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To Purchase "The End of Medicine",
DISEASE OF THE MONTH.
In these pages I will look at a specific disease symptomology
every month or so.
Before proceeding I must point out that everything written
here and elsewhere in The Alchemycal Pages is strictly for informational
purposes only. Nothing written here constitutes medical advice
or has anything remotely to do with it, and any macrobiotic advice
is only general statements. You are a unique individual with a
unique constitution, condition, body type, and biography, living
in place of habitation with climate, topography and weather patterns
which have to be taken into account in making any dietary recommendations.
Therefore if you are thinking about adopting a macrobiotic way
of eating I strongly recommend you seek out people in your area
who are familiar with and are experienced in macrobiotic principles
and practices. In the course of the coming months I will be building
up a resource page of macrobiotic teachers, counselors, centers
and so forth here in The Alchemycal Pages. Meanwhile you can contact
me either by e-mail or letter if you want information on who,
if anyone, is in your area who may be able to help you. Also I
will be happy to answer any questions you send by e-mail
Kaare Bursell (preferably)
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
I am writing about this disease symptomology at the request
of a visitor to The Alchemycal Pages. I obtained the following
information from a website which no longer exists. You can get
more information from this website Fibromyalgia.Com:
Fibromyalgia syndrome (also called "FMS" or "FM"
) is a complex, chronic condition which causes widespread pain
and profound fatigue, as well as a variety of other symptoms.
Its effects are felt primarily in muscles, tendons, and ligaments
throughout the body. Unlike arthritis, however, no inflammation
accompanies fibromyalgia, and the joints of the body are not directly
The pain of fibromyalgia syndrome is usually described as
aching or burning and is unpredictable in nature. Its severity
varies from day to day, and different parts of the body tend to
be affected at different times. In some people, FMS pain can be
very severe and disabling, while in others it may cause only mild
Likewise, the fatigue which often accompanies fibromyalgia
syndrome ranges from a mild, tired feeling to all-consuming exhaustion.
Fibromyalgia Tender Points:
NOTE - There are illustrations of these points at the website
linked above and I have checked these points against the pathways
of acupuncture meridians on a meridian chart and (as near as I
can determine, anyway!), I have noted on which organ meridians
these points lie, in italics.
Identified by the American College of Rheumatology in 1990,
at digital palpation with an approximate force of 4kg.
1 & 2,Occiput: bilateral, at the suboccipital muscle insertions.
3 & 4, Low cervical:bilateral, at the anterior aspects
of the intertransverse spaces at C5-C7. Large Intestine
5 & 6, Trapezius: bilateral, at the midpoint of the upper
border. Gall Bladder
7 & 8, Supraspinatus: bilateral, at origins, above the
scapula spine near the medial border. Bladder
9 & 10, Second Rib: bilateral, at the second costochondral
junctions, just lateral to the junctions on upper surfaces. Kidney
11 & 12, Lateral epicondyle: bilateral, 2cm distal to
the epicondyles. Large Intestine
13 & 14, Gluteal: bilateral, in upper outer quadrant of
buttocks in anteriorfold of muscle.
15 & 16, Greater trochanter: bilateral, posterior to the
trochanteric prominence. Bladder
17 & 18, Knee: bilateral, at the medial fat pad proximal
to the joint line. Spleen
Symptoms: In addition to pain and fatigue, individuals with
FMS usually experience some of the following:
Sleep Disturbance: Despite getting adequate amounts of sleep,
FMS patients may awaken feeling unrefreshed, as if they've barely
slept at all. They may also have difficulty falling asleep or
Stiffness: Body stiffness is a significant problem experienced
by most patients. It can occur upon awakening or remaining in
one position for prolonged periods. It can also accompany weather
Increased Headaches or Facial Pain: Headaches are a common
complaint for many with FMS. They may be caused by referred pain
from tender neck and shoulder areas, or they may be associated
with pain in the muscles and other soft tissues around the temporomandibular
joint, or TMJ, which is located where the jaw meets the ear. In
the latter case, jaw or facial pain is usually present, too.
Abdominal Discomfort: FMS-related symptoms include digestive
disturbances, abdominal pain and bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
As a whole, such symptoms are known as irritable bowel syndrome.
