I went to the doctor when I wasn’t sick and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Confused? Let me explain. If you’re anything like me, you probably only go to the doctor when you’re literally falling apart. Am I right? I generally have to be on my last legs before I’ll drag myself off to the docs and by this point it’s really an ambulance-at-the-bottom-of-the-cliff type scenario. But recently I was introduced to a medical clinic that takes a far more holistic approach to healthcare. In fact, you’re actually encouraged to visit when you’re not “sick” as opposed to waiting until it’s too late. So I went along to Auckland’s Holistic Medical Centre for a consultation to find out more.
During my consultation I mentioned I was regularly stressed and that my anxiety levels seemed to be increasing. After a long chat (more than the average 15 min quick consult) the GP suggested a series of blood tests to see exactly what’s going on in my body that may be causing me to feel more stressed and anxious than normal. The results of those tests were startling.
It turns out I’m enormously deficient in a number of super important vitamins and minerals. And many of the symptoms of these deficiencies cause anxiety and stress. Go figure! The results show that my body is in what’s called adrenal overdrive which basically means I’m pushing myself too hard. And here’s the kicker. Because I wasn’t suffering from what I thought was a significant illness I wouldn’t have even visited my doctor unless I’d been encouraged to visit the Holistic Medical Centre. But the reality is that we all need a regular warrant of fitness on our health. We take our cars in for regular checks to ensure they don’t break down but it’s kind of crazy when you think that we don’t do the same for ourselves. Most of us only go to the doctor when we’ve broken down. It’s not how we treat our cars so why do we treat our bodies like this? My appointments have been a HUGE eye-opener in terms of my own health and they’ve made me realise that we all need to go to the doctor when we’re not sick or broken down – we all need to stop leaving it until it’s too late and we’re suffering. A little preventive care means we don’t actually get to that point. It also means our bodies are running as efficiently as they possible can which is what’s needed to ward off diseases. Things like heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer can all be positively impacted and often avoided if our bodies are running at optimal levels. It’s really that simple.
LEONIE’S PRESCRIPTION FOR HEALTH
My test results showed I am low in:
Vitamin D – which causes fatigue, weight gain, poor concentration, headache
B12 – which causes weakness, tiredness, lightheadedness
Folate – causes persistent fatigue, weakness, lethargy, pale skin, irritability, shortness of breath
Zinc – which is a great antioxidant and is one of the bodies first lines of defence
Magnesium – the symptoms of low magnesium cause anxiety, fatigue, poor memory, weakness, dizziness
The results also showed my Homocysteine levels (which is an amino acid in your blood) are sky high. This isn’t good news because high levels are linked to heart disease. It’s associated with low levels of B vitals and folate and symptoms include tiredness, weight-gain, headaches, sleep problems, depression and the list goes on.
I was prescribed:
Medical quality vitamins and minerals – much harder hitting than you can buy over the counters.
Herbal support to calm and destress my system.
It was also suggested that I incorporate some gentle calming yoga into my life – more Hatha and less Ashtanga.
I was also encouraged to start meditating to help calm my mind and to drink a little apple cider vinegar in water in the morning to help stimulate digestion which basically means that your body can digest the goodness from the foods you eat.
By : Leonie Barlow