What are chronic illnesses and can is it possible to recover from them? ©
So what exactly is a chronic illness?
Is it just chronic fatigue, is it being in permanent pain? Is it some vaguely-defined feeling of fatigue, unwellness, perhaps with painful joints or abdominal discomfort, regular headaches, inability to fall pregnant, loss of taste and/or hunger in the mornings, chronic thirst, constipation, irregular bladder-emptying – any or all of which just seem to worsen year by year – often with blood tests showing that I am normal and everything in my body is just “tickety boo”? Is it osteoporosis, falling hair? Is it something else? Or all of the above plus others? Let us explore the options.
Official definntions of chronic conditions according to the Australian Health Survey 2018 were:
- mental and behavioural conditions – 4.8 million people (20.1%)
- back problems – 4.0 million people (16.4%)
- arthritis – 3.6 million people (15.0%)
- asthma – 2.7 million people (11.2%)
- diabetes mellitus – 1.2 million people (4.9%)
- heart, stroke and vascular disease –1.2 million people (4.8%)
- osteoporosis – 924,000 people (3.8%)
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – 598,800 people (2.5%)
- cancer – 432,400 people (1.8%)
- kidney disease – 237,800 people (1.0%)
Is recovery from any or all these possible?
To answer that, we need to look at each condition individually, and then collectively, and see if we ascertain a predisposing pattern of cause. And if that is evident then see what can be done about the major underlying causes. And if that occurs then we can go deeper and see if the condition improves by addressing the cause(s). And take it from there.
Firstly let’s de-mystify some of these.
Syndromes versus the undefined.
As some of these specific health breakdowns (called syndromes and diseases) have often been discovered by different researchers with often exotic names, some have been given names after those discoverers) such as Addison (adrenal), MA Epstein and YM Barr (Glandular Fever) and often by what they result in, such as a name describing porous bones (osteoporosis), swollen thyroid (goitre) and nerve disease or physical outcomes (Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease). Others are Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig, Paget, Alzheimer’s, Grave’s disease, to name a few. Occasionally the word “syndrome” seems to more poetically fit the discoverer’s surname such a Munchausen and Raynaud. Some even have the condition mentioned in the name, like Hashimoto thyroiditis. And there are said to be hundreds of others, according to the “How Stuff Works” website.
To me, the resultant disease status unwittingly assumes an inevitability once it has been given a name. And that this will be a locked in state and no recovery can even be countenanced let alone any potential underlying causes investigated or – God forbid – an actual cure possible.
One exception is if there is a possibility of some usually symptom-suppressing molecule being patented for that specific purpose. Or some other molecule being re-purposed when someone finds that while it may have been employed to suppress one symptom or biological process it also works on another.
So let’s question a few sacred cows of “disease”.
And in the brain, damage by infection or possibly by environmental factors such as alcohol, solvents or peroxidated fats and/or pesticide contamination may create specific syndromes that have been discovered variously by such luminaries as Korsikoff, Alzheimer and Lewy. And more recently, their prevention and treatment hypothesised by researcher Dale Bredeson and private researcher and practitioner Phillip Wade (published in the ACNEM Journal 2011).
What causes fatigue?
Probably Epstein Barr virus is the most common offender, until proven otherwise (UnPrO).
If infection plays a role in a specific or general condition, such as in Jimmy Barne’s heart condition, can it be prevented or treated some other way?
Can osteoporosis be prevented, given that would logically be a cause of back problems and joint pain (along with potentially others of course)?
Could a preventable cause(s) be responsible for asthma?
And what about COPD? Surely there are some predisposing conditions that could lead to Dyspnoeas or Apnoeas?
And with Aussie/USA functional medicine model, leaky gut ultimately causes liver congestion, allows for un-metabolised toxins and microbes to re-entre the general circulation that then must confront the kidney. The extreme indicator of these being potentially gut inflammation, liver discomfort and an easily detectable, in-clinic kidney distress, varying from minor to major. This can be identified early, the 3 systems treated as a whole, and much disease potentially prevented.
