What’s Your Diagnosis?
What happens when you are not feeling well and symptoms occur? You go to the doctor to get a diagnosis. The word diagnosis comes from the Latin DIA- thorough or complete and –gnosis meaning knowledge. So the actual meaning of diagnosis is “a thorough or complete knowledge”. That is far from what most people are receiving today as many “diagnoses” in western medicine are no more of a description of a condition. Examples would be conditions such as arthritis (inflammation of a joint), fibromyalgia (pain in the muscles), and hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure).
The problem is that none of the common diagnoses ever address the root cause of the problem. And without a proper diagnosis, it is impossible to do anything other than relieve symptoms. Often patients will ask me if they are taking the right supplements or herbs. A better example is my family and friends who ask for nutritional/herbal advice at Christmas parties or gatherings. The fact is that without a diagnosis, it is impossible for me to answer any questions. If I do, it is no better than prescribing a drug like ibuprofen for a headache..
In the practice of Integrative Natural medicine, a system I have been developing for over a decade, when we render a diagnosis, it is not something you will get from a mainstream doctor. It is not a label nor quickly determined without a thorough work-up (remember the meaning of diagnosis). Our diagnosis is developed by finding the root cause, which includes an assessment of the following functions:
Nervous system– the communication of the autonomic function of brain to body
Organ Function– digestion, absorption, heart/lung function and detox organs
Qi/Blood circulation– NOT invisible energy, but oxygen and blood nutrition to the cells and tissues
Hormonal status– endocrine hormones, brain hormones and sex hormones like progesterone and testosterone
Inflammation– the root of many conditions involving pain and dysfunction
Toxicity– both the body’s ability to remove toxins or any accumulation of toxins
Nutritional status– having adequate vitamins, minerals, amino acids and vital nutrients such as essential fats, proteins, fiber and antioxidants.
This is not as difficult as it may look and we have perfected the ability to assess almost half these functions with just our in-house testing. A few functional tests can handle the rest, if needed. It is thorough, individualized and targeted. The fact is, any practitioner who gives you herbs, supplements or any prescribed treatment without a proper diagnosis is making an educated guess and this could result in not getting complete results or treatment failure.
Dr. Kenneth Hoffman, DACM, L.Ac., Medical Director
SOPHIA Natural Health Center