Microbiome: The Achilles’ Heel of Conventional Medicine
by Ravi B. Sahay – professor Ravi Sahay is a 73 year old former heart patient who is vibrantly healthy and has just published the book My Health Is Your Wealth: Triumphs Over Chronic Diseases & May You BE Healthy: Well-being for Pennies a Day.
Based on a decade that saw thousands of published research papers on microbiome, it is abundantly clear that lifestyle changes with healthy eating, exercise and daily detoxification are the way to make us and our country healthy and wealthy. Discovered in 2007, the microbiome is probably the most profound paradigm shifting medical discovery in the last century—even more revolutionary than the invention of penicillin in 1928. Our microbiome has ten times as many microbial cells than other human cells. It has been called the “missing organ,” weighs as much as five pounds, consists of trillions of genetic materials—bacteria, fungi and protozoa—that live on and inside our body, mostly in our gut, oral cavity, and skin. These microbes produce chemicals and hormones for our body to keep us healthy, that is, free from physical or mental diseases. They constantly communicate from our gut to our brain. A rich, diverse, and balanced microbiome provides for a strong immune system, which in turn keeps inflammation under control and thus averts many chronic diseases.
Yet despite almost a decade and half after the microbiome discovery, conventional medicine still operates with the old, flawed strategy of pushing “pills for ills.” Why is this? Mullah Nasuruddin jokes about the time he crawled around outside his house looking for his lost keys, even though he thought they were in his room. A curious passerby asked why he would look for them outside. Nasruddin replied, “Because there is more light here than inside my house.” Like Nasruddin, those in conventional medicine are looking for cures to chronic diseases in the wrong places, including in their continued association with Big Pharma. Many pills have effects, but are they beneficial when they serve to suppress symptoms, have adverse side effects, and do nothing for the underlying disease? Pills often disturb the ecological balance of the microbiome, with antibiotics and immunosuppressant drugs being the worst offenders. The rising cost of healthcare in America consumes one-fifth of our GDP and continues to rise faster than inflation mainly because conventional medicine does not have cures for chronic diseases, plus new ones arise every year.
I am not a doctor, nor a medical researcher—I am an empowered patient who has recovered from several chronic diseases and conditions: heart attack, congestive heart failure, sinusitis, eczema, gout, hemorrhoids, etc. I have written two books on my recovery. The most recent, May You BE Healthy, is based on Ayurvedic wisdom and the microbiome, whereas My Health is Your Wealth is based on Ayurveda and candida.
In 1950, Orion Truss, MD developed a theory explained in his book, The Missing Diagnosis, where he connected candida overgrowth with various chronic diseases including mental health issues. Candida is a naturally occurring yeast present in the microbiome. Health implications from candida overgrowth compare to microbiome imbalance in that both can cause mental as well as physical diseases.
Ayurveda is a holistic medical system from India, a practice that stretches back over 5,000 years. It is based on creating a balance of the three doshas in the gut and is similar to microbiome and candida balance. Ayurveda claims that more than ninety percent of mind and body chronic diseases happen due to the gut flora imbalance and that lifestyle is the key factor in maintaining this balance. Microbiome researchers are coming to the same conclusion and include Alzheimers, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and obesity on their list.
Conventional medicine has undermined the candida overgrowth hypothesis for decades. However, they can no longer deny the existence of the microbiome discovery. More than 70,000 peer reviewed research papers have been published on this topic in the last fifteen years. Yet adherents to conventional medicine find it hard to adapt to this proven reality that challenges the compartmentalization of specialties and so-called pharmacological treatments. Lifestyle changes do not make money for Big Pharma or physicians. Yet therein lies the answer. We must claim our health and well-being through lifestyle changes.
As a scientific discovery destined to march to the forefront, the implications for a balanced microbiome through proper lifestyle is turning out to be the Achilles’ heel of conventional medicine.