I AM JUST SO TIRED – ALL THE TIME. IT IS DIFFICULT FOR ME to concentrate. I can’t remember the last time I felt good. In fact, I’m having a hard time remembering a lot of things. I know something is wrong with me. I don’t have any energy and I seem to catch every bug that comes along. I need help but I don’t know where to start. May be it’s my thyroid – my family has a history of thyroid problems.
Have you ever heard these statements. I can’t tell you the numbers of patients who comes to my clinic to seek help with these kinds of complaints. They are frustrated and discouraged with their ongoing condition. In all these years of my practice. I’d have to say that these are some of the most common ailments I hear about.
During a consult visit, doctors usually ask, “Do you hurt anywhere? Do you have any other symptoms?” Then running though a complete review of potential complaints, trying to find out if the patient is suffering from symptoms ranging from headaches to chest discomfort to diarrhea. Often patients answer in negative to all of the specific questions and sigh. “I am just really tired and have absolutely no energy.”
When physicians confront this situation, they usually recommend a complete physical exam with a comprehensive chemistry profile. On the next visit the physician will go over the patient’s complaints again and review past, present & family histories. He will conduct another physical exam, and after the evaluation is complete the doctor will carefully review the laboratory data. Occasionally he discovers evidence of hypothyroidism, diabetes, anemia or some other disease process that is causing these symptoms of fatigue.
But the overwhelming majority of the time, he finds nothing that sufficiently explains why the patient is feeling so tired and worm out.
At this point, most physicians begin questioning the patient about possible signs of increased stress or symptoms of depression. If this line of questioning doesn’t reveal any apparent explanation, tension begins to fill the air. The patient starts to realize the doctor is not finding anything wrong. And the doctor may even insinuate that the problem is all in the patient’s head. Of course, this is not a verbal exchange, but the unspoken reality is most certainly communicated through abrupt tones and body language (If you have even been in a situation like this, you understand fully what I’m talking about).
What just happened? Physicians want to help their patients and most often they feel the only way to accomplish this task is by finding a disease process and beginning treatment with prescription. When they can’t find anything wrong or can’t write a prescription, doctors become uncomfortable with the mounting pressure to provide an explanation and course of action to make the patient feel better. A doctor may dismiss the visit by saying, “well you are really in excellent health – I can’t find anything that would explain your symptoms. Just give it some time and see if you feel better.
If you have experienced something similar, you know you’ve nothing else to do but thru and leave the doctor, frustrated. You’re certain you had already given it “plenty of time” before you went to see the doctor in the first place! Beyond doubt, you’re not well, and now that the doctor can’t find anything wrong, even you begin to wonder if it’s truly all psychomatic.
But the frustration is only beginning. You may determine to follow your physician’s advice and give yourself more time while trying to do everything in your power to take better care of yourself. Instead of getting better, through, you either don’t improve or even get worse. Where do you go from there? Do you get a second opinion? If you do see another medical doctor, chances are good that he will not find anything wrong either. Anxiety and disappointment with the health-care system begin to peak.
On the one hand you are happy that no one has found anything serious, but on the other, you’re angry because no one has answers. In fact you begin to feel like an annoyance and are intimidated about going back. This is when a close friend or family member tells you about an alternative health care practitioner who was really able to help him with the same problem.