Treating Health Synergistically

toon-3602High blood pressure, diabetes, emphysema, cardiac disease, obesity and cancer are all examples of conditions many people have been diagnosed with and treated for. The problem with using an approach that names individual diseases or conditions comes from the perspective that each diagnosis is considered a separate entity and is treated as a separate entity. A person with high blood pressure may also have hormonal irregularities (affecting their blood pressure,) that can influence sleep, that can influence or lead to depression, that can influence job performance and family relationships. In an attempt to simplify health problems, we create a diagnosis and provide treatments to address the SYMPTOMS without ever considering the impact these symptoms have on the rest of the body and mind. This approach reduces the human being to a bunch of individual body parts requiring licensed mechanics (aka doctors or specialists) to focus their skills on addressing (NOT necessarily FIXING)  the “broken” body part. This is the model we have been raised with and come to accept as quality health care.

This is NOT an effective or efficient approach to health problems. It simplifies the diagnoses and treatments, yet provides substandard results. It is important for the consumer to realize this approach waits for symptoms to develop rather than maintaining the various components of optimal physical, emotional, chemical and electrical health. It reinforces the FALSE ASSUMPTION that health problems only exist when symptoms begin to manifest.This approach also removes most of the health responsibilities from the individual and places them in the doctor’s office. The patient’s behavior and lifestyle become less relevant because it is believed the doctor will “undo” all the damage by prescribing medicine that heals.

maxresdefaultACTIVE participation on the patient’s behalf is the ONLY approach to maintaining optimal health. Maintaining diseases (ex. blood pressure, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, etc…) by controlling lab values is NOT the same thing as BEING HEALTHY. Irritable bowel syndrome is a great example of this. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the result of a shift in the ratio of healthy to unhealthy bacteria in the intestines, inflammation that develops from this shift, nutritional deficiencies and other factors. The medical treatment for this condition further disrupts this bacterial ratio in an attempt to relieve the pain and discomfort. Pharmaceutical treatment (by itself) can lead to the interruption of chemicals that allow nerves to communicate as well as reduce hormones needed for brain function. This means a possible end result of IBS treated ONLY with pharmaceutical agents is cognitive impairment (ex. dementia.)  Until recently, a person suffering dementia would have gone to a neurologist and been prescribed medication attempting to improve brain function. Today doctors are beginning to see the relationship between the intestines and the brain (aka the enteric brain.) This means that dietary habits (restoring the proper balance of gut bacteria) can potentially have greater influence on brain function and brain impairment than pharmaceutical drugs alone. We are beginning to understand that the patient’s body is not merely deficient in pharmaceutical drugs, but rather nutritional elements needed for maintaining proper brain function. This is just one of many examples showing the current medical model seeking SYMPTOMATIC changes without ever addressing the bigger picture. This approach, by itself may not only be inappropriate, but detrimental causing serious adverse effects on the individual’s overall health.

team-collaboration-business-results-performanceThe answer lies in treating the patient as a WHOLE PERSON. Treatments must include MULTIPLE ANSWERS that require the patient to participate to maximize the results. In the above example, the patient may have been asked to increase vegetables for fiber, fish oil to reduce inflammation, digestive enzymes to help break down the food and make it more absorbable, probiotics to help restore the normal balance of good and bad intestinal bacteria, exercise to help stimulate immune responses to unhealthy bacteria. The doctor may have also prescribed antibiotics, and antifungal medications. If stress was a contributing factor, meditation, yoga or tai chi might have been incorporated in the treatment plan.

This example approaches the diagnosis using food, exercise, supplements, stress reduction and pharmaceutical agents. This approach treats the whole person and gets to the ROOT CAUSE. This is quality healthcare. As you can see, a prescriptive drug was only 1 part of a larger approach to addressing this disorder.

Does this sound like an approach your doctor would suggest for you? Does your doctor turn to a prescription pad for every answer or work with you in a TEAM EFFORT resulting in improved health?

I term this approach “treating health synergistically”. It multiplies the effectiveness of the individual treatments and strengthens the whole body rather than attempting to isolate a specific body part suffering a symptom. It also empowers the patient by taking a greater role and responsibility in their health and lifestyle.

