Close X
Get more out of
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.

Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

What Doctors Don't Tell You

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

June 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 4)

Asthma: It's not a disease after all
About the author: 

Asthma: It's not a disease after all image

Here's a little-known, and inconvenient, truth about disease

Here's a little-known, and inconvenient, truth about disease. When you are diagnosed with a specific disease, such as asthma, the doctor really means that your symptoms in the main fall within a common grouping that allows him to label you 'asthmatic'. Certainly, your 'asthma' will have unique features that fall outside of the spectrum, but the majority of your symptoms are within the accepted classification.

Once conveniently labelled, the treatment can begin, and you are prescribed drugs to treat asthma. Unfortunately, the drugs don't treat your version of asthma, just a general consensus view of the disease. That's why, as GlaxoSmithKline admitted a year or so back, drugs work in only one-third of cases.

Now, even The Lancet says it's time to drop asthma as a term. Asthma isn't a single disease; instead, the symptoms are a common manifestation that mask a range of possible causes, often allergic, says the journal.

This thought started occurring to doctors with the alarming rise of asthma cases in children over the past 20 years. Recent studies have discovered that the cause is some allergic reaction to the environment. But, says the journal, "the harder one looks, the more questions arise. Hardly a week goes by without anxious parents being confronted with yet another association that supposedly either protects from or predisposes to the development of asthma."

Even drug trials are hampered by the problem, because they are rarely matching groups that have asthma from a common cause. In 1995 a landmark study discovered that children don't always go on to develop 'classic' asthma, as those whose asthma is caused by a virus stop wheezing when they reach school age.

So, just as doctors in the 19th century realized that fever is not a disease but a symptom, those in the 21st century may have to come to the same conclusion about asthma.

Wouldn't it be something if they applied the same thinking to a few more disease groups? If they did, it would mean the end both of medicine for the masses, and the industrialization of pharmaceuticals. So forget that, then.

(Source: The Lancet, 2006; 368: 705).

E-news broadcast 31 August 2006 No.288 [Subscribe]

You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions..

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

© 2010 - 2019 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved