FIRED UP FRIDAY TAKE 1
I get fired up about the gap in healthcare and I’m not sure why we don’t address it more openly.
First off, there are a lot of magnificent doctors, nurses, and other medical workers out there doing important and hard work. I’m married to a brilliant doctor and my mom is a wonderful nurse.
There are a lot of people with chronic health issues today who are not getting the support they need around their health.
Both of those things can be true. (note, we will come back to that idea, it’s a big one)
These people who are struggling with chronic health issues need more.
- More time to be seen, heard and understood.
- More curiosity around what might be going on in their body.
- More empathy around their story.
- More focus on WHY symptoms are happening and what is driving them.
- More support to make sustainable changes that impact health.
- More attention and help tracking signs/symptoms over time.
- More education around what is going on in their body.
- More practitioners who know how to methodically use food and lifestyle changes to support each person’s unique physiology.
- More practitioners who can refer them to others who can help support their health journey.
- More support in addressing unique health issues and goals even if there isn’t a diagnosis, aka help functioning better.
- More focus on preventative measures to move towards health and aging healthfully
Chronic health issues do not happen overnight. There is a progression and usually several factors at play. In many cases symptoms are not even the problem but instead information that something is going on in the body.
People come to me all the time with issues they have struggled with for years. These often include unresolved chronic headaches, bloating, memory problems, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, pms, body aches and pains, weight gain, difficulty paying attention, brain fog, rashes, immune problems, memory issues, etc
I have heard time and time again how frustrating and hopeless this can feel. Often these people have seen doctors, maybe multiple doctors, and nothing seems to come up.
And honestly, I have heard doctors on the other end talking about how frustrating this population can be. And I get it. Our medical system is not designed for people with chronic issues. They are incredible when there is trauma, or surgery needed, when a life saving medication or therapy is required, etc.
But again, there is a growing population that needs more AND there is a lot that can be done to improve signs, symptoms, and disease process even if your doctor does not know about it. There is a ton of new research and clinical evidence showing that food, nutrients, herbs, gut health, chronic inflammation, and lifestyle changes have a huge impact on how your body functions and how disease progresses and how genetics express themselves. Chronic disease does NOT happen overnight but instead it is a slow progression.
I have decided to stop arguing over western medicine vs natural approaches and I am working instead to fill this gap the best I can.
There is so much work that needs to be done here.
There are people who do work slowly filling in this gap, who track history, timelines, story, who discuss physiology and how the body systems work together and are connected, who teach people how to listen to their body with a scientist’s mind, who are okay not knowing the answer right away but instead can sit in a place of curiosity while we investigate, who understand the nuances of how food and lifestyle impact each body uniquely, even impacting genetics and impacting how we age and who are happy working alongside physicians and any medical team.
I am thrilled to be part of that system to fill the gap.
I really feel like if we as health and wellness practitioners could acknowledge our own limitations as well as what our strengths are, we could truly serve people extraordinarily. Because as I said earlier, there are incredible doctors AND people with chronic issues who need more. Both can be true (thanks for that empowering phrase, sister Brittany).
Have you experienced this gap? As a practitioner or patient? I would love to hear about it and talk about it more openly.
Janel Ferrin Anderson DNM, NC, FNLP
Janel works and plays out of Truckee/Tahoe and is endlessly passionate about helping people understand their unique body better. Janel helps people use food, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients to shift the terrain in their body towards greater health and function. She works one on one and in groups settings.