Origins- The Primer
The following is an Email I sent to someone who wrote to me asking me for some advice about their career choice and curriculum. They had decided to become a nurse practitioner, were very interested in epilepsy, and wanted some guidance as to what electives to take in order to get the best grasp of the subject matter.
My response turned into something more detailed than I had initially planned but once I began, I could see it morphing into a piece that I could place on this section of my Website to serve as a primer for the more in depth article I have envisioned here.
I hope this makes sense and stimulates the reader to do some independent thinking and research. A paradigm shift in our medical thinking is now in full swing and everyone needs to become a part of it, for their own health and that of their family and pets. It’s time.
The Origin of Disease- A Primer
It has been a while since I wrote you, but I would like your opinion again. I may have mentioned that I had applied to Graduate School to become a Nurse Practitioner (I hope I am not making a mistake in that I hope I will not find myself diminished and unfulfilled). I was admitted and have moved to that area to start in January. What I want to ask you is this. I can select electives to add to my NP program, and I would like to take those that will help me care more thoroughly/comprehensively for patients with chronic illness particularly epilepsy. I am passsionate about quality of care as well as quality of life in epilepsy. Not interested in Diabetes from the acute care standpoint. One of those electives is immunology. What areas would round out my knowledge base to make it more complete re epilepsy etc? What would be a welcome/helpful addition to add? Also am concerned if Epileptologists will accept me into their territory. Looking forward to hearing from you.
It’s good to hear from you again. And I am excited about your chosen field of interest. NPs can make a big difference. I know one who made great strides in the study of Morgellon’s Disease.
As I tell doctors in my lectures, I would learn all that I can about food intolerance (with celiac disease being the perfect model at this time), lectins, viruses, pollutants (both outdoor and indoor), and phytonutrition. Once we grasp the importance and pathomechanisms behind these things, we have a very good grasp of how our bodies become ill. And a thorough understanding of immunology…real immunology and not “the body attacks itself for some unknown reason” version…is critical to getting this right and completed.
As crazy at it sounds to some, I am in the process of writing a summary-style paper called The Origin of Disease in Man and Animals. It is so simple that its stupefying. We can make it as complicated as we want by filling in all of the minute details BUT it can be boiled down to something that everyone can understand.
Basically, we are born healthy unless the prenatal effects of these things have affected the unborn individual, which they commonly do. We have DNA that contains everything good about how we will develop AND many things that are potentially bad…what we call “genetic diseases”. It is crucial to our understanding that we know and grasp the latest fact that up to 45% of our amino acid (gene) sequences in our double-stranded DNA are viral sequences…viral information inserted into those helixes over time and passed down through the generations.
It is also critical that we understand the principle function of the virus in nature- to facilitate adaptation and to create variation in nature. What many call “evolution” is simple the changes taking place that result from the action of these viruses. And in most these cases, the viruses are simply reacting to the changes in their environment, which is what a virus does. (It is just important for “evolutionists” to see that these changes do not create new species nor do they explain the origin of nature. When they find a “million year old bat”, it is still a bat, not a lizard-bat. That kind of thing greatly supports my platform as a creationist.)
So, when did disease begin? It began when man started doing things to his body and environment that were unnatural and harmful. That is what Christians refer to as “the fall of man”. Through these eyes, it is easy for me to imagine that the world was perfect at one time. It is also easy to see why it all started breaking down once man “sinned”, which was basically disobedience.
If we did what we were told, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today. This principle is still in place, isn’t it? I am a living example. As a result of my eating the way my body requires, I have reversed the downhill course on which I was headed. It was nothing short of miraculous. The only thing holding me back is the air quality and other environmental issues that surround me…and a few episodes of cheating on my diet. Hey, I am human. :)
We start our healthy and we become ill, some much sooner than others and some much more seriously ill than others. Again, some start out poorly due to the prenatal effects of food intolerance (well-established in celiac circles), toxins, drugs, etc. Then the effects of bottle feeding or even breast feeding begin when the infant is horribly intolerant of the proteins in either or both. The negative changes then speed up when solid food is introduced, especially when its the kid’s meal at their favorite fast food place. The downhill spiral in the worst of the worst is already speeding up and tightening as these food proteins (lectins) hammer away at their intestine, reducing nutrient absorption, and then enter their system and start inducing inflammation is numerous and varied tissues/organs.
The GI tract gives us early warning with colic, spitting up, persistent diarrhea, etc. but we write this off to normal development or transitional changes from liquids to solids. The pancreas seems unusually sensitive to lectin challenge and type-1 diabetes develops. The bone marrow is also very susceptible and leukemias and other bone marrow dyscrasias occur. The brain takes a beating and autism or epilepsy develop. And so on and so on.
But what it “causing” these disease states? Why do they take a variable amount of time to develop? Why don’t all individuals develop all of these things? If something is “genetic”, why does it take so long for these things to develop? How can those “with the gene” not develop the condition? These are all great questions, many of which have very logical answers though the eyes of the lectin/toxin/malnutrition-viral model.
In a nutshell, much of what we call “disease” is an adaptation on the part of our body facilitated by the viruses we contain. When we insult this body, it reacts just like poking an ant bed with a stick. And if we stop poking it, it will call back down and restore order. But, if we keep poking it, it will continue to react and someone is getting “stung”.
Many of the things we label as disorders are simply symptoms. Acid reflux and IBS are symptoms, not diseases. Those are easy to see. But I believe celiac disease and other food intolerances are the same. The villous atrophy of the duodenum that is induced by these foods was meant to be temporary and serve as a short-term adaptation to limit the absorption of other things in the offending foods. After all, the “big 4”..gluten, dairy, soy and corn…have many things wrong with them. It is the long-term change in the gut that causes all of the serious medical issues and these occur as a result of us not listening to the warning signs. It is that simple in most cases. So, who is to blame here? We weren’t “obedient” to the rules set forth by our body (and the Creator or that body).
