Thursday, July 21, 2016

Can Medicines Cure? Do Medicines Cure?



Do medicines cure any disease?  Most current medical dictionaries do not contain the word cure. Most medical reference books do not contain the word cure in their indexes, and do not provide a definition for cure, or for cured.

Cures are disappearing from medicine.  Did they ever exist? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I'm In Debt to Everybody *

I'm in debt to every body,  No one owes me one damn thing.
But I'm not standing on a corner. In fact, I'm living like a king.

I owe one banker for my mansion.  I owe another for my car.
I owe the city tons in taxes. And more to governments afar.

I'm not standing on a corner. I'm not pushing shopping carts
of bottles, cans and shoes on down the street.
Though I'm in debt to everybody. Everybody I don't meet.

I pay my debts on the computer. Bankers they don't like to handle cash.
Only the homeless want real money. Only the hermits hoard their stash.

But, it's OK now don't you worry. Everybody says the same.
My banker and his friends all owe their money. No one has cent to claim.

The city owes the corporations. Corporations owe the banks.
Bankers they don't really have the money. They just take ours, with polite 'thanks'.

Debt is growth in our economy. Growth is all we care about.
Nobody can pay for nothing, We just leverage it with doubt.

I'm in debt to every body. Nobody owes to me a single thing.
I'll have nothing when I die, Lord. All that I can do is sing.

* sing to the tune of "What a friend we have in Jesus"

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Why We Can't Cure Scurvy

We can't cure scurvy.  Why not?  We know the cause of scurvy, in theory at least.  Scurvy is defined as a deficiency of Vitamin C. That's not the problem.  The problem is that we can't cure scurvy.

I know what you're thinking. Your thinking "That's crazy, we know the cause therefore, we know the cure". But you're wrong.  Simply wrong.  And the proof is trivial. Simpler than you think, and sillier than you might guess.

Let's check MERCK's famous Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. Their latest the 19th edition was published in 2011 and it says "In developed countries, vitamin C deficiency can occur as part of general undernutrition, but severe deficiency (causing scurvy) is uncommon." Scurvy is caused by a dietary deficiency of Vitamin C in the diet.

MERCK recommends: "Treatment: Nutritious diet with supplemental ascorbic acid.  For scury in adults, ascorbic acid 100 to 500 mg po tid is given for 1 to 2 wk, until signs disappear, and followed by a diet supplementing 1 to 2 times the daily recommended intake. In scurvy, therapeutic doses of ascorbic acid restore the functions of Vitamin C within a few days. The symptoms and signs usually disappear over 1 to 2 weeks. Chronic gingivitis with subcutaneous hemorrhage persists longer."

But the word 'cure' does not appear anywhere in MERCK's entry for vitamin C deficiency, does not appear with regards to scurvy.  MERCK does not tell us how to cure scurvy.

Well, that's just silly.  Or is it?  Maybe we should check another reference.  Surely we know how to cure scurvy?

How about Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, another reference text, with thousands of pages. Here's what the 18th edition has to say: "Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy." That's pretty clear. But does it say how to cure scurvy? "Administration of vitamin c (200 mg/d) improves the symptoms of scurvy within a matter of several days."

Harrison's does not use the word 'cure' either. We can, apparently, treat scurvy, but we cannot 'cure' it. Is it possible that both of these books made the same simple error?  Maybe one copied the other?

How about Lange's Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment? Under the entry for Vitamin C, it says "Early manifestations of vitamin C deficiency are nonspecific and include malaise and weakness. In more advanced stages, the typical features of scurvy develop."  All three agree, a severe dietary deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy, or at least the symptoms of scurvy. But does Lange's reference tell us how to cure scurvy? "Adult scurvy can be treated orally with 300-1000 mg of ascorbic acid per day. Improvement typically occurs within days." Again, we are told how to 'treat' scurvy'.  But Langes does not use the word cure.

I could go on... I often do.  But let's pause for a moment and to compare the three recommended 'treatments' (not cures).

MERCK recommends a follow up dietary change, a supplement of 1 to 2 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Harrison's and Lange's also make no mention of dietary changes.

Three prestigious medical reference books disagree on the dose, disagree on the follow-up, and none lists a 'cure'. Can this be just a "simple error"?

The three medical texts give three different treatments for scurvy.  Which is correct? Do any of the treatments cure?



Is scurvy an incurable disease?

