How Modern Symptom-Based Medicine Can Make the Sick, Sicker

How Modern Symptom-Based Medicine Makes the Sick, Sicker

By Marie Be

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The advancement of modern science and technology has allowed for ways of studying the incredibly small and the commensurably big. Technical capabilities for research make possibilities endless, but private funding means that our great scientists work in silos, answering to competitive economic interests. Sadly, the system as a whole has been forgotten.

Modern medicine has roots in the Hippocratic, Newtonian and Cartesian school of thought, also referred to as reductionism. Though this way of relating to the world, philosophers and scientists defined the universe as a great machine; a complex system that is nothing but the sum of its parts, an account of which can be reduced to accounts of its individual constituents (1). Likewise, early physicians began to define the human body as a machine, studying it by breaking it down into independent parts, losing touch with the study of the whole.

According to this paradigm, the body could be analyzed, catalogued, adjusted, and repaired in parts, as required — just like any other machine. Disease was no longer viewed as a body state (much less an energetic state) but merely as a set of symptoms. From this foundation, modern medicine has become the observation, classification and management of individual symptoms, without seeking to understand the body as an holistic entity (2). Meanwhile, rates of sickness, disease and over-medication are steadily increasing.

Consider the following…

You have clogged arteries, which causes your blood pressure to rise. Your doctor prescribes blood pressure medication to eliminate the symptom of high blood pressure – not the initial problem, which is clogged and hardened arteries.

To reduce blood pressure, doctors have four classes of medication in their arsenal:

  1. Diuretics, which reduce pressure by dehydrating your body. Unfortunately, dehydration affects mind and body, causing imbalance and ageing. Side effects can include dizziness, weakness, an increased risk of strokes, and impotence. But do not worry, there are medications to alleviate these side effects.
  2. Calcium channel blockers, which increased risk of heart attack by 60%.
  3. Beta blockers, which work by weakening the heart so it won’t pump as strongly, thereby reducing blood pressure.
  4. ACE inhibitors, which relax and widen the arteries. They can cause severe allergic reactions, can be deadly to fetuses and children who are breastfeeding, and can cause severe kidney damage.

But remember, these drugs only treat the symptom, not the cause – clogged arteries. Eventually, your arteries continue to clog to the point where even the medication no longer helps. At that point, your doctor is then forced to perform a coronary bypass or angioplasty to unclog heart arteries. Again, the surgery merely addresses the symptoms, not the problem.

After the surgery and the cocktail of drugs involved, your arteries supplying blood to your heart are clear. But what about other arteries such as the ones supplying blood to your brain? In fact, the odds of having a stroke after heart surgery are dramatically increased. To reduce stroke odds, your doctor prescribes you another medication, which inhibits clotting by thinning your blood. Of course, this new drug has its own set of side-effects, so you need extra medication to cover these, too. And don’t forget that you are still on all of the previous blood-pressure drugs and symptom-relieving drugs that your doctor previously prescribed.

Although this is just one example of modern medicine making the sick, sicker, today this spiralling cycle of pharmaceutical over-medication is all too common. The average person 65 years or older in the United States takes an average of 15+ medications a day, each and every day of their lives. And only the first 1 or 2 drugs are actually prescribed to deal with the original symptoms. The other 13+ drugs are all required to deal with the negative side effects of the original two, plus the effects from the interactions of all the other drugs they are taking.

The really sad fact is: in over 95% of all cases, the original problem could have been resolved naturally — with no side effects. (3)

Health as a way of life

There are no “magic bullets” when it comes to achieving good health. Good health is the result of making right decisions, day after beautiful day. (4)

The human body is designed to maintain good health, and properly supported, one way it does this is by constantly gathering and removing toxins from its cells and organs. With the unprecedented levels of toxicity we are exposed to each day, helping the body’s natural detox processes should be more than an occasional cleansing diet – it should be a way of life.

Focus on cleansing and detoxifying your body, inside and outside. Get rid of the toxins that are hanging around in your intestines, clogging your arteries, wearing out your organs.

Learn to avoid toxicity in everything possible – from food, beauty products, air, water, household cleaners, emotions, and thoughts.

Finally, nourish your body with good, clean, whole food and give your body nutrient-dense foods, hydration, exercise, positive thoughts, actions, and activities.

