What do we do in an era with a diabetes population of 34 million?

What do we do in an era with a diabetes population of 34 million?


              Ninety-five percent of patients currently receiving treatment are patients with a chronic illness. A considerable number of these people take daily medications for intractable illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and their bodies become punching bags in various other treatments like radiation or dialysis.

             To a less serious degree, many people also suffer from problems like obesity, sleep disorders, migraines, indigestion, atopy, degenerative disc diseases, asthma, and other ailments. Though these diseases are not immediately fatal, they are still a key culprit in reducing the quality of one’s life. They must resist eating the foods they want, put off activities they want to do, and therefore cannot fully experience the joys of living. It is then an easy progression for one’s thoughts to take a negative turn, and the mind to become depressed.

             According to The National Health Council, chronic diseases, which are generally incurable, are among the most prevalent and costly health conditions in the United States. Two out of every five Americans, or around 133 million, suffer from at least one chronic disease, and the number is growing.  Since a person suffering from a chronic ailment such as diabetes is taken care of by other family members, the disease affects them, too. So to say that almost the entire population suffers from a chronic ailment is no exaggeration.

            Not only diabetes, but all types of chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure or heart disease threaten the health of the modern person. One “misconception about health” is that the body will inevitably become ill with age just like we think a machine will break down after extended use. Another misconception is that a doctor can cure any illness.

           Of course, a mechanic can fix a machine when it breaks down, but the human body is not some awkward machine that another person has assembled. A human doctor cannot fix a chronic illness. Scientists in and around modern medicine have been scrutinizing the human body all the way down to the DNA level in search of a way to cure chronic illnesses, but not one case of diabetes has been fully cured. A doctor is needed for urgent or emergency treatments, after an accident or for pathogenic infections.

                 Since the birth of humankind, our bodies have been evolving toward an appropriate method of survival over a long period of time. When we look at the big picture, the various illnesses that occur in our bodies are not caused by pathogenic bacteria but are due to the changing environment around us and the lifestyle habits we create as a reaction. In other words, we have become ill from a lifestyle that is distant from nature.

               There is a condition that a doctor can heal and a condition that the body itself can heal. I classify the type of condition that a doctor can heal as a “disease,” and the condition that the body itself can heal as an “illness.” If someone is in an accident or infected with a pathogenic virus (cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, etc.), then they must seek emergency aid (treatment) from a doctor. But if the cells are contaminated with harmful substances (such as toxins and unwanted cellular debris), harmful organisms (such as bacteria and viruses), high LDL cholesterol particles, and high blood sugar content that flow through your bloodstream making the body ill, then the body should aim to recover on its own.. Our body has an immune system that protects itself from harmful environmental elements.

                 The body, by nature, is built to normalize itself. Even when we don’t take any external action, the body knows to aim for a regular state of being. The body’s self-healing strength is practically miraculous, much like salmon swimming against a strong current to return to its place of origin.

                 As a common chronic illness, diabetes is an illness that we must help our body to ‘heal’ itself rather than rely on a doctor to ‘treat’ it. Diabetes, in particular, often leads to the more severe illnesses of high blood pressure, heart disease, renal failure, or liver disease, and therefore, modern medicine’s symptomatic treatments will not yield the best results. Symptomatic treatment is a method of treatment that works to alleviate only the specified symptom.

                 Because modern medicine focuses on lowering the sugar level through drug treatment, it does not consider abnormalities that may occur in the liver or kidney functions. This is the flaw of symptomatic treatment.

               Majority of diabetes cases occur when high blood sugar levels trigger inflammation, which ultimately damages the blood vessels and subsequently reduces metabolic enzyme capacity. Therefore, a full recovery is not possible without purifying the blood from inflammatory agents in the body. In the same way that partial renovation cannot transform an old house into a new house, even though only one area of our body is ill, we must examine the entire body. To renew our body, we need a new paradigm of healing.


[TIP] A condition to be treated (disease) and a condition that can heal (illness) are different.


            When people feel ill, they quickly assume it is a type of disease. However, of the many conditions that torment us, the ones that are an actual disease are fewer than we think.

            The causes and solutions to a disease versus an illness are fundamentally different. If we cannot distinguish between these two types, we may suffer our whole lives due to health issues. A disease and an illness can be distinguished as follows.


  Disease: a condition that requires the treatment of a doctor, such as diseases from infection caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasites. Cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, etc. qualify as such infectious diseases.

  Illness: a condition that the body itself can heal such as an illness caused by inflammatory response in the blood or cells, or hormonal imbalance. Obesity, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, angina, myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, spinal stenosis, reduced or accelerated thyroid function, atopy, depression, bipolar disorder, rheumatism, etc. are metabolic illnesses.


Reference : A Doctor in You! (Sehyun Kim, Honorary Doctor of Korean Medicine, Author Terrance H Lee, M.D., F.A.C.C.)