No, it is not.  But if you check any illness caused by a nutritional deficiency, in any of these three, and many other medical reference books, you will not find the word 'cure'.  Why not? Perhaps it's because only medicines can 'cure' a disease.  After all, it's official, it's the law. According to the USFDA regulations, "Nutrient deficiency disease claims describe a benefit related to a nutrient deficiency disease (like vitamin C and scurvy) ... If a dietary supplement label includes such a claim, it must state in a "disclaimer" that FDA has not evaluated the claim. The disclaimer must also state that the dietary supplement product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease," because only a drug can legally make such a claim."

According to the US FDA, no one can claim to cure scurvy. In fact, according to the US FDA, we cannot cure any disease caused by a nutritional deficiency, because only a drug can claim to cure.

Cure, it seems, is defined by drugs. Only drugs can cure.

But, of course there are lots of diseases that can be cured, but not by medicines. How do the US FDA and the medical texts get around this problem? Simple avoidance, they don't use the word 'cure'.  If you don't use the word cure - except for drugs, except for medicines, then it's easy to say that 'only drugs can cure'. QED.

I've used scurvy as a 'model illness', to illustrate the fact that there are many diseases, that we know how to cure, that 'officially' cannot be cured. There are many more.  Think heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, depression, obesity, and more.  Any disease that is not caused by a parasite - cannot be cured by a drug, and is thus 'incurable' according to current medical theory.

Curing Disease
But, we really can cure scurvy, right? Actually, it's not so simple. Let's suppose someone has scurvy. And we use the treatments recommend by MERCK, or Harrison's, or Lange's.  Was it cured?  How can we tell? We can't prove that any patient's scurvy has been cured.

There is no test for 'scurvy cured'.  We can't prove it was cured, because there is no medical test. We can demonstrate that the patient no longer exhibits symptoms of scurvy.  We can prove that the patient can no longer be diagnosed as having scurvy. But that doesn't prove the scurvy was cured. There is no definition of 'cured' for scurvy, nor for any other disease not caused by a parasite.  We can't prove that someones obesity was cured, or that their depression is cured, nor their hypertension - high blood pressure.  Cure is not defined, therefore it cannot be proven. Therefore it cannot be accomplished.

Symptomicines cause Chronic Illness:
If we cure someone's scurvy with Lange's treatment recommendation, or Harrison's treatment recommendation - it is almost certain to 'return'. Did it ever go away? The scurvy was caused by a dietary deficiency, which has not been addressed, and the disease has not been cured.

A symptomicine is a treatment that addresses symptoms, but not cause. Symptomicines lead directly to chronic illness.  In this case, to chronic scurvy. The treatments recommended by Lange's and Harrison's cannot cure. They can only lead to chronic illness, to chronic dependency on the 'medicine'. The treatment removes the symptoms for a while.  The patient returns to their normal, unhealthy eating pattern, and the symptoms re-appear.  The scurvy was treated, but not cured. It returns as soon as the medicine is stopped.

Cures:
An illness is cured when the cause is addressed.

Only MERCK's recommendation: "followed by a diet supplementing 1 to 2 times the daily recommended intake." can cure. If the diet is changed, the disease can be cured, forever. Merck's treatment is the only one that addresses the cause.

We might ask, in this day and age, why two of three medical references do not recommend the 'cure', why they give incomplete recommendations, recommendations that cannot cure. Frankly, I cannot think of an answer to that question.

MERCK's recommendation can cure scurvy.  But there is no test for 'scurvy cured'. So MERCK, like the other two text, even though the treatment cures, does not claim a 'cure'.

Defining Cured: 

Can we cure scurvy? If we want to cure scurvy, (or any disease not caused by a parasite), we need a definition of cured. How can we tell if the illness is cured.  Are there any models, any incurable diseases, where we cannot prove the disease was cured - but we use the word cured? Yes.  As far as I know, only one.

Cancer. We cannot prove that cancer has been cured. So we adopt a simple protocol.  If the patient is diagnosed with cancer, and they survive, and 5 years later they are still alive, and still cannot be diagnosed with cancer, we count them as 'cured'.

It's a bit of a silly rule.  Arbitrary.  But useful. With this rule, we can cure any illness, and we can tell if it is cured.  We just need to adjust some details, and timelines depending on the disease.

Actually, we need another rule. A disease is cured when the cause has been addressed. Scurvy is caused by an unhealthy diet.  It is cured when the diet is healthed, not when the 'symptoms' are 'treated'.

to your health, tracy

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The UnSciences of Clinical Studies

The double blind placebo controlled clinical trial is often touted as the foundation of scientific medical studies. But the science of medicine is broken.

