Are you asking your doctor the right questions?

It is no surprise that the medical field is becoming less and less efficient when treating chronic diseases. Traditional medicine has created a media campaign on prevention, when in reality it is really early detection. Get screened, tested, and probed as often as possible, so when you get cancer we can treat it with the most advanced drugs, surgery, chemo, radiation, and other very expensive (80-90% chance, not proven) strategies and fast as possible. 

Yes, that stat of 80-90% of medical procedures being scientifically unproven should be alarming.  Experts for decades have reported and accepted this stat. Medicine is closer to an art form than science. Doctors must be skilled in science, but apply the right procedure and treatment that the patient needs. Science has proven no two people are alike, therefore no two treatments should be exactly the same either. It requires subjectivity, objectivity, scientific knowledge and creativity to be the best doctor you can be. 

This brings us to the reason for this article. Are you asking your doctor the right questions? As consumers of healthcare it is time to begin asking the crucial questions. Questions that require your doctor to be better. We have more information at our finger tips than any time in history and yet, when it comes to health, we leave common sense at home. This article will help cultivate an inquisitive mind. HEALTH IS YOUR GREATEST ASSET. It is time to ask the right questions. Jeff Bland said it best in 1994 in Advancement in Clinical Nutrition...

"The questions we ask determine the answers we get." 

This is true on so many different levels. Traditional healthcare looks to ask what question? 'What are you symptoms?' And the answer is generally a drug to block or reduce the symptoms. How has that fared for us? Now we are the most drugged nation in the history of the planet. We had over 4 billion prescriptions written in 2011. 13 prescription per man, woman, and child in the US, every single year. Forbes did a study and the average American spends over $6,500 a year on healthcare. My question is for what? We are fatter, sicker, more stressed, toxic, and tired then we have ever been. Where is all this money going?

A functional medicine doctor asks different questions. Instead of 'what are your symptoms?', 'what is causing your symptoms?' is asked instead. The answers obtained from this line of questioning will be very different. Gut issues, GMO and food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, detoxification problems, toxic exposures, heavy metals, stress, high blood sugar and diabetes, etc. The list is endless. The difference is the answer. The answer leads to new questions and eventually to a solution. Blocking the symptom is not a solution because it didn't change the circumstance that created the symptom in the first place. 

When the question asked is too simple for the problem, or not asking the right question, the answer will not be a solution.

Here is a question for patients to ask of their doctor. "Are you going to find the cause of my complaint?" Many times you will not get a straight answer, or you might get the wrong answer or a blatant lie. One big lie permeating healthcare is specific biomarkers cause disease. For example, high cholesterol does not CAUSE heart disease. THAT IS A LIE. It may be one of the many different contributing factors, but definitely not the cause. 

The real question is 'why is my cholesterol high?'. The answer most certainly is not, 'because you are statin deficient'. It could however be because of stress, a diet too high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, toxic load, genetic, nutrient deficiencies, etc. Health can get complicated, and it should be as humans are the most complex animal known to exist. I leave you with this quote.

"The questions we ask determine the answers we get."

Seek the right answers. Ask the right questions. This is where health starts.