This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
This should not be recognized as differing from physiology. Biology is the same whether the process be normal or abnormal. Law is the same now and forever. Biological laws are the same in health and disease. If a given disease-producing influence is experienced, disease will be established; remove the influence, and the laws, which are always the same, continue to act ideally, and health will return. Death itself is the only way to prevent the ideal working-out of physiological law.
It should be illuminating to those who think of disease and health as distinct entities to be assured that they are states, not entities, and that both are produced by the same laws; that it is within the power of man so to present his body to the laws that the state following will be health, not disease.
Correcting disease must have a limit. Where a disease has been running on until enervation is profound, or until the integrity of a vital organ is far spent, coming back to the normal may be impossible.
A patient complains of pain in the chest. On examination, congestion is found. Congestion not being a disease, on further examination a heart derangement is discovered. The pulmonary congestion is due to heart insufficiency. As there are no organic diseases proper (all organic derangements are reflex or secondary), a cause for the heart disease must be found. There may be a history of an infectious disease suffered years before--typhoid fever, rheumatism, or any of the contagious diseases. In regular medicine the primary cause--say, typhoid fever--is gone. The cause, then, is gone; so treatment is given to the heart, notwithstanding the heart lesion is not considered primary. Heart stimulants are given, which revive the organ for a time; but soon it must give out, for the treatment is stimulation, and the cause of its derangements is stimulation. In the first place, it was overworked by fever, infection, and drugs which left it impaired; then wrong eating and other habits, practiced after recovery from the disease that brought on the cardiopathy (heart weakness), prevented the organ from returning to the normal, which it would have done if it had been left for a few months or years to regain its normal tone.
In making a diagnosis, no consideration is given to daily life by the average physician. Because a patient suffered with syphilis twenty to thirty years ago, and today he has lost his faculty of speech, he must be suffering from syphilis. The intervening years of bad habits count for nothing. If symptoms of tabes dorsalis (locomotor ataxia) present, the best doctors doctor syphilis, even if tests fail to affirm their diagnosis. The past twenty to forty years of sensuality count for nothing; the whole trouble is due to a specific germ that has been hibernating in the tissues of the body.
Indeed, if correct living habits are practiced, no disease can remain in the body for any length of time. The body has the power to renew and purify itself, when given an opportunity; and all the opportunity needed is to receive sane care. There can be no hope of a thorough house-cleaning so long as the organism is taxed beyond a reasonable limit by an oversupply of food, by stimulants, by sensual indulgence, and, neither last nor least, by drugs that cause sclerosis.
Morbific cause is often beyond the reach of our remedies, because we are looking beyond the daily and hourly cause or causes for a cause that will vanish as soon as its support is gone.
In the matter of nutrition, many good and intelligent physicians often treat for the removal of an effect of malnutrition rather than for malnutrition--mistaking the effect for cause. Indeed, nearly all the work done by average physicians is on this order.