I remember a commercial I watched years ago when anti-inflammatory drugs first came on the market that went something like this…Two guys were jogging down the road and one casually said to the other, “I thought you had knee surgery this week?” As they jogged along the guy with the knee surgery said, “Yea, but I took a few of this [insert new drug] and now here I am jogging down the road.”
I remember thinking, I’m not sure jogging down the road a few days after knee surgery is such a good idea. But here we are, drugs that cover up our symptoms are flooding the market, which is great if you’re in pain and need relief, but what if that pain is the only way our bodies have of communicating with us? If we cover up our headaches, digestive issues, joint pain, anxiety, depression, unexplained weight gain etc.., what are the long term health consequences? My guess is long term serious illness.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had migraines my whole life, debilitating migraines and I’m infinitely thankful for both the over the counter and prescription medications I’ve taken over the years. But recently I wound up at the office of an integrated medicine specialist because of some lingering and worsening digestive issues that my traditional doctor was unable to figure out. Surprisingly, she spent over an hour with me on my first visit, analyzed my blood levels for vitamins and mineral deficiencies, food sensitivities, talked with me about my lifestyle and prescribed a whole slew of changes to my diet, daily habits as well as some very specific supplements (I was quite low on vitamin D). What shocked me was that along with significant improvements with my digestive issues, my migraines went away, my hot flashes went away, I started sleeping significantly better. It was like all the problems were related and I’d finally found a doctor who could help me translate the messages my body was sending.
This solution isn’t perfect, I find it a challenge to stay on the diet all the time, so for now I stay on it until I’m out to lunch with a new client who knows the Chef of an amazing restaurant specializing in local food and the Chef walks up to the table and offers to cook us a private selection of some of his most special dishes (this actually happened and it was on my bucket list) so my diet went out the window and I sipped Prosecco, laughed, talked and ate amazing food all afternoon. My symptoms came back, but I’m seeing the healing process as a long term thing. I try to stick to my prescribed path back to health most of the time and I feel great most of the time. That’s a huge breakthrough.
So what does this all mean for you? Well, if you have some lingering health issues don’t suffer with them or ignore them, find someone who will help you interpret them so you can give your body the help it needs to heal and thrive.
Your health is the most important thing in your life. When you’re healthy you’re a better parent, employee, business owner, spouse. You’re more productive, more creative, and happier and you can feel confident you’re not headed down the path toward some serious illness. Be a good listener, your body needs that.