This post continues a series about my health issues, with all the posts in the series as follows:
- When my health fell off a big cliff
- My experience with doctors and pharma drugs
- How I turned the corner on my failing health
- The health diagnostic and treatment protocols that I am using
- What I eat on the paleo diet
This post is the second in a series about health issues I experienced. The first post covered what I was feeling and experiencing. In this post, I will cover my experience with health practicioners, including western and natural medicine doctors that I saw for my conditions.
I did not see all the doctors at once, but progressed from one to another or one group to another group when they could not help me solve my problems. In total, I saw 17 different individuals, which did not include a few emergency room visits from my arrhythmia or in one case, extreme thirst.
The following includes the clinical symptoms I was experiencing:
- Erratic thyroid whose TSH levels fluctated. I was behaving like I had a thyroid autoimmune disease, but tests for thyroid autoimmunity were negative;
- Over production of cortisol. While it appeared that I initially had adrenal fatigure and under production of cortisol, after a year, my adrenals tested fine and were now pumping too much cortisol.
- Eratic blood pressure
- Reduced white blood cell count and neutrophiles, yet further analysis with a hematologist revealed nothing that could explain this
- Chronically low Vitamin D levels, even with substantial vitamin D supplementation and hanging out in the sun
- Elevated A1C (indicator of increase chance for type 2 Diabetes)
- B12 abnormally low
- Eratic sodium and potassium levels
From this list, I did not appear to have anything grave occurring, but doctors had no clue why these conditions were occurring. I was prescribed synthetic thyroid, adrenal sterioids, anti-depresents (for the anxiety), large amounts of vitamin D, proton pump inhibitors (for GERD), and sleeping pills, because I could not sleep and B12 supplement
What about natural supplements? Well, before I got on all the prescriptions, I tried many natural supplements, with either no affect or in some cases, substantial negative side effects. I really came to appreciate the pharma drugs because they were effective, especially the sleeping pills. That was the worst in all this – the inability to sleep.
What I learned about western doctors, even the good ones, is that they will only treat the symptoms and not offer any real guidance or help in determining the reason for the symptoms. It takes a special doctor who will really dig into those symptoms with you. I have not met one yet, although my current ones seem to be a step in that direction and I like them. Of course, I think that is to be expected based on how they are trained. Doctors are really good at trauma and keeping you alive, but not at prevention and keeping you healthy. There is a big difference between being alive and healthy. I was alive, but that was about it.
While holistic/naturoepathic/functional medicine doctors will tend to dig deeper, they can only go so far based on the context of their training and knowledge, which is actually quite limited, as I have found. I was equally unimpressed with this group as with western doctors.
What I have also found is that non-western doctors as a group are very much against pharma drugs. I was extremely thankful to get on these drugs because they worked, where the natural supplements did nothing. Pharma drugs have been extensively tested, whereas natural supplements have not. I realize that there could be issues with drug companies interpretation of clinical trial results for certain drugs, which puts into question their effectiveness. But the point is, pharma drugs can be quite beneficial and still have quite a bit of testing behind them.
A case in point was my insomnia. I tried every natural supplement, and some in substantial quantities, but could not sleep more than a few hours a night, and some nights not at all. Inf act, a number of the popular supplements, like tryptophan and 5-HTTP, either gave me weird reactions or just kept me even more awake. Ambien (generic is Zolpiderm) to the rescue! I had to take a lot of it – 15 mg each night; my GP said I was forbidden to go any higher than that. But, it worked and gave me a good 7-8 hours on most nights. What worked best for me was to take 5 mg of it at a time; one dose at bed time, and then again at 2-3 hour intervals during the night. If I took it all at once, it would knock me out, but only for 5 hours. Spacing it out gave me more overall sleep, even though I would wake up every 2-3 hours.
The health practitioners that I currently see include:
- holistic doctor using NAET, which I will explain in a later post;
- and, a western doctor who also uses bio-meridian, which I will discuss more in a later post.
I checked out clear in my last tests with the hematologist and cardiologist, so don’t expect to go back to these two.
This list is not the one I first started out with. The road to recovering my health is littered with GP’s, endocrinologists and other natural medicine doctors, most of whom I consider morons, unfortunately. I think the biggest determining factor for a good practiconer versus a bad one is the initial time they spend to review your past medical history and figure out a comprehensive course of action. Since I maintain copies, in both paper and electronic version, of my past 5 years of medical history with me to every appointment, there is no excuse for not reviewing my history. Further, there is no excuse from focusing on one issue and thinking that it will solve all problems, like GERD or low vitamin D.
So, I had all these weired symptoms, taking various drugs, and feeling really bad. Also add to to the list that I was unable to work or even drive myself safely because of lack of energy and dizziness. I had family members flying out to stay with us to help out with shuttling me to doctor appointments. Plus, no docs could pinpoint the root cause of my symptoms and conditions. Besides praying a heck of a lot, what did I do? I’ll document that in my next post.
Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.