Become Your Own Health Advocate – What to do when your doctor doesn’t “get it”
Becoming Your Own Health Advocate – What to do when your doctor doesn’t “get it”
A new patient came to see me a few days ago and her story highlighted the importance of patients needing to be their own health advocates.
At 48, she had suffered from terrible health most of her life, taking, at one point, 28 different medications! She had high blood pressure, allergies, anxiety, depression, insomnia, asthma, ulcers, and daily diarrhea.
One day, while researching online, she read about gluten and celiac disease and asked her doctor to test her. The doctor refused based on the fact she didn’t “fit” the standard celiac profile. She had daily diarrhea but she wasn’t severely underweight. It always frustrates me when doctors are not up to date on how gluten can affect the body. Research emphatically demonstrates patients can be underweight with a gluten problem, but more commonly they have excess weight or normal weight.
After months of begging her doctor to test her for the celiac disease, she gave up and eliminated gluten from her diet on her own. She could not believe how much better she felt off gluten. To prove to herself that it was really the elimination of gluten, she did a test by eating a slice of toast and vomited. The result was clear; she again eliminated gluten and continued to feel improved.
Her doctor finally relented and gave her the blood test for celiac disease. It was negative, but of course, she hadn’t been eating gluten for months. It was only later she realized the test was inaccurate due to the absence of gluten in her diet. She then asked her doctor to perform a genetic test for celiac genes, since she was unwilling to reintroduce gluten into her diet. It took 6 months, but finally, the test was performed and she did indeed have the genes for celiac disease, as did her four children.
One shouldn’t have to “fight” so hard for their health, but it is the unfortunate state of our current health care system.
I don’t bring this up to be depressing, but rather to encourage you (and please share this article with those you know) to not give up on your health or that of a family member.
The bottom line is if you don’t feel well, something is wrong. Just because a full battery of lab tests is run and you’re told you’re “fine” doesn’t mean you are. It might mean that no horrible disease is currently in existence in your body, but a wide chasm stretches between optimal health and disease. Do you want to keep feeling bad until your body develops a disease? Or do you want to “catch it” early and reverse the process and regain optimal health?
Many people don’t know what to do once they go to the doctor and are told the tests show them to be “fine”. “Fine” in today’s medical system simply means no scary disease; it does not mean health or normal function.
To add to the frustration of a doctor who cannot think beyond a negative test result is often the doctor who dislikes being asked twice for their help. Raise your hand if your doctor has insinuated your problem was “all in your head” or offers you psychiatric drugs for your “depression”! I “feel” the hands rising because we run into this almost daily here at Root Cause Medical.
It is this distinction I’d like to impress upon you. Healthy bodies don’t have symptoms; healthy bodies don’t complain. If your body is complaining it has a reason, and that reason must be isolated. We call this Root Cause Medicine – diagnosing the reason the body is demonstrating the symptoms that are bothering you. There is a reason, it’s real, and you don’t have to continue putting up with it.
Sensitive lab tests are available that reveal the underlying malfunction creating your symptoms. These are called Functional Lab Tests and there are many available to you. They are not new, they are not terribly expensive, and insurance pays for them in most cases. They are still considered “specialty” tests because not all labs in the country perform them and hospitals don’t offer them either. Yet they have been around for about two decades and as I mentioned, insurance covers their costs, meaning their worth and value have been proven.
It’s unfortunate you need to be your own advocate but please know we are here to assist you now that you’ve been introduced to Root Cause Medicine. We can help to diagnose why your body is giving you symptoms, what testing should be performed, and the best actions to take in order to regain your health.
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.