Saturday, 7 March 2009

The disease model is overextended

I'm beginning to realise why scientists and the medical profession are so keen to turn fatness into a disease.

It's the disease model.

That is, that disease is caused by pathogens, which overwhelm the immune system.

This is defeated by a magic bullet, i.e. drug that zaps the bugs and kills them. Ergo, people are cured of disease.

Long term chronic disease has never yielded anything like as well to this paradigm. Mainly because it tends to be about things like replacing a substance the body is no longer producing or producing in sufficient quantities, i.e. Types I and II diabetes.

The problem with managing long term symptoms is that no matter how closely the person is monitored, it's hard to match the body's own accuracy, complications can occur due to this. Although this is far more the case when the body ceases production completely as opposed to merely reducing it.

I must admit I hadn't quite noticed that medicine has become so devoted to this, over and above it's usefulness.

IOW, I didn't realise that they use it because it's the thing to do, as opposed to it's the best way to go about it. I've been concentrating on motive, because I keep working on the assumption that medico's want to cure without fear or favour in the best way they can think of.

When the truth is, they get used to what they know the same as the rest of us and sometimes sleepwalk into mindless adherence to their procedures, regardless.

That would be more forgiven if they didn't scream like banshee's because you politely ask them to reconsider the wisdom of turning virtually every facet of the human character and condition into a disease of some kind.

What I'd forgotten is that like anyone, they get very comfy and used to things being the way they are. Even when this creates or exacerbates problems, or obscures further understanding and knowledge.

Like a nervy spectacle wearer, when they don't understand things, they put on their specs, out of habit, even though the problem is that not that they cannot see, but cannot understand.

Once they decided being fat was a problem, they reached for their specs- the disease model- because they cannot quite grasp anything outside what they've been taught.

It's clear that if weight is to be adjusted, it's a question of resetting cycles, rather than zapping germs, the adipose cell is not one.

Trying to get round that by pretending it is like cancer, would be pitiable if it wasn't causing so much damage already and threatening to cause more everyday.

1 comment:

  1. This is very well put, something I've been trying to explain to myself but haven't gotten around to really laying it out so well. It always boggles my mind. Doctors and authorities have been blinded by prejudice before and used the prejudices to justify even guide their moves. Why not so long ago any woman not particularly stoked about shutting up was medically deemed crazy (Yellow Wallpaper anyone?). Why is it so hard to wrap thoughts around the possibility that maybe, just maybe it's happening again?