Start learning today what steps you can take to improve the quality of your health. The more you are willing to learn the better your chances for enjoying a life of your choosing.

A TEAM APPROACH IS MORE EFFECTIVE AND OFFERS BETTER RESULTS THAN A LONE RIDER.

THE SAME FACT HOLDS TRUE FOR HEALTH CARE.

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27 comments

  1. This piecemeal medical approach is why the average person with hereditary hemochromatosis — iron overload — goes more than ten years after the onset of symptoms to diagnosis. This is according to a study by the CDC.

    HH is the most common genetic disorder, and yet it is virtually unknown. Iron overload is toxic to every part of the body and brain, causing such diverse symptoms as suicidal depression, chronic fatigue, arthritis, heart arrhythmias, diabetes, high cholesterol, liver inflammation, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and many more. Yet most doctors treat just each underlying symptom/disease process and never look for the underlying cause.

    Treating HH as if it is many different diseases instead of only one is financially very profitable to doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Treating HH iron overload with phlebotomy, on the other hand, which is by far the most effective treatment, doesn’t involve any medication and makes very little money for your doctor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is certainly financial gain, but I am not convinced this is the motive behind our traditional approach to disease. Many doctors are so indoctrinated into symptomatic care, they simply provide a pill as the easiest solution. In many cases, this is exactly what the patient wants. It does not require effort and responsibility on their part. This, however, is NOT the best approach to returning good health to the body. Your case is a clear example showing a systemic response to an undiagnosed ROOT PROBLEM. Pills to address each of the resulting symptoms and conditions may or may not make a person feel better, but will never help restore proper health and function.
      Thank you for sharing your story. People need to realize they are not alone in their treatment of disease and ill health.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree that financial gain isn’t the motive behind our traditional way of practicing medicine. However, I believe that money is the primary deciding factor behind which medical studies receive funding and which don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Excellent point. I agree with you that politics and profit play a major role in research funding.

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  2. been trying to convince my Drs of this – they’d much rather have me take 16 meds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is why I wrote this article. Patients need to begin directing the care they receive. The patient must make it clear to the doctor the type of health care they want. If the doctor is not responsive to this, it might be time to begin interviewing new candidates.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. which explains why I’ve been thru 4 doctors in the past year …. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. For years we have been programmed in the prescription pad approach. Wish I woud’ve thought of this when I was younger. I will make myself an active role player in these decisions. Better late than never.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. From your lips to everyone’s ears. This approach will change lives for the better. Better late than never is spot on! Thank you for sharing your honest feelings and willingness to remain open minded.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the message.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had Crohns for almost 30 years now. 3 surgeries and many different drug options has found me a balance but this make me worry about my mental state as I get older. I do agree that since I have paid attention to my whole health I have been able to control the disease much better but I couldn’t do it without the mess as well

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    1. Meds can be a great value. They have been over utilized and been used to replace important lifestyle changes that patients need to include to regain their health. My discussion of Irritable Bowel Syndrome includes their use as part of a whole treatment protocol. It is my opinion, however, that pharmaceuticals are only a piece of the puzzle. Today, unfortunately, they are used as the entire answer. This will NEVER help people achieve the quality of health and life they seek. Personal involvement and commitment to lifestyle changes is the missing piece of the puzzle for many people today. I would like to see doctors reinforcing this message to help their patients achieve better outcomes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This article discusses so much of my frustrations during this past 1.5 months of trying to figure out what is wrong with me. Before my miscarriage, I was healthy! I barely ever took meds. Now, no one can tell me what was and is still lingering wrong. Instead, anxiety is often thrown in my face when I know it is more. In addition to this, medications are so easily prescribed. Yet, I am determined to find out the cause and restore my health the best way needed to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Obviously, without knowing your complete history, providing concrete answers is challenging. I can, however, say that cases like yours often has multiple physical and emotional conditions that are inter-related making it difficult for a traditional approach to find the best answers. After reading your detailed log entries pre and post miscarriage, it was clear that a bigger picture was being missed as the doctors relied so heavily on diagnostic testing and their findings, they excluded the “human component” of dis-ease and healthful steps necessary to return the body and mind to a state of balance (homeostasis.) I believe I might have recommended seeking out an integrative or functional medicine practitioner. You stated you are pleased with your chiropractor so that area appears filled. See if you can create a game plan with these doctors rather than throwing “treatments at the symptoms” and hoping for the best. You might find collective thinking and ideas followed by plans of action achieve better and healthier results.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. billgasiamis · · Reply

