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Adapted But Dysfunctional Tips Over into Serious Illness
Although, we are often presented with a major illness, apparently of limited duration, close scrutiny of the medical histories of many patients reveals an evolution of symptoms over several years. Patients often discount or fail to report long-term, chronic or recurrent symptoms Many years may be spent in the adapted dysfunctional state (ADS) with stable symptoms or smooth adaptation to a slowly decreasing level of function, even to slowly increasing disability.
Symptoms of a mild ADS are often intermittent and ambiguous. A new factor such as move to a new home, a change in eating habits, a viral infection, an injury, childbirth, or a drug reaction may precipitate sudden collapse into a more disabling illness.
For example, a 34 year old woman presented with an illness of 10 months duration. A consultant's medical history stated that she was well until 10 months previously when she developed a flu-like illness with lymph node swelling, fatigue, aching, and sore throat. When she did not recover as expected, extensive investigations for infections and other problems were inconclusive. Her 10 month debilitating illness involved daily symptoms; nose congestion, sore throat, generalized aching, stiffness, digestive problems, and fatigue. She had quit work 4 months into the illness and spent most of her days in bed. Her medical records went on to describe many test results that were not helpful in making the diagnosis nor in directing treatment. The impression of the illness, on casual review, was that it was a new event. But, on closer examination of her history, a different story emerged. She revealed that she had chronic "sinus problems" for 15 years (nose congestion, mucus in her throat, cheek and forehead pain from sinus congestion). Muscle pains, tension and stiffness had been occurring for over 10 years but were limited to her shoulders and upper back. She treated this discomfort with exercise, massage, and aspirin, keeping it under control. As a child she had episodes of mysterious illness with fevers, middle ear infections, nose congestion, and eczema.
She described increasing work "stress" for a year prior to her collapse. The "stress" translated into a series of relevant behavioral and diet changes-she worked longer hours, she stopped exercise classes, increased her cigarette consumption from 10 to over 20 per day, and increased her coffee consumption from 2-3 to 8-10 cups per day. She took more aspirin for headaches and muscle pain and ate more fast foods, muffins, crackers, cheese, and yogurt; 70% of her daily calories were supplied by milk products, wheat, and eggs, and the 10% vegetable fraction was mostly potato.
What really happened was not a sudden new illness in an otherwise healthy woman, but an avalanche effect from a cascading series of negative events over many months to years. Her history suggested that she had delayed pattern food allergy since childhood in a mild and intermittent form. She existed in an adaptive dysfunctional state and perceived herself to be "well" even during the hectic year which shifted her food intake, smoking, and other habits into a maladaptive range.
This perception, "I am OK", while in the ADS is typical of highly-motivated, goal-oriented people. Many ADS people may totter on the brink of collapse for months to years. Their suffering is associated with denial of increasing dysfunction. When the doctor reassures an ADS patient, who presents with symptoms too early, that everything is OK because the tests are normal, the patient is really encouraged to continue working on the illness until it is a fully-expressed, finished product. When you go too far out of range, you can expect a sudden, dramatic collapse -- the avalanche-- but you never know when it will occur..
We recognize three basic truths
First: Most of the diseases that lead to premature disability and death are caused by eating too much of the wrong food and exercising too little.
The second truth is that normal is not normal: The foods implicated in causing illnesses are common foods that almost everyone eats. To become a healthy person you have to redefine normal food.
The third truth is that each person is responsible for their own health. Rather than waiting for the next “miracle cure” for high blood pressure or diabetes 2, for example, responsible people get busy and fix the problem for themselves.
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Symptom production if described in several book in the Alpha Education
Series. The Alpha Nutrition Program is a set
of instructions and nutrient tools designed to resolve disease through diet
revision. The program is nutritional therapy, a personal technology of health
restoration and health maintenance.
The Program uses Nutrient Formulas: Alpha ENF is the principle meal replacement formula. Alpha PMX is a fat free version of Alpha ENF can also be used as food replacement. Alpha DMX is used instead of of Alpha ENF for diabetes 2 and whenever reduced caloric intake is desirable.
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