First Priority in Providing Health Care

by on February 16, 2010

Diagnose and Treat the Root Biochemical Causes of Suffering

For nearly 4 decades I have provided “healthcare” for 10s of thousands of patients. In my opinion, authentic “care” entails taking the time and making the effort to deeply understand the root, unique, physical causes of each patient’s suffering. I have become skilled at reversing chronic medical and psychiatric disorders because I address the actual biochemical causes, but I would never label myself as a healer. I only facilitate a release of my patient’s biochemical potential for self-healing, which is already written into the very fabric of their 100+ trillion cells. Practitioners who define themselves as “healers” could not possess such knowledge about our vast, innate, self-regulating capacity to heal, and they must consequently limit their capacity to provide authentic “care.”

The knowledge originating from providing decades of health “care” has led me to realize that the so-called “healthcare crisis” is a crisis of ignorance, a preoccupation with diagnostic labels and diseases which somehow magically “just happen” without well-defined causes. I “care” to much about my patients to allow them to suffer from this delusion, so one of my first tasks as a healthcare provider is to make it clear that all chronic diseases, maladies, disorders and illnesses are merely fantasized labels for various types of mental and physical suffering that we had invented over the ages before we had the science to know what the underlying causes actually were. Now that the physical causes of most diseases are well known, I “care-fully” and urgently suggest to my patients, practitioners and now to you, that we all break through this ignorance and achieve far better outcomes than we are currently getting.

The healthcare field uniquely epitomizes a level of ignorance which I have not seen in other walks of life. For example, highway engineers would never describe a breakdown of transportation infrastructure in terms of certain “bridge diseases” or “road disorders.” Instead, they would describe that breakdown in terms of the infrastructure’s composition, such as the wear and tear on its constitutional steel, concrete and asphalt. Furthermore, they would describe certain factors which are “toxic” to the longevity of our roads and bridges, such as salt and extreme weather conditions, and suggest methods for limiting those “aging” effects. Why has the healthcare system failed to define health problems in this way?

Essential Molecules

Essentially, the infrastructure of your body is made of certain classes of molecules: 20+ amino acids (from protein), several essential fatty acids (e.g., omega 3’s from fish oil), essential vitamins, essential minerals, oxygen, fiber, water, sunlight (photons are particles too) and enzymes (from raw foods like uncooked fruit). Note that these are essential, which implies that if any of these are deficient enough, the basic mechanisms underlying life must (by definition) breakdown, and symptoms, maladies, illnesses, disorders and diseases must occur.

Functional Medicine Testing

Out of “caring” for my patient’s “health,” I must not let this happen, so I routinely order functional medicine testing to diagnose precisely what is deficient in each and every patient, and then replenish those missing, essential items. (see www.AcademyofFunctionalMedicine.com, www.FunctionalMedicine.org and www.HealthSolutionCenter.com)

More importantly, I also order in-depth, diagnostic testing for toxins (AKA – “Toxic Load”), which accelerate a breakdown of my patient’s infrastructure, contributing to the appearance of symptoms and “diseases,” accelerating aging and causing premature death. If you cared for someone being poisoned, would you sit idly by and let it happen? How can we practitioners let this happen under the guise of providing “care?” And since medications are also contributing toxins, mostly prescribed to merely cover up symptoms, I am interested in eventually detoxifying those as well, so that my patient’s innate, self-healing mechanisms can be restored.

Some of the classes of toxins which I routinely test for and address are:

1) All drugs, especially addictive, brain-injurious, psychotropic chemicals (alcohol, tobacco, illicit or prescribed chemicals).
2) Heavy metals, especially mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead.
3) Mycotoxins (myco = mold or fungus toxins, derived from chronic intestinal, sinus infections, toxic living environments).
4) Toxic, allergy-causing food proteins.
5) Environmental toxins, especially petrochemicals (toxins from solvents, cleaners and petroleum products) and halogens (chlorine, fluorine and bromine).
6) Toxins derived from chronic infections such as Lyme, gastrointestinal organisms (unfriendly bacteria and parasites), dental toxins (abscessed root canals and implants).
7) Junk-food toxins, especially trans fats and all processed carbohydrates (also addictive).
8 ) Polluted air and water (requires air and water purifiers).
9) EM pollution (EM = ElectroMagnetic – microwaves, fluorescent lighting, generators).

Neurotransmitters

A third important class of molecules which contributes to a healthy functioning of our body’s and brain’s infrastructure are the cell-to-cell communicators called neurotransmitters and hormones, which are synthesized from nutrients. If these are imbalanced or deficient, especially during certain hormonally stressful periods of life, like menopause or when my patients use drugs, take medications and/or abuse alcohol, I routinely replenish these natural (bio-identical), “feel good” molecules to help stabilize their mood, clear thinking, attentiveness and function.

