What Causes Chronic Disease: A Scientific Discussion
Is it possible to make a chronic disease or illness disappear?
This is the type of question that modern medicine faces in the 21st century. There are so many advances out there in science that continue to mask the symptoms of patients but never cure the root cause.
But what if all the root causes were the same? What if the same issues contributed to all chronic disease. Today I watched two TED talks that really resonated with my practice as a naturopathic doctor in Washington, DC, and I had to share them with you.
I hope that what I learned inspires you, and inspires many to know that it is possible to heal your body, it has been done before, and you can do it too.
Rajan Chatterjee and What is Causing Disease
Dr. Chatterjee is the author of this remarkable book called The Stress Solution-Body, Mind, Relationships, and Purpose. He is also a trained doctor who began to change the way he thought about modern medicine after his son almost died.
He now swears by treating patients at the root cause and has actually succeeded in healing chronic conditions like type-2 diabetes.
How do you ask? Well, he began to follow the practice of naturopathy, which takes a look at the patient as an individual and what leads to chronic disease. Below is a representation of his chart.
The root cause of chronic disease stems from these factors:
- Physical activity
- Environmental toxins
It is these factors that doctors should be looking at when trying to cure someone or heal their illness. But let’s put this into perspective.
Chronic Conditions In America
The National Health Council states that “chronic diseases affect approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of this country.”
This means that almost half of the population in the country are dealing with chronic conditions.
If you are reading this you may be one of those people.
So, what are chronic conditions?
- Insulin resistance
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Now imagine if there was an answer for 40% of the population? Dr. Chattergee is working towards doing just that across the UK. He is the perfect example of a doctor who could no longer stuff his patients with pills that cover up their symptoms.
I am so glad that other doctors are taking the lead to showcase the fantastic impacts of naturopathy. And if you would like to see the stories of how this doctor is healing people in the UK of chronic disease check out his documentary series on BBC One.
One thing that Dr. Chatergee said that resonated with me in his TED talk was this:
“in the US today the children born have a lower life expectancy than the generation before them. We need to evolve the way we practice medicine before we begin to devolve.”
Lissa Rankin, MD, and the Placebo Effect
The other Ted talk I would like to talk about today is by Lissa Renkin, MD. She spoke of the incredible power of the mind to heal itself, and why doctors are integral to the process.
She sees records of the placebo effects to be “excellent news” because they serve as “concrete evidence that the body holds within it innate self-repair mechanisms.”
There is this incredible database called the Spontaneous Remission Project a database by the Institute of Noetic Sciences which contains over 3500 medical case studies. The database explores studies on real cases of spontaneous remission for diseases like stage 4 cancer, HIV, heart disease, kidney failure, and anything that you would think of as “incurable.”
Dr. Renkin goes on to express two placebo cases in which doctors played an integral role in their patients. She explains that a doctor’s outlook can contribute to positivity and balance in their patient’s progress.
While our bodies have the natural ability to heal themselves, in some cases, humans need care and oversight of a doctor or healer to help them along the way.
She posits that the doctor can be the placebo, but the doctor can also be the nocebo.
Her message urges doctors to stay positive, “to be forces of healing, not forces of fear or pessimism.”
21st Century Healing in Washington, DC
Both of these Ted talks gave me a lot of faith in my practice. But they also gave me excietment because I am one of the 6,000 naturopathic doctors in the United States.
I think that positive responsibility and the factors that contribute to disease both need to be considered. Care needs to be catered to the individual rather than the masses. And that is exactly what naturopathic doctors do, find out what is wrong with the patient as an individual.
Naturopathic medicine works on the root cause of disease to heal people, and I am proud of my profession. I am proud to be at the forefront of modern medicine, which defines the body’s innate ability to heal itself. I am proud to say that I am helping medicine evolve every day when I work with my patients. It is exhilarating to recognize the wisdom of a patient’s body and its innate ability to heal itself.
I hope you get out there, watch these excellent TED talks and express gratitude every day. If you are experiencing any of the chronic illnesses listed above, know that there is an answer. Feel free to come into my office anytime, we will find it together.