by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
In my 30 years of practice as an integrative physician, I’ve met hundreds of patients who’ve often come to me as a last resort. To clarify, for patients suffering from unexplainable mystery symptoms, conventional medicine sometimes fails. After years, and even decades, of struggling with chronic health problems and getting no lasting relief from medicine and surgery, patients often contact me to give a more natural, holistic approach a try.
My care centers around preventive and integrative medicine. I look for the root cause.
The education of the osteopathic physician teaches us to look at the patient as a whole. We look at prevention and work in partnership with our patients to help them achieve their best health.
This means I’m able to offer you the benefit of my open-minded, natural, holistic approach to wellness just about wherever you are in the world. If you’re struggling with mystery symptoms your doctor either doesn’t believe or doesn’t understand, allow me to offer you a second opinion; an alternative route towards lasting health.
Do You Struggle with Mystery Symptoms?
Millions of people visit their doctors each day presenting with chronic headaches, back pain, acid reflux, unexplainable rashes, abdominal cramping, breathing difficulties, neurological symptoms, and countless other chronic symptoms that make living everyday life difficult.
The common solution? Often more prescriptions and surgery.
Here is my honest take on drugs and surgery: In many situations, they’re lifesavers. If someone becomes critically injured in a car accident, a surgeon can quickly reattach a limb and offer pain medication to minimize patient suffering. In cases like this, modern medicine saves the day.
There is no doubt that many medicines and surgical procedures are lifesavers. But it is often easy for a patient to end up on many medications, which is called polypharmacy. Quite often, medicines are prescribed for the unrecognized side effects of other medications. This often happens when multiple doctors are involved in a patient’s care.
In my opinion, drugs and surgery are not always the answer. These approaches may only temporarily relieve symptoms. In some cases, they may do very little to address the underlying cause of the condition and will sometimes cause side effects that are often far worse than the condition itself. Furthermore, these side effects often send the frustrated patient back to their doctor for yet another drug to combat them.
Before long, an exhausted and still-sick patient is taking 10 or more drugs with no relief in sight! In my opinion, this is quite unnecessary.
If you’re struggling with mystery symptoms similar to the ones mentioned above, you’re not alone. Many patients just like you have spoken with me when doctor after doctor had shaken their heads, written yet another prescription, and quietly suggested that the condition was “psychosomatic.”
Why Some Doctors Don’t Take You Seriously
If your doctor looks at you like you’ve lost your mind when you talk about your symptoms, it’s hard not to take it personally. After all, this is the person who is supposed to help you; to fix what’s going wrong.
Allow me to let you in on a little “secret”: A large part of a medical student’s training involves prescribing to treat symptoms. Very little time is spent learning about integrative medicine, preventive medicine and nutrition.
This means that many physicians end up treating their patients like a mechanic treats a car. For example, if the fan belt on your car breaks down, your mechanic will either fix or replace it. He has no need to tinker with the breaks or change the tires. He can fix the problem directly at its source.
Unfortunately, the conventional medical approach is often much the same. Let me give you an example:
A patient presents with chronic, unexplained inflammation of the intestine. At first, his doctor prescribes a drug to suppress his immune system. When that no longer works, surgery to remove part of the bowel may be performed.
Human beings are much more complicated than a vehicle. If there is inflammation in the intestine, the intestine may not be the problem. A malfunctioning immune system is often to blame, often caused by a certain food sensitivity, for example. When conventional medicine removes a body part that has been harmed by a malfunctioning immune system, only the damage may be permanent.
Good News – There’s Help!
If you’ve gone more rounds with your doctor than a heavyweight champion and she still can’t figure out what’s causing your mystery symptoms, perhaps I can help. In my 30 years of practice, I’ve come to understand that there are usually 7 major causes of nearly all chronic diseases suffered by the modern patient.
These causes are:
The phrase “stress kills” is no exaggeration. Stress can do serious damage to your health over time if allowed to continue unchecked. No part of your body is immune to stress. Chronic headaches, backaches, stomachaches, allergies, mood swings, twitches, tremors, frequent colds and flu, and poor memory are just a few of the many symptoms associated with stress.
- Poor Diet
The abbreviation for the Standard American Diet (SAD) makes sense. A diet filled with highly-processed foods can do serious damage to your health and cause you to suffer from quite a variety of chronic symptoms ranging from gastrointestinal distress to depression. Food additives such as aspartame, MSG, food dyes, and high fructose corn syrup can contribute to neurological dysfunction and autoimmune disease.
