Human Disease — Much More Complicated Than We Thought : Exclusive Article by J. E. Williams

Friday Jun 29 | BY |
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We thought we had human disease figured out.
Turns out we haven’t even started.

For centuries, the focus of modern Western medicine has been on the study of disease—what a sick patient looks like, feels like, and what the laboratory studies reveal. This has gotten us a lot of thick, expensive, medical texts, but also a pretty good handle on the most common diseases.

Take diabetes, for example. A group of metabolic diseases characterized by impaired insulin activity in the cells, diabetes results in elevated glucose levels in the blood. The amount we know about diabetes is staggering. It’s easy to diagnose. Conventional treatments, like insulin injections for Type I or oral glucose lowering drugs for Type II, are straightforward prescribing for traditional MDs and DOs.

The more we learn, however, the more complicated it gets. Several viruses are now implicated in Type I diabetes, and recently, imbalances in gut microorganisms have been shown to trigger autoimmune responses and chronic low-grade inflammation that factor in the cause of Type II diabetes. The type of food and how much you eat also play a major role, as do genetics.

We’re finding that disease is not all so simple after all. And the drugs we take and the procedures we endure often do more harm than good.

Moving Into the Study of Bacteria
In the age of antibiotic and antiviral drug resistance, massive environmental disruption across the planet, emerging infectious diseases, and uncontrollable cancers, the wisdom of modern medicine has come under scrutiny. With the advent of genomic science, we’re finding interconnections and webs—links between everything in the body.

A new view of people as superorganisms has emerged from the cheap methods of decoding DNA. You can now have your entire genome sequenced in two hours for about five hundred dollars.

Instead of studying how to kill pathogenic bacteria like staphylococcus, we want to know more about commensals, the “good” bacteria that in healthy people outnumber “bad” bugs. These friendly bacteria are ten times more numerous than our own human cells. Scientists want to know what proteins and other substances friendly bacteria make and how they contribute to health, and fight disease. As a clinician, this is really important to me and for my patients.

The Body is Capable of Restoring Balance
What tips the balance? How do pathogenic “bad” bacteria manage to usurp power from the tribes of beneficial commensals in the skin or gut to cause disease? What’s the best way to return colonies of bacterial to balance?

When you take a broad-spectrum antibiotic, it wreaks devastation on your microbiome—the total microbial superstructure of your body, mostly in the gut. If the microbiome is essential to survival, and health, it’s surprising that antibiotics don’t make more people ill. Scientists found that the same bacteria recolonize the gut after a course of antibiotics, suggesting that the body has ways of reconstituting it as before.

Commensal bacterial are essential for human life. They are needed to digest food, to synthesize certain vitamins, to make proteins, and they form a barricade against disease-causing bacteria. But what do they look like in healthy people, and how much do they vary from person to person?

We have stool tests that provide a clue on good and bad gut bacteria, but we’re really not even close to understanding, or accurately testing, the total gut environment including friendly bacteria. Inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, candida infection, and autoimmune disease are all associated with imbalance gut ecosystems.

It All Comes Back to Nature
Another interconnected system in the body is called the NEI Super System—a network of neuroendocrineimmune wiring that involves hormones, the brain and nervous system, and immunity. It’s not surprising that the NEI Super System plays a major role in modern diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome.

The old way of isolating the body’s main physiologic systems by anatomy—like the circulatory system—are not enough to explain how the amazing highway of connections work for health and wellness, or for disease. Genetic interface, molecular communication, hormone messengers, all traveling the intricate highway of supersystems in the body make up the direction of 21st century medicine.

And, not surprisingly, nature made it all work perfectly with the starting point of what we eat, the water we drink, the super foods we consume, how we move, and the air we breathe.

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Picture courtesy Healthnewsnet via Flickr.com.

Dr. J. E. Williams

J. E. WILLIAMS, OMD, FAAIM

Dr. Williams is a pioneer in integrative and functional medicine, the author of six books, and a practicing clinician with over 100,000 patient visits. His areas of interest include longevity and viral immunity. Formerly from San Diego, he now resides in Sarasota, Florida and practices at the Florida Integrative Medical Center. He teaches at NOVA Southeastern University and Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine.

Visit Dr. Williams’ Website: https://drjewilliams.com/

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7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. sharon says:

    Interesting! Just wish that the MDs (who only know about pharmaceuticals) would “get with it.”

  2. Yme says:

    Hello Kevin,

    I have followed your program for quite some time now, and have really enjoyed your insights and learned a lot from the many interesting interviews you have done over the years.

    I have recently been diagnosed with a blastocystis hominis gut infection.
    Do you know of any information on how to get rid of this nasty parasite? I just finished a round of Flagyl, but to no avail.

    Thanks so much for your time and feedback,
    Yme

  3. paul says:

    Kevin, what are the advantages of having your genome sequenced? Thanks!

  4. Joanna says:

    I would like to know a resource for learning more about the new information on the NEI super system and the friendly bacteria that are more numerous than our cells. Always, interested in cutting edge research
    Thank you
    Joanna

  5. Kym says:

    Thanks, Dr. Williams. Fascinating as always. I would also be interested to learn more about the NEI system, or really anything related to brain function.

  6. Frank Berg says:

    Thank You for our 145 year Canada Birthday reminder. It’s a pleasure being your neighbor and looking after your northern flank. Stop and visit as you travel through to Alaska. Be glad for you to stay a while.

    “YOU ALL” enjoy good health and longevity. “EH!”

  7. Em says:

    Really great information. Thanks guys, love ya.

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