Benefits of Infectious Disease
Sickness is good for you?
How could fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, headache, overall yucky feeling (general malaise) be good for you? Remember, the body is intelligent and it does things for a reason. What we call uncomfortable symptoms are the mechanisms by which the body heals itself, restores itself to balance (also known as homeostasis).
This has been known by traditional healers for thousands of years. Acute symptoms such as fever, colds, skin eruptions, diarrhea, and vomiting permit the body to expel poisons, purify and cleanse while permitting the immune system to strengthen and mature. These symptoms are uncomfortable and dramatic, but they are temporary and good for you. The “Father of Medicine” said it well:
Diseases are crises of purification, of toxic elimination. Symptoms are the natural defenses of the body. We call them diseases, but in fact they are the cure of diseases. – Hippocrates
Research verifies this. For example, a history of measles and mumps in childhood are significantly protective against deadly heart attacks and strokes during adulthood. Researchers also found that adults who had contracted chickenpox were 33% less likely to develop coronary heart disease. Each additional contagious disease contracted during childhood, such as measles, mumps, or rubella, increased the protective effect against acute coronary events by 14%. (1)
Febrile infectious childhood diseases (FICDs) were associated with lower cancer risk in adulthood (2). In another study, a history of common colds or gastroenteric influenza prior to the interview was found to be associated with a decreased cancer risk. (3)
1.Kubota Y et al. Association of measles and mumps with cardiovascular disease: The Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) study. Atherosclerosis. August 2015;241:682-686.
2.Albonico HU, Braker HU, Husler J. Febrile infectious childhood diseases in the history of cancer patients and matched controls. Med Hypotheses. 1998;51(4):315-320.
3.Abel U, Becker N, Angerer R, Frentzel-Beyme R, Kaufmann M, Schlag P, Wysocki S, Wahrendorf J, Schulz G. Common infections in the history of cancer patients and controls. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1991;117(4):339-344.
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