The results of this disease process will show up in several ways. There will certainly be a drop in the efficiency of the organ. Everything it normally produces, essential to the wellbeing of the body (hormones, special nutrients, blood cells, etc.) will be produced in much smaller quantities. At this stage a person would notice a lowering of energy and loss of the feeling of well-being. As wastes and toxins build up, pain, fever and inflammation will occur. Fever and inflammation are in themselves quite useful devices. Fever raises body temperature, enabling wastes and toxins to be burned up, at the same time encouraging elimination by sweating. Some bacteria can live only in temperatures close to that of the normal body, and so the fever may effectively kill many kinds. Inflammation dilates blood vessels in the organ, giving increased blood supply of nutrients and rebuilding materials and allowing more efficient removal of toxins. At the same time, the blood immunity mechanism is activated and white blood cells are able to easily move in and reach the bacteria. By now the person would be well aware of a disease process, as there may even be severe reactions such as vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding, all of which are extreme reactions to a situation rapidly going out of control. At this point the disease process becomes acute and if major bleeding occurs unchecked, the whole vital process may cease. Vomiting and diarrhoea are not in themselves any great cause for alarm, as they are natural rejection processes and if they are allowed to continue, will do much to clear out the problem.
The question of cure is rather like having a growing pile of rubbish, infested with flies which are producing additional disease agents. There are three major alternatives:
- Kill the flies using chemical sprays and leave the rubbish pile to grow in volume and toxicity.
- Remove the rubbish by a thorough cleaning but leave the actual source of rubbish production.
- Go to the root cause of the problem and determine why the rubbish is being produced. The cause is seldom difficult to spot. The most commonly occurring problems are disorders in water balance and mineral supply.
The use of antibiotics and inflammation suppressing drugs will solve the problem of bacterial infestation and pain with inflammation, thus alleviating many symptoms, but is obviously no real cure.
A cleansing process, such as a fast, will eliminate the waste accumulation if the body still has reserves of vital energy to draw on, but may or may not supply the deficient items. If the body is seriously depleted of energy, a fast may actually accelerate the disease process.
Strangely enough, even though the cause of the disease process may be found fairly easily, the cure may take some time. For what a naturopath really seeks to do is not merely to diagnose a cause, but to correct mistakes in living. Quite often, it is a combination of poor diet, poor living habits and stress which is causing the problem, and to correct these is often no easy matter, human nature being what it is. What is needed is a system of therapy which can supply energies of highly specific types to a devitalized system. The specific energies supplied, of course, will depend on the person and the problem. The following methods are commonly used, although there are many peripheral ones which are sometimes astonishingly quick in their action.