Diet and the Development of Disease
from "The macrobiotic party to total health" by Michio Kushi
The macrobiotic approach to healing is based on the view that health and happiness result from living in harmony with nature, while sickness and unhappiness mirror a disharmony or imbalance between the internal and external natural order and harmonize with it, beginning with our daily way of eating. The chronic intake of extreme foods and beverages underlies the progressive development of sickness and unhappiness. This process follows a general sequin of seven stages.
【Normal Discharge】 ①Respiration, or breathing which releases carbon dioxide and other gaseous wastes into the atmosphere
（７０％ of energy exchange）
②Perspiration, or sweating which transports sodium, urea, oil, fluids, and other waters to the surface of the body （２０％ of excreted wastes） ③Urination which consists primarily of urea, uric acid, and other nitrogenous waters, sodium chloride, and about 100 other substances suspended in the fluid
（７％ of discharge） ④Bowel movement which consists primarily of cellulose and other undigested food remains, bile pigments, mucus, bacteria, and water
（３％ of waste）
Normal discharge also takes place through daily physical activity, including motion, conversation, work, play, dance, song, and other ordinary activities. Mental discharge takes place in the form of waves and vibrations that are released in thought, decision making wishes, prayers, imagination, and other forms of consciousness. Feelings and emotional expression are also accompanied by the release of metabolic energy.
The sexual activity offers another normal avenue of energy release for both sexes. Women are generally able to exchange energy with the environment more harmoniously than men because they have several additional means of natural discharge. These include (1)menstruation, (2)childbirth, or having a baby, and (3)lactation, or breastfeeding. As a result, women tend to have a more balanced condition than men, adjust more peacefully to their surroundings, and live longer.
1st stage: General Fatigue (physical and mental tiredness)
If we overeat occasionally or take in only a small to moderate amount of extreme foods and beverages, they will normally be discharged through one of the mechanisms discharged above. For example, eating several apples may lead to diarrhea. However, if the amount of excess exceeds the capacity of the body to discharge it naturally, various abnormal methods of discharge arise. These include colds, fever, sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, excessive sweating, frequent urination, and bowel irregularities. From time to time, more extreme symptoms may arise, including shivering, trembling, vomiting, and nausea, as well as crying shouting, screaming, anger, fear, and otter wild, erratic actions and emotions. Today nearly everyone in the modern world overeats or takes improper food occasionally and experiences physical and mental tiredness or general fatigue, the first stage of imbalance. This is the beginning of sickness and is frequently accompanied by some of the abnormal symptoms listed above, as well as muscular tension and hardening, a short period of feeling cold or hot, temporary constipation or diarrhea. To recover balance usually takes several hours to several days. A good night's sleep, proper rest, healthy food, and regular exercise will normally restore equilibrium.
2nd Stage: Aches & Pains
If we ignore these initial signs of imbalance and fail to change our diet or way of life, general fatigue will be followed by occasional aches and pains, the second stage of developing sickness. These include muscle pain and tension, headaches, backache, menstrual cramps, abdominal ills, numbness and tingling, and other moderate pains and aches. Sleeping problems, breathing difficulties, heart irregularities, chills, and fever, and motion and coordination problems also may start to appear. To restore balance, several days to several weeks are generally necessary, including a healthy diet, active exercise, and necessary rest.
3rd Stage: Decline of Blood Quality & Chronic Discharge
If we fail to heed these warning signs and do not make adjustments in our diet and lifestyle, the third stage in the progressive development of sickness will begin. A change in blood and lymph quality, including the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and blood plasma, will lead to skin diseases, susceptibility to infection, and other manifestations of chronic imbalance. As the blood begins to change the quality and accumulates excessive nutrients, toxins, and wastes, the kidneys become overburdened and lose their ability to cleanse the bloodstream properly. Skin disease commonly appears as the body directs excess to the surface of the body and discharges it in the form of freckles, pimples, spots, rashes, moles, warts, bunkos, calluses, and other symptoms. These result from various combinations of sugar, chocolate, honey, and other refined carbohydrates; protein and fat from meat, chicken, eggs, and other animal foods; milk, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy foods, spices, stimulants; alcohol; drugs; and other imbalanced foods and beverages. Continued intake of these substances may eventually lead to eczema, psoriasis, and other more serious skin disorders. In extreme cases, skin cancer may develop.
As the blood and lymph quality decline, the body loses its natural resistance to infection. Bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that ordinarily pose no risk begin to thrive and multiply. The blood and lymph become coated with fat and mucus from acid-producing foods and are no longer able to discharge potentially infectious agents from the body through the urine, bowel movement, and other ordinary channels. Also, a beneficial microbe that normally live in harmony in the intestinal flora may start to decline as excessive animal protein, acids, and strong chemicals disrupt their normal functioning.
