By Luc Chaltin, ND DIHom
Health is a major concern in our society today. As a society, it seems the more money we spend on health care, the worse the situation becomes. There are many reasons for this, but the bottom line is that we have tried to force things against the rules of nature. Contemporary mainstream medicine is out of sync with nature altogether.
When you become sick and consult with an allopathic physician, she will prescribe a synthetic drug whether your illness is acute or chronic. She does not tell you what to do to avoid your illness or prevent it altogether (although this is changing with some allopathic physicians beginning to address lifestyle changes). Because a prescription drug is a toxic substance, it will prey on your vitality and make you more susceptible to future illness. If you suffer from chronic disease, the drug will worsen your condition with time.
If you choose to go to an alternative practitioner, you are far better off. She will offer ways to help you prevent the illness. She will prescribe a remedy that is not toxic, such as homeopathy or herbs, or treat you with non-invasive procedures such as chiropractic manipulations so that the toxic load is not increased, but on the contrary, reduced. An alternative practitioner will also prescribe supplements. In fact, if the alternative practitioner does her job right, she will tell patients to change their lifestyles, especially their diets, and to take supplements every day in order to assure a well-functioning metabolism by avoiding deficiencies in the body.
The traditional health food store plays a crucial role in the healing process of alternative-minded people because nowhere else are these people able to get the products they need to change their lifestyles and prevent disease, and nowhere else will they find the help and information that they need. In order to understand how natural products play a role in the major diseases of our time, we need to understand what happened in the field of medicine during the last 150 years.
For much of the 1800’s, there was complete ignorance about the cause of disease. To fight the scourges of that time, especially syphilis, heavy poisons such as arsenic and mercury were given to patients in often lethal doses. Another scare of those days were the infectious fevers, such as typhus, that were treated by blood-letting and leaches. At that time, only homeopathy was successful in treating these fevers swiftly and adequately.
Herbs were also used but doctors did not think their role was important enough to merit serious consideration. The role of nutrition, especially of vitamins and trace minerals was unknown. Biology and organic chemistry were in their primitive beginnings. The functions of many organs were unknown. How metabolism functioned was a complete mystery.
Then, around the middle of the 19th century, the role of pathological microorganisms as the origin of acute disease, such as fevers, was discovered first by Antoine Béchamp, and then by Louis Pasteur. Suddenly there was an enemy to fight and a goal to attain: Kill the bacteria to stop the disease. Very little was known about the role of the immune system in the body and the multiple tools that life created to fight these bacteria successfully. The extinction of the pathological bacteria was considered the only way to fight diseases successfully. Béchamp had proven that the role of the environment was the big factor in the development of bacteria, but Pasteur, who reportedly plagiarized Béchamp’s findings, ignored this evidence and established that bacteria were the cause of all disease regardless of the environment.
It was as if the bacteria were able to enter the body of any living creature, including humans, at their will and whim, and that the body was the passive victim of these powerful bacteria. Later, during the 20th century, the viruses joined the bacteria, and today, we even have the virulent proteins of the Mad Cow Disease that seem to have the same power over life. When immunologists discovered – mainly in the 20th century – the multiple, powerful defenses that the body has built against disease, the mentality of the fight against disease did not change.
Ever more powerful drugs were used, and in the early 1940’s, antibiotics joined the army of poisons that were available against bacteria. Nobody seemed to be bothered by the fact that sickness was only possible in humans and animals that were different from their healthy counterparts, in terms of a faltering immune system.
In the beginning, it was difficult to see that a lack of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and trace minerals, could have something to do with the fight of the immune system against disease. But when the evidence of the importance of these micronutrients became stronger, the supporters of this new preventive approach were attacked by the established medical authorities, not to mention the major drug companies who had an enormous amount to lose if the old paradigm was defeated.
In the last hundred years or so, there has been a tremendous rise in the spread of chronic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arteriosclerosis, and more recently many “new” diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In the beginning, they were dismissed as accidental and caused by the effects of old age (late 1900’s). But when young people started suffering and even dying from some of these diseases, the evidence became undeniable that something else other than an attack by microbes was the cause of chronic disease.
Today, we finally see that the American Medical Association (AMA) endorses the limited use of supplements to sustain the immune system in the fight against aging and chronic disease. We see universities and even the National Institutes of Health (NIH) organizing seminars and informational meetings for doctors and the public in order to spread the knowledge that the fight against aging and chronic disease is possible by every open-minded individual who is willing to take care of their health. This is a victory for alternative medicine and especially for all those who have promoted healthy living, including those businessmen and women who acted on the early evidence and started selling healthy food and supportive supplements in their stores.
