You feel like crap, you know that something isn’t quite right but your doctor just doesn’t take you seriously. It’s so frustrating.
Trust me, I know what it’s like to constantly be battling a whole host of symptoms like: low mood, fatigue, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, gas, eczema, cystic acne, bacne, heavy periods, hair loss …that just get dismissed as ‘IBS’ and ‘women’s problems’. You’re either told to get on with it, cut out a whole host of healthy foods without explanation or support, or take pain killers/anti-depressants/the pill.
Don’t get me wrong, traditional medications definately have their place and in some circumstances may be the right choice for you, but often patients are dismissed without proper investigation of what is actually causing their symptoms.
Time and time again I get messages like this from people who are really struggling but not being given the time, advice and care they deserve.
Whilst ‘traditional’ methods like prescribed pain killers or the pill can help symptoms in the short term, they are not a cure or a long term solution. They act as masks by covering your symptoms so it seems like they have been cured. However, as soon you stop the medication symptoms are likely to return because you haven’t healed the root cause.
Let’s get one thing straight, it’s not in your head. There is a reason for your symptoms; it is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. It might be infection, unbalanced gut bacteria (dysbiosis), parasites, hormonal imbalance, food intolerance(s) etc. You need to find the reason and treat it. Cue holistic health.
Holistic health is all about finding the root cause of your symptoms and treating it in a natural and sustainable way through diet, lifestyle and natural supplements. You can read more about it here.
When it comes to your health, you’re the expert. You know your body best. Listen to it, help it.
Holistic Health Care Practitioners Who Can Help
Don’t struggle in silence, there are plenty of people who can help you:
- Dietician – they can help you identify any food intolerances and establish a diet plan that works for you. Look for someone registered e.g BDA (British Dietetic Association). Note: If your doctor tells you to go on a low fodmap diet you are entitled to ask for a referral to see a Dietician. Also check out Monash University (creators of the low fodmap diet).
- Nutritional Therapist – they work with laboratories to order relevant tests like a comprehensive stool sample for gut health, then use supplements, diet and lifestyle to heal your body.
- Naturopath – they treat you as a whole being, looking at physical and emotional reasons for your symptoms. Usually, they work with labs to order relevant tests then use natural supplements, diet and lifestyle changes to heal your body.
- Functional Medicine Practitioner – they have trained much like a doctor but treat patients in a more holistic way with emphasis on treating the root cause of symptoms.
- Specialist – someone who is an expert in a particular field of health e.g a gastroenterologist for gut health, and endocrinologist for hormone health, a dermatologist for skin health etc.
Things to Look for in a Holistic Health Provider
- Board registered – are they registered to a governing body? E.g BANT (British Association for Nutritional Therapy/ Nutrition & Lifestyle Medicine), BDA (British Dietetic Association), ANP (Association of Naturopathic Practitioners), CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) e.t.c.
- Specialises/ has experience in your specific need – e.g gut health, hormone health, autoimmune diseases, child’s heath e.t.c.
- Uses scientific tests to find answers before treating you – blood/ stool/ saliva/ urine tests will give a greater insight as to what is happening in your body. What’s out of balance? What’s working, what isn’t?
- Offers support between appointments – you want to be able to ask questions and feel like they’re on your side, helping you along your path back to optimum health.
Okay my friend, deep breaths…you’ve got this!
Here’s a handy check list of things you can do that may help you find a solution to your symptoms.
- Keep a symptoms diary
- Keep a food diary (you might notice a trigger)
- Speak to your doctor and take your diaries with you. Be very clear about how much your symptoms are impacting your life. Request tests if you feel you need them, request referrals. You could even print out scientific studies or any research you have done and take it to your appointment.
- Find alternative help as listed above. Use Google, ask friends/family/colleagues, read reviews. Most people offer free consultations, or you can email any queries you have before you commit to anything.
- Clean up your diet – Lots of fruit and veg, lean protein sources, complex carbohydrates, rich sources of fibre, prebiotic and probiotic rich foods. Ditch the processed stuff. Drink more water.
- Regularly exercise – whatever feels good to you, just get your body moving.
- Destress & create a self care routine. Lavender Epsom bath anyone?
- Speak to friends and family; you need support, love and care.
- Join a group – There are loads of groups (meetings, forums, Facebook) where you can find like-minded people going through similar things. You never know who you might meet, or what you might discover.
Wishing you all the best with curing your symptoms and finding a path back to health and happiness. If you ever need a chat, or want to ask a question, you can find me @ellefrizzell or email me firstname.lastname@example.org xox