The double blind placebo controlled clinical trial is at the heart of the problem that has taken over the medial mentality, taken over medical science.

The problem? The double blind placebo controlled clinical trial cannot test cures. The problem is trivial, and also impossible. Cures are simply not defined for most diseases. Not only that, the list of incurable diseases is gradually being defined, due to the success of clinical studies.

There is a good reason 'cure' is the only path to sainthood.  Cures are miracles, not the results of medicine - the results of God, or occasionally the results of the servants of God, as evidence of their sainthood. Every cure is an anecdote. Every cure is a miracle.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) the Classification of Diseases, ICD-10 Version:2016: “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision” identifies three general types of diseases:

 - communicable diseases : HIV, TB, etc.
 - non communicable diseases : hypertension, breast cancer, etc.
 - external causes of injuries : traffic accident, drowning.

In the WHO list of diseases, only communicable diseases can be cured. Non communicable diseases, like hypertension, heart disease, breast cancer, and arthritis cannot be cured. External diseases - broken arms and legs, gunshot wounds, and whacks on the side of the head cannot be cured. Diseases where we do not know the cause, like arthritis, depression and even obesity, cannot be cured. 

Cure is not defined by the WHO. Cure is not defined by medical science. Cure is defined, on a disease by disease basis, as killing the infection, and then testing to see if it is still present.  If you have an infection, and you take an antibiotic, and the infection disappears - you are cured. The medicine cured your disease. Antibiotics, anti fungal, antiviral medicines, and other medicines that kill parasites have the potential to cure. No other medicines can cure. There are no other cures recognized by the science of medicine, or the sciences of clinical studies. 

It is not possible to prove that an illness is incurable.  It is possible to prove an illness is curable, by curing it, but there is no way to prove an illness is incurable.

Why can't we cure every illness? Why can't clinical studies find cures for non communicable diseases? Because cure is not defined.  If you have hypertension, or if you are obese, or if you have heart disease - there is no scientific test to prove a cure.  There is no test that can be used in a clinical study, to prove a cure. If your disease is cured - the cure cannot be seen, cannot be measured, cannot be tested, by any clinical study. 

It has not always been that way. 


Clinical studies measure the number and severity of symptoms. Medicines are administered, and placebos to the control group, and the symptoms are measured again. If the patients with the medicines have fewer symptoms, the medicine wins and the study is published. If not, the placebo wins - and the study is not published. But when a 'cure' occurs, it is not noticed.  Most, perhaps all recent clinical studies don't test for cures. Diseases are 'incurable by omission'. Because cure is not defined, therefore cure is not tested. It cannot be tested. Because we can't test for cures, the disease is incurable. 

There's a perfect example to be found in a pair of clinical studies of Homeopathic Medicines to treat warts. Even though warts are in theory, caused by a virus - a communicable disease, and a cure is easy to see, medical scientists managed to measure symptoms (size of the wart) and ignore cure (absence of the wart), thus proving that a homeopathic medicine worked 'no better than a placebo'. 

In 1966 a clinical study "Homoeopathic versus placebo therapy of children with warts on the hands: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial." tested the application of a homeopathic medicine against a placebo, in the treatment of warts. It found that, in regards to symptoms - homeopathic medicines worked only slightly better than a placebo. Nine patients benefited from the homeopathic medicine, seven from the placebo. The study concluded: "There was no apparent difference between the effects of homoeopathic therapy and placebo in children with common warts under the conditions of this study." But the conclusion was marred a bit by the fact that the homeopathic treatment cured 20% of the patients warts.  The placebo cured 3.3 percent.

Thirty-two years later, in 1998, an almost identical study "A double-blind, controlled clinical trial of homeopathy and an analysis of lunar phases and postoperative outcome." was completed. You might wonder, as I do, about the objectivity of the scientists, who grouped it together with a study of the analysis of phases of the moon on postoperative outcomes. The wart portion repeated the first study almost exactly. There were the exact same number of participants and with regards as to symptoms - the exact same result.  Homeopathic medicines produced shrinkage in nine of the patients, and the placebo produced shrinkage in seven of the patients. The homeopathic medicine performed slightly better than the placebo - but no statistical difference. There was one difference between the studies. The second study did not measure, did not count 'cured'. The study parameters did not include testing for cures.

Because it didn't count 'cures', All ambiguity that had marred first study disappeared. Each and every cure became anecdotal evidence, which could safely be ignored.