A chronic disease is a metabolic disease and is caused by deficiencies in metabolic function.
It is impossible to have a strong immune system without properly functioning metabolism that supports the immune system. A cell of the immune system produces more than a thousand antibodies every minute when attacked by a pathological agent. The immune system has a very high and strong metabolic rate and needs many vitamins and minerals to function at such rate in order to successfully defend the body against these infectious agents.
The same is even more evident in the fight against chronic disease, which appears only in a body that is deficient. In other words, chronic disease appears when metabolism lacks essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and trace minerals and becomes dysfunctional. The result of this deficiency is that cells do not function properly. Imagine what happens if the cells of our hormonal glands are lacking nutrients. The result will be that the production of hormones will be insufficient and with devastating results. For instance, if the thyroid gland does not function properly, a low metabolic rate and allergies are the consequence. If the adrenals do not function well, we become fatigued. In women, the malfunctioning of the ovaries causes problems with menstruation and menopause. In children, a lack of sufficient hormonal function slows or halts their development and causes illness.
But the biggest threat comes from the diminished capacity or impossibility to eliminate toxins when deficiency is present in the body. The liver, which is the major detoxifying organ, will suffer seriously from a deficiency in nutrients, especially vitamin C. The result will be an accumulation of toxins in the bodily fluids, such as the lymph and blood, as well as tissues such as the connective tissues (especially the reticuloendothelial layers, located just under the skin). If this situation goes on for some time, the tissues accumulate water. The person gains more and more weight, and seems unable to lose it. It is possible to verify the start of the accumulation of toxins in the connective tissue by observing the so-called “orange peel” as in the case of cellulite formation in the thighs.
For chronic disease and all the situations and suffering they cause, no drug will ever cure the problems. The patient can take aspirin for the pain that is caused, but the aspirin will not be able to cure the disease. People are given thyroid hormones for their fatigue and diuretics to eliminate the retained water but the cause of the problem remains and the situation only worsens with time. Because these drugs are in fact poisons to the body, they will add to the toxic load, especially in the liver. This is the reason that taking drugs results in a worsening of the disease state over time.
In order to cure chronic disease, the tissues and organs must be rebuilt and vitalized by giving the body the right food and a sufficient supply of vitamins, minerals and trace minerals to eliminate the deficiency. This does not require drugs, as allopathic physicians somehow believe. But it does demand that the patient (your clients) shop at a health food store, where she may buy healthy food and quality nutritional supplements.
In my opinion, it is dangerous for a chronically ill person to go to an allopathic physician. Even if they choose to consult an alternative health practitioner, they nevertheless need to visit a health food store to buy the food and the supplements they need. The poor quality of typical American food is such that it will make the chronically ill person’s condition worse with time. In fact, their chronic disease is caused in the first place because they were fed this kind of food as children and maintain similar diets as adults. Then, when they became sick and visit an allopathic doctor, they are given toxic drugs that make their problems worse. A vicious cycle, at best.
These people must understand that dramatic changes in lifestyle are required. They also need to be educated about what can be done and how to go about changing their lifestyle. The only place where they can find what they need is in health food stores or with practitioners who focus on natural medicine. You will see more and more chronically ill people going to health food stores in the years to come because they need the products found in a health food store more than they need what a doctor has to offer. Health food stores and holistic health practitioner organizations must work together to educate these people.
A chronically ill person cannot be cured by a health practitioner alone. It is the change in lifestyle, combined with the guidelines and remedies of a skilled practitioner, that is going to do the job. This will ask for a continuing daily effort by individuals to reach the goal of becoming healthy again.
If such a person comes to you for help, the first thing to do is to stop the introduction and accumulation of toxins into the body. This means switching to organically grown food. Chronic diseases are caused for the most part by the residues of chemical farming (i.e. herbicides, pesticides) and the body’s inability to metabolize and eliminate them.
Next, we try to help the liver’s metabolism by recommending the proper supplements such as high doses of vitamin C as well as trace minerals. To help the liver directly, herbs such as dandelion and homeopathic remedies such as Bryonia and Nux vomica (in low potencies) are recommended.
It is necessary for the person to exercise regularly and as intense as the body will allow. This will contribute enormously to the restoration of the cells and organs. The treatment of chronic disease must address the complete spectrum of symptoms all at once to be successful. This includes lifestyle changes, detoxification, supplements, and exercise.
To treat chronic disease with homeopathy, it is necessary to first implement the general rules of lifestyle change (especially diet), the use of detoxification, and the use of supplements as explained above.
