8 Tests your doctor should look at if you are not well
I had a friend who recently complained of pain in her stomach. She was off on a holiday and this pain started the night she was leaving. So as most of us usually do, she chose Combiflam and lived with it till she got back. Upon her return the first thing she did was go to her general physician, who recommended a gastroenterologist. After a physical check-up, much to her surprise, he said she would need surgery right away. There was no time to waste. No colonoscopy was suggested or any other investigation required. Worried as she was (just how we all get when in a vulnerable state when in pain or discomfort), she had the surgery which removed a polyp in the rectal canal. A biopsy revealed that it was benign.
She was clearly disappointed with the doctor’s very clinical approach, owing to his stubbornness after he pronounced his verdict in this so called ‘do or die’ situation. My friend never even got a chance to voice her concerns or reservations. Unfortunately, that’s the way most doctors operate today. You hope they will help you understand the problem facing you, but that doesn’t seem to be their modus operandi. They instantly recommend an injection, heavy medication or surgery if the symptoms are worse. You leave their clinic feeling even more vulnerable, than wheat you entered.
Before I continue, I would like to introduce you to Integrative Medicine. Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person [body, mind, and spirit], including all aspects of lifestyle; the discipline I follow Macrobiotics is ‘Integrative.’ It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.
In a Macrobiotic approach which comes under Integrative medicine, we ask detailed questions to diagnose you and also investigate all the parameters that would point you in some conclusive direction of your ailment. In a recent documentary called ‘CANCER is curable now’, Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy highlights the areas doctors should address with their patients if they have a chance of getting better. These are:
- Liver Function: Our liver is an organ that helps detoxification. It acts as an army general and decides what to keep and eliminate. Liver function tests are elevated in people who are not well. So Dr. Connealy says that doctors should check whether your liver function test is elevated or if it’s normal.
- Blood: First off, doctors should be looking at your natural killer cells as they will defend you in a time like this. If your diet is nutrient deficient, you have poor circulation and a fair amount of toxicity, doctors should check the C reactive Protein Test; this is a marker for inflammation (when the body breaks down when there is a host of unhealthy microorganisms that outnumber the healthy ones caused by bad diet, over medication, lifestyle, and stress). Blood sugar levels will determine the glucose you have in your blood. This is important as a lot of cancer cells thrive on high blood sugar levels.
- Your Hormones: Hormones are chemical messengers which help measure our DAGA (stress and immune hormone) levels, made by our adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys. It helps indicate how our adrenals are functioning. If these glands are not functioning at their optimum, we are not going to have a functioning immune system. An additional organ to examine is our thyroid, which regulates the metabolism of all our cells. People with lower levels are more at risk for cancers.
- Alkalinity: pH levels are always overlooked. A normal level is 7.4 to 7.43 with the scale ranging from 1 to 14. Lower the number, the more acidic you are. The body should be more on the alkaline side of the scale. Your immune system, your hormonal system and every other system in your body will function at optimum levels. If we are acidic, our cells will be starved of oxygen. Cancer cells hate oxygen.
- Vitamin D Levels: Low levels of this vitamin increases your risk to cancer and reduce the body’s ability to overcome the cancer if contracted. Low vitamin D will affect your immune system, blood sugar levels and bones. It is also responsible for regulating a lot of processes going on within the body.
- Dietary habits: No doctor ever addresses this one condition. Macrobiotics has been called a cancer curing diet in the West with good reason. Doctors allow you to eat anything from meats, to cheese, dairy, sugar and just about everything. I recall when my father was in and out of hospital, baked vegetables with cheese, loads of milk, white bread with butter, sugar was all normal. No hospital bothers to look into a cancer patient’s diet. Food creates the blood condition and makes new cells. It regulates hormones and is a huge part of our brain chemistry. Food in Macrobiotics is medicine. The question that arises is why doctors do not address this at all. Given that Dr. Connealy says “Food has the most unbelievable, valuable nutrition to nourish”, maybe it’s time we did.
- Sleep Patterns: How people sleep is a huge indicator of how healthy they are. The body gets a chance to repair and detoxify while it’s in sleep mode. Melatonin (hormone) which is produced at night is said to reduce stress, boost immunity, deepen sleep, and promote longevity. Prolactin, another hormone made at night, repairs the brain and keeps the immune system healthy. It is recommended we get 7-8 hours of continuous sleep every night.
- Emotional Conditions: Dr. Connealy believes this is probably one of the most important aspects which should be brought up with patients. Our doctors never look at this aspect of us when we are ill. ”What’s going on in your life? Do you like your job? Do you love the person you’re married to or your significant other? Do you love your children? Do you have any issues with your children? Do you have a life that’s just full of wonderful things and the stress in your life is controllable?” All important questions for every doctor to look at.
My dad had cancer, preceding which he went through a severe and stressful phase. We all knew it was stress that got him eventually. An illness allows you to solve the question of why we are here; what is the meaning of our life? It helps look for ways in our life to overcome your negative patterns which prevent us from having a fuller life.
Next time you visit the doc, ask them to test these areas for you. If they don’t bother, then its time you took your destiny into your own hands and sought after an Integrative Medicine doctor or a practitioner who has Macrobiotic training, and who understands how important ALL of you is.