I need to vent!!
All because of an appointment I had with a GP yesterday, and it's left me asking questions across a host of different groups and sites I am a part of as a practitioner.
It's no secret that if you go and get blood tests done (for preventative health reasons or to get to the bottom of something) it seems that unless the results come back in RED to the GP, you're all fine and dandy, good to go. This is perhaps a time saving technique as doctors see so many patients in a day and possibly don't have sufficient time to really look at your results (Side note: perhaps if they did, less patients would keep coming in unwell being told they are all good ?!? Just a thought)
The problem with this is that if you're at the very very very bottom end of a range (or the top), it won't show up in blazing red, and the doctor will simply say "everything is perfect, normal, and you're in great health" - even if you shuffle in with no energy and dark circles under your eyes.
This is exactly what happened to me yesterday.
It just so happens that I am also seeing a Naturopath and had my follow up appointment with her before my follow up appointment with the doctor, and of course was very curious to hear what the doc would say.
From my results, here are the two responses I got from my two practitioners:
- Clearly zinc deficient (which is affecting my mental health and immune system)
- Iron stores are o-k, but no free iron is seen in the blood (why is this? = fatigue)
- Hyperactive thyroid (insufficient nutrients; now running on adrenaline = I feel this daily)
- 2 parasitic bacteria in my gut that we need to jump ontop of due to my symptoms
- Immune system not detecting parasitic bacteria; clue that they may have been there for quite some time
- All nutrients levels and great, fine, perfect, healthy, normal
- 2 parasitic bacteria detected, but nothing need be done unless I come back with diarrhoea
I'm not going to go into detail as to how everything that showed up for me is completely inter-related and not surprising... But you can imagine my frustration when I feel as though I have (finally!!) found a Naturopath I trust and respect, and that is moving in a direction with me that I feel to be effective... And then the GP is on the complete other end of the spectrum. I know first hand that not all GPs and Naturopaths agree (hallelujah to the incoming Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine specialists!!), but this far opposed?
What I also found quite interesting is that my Naturopath advised a boosting of my immune system before a short round of strong antibiotics that needed to be ordered from interstate, to get rid of these parasites before I plan on conceiving a child sometime next year ~ Its a good thing we found this now before babies both she and I agreed on. Whereas the GP wanted nil treatment - unless I presented with diarrhoea, and explained to me that it's no problem having these parasites in your system during pregnancy.
What Can We Do as patients?
// Decide what outcome YOU want and find the practitioner that's on the same page as you. And I don't want parasites in my system if I'm trying to conceive a child - let alone any other time and as these guys may just be big contributing factors to the acne I've had for years. So I let this be known to the doctor even if she didn't agree with me.
It's perhaps of benefit for me to note that I have not been on any antibiotic treatment since primary school and I am not an advocate of it. I do believe though that there is a time and place for them, and this is where medical science is of great use and great benefit to our health. This is why my practitioner and I are on the same page here, believing that this is necessary to my treatment goals.
// Do your own research (but don't just Google your concern and buy into the first thing you read). Use PubMed and other online medical resources for researched information. It's good to have your own understanding of what's going on, but to also remember that your practitioner has years of study and can converse with you about it all.
// Ask questions - to your Naturopath and to your Doctor. Why do they believe what they are telling you? Have they seen this before? Ask for explanations so you can fully understand what's going on WITH YOU. Don't just take your practitioners word for a condition or medication. Aim to be able to verbally explain to your mum or partner what's going on for you, coz if you can't, then you've really no clue either my dear.
// Seek alternate opinions from other practitioners. Another Doc or another GP, or further afield with a Chinese Medicine therapist or Kinesiologist. Warning here though: the more practitioners you see the more confusing things will get. Depending on what's going on for you, pick one or two max and go from there. A Nutritionist and a Colon Hydrotherapist may be all you need for those niggly gut issues.
// Trust your primary practitioner. I trust my Naturopath. It feels right for me to be seeing her. If it felt wrong, I would be seeing someone else. She is my go-to, and the GP is secondary (and at the moment, literally only there to fill scripts and order tests). I may have lucked out on a not-so-great-doctor whilst having an amazing Naturopath, and seeing a different doctor might have been no problem (and this blog post would not have eventuated). If you cannot trust who you are primarily seeing, then you will forever be second guessing them, yourself and your own research, the GP with differing view points, and drive yourself batty getting no real solutions and answers that may help you.
// And Trust Your Gut. If you feel you need to sit with something for a few days before making a decision, then do so. If you feel right away that something said to you doesn't sit right, trust that. I like to use Light or Heavy --- what feels light is true for you. What feels heavy is not.
I'd LOVE to hear your opinion on this one... What are your experiences / beliefs?
Have you had something similar happen to you? How did you handle it?
Comment below :)