Doctors are highly educated people who can help you when you need urgent care or surgery, but what about chronic illness? Do you need to wait for the white coat cure?
Have you heard of the white coat cure?
It is a term I coined for what I did when I was sick. You see, I wasn’t feeling well most of my life, so I would go to doctors and have them run tests on me. The testing would inevitably come back normal. Blood work and other tests would be within range, and I would be told I am healthy. Yet, I wasn’t feeling good, and it seemed to get worse as the years passed. Because someone in a white coat told me I was healthy, I thought it was in my head. Maybe I was a hypochondriac. Maybe it was just aging, and this is what it was supposed to be like as I got older. Yet, I didn’t feel well even when I was a child, so it couldn’t be just aging. I was waiting for someone in a white coat to tell me what was wrong and what I could do to make it go away.
I recently wrote a blog post about waiting for a catalyst to get you to do something about improving your health. I do believe that many of us wait until something propels us to make changes in our diet and lifestyle. However, I also believe many of us are waiting for the white coat cure, at least I know I was. I was lost and confused as to what to do to feel better. I was busy and was scared to make changes when I wasn’t sure what to do. But most importantly, I was waiting for someone in a white coat to tell me what was wrong and exactly what to do to cure it.
What I didn’t realize was that although most physicians went into the profession to heal and help people, they are trained in pharmaceutical intervention to manage symptoms of illnesses more than they are trained to help the body heal or cure itself with diet and lifestyle changes. Physicians are wonderful if you cut yourself severely, have a heart attack, or many other acute illnesses or problems, but they are not trained to cure chronic, stress-related illnesses.
And what is plaguing the American society, as well as much of the developed world….chronic illnesses of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and many autoimmune diseases where our bodies are attacking themselves.
Most physicians only receive a few hours of nutrition and lifestyle training at best.
So when you ask your doctor, what can I do to not go on medicine or to stop taking medicine, you may get the typical advice to eat healthier and exercise. It is not their job to go into detail as to what you can do to eat healthy, or what exercise may be best for your condition and body. Insurance only reimburses them for so certain things. Their contracts may require them to only spend a few minutes with you, and explaining eating, movement, sleep and stress reduction would take too long. Finally, much of what they have learned about healthy diets is no longer valid. Take low-fat diets, for most people, it is the exact opposite of what they really need. Everyone is different, they do not have the time to help you figure out what is right for you personally.
Are you waiting for a white coat to tell you what to do to be healthier?
If so, you may be waiting a long time. In the mean time you may be put on prescription drugs that may cover the symptoms so you feel better for a while, but rarely cure the illness or help the body to heal. Studies done on drugs are usually done in isolation and not tested together in combination with other pharmaceuticals. Could it be possible that the interaction of drugs could cause side effects no one anticipates?
Your knight in shining armor, when it comes to your health, probably is not a white coat if you have a chronic illness. Your knight needs to be…you. Yes, you. You can take charge of your own health. Develop a trusted team of people to help you improve your health. Yes, a physician should be on that team, but the likelihood that a physician alone will cure you, is pretty small.
Stop waiting for the white coat cure and take charge of your own health.
What do you think? Are you waiting for a white coat cure? Do you know someone who is? Comment below.
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