Integrative medicine is an open road to optimal health, wellness and longevity. California physician assistants are invited to travel this road with IMPAA.
Roadblocks to a Healthy Life
6 ways to improve your physician assistant skills and comprehensive patient care
Patients are bombarded with ads promising to cure everything from arthritis, fatigue, and back pain to heart disease. These ads are very compelling with testimonials and scientific explanations.
Patients take their chances and spend money without talking to their healthcare provider. When they ask us about these ads, we shake our head and say “No, I don’t think it can do all that. Don’t waste your money.” Truthfully, most of the time you don’t know what the supplement is or how it works, right?
Supplements can and do work. The problem is they treat the symptom, not the underlying problem. This is in violation of the Integrative Medicine Principle #5, determine the root cause of the problem, only treating symptoms as long as necessary (read the 7 Principles of Integrative Medicine here).
The integrative medicine premise accepts the body knows best how to heal. Our job as healthcare providers is threefold (Principle #4):
Support the foundation of the body to heal
Remove barriers that are preventing the body from healing
Give the body what it needs to heal
6 Roadblocks to Healing
1) Treating Symptoms
The biggest roadblock to healing is ignoring the cause and continuing to treat symptoms. This is just as misdirected as using either a natural supplement or prescription drug. Both lead to continued disease and expense, and don't deliver optimal health. Using a natural supplement is safer than a drug because drugs have serious side effects — more often than we realize. Go to the Big Pharma page and learn how often side effects occur.
2) Chemicals and Heavy Metals
Detoxification of chemicals and heavy metals is essential. Our bodies do not function normally when exposed to these foreign substances. Optimal health is not possible if we do not remove these substances from our bodies.
There are over 84,000 drugs and chemicals registered in the United States and over 100 million in the world! These chemicals disrupt our endocrine, immune and nervous systems. We are exposed to these chemicals through the air, water, food, soil, dust, and in every product we buy.
Our government is well aware of the danger these chemicals pose to health and wellness. The CDC measures levels of chemicals that end up in our bodies. This biomonitoring program measures 212 different dangerous chemicals — the last report revealed 100% of people studied had rocket fuel in their bodies! Perchlorate (found in rocket fuel) adversely affects the thyroid.
Heavy metals, like cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury, aluminum, and silver, are abundant in our environment. Toxic heavy metals end up in our bodies from use in the medical, dental, agriculture, industrial fields, and technology industries.
Heavy metals are neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and damage DNA. Our bodies cannot function normally in the presence of these toxic compounds.
In the 1970’s lead was the first heavy metal known to be toxic to the human body. Routine testing of children before entering kindergarten was started due to the toxic effects of lead on brain development. There are many more heavy metals causing poor health and cancer that are not monitored or regulated.
In 2014 The National Center for Biotechnology Information (a division of the National Institutes of Health) published a research article titled "Heavy Metals, Toxicity and the Environment." Here’s what the article states about heavy metals:
“Because of their high degree of toxicity, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury rank among the priority metals that are of public health significance. These metallic elements are considered systemic toxicants that are known to induce multiple organ damage, even at lower levels of exposure. They are also classified as human carcinogens (known or probable) according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.”
Click here to read the article: Heavy Metals Toxicity and the Environment
3) Nutritional Deficiencies
It is essential to find and replace nutritional deficiencies. Most of us have magnesium and iodine deficiencies. Many also have B vitamin, zinc, silicon and phosphorus deficiencies. This is consistent with my experience using the Oligoscan device to test patients over the past two years.
We can no longer count on our food to give us what we need for health and wellness. Today natural, chemical-free organic supplements are the chief way to effectively replenish the body with missing nutrients.
Hunger used to be the main reason people had nutritional deficiencies. Today, all of us are deficient in essential nutrients. Why? We are growing our food in DEAD soil.
The 1992 Earth Summit Report showed soil depletion in North America to be at 85%, the highest in the world. Here is the conclusion of the 1992 Summit:
“There is deep concern over continuing major declines in the mineral values in farm and range soils throughout the world… over the last 100 years 72% declines in Europe, 76% in Asia, and 85% in North America.”
A 2011 article in the Scientific American titled “Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?” reviews the science of how our food today is depleted in vitamins and minerals. Here is the summary of a landmark summary showing this problem:
“A landmark study on the topic by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in December 2004 in the 'Journal of the American College of Nutrition'. They studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.”
Read more about declining nutritional content of food — Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?
4) Gut Dysbiosis
The body cannot heal if our gut bacteria (microbiome) is not balanced. Did you know that 80% of the immune system resides in the gut? The majority of serotonin is made in the gut. The major source of inflammation is in the gut. An unbalanced microbiome creates disease. Balancing the microbiome is essential to create optimal health. Click here to read more about the microbiome.
We know how modern life stresses our hormonal and immune systems. Optimal health cannot be attained when stress affects go unchecked. Living with stress has become a way of life and often not addressed. Sleep problems are often the first clue that stress needs to be addressed.
Stress can be dramatically reduced and controlled with a nutrition, exercise and mental relaxation combination. It requires the patient invest time and effort in the process but is very effective when executed on a consistent basis.
6) Nocturnal Hypoxia
Do you ask your patients if they snore? Do you order overnight oximetry tests? If you answered YES, good for you! Sleep apnea and hypoxia are the 800 pound gorillas in the middle of the room.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders. Chances are your many of your patients have a sleep disorder. Untreated sleep disorders are linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and other chronic diseases. These problems not only diminish health, but also reduces alertness and safety.
Call me, (530) 605-1505
Addressing these six roadblocks are key to helping your patient recover their optimal health and wellness. I invite you to learn more how integrative medicine addresses these roadblocks.
If you have questions or comments, call me, Cathy Ochs. Integrative medicine is our future. I look forward to discussing integrative medicine with doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners of all specializations.
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Big Pharma vs. Integrative Medicine
Nitric Oxide Miracle
Gut Health & Microbiome
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