To recover from this stage, the blood, lymph, and other bodily fluids need to be strengthened. Depending on the condition, this can take from 10 days (to change the blood plasma) to 4 months (to fully change the red blood cells). In addition to dietary change and lifestyle adjustments, simple home remedies, including special foods, drinks, and compresses, may be necessary to stimulate active energy circulations.
4th Stage Accumulation
In the underlying cause of chronic symptoms is not corrected through dietary change, or if it is treated only in a symptomatic way, the body will begin to gather and accumulate excess at a deeper level. Accumulation is the 4th stage in the progressive development of the disease. Eventually, the body's ability to discharge to the surface, through normal, abnormal, and chronic channels, will be exhausted. Continued consumption of meat, eggs, chicken, cheese, fatty fish, and other seafood; milk, ice cream, and other dairy products; and oily greasy foods of all kinds, including sugar and sweets that are converted into fat in the body, will result in the creation of internal deposits of fat and mucus. Initially, these will begin to form in the more peripheral regions go the body and ones that have access to the outside. The sections below discuss the major regions of accumulation.
（１）SINUSES Sinus congestion is the most common ailment in modern society, affecting from time to time the vast majority of adults and children. The buildup of mucus and fat in the sinuses can block the nasal and air passages, leading to sneezing, respiratory problems, hay fever, allergies, and other problems. Thick, heavy mucus deposits in the sinuses can reduce alertness and clarity, weaken vitality, and increase susceptibility to infection, disease, and accidents.
（２）TONSILS The tonsils are a frequent site of inflammation as excess gathers in the throat. These tiny organs are part of the lymphatic system and help to neutralize the effects of consuming too much sugar, milk, ice cream, soft drinks, and other extreme foods. However, if these foods continue to be taken in large volume, the tonsils become overworked, leading to swelling, infection, and modern medicine often takes out the tonsil surgically, weakening the lymphatic systems and causing excess to gather and accumulate at a deeper level.
（３）EARS The buildup of fat and mucus inside the ears can cause earaches, diminish hearing, and produce tinnitus(ringing). As the delicate structures of the inner ear become clogged, more serious disorders can arise, including auditory nerve damage and possible deafness. Dairy food is the most frequent cause of ear and hearing problems, but excessive intake of other animal food, sugar, white flour, and other foods that form acid, fat or mucus can also lead to accumulation.
（４）EYES The eyes are also the site of gathering excess. Dietary extremes are responsible for astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsighted, color blindness, conjunctivitis, crossed eyes, and other common vision problems that may require corrective lenses or medical treatment. Over time, more serious disorders may arise as fat and mucus build up in and around the eyeball, leading to cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or retinitis pigments and eventually blindness or vision loss.
（５）TEETH & GUMS The relation between sugar and cavities is well known. Less well known is the relationship between the consumption of many other foods and the development of tooth decay, irregular teeth, the onset of toothache and pain, the formation of abscesses, and other dental problem. Gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other gum problems are also the direct result of long-term dietary excess. （６）LUNGS Excess frequently gathers in the lungs. Mucus and fat may coat the alveoli(air sacs), making breathing more difficult, producing chest congestion and pain, and leading to possible asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, or pneumonia. Coughing will sometimes loosen and discharge this sticky material, but once it becomes firmly attached, it can harden and remain trapped for years. Then, toxins and pollutants in the air that are inhaled ca easily adhere to this sticky environment instead of being normally exhaled. Tar and other heavy components of tobacco smoke can become lodged, producing irritation and eventually leading to cysts and tumors. As the main avenue of normal discharge, the lungs also gather excess and toxins from all other regions of the body, including acid wastes from cells and tissues that enter the venous blood circulation and are discharged through breathing.
The buildup of excess fat and mucus deposits in the breasts may produce lumps, hardening, or cysts. The process is similar to the solidification of water into ice, as sticky, heavy liquid from frequent consumption of milk, cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and other dairy foods, as well as soft drinks, juice, mineral water, iced tea, chilled wine, and other foods and beverages that have a cooling effect, freezes and hardens. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing cysts or tumors in this region.
（８）INTESTINES The accumulation of excess in the lower regions of the body is generally produced by heavy animal protein or fat; salted cheese and other denser dairy foods; hard baked flour products especially those containing white flour, sugar, and oil; and other oily, greasy foods. As the intestinal walls become coated with fat and mucus, they expand, lose their flexibility, and result in an enlarged or swollen abdomen. This is a major cause of overweight or obesity and can lead to colitis, diverticular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive disorders.