Irritable Bladder: Fibromyalgia patients may notice an increase
in urinary frequency or experience a greater urgency to urinate.
Often, no accompanying bladder infection is present.
Numbness or Tingling: Also known as "paresthesia",
symptoms usually involve a prickling or burning sensation, particularly
in the extremities.
Chest Pain: Persons with FMS sometimes experience a condition
called "costochondralgia" which involves muscular pain
at the spot where the ribs meet the chest bone. Since costochondralgia
mimics cardiac symptoms, it is always a good idea to check with
a physician if chest pain occurs.
Cognitive Disorders: Frequent complaints, which vary from
day to day, include difficulty concentrating, "spaciness",
memory lapses, word mix-ups when speaking or writing, and clumsiness
or dropping things.
Dysequilibrium: FMS patients may also experience dizziness
and balance problems. Typically, there is no classical, spinning
vertigo. Rather difficulties in orientation occur when standing,
driving, or reading.
Environmental Sensitivity: Allergic-like reactions to a variety
of substances are common, as are sensitivities to light, noise,
odors, and weather patterns. Dryness of the skin, eyes, and mouth
is also common.
Other Symptoms: Increasingly, additional symptoms and syndromes
are being associated with FMS. These are discussed in more detail
in publications and audiotapes produced or sold by the Fibromyalgia
Association of Greater Washington, Inc. (FMAGW).
Currently, no diagnostic, laboratory test exists for FMS.
For fibromyalgia to be diagnosed, other conditions that mimic
its symptoms must first be excluded (i.e., thyroid disease, lupus,
lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.). Furthermore, according
to official, diagnostic criteria established by the American College
of Rheumatology, a patient must suffer from widespread pain in
all four body quadrants for at least three months. Finally, 11
of 18 possible tender points should be present when specific locations
in the neck, shoulders, chest, hip, knee, and elbow regions of
the body are examined by a physician (see diagram at right), although
patients may not be aware that these tender points exist. Some
physicians take the position that less than 11 tender points can
be present at any given time for a fibromyalgia diagnosis to be
Rheumatologists and physiatrists (specialists in physical
medicine and rehabilitation) are often the most knowledgeable
when it comes to diagnosing FMS.
To date, there is no cure for FMS. Treatment consists of managing
symptoms to the greatest extent possible. Because patients vary
widely in their responses to available modalities, several approaches
may need to be tried before a satisfactory regimen can be established.
For this reason, a multi-disciplinary, medical team approach is
beneficial. The following treatments, used alone or in combination,
generally help patients feel better and improve their quality
Medication: For pain relief and improved sleep, medicines
which increase the body's level of serotonin (a chemical in the
brain that regulates pain and sleep) are often prescribed in low
doses. In addition, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e.,
ibuprofen, aspirin) can also be helpful. Specific medicines which
treat other symptoms (like abdominal or allergic complaints) may
also be required.
Physical Therapy: Among the many types of available approaches
are: massage, myofascial release, cranio-sacral therapy, mild
electrical stimulation, the application of heat (i.e., moist heat
packs, hot baths or showers), the application of cold/ice packs,
ultrasound, posture and movement training, and chiropractic.
Exercise: Gentle exercise can often be helpful in easing sore
muscles by increasing blood circulation and range of motion. Medical
practitioners usually prescribe stretching and low-impact exercise
(i.e., water exercise in an 85 degree heated pool, walking, treadmills
or cross-country ski machines).
Alternative Approaches: Increasingly, fibromyalgia patients
are finding some relief from such treatment modalities as biofeedback,
yoga, tai chi, stress management, nutritional counseling, and
acupuncture. Emotional support is also crucial to help individuals
manage their perplexing array of symptoms and undertake necessary
lifestyle changes. Support can be obtained informally from fibromyalgia
self-help and support groups, clergy, family members, or friends.
Professional assistance is also encouraged for those having a
difficult time adjusting to life with fibromyalgia syndrome.