What about obesity?  Surely it's possible to cure obesity?  Nope.  Your BMI is a scientific test for obesity, but when you check the 'medical diagnostic tests' for obesity, BMI is only a small part.  The rest? Not clearly defined. Not scientifically defined.  As a result, the 'cure' for obesity cannot be defined. You might bring your BMI down, but that doesn't prove 'the disease' is gone, does not prove a cure. You might, after all - eat a lot of food and the obesity will return, it was always there.  This logic is, frankly, ridiculous.  If anyone eats a lot of food - they will become obese. There is no scientific difference between the 'return of obesity' and an initial case of obesity. So there is no cure for obesity. 

Once you are diagnosed with obesity, you have the disease for life - even if you are no longer 'obese', because obesity is incurable, according to the current science of medicine. The National Obesity Foundation mission says "We believe that obesity is a disease ... that can and must be treated." But they don't use the word 'cure'. Cure, for obesity, is not defined. 


If we want to use clinical studies to search for cures - we need to define cure for every disease, every type of disease.  Until then, clinical studies cannot be used to search for cures. 

But, but, but... Aren't clinical studies already used to search for cures for cancer, for Alzheimer's, for hypertension, for heart disease?  No, they are not. You might have noticed the phrase '5 year cure' with regards to cancer.  Does this mean we can measure cancer cures, and that clinical studies can test for cancer cures? Nope. The five year cancer cure is not a medical test, not a scientific test, not a clinical test - it's a birthday test.  If you are diagnosed with cancer, and you are still alive five years after your diagnosis - you have been '5 year cured'. Some might argue that you need to be 'cancer free' 5 years later, but that's not technically true. You need only be 'not currently diagnosed with cancer'. Because of the long time span between the presence of cancer and the diagnosis, you may have many cancers and still be declared 'cancer free', declared '5 year cured'.  But if you were diagnosed 4 years and 9 months ago - you are still not '5 year cured'. duh.

When a cure occurs in a clinical study, it is generally ignored. Clinical studies are studies symptoms of disease, studies of patients with similar symptoms - where causes have not been identified. When cause is not identified, cure is not possible - except by accident, by 'anecdote'. If cure is accomplished, it is not noticed, not counted.  Cures are outside of the limited view of 'symptoms' measured by clinical studies. 

Cure is simply not defined for non communicable diseases, and have gradually come to be ignored by almost all clinical studies. Because cures are not defined, they are not recognized - except perhaps as anecdotes. Cures can only be noticed in specific, individual cases of an illness. Every cure is anecdotal evidence. 

Have you noticed.  Whenever anyone claims a cure, the cry is raised.  Is it just 'anecdotal evidence' or is it supported by 'double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials'.  No one notices that these double blind, placebo controlled, clinical trials - don't test cures, don't measure cures.  Cures are final. There are no more symptoms to measure. They are outside of the scope of most clinical trials. 

Clinical trials are broken.  They are breaking the science of medicine. Soon, in medicine, every disease will become incurable. In healthicine - every illness can be cured.

In healthicine, there are two kinds of cures, causal cures and healing cures.

A causal cure is a cure that successfully addresses the cause of the illness.  If you have a bacterial infection, and the infection is removed - you are cured.  Healing may be required for complete recovery.  If you have heart disease, due to an unhealthy diet, and the cause is successfully addressed - you are cured. Healing may be required for a complete recovery.

If you have a broken bone - the cause is gone. The only cure is to heal the damage. But if someone is 'breaking your arm' - you need to address the cause first.

To measure cures - we can measure the cause, and we can measure the healing.  Measuring symptoms does not lead to cures, it leads to 'slower diseases'.

But this test of cures brings an interesting observation.  The body heals.  Health heals.  Medicine does not 'heal'. Medicines cannot provide 'healing cures'. Removing the cause cures non communicable diseases - but adding a medicine cannot remove the cause.  Adding a medicine can only remove the cause of a communicable disease.

In most diseases - medicines cannot cure. Most clinical studies test medicines. Most clinical studies do not test cures.   The unsciences of clinical studies blocks the success of medicine.

to your health, tracy

Monday, November 9, 2015

How to Weave a Poppy for a Secure Fit

As a teenager, I served in Navy League and Sea Cadets.  Every November, I bought, and quickly lost several poppies.  I tried many techniques, but never learnt how to stop losing them.

Last year, a Veteran visited my ESL class.  I volunteer my services teaching English to immigrants new, and some who have been here for years, often working too hard in the family to learn much English.  The Veteran showed us how to wear a poppy, so that we don't lose it.

The first step is to pull the pin back and pinch it against the flower.  This gives you some room on the pin to complete the technique.