    It’s a big job but taking responsibility for our own health rather than making doctors responsible for our health is the ultimate health outcome our doctors and governments should encourqge and would benefit from especially since we never hear the end of the diffculties governments face to fund the never ending increase in patients experiencing chronic diseases. I truly believe that the amazing outcome in my recovery after 3 brain hemorrhages would never have been so rapid and successful if I placed my health in the hands to the doctors post surgery. They just don’t have the resources. They key to a great recovery in my mind is to do the preventative stuff before a health challenge arises be in optimal health so the odds are stacked in your favour when going into the doctors surgery. Great post and perspective from a Dr that talks the talk and walks the walk. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you Bill. I believe the government and health care system would rather complain while they continue to profit from the current arrangement. Change can only occur from a grass root effort. It must NOT, however, DEMONIZE doctors and drug companies, but instead, incentivize them to slowly accept change by altering lifestyles and limiting the need for their products and services. We are a consumer based society. Businesses will adapt as the consumer shifts their needs from maintaining chronic diseases to maintaining optimal health. I hope my articles help reinforce this message to benefit the average person seeking an improved quality of life.

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  7. good post….thanks…kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Your plate is quite full and I appreciate you willing to spend some of your limited time on my blog site. You’re a good person, Kat. ❤

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      1. My plate may be full…but I have to stop packing…we are already eating off paper plates….using really old coffee mugs…and like I said I packed my husbands combs in the bathroom…LOL time to stop!!! so I am on here looking around…..kat

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Understanding a balanced view of our health and how it heals is so important. Even today my sister in law was saying her new diet of no sugar and gluten free is helping her headaches, I said it won’t just be your diet, but a balance of your whole lifestyle. She disagrees. I think this message is slowing moving forward and being understood. Thanks Jonathan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with your view and approach. People like to simplify health. They prefer a “cause and affect” approach. Until they understand that life is truly about balance and integrating the various components necessary to achieve balance, they will look for “the thing” that will rid them of their symptoms. Yes, the message is spreading, but at a slow pace. Slow is still better than not at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    My mother was diagnosed with IBS years ago and found a solution to her problem with probiotics! It makes sense that it could be an imbalance of bacteria!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even if probiotics was only a component of correcting her IBS, it is important to recognize that this partial answer is part of a total SOLUTION rather than a “dart” being thrown at a SYMPTOM. Good health is achieved through a compilation of efforts; not usually just one thing. Most people do not think in these terms. If they want to lose weight, the answer is “eating less.” That is certainly a possible piece of the puzzle, but definitely NOT the total ANSWER. Exercise, hydration, stress reduction are other components that help achieve desired weight loss and there are more components as well. As we begin to open our eyes and implement this new paradigm, results are achieved. Weight loss (in this example) is simply the end result (rather than the goal) of implementing the components needed to be healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. As a pioneer in conservation (Muir?) once said: Everything is connected to everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Once people accept this fact it is possible that GOOD HEALTH will be viewed as more than the sum total of body parts.
    Have a wonderful weekend! Feel free to root for the Charlotte Panthers in the Superbowl. It would be nice to experience the excitement of living in the city of football champions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just go easy on the fatty/salty/sugary football-watching food. If the players routinely ate the way the viewers do during the games, they would look like sumo wrestlers.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. In the south, we don’t have any foods that fit those categories. No. we live off green algae, alfalfa sprouts, tofu and quinoa. Are you suggesting that some people eat unhealthy on this annual “holiday?” “D
    BTW- The players used to look like sumo wrestlers. Remember William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry?

    Liked by 1 person

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