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Why People Get Sick

Category: The Nature and Cause of Disease
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor

This is the Theory of Toxemia. A healthy body struggles continually
to purify itself of poisons that are inevitably produced while going
about its business of digesting food, moving about, and repairing
itself. The body is a marvelous creation, a carbon, oxygen
combustion machine, constantly burning fuel, disposing of the waste
products of combustion, and constantly rebuilding tissue by
replacing worn out, dead cells with new, fresh ones. Every seven
years virtually every cell in the body is replaced, some types of
cells having a faster turnover rate than others, which means that
over a seven year period several hundred pounds of dead cells must
be digested (autolyzed) and eliminated. All by itself this would be
a lot of waste disposal for the body to handle. Added to that waste
load are numerous mild poisons created during proper digestion. And
added to that can be an enormous burden of waste products created as
the body's attempts to digest the indigestible, or those tasty items
I've heard called "fun food." Add to that burden the ruinous effects
of just plain overeating.

The waste products of digestion, of indigestion, of cellular
breakdown and the general metabolism are all poisonous to one degree
or another. Another word for this is toxic. If these toxins were
allowed to remain and accumulate in the body, it would poison itself
and die in agony. So the body has a processing system to eliminate
toxins. And when that system does break down the body does die in
agony, as from liver or kidney failure.

The organs of detoxification remove things from the body's system,
but these two vital organs should not be confused with what
hygienists call the secondary organs of elimination, such as the
large intestine, lungs, bladder and the skin, because none of these
other eliminatory organs are supposed to purify the body of toxins.
But when the body is faced with toxemia, the secondary organs of
elimination are frequently pressed into this duty and the
consequences are the symptoms we call illness.

The lungs are supposed to eliminate only carbon dioxide gas; not
self-generated toxic substances. The large intestine is supposed to
pass only insoluble food solids (and some nasty stuff dumped into
the small intestine by the liver). Skin eliminates in the form of
sweat (which contains mineral salts) to cool the body, but the skin
is not supposed to move toxins outside the system. But when toxins
are flowed out through secondary organs of elimination these areas
become inflamed, irritated, weakened. The results can be skin
irritations, sinusitis or a whole host of other "itises" depending
on the area involved, bacterial or viral infections, asthma. When
excess toxemia is deposited instead of eliminated, the results can
be arthritis if toxins are stored in joints, rheumatism if in muscle
tissues, cysts and benign tumors. And if toxins weaken the body's
immune response, cancer.

The liver and the kidneys, the two heroic organs of detoxification,
are the most important ones; these jointly act as filters to purify
the blood. Hygienists pay a lot of attention to these organs, the
liver especially.

In an ideal world, the liver and kidneys would keep up with their
job for 80 years or more before even beginning to tire. In this
ideal world, the food would of course, be very nutritious and free
of pesticide residues, the air and water would be pure, people would
not denature their food and turn it into junk. In this perfect world
everyone would get moderate exercise into old age, and live
virtually without stress. In this utopian vision, the average
healthy productive life span would approach a century, entirely
without using food supplements or vitamins. In this world doctors
would have next to no work other than repairing traumatic injuries,
because everyone would be healthy. But this is not the way it is.

In our less-than-ideal world virtually everything we eat is
denatured, processed, fried, salted, sweetened, preserved; thus more
stress is placed on the liver and kidneys than nature designed them
to handle. Except for a few highly fortunate individuals blessed
with an incredible genetic endowment that permits them to live to
age 99 on moose meat, well-larded white flour biscuits, coffee with
evaporated milk and sugar, brandy and cigarettes (we've all heard of
someone like this), most peoples' liver and kidneys begin to break
down prematurely. Thus doctoring has become a financially rewarding

Most people overburden their organs of elimination by eating
whatever they feel like eating whenever they feel like it. Or, they
irresponsibly eat whatever is served to them by a mother, wife,
institution or cook because doing so is easy or expected. Eating is
a very habitual and unconscious activity; frequently we continue to
eat as adults whatever our mother fed us as a child. I consider it
unsurprising that when people develop the very same disease
conditions as their parents. they wrongly assume the cause is
genetic inheritance, when actually it was just because they were
putting their feet under the same table as their parents.

Toxemia also comes about from following the wrongheaded
recommendations of allopathic-inspired nutritional texts and
licensed dietitians. For example, people believe they should eat one
food from each of the four so-called basic food groups at each meal,
thinking they are doing the right thing for their health by having
four colors of food on every plate, when they really aren't. What
they have actually done is force their bodies to attempt the
digestion of indigestible food combinations, and the resulting
indigestion creates massive doses of toxins. I'll have a lot more to
say about that later when I discuss the art of food combining.

Table 1: The Actual Food Groups

Starches Proteins Fats Sugars Watery Vegetables
bread meats butter honey zucchini
potatoes eggs oils fruit green beans
noodles fish lard sugar tomatoes
manioc/yuca most nuts nuts molassas peppers
baked goods dry beans avocado malt syrup eggplant
grains nut butters maple syrup radish
winter squash split peas dried fruit rutabaga
parsnips lentils melons turnips
sweet potatoes soybeans carrot juice Brussels sprouts
yams tofu beet juice celery
taro root tempeh cauliflower
plantains wheat grass juice broccoli
beets "green" drinks okra
spirulina lettuce
algae endive
yeast cabbage
dairy carrots

Standard dietitians divide our foods into four basic food groups
and recommend the ridiculous practice of mixing them at every meal.
This guarantees indigestion and lots of business for the medical
profession. This chart illustrates the actual food groups. It is
usually a poor practice to mix different foods from one group with
those from another.

Next: The Digestive Process

Previous: The Cause Of Disease

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