Once we ignore the warning signs, we are subject to all sorts of plagues and tribulations. As long as we have a competent immune system, a war is waged against the invaders of the body (lectins, toxins, phytoestrogens, microorganisms) and this often causes chronic and severe inflammation. When the immune system is valiantly fighting against things “unseen” (lectins, viruses and intracellular bacteria), we call the process an “autoimmune” disease. Wrong! I contend that the immune system never makes that kind of mistake. There is a question of “mimicry”, in which the immune system gets fooled by the similarity between good (self) and bad(exogenous) proteins but I even question that error by our immune system. I think it is smarter than that and that there are better explanations for this phenomenon.
The really bad things occur when the immune system finally crashes. Up to this point, the immune system has been our armor and our governor. It has defended this fortress and determine to what extent the battle will be waged and on what fronts. There are cofactors, of course, such as the production of serotonin and other immune moderators that also fail in the face of the concurrent malabsorption process taking place in the gut. That long-term villous atrophy…that was meant to be temporary…is now responsible for the decline in calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, C, zinc, boron, magnesium, lithium, and a myriad of other essential minerals. This leads to the decline in health of all tissues, the inefficiency of enzyme systems, and the incompetence of bodily functions, including that of the immune system.
In other words, the walls of the fortress are coming down and the soldiers are getting slaughtered. The crazy thing is that we let the “enemy” in, just like the corrupt leaders of the Jewish hierarchy allowed the Romans into Jerusalem in 70 A.D. which led to the destruction of that nearly impregnable fortress of a city and the decimation of the last temple. Sad but true. We consume the foods/toxins that we produce and then we wonder what happened.
In other words, we bring this upon ourselves. The interesting thing is that it is not even the viruses fault. They were simply doing their job in the initial phases, trying to allow us to adapt to the mistakes we had made. Those changes (e.g. villous atrophy, IBS, bronchial constriction, etc.) were meant to be temporary and helpful. But, the ignorance (all uses of the word) on our part led to the continuation of these insults and the stepping up of the response by the body and the adaptive viruses it contains.
The important thing to see here is that these viruses WILL survive. That is what they were created to do…to adapt in order to survive. Our relationship with them was meant to be one of mutual benefit…a symbiotic relationship not the “parasitic” or even saprophytic one that I and many others had in mind. I used to refer to them as “opportunists”, as if God had created them to punish us when we did enough wrong to this body with which He had so graciously provided us. That is what ultimately what occurs…we reap what we sow…but there is no malice involved here. It is a prime example of God’s perfection in His Creation in that He allowed for illness but made it our choice.
The viruses that cause cancer weren’t created to cause cancer. They were made to facilitate our adaptation (and variation). We force them into manufacturing tumors. The thing to see is that viruses will survive. They don’t have a mind (that we know of) that makes them good or bad. They were made with an express purpose…survival. And we benefit from their charge to survive as they help us to survive by being in us. But, if all else fails (e.g. our immune system…our governor) and we keep throwing garbage at these guys, they will survive and do so by employing their ultimate survival tool…the formation of tumors, which I now look at as protective cocoons. Yes, a tumor is their way of facilitating their survival and that of the cell that they were charged to protect. Most “cocoons” are benign but the “most important” viruses form malignancies that are bent on surviving to the degree of relocation, especially when we mess with them.
And we do this by throwing what we, ourselves, call carcinogens at them. Yes, we even have a name for the things that we do to ourselves that cause these viruses to create cancers. And we have article after article and Website after Website telling us how to avoid these things and how to stay healthy. And yet, cancer continues to rise. Why? Because we are “disobedient”. We just can’t seem to find the power or motivation within us to eat right, exercise, get enough rest, and give up those things that we know are doing us harm. In our defense, the past has been filled with much ignorance and misinformation about what is truly harmful to us. But “common sense” should prevail…and it has. But now. we really don’t have to rely on common sense because we have proven that these things (food lectins, toxins, estrogens, drugs, tobacco, various pharmaceuticals, etc) are harmful. Are we changing things yet? Have we seen the pretzel logic in using carcinogens to treat cancer???
The cool thing is that we are seeing these things. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift of Biblical proportion. The relatively recent rise in celiac awareness is absolutely huge. This will lead us to the truth about dairy, soy and corn intolerance and move us into a new age with the proper nutritional focus.
So once again, if I was entering medicine right now, I would learn all that I could about the ins and outs of celiac disease, grasping as many of the fine details of what this condition has its hands in, and compliment that study with immunology, toxicology, and virology. (The newest area of study is the potential pathogenicity of plant viruses in human health. The viruses in plants are also adapting to environmental insults and there is mounting evidence that they are beginning to affect other species.) The other area on which to focus is phytonutrition. Thankfully, there are entities in fruits, veggies, etc. that go to war for us during this process. they are like the “elves” (angels) fighting alongside man in Tolkien’s novels. We are doing so much wrong that it is impossible to survive without them.
I know this got very long and that you were expecting something like a paragraph or two. But I have been meaning to write this piece for a long time and your question was the catalyst. Sorry. :):):)
Your in a prime position to make some great contributions to this world and that of medicine. Epilepsy is a glaring example of this process and cancer is a great parallel. With a little “common sense”, we should be able to make drastic improvements in the response of these and other immune-mediated (“autoimmune”) conditions. We just gotta stop doin’ what we’re doin’. How hard is that? :)
I do hope this helps.
John B. Symes, D.V.M. (aka “Dogtor J”)