While researchers continue to seek the cause of fibromyalgia
syndrome, there is evidence that FMS is triggered in pre-disposed
individuals by such precipitants as illness, physical trauma to
the body, or acute emotional stress. FMS also seems to run in
some families, although no genetic component has yet been identified.
Encouraging research is now occurring in the fields of neuroendocrinology,
immunology, cardiology, and exercise physiology, among others.
So, what do you do if you have any or all of these symptoms?
You go on a macrobiotic dietary program tailored to your physiognomy
and constitution and do the regimen of ginger compresses on your
DIABETES & HYPOGLYCEMIA.
This disease symptomology is one which was requested by a
visitor to The Alchemycal Pages. The term 'sugar blues' comes
from a book of the same title written by William Dufty a couple
of decades ago and refers to the modern addiction for refined
sugar and the consequences this has on our physical body as well
as our emotional and mental condition.
Sugar, in the form of glucose, is absolutely necessary for
us to live and our blood stream needs to have between 60-95 mgs/100
ccs of glucose at all times. If the blood carries more than 95
mgs/100ccs we have what is called hyperglycemia (too much glucose)
and if we have less than 60mgs/100ccs we have hypoglycemia (too
Simple sugars are found as monosaccharide(glucose, a single
molecule found only in refined sugar)) or a disaccharide, (a double
molecule like fructose which is present in fruits and lactose,
which is present in milk and dairy products). There are also polysaccharides(multiple
chain sugars which are found mainly in whole grains).
Sugar metabolism is a complex arrangement whereby sugar is
absorbed in the blood stream in the digestive tract and the level
of sugar is regulated to maintain the range of 60-95 mg/100ccs
at all times. The main organs responsible for regulating the glucose
levels in the blood are the pancreas and the liver. When the blood
sugar level rises above the normal range it stimulates the secretion
of insulin by cells present in the pancreas which produce more
insulin as the blood sugar level rises too high. This hormone
sends a message to the liver to convert the excess sugar into
glycogen which is stored in the liver, thus lowering the blood
sugar levels to normal. If the blood sugar level falls too low,
then different cells in the pancreas secrete a hormone called
glucagon which sends a message to the liver to convert the stored
glycogen into glucose which is released into the blood stream,
thus raising the blood sugar level to normal.
This is the homeostatic process whereby the blood sugar levels
are maintained constantly within the normal range at all times.
However, what we need to know is what can upset this balance and
lead to disturbances in the process which either leads to there
being too little or too much insulin leading to hyperglycemia(in
the former case) or hypoglycemia (in the latter case).
Insulin is a more yang hormone and glucagon a more yin hormone,
relative to one another. Therefore the stimulation of secretion
of insulin is a more yin condition, created by the excess glucose,
which is more yin than minerals, protein or fats. The problem
with excess glucose in the blood is that what happens is the liver
cannot store more than 2 kilograms of glycogen. Once this amount
is reached we have the body storing the excess sugar as fat and
the blood itself becomes fatty, which also means the cholesterol
The fat deposition initially takes place in the hips, waist,
buttocks, legs, shoulders and neck and then it begins to be stored
in the organs and tissues themselves. Furthermore, once the capacity
of glycogen storage in the liver is exceeded the blood sugar level
tends to constantly exceed the upper levels of the normal range.
This means the cells in the pancreas are constantly being asked
to produce more insulin and they eventually become exhausted in
their capacity to do so and we become insulin deficient and the
body begins to become diabetic.
The symptoms of diabetes are excessive urination which contains
sugar (once the blood sugar level gets over 110 mg/100ccs blood),
there is chronic fatigue and tiredness, and there is increased
thirstiness. There is also loss of minerals because the overly
yin condition of the blood caused by the increased blood sugar
levels leads to minerals(more yang) being leached out(yin attracting
yang) of the bones(osteoporosis) and tissues (brittle tendons,
ligaments and joints making them more easily injured by exercise
etc., which explains why modern athletes are so injury prone-
I call sports injuries "sports drink disease") and the
minerals are lost during the excessive urination which along with
the loss of sugar makes us become more hungry and thirsty. This
in turns leads to increased fluid intake and overeating.
