Medicine sees our various body parts as separate and entire unto themselves. Each speciality treats a specific body part–with almost no reference to anything else.

There’s no point in asking, say, a heart doctor about your digestion. Heart doctors don’t do digestion.

And while nobody can know and treat everything, the one-part-at-a-time approach leads to bad choices and bad health.

Years ago the poet Donne wrote, “No man is an island, entire unto itself.” Were Donne alive today, perhaps he’d add something about no body part being an island, either.

Because the truth is, the human body started the whole concept of all-for-one-and-one-for-all, with body parts getting into each other’s business all the time.

Treating one body part without consideration of any other body part can cause chaos. Worse, medicine treats symptoms, not causes, compounding the chaos into disaster.

Out of thousands and thousands of possibilities, let me give you three examples.

1. If you have low stomach acid–as most people older than 50 do–your brain gets a little scrambled. So you tell the doc all about your symptoms, hoping to get help for your brain, and he homes in the stomach acid symptoms, which are, unfortunately, exactly the same for both low and high stomach acid. Well, there’s an app for high stomach acid–well, a prescription medicine–and you end up on an antacid, which lowers your stomach acid even more, compounding the problem. And if it’s not bad enough that your brain’s still circling the drain, antacid drugs can be addictive!

2. And how about antibiotics? We get antibiotics for every little thing. Urinary tract infection? Here’s an antibiotic. Ear infection? Same thing. For something like Lyme Disease, it’s antibiotics by the carload.

And what’s the problem with antibiotics? Our bodies are chock-a-block full of bacteria cells–more of them, even, than human cells. Some bacteria do good things; some cause harm. The trick is to keep them in balance because that’s what works best.

Antibiotics, however, kill all the bacteria they can find–good, bad or ugly. The good bacteria tend to stay dead while the bad actors come roaring back–and now there’s no resistance to all they want to do.

A big-time star of the bad actors guild is candida. We all have candida cells in our bodies, and as long as good bacteria keeps them in line, life goes well. But when antibiotics decimate the good guys, candida goes rogue. Problems often start in the gut, but out-of-control candida can lead to just about every health problem known.

3. Then there’s the not-enough-thyroid mess. Even if you get diagnosed–and most don’t–you’ll almost surely get a prescription for Synthroid or one of its T4 cousins.

First problem is T4 meds don’t really treat low thyroid, so you’ll continue to drag around half dead and half bald. Nobody has to tell you that’s not really living.

Plus there’s this: Natural thyroid hormone has five parts while T4 meds have only one–and a not-even-close-to-real synthetic one at that. One thing that’s noticeably missing is the part of the thyroid hormone that helps create new bone cells; without it, we end up with osteoporosis, which is never a good thing.

And so it goes.

Medicine needs to change the way they do business. Insurance companies shouldn’t be allowed to call the shots about what doctors can or cannot do. Pharmaceutical companies have to give up their monopoly over what information doctors get. And I could go on.

But there’s no way medicine can change enough to fill in all the gaps. That would require every doctor to know everything, and nobody can know everything.

Whatever medicine does or doesn’t do, we have to step up and accept responsibility for our health if we want excellent results.

Like everybody else, we can’t know everything, but we have a significant edge that nobody else has: We know how we feel. And that’s huge.

We may not have a name for what ails us. We may not understand all the ins and outs. We may have contradictory symptoms pointing in different directions. But we know how we feel. Sometimes in painful detail.

And nobody else has that knowledge. We just need to learn how to use it.

Yes, it takes time and attention, but it’s really, really necessary.

Because you’re the only one who knows how you feel.

Trust yourself.

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. Still researching, she freely shares her knowledge at