A 30-year old woman came to see me at the clinic. For a while, she’d been having complaints. Her doctor, however, had dismissed these as insignificant; her lab results always came back within normal range.
When we met, she complained that she felt the need to pass urine too often. She was tired, and suffered hair loss every now and then. She also had mild irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which she dealt with mainly by avoiding certain foods. Over the past year, her menstruation had become scanty and was often down to a single day. Her gynecologist told her this wasn’t a problem, since her hormonal levels were fine and the ultrasound showed healthy organs. However, it bothered her to see such a drastic change in her monthly cycle.
After just a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, she would sometimes need to use the bathroom up to six times – something that she felt was abnormal. In fact, while traveling, she would avoid drinking anything and risk dehydration, just to avoid using public bathrooms repeatedly.
Blood test results seldom tell the whole story. When I did an in-depth analysis of her symptoms, I figured that her poor digestive health was causing a severe nutritional deficiency that was the root cause of all her symptoms.
Poor eating habits had resulted in a magnesium deficiency which (amongst many other things) caused lower thyroid function. It had also affected her potassium and calcium levels, causing the excessive urination.
Her body was not making enough bile to digest fats properly. This caused further nutrient depletion and also a hormonal imbalance, since fat is a component of hormones. I put her on a diet suited to her needs, asked her to take the necessary dietary supplements, and got her to do 40-minute yoga sessions four to five times a week. In just two months, her condition had vastly improved.
Her hair did not fall any more and she began to notice fresh growth too. She had more energy. Her menstrual flow was stronger and longer, and her IBS symptoms were under control. To her great surprise, she was now urinating eight to nine times a day and did not have to worry about bladder control any more.
I’m a medical doctor and there are times when I have visited a fellow doctor to get some medical help, only to be politely hinted that my symptoms must be “due to stress” (read, “in my head”,) since my labs were fine. Today, time is in very short supply, especially with doctors. So as a patient, your role in your health has become even more vital.
To get to the root cause of symptoms and eliminate them, you need two people: yourself, as a keen observer of your bodily functions, and an able physician, who is a keen listener.
Even if lab results are within normal range, if you continue to feel unwell, make note of it. If you notice unexplained changes in your normal bodily behavior patterns, tell your doctor. If you catch it early, you can avoid having to use medications with harsh side effects. Age catches up with us all, but we all know of people who remain active and healthy past the age of seventy. Why shouldn’t that be you?
Centuries before laboratory tests came about, traditional physicians around the world would use keen observation to catch health imbalances early. I’m borrowing a leaf from their book to give you the Cliff Notes here. If you are truly healthy, you should:
If one or more of the above signs are off, it could be your body’s way of trying to warn you of impending health troubles. The sooner you listen, understand and restore these signs back to their normal balanced state, the better your chances of avoiding serious disease. If your current doctor does not have the time to listen, you may need to find someone who does.
Remember: Your body is constantly speaking to you. You owe it to yourself, to listen.
Write to us. Tell us if you’ve noticed anything out of balance. Let’s catch things early, before it’s too late.