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An alternative to chemical medication?

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What could be a future alternatives to the chemical drugs/medication? 

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8 hours ago, Moreno said:

What could be a future alternatives to the chemical drugs/medication? 

Depends how you define "drugs/medication". I heard an interesting programme on the radio about a Russian hospital that pioneered the use of bacteriaphages (viruses that attack specific bacteria) to treat infections. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_therapy

And some diseases can be treated using genetics. For example, there is research into gene treatment to cure macular degeneration, and gene-silencing to treat porphyria. And some genetic diseases can be treated by testing at the embryo level or earlier (e.g replacing the mitochondria in the ovum).

But maybe these are all "medication", depending on the definition, so I'm not sure what sort of thing you are looking for.

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm thinking about something that could be much less harmful and less expensive than modern prescription drugs. 

Edited by Moreno

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10 minutes ago, Moreno said:

I'm thinking about something that could be much less harmful and less expensive than modern prescription drugs. 

Most drugs are not particularly harmful. And most are not particularly expensive (aspirin cost just pennies and are pretty safe for most people). Some have side effects, but few are serious.  Generally, medicines with serious side effects are only used when there is no alternative (obviously).

And some people are more sensitive to the side effects than others. One of the advantages of being able to do genetic analysis is that it may be possible in future to know which drugs will be most effective for each person, and least likely to have serious side effects.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

An alternative to chemical medication?

Genetically modify the all human/animal/plant cells, in such way that the all existing microbes will be unable to recognize them as target to attack.. ?

Somebody called it "immunity by incompatibility".

 

12 hours ago, Moreno said:

What could be a future alternatives to the chemical drugs/medication?  

Majority of microbes are harmless in themselves. But byproducts of their living cycle can be toxic (everything is toxic in the larger concentration). As long as microbe is not fast cloning, the level of toxic substances is under control of host organism. Immunology system is working, intercepting and neutralizing microbes and other organs are filtering blood from unwanted dangerous substances. But when exactly the same microbe is in the weaker host, its immunology system does not work as efficiently as in good condition organism, and microbe can spread and clone to significant amount. And level of toxic byproducts increase above what host organism is able to handle.

Summarizing:

1) scientists could develop virus which will attach to microbe, change its DNA, in such a way, it will have slower rate of reproduction.

2) scientists could develop virus which will attach to microbe, change its DNA, in such a way, it will have different non-toxic or less-toxic byproduct created.

3) scientists could develop something which will neutralize toxic byproduct.

 

Edited by Sensei

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Personalised medicine has been a Holy Grail in medicine for quite a while, and is starting to percolate into mainstream practice. Polypharmacy, a legitimate problem in certain demographics,  will benefit from targeted therapies and may help determine cases where non-medical therapies are preferable. Certain types of depression may be more responsive to exercise than medication (which types and what kind of exercise?). Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage the condition with dietary changes alone (but which people and what diet?). 

However, if you only start to care about your joints when they start aching everyday then you've likely left it too late to avoid medicines all together. 

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22 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Genetically modify the all human/animal/plant cells, in such way that the all existing microbes will be unable to recognize them as target to attack.. ?

Great. Cows, sheep, rabbits and all other ruminants would die. Many other foodstuffs would disappear (honey, bread, yoghurt,...) And then we would starve (or, at least, suffer massive health problems) because we would be unable to digest most foods. Well done.

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1 hour ago, Sensei said:

Genetically modify the all human/animal/plant cells, in such way that the all existing microbes will be unable to recognize them as target to attack.. ?

In my understanding majority of modern health disorders (in civilized countries) aren't caused by infections. 

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1 minute ago, Moreno said:

In my understanding majority of modern health disorders (in civilized countries) aren't caused by infections. 

I think that would be hard to quantify. Do you have a reference?

Does it take into account the seriousness of the health conditions, or just the numbers?

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2 minutes ago, Moreno said:

In my understanding majority of modern health disorders (in civilized countries) aren't caused by infections. 

An easily proven false statement on the example of influenza..

 

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50 minutes ago, Sensei said:

An easily proven false statement on the example of influenza..

 

Are you saying that the majority of modern health disorders are influenza?

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Moreno said:

What could be a future alternatives to the chemical drugs/medication? 

Photobiomodulation could well be one, but you need to expand on your discussion to tell us what purpose the chemical drugs/medication is being used for.

Edited by studiot

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1 hour ago, Strange said:

Are you saying that the majority of modern health disorders are influenza?

Are you suggesting influenza is not one of the top 10 communicable diseases?

According to statistical data from my country in 2018, 13% of the entire population had influenza in the previous year (13,000 people per each 100,000). This includes also cases not requiring hospitalization.

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4 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Are you suggesting influenza is not one of the top 10 communicable diseases?

