The History Of Disease

The Miraculous Human Body

I believe in miracles. The human body is one of the most miraculous creations there is. Just let the body do its thing and witness a miracle everyday. Real magic. Blink, breathe, think, feel, and heal a cut. When you let your body take charge, it does quite well on its own! Mankind started out this way. Many cultures around the world still live this way.

My curious mind never stops. Not a day passes that I don't reflect on my 1991 diagnosis of Grave's Disease. Diseases are an intriguing phenomenon, especially when you've had a personal experience with one. I decided to explore the history of disease. I wanted to know: Where did diseases come from? When did disease begin to effect mankind?

The History Of Disease

At the time of my illness, I was teaching International Studies at the University of North Texas. I found the answers I was curious about within the most beautiful medical geography books written on cultures throughout the world. I discovered that disease accompanied the evolution of food. Life for the ancient hunters and gatherers was a day-to-day proposition. At best, dining meant hand to mouth. One day, primitive man accidentally dropped a piece of meat into a fire, pulled it out and noticed that it tasted better and was easier to chew when it was cooked. It was at this time the first culinary school was founded, offering classes on how to boil water while preparing woolly mammoth.

The taste of cooked meat made humans fierce hunters, sometimes killing their own kind as well as the animals they hunted. Human beings have a history of becoming more aggressive for the sake of convenience. Humans focused more and more on food. Human beings became a more complex structure culturally, and nourishment also became more complex.

Over the centuries, humans perfected ways to produce more food with less work. They planted crops such as barley, corn, vegetables, and grass to feed domesticated animals - the animals they eventually ate. The art of farming seeded the beginnings of larger and larger communities. Farming for profit was such a good idea that it spread around the world. Over thousands of years, more and more people began to plant crops and settle down in villages and towns. There were fewer nomads and hunters-and-gatherers left in urbane societies.

Farmers started trading food with other villages and began storing food for future use. For the first time in human history, having surplus food allowed people to escape some of the day-to-day worries about not having enough to eat.

Human beings had taken a big evolutionary step--instead of adapting to fit their environment, they began changing the environment to suit their needs. Previous ways of life had kept groups fairly small, and their ritual of food gathering was in balance with their natural surroundings. That was now changing, and not necessarily for the better.

Advancing Technology


By the late 18th and early 19th centuries, major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, production of goods, and transportation had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain. The changes subsequently spread throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world. The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human society; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way.

Inventions stimulated fast growing industries. The food industry and the medical industry began to dominate societies. The more technological food became, the more advanced medicine became. It is an interesting fact that the evolution of food and medicine has been hand-in-hand from an early beginning.

Medical doctors learned how to control germs. They began operating on living human bodies. More people gathered inside cities instead of on the farms, and humans opened to a new lifestyle-- urbanization.

The rich and more advanced European societies believed they were superior to the people in poorer societies. They tried to convert the "savages" to their modern way of living. They brought new medicines to the poorer countries and showed people how to cure and prevent disease, which slowed the natural death rate. By imposing medicines on the number of babies being born in the more primitive countries, populations began to steadily grow, creating the need for more food and more medicines.

The circle of life widened....

Population Explosion

The world's human population continued to grow at an alarming rate. At the time the Paleo-Indian crossed into the Americas from Asia, the total world population was around five million. At the time of Julius Caesar, the population had reached 250 million, climbing to 500 million by the year 1650. By the year 2020, the world's population is estimated to be over eight billion.

Throughout history, widespread famine and disease have slowed population growth. The leading killing diseases were tuberculosis, typhus, plague, and smallpox. Today with the aid of modern medicine, man cannot only control disease, but control life and death. The result: a world population growth that is unnaturally out of control.

The growing number of human beings signals an increase in the production of food, housing, energy, waste, pollution, new diseases, and war. As human numbers continue to increase, the quality of life is currently being debated. Humans have become dangerously dependent on a monster of their own making--technology and the money and pollution it creates. Are human beings in control of technology, or is technology controlling human beings? Among the countless species with which we share this planet, human beings have the power to design the future and all other beings' existence along with it. Whether humans have the wisdom to plan the future well remains to be seen--not by humans themselves, but by the generations of all species farther along the evolutionary path.

As our planet becomes more crowded, human beings look for new sources of food. As farmlands shrink amid expanding cities, and the quality of drinking water decreases, the cost of producing, cultivating and transporting proper nourishment amplifies. It is at this point technology becomes an influence.

Technology has made it possible to increase the surplus of goods--but artificially. This makes economic sense, but it doesn't work nutritionally. Food should not be manipulated by man's technology. The human body must remain an autonomous organism beyond man's control. Human beings, as other animals, must not forget their primordial origin as well as their position in the circle of life on this planet.

Animals in the wild, including those in the rivers, lakes and seas, are sick and dying from being exposed to man's technology, especially from exposure to man-made chemicals. Human beings are no exception. We have polluted ourselves into a corner. Chemicals in our food supply are no different than chemicals in the environment. When man-made chemicals are ingested in small doses, human bodies may not always react immediately, but over time, toxic chemicals accumulate in human cells causing illness and death. If too many artificial chemicals are consumed, the body's natural defenses become overloaded and the body is then not able to remove all the toxins. This becomes a threat to health, and the body becomes weak and diseased. Awareness taught human beings to accept disease as a natural process. Today, disease is epidemic, and understood and manipulated at the microbiological level.

All organisms are subject to disease. The causes of some diseases are unidentified, but they range from living to non-living agents, that invade or otherwise affect the body, to various environmental and psychological conditions, to hereditary factors. There are genetic diseases, infectious diseases, parasitic diseases, system and organ diseases, and diseases caused by contamination--contamination by chemicals humans have no business eating. The more chemicals we add to our foods, the faster new diseases develop. There are now record numbers of childhood diseases, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, and mental diseases - more today than ever before in human history. Human beings have become dangerously dependent on a monster of their own making --the technology of food.

Are we to control technology, or is it to control us?

More information on the history of disease can be found in my book, 10-Steps To Detoxification.

Stay tuned! Next month, I will be begin featuring in The Healthy Newsletter, a new article category, "Pharma of the Month", where I will disclose the documented side effects for common pharmaceuticals. I don't know about you, but I find pharmaceutical commercials on television and in magazines disturbing. When I listen to the 30 second list of side effects at the end of these commercials, I find it extremely scary that pharmaceuticals that are supposed to help you, in reality, can potentially cause more problems, some of which are much more serious than the problem for which you would take the pharmaceutical.


Posted March 2009 | Permanent Link

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