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The Final Word On Chronic Illness

by Dr. Karen Clickner, ND


Whether you are talking about CoVid, asthma, shingles or fibromyalgia, more and more of us are living with chronic, unresolved illness and its symptoms. Conventional medicine offers one drug after another but symptoms return again and again. The longer this goes on, the more debilitated we become. The loss of health is causing our society to become incapable of living our lives.

How can we turn this around? First we need to understand that our immune system is as unique as a fingerprint. Like a fingerprint, we all have the same building blocks, but how those blocks are arranged and what we have experienced leave an imprint that is unique within our bodies and upon our immune system. This determines how we will react to the next illness that comes our way. The more burdened the immune system becomes, the more dysregulated it is and the less effective it is at managing our symptoms and resolving an illness.

Consider this ...

Our immune system relies on nutritional resources including vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fats to provide the building blocks for lymphocytes, white blood cells and organ function (such as the spleen and thymus). This reduces our ability to battle an illness on multiple levels. So don’t assume that just because you are deficient in Vitamin D, that this is the reason for your illness.

Many of us have experienced the loss of a key component of our immune system function such as the tonsils, the adenoids or the spleen. Our gut lining is compromised from years of acid reflux reducing our cellular immune function. We are aging and sedentary which reduces the vitality of our thymus gland and congests our lymphatic fluid both of which determine the volume, health and mobility of our immune cells.

Frequently chronic illness seems to begin after a severe strain, injury, loss or illness which has already depleted our reserves and burdened our immune system. Then when we are exposed to the next challenge we don’t have the ability to manage it or resolve it. The longer we have symptoms the more debilitated we can become. It is this aspect that creates the longest lasting symptoms and can cause the most lasting damage.

Resolution ...

Chronic illness requires evaluating all factors involved in our immunity to determine why our system has not been able to resolve something. As long as we have symptoms, we have an unresolved situation. It is crucial to determine if that is due to the dysregulation of our immune system and/or the challenges that are being faced. The answer will always be more complex than you imagine, so being open to every possibility is important. It will rarely be just one thing that is the active player, so don’t be fooled into latching on to any one particular kernel of information.

In attempting to resolve our illness, we also can make the mistake of becoming fixated on anything out of the ordinary, any anomaly that appears in testing, thinking this must be why our symptoms continue. We forget that immunity is a system operating on multiple levels and assume that a positive test for Lyme must be why we feel the way we do. We assume that because we have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, this must be the underlying cause of any symptoms we experience.

The reality is that we are the product of everything we have experienced and been exposed to. Our bodies carry scars, deposits, cysts and lesions that are normal for us, that represent our history. We hold remnants of every virus we have ever been exposed to, not to mention stealth pathogens, bacteria, funguses and parasites. But to assume that any one of these is the only cause of illness is to miss the bigger picture. This is about how balanced and supported our immune system is, how many active burdens it manages and the levels of the essential nutritional reserves available to it.

This concept is what drives resolution of any chronic illness and any long-term symptom. It is also important to understand that often our body has experienced an injury or illness of which we are unaware. This can cause our body to adapt or manage the effects of that experience by elevating blood pressure, increasing blood cholesterol, synthesizing more stomach acid or increasing thyroid function. Again it is important to realize that these are not the cause, they are the result. Simply removing these adaptations without understanding their purpose may actually create more problems than it solves.

The answer is to not settle for the simple answer. Be prepared for the complex answer that unfolds over time. Increase nutritional reserves, reduce identifiable burdens, resolve long-term emotional and physical challenges and support essential body tissues, all while evaluating the effects and the changes that you experience. Restoring normalized immunity takes multiple steps and viewing information on multiple levels, so knowing that there will not be “one” answer is important. This is a journey through your past to understand and create your future. But it is a journey that each of us will be required to complete at some point in our life.


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