As you may have realized – our health care system does not work perfectly. And in some instances, it may in fact be broken.
Visiting your conventional medical doctor can sometimes be an overwhelming and frustrating experience. Often the appointments are rushed, (especially if you have more than one concern at a time) and you leave without having been heard or have been told that nothing is wrong since your blood tests are normal.
Our health symptoms are connected.
Many medical appointments are limited to discussing one condition at a time. The problem with this approach is that everything is connected!
Our symptoms do not occur in isolation. What is happening in one part of the body may be related to what is happening in another part of the body.
Looking at the totality of all your symptoms can help us identify the root cause. That is where I can help. I put all the pieces of the puzzle together. By working with me I can help you make the most of your conventional medical appointments because together we can do the legwork so that you can succinctly communicate with your doctor the most important information.
Mining your health data.
One of the best new additions to the health care system is the incorporation of e health – MySaskHealth. This electronic medical records system allows you to view all laboratory results and medical imaging reports from the last few years. Every test that is ordered basically asks a question.
This view allows us to see what questions have been asked and what questions need to be asked. I also think it is important to verify that tests that have been ordered were indeed processed and any flags were addressed and followed up on. We have been trained that if you don’t hear back from your doctor then everything was fine. But I have seen instances where labs that were ordered were never actually processed. And instances where results were never followed up on.
Unfortunately, I have experienced this personally. After my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, we requested a copy of her medical records to help inform her with her treatment decisions. In amongst the midst of her records was a copy of an X-ray report from 6 years prior noting a suspicious mass that urgently needed to be followed up on. It never was. Perhaps this may have changed the unfortunate outcome.
Normal isn’t always optimal health.
Another reason to have me look at your labs is that normal isn’t always optimal. Best example of this is the test is the high sensitive C reactive protein (hs crp). This lab assesses inflammation. The normal range is 0-7 (mglL). This test would not be flagged unless your value is above 7. However, if you read the fine print for cardiovascular risk assessment, optimal is less than one (<1). Between 1 – 3 is intermediate and about 3 is high risk. Since we know that everything is connected, if its enough inflammation to affect your cardiovascular health, it’s enough inflammation to affect your whole health.
Laboratory tests are an important piece of the health care puzzle.
Laboratory tests are an important part of our health assessment. Unfortunately, due to economic pressures of our bankrupt health care system, it can be difficult to access labs that can provide insight into our health simply because our health care model is reactive and disease focused versus proactive and prevention focused. I can help if there are specific questions you have about your health that your current doctor is reluctant to answer by ordering the relevant tests.
Naturopathic doctors can order many of these conventional tests, (for example, – TSH, free T3, free T4) as well as many cutting-edge health assessments such as a cardiovascular health assessment that looks at oxidized lipids and the presence of a marker linked to plaque formation. Unfortunately, you will have to pay the cost of any test ordered by your naturopath. But when we are talking about prevention – your health is worth the investment.
Timing is of the essence.
To make the most of your conventional medical appointments I recommend booking an appointment with me prior. Together we can sort out your concerns so you can be prepared to make the most of your time with your family medical doctor or specialist.
Making the most of our health care appointments.
To make the most of our time together I would recommend signing up to MySaskHealthRecord if you haven’t already. Prior to our appointment together please print off your labs summary or just remember to bring your login details and we can view it at the time of your appointment.
Just as you would get a yearly checkup with your family doctor or dentist, I recommend regular checkups for a naturopathic assessment.
Working with me as your health advocate, we can put the pieces of the puzzle together and optimize not only your health, but the quality of your health span in the decades to come!