It's a good idea to think about location and direction.  The poppy is generally placed over the heart if worn on the chest. You want the point of the pin to be pointing away from your body - so it doesn't stick you by accident.
Step 2 is to fold the cloth, and thread the pin through the fold in the cloth.

 In this picture, I've folded the poppy back so you can see it clearly.


Step three is to weave the pin back through the edge of the poppy.

This makes the poppy secure, because the end of the pin is not loose, it is actually pressed against the fabric by the poppy flower.






All you need to do now is Step 4: to pull the point of the pin forward, so the black is properly centered.

The poppy is now well secured and will not easily fall it.

This technique even holds the poppy in place, most of the time. Even if you are driving and the seat belt is brushing against it, it will be secure.  It is still possible to come loose, but much less likely.

Now that you know how to avoid losing your poppy, you can save some money.  Take a moment when you buy your next poppy - and perhaps pay a bit more, for the extra one you don't have to buy this year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cancer Cure Catch 22


Two medical researchers meet in the university lab.  Jim is excited. John is interested.

Jim: "I've found the cure for cancer! All we need are some clinical studies proving it works and the Nobel Prize in Medicine is ours."

John: "Hey! I'm pumped. ... But wait a minute, how can we do a clinical study that tests a cancer cure?"

Jim: "Easy! We enlist some cancer patients, treat them with the cure protocol.  After their cancer is cured, we publish the results. It's that simple.  Of course we'll need to register the study, comply with appropriate bureaucratic and human rights legislation, but the University knows how to get that done."

John looks confused: "But how do we prove the patients are 'cured'?"

"It's obvious!" Jim retorts: "Their cancer is gone. They are cured!"

John: "Actually, it's not obvious.  How can we prove the cancer is gone.  Maybe it's just in remission. Maybe it's not really a cure?"

Jim is getting excited, "That's the great part. Today's cancer cures try to 'kill' the cancer.  Of course you can never be certain you've killed all of the cancer cells. And they don't address the cause of the cancer at all. So of course it returns even if you do kill all of the cancer cells."

John: "And our cure is different?"

Jim: "You bet it's different.  We don't try to kill the cancer cells, we health the body. When the body is healthy, it naturally removes the cancer cells, and no more can grow."

John objects: "Health isn't a verb.  It's a noun."

Jim is still excited, "It's going to be a verb.  We're going to win the Nobel Prize!"

John: "But how can we prove the cancer is cured?"

Jim slows down, and asks, "What are you getting at?"

John: "There is no scientific or medical protocol to prove a cancer has been cured."

"What???"

John continues: "Cured is not defined for cancer. There is no definition of a cancer cure. It's impossible to define a cancer cure study, because we can't prove a cancer has been cured."

Jim asks, "What about all of those people searching for cure? What about all those people running for the cure, shaving their head for the cure, raising money for the cure?"

John, quietly, "Haven't you noticed, many of the cancer fundraising websites have quietly removed the word 'cure' from their main pages. There are some organizations still raising funds for a cure - but their parent organizations have stopped using the word cure. 'Run for the Cure' has become 'Run for the Cause', but they don't mean the 'cause of cancer, they mean the fundraising cause."

"You can't be serious," Jim replies with incredulity.

John goes on, "Look at the American Cancer Society.  Their website says they are 'Dedicated to helping persons who face cancer. Supports research, patient services, early detection, treatment and education.' Their mission is "The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service" They don't use the word 'cure' in their mission. If you search their site for the word cure, you will see a claim that they have spent 4 billion dollars since 1946 to find cures, but other pages reference a 4 billion dollar expenditure on research.  If you check their 'areas of research', you will find biology, cause, treatment, prevention, early detection, diagnosis, etc... but no mention of 'cure'. There are some references to finding a cure, but most of them are more than 5 years old. Cure is not defined, so there is no point in searching for one..."

Jim: "Well, if there is no scientific definition of a cancer cure, we'll have to make one."

John: "But, You can't just make up your own rules about a cancer cure, and then design an experiment to test the rules you made up..."

Jim: "Surely, if we treat people who have cancer, and their cancer goes away, and doesn't come back - they are cured. That might take sometime, but we can eventually prove it is a cure."

"That won't work.  It happens every day.", John says smugly.

Jim: "What happens every day?"

John: "Some people claim have cured their cancer. Someone claims their cancer is cured. But, there is no test for a cure. There is no way to prove the cancer is cured. Because there is no test for a cure, these people, these 'cure claims', are just 'anecdotal evidence'."

