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Entire Health

Root causes of disease

When it comes to disease, what does ‘root cause’ actually mean? And why does it matter?

Establishing the root cause of a disease means working out WHY it has happened.

Why does THIS person have THIS particular illness? What are the factors that led up to it?

It matters because it helps to identify underlying dysfunction that could be contributing to your symptoms and addressing these is an important part of improving health. 

If you look at the branches on the tree above, you can see that there are many different diseases that a person could suffer with. And underneath, you can see a wide range of root causes.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of diseases, but the point is to illustrate that many diseases have a common collection of underlying dysfunction (root cause).

In fact, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence which links our diet, lifestyle, and environment with chronic diseases.

There are notable advances in both treatment and prevention of many acute health problems in conventional medicine, such as for infections and types of trauma. However, when it comes to treating and preventing chronic disease, conventional medicine has not been as effective.

Currently, when there is a diagnosis of a chronic disease, it is commonly followed up with a prescription for a drug to manage the symptoms. But symptom suppression does not deal with the root cause and may result in further health conditions in the future.

So, rather than focusing only on relieving the symptoms of chronic disease, which is often just a band aid or temporary fix, it is important to look at where the dysfunction may originate from. We should focus on interventions informed by science to address the disease at its root cause.  This helps to prevent future illness, to relieve symptoms, and to reverse the progression of the current disease.

Diseases are often complex and multifactorial with interconnected biological systems, which is why addressing root causes to improve health means looking at each person as a whole, rather than a small part of that whole. 

Looking at the root cause of disease can often feel like detective work. I had two clients recently who were both diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, were otherwise healthy and could not understand how they had developed a thyroid disorder. Even though they both had the same diagnosis and were on the same medication, the areas of dysfunction were unique to each client. One had many food sensitivities which needed to be addressed and the other was regularly exposed to toxins in her environment.  Addressing these root causes made a significant difference to their symptoms. 

You need to be a partner in your healthcare when you have a chronic disease. Look at the roots on the tree. Which can you address? Can you get an extra hour of sleep tonight, or go for a walk rather than sit down in front of the TV? Sometimes these small changes can amount to big health gains.

Everyone is different, which is why this approach needs to be personalised. Work with me by playing an active role in your journey to improved health.