Maybe you can relate to this... Suppose you begin noticing the appearance of some strange health concern. It could be a skin rash, low back pain, diarrhea, headaches, numbness, fatigue... Anything.
You decide to make an appointment with your primary care physician. The good doctor decides it's something that needs attention from a specialist. Lets say, just for example, you've had stomach discomfort and diarrhea for a month. So the good doctor sends you to a gastro-enterologist.
The gastro-enterologist decides he is confident in his powers of observation using the latest medical technology and suggests an upper and lower GI scope. Literally, sending video cameras down your throat and up your rear end. The good doctor charges a substantial fee for this service. But comes up empty handed.
He reports to you that your colon looks healthy, and so does your stomach, although the mucosa of the stomach lining appears irritated. Because he is required to put a label on your condition, you leave with the diagnosis (insert latin word here)-itis. And the good doctor sends you home with a prescription (prescription A). Lets just say, for the sake of our example, Prescription A is an Antacid.
If you are like 90% of the American public, you shake the good doctors hand, go home, take your prescription. No questions asked. After all, the good doctor had some very impressive technology, put you through a very invasive examination, charged a substantial fee for this service, and obviously knows what he is talking about. So you take an unlimited prescription for antacids, possibly for the rest of your life.
But what just happened? What REALLY just happened?
The truth of the matter is that the good doctor has absolutely no clue what is wrong with you. He has no idea why your stomach is red, irritated and painful. He has absolutely no clue why you have diarrhea. He suspects that it might be because "you are producing too much acid" but has no labratory analysis of your stomach pH. At best, it's an educated guess. He gives you the prescription and sends you on your way.
Let's suppose that we actually did have a functional pH analysis of your stomach acid and the labratory data confirms the good doctors suspicions. You are producting too much stomach acid.
Does anyone ever ask WHY? If you are producing too much stomach acid, WHY? Certainly you don't have a prescription antacid deficiency!
This is a prime example of the major problem of modern health care, in my opinion. This is the underlying reason for the soaring health care costs that will likely bankrupt the United States. This one of the major reasons behind the overprescription of medications. This is a major reason people are growing highly unsatisfied with Modern Medical Care. A distinction must be made between two types of health problems:
1) PATHOLOGY: An ongoing disease process in the body. This is the area of expertise of modern medicine. Cancer would be the best example of a disease process. Heroic and invasive measures such as surgery fit in this category.
2) FUNCTIONAL HEALTH PROBLEMS: A body that is not funtioning optimally. This is where modern medicine has a very poor track record and actually harms more than it helps. Instead of giving the body what it needs to correct the problem, prescriptions are given to suppress symptoms. Heartburn, low back pain, headaches, eczema, tendonitis, arthritis (withouth the existence of pathology) are just a few examples. The underlying cause of the problem is not addressed, and the body is given a chemical concoction to manipulate the bodies physiology so that symptoms are managed. "Anti-inflammatory" drugs for inflammation are an example. Laxatives for constipation are an example. Anti-depressants are an example. Interestingly, these problems comprise the overwhelming majority of office visits to a primary care physician. In these cases, the underlying cause is very rarely ever addressed by medicine. The underlying cause continues to go untreated, and continues to manifest and in many cases becomes worse.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE many times has the answers to the majority of functional health problems. Low back pain has a cause. Heartburn has a cause. Diarrhea has a cause. Eczema has a cause. Tendonitis has a cause. And in this author's experience, the cause is usually multifactorial, and many times diet and lifestyle related. Identifying the cause is the greatest challenge in functional medicine... And it is this author's experience that the majority of underlying causes can be identified using an APPLIED KINESIOLOGY CLINICAL EXAMINATION. More on that subject in future posts!