Other symptoms include weakened and rough skin which is easily
bruised and if we get a cut it does not heal easily. There is
poor circulation of the blood especially in the periphery of the
body and we thus experience constant cold in our hands and feet.
Also our eyes become weaker and we have glaucoma.
Emotionally we become depressed, whiny and irritable and mentally
we tend to be unable to focus our thinking which becomes cloudy
and our memory becomes poor.
In the case of their being an over secretion of insulin before
the cells in the pancreas become exhausted and their insulin secretion
is too little, the condition which develops is hypoglycemia which
manifests as weakness and tiredness, the muscles become weak,
thirst increases, there is mental irritability and neurosis and
in extreme cases convulsion and coma.
Here we can correct the problem temporarily by eating more
sugar but of course we then cause secretion of more insulin and
eventually we get diabetes.
Obviously modern medical has no answer for either of these
conditions other than the simplistic approach of prescribing insulin
to people who are diabetic and their condition continues to deteriorate
because the underlying cause is not addressed, leading to blindness,
heart disease, gangrene, especially in the lower limbs requiring
amputation, and death (diabetes is the seventh leading cause of
death in the U.S.) And I know people who have gone on a macrobiotic
dietary program who had diabetes and have thrown away the insulin,
no longer needing it. In one case, the person had been taking
insulin for 50 years and got off it with the macrobiotic approach.
The question is how do we become addicted to simple sugar,
the table sugar we buy in the grocery store and use to make cookies
and cakes, put in our tea and coffee, in our sports drinks, in
our beer and wine and liquor, and in the candy we consume constantly.
The addiction to sugar of the population of the United States
is illustrated by the fact that in 1900 the average per annum
per person consumption was 4 lbs; in 1985 it had reached 130 lbs.
When we eat of animal fats and proteins as our main daily
food two processes are set in motion:
1.) These foods are very yang relative to the human organism's
dynamic of yin and yang and makes us seek extreme yin foods in
an attempt to make balance with them. Thus, if we eat animal foods
daily, we are constantly attracted to eating extreme yin foods
which are sugar, alcohol (which is fermented or processed sugar),
fruits and dairy food, as well as drugs.
2.) The digestive system of the human organism is not designed
for the digestion of animal proteins and fats and this lead to
the build up of stagnated mucus both in the lumen of the intestines
and eventually also in the tissues of the walls of the intestines.
The build up of this mucus leads to the small intestine having
more difficulty in absorbing sugar, so we tend to crave it more.
And we satisfy this craving by eating the simple sugars which
are absorbed directly into the blood stream in our mouth; since
they are simple sugars they do not need to be digested the way
complex carbohydrates are before they can be absorbed as simple
This need to eat sugar as simple sugars also means a weakening
of the digestive processes occurs.
Thus, if we want to have neither diabetes nor hypoglycemia
we need to change to a macrobiotic diet. Now, there are slight
but significant variations in the macrobiotic dietary approach
if we wish to correct diabetes or hypoglycemia since the former
is more yin condition and the latter a more yang condition. The
chief difference is that in the case of hypoglycemia no salt is
used in cooking the main foods to begin with, and the cooking
style is more yin and in the case of diabetes it is important
to use millet as well as brown rice on a daily basis as well as
winter squashes like acorn, butternut and hokkaido pumpkin. I
will have more to say on helping the pancreas heal itself in the
Healing With The Seasons page when I do the Soil State of Transformation.
One of the problems people have when they start a macrobiotic
diet is that the main source of glucose is cooked whole grains.
These are complex carbohydrates which after cooking and chewing
thoroughly are gradually broken down so that by the time they
enter the small intestine they are reduced to glucose, which is
then absorbed by the small intestine. Since people starting a
macrobiotic dietary program have a digestive system abused by
a diet of animal foods it is in a weakened state and has problems
in digesting and assimilating the complex carbohydrates. This
accounts for the fact that many times people starting on a macrobiotic
dietary program are always hungry and eat large quantities of
food and lose a lot of weight at the same time, if they are overweight
to begin with, which is the case with the vast majority of people.
We also tend to crave sweets.