Jim: "Anecdotal evidence?"

John: "Yes, a claim, without proof.  Anecdotal evidence."

Jim: "That's not really anecdotal evidence.  Anecdotal evidence is when someone tells me they were cured, and then I tell you.  I'm telling you an anecdote. When they tell me, it's their truth, it's not an anecdote."

John: "Well... the medical systems call it anecdotal evidence... You can't really argue with all those PhDs."

Jim: "But what if one of them is actually a cure?"

John: "We can't tell. There is no way to recognize a cure.  Cure is not defined for cancer. There is no test for a cancer cure.  No medical test. No scientific test.  No legal test.  None."

Jim: "Hmmm.  So we're caught?"

John: "Yes, it's the classic logic problem. A catch 22.  You can't find a cure for cancer, because cancer cure is not defined."

Jim: "and of course we can't define a cancer cure, until we find a cure for cancer?"

John: "You've got it.  Catch 22.  No bell prize for you. But if we work on it long enough, we might get tenure. That's a goal we can achieve."

============================
to your health, tracy

Monday, July 20, 2015

Manure in the Medical Media: neglecting your teeth...could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer

Breaking news from The Guardian's Health and Wellbeing section, July 19, 2015: "Why neglecting your teeth could be seriously bad for your health " with the sub-heading "It’s no secret that a lackadaisical approach to dental care leads to fillings and gum disease, but the latest evidence suggests it could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer" leading the article and the email blast as well, written by Linda Geddes "freelance science journalist".
-----------------------------------------------------------------
What did Linda actually write? "it’s too early to say for sure that gum disease directly causes other more serious illnesses".

"In the past decade, there has been an explosion of new research linking oral health to illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The most likely explanation is inflammation"

"Despite such evidence, it’s still possible that gum disease doesn’t directly cause heart disease. Another possibility is nutrition"

"periodontal therapy may actually lower blood-sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes."

"The links between gum disease and cancer are more circumspect. "

-----------------------------------------------------------------
So. There is no evidence to support the Guardian's heading that poor dental care "could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer". None. The scientific evidence presented studied people who already have diabetes actually suggested that:

The diabetes scientific study presented did not study 'causes' of diabetes, rather it studied effects of periodontal disease on people who already have diabetes.

On the link between periodontal disease and heart disease the study clearly states: "current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases".

People who already have cancer are unable to fight it effectively if they also have dental inflammation.

The article's conclusion: brush your teeth regularly, visit your dentist often for teeth cleaning may have some benefit, but it is not supported by the poorly written, poorly edited, and poorly presented medical media manure.

=============================================

What is the truth about periodontal disease, diabetes, heart disease and cancer? Is there any truth in the article? Yes and no.

The truth about periodontal disease is simple and obvious.

Health is slow.  Health comes from the inside and grows outwards.  You can't make your car run better by polishing the paint job, and you can't make your teeth better by polishing them either. The key to dental health is nutrition, and the key to poor dental health is poor nutrition. Dental disease may require additional attention, but dental health comes not from disease treatments, it comes from eating healthy foods, that grow healthy gums and healthy teeth. \

The proposed link between periodontal disease and diabetes, heart disease, and cancer is inflammation.  But what is the cause of inflammation? Inflammation is caused by poor health, not by neglecting to brush your teeth. Inflammation is caused by poor nutritional health.  Are there any other causes? Yes, physical damage caused by stress or by bacterial infections.

So.. what causes inflammation, periodontal disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer?

Poor health, most specifically poor nutrition.

But that's not the news you will hear from anyone selling dental treatments, toothbrushes or toothpaste.

to your health, tracy

 Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Most Forbidden Word in Modern Medicine

There is a forbidden word in medicine. This word is gradually disappearing, actively shamed, banned to the 'alternative' fringes of medicine, and  replaced by newfangled, more fashionable terms. It is also being replaced, in many cases, by its opposite.

The forbidden word?  CURE.
The word 'cure' is disappearing from medical references and medical textbooks. It is even being replaced, in many cases, with 'incurable'.

Have you noticed? More and more diseases are defined as 'incurable'. There is no cure for the common cold, but that's not all.  Alzheimer's is incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure).  Parkinson's is incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure). Cancers are incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure). Diabetes is incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure). Hypertension (high blood pressure) is incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure). Do you notice a pattern here? Almost every disease today is incurable, and every disease has an organization, or two, or three, raising funds to search for a cure.Even one of the newest diseases, in terms of being classed as a disease - obesity, has a foundation the "Obesity Treatment Foundation" with a goal - not to cure - but instead of "Optimizing Treatment, Increasing Awareness".

