Why Do We Get Sick? & What To Do About It

By Dr Ernst
July 6, 2018

Americans are living in the midst of the worst epidemic of chronic disease ever – with now more than 50% of adults diagnosed with 1 condition (taking 1 medication) and a staggering 25% diagnosed with two conditions and taking two medications. 70% of the causes of death are “chronic lifestyle induced conditions,” meaning they are 100% avoidable and reversible if you simply understand what causes them and make the necessary lifestyle changes.

Conventional medicine wants you to believe they know the underlying causes to our ill health, and that they are working hard to correct your inborn medication deficiencies and/or genetic mutations – but is that really why we are so sick? I’ll argue in this article that they really do know what causes nearly all forms of illness and have reverse engineered a “health care system” that actually makes you sick, yet simultaneously tricks your brain into believing everything is ok.

Case in point – are you really sick when you are “sick?” Does it come as a shock to you when I say that if you have a 103 fever, green snot is flowing out of every opening in your face, and you feel as if you have been run over by a steam roller that you are actually HEALTHY??? A “sick” person would never experience this form of natural purging and the “illness” would be allowed to deeply root itself, undetected by the immune system. This means that it is within our power to prevent and even reverse conditions if we simply open our minds to the idea that you are have 100% health potential if you simply STOP thinking, living, acting or doing what “medicine” wants.

The Underlying Root Causes Preventing An Expression of Health

Chances are you have never heard of your “Exposome” – a term coined in the Functional Medicine/Nutrition world to described your genetic potential combined with your epigenome (your lifestyle).

Translation – “how your lifestyle affects your genetic expression”. sents the total of all lifestyle exposures includ-

The exposome represents the total of all lifestyle exposures, including the food you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe, the chemicals you’re exposed to, and even the social connections you have, and the environment you live in.

Analogy: Your genome is a musical instrument; the epigenome is the sheet music, and the exposome is the performer. The quality of the instrument can affect the sound that it produces. But the finest instrument in the world will still sound terrible if the sheet music and performer are terrible. Likewise, a virtuoso artist performing a written masterpiece piece will not sound the best playing a poor-quality instrument. In the same way, your genetics do play an important role in human health and disease. However, we now know that the exposome (and its influence on the epigenome) is FAR MORE significant – In fact, it is responsible for +90% of human disease.

Exposomes That Underly All Disease Today

Nerve System Interference. This includes any nerve in your body, however interference within the sympathetic and parasympathetic (autonomic functions) overrides any “pinched nerve” you may have in your neck or back. The vagus nerve (Cranial Nerve 10) is perhaps the most important nerve in your entire body as it regulates nearly 100% of all organic function. Interference in this one nerve has been connected to everything from vertigo to high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer.

Toxic Interferences. This Includes exposure to any man made chemicals (dioxins, phthalates, etc.), heavy metals (mercury, lead, etc.), biotoxins (mold/mycotoxins, lyme, etc), or deficiency in detoxification capacity due to any other interference listed here. Toxins often disrupt hormone expression by interfering with receptor function as well as spiking cellular inflammation.

Gut Interference. This Includes small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), small intestine fungal overgrowth (SIFO), direct infections (parasites, pathogenic bacteria, viruses), reflux (low stomach acid), bile stones, intestinal permeability (leaky gut), and food intolerances/allergies.

Nutrient Interference. This includes deficiency of any vitamin/mineral or nutrients like B12, iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins (i.e., Vitamin D). It can also include an excess of certain nutrients (ferritin, iron, etc.).

Hormone Interference. This includes hormones associated metabolic function (insulin, leptin), thyroid, and reproductive function (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone). Hormone interference is a major cause of many pathologies, but there is always an underlying cause of this interference – usually toxicity.

Immune System Interference. This includes chronic infections which “weaken” the immune system consistently including “silent” infections of bacterial source (Borrelia, Bartonella, Erlichia), silent dental infections (root canal/crown) intracellular bacterial infections (Mycoplamsa, Chlamydophila), and more commonly silent viral infections (EBV, CMV, Hep-A/B/C, HPV).

Metabolic Interference. This includes impaired pathways for methylation, energy production (citric acid cycle), mitochondrial function, and overall oxidative damage due to other interferences listed here.

HPA axis Interference. This includes interference with the communication between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands, and balancing the production of hormones associated with those glands (e.g. DHEA, cortisol). This is one of the primary issues with chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc.

In medicine, the focus is on the diagnosis and the symptoms; working “from the outside in”. For example, let’s say you have any or all of the above interference and you go to a doctor for your annual exam and your blood tests reveal that you have “high cholesterol”. The most likely outcome in this situation is that you’ll be prescribed a statin, and in some cases be told to exercise more and eat better. There is rarely any serious investigation into what caused the high cholesterol in the first place.

In functional medicine/nutrition, the approach is “from the inside out.” We pay less attention to the symptoms and more attention to the pathology that produces those symptoms. High cholesterol is a symptom, not a pathology. The pathways that can lead to high cholesterol include poor thyroid function, intestinal permeability, disrupted gut microbiome, chronic viral or bacterial infections, insulin and leptin resistance, and nutrient imbalances—(i.e., any or all of the above listed interferences).

If I find high cholesterol in a patient, we will examine all of these potential interferences, and of course, we will also look at how your diet, lifestyle, and other factors related to the expo-some may be contributing to them. Once you have addressed all of the core pathologies, the cholesterol levels typically normalize on their own – again, because they are not the cause but rather the symptom.

As you can see, this is a fundamentally different approach than what is typically done in the conventional setting. The only “downside” is that it requires more investigational testing and more upfront conversation, which can for some be costly and time-consuming.

The upside—which removes any of the downside considerations in my opinion—is that it becomes possible to not only prevent, but even reverse many chronic disease conditions without the need for taking medication for the rest of your life, which ultimately ends up saving you the very downside you thought of in the first place. In fact, most people see it as an investment – one that pays dividends for years to come!

Ultimately, I hope this helps in your quest to explain to your friends and family why are you now healthy, healing and whole – because I know they are asking you and I often wonder what you are telling them.

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