What does this mean?

I often get people in my office with a list of complaints about their bodies not working well. Which one do I address first?

As a naturopathic physician, I am used to looking at symptoms on a hierarchical level. There are organs that are, by their function, priority organs. Parts of our bodies we cannot function without. Those symptoms are at the top of the hierarchical chain. Criteria could look something like this:

  • Acuteness of the symptoms. A small symptom might have overwhelmed the system, like a strep throat or a sinus infection.
  • Chronicity of the symptom makes it to be the first one to be addressed.
    • For example, chronic constipation.
  • The symptoms the patient feels are the most important issue.
    • For example, weight gain.
  • Heart will be the first.
  • Kidneys, a pair organ (one of the reasons we have two is so that the body will be able to clean your blood several times a day even if one of the two kidneys stops functioning).
  • Liver (famous in Naturopathic circles for its role in detoxification (cleaning your body of fat and water soluble toxins, excess hormones, and environmental toxins, just to name a few of its functions).

“What are Master Glands”

Within our bodies we also have what we call “Master glands”. They are part of the endocrine system or hormonal system. The hipothalamus gland, pineal gland and thyroid gland will be part of that master gland group. Ovaries, adrenals, testis, and pancreas are endocrine glands as well.

As I have studied and re-studied the human body, I am seeing how our bodies function as units as they perform a function, but how many organs and glands and probably the whole body of atoms, electrons, neutrons, protons are involved in its function.
On a disease such as cancer, the whole body is involved. Is nutrition important? Sure. Food will become blood that will become part of the immune system and its response.

In conclusion, how does one prioritize symptoms in a patient? It depends. You will often hear this at my office. It depends on you as a human being, on your condition and constitution, on your family life, support network and finances. One last thought to leave you with some peace: the body will always want to swing you back to health. And symptoms are red flags to listen to, the sooner the better.

By Paloma Defuentes, ND

Montana Naturopathic Clinic
Dr. Paloma Defuentes, ND
2050 Fairway Dr.#103
Bozeman, MT 59715
Tel 406 556 1209