Let’s explore symptoms as they manifest in bodily processes. Early on, symptoms often appear to be inflammatory or eliminatory in nature. This is the body’s attempt to reach homeostasis, eliminating the problem and the body’s waste products naturally.
Often in the language of the “natural” industry, this process is called “detoxification.” Elimination takes place through the urine, skin, bowel, or lungs and ciliary glands. Headaches, constipation, water retention and the many symptoms associated with liver dysfunction, such as hormonal imbalances, irritability, and gastro-enteric symptoms, often result from the body’s inability to adequately perform these eliminatory functions. Other symptoms, such as fever and inflammation, involve the immune system’s attempt to deal with a temporary bacterial, fungal or viral imbalance of organisms.
The reason it is so important in the assessment to understand the symptoms the body is producing is because it gives us options in their management. If the symptoms are a product of the natural elimination process, these symptoms are to be regarded very differently than when they appear to be part of the symptomatology of a disease state.
Even faced with acute inflammatory or eliminatory symptoms, there are different treatment approaches. To put it simply, but accurately, we have the choice: 1) to support the body in its process by assisting the organs and pathways the body has already engaged or 2) to “attack” the offender believed to be the source of the disruption.
Our “plan” is only as good as our assessment and it is based upon premises that are interpretations of biology, chemistry and physics. As history shows, these can become outdated and inaccurate in the face of new evidence or theories. In my next post, I’ll look at a bit of that history.