Imagine the frustration after months or years of feeling awful and every test, every ultrasound, blood test, or X-ray performed comes back normal with no indication of where the problem may lie.
This is not an uncommon scenario amongst the patient population we see. It can lead to feelings of self-doubt and resignation that this is the new “normal” simply because you have not been given a diagnosis or a label that fits your symptoms.
However, improvement of symptoms is possible with a little extra detective work. Naturopathic Doctor Naomi Whelan describes 3 places to start:
Visit our What We Do page for a list of our programs and services, including the in-office and lab tests we might use to get you some answers (and solutions) to why you still feel ill even though your other tests came back normal.
1. Review Symptoms Thoroughly
When examining a patients condition we want to know when it started, how often it occurs, what triggers the symptoms, what makes it better, what makes it worse, etc. We will also discuss sleep habits, stress, digestion and significant health history to help us understand the development and potential treatment of their current symptoms.
2. Additional Lab Work
There are many additional labs that can be run outside of the conventional system. These can be used to evaluate gut health, food reactions, nutrient markers, microbes, and hormone status. Naturopathic doctors also use standard lab work to determine whether a result is out of range, or at the low or high end of “normal range” then treat accordingly.
3. Trial Treatment with Low Risk Interventions
Certain conditions may never be confirmed by lab work. The best “test” may be to begin a reasonable treatment and measure the response. For example, a person may test negative for celiac disease, yet feel much better when they remove gluten from their diet. These treatments could include cleaning up the diet, rebalancing gut flora, managing stress, improving sleep, correcting nutrient deficiencies, and supporting gentle detoxification.
Having the tools to understand and manage your symptoms can be far more valuable than receiving a diagnosis.