Depression used to be curable, in many cases, but today it is 'treatable'.  It seems to have become incurable. How can that be? Why is it so? Is the field of medicine moving forwards, backwards, or perhaps sideways? First we need to understand the actual medical meaning of 'cure'.

What is a cure?

Webster's dictionary defines cure as:
     "recovery or relief from a disease"
     "something (such as a drug or medical treatment) that stops a disease and makes someone healthy again" That's half right.  Stopping the disease is a cure. "Making someone healthy again", or restoring the healthiness that was lost due to the disease, is healing, not curing. If we cure a leg infection by cutting off the leg, the cure does not 'make them healthy again'. If we only cut off part of the skin, and it grows back - healing makes them healthy again, not the surgical cure.

Definitions in medical dictionaries tend to make more confusion, not less - with definitions that are so broad that almost any aberration from 'average' can be viewed as disease.  Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary defines cured broadly as "restoration of health to a person with a disease or other disorder", and defines disease with uncommon restrictions, as "a condition of abnormal vital function involving any structure, part, or system of an organism" and "a specific illness characterized by a recognizable set of signs and symptoms, attributable to heredity, infection, diet, or environment." Stedman's Medical Dictionary online at Drugs.Com defines cure as "to heal, to make well". But, surely healing and curing are independent concepts: the body heals, a treatment cures. Both of these definitions of cure allow the disease to continue to exist, as long as the patient is viewed as 'healthy' or 'well'.

Cure, if we are to find real cures, must be defined as stopping the progress of a the disease.

To understand the word 'cure', we need a clear definition of the word 'disease'.  Webster's, unfortunately, does not provide one.

What is a disease? Webster's gives a similarly poor, weak definition of disease: "a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms".  According to this definition, every physical condition that 'impairs normal functioning' is a disease. As a result, every symptom - a migraine, obesity, can be classified as a disease. Even perfectly natural attributes, like sexual preferences and left-handedness, might be considered diseases. I'm not suggesting that Webster's is at fault. Webster's simply documents what the collective experts think.Why is there no simple, clear definition of disease in the entire field of medicine? If you look everywhere for diseases to treat, you find diseases everywhere, like a boy with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

But the medical hammer is not a cure, it is a 'treatment'. In most cases, medicine is simply not looking for cures.

The news media is making the search for cures worse, not better. A quick scan of Google news for the word 'cure' gives everything but actual cures. The first 15 Google News hits using the word 'cure' in the title gave the following results:
 - 7 articles about fundraising. None of the fundraising organizations spend a majority of funds searching for cures, they search for 'treatments', and ways to help patients 'live with their disease'.
 - 5 articles about 'searching for a  cure'.  None of the articles were actually about real cures for real diseases in real people.  Fake diseases in mice. Treating symptoms. No hint of actual cure.
 - 3 articles about nonsense 'cures'.  A cure for boredom, golf slumps and retail store summer doldrums.

There are no articles about actual cures for actual diseases. In the first ten pages of a Google News search for a disease cure, there is exactly one.  A cure for Hepatitis C, a drug that kills the virus.  It is notable that the only 'cures' that are actually documented as true medical cures are toxic chemicals that kill invading bacteria or viruses. There are no other disease cures in medical texts.

Why does the news media misuse the word 'cure' so much? Because the word cure has sizzle, gets attention - and also, because there are so few actual 'cures' to report on.  Fewer than 1 per decade is my best estimate. How many new cures for were discovered in the last 10 years? The last 20 years? The last 50 years? The last 100 years? How many patients were cured of their diseases this year, last year, the last 10 years? We don't know. There are no statistics for cures. There is no science of cures. As a result, there is no news about cures. Lots of fundraising and non-cures for non-diseases. Few cures.

The science of healthicine provides a definition of disease designed to facilitate 'cures'. A disease is not a physical state, it has an active progression.

a disease is an ongoing progressive negative medical condition, that has an ongoing cause. 

With this definition, all diseases can be cured.
 - It is cured when the cause is removed or stopped.
 - If it cannot be cured, it is not a disease.

It is important to recognize that diseases are progressive.  If it does not have a progression, it might be a disability, a dysfunction, or a simple attribute of the patient, but it is not a disease. If the progression is stopped, the disease is cured. Every disease has a cause, or causes - and if key causes are removed, the progression will be stopped, and the disease has been cured.  If the cause returns, the disease will appear again, as a new disease, due to the 'new (similar) cause'.

