Holistic Medicine Versus Modern Medicine
My recent trips to numerous doctor’s surgeries have highlighted to me just how much my view on medicine has changed over the last few years.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I have some small patches of white appearing on the backs of my hands and on my back. When I first noticed them, I diligently made an appointment to see my GP. My excessive reading around the subject had led me to wonder if several minor issues I have could be related. From what I have read, vitiligo (white patches of depigmented skin), rosacea (facial redness) and ridged nails can all be attributed to having low stomach acid. So this is what I wanted to discuss with my GP.
I arrived at my appointment ready to discuss my symptoms, although desperately not wanting to be the person who ‘confuses my google search with her medical degree’. My GP is lovely and I think very highly of her, but in this discussion, I could not get her to look at my problems as a whole body issue. She looked at each one of my symptoms in turn, dismissed the rosacea (which is well controlled), dismissed the ridged nails (old age apparently – how very dare you!), and wasn’t interested in the white patches on my hands. The white patch on my back was more concerning because it can be an early sign of skin cancer, so I was referred to a specialist for this problem.
I tried very hard to ask her opinion on low stomach acid and whether it could be the cause of these issues, but the best she could do was to offer me Omeprazole, a medication for high stomach acid! So I came away with a referral, the threat of cancer and a prescription I didn’t want, feeling very deflated.
Not one to give up, I tried to have the same conversation with the specialist dermatologist. He didn’t even let me start the conversation. I was there to have a patch on my back checked and that was all he was going to check. The good news is that I don’t have skin cancer (obviously a huge relief). He told me that I could be prescribed ultra-strong steroid cream for the white patches, but that it might not work. I declined and left.
I have the greatest respect for the medical profession, I really do. I worked in a hospital for many years and I know just how many lives are saved by doctors every day. But I fully believe that chronic diseases of the body are linked, and furthermore that they are often related to the gut in some way. This is often called a holistic (whole body) approach. What is frustrating to me, is that I really wanted to know why I had these symptoms. I wanted to know if they were connected to each other and I wanted to know what to do about it.
I didn’t get any answers from the doctors I spoke to, so I’m left with two choices. Either ignore it and hope it goes away, or I can try and find the answer for myself. I’ve worked hard for years to be as healthy as I can possibly be, I just can’t ignore a sign that something is not right in my body. So I’m left to try and find my own answers.
Wish me luck!