No. I am saying that one data point does not define "majority". (Although it is not clear if the claimed statistic referred to number of cases, number of fatalities or what.)

Also, if you restrict yourself to "communicable diseases" then you are completely avoiding the issue of disorders that are "not caused by infections".

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Just now, Strange said:

No. I am saying that one data point does not define "majority". (Although it is not clear if the claimed statistic referred to number of cases, number of fatalities or what.) 

If you have article about flu mentioning "severe illness" it means "required hospitalization" (because it is easy to count by people making statistics). I am looking at local government website, where is everything i.e. the number of cases (people who visited doctor at least, so they were included in database, at least), the number of cases requiring hospitalization (aka "severe illness"), number of deaths, in total numbers and per 100,000 people.

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6 minutes ago, Sensei said:

If you have article about flu mentioning "severe illness" it means "required hospitalization" (because it is easy to count by people making statistics). I am looking at local government website, where is everything i.e. the number of cases (people who visited doctor at least, so they were included in database, at least), the number of cases requiring hospitalization (aka "severe illness"), number of deaths, in total numbers and per 100,000 people.

Maybe you didn't understand what Moreno wrote. 

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A couple of points, the distinction between chemcial and biological is largely arbitrary. There is no biological difference in the use of biologics vs synthetic drugs, for example (though the process of obtaining and characterizing them is different). Similarly, the development of phage therapy is progressing not because they are better than antibiotics (of which many are synthetic to improve their function) but because of the rise of antibiotic resistances. Conversely, biological products can be as harmful as any synthetic drug, depending on their mode of action.

5 hours ago, Sensei said:

Majority of microbes are harmless in themselves. But byproducts of their living cycle can be toxic (everything is toxic in the larger concentration). As long as microbe is not fast cloning, the level of toxic substances is under control of host organism.

This is a weird mischaracterization of how infections work. For the most part infections are not based on accumulation of metabolic byproducts (most of which are either eliminated with waste and/or used by other bacteria in the same community). For infectious bacteria, there are specific host-pathogen interactions. And for opportunistic pathogens it is true that they can bypass weakened host defenses, but it is less about metabolitic products, but their mere existence in otherwise sterile tissues that causes damage. They can, for example, invade host cells eventually causing necrosis. What you may be thinking of are things like endotoxins, which are essentially part of Gram negative bacteria that can be shed when they lyse. The interesting bit here is that their presence itself is not what causes damage, rather, the immune systems responds to them in an aggressive way, which can cause significant damage. Growth rate in itself, is therefore not an indicator of damage and trying to genetically modify the microbiota is a rather futile exercise for many reasons.

However, there is some evidence that microbial composition has an effect on health (although one could also argue that they may be an indicator rather than cause). But while there are efforts to change microbiota in an effort to improve health, the overall success is fairly low so far (again, for many reasons). In the end, the largest effect on public health seems to be connected to diet and lifestyle. 

 

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Whether the stuff comes from a herbalist or an ethylene cracking plant the stuff is still chemical.

I do believe I offered the only non chemical answer so far with PBM.

Which is interesting (to me) because I am currently undergoing a course of PBM treatment and the next session is tomorrow.

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Posted (edited)

 

20 hours ago, Moreno said:

What could be a future alternatives to the chemical drugs/medication? 

Physiotherapy, psychotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, phototherapy, Extracorporeal shockwave therapy. Infrasound therapy, music therapy, ice packs, hot water bottles, pets, 

And, of course, death (Not a favoured choice, but a common one in the developing world)

 


If you are considering 'flu, it's important to recognise just how poor the drug therapies are.

Most people get 'flu, so it's a modern health disorder. But if you could magically cure every case with a single tablet, it wouldn't make much odds to human longevity.

However, if you are looking at "cause of death", infections are pretty low down the list in the Western world (well- sort of- we don't really know to what extent the microbiome  affects things like obesity and cancer risk).

 

Edited by John Cuthber

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There was something on the news the other day about psychotherapy (and specifically cognitive-behavioural therapy) being just as good as drugs for treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Apart from that, the best "treatment"for many diseases is prevention (eg. better nutrition, not smoking, faster diagnosis, faster referrals for treatment).

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Add physical activities to the list. It seems to have a big impact on some of the highest risks of death (cardiovascular diseases).

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2 minutes ago, Strange said:

Apart from that, the best "treatment"for many diseases is prevention (eg. better nutrition, not smoking, faster diagnosis, faster referrals for treatment).

....living in environment free from carcinogenic compounds.... e.g. no smog caused by cars, fossil fuel heated houses, fossil fuel power plants etc...

 

 

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9 hours ago, Sensei said:

living in environment free from carcinogenic compounds

No beer; no bacon.

No thanks.

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