Lily came to see me out of desperation…
Like with most people, it all started with a routine check-up where she was found to have high cholesterol and mild hypertension.
“My doctor prescribed me statins to lower my cholesterol and a diuretic to lower my blood pressure and sent me to a cardiologist. The heart specialist was not convinced with the procedure, so he switched me from the diuretic to a beta-blocker. Then my legs started aching, so back to my MD, and he told me to take an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory). The aching faded for a while, but the anti-inflammatories were wreaking havoc in my digestion. I had already been having trouble sleeping, and now with my legs tingling and my stomach in pain my sleep was worse than ever. So I went back to my doctor for some help, and he proposed a sedative.
Meanwhile, I have been trying to lose weight, but nothing seems to work. I can’t lose a gram even though I have given up most of my excesses. In fact, I feel always hungry and exhausted and on top of all that I have this continuous brain fog. The whole thing has got me so demoralized that my doctor suggested I go to see a therapist who surely is going to put me on an anti-depressant…”
So someone at work told Lily about trying out a Nutritionist/Health Counselor and here she was looking at me « Teresa » she said « there must be something else out there… »
Unfortunately this is not the first time that cases like Lily’s have arrived to my consultation. People in their 40s or early 50s, particularly those who have been pretty healthy all their life without too much effort, then after a check-up or a period of stress are put on a first medication (without changing anything else in their lifestyles) and all of a sudden start to feel terrible. Not addressing the underlying cause of the concern plus adding the negative effects of a medication can often lead to the prescription of a second drug . . . and on and on it goes. Many common long-term medications create weight gain, brain fog, memory problems, fatigue, joint pain, sleeping problems, and other symptoms that we incorrectly associate with the inevitable process of aging.
The thing is people (and doctors) need to ask themselves why middle age conditions occur in the first place…they are not medication deficiencies for sure! So adding a drug to suppress the symptoms is not the most effective way to address the underlying cause. Very often a change in lifestyle is a much more powerful intervention in many middle age conditions.
But most physicians are not trained to address prevention and even less drugless treatments. Medical school teaches much that is valuable, but it does not teach to look at underlying causes of disease. Instead, doctors are taught to identify symptoms - and then to treat each symptom with its own matching drug - and not to focus on such basic solutions as diet, exercise, stress relief, sleep and supplements.
So, in Lily’s case, in spite of all the medication, the subjacent etiology of her high blood pressure - inflammation (surely caused by her poor diet) - was never even addressed.
Health Counselors are knowledgeable advisors who provide ongoing support and guidance as patients set goals and make sustainable changes that improve their health. As we work together, my patients develop a deeper understanding of the food and lifestyle choices that work best for them and implement lasting changes that will improve their health, balance and energy.
After taking my 3 week Regeneration Program Lily was feeling light, energized, much better physically but also mentally. She had discovered a new world of food possibilities that were affordable, satisfying and easy to prepare. The only thing her doctor could find at their next meeting was that she should be wary of too many Chia seeds because her blood pressure had gone down too quickly and this was interfering with her medication (I assure you I am not making this one up).
Trillions are spent every year on healthcare, yet apparently no more than 2% goes toward prevention. Iatrogenic diseases - defined as a disease that is caused by medical treatment - are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.A. Most doctors never address diet and lifestyle changes, yet, in developed countries many of our most common and costly health problems are diet related. Harvard School of Public Health just said last week that healthy lifestyle could prevent half of all cancer deaths.
New health professions like Health Counselors and Nutritionists are the practitioners that healthcare needs to fill the gap! They can help save a lot of expenses to Social Security too…