In this case, it is a good idea to transition off sugar when
starting a macrobiotic dietary approach to our daily eating by
using honey in small amounts, like no more than a tablespoonful
a day, for a couple of weeks when we need to have some sweet taste
and then start using either brown rice syrup or barley malt(again
no more than a tablespoonful a day).
CHRONIC HEPATITIS C VIRUS.
I have recently been informed this condition is on an epidemic
scale world wide, with 500,000,000 people expected to have the
symptomology of this disease by the year 2000. I have personally
counseled one person who had this disease and is now in great
health and I recently met another who after less than a year on
a macrobiotic diet is doing well.
To begin with our study of the symptomology of Hepatitis C
Virus it as well to remind you if you have looked at the page
Introduction you will find an account
of the macrobiotic theory of disease where Stage 5 of the Process
of Disease is the Stage of Chronic Blood Toxemia where all the
various chronic infectious diseases show up and it is stated there
macrobiotic theory does not recognize the Germ Theory as being
a valid hypothesis for accounting for these disease symptomologies.
On the contrary, viruses and bacteria are understood to be merely
one of the presenting symptoms of persons who have these conditions,
they are not the cause(s) of these conditions. For more discussion
on this subject click on this link
It therefore does not help in any way to develop treatments
for eliminating these organisms from the body.
The macrobiotic approach is to understand that through improper
diet and lifestyle habits the physical body becomes intoxicated
and the gradual build-up over the years of these toxins in the
body lead to the internal environment becoming a suitable habitat
for the germination and flourishing of various pathogenic organisms
like viruses, which can come from sources external to the body
and from within the body itself. For further discussion click
on this link.
The following symptoms of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Disease
I obtained from a website called Emallis (http://soli.inav.net/~webbsite/symps.htm)which
is dedicated to providing information for people with HCV.
1. 'Flu-like illness; alternate chills and fever (low grade)
- L, Lu, LI
2. Stabbing pains in the liver region - L
3. Indigestion - LI
4. Irritable bowel syndrome- LI
5. Joint pains- LI
6. Fybromyalgia (severe muscle pain) - L
7. Vivid dreams, night sweats - L
8. Depression, mood swings, Seasonal Affective Disorder -
L, LI, K
9. Chronic fatigue or sudden attacks of exhaustion - L, LI,
10. Adverse reactions to alcohol - L
11. Abdominal bloating - LI
12. Frequent urination, often during the night - K
13. Loss of appetite - L
14. Aversion to fatty foods - L
15. Diarrhoea - LI, L
16. Mental fatigue, frequent or continuous headache - L, LI
17. Cognitive disfunction - LI
18. Poor sleep quality, not feeling rested after sleep - L
19. Chest pains, palpitations - H, Lu
20. Pronounced fluid retention - K, H
21. Puffy face, itchy skin - LI, Lu, K
22. Blood sugar irregularity - L, LI, P
23. Dizziness & peripheral vision problems, such as 'floaters'
24. Sleep dust in the eyes - L, K
25. Small red patterns of inflamed blood vessels known as
'Spider Naevi' - L
26. Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
- L, K, LI, Sp
Looking at these constellation of symptoms from a macrobiotic
perspective it is evident that there is more than one organ involved.
The letters after each symptom refer to the following organ(s)
involvement with the symptoms: L-Liver, LI-Large Intestine; K-Kidneys;
H-Heart; SP-Spleen; Lu-Lungs; P - Pancreas. Thus, all these organs
are stagnated with build-up of toxins and these symptoms show
the body is attempting to rid these organs of their toxicity.
The macrobiotic approach is therefore to change the dietary
intake of the person with these symptoms to a macrobiotic dietary
program for that person. As the dietary changes are made the body
responds by detoxifying itself, revitalizing itself and regenerating
dead tissue, thus making the internal body environment inhospitable
to pathogenic organisms. Thus, the symptoms disappear as the body
heals itself. For more information on the specific organs go to
Water which is the first in a series
of studies based on The Five Transformation Theory. From that
page you will find the page on Wood and Fire. The Water organs
are Kidney and Bladder, Wood organs are Liver and Gall Bladder
and the Fire organs are the Heart and Small Intestine.
Copyright © Kaare Bursell, 1996-2003.