Alternative Medicine – The Diagnosis

When visiting a physician we expect them to diagnose our condition and to understand the reasons why we feel the way we do.  A diagnosis is made through an analysis of symptoms, a physical exam, lab tests and other means.  After sifting through this information the physician offers us a term which should offer some explanation about our condition.

Here are a few examples of diagnoses.

  • Atrial fibrillation: rapid beating of the upper half of the heart.
  • Myasthenia Gravis: literally means muscle weakness or debility that is severe, describing an autoimmune neuromuscular disease treated primarily with immune suppressants.
  • Osteoarthritis: inflammation of the joints leading to degeneration, treated primarily with pain killers.
  • Nephrotic Syndrome: from the Greek “nephros” meaning kidney, referring to kidney damage with excess proteins in the urine.
  • Ulcerative Colitis: inflammation to the point of ulceration in the colon with the usual treatment being steroids.

As you can see these diagnoses and most others are simply descriptive labels of the tissue involved and its condition. 

A German born American physician, Dr. Martin H. Fisher, M.D., said, “Diagnosis is not the end, but the beginning of practice.”  What might he have meant by this?

The first task of the physician is to understand the condition of the tissues involved with a person’s complaints.  If it is abdominal pains then the first question is which tissues in the abdomen are causing symptoms.  This investigative approach is true for most physical complaints.  But I believe what Dr. Fisher is suggesting is that this first step in the investigation must be followed by a second and third.

Once the condition has been labeled, and this is not always possible, we must then investigate the causes which can be many; environmental toxins at work and in the home, nerve subluxations, localized or distal infections, poor nutrition, harmful habits and lifestyle, worries and anxieties, heavy metals, lack of essential nutrients, and others. 

Once we have settled on the diagnosis and investigated the causes, we can then apply the third step which treats or addresses these causes. 

Presently our health care system focuses primarily on the diagnosis and then simply applies a drug or surgery to this diagnosis.  All diagnoses have their recommended drug protocols and most physicians, once the diagnosis has been made, simply apply the appropriate drug without much investigation as to the cause.

This three step approach to the restoration of health must be the practical application of alternative medicine.

Dr. Alexander Haskell, N.D.

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