The flow diagram in this post has been updated, with many changes and simplifications. You can see the revised flow diagram here: Is Your Disease Curable? or Incurable?
You might be surprised to learn, I certainly was, that modern medicine has no science of ‘cure’. Freud developed the talking cure, but it was only a treatment, with no test for the patient being ‘cured’. Homeopathy often uses the word cure, but has no tests for cured. It has only treatments. In all of modern medicine, there are only very poor understandings of cure, and poor definitions of cured. Modern medical reference texts seldom use the word ‘cure’, when they do it is without definition, and the use is inconsistent.
Most diseases are treated. Never cured. This has little to do with the disease, or the patient, and everything to do with the lack of science in medicine. Treatments are often designed, tested, approved and manufactured to treat symptoms, not to cure illness.
The only cures actually recognized by modern medicine are killing medicines. Antibiotics, anti-fungal, and anti-parasite medicines cure by killing. Antiviral medicines do not cure – viruses are not alive, and therefore cannot be killed.
I am not a doctor. I cannot cure anyone, but I have a freedom not available to most doctors. I can research and work on theory, because I am not constrained by the practice of medicine. I am working steadily on the Healthicine Creed, which states Every Illness Can be Cured. I am an optimist, and optimism is necessary for medical progress, essential if we are to find cures. I have developed the above map, or flowchart of the theory of curing, how to cure any illness. This post presents the first public draft. I would be happy to read any comments suggestions, criticism that can be used to improve it.
When we look at the details of this diagram – we can many weaknesses in today’s medicine.
Illness Noticed: An illness is noticed, by the patient, the doctor, or perhaps by another person. “An illness can be cured” – it does not need to be diagnosed as a disease in order to be cured. A disease might be eradicated, but it cannot be cured, because a disease is a general concept, covering many individual cases.
Is it progressing? If the illness is progressing, then the cure is to stop the progression. Some illnesses hide, and the progression can be very slow, difficult to detect or measure. But, if it is not progressing, maybe it’s not an illness, maybe it cannot be cured because it’s not an illness.
Injury or Disability: If the illness is not progressing, it might be an injury, like a broken arm, or even a disability, like an amputated leg. Medicine needs to treat all medical problems. There is often no useful distinction between illnesses which can be cured, and other conditions which must be healed. An injury or disability might be healed, or repaired, but it is not ‘cured’ in the sense of ‘stopping the progression’.
An illness like a broken arm needs to be healed. We might say it needs a healing cure. A cleft lip might be repaired by a surgical cure. A dislocated shoulder might be cured by a physical adjustment cure. These are all healing cures, which repair damage, and often require healing for completion. They are not cures that stop the progress of the illness.
Is the cause of the illness known? An illness is defined by causes that result in specific signs and symptoms. The cause is not the illness. The symptoms are not the illness. An illness only exists when the cause leads to symptoms.
A progressing illness can only be cured, can only be proven to be cured, when the cause is addressed. The first step is to identify the cause. It is cured when the link between the causes and the signs and symptoms is broken such that the symptoms fade and heal.
Is the cause an injury or disability? If the cause is an injury or disability, then it is necessary to address that cause. An immediate actions is to treat symptoms and attempt to minimize damage, but that does not cure. Only when we address the injury or disability, can this illness be cured.
Diabetes Type 1 is a disability – missing islet cells. The damage, the illness caused by this disability progresses slowly and causes other illnesses. These secondary illnesses can only be cured when the underlying cause is resolved.
Once the cause is known, address the cause, the only cure is to address the cause. Once we address the cause, we can test to see if it was cured. The proof of cause can only be found in the cure.
If the cause is not known, we can only guess. As we practice guessing, our guesses get better. If you think we know the cause, we can test for that cause, and then treat the cause. If, for example, we believe a patient is ill because of an excess of carbon monoxide in their workplace, we can test the workplace and know the cause. Once the cause is known – it can be addressed and the illness cured.
Guessing is actually a common and powerful medical technique. A patient goes to the doctor with an ear infection. The doctor is not sure if it’s a bacterial infection, or a fungal infection. The doctor makes a guess, and prescribes an antibiotic. Maybe the antibiotic doesn’t work, and the second guess, an anti-fungal medicine provides the cure. In this case, the test for the cause leads directly to the cure, is the cure, and is confirmed by the cure – saving several steps.
