I think I might have some kind of autoimmune thing, but I've never been to a doctor. I'm considering going now, although many of the health issues I have/had are now greatly diminished or nonexistent - as long as i'm eating right. I'm definitely not 100% awesome yet though. I reckon I have a little more diet-tweaking to do and I realize that healing/recovery takes time, maybe years... I can deal with that. But would it not perhaps behoove me to know what I'm working with? I didn't even know how sick I was until I started getting better. I do realize that compared to many, I never had it THAT bad. I've gratefully never been obese or diabetic, for example.
How useful would it even be to get a diagnosis? Clearly my symptoms are mediated by my diet... it's not like I'm going to start taking Predisone or something. I'm not exactly a big fan of western model of disease/treatment, to understate my feelings.
Data interests me though -- I'd really like to see my CRP and thyroid numbers, I'd like to get tested for allergies, and of course I'm curious about my lipid levels, even if it doesn't matter. And a diagnosis -- well, I guess it would be somewhat validating? Lame, and true.
My main complaint now is intermittent but knock-down fatigue. Some residual jointy-achey stuff sometimes, too. But since I appear pretty healthy, I'm afraid I wouldn't be taken seriously by the clinician ("Oh, poor thing, she's tiiiiiired."). Btw, I'm uninsured and would be going to a community health clinic.
So should I make myself sick again, if I decide to go? I know just what to do/eat to cause a bunch of inflammatory symptoms that used to be normal (ew), like: psoriasis, arthritis, hives, cystic acne, edema, GI probs, PMDD, depression... but is it worth it? Also, theres a chance that even those symptoms won't warrant a serious investigation ("Here's some Zoloft and cortisone cream, go home and take some Advil" ) <--- actually that's pretty much what happened when I went onemillion years ago, in my 20s. Now I'm 40.
tl;dr: Is a medical diagnosis of disease/s that seem/s to be resolving through careful diet choices useful; and if so, should a person induce a relapse to get the diagnosis?
Sadly I feel conventional health care accidentally does too many things wrong because of the research/subsidy bias toward SAD/drugs so I don't think we should involve them unless we're in danger that clearly calls for intervention.
I'm also uninsured at present so my answer is skewed by that I assume. I'd only go to a healthcare professional right now if I had urgent symptoms that indicated a need for antibiotics or possible surgery.
When I had insurance (and when Medicare kicks in in February) I will go at least occasionally to have funny moles looked at and to get blood work. That doesn't mean I'd automatically fill prescriptions or start eating "healthy" if you know what I mean.
For things that this lifestyle seems to be handling, I'd wait to see if it actually goes away completely or perhaps rebounds back to more serious--things do move in both directions, you know.
Over 4 or 5 years I'd go to my health care provider with complaints of fatigue. Each time they ran some standard blood tests, nutritional panel, metabolic panel, vitamin D, etc. Each time, my results came back within the reference range, and the doctor was stumped. The first one told me to eat either more or less.
Finally, this last time, the doctor thought to check for celiac disease (though she refused to check into better thyroid tests, corisol, CRP, or hormones), and it came back positive. I'd love to go see a functional medicine doctor (MD), because like you I'd love to see some real data, but the consult alone for me would cost $550.
If you find yourself getting better with diet changes, but find yourself slipping here and there, it could be that you have celiac disease or some other gluten sensitivity, and you could be reacting to very trace amounts. I kept feeling better then worse then better, and I am finding that it correlates with eating foods that may contain trace amounts of gluten... foods that have no gluten ingredients, but are made on equipment that sees gluten (even with thorough cleaning in between).
It's also possible you have food allergies to something other than wheat. Have you already tried an elimination diet? It's probably the most accurate test for allergies.
I don't think you should have to punish yourself to get a proper diagnosis. How about consulting a naturopath or a doctor of functional medicine who would be more inclined to run tests and find answers?
I sympathize with everything you say 100%, I know exactly where you're coming from. I'm paleo which has ceased so many things that I don't even want to mention, but like you said, this knock out fatigue is the downside to paleo. The only thing doctors can do is to give you a diagnosis, so you can tell others what's wrong with you and get actual recognition for the pain you go through. However, when doctors aren't in a detective mood, they will just say you're depressed, and then the world thinks you are just weak.
I'm not sure why fatigue usually isn't fully cured on Paleo. Also, for me its a lack of excitability with Paleo, but I am more stable, so it's a trade off, but I miss being excited about things. The best answer out there is simple, eat more carbs, usually sweet potatoes, and the fatigue will get better, but you'll probably be more mentally foggy, at least that's how it goes with me.
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