Treating Symptoms. When you’re not feeling well, what do you do? If you’re like most professional women, at first, you try to ignore the symptoms because, quite frankly, you have things to do. However, if they continue to linger, you reluctantly take time off (knowing full well that you’ll return to a desk full of work), and head to the doctor.
After sitting in the waiting room for what feels like hours, you’re ushered to the doctor’s exam room, where you wait a little longer. Finally, the doctor comes in, which is your cue to reveal the symptoms that are plaguing you. In two minutes or less, you’re on your way out with a prescription in hand. What is the problem with this picture? Three things.
#1: You Will Likely Experience Short-Term Relief
Because you aren’t addressing the underlying cause of your symptoms, your relief will likely be short-lived. You’re much better off taking the time to figure out why you feel the way you do now, so that you don’t experience the same issues in the future.
It is similar to having your garden hose spring a leak. If the cause of the leak is the fact that you ran over it with the mower, yet you leave it right where it is and simply patch the hole, then you’re going to hit it again and spring another leak. You can continue this process time after time, or you can pick the hose up so you don’t hit it again. Doesn’t the latter option make the most sense?
#2: An Unaddressed Problem May Worsen
Leave the cause untreated long enough and it can worsen, potentially reaching a point where it can’t be treated at all. This is why so many healthcare providers push preventive testing such as regular pap smears, pelvic exams, and mammograms. When you can detect a problem in its early stages, you have a greater opportunity to fight it and win.
In fact, symptom fighting leaves you even more at risk because now you are masking the symptoms that tell you there is a problem. So, when your doctor asks you why you don’t feel well, you can’t give a complete picture of the symptoms you are experiencing, which means that you may not get a proper diagnosis—or no diagnosis at all!
#3: Medications Have Side Effects
Another problem with treating symptoms is that the medications that your doctor may prescribe you often come with consequences. This is evident every time you turn on the television and see an ad for a drug which contains twenty (or more) different side effects you could experience by taking it. In seeing these, how many times have you said to yourself, “Wow! I think I’d rather deal with the original condition than the side effects!”?
Some medications can even create new problems for you, which means that you have even more conditions to treat. For example, a lot of anti-anxiety medications have a possible side effect of depression. Now, on top of feeling anxious, you’re sad all of the time which causes your doctor to prescribe a depression medication. The problem with the depression medication is that it upsets your stomach, so now you need something for that. And on it goes.
To be fair, some medications are necessary when it comes to treating whatever it is that ails you. Therefore, it is not the intent of this article to say that all medications are bad or that they should be avoided. It is simply to stress that if we spend our life treating our symptoms and not finding a cure, we will be like a dog chasing its tail—tired from spinning in circles and never really getting anywhere.
How This Applies to You
How do you quit treating symptoms and find a cure? Often, it requires testing, first and foremost, to determine what exactly is going on in your body. Once you have pinpointed what the issue is, then it is coming up with a way to treat it that will enhance your health both now and well into the future.
A large number of issues can be resolved simply by balancing your hormones or taking supplements that your body lacks. It’s amazing how altering your body’s chemistry just a little bit can have huge results on how you feel.
If you’re ready to quit treating symptoms and work on finding a cure, don’t hesitate to contact me. While I don’t always have all of the answers, together we will find them.