all right. Just take this pill and call me in the morning.” Before we depart from the world of statistical and historical observation, there are a couple of more things we need to “ask our doctor.” Let’s start with something simple like cholesterol.
The Cholesterol Story
The latest research now shows some shocking facts about cholesterol. Elevated serum cholesterol is not a cause of heart attacks and strokes, as previously thought. Eating foods high in cholesterol is not a cause of elevated serum cholesterol, and therefore eating high cholesterol foods is not a cause of heart attacks and strokes. In fact, foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats (such as eggs, meat, fish, and poultry) will actually keep serum cholesterol down to normal levels.
This is not to suggest, however, that high serum cholesterol is good. High serum cholesterol indicates the presence of a metabolic imbalance, but the high cholesterol component of that metabolic imbalance has no specific relationship to the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Elevated serum cholesterol is the result of the problem, not the cause of the problem. One of the most fundamental causes of atherosclerosis is not the presence of cholesterol, but the oxidation of cholesterol, which promotes the destruction of blood vessels by creating a chronic inflammatory response. This can lead to a series of events that may eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Fortunately, a comprehensive assessment, proper diet, and supplementation can go a long way toward identifying risk factors and resolving any accumulated damage due to these imbalances.
What this suggests is that the metabolic imbalance causing high serum cholesterol may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. But if it does, it’s not because of the elevated serum cholesterol per se, but because of a related elevation in triglycerides, homocysteine, C-reactive protein and low HDL cholesterol.
Now, the biochemistry gets a little intricate from this point on, so for the sake of brevity and reference, simply note that there are ten clinical indicators of cardiovascular disease risk and twenty-two causative factors of cardiovascular disease, according to the research available at the time of this writing.
I mention this only to suggest that before we begin tampering with the effects of a system out of balance, we might be well advised to consider a broader perspective while educating ourselves as consumers.
Acid Reflux Disease
Another common example of the shell game of misinformation deals with the symptoms of a condition that is promoted as acid reflux disease. It is usually associated with overproduction of stomach acid. Actually, more times than not, it is a symptom created by too little stomach acid, not too much. Here’s how it works. The stomach is basically a pressure organ. It performs its basic functions in response to pressure. Like the adrenals’ indifferent response to the nature of stress, the stomach also does not care about the source of stimulation. It secretes its gastric juices in response to pressure. During a meal, pressure is created from ingested food and juices begin to flow.
Like everything else in the body, these juices must be replenished. They are created from raw materials extracted from the diet. If those raw materials are not present, they cannot be created. So when the next meal is eaten, there aren’t enough juices to go around. The incompletely digested food putrefies, forms an acid and causes a burning sensation.
Thus, in reality, reflux is caused by overeating, lack of raw materials to produce digestive juices, or from a condition called hiatus hernia, which causes abnormal external pressure on the stomach between meals, and is accompanied by the secretion of digestive acids into an empty stomach.
As for the other conditions I mentioned, as well as many more that I didn’t, very similar scenarios exist. Once again, I have selectively organized a group of facts to support an opinion. There are as many, if not more, opinions available that could be constructed in complete opposition to what I have presented here. The point isn’t who’s right and who’s wrong, because both are right and wrong. Remember, we only know what we know, and we don’t know what we don’t know. This fact contributes to how things are seen.