There are lots of things that do not cure disease, but are sometimes presented as if they were cures. A 'treatment' is not a cure, unless it 'stops the disease'. A symptomicine is not a cure. Aspirin and Tylenol are not 'cures' for headache. They are symptomicines, hiding the symptoms, but not addressing the cause, not curing the disease.  When their 'hiding' fades, the symptoms reappear.

It is important to clearly distinguish between 'remission' and cure. Remission is a remission of symptoms of the disease.  When symptoms go into remission the disease is hidden, but the cause might not have been addressed. In these cases, remission of symptoms actually facilitates the progression of the disease.  When symptoms are not visible the patient and doctors are less vigilant. Today's medical systems have great difficulty distinguishing between remission and cure. Was the patient cured, or is the disease in remission? We have no tools to tell the difference in many cases.

A vaccine is not a cure, it is a preventative, although there are many preventatives, that are also cures. Vitamin C, or foods that contain Vitamin C, prevent scurvy.  If you get scurvy, Vitamin C, or foods containing Vitamin C, are the cure. No 'medicines' can cure scurvy.

One of the most famous medical books, the MERCK Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, does not call Vitamin C a 'cure' for scurvy.  It says: 'Treatment consists of oral Vitamin C', but does not use the word 'cure'. Has the word cure become forbidden. If you check the MERCK manual a bit more carefully, you will learn that 'cure' is not defined, is not in the index, and not in the table of contents. Cure is not clearly defined by the field of medicine, it seems to be forbidden. Or at best, ignored, pushed to the side, discounted, not clearly defined.

It's clear that scurvy can be caused by lack of Vitamin C (there might be other causes). It is also clear that scurvy caused by deficiencies of Vitamin C can be cured, the progression can be stopped, with Vitamin C, or foods containing Vitamin C.  Furthermore, once scurvy has been cured, or before scurvy is present, it can be prevented by appropriate consumption of Vitamin C. The cure for scurvy is not 'remission' of symptoms - it is a true cure. The disease is no longer present, although if the disease caused physical damage, that damage might never heal completely.

Many nutritional deficiencies lead to specific diseases that progress as long as the cause is present. In all cases, the only cure is to meet the deficiency, not medicine can cure these diseases.

It is also clear that a new case of scurvy will arise if the cause returns. It is important to note that this is not a return of the disease, it is a return of the cause. If a person fails to consume sufficient Vitamin C - either in foods or in supplements - the person will get scurvy, or get scurvy 'again'. A new case of scurvy.  When a patient's scurvy is cured and then reappears, there is no 'remission' of symptoms, and 'worsening' of symptoms. There is simply a cure, and a new occurrence.

Nutrient toxicity, or over consumption, is also a disease that cannot be cured by medicines or medical treatments. If you are consuming too much Vitamin A, you will get the disease hypervitaminosis A. There is a cure.  It is simple. Stop consuming too much Vitamin A. No medicine can cure hypervitaminosis A, and any attempts to develop a medicine to treat hypervitaminosis A would be seen as nonsense. There are many diseases that can be cured, but not with medicines.

Obesity is medically classified as a disease - although it can easily exist as a stable state not an active progression. It would not be classified as a disease in the science of healthicine. The process of becoming obese, of continual weight gain could be classified as a disease, but presence of excess weight is simply an attribute, or a symptom, not a disease.

If someone is obese, and they lose weight, such that they are no longer obese, are they cured? The Obesity Treatment Foundation does not mention 'cure', does not suggest that obesity can be 'cured'. They ask for donations to promote awareness and treatment, but the word "cure" is avoided.

Symptoms of obesity can be cured by food restrictions. However, if this temporary fix does not address the causes and the should be considered a cure. If the cause is addressed, obesity can be cured and reversed.  If the cause comes back, the disease will return.

We pretend to know that the cause of obesity is overeating. But we don't know the cause of overeating - and there is considerable evidence that the cause of overeating is obesity. We will not find the cure to the 'obesity epidemic' until we find the real causes.

We will not find the cure for any individual patient's disease, nor for any class of diseases, until we find and address the true causes.

How might we find cures?  How might we find the causes of today's many 'incurable' diseases?

We can only find cures for diseases when we use better definitions for disease, and better definitions for cures.

disease: an ongoing progressive negative medical condition, that has an ongoing cause.

cure: stopping the progression of a disease.  A treatment that stops the progression of a disease by addressing key causes.

to your health, tracy


 Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine: