Lately, when people ask what it is that I do, I describe myself as a medical detective.
I look for the root cause; the common denominator amongst a bunch of confusing symptoms.
That is what we are seeking after all, isn’t it? An answer and real understanding of what caused these mysterious symptoms and how to address the cause to allow true healing.
See what one of my patients said after facing severe episodes of shortness of breath each night:
“Several years ago, I was diagnosed with asthma and prescribed Advair. The medication led to exchanging one problem for another. I stopped using it and continued to suffer with nighly shortness of breath for years. Although it was persistent, it was never severe until last year. The attacks would only happen at night, between 9 p.m. and midnight and typically would go away once I went to bed. A few times, these attacks lasted into the morning hours. At that point, I was ready to “try anyting.”
That’s when I went to see a naturopath. She actually diagnosed the root of the problem–underlying allergies that I never knew I had–and advised me to stop eating certain foods and had me start a regimen of dietary supplements. Within a week–yes, one week!–my symptoms were gone and have not returned.
My naturopath actually took the scientific approach and looked for the root cause of the problem, rather than a way to treat the symptoms. She took tests and attacked the problem based on the results of the testing. Fortunately, the tests were covered by my health insurance plan, although the supplements are not. However, it’s money well spent since I am 100% better, without any side effects.
I recommend naturopaths and other alternative medical professionals. There are certainly problems that alternative medicine cannot address, but there may be many that they can. Asthma, especially if it’s related to allergies, may be one of those cases where alternative therapies could ultimately prove to be more effective than traditional medicine.”
Steve, Sugar Loaf, NY
Here are a couple distinctions for you to consider when looking for the root cause of your own health challenges:
1. There is most often more than one cause. While it may please our minds to think that there is just one “cause,” I find that it is much more likely that there are multiple causes, all impacting the body at once and resulting in unpleasant symptoms, often in various locations.
2. Symptoms in different locations ARE related. How could they not be? It is all one body after all. It is by looking at symptoms in various locations and thinking about how they are related that I often find the underlying cause!
3. The underlying cause(s) act as “stressors” to the body. The brain first responds to a stress, any stress, and sends a message to the adrenal glands to respond. The response, which is temporarily helpful (in most cases), ends up perpetuating a cycle of reactivity and compensation that effectively spreads throughout the body, creating symptoms along the way.
While it may seem simple, to identify the cause and remove it, in a society filled with ways to satisfy cravings, avoid change and to “stick a bandaid” on unpleasantries, it is actually quite a shift to look for the root cause AND address it!
Examples of Root Causes (and subsequent causes):
Emotional Stress (Grief for example)
Food Intolerances (with continued exposure)
Physical Trauma (injuries and surgeries)
Infection (Lyme, Mono, Bacterial, etc)
Change in Intestinal Bacteria (after antibiotics for example)
Skipping Meals (more than 3 hours between meals)
Lack of Sleep at night (less than 8 hours during darkness)
Environmental Allergens and/or Toxic Exposure
Shift in Hormones (pregnancy, menopause)
Change in Job, Home or Relationship
Exposure to Foods contrary to Blood type
I would go so far as to say that in EVERY case that I see, at least one or more of these root causes are present or occurred within the year prior to seeking my care.
Remember that you’re more than just a bunch of individual body parts. Your body is more like a concert symphony and when one thing is out of tune, it upsets the harmony and functioning of all your parts.
Everything is connected and remembering this will help you find real answers to your health challenges.
Here’s to your health,
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