（９）KIDNEYS & BLADDER Accumulations of fat and mucus in the kidneys and bladder produce a variety of urinary circulatory and excretory problem. Excessive protein, fat, mucus, and other substances can clog the delicate network of cells in the kidney that filter the blood, affecting blood quality as well as elevating blood pressure. As water accumulates, the kidneys may become chronically swollen, hampering elimination and causing excess fluid to build up in the legs. Cold and frozen food may also crystallize into kidney or bladder stones. Stagnation in the urinary tract easily leads to infections, inflammation, and other complications.
（１０）REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS The ovaries, the principal organ of female reproduction, are the frequent site of fat and mucus accumulation. Eggs, heavy animal foods, hard baked foods, and excessive salt can all contribute to this buildup, especially in combination with sugar and concentrated sweeteners, dairy food, cold beverages, and other extreme items, leading to ovarian cysts and fibroid tumors. If the Fallopian tubes become blocked, the egg and sperm cannot unite, resulting in a failure to conceive. In middle-aged women, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other menopausal symptoms are also the direct result of dietary excess. In men, prostate enlargement is the most common consequence of excess fat and mucus accumulation in this region.
5th Stage： STORAGE
As sickness progresses, excess become directed deeper into the body and begins to gather around the heart, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and other vital organs. Storage is the 5th stage of sickness. As blood quality declines over a lengthy period, structural and functional changes begin to take place, producing degenerative changes in organs and glands, cells and tissues. Most major diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, fall into this category.
In modern society, chronic and degenerative disease is treated primarily with drugs, medications, and other remedies designated to eliminate pain, control symptoms, and prolong life, hormone injections, transplants, and other invasive procedures are routinely performed. At the preventive level, vaccines, immunizations, vitamin pills, mineral supplements, and other artificial substances are consumed, ingested, or injected to prevent future ills. However, none of these approaches deals with the underlying origin or cause of the imbalance or disorder, which lies in the daily way of life, including the everyday way of eating.
Recovery from chronic and degenerative disease and disorders, including heart disease and cancer, takes longer than blood and skin diodes. Generally, 4-6 months to years is needed including careful adherence to a healing diet, reorientation of the way of life, and deep self-reflection.
6th stage: Nervous Disorders
From the accumulation and storage of excess in the organs and glands, the degenerative tendency progresses deeper into the muscles, bones, and nerves. Arthritis, rheumatism, scoliosis, osteoporosis, and other degenerative bone and joint conditions gradually develop after years of dietary excess. Over time, physical and mental coordination gradually declines, and a pessimistic, negative view of life prevails. Mental and emotional disorders grow more imbalance, frequently leading to schizophrenia, paranoia, and other personality disorders. To overcome nervous disorder takes 6 months to several years, depending on the case. In addition to completely changing the way of life, including the way of eating, a positive view of life needs to be developed. This active support and loving care of friends and families are essential to recovery. Physical activity, relaxation exercise, and spiritual practices may also be helpful.
7th stage: Self-Justification
The last stage of sickness is self-justification or arrogance, the view that we are separate from nature and the working of our own body. Through years of improper eating and living, we become detached from the natural world and see ourselves as blameless for our sickness, difficulties, and problems. Instead of taking responsibilities, and changing ourselves, we blame other people, society, nature, the universe, or God. We lose the ability to listen to others and our own intuition. Arrogance is both the last stage of sickness and the origin of all previous stages. It is the underlying cause of all sickness and unhappiness on our planet. To recover from self-righteousness can take several years to many lifetimes, as appreciation is gradually recovered and a spirit of sympathy and compassion is cultivated. At the same time, arrogance may be dissolved instantaneously through disease, accident, failure or other shocks that awaken one to the order of nature. Great difficulties, sufferings, and sorrow can produce a spirit of humility and modesty, leading to a renewed outlook on life and the recovery of health and happiness. Many great saints and prophets awakened to their true nature afterlives of arrogance, indulgence, and ease.
All disease are interrelated and share a common origin: an unnatural way of life, including improper diet, thinking, and behavior. Health, happiness, and peace are the universal birthright of every person. Harmonizing with the marvelous, eternal order of the universe-or what we many call God-is the essence of macro-bios, the infinite life.
You can find more info from the book called "The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health" by Michio Kushi & Alex Jack. This book is a great guide if you want to take control of your own health and well being. It covers just about every disease and illness that the average person would need to know of.
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