Treating Your Body As A Whole

treating a patient

I often get people in my office with a list of complains about their bodies not working well.

Which one do I address first?

  • Sometimes it depends on the acuteness of the symptoms. A small symptom might have overwhelmed the system, I am thinking a strept throat, a sinus infection.
  • Sometimes the chronicity of the symptom makes it to be the first one to be addressed. Chronic constipation will be one of those.
  • Others are those the patient feels is the most important issue. For example, weight gain.

As a naturopathic physician, I am used to looking at symptoms on a hierarchical level. They are organs that are, by the function, priority organs. Parts of our bodies we cannot function without. Those symptoms are at the top of the hierarchical chain.

  • 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).

Within our bodies we also have what we call “Master glands,” part of the endochrine system or hormonal system, hipothalamus, pineal and thyroid gland will be part of that group. The other endocrine glands will feed back and regulate these master glands also. I am talking about ovaries, adrenals, testis, and pancreas.

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 is involved in its function.

For 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.

As a 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.

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