Medical ArticlesFrom The Hygienic Dictionary
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The Progress Of Disease: Irritation, Enervation, Toxemia
Category: The Nature and Cause of Disease
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor
Disease routinely lies at the end of a three-part chain that goes:
irritation or sub-clinical malnutrition, enervation, toxemia.
Irritations are something the person does to themselves or something
that happens around them. Stresses, in other words.
Mental stressors include strong negative emotional states such as
anger, fear, resentment, hopelessness, etc. Behind most diseases it
is common to find a problematic mind churning in profound confusion,
one generated by a character that avoids responsibility. There may
also be job stress or ongoing hostile relationships, often within
Indigestible foods and misdigestion are also stressful irritations,
as are mild recreational poisons such as "soft" drugs, tobacco and
alcohol. Opiates are somewhat more toxifying, primarily because they
paralyze the gut and induce profound constipation. Stimulants like
cocaine and amphetamines are the most damaging recreational drugs;
these are highly toxic and rapidly shorten life.
Repeated irritations and/or malnutrition eventually produce
enervation. The old-time hygienists defined enervation as a lack of
or decline in an unmeasurable phenomena, "nerve energy." They viewed
the functioning of vital organs as being controlled by or driven by
nerve force, sometimes called life force or elan vital.
Whatever this vital force actually is, it can be observed and
subjectively measured by comparing one person with another. Some
people are full of it and literally sparkle with overflowing energy.
Beings like this make everyone around them feel good because they
somehow momentarily give energy to those endowed with less. Others
possess very little and dully plod through life.
As vital force drops, the overall efficiency of all the body's
organs correspondingly decline. The pancreas creates less digestive
enzymes; the thymus secretes less of its vital hormones that
mobilize the immune system; the pituitary makes less growth hormone
so the overall repair and rebuilding of cells and tissues slows
correspondingly; and so forth. It does not really matter if there is
or is not something called nerve energy that can or cannot be
measured in a laboratory. Vital force is observable to many people.
However, it is measurable by laboratory test that after repeated
irritation the overall functioning of the essential organs and
glands does deteriorate.
Enervation may develop so gradually that it progresses below the
level of awareness of the person, or times of increased enervation
can be experienced as a complaint--as a lack of energy, as
tiredness, as difficulties digesting, as a new inability to handle a
previously-tolerated insult like alcohol.
Long-term consumption of poor-quality food causes enervation. The
body is a carbon/oxygen engine designed to run efficiently only on
highly nutritious food and this aspect of human genetic programming
cannot be changed significantly by adaptation. Given enough
generations a human gene pool can adapt to extracting its nutrition
from a different group of foods. For example, a group of isolated
Fijians currently enjoying long healthy lives eating a diet of
seafoods and tropical root crops could suddenly be moved to the
highlands of Switzerland and forced to eat the local fare or starve.
But most of the Fijians would not have systems adept at making those
enzymes necessary to digest cows milk. So the transplanted Fijians
would experience many generations of poorer health and shorter life
spans until their genes had been selected for adaptation to the new
dietary. Ultimately their descendants could become uniformly healthy
on rye bread and dairy products just like the highland Swiss were.
However, modern industrial farming and processing of foodstuffs
significantly contributes to mass, widespread enervation in two
ways. Humans will probably adjust to the first; the second will, I'm
sure, prove insurmountable. First, industrially processed foods are
a recent invention and our bodies have not yet adapted to digesting
them. In a few more generations humans might be able to accomplish
that and public health could improve on factory food. In the
meanwhile, the health of humans has declined. Industrially farmed
foods have also been lowered in nutritional content compared to what
food could be. I gravely doubt if any biological organism can ever
adapt to an overall dietary that contains significantly lowered
levels of nutrition. I will explain this more fully in the chapter
Next: Secondary Eliminations Are Disease
Previous: The Digestive Process