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When nature’s laws are violated, three conditions in the body lawfully ensue which promote the development of chronic disease: toxicity, deficiency, and a lack of vitality.

 

“The primary cause of disease…is violation of Nature’s Laws [whose] effect[s] are identical with disease, because they tend to lower, hinder or inhibit normal function…and because they engender and promote destruction of living tissues.”

—Henri Lindlahr, MD, ND (1)

“What would it benefit a physician if [s]he discovered the origin of the diseases but could not cure or alleviate them?”

—Paracelsus (2)

The second law of healing is the Law of Disease. Your body is actively engaged in a dynamic exchange with the environment at all times, and when the environment is compromised, disease or dis-ease will occur.This shows up in three main ways: toxicity, deficiency, and a diminished vitality.

Imagine that your health rests upon a three-legged stool. If any one of the legs was to break, then you would topple over and hit the ground. In this analogy, hitting the ground is equivalent with being diagnosed with a chronic disease. Another name for this three-legged stool is the Triangle of Optimal Health.

The Triangle of Optimal Health

By turning our three-legged stool inside out upon itself, we have the Triangle of Chronic Disease. Your health is an expression of the status of these three pillars as: a lack of toxicity, adequate nutrient status, and a strong vitality. When one of them tips over, imbalance ensues and most likely a disease will be diagnosed by a physician.

The Triangle of Chronic Disease

Nontoxicity

The first leg of our three-legged stool is nontoxicity, but a nontoxic lifestyle is becoming more and more challenging to achieve in our world. 100 years ago, the word toxemia was used generically to mean “toxicity in the blood,” as expounded upon by physician John Henry Tilden, MD, in his book Toxemia Explained in 1926. (3) According to the theory of toxemia, when the blood is impure, the tissues and organs are also awash in impurities. With increasing toxicity, oxygen and nutrients are inadequately delivered via the blood, as binding sites for enzymes, hormones, nutrients, and cofactors are disrupted, and oxidative damage runs rampant. (4)  Studies show that white blood cells and platelets decrease with exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), organochlorine pesticides (OCP), and solvents; red blood cells become stippled with arsenic and lead poisoning; liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) increase with cadmium, lead, and mercury exposure. (5)

On a day-to-day basis, our bodies are exposed to thousands of manmade chemicals. We have specific organs of elimination, such as the liver and kidneys, which are dedicated 24/7 to cleaning our blood and efficiently removing toxins from our bodies. In fact, pharmaceuticals are profiled based on their degree of potential liver and kidney toxicity, i.e., hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity, respectively. (6) It is especially important that we support our organs of elimination, as they have to work overdrive simply by virtue of our being alive on the planet in today’s age of toxicity, first described by journalist Rachel Carson in her classic 1962 book, Silent Spring.(7)

Toxins can also sequester in the gut in a thin, polysaccharide-rich matrix to which bacteria and other microbes adhere, called a biofilm, and where some studies indicate that diseases such as Lyme can undergo changes and evade the immune system. (8, 9) These toxins can eventually make their way to the blood. (10)

Nutrient Repletion

The second leg of our three-legged stool is nutrient repletion, which also can be challenging for our bodies to adequately achieve today. Minerals, in fact, are the cofactors of life, and the main source of these nutrients is our food supply, as expounded upon by Joel Wallach, DVM, ND, in Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures. (11)   However, studies show declining fruit and vegetable nutrient composition over decades globally. (12)  One can compare USDA food tables from many decades ago to today’s to note this trend, although comparison can sometimes be apples to oranges, no pun intended. (13, 14, 15)  For example, one study concluded that we have to eat eight oranges today to get the same amount of vitamin A that one orange would have provided our grandparents. (16) The decline in nutrient densities in our agricultural soils and in our food supply correlates with a decline in our blood and tissue saturation, as well. (17)

Our topsoil no longer contains the nutrients it once contained, after decades of serial depletion. (18) The EPA requires that nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus be returned to topsoil in agricultural fertilizer, but other nutrients, such as trace minerals like iron, copper, iodine, zinc, selenium, and chromium, are not considered necessary, though nutritional biochemistry dictates that optimal health relies upon having them in trace amounts in our bodies. (19)

Additionally, studies indicate how modern pharmacology depletes key nutrients in the body. For example, statins can deplete CoQ10, causing mitochondrial dysfunction; (20) metformin can deplete B12, causing anemia and neuropathy; (21) and oral contraceptive pills (OCP) are known to deplete folate, B vitamins, and vitamins C and E along with magnesium, selenium, and zinc, (22) which can lead to a myriad of side effects described by women’s health expert Jolene Brighten, ND, in her book Beyond the Pill. (23) Other drugs can simply cause malabsorption, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which inhibit gastric acid secretion and significantly increase the risk of B12, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and magnesium deficiencies. (24) Therefore, our nutrient status setback is like a stick with its two ends: a nutrient-impoverished food supply and nutrient-depleting drugs.

