Medicos diagnose and treat symptoms. All day, every day, only symptoms matter. The cause of the symptoms gets scant, if any, attention.

But putting Band-Aids on symptoms–which I call the patch, patch, patch approach–doesn’t work.

For instance, diabetes shows up when the body can’t handle the sugar that comes its way. Doctors prescribe drugs–with mind-boggling side effects it must be said–to lower blood sugar levels. They do nothing to address what causes the problem.

So diabetics drag along year after year, always headed downhill, with one problem after another.

While attention-getting, a blood sugar level shooting as high as the sky is only a symptom. What’s causing blood sugar levels to skyrocket is what needs to be fixed. And it can be fixed, but it takes nutrition and lifestyle changes, not drugs.

For another instance, Hashimoto Thyroiditis, the autoimmune version of low thyroid, is often the diagnoses when the problem may actually come from a lack of nutrition combined with a damaged small intestine. Medical treatment for Hashimoto’s has nothing to do with nutrition or healing your intestine, so you don’t get better.

And diagnosing cancer when a cancer-mimicking fungal infection shows up happens more frequently than it should. Major surgery because of a fungus among us is no way to go.

Moving on, if interstitial cystitis gets diagnosed at all–which usually takes years–the approved treatment is a course of antibiotics. But while the symptoms closely resemble a urinary tract infection, interstitial cystitis isn’t an infection, and antibiotics don’t help.

I could go on, but why? There’s probably not a person reading this who hasn’t experienced what I’m talking about.

Muffling symptoms makes as much sense as muting a fire alarm so it can’t startle anybody.

Unfortunately, if we want to move past patching symptoms and actually fix our health misery, we’re pretty much on our own.

Once we understand that patching symptoms gets us nowhere, we can turn our attention to understanding what the symptoms mean. Our bodies tell us what’s going on, and what they need, via symptoms. Understand the symptoms, meet the needs and health can happen.

Aye, there’s the rub! Learning what symptoms can mean and how to meet the need that’s causing them takes some doing.

And we have to let go of a lot of what we’ve been taught so we can learn what our bodies are telling us. It took me years to figure out the symptom approach, and now I write about it so others can proceed more quickly.

And when you take the symptom route, your body rewards your efforts with unexpected bonuses.

I like to sing. A “shower singer” at best, I belt out tunes loud and proud as I go through the day–at least whilst inside the house. But there came a day when my voice started cracking, and my vocal range narrowed. The loss turned my skies a little gray.

Who knew it was a symptom? And fixable? When I fixed my digestive woes caused by a messed up small intestine, my pipes came back! WooHoo!

Colds and flu stay away. Have done for years now. Well, actually, they probably try to get in, but I keep my body nutritionally armed and dangerous so they can’t.

I have no idea what made the corn on my pinky toe go away after years of residence. It left, unnoticed, in silence, and I didn’t even get to say ‘good by.’ I don’t miss it, though.

And while I’ll never again be sweet sixteen, I will avoid the downhill slide to disease and death that typifies aging–which starts a whole lot earlier than you think.

Your body fights to heal. It’s up to you to give your body the tools it needs to win the victory.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

Author's Bio: 

Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn't help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to be a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Bette’s still researching, and you can get her free e-mails by signing up at