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Do you think that the past is a reliable guide to the future? Are we beings with souls? How many souls? Do we possess one, two, or many souls -- from one, two, or many life times? Where did the Universe come from? Is the world around us real, or is it some figment of our imagination? Where does disease come from? Why am I ill? How do I heal from this mess I'm in?

Philosophical questions can challenge our most fundamental beliefs and ideas. Theories about our personal lives live within every one of us. Most of our theories are unique, and rarely shared by others to the extent of our own investment. But what about medical philosophy, is there such a thing? Absolutely!

What is interesting about medicine is that there is no comprehensive prevailing philosophy about the body and its healthy function. Scientists have benefited from questioning fundamental ideas; many have contributed greatly to the practice of modern day medicine. It's a relatively modern construct that bacteria and viruses cause infection. Before Louis Pasteur, most people believed that infection was related to the wrath of God. I suspect a few still hold this world-view.

Some Eastern cultures embrace a philosophy of health. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine are two examples of comprehensive approaches to both wellness and healing illness. Although the scientific method is rarely invoked in these two systems, there is a rugged Bayesian decision tree that helps practitioners prescribe the appropriate treatment. Most of the time, it works.

For the past thirty years, I have asked the questions: What is the overall healthiest way to live? Does everything we do need to be tied into some comprehensive philosophy that profoundly influences our decisions? Do we begin our construction of such a philosophy from the top down or the bottom up? Since everyone is different, the solution to the next question is deeply personal. Is it the Divine that determines all, or nature that determines the Divine?

The building blocks of our physical being are amino acids and free fatty acids. Monosaccharide sugars provide fuel, but are not essential contributors to the raw material of the human condition. The body can make sugar from protein, but it cannot make protein from sugar. The body makes fat from sugar. A comprehensive approach would necessitate a proper philosophy that recognizes the intricacies of the simple relationships to the complex. Science has helped us to find empirical evidence to identify human physiological and biomechanical relationships, especially those belonging to the endocrine and immune systems. A naive person may believe that DNA holds the ultimate Truth of human nature, but the truly informed individual understands the impacts of epigenetic factors manifesting DNA. The role that the environment plays in the manifestation of disease is far more important than the nuclear DNA itself. How stem cells differentiate into living, functional, respiring and healing cells remains a mystery. The process is the Holy Grail of health and healing. Many scientific investigators of the Round Table have attempted to uncover the mechanisms of stem cell repair; most of them have gotten lost in the forest and never returned to the Castle of Accepted Knowledge. Perhaps they never will.

I believe the majority of research dollars in health care are spent under the pretense of finding answers instead of actually finding the Truth. I continue to espouse the Epicurusian idea that we don't need to continue the semblance of health; we need real health. Absolute health is not economically or emotionally satisfying to a health care system based on capitalism, because healthy people will infrequently need to access the services offered by health care providers.

I see all of us as part of the world of nature. Therefore, our health is tied to our personal surrounding environment; where we live, what we eat, who we love, what we do, and how we see ourselves fitting into Gaia. An important dimension of the Divine impacts us all, whether we feel it or not. It is important for all of us to develop critical thinking skills to help immunize us against the wiles of a capitalist health care industry, physicians, and life-style coaches who have been indoctrinated into common unproven indoctrinations of healthy living. We are all prone to make mistakes as we are weighing up probabilities and drawing conclusions, especially when the facts we use are actually mere speculations and hypotheses drawn up by junk scientists and self-serving ego driven experts. Every one of us suffers when just one of us is prescribed a treatment that is assumed to be proper by doctors who have taken great pains to believe the unbelievable, and recite factitious clinical data as confirmation for their absolute position. Medical politicians are nothing more than modern day purveyors of modern day snake oil. They are everywhere.

Consider the use of statin drugs for reducing blood cholesterol levels. It's amazing that almost every patient I see considers it obvious that LDL-cholesterol causes heart attacks.
The fact of the matter is that LDL-cholesterol does not cause heart disease, although elevated levels are associated with heart disease; additionally, hypertension, smoking, low HDL-cholesterol, age, and gender are associated with heart disease. None of these factors cause heart attacks; the actual cause of heart disease remains a mystery. The cause will remain a mystery as long as everyone believes that any one of these factors is considered the cause. Physicians want to manage the risk factors of heart disease, thereby potentially diminishing the age of onset of a heart attack; they do not wish to cure or eradicate the disease from the American population. There is an inherent risk of statin drug-induced disease; two of the most common adverse effects are the onset of Type 2 Diabetes and skeletal muscle breakdown. As the use of statins has increased, the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes has risen almost exponentially. The rate of heart attacks has not declined enough to continue to encourage the use of statins in our current indiscriminant manner. The standard of care using statin drugs is greatly flawed.

Be a part of nature. Know what you eat. Examine your personal environment. Celebrate those you love and those who love you. Find your place in the puzzle of life. Develop your critical thinking faculties. Find a philosophy to live by and don't be afraid to modify it as life unfolds. Stop projecting your personal ignorance onto others; and try to deflect another's personal ignorance projected toward you, especially in the health care industry. Absolute ignorance is no excuse for following the blind, even though they tell you they can see.

And for goodness sake, don't be afraid to ask:


Posted by Amanda Sanders at 12:58 PM
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