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
There is a lot of buncombe by way of professional talk in favor of diet and against drugs; but this is to meet the demand for physicians who understand diet--a demand that is fast running ahead of the supply. That is, the average doctor is compelled to prescribe a diet; and his prescription would be a joke, if it were not so stupid. There is a time and place for everything; but the burlesque acted by many physicians today, in pretending that they know how to diet the sick, is certainly too asinine even to create a smile.
That bacteriology is not satisfying the profession, there are evidences galore. And so long as common sense regarding the cause and cure of disease is to be ignored, all theories of cause and cure must be founded on shifting sand.
There are millions of money , and all the bluff that can be mustered by influence, behind the germ theory; consequently its death-struggles will be long and agonizing. But it must go. Of course, its fossilization stage will be long, and interesting to curio fiends and ancient respectability.
In what follows on the subject of germs, I shall endeavor to do justice to the germ theory. If I too frequently say that germs cause this, that, or the other disease, please understand that I am writing from the standpoint of an advocate.
What is the difference between parasitic and infectious agents, according to the accepted theory?
The parasite is supposed to be much easier on its host. It draws only what it needs for subsistence, and remains on the outside of the body; while the infectious agent invades the sanctity of the blood and fluids of the body, and spreads devastation and anarchy everywhere. It develops rapidly, and destroys organic functioning by exciting intense reactions.
When the parasite causes death, it is more accidental than otherwise. The intestinal worm causes death by finding its way into the lungs. The hydatid disease of the liver (a parasite belonging to the dog) is fatal. The parasites, when they kill, do so by causing tumors, which cause pressure or obstruction.
Both parasites and infection produce toxic substances; it is a question of more or less. The poison is that of intoxication. In parasites, intoxication is reduced to the smallest amount.
The definition of infectious disease is: Disease developed from toxins produced by parasites. The word "parasite" in this case is made to cover all animate agents.
Infection, defined, is a history of intoxication.
There are intoxicants which are not infectious agents. Alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco, various drugs, and all legitimate foods, are stimulants; and stimulation is the first stage of intoxication. Thoughts stimulate the mind and body, and thoughts may be pushed to intoxication. To aid intoxicating habits to overcome resistance, we have all the domestic and social requirements--habits in daily life, in business and social life--the carrying-out of which uses up more nerve energy.
Intoxication means prostration. The body in a state of drunkenness--in a state of intoxication--is at first exalted until reaction comes; then it is prostrated--enervated. Understand, once for all, that there are many varieties and stages of drunkenness besides alcohol inebriety. The commonest drunkenness is food drunkenness--and it is not often recognized.
A body that is enervated is crippled in its functioning. Elimination is impaired, and this favors auto-intoxication; for the excretions are toxic, and when not carried out as fast as generated, they become a poison to the system.
Besides the intoxicants (stimulants) named, there is no question but that, when enervation is established, the process of digestion is imperfect; then pathologic fermentations take place; and this process generates toxins, which, when added to the daily or habitual supply, add to the enervating influence to such an extent that systemic protection--resistance--is lost. Then it is that bacterial invasion, with bacterial toxins, overwhelms the body, and the victim dies from an infectious type of disease.
Everything points to the fact that so long as the human body is normal, and not overtaxed by care and bad habits, parasites are either suppressed entirely or held down to inoffensive guests of the body. But when enervation is established, the body loses its immunizing power; then, and not before, do germs become the allies of bad habits in destroying health.
Pasteur demonstrated that germs were in the atmosphere, and that, falling into certain liquids, if they there found conditions favorable for their development, they caused fermentation. The great point that should never escape the mind's eye is: If germs find conditions favorable, they set up fermentation.
What are unfavorable conditions? Health! A normal type of health is capable of resisting even an abnormal type of fermentation, when health is not handicapped in some way. For example: In flesh wounds, if drainage is perfect, health defies septicemia. If uterine drainage is perfect, puerperal fever--septicemic fever--is defied. Large quantities of germs--putrescence--may be swallowed, and a normal digestion will defy them.
When putrescence is injected subcutaneously, beyond the immunizing power of the blood, the health is overcome, and the disease and death are enthroned.
When an injection of antitoxin, or even water, is made into the spine, it may kill from shock in a child that is enervated, and its system taxed at the time with an oversupply of food. The body is off guard, or preoccupied, so to speak, when taxed with a large meal, when mentally occupied, or when fear has possession. Under such conditions, a shock that ordinarily would be easily rallied from may prove fatal.
An irritable state and lack of poise are antidotal to resistance, and such subjects become easy victims of infection.
Any influence that consumes energy may become an ally of germs, if pushed to nerve exhaustion.
The human body becomes a victim of germs after resistance is broken down from any cause.