Owen Davis | 12 Jan '20
‘What do I take for my arthritis’? ‘What do I take for my headache’? ‘What do I take for my cholesterol?’ ’What do I take for this?’ ‘What do I take for that?’ Well, what if we are asking all the wrong questions? What if the way we understand health is wrong?
The way that health professionals have been taught is to assign labels to symptoms and to treat symptoms with medication, supplements or trending diets. When health professionals do not have a solution, the client is sent for more pathology tests. While this model certainly works in crisis care, it often fails us in sustaining optimum health. By simply treating ‘symptoms’, we fail to treat the cause - meaning the symptoms persist. By treating symptoms, we fail to balance the bodies chemistry - meaning symptoms often worsen.
To a give an example - there’s this widespread notion that we should be lowering cholesterol at all costs. Instead of asking ‘what should I take to lower my cholesterol’, we should be asking ‘why is my cholesterol high?’ There are a number of instances in which cholesterol will rise. During pregnancy, cholesterol will rise to aid in the production of powerful hormones to protect and nurture the unborn child. During infection, cholesterol will rise. If you drink alcohol, good cholesterol will rise. During chronic inflammation, cholesterol will rise.
In the case of chronic inflammation, it becomes a question of what is causing the chronic inflammation and what is preventing the body from fighting it effectively? The body is designed to win, so a rise in cholesterol is its best attempt to stay healthy or to get healthy. Rising cholesterol is not just the product of cholesterol itself, it is a response to something else. So, if we were to treat high cholesterol in isolation, we as health practitioners fail to address the underlying problems - often resulting in disease and associated symptoms persisting underneath the surface.
While there may be something comforting about assigning a label to symptoms and prescribing pills to address them, this model of thinking - the disease model - is really the product of commerce - it’s not designed to get you well, but is designed for big pharmaceutical companies to profit on the back of drug sales…