I want to share excerpts from recent communication I had with one of my patients. This patient has been experiencing a painful rash on her legs called ERYTHEMA NODOSUM. She has seen specialists recently trying to determine the cause for her symptoms. The specialists have run tests that have not provided an explanation.
PLEASE NOTE THAT FOR PURPOSES OF PROTECTING PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY THE PATIENT'S NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED... SO WE'LL REFER TO HER AS "MINNIE MOUSE"
EMAIL TO DR SACHDEV FROM MINNIE..
I know...I'm concerned because of the bloodwork coming back ok. There is no itching, but it's hot and painful. You know I've had such pain in my legs for almost two years but because of the MRI, the neurologist I went to says that's why they hurt. When the red spots started I thought maybe that's where the pain is from - especially because the worst pain is from the knee down (much worse pain than the lower back pain I have..) Thanks for the article, and I'll keep you informed...but the dermatologist acted like...well, the bloodwork is ok? So I really don't know how to pursue it? Have a great weekend, and thanks again
DR. SACHDEV'S RESPONSE...
One of the reasons that I abandoned my traditional medical practice was my frustration with what medical practice has become. Physicians have given up their most powerful diagnostic tool.. taking a thorough HISTORY from their patients. We are taught in medical school that 70-90% of our ability to make an accurate diagnosis comes from communicating with the patient. Unfortunately not much communication can occur during an office visit that allows only 5-7 minutes with each patient.
Physicians have allowed outside influences such as the government and other regulatory bodies to dictate how they spend their time and what they focus on. Physicians order many tests because they don't have time to do their job properly. They hope the tests will either provide an easy diagnosis or aide their defense when a diagnosis is missed. We are taught that test results should only AIDE our diagnosis, they should not be relied on exclusively because they lack sensitivity and/or specificity. Test results should be utilized as clues to support a hypothesis not accepted as final answers. Physicians who stand their ground and resist succumbing to outside influences dictating the practice of medicine usually face economic or professional peril, this is why they are the minority. I would be unable to do what I do if I did not have a husband willing to support our family financially.
Fortunately there are still some providers patients can turn to when others resort to telling them that they can't find anything wrong with them. My sister-in-law, who lives in Pheonix, has developed severe psoriasis on her fingers. She has seen numerous dermatologists and rheumatologists who have run a battery of tests that cannot explain what is causing her symptoms. She spends only a few minutes with the doctors during each visit. They are quick to offer her expensive medications to treat her symptoms but cannot address the underlying cause because it has not been identified. She texted me yesterday asking for my advise on selecting a new healthcare provider. A friend referred her to a CHIROPRACTOR who now practices naturopathic medicine. He utilizes tests similar to the ALCAT food sensitivity tests that we perform. She anticipates paying this doctor around $5000 to review her symptoms and offer his advice. She is considering paying this because the doctor has been successful in solving medical mysteries and comes highly recommended.
The reason for my ranting is to emphasize the importance of being persistent as a patient. Do not settle for a diagnosis of "we can't find anything wrong with you". Healthcare is more broken than it ever was and American's health continues to decline despite our access to expensive diagnostic tools and pharmaceuticals. I believe that 90% of the disease Americans succumb to is the result of our toxic environment. Chemicals that we ingest (food, medications), inhale (pollution), and absorb through our skin (skin care products, detergents) or inject (toxins in our vaccines) are making us sick. Pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies have no interest in promoting health, the sicker we are as a nation the more we need their expensive solutions. Government cannot resist the influence of wealthy companies like Coca Cola, General Mills, McDonalds, Pfizer, etc. so they contribute to the misinformation of the general public. There are many documentaries that have been made this past decade the expose much of this corruption, a list of several have been posted on my blog.
Be persistent, don't feel guilty about being assertive, listen to your intuition (gut instincts) and do not ignore the warning signs that your body is giving you. Keep me informed about your progress. We may need to schedule a prolonged visit one day to review ALL of the clues you have gathered so far, the most important part would be your history. I would have to set this up myself because a 30 minute appointment would not be adequate.(We have to charge $90 for each 30 minute appointment slot to cover our overhead expense.)