Common underlying causes
As a pharmacist and a natural therapist, it is my finding that the fundamentals of many eventual syndromes or diseases may have several common underlying causes and that these may be overcome in the main when addressed individually and by using ALL the tools that are available – including published but unfashionable ones such as Frequency Specific Microcurrent. Let me stress here that by treating only one or two of these and other causes will not produce the result that we are after. That is a return to Wellness – as opposed to simply an absence of a particular disease symptom. We may at least be able to restrict the wrong sort of immune antibodies from forming in the first place by using an investigative, preventive and/or corrective approach – and even better, address some other underlying causes that we have found to be common in most of these illnesses – infection.
According to Gerard Mullen, Ian Brighthope and others, much of the beginning of “rogue” antibody formation can be found in problems associated with damaged gut mucous membrane, whose “barrier” of mucus covering a single layer of epithelial cells may become compromised, leading to exhaustion by over-challenge of the protective “safety net” of immune cell-laden lymph circulation leading to food allergy of particulates penetrating this layer, subsequent rogue antibody formation, and subsequent inflammatory response to foods. And if this is corrected then inflammatory problems of many types may be averted or reversed – including the immune cells ultimately attacking self – as in a classic auto-immune disease such as classic Type 1 diabetes or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Epstein Barr Virus
Another possible underlying cause of loss of such glandular and also general nerve – and organ – function is infection in early years. This aetiology may also be associated with severe fatigue. and an example may be viral infection that is most often associated with Epstein Barr virus.[i]
And another consideration is sinus infection. This may be picked up randomly or for example from regular experiencing of nocturnal reflux, the residue of which may finish up in the sinuses or middle ears ear via Eustachian tube infiltration. As bacteria or candida may ferment in this residue, so middle ear and brain infection may result, leading to brain dyscrasias featuring as personality disorders, anxiety or depression, or even streptococcus or other microbes may circulate into the body and create infections that may be harboured in cartilaginous or connective tissue such as in throat, heart valves, joints etc or even in kidneys. And of course the pancreas.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – either from MVAs, sports collisions or shell-shock.
Of course the brain may also be damaged by impact or explosions, leading to loss of physical or mental function. A good example is shell-shock that is now recognised as resulting from a type of brain trauma caused by a nearby shell blast. A good example of this is revealed in memoirs of the late, great Spike Milligan where it was revealed that he got caught by a close mortar shell explosion. After he was patched up he was moved to a psychiatric ward that was full of young men who would of had similar experiences.
The resultant brain damage caused him to have a severe attack of depression when he was exposed to any type of stress at all.
He described his brain of “just going down” on such occasions (from what he said, I gleaned this was from either eustress or distress). Any functional medicine practitioner can immediately identify that this may be an injury to some part of the Limbic system – potentially the amygdala and/or the hippocampus – puls potentially the pituitary and hypothalamus. Lets face it – an explosion compresses the whole brain, especially more so from one side mor than the other, with the fluid-filled ventricles. So how can the brain be damaged internally by external pressure? Easy/ The compressible soft tissue is suddenly jammed up agaist the non-compressible fluid and nearby structures become crushed and may bleed. This may obviously cause damage to those structures. See Professor Dave on the hyperlink to gain a picture of this.
What methods are available to understand such occurrences before end-stage symptoms appear? And what can we do to help?
Of course modern examples are rife with the discovery that repeated head-trauma impacts from body contact sports may cause that same type of depression disorder. Nowadays it has its own name – CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
What I have learnt is that where chronic issues of ill health are concerned, you need to put all possibilities on the table such as the above examples and others, and deal with what concurrent illnesses have developed in your body – perhaps sometimes as a result of the first one and sometimes that you may have another infection or similar that becomes manifest with the major insult?
It is often surprising how easy it is to deal with some of those issues if you look around the world of functional medicine.
Perhaps only in this way can any chronic issue comprising several different causative factors be dealth with for the main illness be shifted, and then other associated conditions be able to self-rectify as normal homoeostasis kicks in.
This may be a good example of a condition that is often associated with “starter” conditions and hence may be considered a complex illness.
To start with it is well accepted these days that this may be a “dietary” disease. But this may be too simple an explanation.
Allow me to give you hear my report of findings of a new client who has present with classic pre-diabetes (Blood Glucose Level (BGL) of 6.3mm/litre ten minutes after a snack and that may typically advance to a BGL of over 7 mm/l of glucose within 90 minutes.
This person had associated conditions of fatigue, daytime drowsiness, joint pain,