Chronic Illness, Immunity & Homeopathy
Homeopathy & You|February 2019, 5th Anniversary Issue

We, homeopaths, were right in our opposition to the use of allopathic pharmaceutical medicine, at the ‘drop’ of a symptom. This is primarily because homeopathy, when seen from a health ecology/ microbiome/immunity/environmental perspective, makes fundamental biological sense. Its principles are universally applicable; they have also shown clinical evidence of efficacy, across a wide range of conditions and fields that include physical and mental health.

Dr Ronald Whitmont

HEART OF THE MATTER

Chronic Lyme disease is a particularly poignant example of severe microbiome/immune system — microbiome, by definition, consists of bacteria, viruses and fungi, that have a greater complexity than the human genome itself — damage leading to chronic illness. These patients typically present with chronic Lyme disease after having tried [and, failed] to achieve cure using a plethora of oral and intravenous antibiotics, antifungals, antimalarials and other strong medications, usually in combination.

A thorough history usually reveals a strong history of antibiotic abuse many years prior to the Lyme infection. A typical adult suffering from chronic Lyme disease has a long history of treatment with multiple courses of antibiotics for a recurrent childhood infection [or, acne] over many years.

These patients were commonly antibiotic dependent as children. They were prescribed antibiotics for every infectious illness in childhood [including viral infections]. Their immune systems were completely naïve when it came to handling an infection without antibiotic support. As discussed above, this abuse of antibiotics not only damages the immune system and keeps it from maturing, but it damages the microbiome and destabilises the interface between the body and the environment.

In my experience, the frequent use of antibiotics in childhood is a strong predisposing factor in the development of chronic Lyme disease and other infections in adulthood. It is only a matter of time before these individuals encounter an infection that antibiotics are not able to resolve. A history of extensive antibiotic use, particularly in childhood — when the immune system is undergoing rapid development — makes it difficult or impossible for the immune system to mature into a functional adult system. Their immune systems are still in infectious ‘preschool’ while they are now being exposed to the advanced ‘high school calculus’ of infections.

Treatment with antibiotics, provided by so-called, Lyme Literate physicians [LLMDs] only provides this group with temporary relief. Every time they receive another course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicines, or herbs, they experience temporary improvement followed by worsening deterioration, since the immune system and the microbiome were further reduced and diminished. As one LLMD stated: “The majority of chronic Lyme patients relapse, once they are taken off antibiotics with symptoms of chronic fatigue, muscle and joint aches and neurocognitive problems.”

These patients experience a progressive spiralling of worsening symptoms that inevitably follows the use of each course of antibiotics. Most people with chronic Lyme disease who are treated with antibiotics recount a similar tale of initial partial improvement followed by subsequent worsening to a degree that is even more extensive than when the antibiotics were started.

Effective treatment of these conditions not only involves re-engaging the immune system, augmenting the inflammatory response, and strengthening the microbiome. All of these tasks are difficult and there are few shortcuts. One priority in this population is helping them avoid any and all future antibiotic use.

Classical homeopathy is extremely effective as a modality that helps with both of these conditions.

CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY ILLNESS

Nearly half of all Americans have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition and at the current rate of growth, this number is expected to increase by over 42 per cent in the next few years. The incidence of chronic illness in children has more than tripled since 1960. Since 1980 the risk of children developing a learning disability has increased five-fold, asthma rates have tripled, and the incidence of autism has increased ten-fold. The incidence of almost all chronic conditions has increased in the last few decades with a quintupling of diabetes and increases in nearly all other chronic health conditions. There is a virtual epidemic of chronic illness with nearly 70 per cent of all deaths attributable to one or more of these conditions.

“There has been an unprecedented and unexplained increase in the numbers of children suffering with chronic disease and disability… The CDC states that chronic diseases are the most common and costly causes of death and disability in the US today.” [cf. Reforming Vaccine Policy & Law. The National Vaccine Information Center. 2014:26].

This rapid increase in chronic medical conditions has continued to accelerate in the last century and until now more than 50 per cent of children [worldwide] are sensitive to one or more allergens, more than sixty million Americans [at least one in five] have asthma or another allergic disease, and another 50 million suffer from one of at least one hundred different types of autoimmune disease.

In the US, men have a nearly 50 per cent chance of developing cancer in their lifetime, while women’s risk is nearly 40 per cent. Conditions that are commonplace today were virtually nonexistent only a hundred years ago. “Rates of non-communicable or chronic disease continue to increase dramatically in all countries [industrialised, middle income, low income], surpassing infections as a disease burden among adults. Many countries do not have the financial, or human, resources to effectively identify, manage or prevent these diseases.” [cf. Smartglobalhealth.org].

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