Janice K asks: In your newsletter you have talked about susceptibility to infection being more important as opposed to the infective organism itself. All the coverage for the Corvid-19 virus says that we need to be aware that it will come back in the fall and that it will be even more infective. This is causing me a lot of anxiety and I am unsure what to believe.
Comment: What you are experiencing is in essence a clash of philosophies, those from an allopathic perspective and those from a naturopathic perspective. This debate goes back to the days of Claude Bernard and Antione Bechamp (terrain theory) and Louis Pasteur (germ theory). In essence the germ theory says that germs such as viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungi and mycoplasma are the cause of the disease itself while the terrain theory holds that these organisms are constantly with us and can only set up housekeeping in our bodies if our immune systems are not able to fend them off. Therefore the allopathic approach, that subscribes to the germ theory, is to view the organism as an enemy that must be eradicated as opposed to the naturopathic view (terrain theory) that the bodies’ defense mechanisms are inadequate and need to be enhanced in order to eliminate the organism.
When an infective agent is encountered, the body responds by mounting a fever, increasing white blood cell production and mobilization, and increasing mucus secretions in order to mount its defenses and restore normal homeostasis. Often in the allopathic model, therapies are designed to counter these normal mechanisms in the belief that the drug therapy employed is attacking the organism. Therefore the therapeutic approach is to employ antipyretics such as Tylenol, or Ibuprofen that are given to counter the fever, while antitussives and antihistamines are administered to counter a cough and mucus production. These actions often thwart the bodies’ normal healing mechanisms and lead to a prolongation of the disease and the need for further interventions such as stronger antibiotics or in the case of the Covid-19 virus, respirators to help patients breathe.
A more natural approach would be to support the bodies own healing mechanisms to allow the fever to enhance our own immune function in order to eliminate the infective agent, as well as allowing the mucus secretions to continue to provide protection and eliminate the offending agent. There are a variety of natural therapies that are used to accomplish this.
The most important thing however in dealing with any infectious disease, is prevention. Prevention is needed simply because the current medical system has demonstrated that it is inadequate to handle a pandemic or epidemic. The Corona virus is your common cold and flu virus that runs through its cycle yearly, especially when the weather turns cold. Therefore it will be back again in the fall but not necessarily in its present form. Much was made about the SARS pandemic in 2002-2003 and the H1N1 flu in 2008 in that they would return the next year and be more devastating, but as we know now, they didn’t. Regardless of what form Covid-19 may or may not return in, the key to not becoming infected is to make sure that our immune systems are functioning optimally.
What we know about the Covid-19 virus to date is simply that many people have tested positive for it but are not showing symptoms. This is because their immune systems are keeping it at bay, while others whose immune function is compromised for what ever reasons, become infected. The fact is that we can never fully get away from the many microorganism that inhabit the earth with us, as they are part of our every day environment. What we need to do is to understand why we can become infected and to take measures to maintain optimal health.
Medicine, as we know it in America, is big business. The allopathic approach to therapy in the long run generates greater revenue than a preventive strategy, which is probably why natural therapies have been largely ignored here in the U.S., but embraced abroad. This is also why there is so much confusion as to how we should approach Covid-19 as no consensus has emerged among the decision makers such as the current administration, CDC and FDA as to what is the best course of action. This is simply because the decision makers all have vested interests in their own special interest groups rather than the interests in the health and well being of the U. S. population. Because of this our advice to our patients is to: remember that the terrain is the most important aspect of immunity against infective agents, that we must maintain its healthy and vitality and to take charge of ones health rather than rely on outside sources to do so.
Thomas A Kruzel, ND