by Ron Kurtus (revised 22 February 2012)
If you contract a disease, it is possible to cure the ailment.
Diseases are caused by outside agents that may attack cells in your body, poison them or deprive cells of their nutrition. Sometimes—like in the case of cancer—your own cells may be the cause of the problem.
Curing a disease consists of stopping these outside agents from attacking you and ridding them from your body. You have natural defenses to fight off many of these attacks. Medicines and operations are also often used to cure diseases. Finally, there are alternative medical practices that sometimes help cure diseases.
Questions you may have include:
- How does the body cure a disease?
- What are the standard methods of curing a disease?
- How do alternative practices affect becoming cured?
This lesson will answer those questions. Health Disclaimer
When the body is attacked by foreign agents—such as bacteria, viruses, mold spores, fungi and even physical objects—specialized cells in the body go into action to destroy the invaders or to encapsulate them and expel them from the body.
Body does good job
In a large number of cases, the body is very successful in defeating the disease. In fact, the body can even build up a resistance to many diseases that have previously attacked, so that the defense will be more effective.
In most cases, physicians depend on letting the body cure the disease. The proverbial "Take two aspirins and call me in the morning" means to say, "Your body will take care of the problem."
Vaccinations are often given to bolster a person's natural immune system for a specific disease. The idea is to give a mild form of the disease, so that the body builds up resistance. The next time there is an attack, the body will be able to prevent or quickly cure the disease.
Some situations require help
Some of the attacking cells are so clever that they defeat or trick the body's natural resistance. They can then run rampant and do considerable damage. AIDS is one example of such a disease.
There are also diseases where the body's own cells are the culprits. Cancer is an example of this. Although the body does a good job at fending off the attack of disease, it may often need help to achieve a cure.
Diseases can be medically cured by medications or by the use of an operation.
The most common form of medical help in curing a disease is the use of medical drugs. These chemicals often attack and destroy the specific agents that are causing the disease. Another way they help to cure the disease is to add to the body's natural immune system, to help attack the offending cells.
Problems with some medications
There is no perfect cure and some of the chemical methods have their problems. One is that they sometimes may injure healthy cells in the body. Also, the drug or vaccination must be specific to the virus or other disease-causing agent. The common flu virus mutates every year, sometimes making it difficult to provide the correct vaccination.
Problems with doctors prescribing medications
One problem for which there is no excuse is that fact that many physicians will prescribe an antibiotic for a disease caused by a virus. This is a useless remedy that also can reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotic if it is needed at a future time. Doctors claim that patients want "something" to help them.
Another problem in receiving medications to cure a disease is the lack of coordination between doctors, as well as the pharmacist. A doctor may prescribe a medication that interferes with another medication a patient is taking. At the very least, patients should inform physicians of mediations they are taking.
Some diseases do not seem to be curable through natural methods or medication. In these situations, physicians will often recommend an operation to cut out the diseased cells. In some cases—like with certain cancers—it is the best route. The operation will hopefully prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the body.
There are other cases where the operation may not be the best decision. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was not uncommon for a physician to recommend the removal of tonsils in children, because they were "useless" to the body. The appendix was also removed without much rationale.
An operation cannot be undone. There are statistics that state that the number of people who die from operations is greater than the number saved. Whether that is true is questionable, but there have been sufficient stories of botched operations, that it is worth using caution before proceeding with one.
Radiation and chemotherapy
With diseases like cancer x-ray or nuclear radiation is often used to focus on rogue cells and kill them. Also chemical poisons are used to kill those cells. Unfortunately, such techniques also kill many non-cancerous cells. The patient may become ill, weak, lose hair and other side-effect of the treatment.
Radiation and chemotherapy may be severe ways to cure a disease, but usually they are used only as a last resort to save the patient's life.
Some people turn to alternative medical practices to cure a disease, instead of following the traditional methods. Often these are in terminal situations, where they seems to be no hope for a cure. Some cancer cases provide a common example of this.
People try herbs and special concoctions that are promised to help cure them. Some of these trace back to ancient cultures.
Some also use homeopathy, a method of treating diseases with minute doses of drugs that in a healthy person would produce symptoms similar to those of the disease.
People turn to prayer to seek a cure for a disease. In some cases, practitioners and faith healers will attempt to cure a disease through religious methods. There have been people cured through such methods, but there are insufficient statistics to prove the methods are truly effective or valid.
Part of the curing process is mental, such that the person's mind and attitude can enhance the curing process. But there is also the spiritual aspect that may be nothing short of miraculous. Certainly, there is much about the curing process that we don't understand.
In the 1960s, publisher Norman Cousin used funny movies and laughter to help cure and heal from a debilitating disease. He later wrote a book on what he called "Laughter Therapy" that promoted this method. Although it created a stir for a while, the method soon fell by the wayside.
Diseases can be cured by natural defenses of the body. Medicines can help to destroy attacking agents and cure the body. In some cases operations are necessary to cut out diseased organs. Alternative methods to curing a disease may help, but they should be used in coordination with the traditional methods.
Listen to your body
Resources and references
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