Specialized Versus Holistic Approach in Medical Research - By: Munir M Hasan, PhD

Allah has made the human body a very complex machine. It is so complex that even in this age when a large number of diseases have been identified even at micro level, and cures have been found, many functions of the human body are still unknown. In the textbooks of Physiology, a large number of statements can be seen where mentioning the malfunctioning of some organs or giving the details of a disease it is stated that the “cause of this trouble is unknown”. In such troubles although the treatment such as drugs, surgery, radiations and others are being prescribed, these do not remove the cause of the trouble, but are based on the principle of allopathy - the usual method of treating diseases with remedies that produce effects opposite to those produced by the disease itself. But why this trouble starts initially, in many cases it is still unknown.

My view point is that it is extremely important to know the real cause of the trouble because, even if the disease is cured without eliminating the cause, in the presence of the cause the trouble is very likely to recur; or at least, it will necessitate applying the remedy for the whole life. These diseases include some very common diseases of this age, such as diabetes and cancer. Apart from being known as hereditary, the real causes are not known because these diseases develop even in those people who have no such history in the family.

I will elaborate my point of view in some detail with an example. It is about a disease of the eye called Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy. It is basically the dystrophy of the cornea. Doctors tell about this disease as:

The real cause of this trouble is not known
No medicine can be prescribed for the CURE of this trouble, and
The only remedy is to have a corneal transplant
The ophthalmologists - the specialists of the eye diseases - except suspecting this disease as hereditary, still have no answer what causes this disease to occur, and only prescribe corneal transplant which is carried out throughout the world. Although the real cause, apart from being hereditary, is not known, there must be a cause for this trouble, local (within the eye) or general (anywhere else in the body). To find the cause is extremely important because IN THE PRESENCE OF THE CAUSE WHICH HAS AFFECTED THE ORIGINAL CORNEA IS VERY LIKELY TO AFFECT THE TRANSPLANTED CORNEA AS WELL. Thus, through the corneal transplant we may only gain time, but it may not be a permanent cure, and there will always be a chance for short or long term recurrence, in addition to the chances of rejection.

I think the failure to find the cause of this trouble is due to the specialized approach of the specialists searching for the cause within the eye, while I have reasons to believe that the real cause of this trouble is somewhere else in the body and not within the eye. This needs a holistic approach for research.

Holistic approach is not a fantasy as I have a personal successful experience of this approach in another disease. In 2005-6, when I was in Karachi, Pakistan, I developed some trouble in my throat. There were a number of growths on the two sides of uvula, which were quite prominent and visible. Even the colour of the skin there became slightly reddish. There was no pain at all and there was no problem with my eating or drinking. After some time it started affecting my voice. Then I consulted three UK/USA qualified ENT (ear-nose-throat) specialists, one by one, in three top hospitals of the city. Through various tests they were of the same opinion that it was not a cancer. However, they were unable to tell me the cause of this trouble. They prescribed various antibiotics, capsules and throat sprays, but there was no improvement at all. They also tried various anti-allergy pills, but again there was no improvement. The trouble continued for about two years. In the last stage, the ENT specialist in the top-most hospital of the city, The Aga Khan Hospital, said that he would not prescribe any other medicine and that I have to live with it. After that there was no choice for me but to stop going to the doctors.

Then I, being a researcher, started thinking and observing this trouble myself. Ultimately, I started some treatment on my own of my upper GIT (Gastro-Intestinal Tract) with some ordinary medicines, and in about two weeks time all the growth had gone away and it did never recur.

It was so because the learned ENT specialists were trying to understand this disease on specialized approach, and I was successful because I viewed this disease on holistic approach.

So, the cause of corneal dystrophy and many other similar diseases should be searched on holistic approach. I have some evidences to understand what causes corneal dystrophy to begin, where this cause is located and how it affects the eye. However, due to non-availability of research facilities both, statistical or experimental, I am unable to show my understanding to be correct.

Introduction of the author

The author is a former Professor and Vice Chancellor of NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, Pakistan. Apart from his own field of specialization, he has been carrying out research in other fields as well, including medical field. Some of his prominent contributions in medical field are:

He is the pioneer of Biomedical Engineering education and research in Pakistan.
He carried out a successful research on the growth of bacteria e-coli under the influence of a magnetic field. In fact this research was intended to find the cause of a common type of stomach trouble.
He has proposed a completely new approach for the possible treatment of cancer. This paper was presented in an International conference in Pakistan in 1988, and later it was published in an engineering journal in Pakistan. He received about two dozen worldwide encouraging comments on this paper, including World Health Organization and National Institute of Health, USA. However, he could not carry out any experimental research on his theory because he was not working in medical profession.
His other interesting medical experiences are described in his autobiography, “Light House”.

Posted on Nov 12, 17 | 12:40 am