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What Are The Causes of Illness? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen Lawrence, M.D.   
The cause or causes of an illness are those factors, alone or in combination which encourage, prepare, undermine, or predispose to the injury or malfunction of all or part of normal bodily functions, hence creating what we have defined as illness or disease.

In our current Western medical culture there is a significant tendency to think of illnesses or diseases as having a singular or specific cause. For example, when an infection occurs the tendency is to blame the bacteria or virus as being the cause. When diabetes occurs it is often suggested that the cause is the individuals “genetics.” Few, if any, illnesses or diseases rely on one single factor for their occurrence. In most cases there is a hierarchy of factors. For example, a simple infection may occur as a step wise process where the immune system is either over stimulated (hence impaired or even burned out), or undermined (hence unable to function adequately). Nutritional deficiencies might undermine the immune system by starving it of essential nutrients. Trauma or injury to tissues may making them more vulnerable and predispose them to infection. Even negative beliefs may act to impair the immune system form functioning optimally. If the immune system is impaired or tissues are injured, or if there is any other reasons why the body can no longer optimally defend itself infection can take hold and flourish. Now all that is needed is for an errant bacteria to come along looking for a meal and a place to live and finds that where it lands is not able to protect itself and an infection can start. If an area has been traumatized, where the immune system is functioning below normal levels and where bodily functions are below standard, this is where and why the infection gets started.

This combination of events, the damage to the immune system is what allows the errant bacteria not just to set up a temporary home, but to multiply and invade surrounding areas, hence create the resulting infection.

Similarly, a deficient or inadequate diet, too much sugar, too much junk foods, inadequate intake of vitamins, minerals, or essential micronutrients, can create an individual who harbors the gene for diabetes to become nutritionally deficient. Because this individual is nutritionally deficient and because of poor food selection and choices they gain weight which further “tips the scale” toward the activation of the tendency for developing diabetes. When this goes on for years, the individual’s inadequate nutrition will ultimately undermine the ability of the body to make and use insulin, and the individual becomes a diabetic.


The Roll of Emotions and Beliefs in Creating Illness


Above we suggested that the process of infection might at certain times be triggered because of negative beliefs. Some readers might have missed this, other might questioned it. It is our belief that the immune system while basically controlled by our genetics and our overall health, is also significantly affected by what we believe. This is where the stress mechanism comes into play. When we have positive beliefs, beliefs that leave us feeling good, strong and healthy, our immune system is relaxed and while always ready, can regenerate and heal itself. When chronically stressed, it may not be able to heal and regenerate itself. When we hold negative beliefs, we turn on the stress mechanism, and when we do not resolve these negative belief in a reasonably short time, we undermine and even burn out the stress mechanism, and hence, the immune system.

Negative beliefs create negative emotions, and negative emotions trigger stress and chronic stress can undermine, turns off, and burn out our immune system, predisposing us to illness, disease, infection, tissue injury and chronic disease. Throughout these documents we will provide references to where you can find much more detailed information to describe and outline this process in greater detail.


Other Important Factors


Our overall nutrition, level of exercise, exposures to toxic chemicals, our genetics, negative and positive environmental factors, our lack of immunity to contagious disease, tissue injury, and a host of other factors can 1) predispose, 2) lead to, 3) create illness and disease.