A middle-aged man came into the clinic today with complaints of fatigue and over-worked. He loves his job as a prison mental health counselor yet it is 40 hours of intense work. He no longer can exercise on weekends, too tired to hang out with his buds and his Saturday is wasted as he can only lay on the couch. He drinks about 1 gallon of water a day, loves his chocolate and sugar but overall eats a healthy diet with a ton of veggies included.
He went to a MD last week as he wanted to address why he was so thirsty all the time. The doc ran a lab test and said he is not sick in any way. He asked to check him for diabetes due to his thirst - and that too was fine.
Frustrated he came to see us and wanted to know if we could do something for him. The visit was only a brief as he wanted to only meet us and scope out the clinic.
Well, we don't do anything for anyone really. What a good physician does is facilitate one's health and guides patients. Patients fix themselves once they have the proper guidance.
Many people want a magic bullet - something to swallow to make their pains and agonies go away for good without any side effects. Well, that doesn't happen.
Getting better takes work, takes effort and takes initiative. It is great that he came in for the visit as that shows motivation which is a huge step.
What I would do for someone like him:
- Get a thorough history of his fatigue and other health complaints. This is key and provides a good doctor the cause of the problem. Labs and physical exams only support what the doctor already thinks the problem is - basically confirming only.
- Order thyroid, anemia, adrenal, electrolytes, immune function, DHEA, 8am serum cortisol and lipid panels. All these tests help point out likely causes of fatigue and support my thoughts what is out of sync with him.
- Ensure adequate protein with every meal. I can guarantee he wasn't getting enough protein as he was eating way too much sugar and chocolate. People who eat enough protein do not crave sweets.
- Reduce his water intake to 10 cups of water a day tops as he is losing too many electrolytes.
- Support his adrenal glands as they likely are getting worked out hard with long hours and stressful situations. I would do this nutritionally, emotionally and physically with mild exercise.
- He needs a tonifying herb like Ashwagandha aka Withania. Ashwagandha is an excellent long-term energy tonic, reduces anxiety in a subtle way, improves sleep and provides endurance. This is exactly what he needs due to his long hours and poor ability to adapt to his stressful surroundings.
- Lots of B vitamins. He is definitely low in B vitamins as he is fatigued. People who are stressed, work hard or otherwise use their brain a lot need loads of B vitamins.
He wanted a guarantee that we would make him better. That cannot happen as I do not know how motivated he was nor do I know if there is an underlying genetic problem or disease also in the way of his recovery.
Be realistic when you visit a doctor. Don't ask for guarantees as you won't get them. If you do, then question the honesty of the doctor. Be motivated to get well as a doctor can only provide good information and useful products. It is up to you to apply that information and take the products as recommended.
Question your doctor. If you think they missed something or something needs to be addressed, say it and ask away. It is up to you. Be aggressive in a respectful way.