Friday, 12 June 2009

A modern parable for the chronically ill

A security guard is sitting at his desk, a couple of token CCTV screens in front of him. In this very quiet building the security desk is tucked to one side, away from the gaze of people passing by.
Not much happens so it is unsurprising that occasionally the bored security guard puts his feet up and nods off.
On one of these occasions some brazen robbers take advantage of his nap and creep past the desk. They invade the inner office and tie up the staff.
They steal everything they can get their hands on and get access to the valuables in the safe - but the security guard is none the wiser.

Once the robbers have stolen everything and decided to set up their own illegal business there, they are a bit hungry. They call up a pizza firm and a bakery and impersonate the office manager to order some take-aways.
The pizzas and doughnuts arrive, but the security guard doesn't think this is suspicious and lets the delivery men deliver to the inner office.
The robbers are enjoying their new crime base and the free facilities but eventually get fed up with having to fool the security guard outside in the lobby. So they devise a way of sealing up the security guard's mouth.
Once they have attacked him, he is forced to remain at his desk as if he is on guard, but all he can do is shriek and groan through his sealed mouth. Now the security guard is aware of what’s happening but unable to tell anyone.

He is a conscientious guy so he decides to risk contacting the main security centre to call for help. But at the other end of the phone line the operator is alarmed and confused to receive several calls and hear nothing but a terrible moaning sound.
The security centre operators become quite distressed when the muffled screeches are repeated over and over again as the security guard keeps phoning.
Eventually the controller of the security centre takes a decision to stop these calls that are distressing his staff so much. He sends round a telephone engineer to the nearest exchange.

Soon the telephone line to the office security guard has been cut and they are no longer troubled by the awful calls.
They assume that the office staff and valuables are safe but the security centre has in fact let the robbers get away with the crime. The business originally operating from that sleepy office is now totally wiped out.

Have you noticed how modern Western medicine is devoted to describing what your main symptoms are and then prescribing specific medication to reduce or stop each symptom?
But consider the word ‘symptom’. When we experience pain or joint aches or digestive problems, what are these symptoms of?
Our bodies are complex organisms able to send us messages to tell us that something is wrong. If we remove these messages – these symptoms – then we don’t know anything dangerous is happening.
The security guards in our body are called Vitamin D Receptors. These form the major part of the body’s innate immune system. This is different from the adaptive immune system which moves to destroy any bacterial or viral ‘robbers’.
In our nice clean society the Vitamin D Receptors get sleepy because they don’t have much danger to look out for. But there are some very clever bacterial ‘robbers’ out there who know how to get past them.
Around one hundred of them can fit inside one human cell. They also produce a ‘slime’ which eventually can coat the Vitamin D Receptors and stop them communicating.

If your body seems to be sending you alarming and painful messages – symptoms - then it may be better for your long term health to listen to them, rather than cut them off at source with medication.
For that you don’t need a specialist. You need to have a holistic view of how the body works. In the past this may have been an area left to ‘alternative’ medicine but now some scientists are beginning to uncover how the body works as a whole mesh of complex metabolisms.
Why not make some further investigations to help yourself out of chronic illness and back in to health?

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