Philosophy of Disease

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Philosophy of Disease
21
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 1:09pm

Lurking elsewhere has me curious... what is your philosophy of disease?

I realize that might be a rather broad question. Do you subscribe to the germ theory? Do you believe all pathogens have the capability to create disease in its host? Do you believe that certain vaccines, even those that have had virulence removed, have the capacity to create disease in its host? How do you define disease?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2008
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 2:46pm

Yeah, rather broad, but, I see disease as a condition which could affect multiple areas that could result from multiple causes: ie., infections, environment etc..


What does subscribe to the germ theory mean? Does it mean that germs are bad? If so - then no, I don't subscribe to it. Does it mean it could cause a disease? No, I don't subscribe to it. Does it mean it could lead to an infection? Yup - I buy into that.


I don't believe all pathogens can produce disease in its host. Again, I believe we have multiple factors that play a part, which could or could not produce disease.


I do believe vaccines can produce disease in the recipient whether killed or live virus, and whether or not a different disease is produced as a result of a different vaccine.


I think of disease as just a condition of the body. (I also know that's a broad term given that there are multiple different definitions of disease).

Rands

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 2:53pm

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This I suppose goes back to Pasteur, and Koch's Postulates... it is arguably the cornerstone of modern medicine.

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Western medicine has become largely compartmentalized, IMHO. There seems to be an obsession with the isolation of a biological mechanism...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2008
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 2:59pm

"This I suppose goes back to Pasteur, and Koch's Postulates... it is arguably the cornerstone of modern medicine."


Rands

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 3:29pm
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch%27s_postulates

Pathogens cause disease is the cornerstone of modern medicine. Others argued that it was the host, not the microbe. What say you? Are Koch's Postulates valid or not?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2008
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 3:45pm
Ah - I'm going to have to argue host then - as we all know individuals are exposed to pathogens and yet develop no disease - (vacc'd or not).

Rands

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 3:56pm
Ok, well then you are a germ theory denialist. And while true, stating that one person may get sick the other may not, is a strawman.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2009
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 4:49pm

I don't think I actually have a philosophy. But I'll lay out some thoughts.


I see diseases as different on a community level and an individual level. On a community level, disease stats can be changed by changing living conditions for the better or the worse, by using vaccines, by using quarantine. For the individual, the overall community situation affects but doesn't determine, because individuals have their own particular circumstances, state of mind and heredity which all affect susceptibility to illness.


So, for example, an overcrowded city might have an outbreak of disease, which starts in the slum, but then spreads into the nicer neighborhoods. Whether an individual survives or dies would depend on exposure, diet, mood, heredity, living conditions, age...


The same illness, coming into a city with good living conditions, would probably affect fewer people and of those affected, fewer would die, but again, individual circumstances would play into the situation.


I see microorganisms as "causing" illness in some cases, but the condition of the host and the surrounding environment have a huge effect on the degree of illness or even if illness occurs.


Finally, I see sickness as also having a role to play in life destiny questions. People sometimes learn or grow by dealing with an illness. It can be an opportunity, both for the person who is sick and for those surrounding this person. Seeing all sicknesses as bad and a waste of time and suffering seems to me to discount the nature of being human. For animals, illness and suffering are not opportunities for change or growth (this is why we feel it is appropriate to do mercy killing for animals, but it is very controversial for people), but in some cases they can be for us folks.


There has been a huge shift in the last 150 years, from mortality caused by infectious diseases to mortality from chronic diseases and old age. This change needs to be faced and considered. The focus on vaccines is very much a matter of fighting the last war IMO.

http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 9:54pm

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ITA

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Modern humans simply don't have the time to be sick. So, they take OTC meds to palliate symptoms... or they vaccinate as a preventative measure.

Pathogens do cause disease in susceptible people. The definition of susceptible should have nothing to do with vaccination status.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2009
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 10:29pm
vaccines do, sometimes, seem to have an effect on circulation of disease. beyond that, I don't want to go.
http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2007
Wed, 03-04-2009 - 11:49pm

"Modern humans simply don't have the time to be sick. So, they take OTC meds to palliate symptoms... or they vaccinate as a preventative measure."

So sad and so true. A parent cannot afford to take off work or take time out of a busy schedule to let an illness run it's course in their child so they dope them up and knock back their immune systems that much more.

Little anecdote:
DS was in daycare when he was 2 1/2. Pinkeye ran rampant one week and he caught it. I was the only parent that didn't go and get antibiotic drops. I chose homeopathic drops and compresses. In under two days his eyes were cleared up and stayed that way. No one else in our family got it. More than half of his class and many from other classes had to go back to the doctor and get MORE drops because they either didn't work the first time or the infection came back. Imagine if, instead of taking two days off of work to take the kid to get antibiotics, they would have taken a day or two off and stayed home and treated it naturally.

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