Friday, January 23, 2009

Symptoms vs. Causes

If the roof collapses on a house, is it because the roof is faulty, or is it because the underlying foundation has rotted?

I got a call from a client yesterday that underscored this idea. Her six year old son was experiencing a package of symptoms that had been diagnosed as asthma by one doctor, and an unnamed autoimmune disorder by another.

I asked if tests had been done to determine intestinal permeability, yeast overgrowth, bacterial imbalance, and fungus. They had not. I explained that, even though these symptoms appear in his breathing apparatus, they often begin in the gut and intestines. No doctor had ever discussed this with her, so she, understandably, had some difficulty accepting this notion.

If the digestive tract is damaged, toxins will leak into the surrounding tissue and trigger the release of all sorts of inflammatory agents to try to suppress the uprising. They will also migrate to weakened areas in the body. In her son's case that was his sinuses and bronchi. For someone with a twisted knee, it would stiffen the knee.

This speaks to a larger issue of how we are taught to view our health. We have to learn to look for the underlying cause of any problem. Where does it start, not just where does it show up? Even down to what we're ingesting that creates an environment for the problem. We are discovering that food is more than just calories. Food is also information that signals genes. Some foods can turn on disease causing genes, some turn them off. Some foods produce inflamation, others reduce it.

If the roof collapses, look at the foundation first.