Yes the title of this is correct! The author of How to Get a Diagnosis is saying sometimes it might not matter if or what that diagnosis is.
I do believe in what I wrote in my book, and it is especially true for certain chronic conditions that need traditional medical treatment, or acute conditions that are repetitive that might need a traditional medical treatment. There should always be a mix of traditional medicine with holistic care I believe.
BUT, what I have seen in working with families and individuals is that the “answer” (aka diagnosis) is NOT all they need. In fact, it is only a name. It’s only a word. And MORE TIMES THAN NOT, that answer and word does NOTHING to alleviate the pain or symptoms that go with it. People feel empty and lost as soon as they get that diagnosis or answer. They do not have the control they wanted when they sought it. With that diagnosis they felt they would “get their life back” or “regain” the control they had before. But the diagnosis itself doesn’t do that. Let’s see what things we think about and where I think the real answer is!
Things we think #1: “What about that missing piece?”
This is something I hear a lot from individuals, and sometimes families. Oftentimes the work that I do in nutritional therapy with diet adjustments, supplements and lifestyle change IS the missing piece. That is why it has been so hard for them to find.
Traditional medical models do not focus on this at all. Traditionally medicine is about giving you a test result with an answer and then giving you drugs. Then after you take those drugs (many times, not every time) they cause a host of other imbalances and side effects which make you say – “Look I still don’t feel right – something is still wrong – what is the missing piece?” They wonder – “why didn’t this resolve the problem?” Most of the time it isn’t the resolution they gave you – it’s just a symptom treater and sometimes not even well – it’s temporary or causes MORE symptoms.
Often, the missing piece is proper balance in your body through what you eat, movement and many times supplements. Why supplements? The cycle of medication and lack of proper balance has gone on so long it’s hard to get there without them to start out. And changing our eating habits and switching to nutrient dense foods is a process. It’s not fast, and we often want to rid ourselves of some of our symptoms more quickly. At times, supplements can help with this transition. After a few months, re-evaluation can help you determine if you need supplements or if it’s time to just focus on food.
I have met many people who have seen every doctor they have, then sought ER, urgent, and specialists from around the country and world!!! Literally spent years of their lives seeking someone that would provide an answer they wanted. Yes that is right WANTED. When you have seen a handful of medical professionals who are all telling you that you do not have the condition you thought, or that it isn’t what you thought, or they don’t know what it is – it’s time to stop going round and round in that circle. You have seen THEM ALL. They have told you their opinions, and so now it’s time – you take the action – you take the control and you have the power to fix it (see below). This happens because we have been taught all our lives that the answer lies with these people and the test and the medications, but it’s just not (always) the case.
Things we think #2: “I feel like I need that diagnosis to explain my (our) situation to people.”
Sometimes we just want justification for what we have believed all along. I wrote the book because of that. I wanted an answer many years ago, I got one, and then realized pretty quickly after that it was just a word. It was a way to tell people but even that acronym meant NOTHING to those around me. Including our close family. PFAPA is still not understood by anyone around us. The general idea of it and that my son may not be well in an episode is understood, but beyond that – not really.
The notion that this diagnosis will explain it all and make it less challenging for those around you is incorrect. It won’t happen. But I do understand that you want to know, or need justification. Sometimes we need that – it’s almost like closure.
Things we think #3: “Once I get this answer it will get better.”
This is NOT true in the least. As I alluded to above, in some cases it might get quite a lot more complicated. BUT only if you let it. It doesn’t need to be complicated. If you have a name or an answer, with the right help and practitioner you can NATURALLY work though balancing your body back out and alleviating all those painful symptoms you have suffered from. The right practitioner will find YOUR exact imbalance based on their intake and target that with your diagnosis in the back of their mind. But likely it will be loud and clear where that imbalance is regardless of the diagnosis.
I have started with many folks still on a journey for an answer – actually 90% of them are/were on that journey when we met. I don’t NEED a diagnosis to help you work on balancing your body and systems and alleviate those symptoms. All I need is your story and my intake of symptoms to find the imbalance and work at it.
I have also found that once we start working together and symptoms start to fade the answer (aka diagnosis) becomes less necessary for most folks. They have found the answer and missing piece – and it wasn’t exactly how they thought!
Things we think #4: “I need a diagnosis and medication to feel better or get help.”
As I have been saying all along – this is certainly not true. Many times prescription drugs can make situations worse or even more intense than they were to start with. Although I don’t work with or talk about (other than educating on what nutrients your body uses to break down those drugs) prescription drugs, I find they are often on the minds of many people when they come to me. Most of the time they know that prescriptions may be contributing to a problem but they don’t know how. This is always the choice of the person and their practitioner that prescribed those drugs to work through those things. However, I can look at your current symptoms and we can focus on ways to decrease them no matter what, while you work with your doctor at the same time.
Feeling better is in your control. It isn’t in the control of your doctor. To believe they will make you feel better is the biggest problem you may actually have. It is solely up to you to take charge of your condition and life. You need to find the right way to do that for yourself, and that is often what I help people do.
We look at what might work for your family, we find a routine that works, food that is tolerable and decreases your imbalances. If you have restricted you or your family for a long time we find a way to really find the true problems, and then work back in the foods that have been so restricted.
We look at ways to incorporate activity and supplements (if necessary) to help ease your transition into a healthier lifestyle. Targeted nutrition and activity is key in your process of feeling better. But it’s all up to you! The answer doesn’t lie with someone else, (perhaps some guidance on the path from a holistic professional), but it lies within you!
*** Please remember that you should always seek medical attention, and speak with doctors for their opinion. Although you have control it is necessary to see a professional before making decisions. Although I encourage you here to work on yourself, it is important to have professional guidance from your physician or practitioner. Please be sure to speak with your prescriber before/during/after using any medications from them.***