Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Vitality, Health, and Disease

A graphic look at Life Force, Vitality, Health, and Disease

  • The “vitality” line on the left side (looks like a thermometer) runs from “100” (Perfect Health) to “0” (dead).  Any animal’s relative health status can be plotted on this graph. 
  • The “clinical line” by definition separates healthy animals from sick animals,  based solely on the presence or absence of symptoms.  
  • The “relative profitability line” indicates a relative loss of production, profitability or performance. 
  • We know and accept that there are differing levels of illness but our management decisions frequently seem to be based on the premise that an animal is not sick unless it is showing symptoms. 
  • If an animal’s health and vitality begins to deteriorate there will be a decline in productivity or performance for a variable period of time before symptoms become evident.  The “relative profitability line” illustrates  this possibility. 
  • With further loss of vitality, the animal crosses the “clinical line” when it begins to show symptoms of disease.  These symptoms may be mild at first ... “a little off,”  ... gradually increasing in severity until  “DEAD”.  

  • Vitality chart 2 illustrates the journey of two cows as they are subjected to various influences that sap their vitality and set the stage for disease.
  • Both cows — Red and Black — are exposed to faulty nutrition, nitrates in the water, and environmental stress, and both still appear to be healthy and productive but some of their reserve vitality is used up. 
  • Finally, they are exposed to bacteria.  They both respond but to different degrees due to individual variations. 
  • Black is dangerously close to the clinical line but still shows no obvious symptoms, although a really close observer might see mild symptoms developing.  
  • In the prevention mode, the only tools in the conventional practitioner’s prevention toolbox are vaccinations and antibiotics.
  • Black dips in vitality but does not go “clinical”.  She is able to overcome the infection because she had some resistance left.
  • On the chart, Red shows a steady decline and after crossing over the clinical line, begins to show symptoms of disease. Conventional medicine would diagnose the bacteria as the “cause” of her disease. 
  • We could give Red some antibiotics and hopefully kill enough germs to get her back up over the clinical line.  Or, we could treat her with herbs, or homeopathy or whatever and probably help her enough to shut off the symptoms.  BUT, unless we eliminate the stresses that put her at the susceptible level in the first place, we have really only installed a big Band-Aid!
  • The above example begs the question: “Did the germs cause the disease? Or, would it be more accurate to ask:  “Did the bacteria trigger a disease in an animal that was already suffering from stress-induced, low vitality?”  The deciding factor was not the presence or absence of a disease organism, but the presence or absence of a strong immune system.  
  • Just because an animal shows no symptoms does not mean it’s healthy.    
  • The final stress that triggers symptoms is usually not the primary cause of the illness.   
I think we give germs way too much weight as the cause of problems. Obviously, microorganisms do vary in their ability to cause disease and a highly pathogenic organism may be able to cause disease in relatively stress free animals.  Even in those situations, well nourished, stress free animals are less likely to succumb.
In the grand scheme of things, the "bugs" are probably only doing the job assigned to them. As "censors of nature" their job is to recycle plants or animals that do not meet nature’s minimum requirements. In a dead animal we call it decomposition ... in a live animal we call it disease.
If one really believes that germs ‘cause’ disease then, by that same logic, they must believe that flies ‘cause’ garbage.

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