Is it Cured? Once the cause has been addressed, test if the illness has been cured. If we want to be certain it was cured, we need to test if it was cured. But there’s a problem. In today’s medical science few cures are recognized. Modern medical textbooks do not use the word ‘cure’ for most illnesses, because most illnesses are not cured by medicines. Cured is often not defined, thus it cannot be tested, thus it cannot be proven. For most diseases, the exceptions being those caused by bacteria, fungus or other parasites, modern medicine has no tests for ‘cured’.
There is no test for ‘cured’ for simple illnesses like scurvy, and obesity, cured – in theory – by a healthy diet. Medical texts do not find any cures for these diseases, because cured is not defined. These illnesses are not cured by medicines, therefore there is no ‘cure’.
Modern medicine has no test for cured for many common illnesses like the common cold, measles and the flu. Medicine defines these illnesses as self limiting – and has no test for ‘cured’. They are cured by time and health, not by medicine. If you get a cold, your health cures it faster if you are healthier. If the patient does not return, the system assumes a cure, but does not test for cured.
Mental illnesses cannot be cured, for the same reason. Cured is not defined. This leads us to the trap of treating illnesses, with no aim to cure. We tell the patient to ‘learn to live with’ their illness. We develop ways to help them live with their illness – avoiding the truth, avoiding the search for a cure.
Only a specific instance of an illness can be cured. Every cure is a single story, an anecdote. What about clinical studies? If you check most clinical studies, ‘cure’ is simply not defined. Most clinical studies only measure symptoms of illness. Some studies define success treating symptoms as ‘cured’, but most avoid the word cure. Because cure is not defined, cured cannot be tested – and as a result, if an anecdotal cure occurs, it cannot be noticed, cannot be documented as part of the study. This is actually a recent change. If we go back 50, many studies documented ‘cures’. In the example documented in this post, an identical study done 30 years later ignored cures, whereas the original study counted cures.
If we are to cure every illness, we need to define cured, for every illness, and refine those definitions, improve on them as the science of cures advances.
Is it partially cured? Sometimes a cure is partial. This can easily happen when there are two, or more illnesses present, with a single disease name. An illness has a cause, or causes, and symptoms.
Let’s suppose you get a cut on your leg, and it get’s infected by a bacteria. The doctor prescribes an antibiotic, and the infection is partially cured, but then continues to progress? What happened? You might have had two illnesses – two infections, from different bacteria. One of them was killed by the antibiotic. One of the illnesses was cured, but the other was resistant to that antibiotic, and can only be cured by a different antibiotic. We often think of the symptoms – the infection – as the illness. But when there are two causes, there are two illnesses, and we might need two cures. Of course it’s not easy to tell the difference between “we didn’t get it all” and “we need to cure two illnesses”. Partial cures often lead to ‘more of the same’ errors. If an antibiotic provides a partial cure, we might think that more will provide a better cure – when the reality of two separate causes says otherwise.
Depression is another example. Depression can be caused by several different things – by diet, by social situations, by specific systemic or digestive problems. When a patient has depression from two or more causes – they have two or more illnesses. Addressing one cause will only address one of the illnesses – resulting in a partial cure. To the doctor, and the patient, it will be seen as a partial success. It might not be viewed as a ‘cure’, because we are stuck with a flawed vision of cure ‘to cure all of the symptoms’.
Today, there is no science of cure. Cure is not defined for most illnesses and as a result, most illnesses simply cannot be cured.
Today, if someone claims to have been cured, or to have cured a patient, the medical profession pleads ignorance. Cures are simply ignored, because they cannot be proven. Sometimes, there arises a search for ‘the medicine’ to prove that a medicine cured the illness, but when no profitable medical cure is found – the cure is ignored or dismissed.
The International Classification of Diseases recognizes three types of disease:
- Caused by parasites.
- Caused by unhealthiness.
This leads us directly to three types of cures. Today, there are cures defined for parasitic diseases, but there are no cures defined for diseases caused by unhealthiness or injuries. There are no tests for cured, for any disease caused by unhealthiness, which included diseases caused by malnutrition, diseases caused by poisons, diseases caused by excesses or deficiencies of exercise, and diseases caused by excesses or deficiencies of rest – sleep, sitting, etc.
As a result, anyone can claim a cure for these illnesses, and anyone can dismiss their claim. There is no proof.
Perhaps we should say that the proof is in the cure. When the patient is cured, they don’t care about definitions. The science of medicine needs to catch up to the realities of their patients. Of course sometimes, a patient, even their doctor, believes they were cured, but they were not cured. In these cases too, we need a science of cures, to detect errors, and to improve on cures. But today, there is no science of cures. Pity.
To your health, tracy
Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine, and working on the third: The Healthicine Creed.