Selenium is required for a functioning thyroid to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone, (25) the body’s main metabolic director. And chromium is required for insulin to push glucose into our cells so that we have stable blood sugars and energy. (26) Without sufficient selenium and chromium repletion in our food supply, it is no wonder that we are living with epidemics of chronic disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (27) and type 2 diabetes mellitus. (28) Though correlation does not equal causation, one need only comb through dozens of studies on PubMed to extrapolate that nutrient deficiencies are root causes of chronic disease. (29) For example, animal studies conducted in poultry nutrition have identified exactly how much chromium is required for a hen to lay healthy eggs (30) and that chromium deficiency induces diabetes. (31) Also, methylation defects called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) (32) in our genes and (subsequent) nutrient deficiencies (33) can drive mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

A Strong Vital Force

The third and final leg to our stool of health is directly connected to the Law of Vitality. The opposite of a strong vital force can be described as a diminished vitality, or a compromised vital force. One of the pioneers of naturopathic medicine, Henry Lindlahr, MD, ND, stated that the effect of a lowered vitality is a root cause of chronic disease. (34) When the homeostatic mechanisms of the body, which are programmed to restore normal structure and function in our organism, do not have enough energy, then after a period of time chronic disease ensues, no matter how hard the body tries to heal itself.   Naturopathic doctors and other integrative health practitioners, such as functional medicine doctors, each have their own ways of measuring and assessing vitality: by a combination of reviewing case history, performing a physical examination, running routine and specialty labs, and observing the way the patient responds to certain modalities.

When the vital force is drastically diminished, it sets one up for the onset of chronic disease, such as Lyme disease. (35, 36) In the twenty-four hours after the antibiotic treatment of some active infections—such as syphilis or Lyme—some patients experience fever, chills, myalgia, and skin rashes called Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction (JHR). (37) First described in the early 1900s, this reaction is now popularly known as herxing, and its pathogenesis is mostly thought to be due to the release of toxins in the blood while microbes, such as spirochetes, are dying. (38) This can be akin to the septic shock induced by bacterial infection. (39) The pathogenesis of the Herxheimer reaction is poorly understood, but it illustrates that when the body is releasing toxins, the strength of the vital force will be intimately linked to the degree to which the person’s immune system responds.

Naturopathic doctors refer to some acute reactions or infections as a healing crisis, which means that the body is primed to move through an imbalance by an acute response evolutionarily designed to restore balance, and that the body has sufficient resources and a strong enough vital force. Mark Hyman, MD, an avid proponent of functional medicine, has referred to it as a detox crisis. (40) Jared Zeff, ND, who was voted Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 1989 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, (41) states, “There is no cure for the common cold; the cold is the cure.” (42) 

In other words, the onset of an upper respiratory infection, for example, with all of its classic symptoms of cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, and mild fever, is usually just a healing crisis—that is, the body throwing off an imbalance, reducing toxicity, and pushing through to a restoration of normal. It is a kind of spring cleaning of the body, if you will.

How Can We Apply the Law of Disease to Benefit Our Health?

The point of view that chronic disease is a result of toxemia, deficiency, and lack of vitality—informed by an ever-growing body of scientific research—runs counter to the conventional notion that chronic disease is some kind of genetic accident which must be suppressed, and which is generally considered irreversible. A paradigm of disease states that once we are pinned with a chronic disease, we must live with and manage it the remainder of our lives. The unconventional new paradigm of health shows that there are laws of nature governing the development of chronic disease, and that chronic disease is reversible if we harness the healing power of nature.

The Law of Disease, when understood, can help us not only to ward off the development of chronic disease but also to improve its expression and even resolve it. We need to keep the three legs of our seat of health sturdy and upright. Turning the Law of Disease inside-out upon itself, then, it can be said that robust and optimal health—free of chronic disease—expresses itself as a biological ecosystem free of toxicity, replete in adequate nutrients, and strong in its vitality. This is the Triangle of Optimal Health.

When you learn to engage in diet and lifestyle activities which promote detoxification, nutrition, and life enhancing vitality, then you can set yourself up for a life free of chronic disease.

Applying the Law of Disease:

Explore the Law of Disease by engaging in the following activities:

1. Engage in activities which are detoxifying, such as saunas, various forms of hydrotherapy, or regularly being outdoors in nature.

2. Here is a classic home hydrotherapy treatment, called the Warming Socks Treatment or the Magic Socks Treatment, which can help speed recovery from a cold or flu, as well as improve congestion in the head and chest.

The Magic Socks Treatment

You will need one pair of cotton socks (60%+ cotton) and one pair of wool socks (60%+ wool). At bedtime, feet should be soaked in hot water for one minute. After wetting cotton socks in cold tap water, wring out completely until no longer dripping. Place wet socks on feet, and pull dry wool socks over cotton socks. Repeat this procedure for three nights, or until ailments, such as fever and congestion, have cleared or improved significantly. Caution: Those with chronic health conditions or immunocompromise should consult their doctor before starting this treatment.

3. Eat clean, local, organic, nontoxic, nutrient-dense, whole foods whenever possible, such as by shopping at your local farmer’s market. Eat a diet suitable to your constitution and your beliefs, whether it be according to blood type (43) or the Carroll Food Intolerance Method®, a modified paleo or keto, vegan, vegetarian, Weston A. Price style, (44) or some other diet.

4. Drink filtered water by using an advanced filtration system, if possible, in order to remove impurities such as PCBs, pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins sometimes present in public water supplies.

5. Engage in a spiritual or communal practice which provides you with a deeper sense of meaning, such as by going to church or finding a meditation group.

6. Reduce stress by regularly engaging in activities which calm down your nervous system and induce a parasympathetic state, such as floating in a sensory deprivation float tank or practicing yoga.

7. Work with a health practitioner, such as a naturopathic or functional medicine doctor, who can help you to identify your nutrient deficiencies, unique to your predisposition and biology, so that you can address them with supplementation and foods rich in these nutrients.

8. Please fill in the blank: I’m grateful for my health because _________.

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