For more on natural detoxification and maintaining holistic good health, check out EarthSun.


(1) Reductionism. Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science.

(2) Jon Barron, 2002, A Step-by-Step Guide to Optimum Health and Relief from Catastrophic Illness.

(3) Ibid.

(4) Ibid.

Previous articles by Marie:

About the author:

Marie BeMarie Be’s inspiration comes from her mom who always challenged common assumptions and sought to understand for herself the major issues concerning her family and the choices she made on their behalf. She raised Marie and her brother in a rural environment, feeding them the best organic foods, and focused on building strong immune systems in her children through the use of natural plants, herbs and minerals.

As a fiery teenager, Marie travelled the world in search of purpose and dreamed of positively influencing our society. While earning her first two degrees, in architecture and sustainable development, she worked for Greenpeace and many other organizations of change. Her experience taught her that change cannot be imposed; she now aims at inspiring individuals through education and awareness.

Marie moved to Vancouver to undertake a Masters in Regenerative Sustainability under the supervision of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Teaching workshops on well-being, she started observing a widespread desire in our society for both physical and environmental health and sustainability. Feeling the winds of change, Marie founded EarthSun. By tuning into nature as our source of life, and acquiring knowledge of ancient herbal traditions as well as new technologies, Marie believes it is possible to use nature’s intelligence to create simple and effective health products.

Check out EarthSun for more information, or connect with Marie on Google +, Facebook and Twitter.


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  • So true. Most modern medicines are symptomicines, designed to treat symptoms, not the actual illness. Most medicines actually say on the bottle, or in the documentation, that they do not ‘cure’ the disease – they only treat symptoms. It starts with cold medicines, flu medicines, and continues with arthritis and all medicines for chronic disease. Gradually, some symptoms – like the high blood pressure you talk about – becomes a ‘disease’, so that the medicine can treat the ‘disease’. There are very few medicines, other than antibiotics, that actually attempt to cure a disease. High blood pressure medicines don’t ‘cure’, they just ‘treat’.

    There is a simple reason for this. Most illness is not disease, as much as it is lack of health. Lack of health can only be treated with health, not medicines. Medical doctors can only diagnose illness, they cannot diagnose health, nor lack of health. Medical doctors do not study health, and are at a loss to create or improve healthiness.

    Instead they launch into a downward spiral of medicines that treat symptoms, decreasing healthiness, creating more symptoms…. treating those symptoms.

    Health is rich and wide and deep. There are many paths to health. It can be difficult to find the right ones, but medicines are not on the list.
    to your health, tracy

  • Very true!

    I have just finished reading about the life of Edgar Cayce, the reluctant clairvoyant who could put himself in a trance and diagnose ailments in a person without even seeing them.
    What really interested me was the treatments he prescribed and how the ailments were often caused by something seemingly unrelated.
    He often included detoxification and certain naturally occuring ‘medicines’ to enable the bodies organs to function properly, which had inhibited the body from clearing the ailments.
    The book was a reminder of how the body works in concert and needs to be addressed as a ‘whole’ instead of masking ailments with drugs.
    It would be very interesting in today’s age of big pharma and the allopathic system, to compare what Cayce would prescribe for many of the sicknesses we are now experiencing.

  • Carlos Alvarez

    It is true that the root cause of many illnesses are not truly treated and the symptoms are simply masked by an anti-inflammatory or similar medications. If a muscle is inflamed, there’s typically an underlying reason why.

    Great article explaining this. I too agree that holistic care is far better as a long-term solution and that as a patient, we should do our due-diligence on treatment plans available and not simply rely on our doctors.

  • I keep hoping that people will come to value their health enough to stand up against the medical industry and demand real care. Things are the way they are because treating symptoms is more profitable than curing the illness and promoting lifelong health. I’m glad when I see people turning first to real healing and better life habits and only seeking chemicals when truly needed. Unfortunately, too many people have been blinded by the medical industry, and are only becoming more unhealthy over time.

    • Carlos Alvarez

      Hi Briana,

      Good points. Unfortunately some people don’t have all the sources such as time, to do the research necessary to inform themselves about holistic or preventative medicine. They do not understand that there is a cause and effect with healthcare. That is why blogs like these are so critical for all of us.