- Food Allergies
It is estimated that 1 out of every 100 people is very intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Many more are mild to moderately intolerant. Symptoms of gluten intolerance include chronic abdominal cramping, gurgling intestines, diarrhea, constipation, eczema, psoriasis, muscle and joint pain, brain fog, irritability, learning difficulties, and even psychosis.
Soy and corn intolerance are becoming more common as well since 80% of soy and corn produced in the United States are genetically modified. This means each time you consume it, you’re consuming gut-destroying Bt toxin.
- Nutritional Deficiencies
If you live on a junk food diet or have a digestive disorder that interferes with your ability to absorb nutrients, one or more nutritional deficiencies could be causing your mystery symptoms. Vitamin D3 deficiency, magnesium deficiency, and B12 vitamin deficiency are just a few of the more common nutritional deficiencies I’ve come across in my practice. A malfunctioning immune system, a neurological complaint or even a mental health issue can often be traced back to a lack of essential nutrients.
- Lack of Sleep
Most adults need 7-9 hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep each night in order to function at their best. Millions of people do not get nearly the recommended amount and if they do, they rely on sleep medication to get them through the night. Chronic sleep deprivation depresses your immune system, interferes with the health or your nervous system, and can even contribute to the development of a mental health disorder.
Most folks probably believe they drink enough fluids each day. This is often not the case. Though it might not seem like a big concern, chronic dehydration can contribute to a variety of seemingly-unconnected symptoms. Chronic fatigue, constipation, premature aging, allergic symptoms (due to excessively-high histamine) and joint pain are just some of the symptoms which may be associated with chronic dehydration.
- Unnecessary Drugs
Antibiotics, cholesterol-lowering statins, diabetes drugs, pain drugs, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, sleep drugs, corticosteroids and many others may all cause side effects when taken excessively or over long periods of time. Synthetic drugs can interfere with the natural function of your body and alter its chemistry.
Get a Second Opinion from a Virtual Doctor
Perhaps you live in a remote area with only one or two doctors to choose from. Often, there is no integrative/preventive physician within a reasonable distance. Maybe your insurance company doesn’t cover a certain doctor outside your network. It could even be that leaving your home is difficult for you. Whatever the case may be, a virtual doctor can open up a whole new world of healing possibilities.
Telemedicine is a powerful medium that can connect you with a doctor who understands what you’re going through and actually speaks your language.
Here’s what I can do for you through telemedicine counseling:
- Review Your Medical Files
When you first contact me to ask your free health question, I will respond to you by email with my thoughts. If I am able to take you on as a client, I will ask you to send me your medical files. Spending time looking over these can show me what tests, procedures, drugs, and surgery have already been used to treat your condition.
- Suggest Tests
If, after reviewing your files, I believe nutritional deficiencies, food allergies or environmental allergies might be causing your symptoms, I will suggest blood tests and/or stool cultures to rule out the most common causes of chronic symptoms.
- Discuss Healing Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
Once I have the information I need from your medical files and tests, I will then offer advice on easy dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health naturally. These simple changes are often the turning point in a patients’ return to lasting wellness.
- Offer Supplements for Nutritional Deficiencies
If your blood tests reveal nutritional deficiencies, I will offer you ultra-high-grade supplements to fill in your nutritional gaps and treat your symptoms, often without the need for drugs. These nutrients help support your body’s natural healing. You may find after taking them for several months that you are able to safely wean off your prescription drugs under your primary doctor’s care.
- Monitor Your Health Through Follow-Up Sessions
Your physician is often so busy; she may not have more than 5 minutes to talk with you about your progress (if you’re even making any). When you and I have our follow-up sessions, you won’t have to worry about me having to hurry to the next room to take care of another patient. If you have questions, comments or concerns, I’ll be right there just for you.
Telemedicine has become a new and dynamic way for me to help you. It’s rewarding to know that I can help someone a town, a state or even a country away when they feel they’re at the end of their rope.
If you’re struggling with mystery symptoms and doctors who simply don’t understand, get in touch with me today. Ask any one health question completely free and I will respond, usually within 48 hours. If we both decide to go forward, I’ll evaluate your case and let you know if I can take you on as your health coach.
I look forward to helping you achieve your best health!