The Role of Diet
The diet should be low in protein intake, at about 30 to 45 grams a day. Too much protein is the cause of diseases such as arteriosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also causes constipation in the long run. All kinds of pain can be caused by high protein diets including fibromyalgia, rheumatism, gout, and headaches. It can cause serious digestive problems, as well. Most people improve with a vegetarian diet. But they should be careful not to eat tofu on a regular basis. Some people, generally the very lean, can only do well on a vegetarian diet if they eat some meat once in a while.
The problem with too much protein is very serious. As said before, a high protein diet causes arteriosclerosis. The cause of this disease is not the cholesterol, which is used by the body to repair arteries damaged by arteriosclerosis. The main cause is a high protein diet. When there is more protein in the diet than the body needs, the surplus is transformed into carbohydrates.
In the process, nitrogen is transformed into uric acid which is excreted in the urine if the liver works well. In people with a malfunctioning liver, the uric acid stays in the blood stream and attacks the inner wall of the arteries, causing inflammation and arteriosclerosis. A blood clot may form that obstructs an artery in the heart or the brain, causing a heart attack or a stroke. The weakened artery may also burst, causing deadly internal bleeding.
In other cases, high protein intake causes the uric acid to accumulate in and around joints, tendons, muscles and connective tissues. When uric acid accumulates in the muscles and toes, it causes gout. When it accumulates in the joints, tendons and bursae, it causes rheumatoid arthritis. In the beginning, this only causes pain, but later it promotes degeneration of bone, bursae and tendons and becomes a crippling disease. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is but one example of such chronic illness.
Some people are so sensitive to sugar, they should avoid any type of sweets such as honey, maple syrup, and the sugar found in organic preserves. The reason is a delicate pancreas. The pancreas plays a major role in the health of any individual. The pancreas may be the cause of many problems, including hypoglycemia, diabetes, nervous and emotional effects, and more subtle problems related to the small intestine.
There are two major causes of headaches: liver intoxication/malfunction and hypertension (high blood pressure). Liver intoxication is the most common cause of headaches. Recommended remedies are both homeopathic and herbal liver remedies. While there are many homeopathic liver remedies, the most effective are Bryonia, Nux vomica, and Chelidonium. They should be used in low potency at 10x or 6C. There are many herbal detoxifiers as well including dandelion, artichoke, milk thistle and St. Benedict thistle.
Remedies for headaches caused by hypertension include Glonoinum and Sanguinaria in low potencies. A diet low in protein is recommended. Lots of vitamin C will be beneficial for people suffering from headaches. In very rare cases, headaches appear as a consequence of vaccination, especially vaccination against small pox. Because this is no longer done, these types of headaches are found generally among the older population.
This is a situation where a person complains about pain without a detectable cause, often situated in the connective tissue, anywhere in the body. The cause is accumulated toxins, with uric acid the main culprit. If the person stays on a vegetarian diet for a while, the pain will disappear. This year when I was in Florida on a lecture tour, a woman came to me before my talk and said “I have to thank you for your advice.” I asked her what advice she was speaking about because I did not recognize her, and then she told me her story of her painful ankle. Two years ago, this same woman had asked me about what to do for a pain in her right ankle.
She had consulted several doctors, including alternative ones, but nobody was able to help her because there “was nothing wrong with her ankle.” I told her about the low protein diet and forgot the whole thing. She related to me that only two weeks later, her pain had disappeared. I had many people that I was able to help with this simple advice. Unfortunately, many are either unwilling or unable to follow this advice because many people are addicted to lots of protein and they have been wrongly educated by mainstream doctors. The same advice holds true for pregnant women.
Many women have painful breasts (mastalgia) for no apparent reason. Although this can be related to some hidden problems with their ovaries, it is often solely related to a high protein diet.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
This label covers lots of situations that are caused not by the virus (which is not relevant in my opinion) but by deficiencies in the body. These deficiencies can be caused by an improper diet, by a lack of vitamins, minerals or trace minerals, by a malfunctioning pancreas, and of course by a malfunctioning liver, the mother of all chronic disease.
The Role of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is gaining more and more followers. It sustains the functions of the body in a gentle way. It cannot cause harm if a remedy is taken that is not indicated. It should be used preferably in a low potency, such as 10x, to avoid healing crises.
Homeopathy is well suited for detoxifying the body. It enhances other holistic approaches such as herbs and a healthy diet. They become more successful because a good functioning liver helps the body absorb nutrients better. We also see that herbs work better if homeopathy is used to detoxify the body at the same time. These two kinds of natural medicine can be used together, but taken some time apart from each other.
Homeopathy also works well with acute conditions such as fever. The indicated remedies are Aconitum and Phosphorus.
For chronic disease, the use of complexes is more successful therapeutically than single remedies.