How could I let my patients struggle through life with easily correctable depression, anxiety and AD/HD and continue to call myself a competent, caring doctor? Why would I prescribe bizarre, psychotropic chemicals with serious side effects when natural interventions are safer, less expensive, sustainable and more effective?

Genetic Testing

Finally, some of my patients suffer from a fourth infrastructure problem – genetic quirks (called polymorphisms) – which interfere with their proper utilization of nutrients listed above, with their detoxification abilities and with their optimal synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Genetic testing is especially useful when nutritional repletion, detoxification and neurotransmitter/hormonal balancing is unsuccessful, which is unusual. To “care” for my patients means to fully understand them, and I am compelled to go the extra mile and understand their genetic vulnerabilities too. Genetic testing can be an integral part of that care in some patients.

Warning! Unless specially trained, your healthcare practitioner is not functional medicine competent. They probably don’t know how to diagnose or treat the underlying causes of chronic medical and psychiatric disorders. Your doctor was probably trained like me, to prescribe toxic chemicals (drugs) to cover up the symptoms caused by these root determinants of chronic diseases described above, or to perform surgery or radiation therapies (e.g., poison, cut and burn respectively), all of which can be life saving technologies for the very worst, acute or end-stage breakdown of one’s infrastructure.

But if you actually cared for someone, would you only offer to cut, burn or poison them? Would you only declare war on their bodies or would you also look for sustainable, diplomatic solutions?

TV and Hollywood shows such as Bones and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCSI) have popularized the power of functional medicine testing in solving crimes. Strangely, these powerful technologies are not taught to healthcare practitioners to “catch” the culprits causing chronic medical and psychiatric problems!

However, they are becoming increasingly available in a direct-to-consumer testing format (e.g., www.labcorp.com), so that smart consumers like you don’t have to wait several decades for the over-regulation-stymied and pharmaceutical-profit-obsessed healthcare system to catch up with this technological revolution.

Integrative Medicine

Care for yourself and those you love by self-testing for nutritional deficiencies, toxicities, neurotransmitter and hormonal imbalances, and even genetic quirks, and release your/their inner, innate healing capacities. Your consumer activism can take us all one step closer to authentic healthcare reform.

Unfortunately, medical school curricula do not include courses such as “caring for and loving your patients 101” or “authentic healing technologies 203.” The terms love, care and healing are hardly even mentioned. We are taught to maintain a “clinical detachment” and to not get too wrapped up in a deep, abiding concern for our patients. But I am certain that a career of deeply caring for my patient’s outcomes has been the essential element which has compelled me to go beyond the superficial “covering up” of symptoms with drugs, and to search more deeply for the actual roots of my patient’s suffering.

As I have become an expert in nutritional, toxicological, hormonal and genetic science, I now see that all healthcare systems throughout the world are misrepresenting themselves by suggesting that authentic care is actually being delivered. “Caring” for our patient’s minds, bodies and spirits must be inextricably linked to competence in functional medicine otherwise we are guilty of fraud.

Call it good science or a higher standard of care. Call it holistic, integrative or complementary medicine. I simply call it caring, and I encourage you to expect nothing less from your healthcare practitioner.



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{ 5 comments }

Donna Ratliff June 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Thanking you for blessing so many.

Barbara Stitt July 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm

For 20 years I worked as a probation officer in Ohio – and primarily corrected behavior by correcting the diet. Also analyzed for heavy metals. Lead toxicity combined with factory foods creating hypoglycemia guaranteed bizarre behavior. Discovered sugar was the first addiction…and transformed well over 8O% of lives to the point of avoiding future contact with the criminal courts. The formula? Exercise, filtered water, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, sprouts and moderate amounts of fish plus other small animal proteins. Essential supplements included B-complex, vit. C, vit. D3, Ground Flax seed Omega 3, brewers yeast, and nutritional yeast. The quick turn around in behavior was amazing….
I applaud you for your Caring – and that is really what it is all about.

admin July 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Dr. Stitt – we applaud your work and have made posts on other sites such as: adhd-treatment/food-affects-behavior, adhd-children/diet-for-hyperactive-children, and drug_addiction_treatment/nutrition-and-behavior

Geri March 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Currently working as an addiction counselor. I was given your book by an intern!!! I am thrilled that someone has managed to see the obvious in that our physical state affects our mental and emotional states. i am so impressed with your book and your ideas, I have begun a life altering process of re-evaluating everything that goes into my mouth. i would love to see these ideas put into main stream treatment for addiction!! i have felt that way since grad school! One of my papers was titled “Addiction in America: Challenging the status quo”!… thank you for the research and openness! i think this is the answer!

Tricia December 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

Dr. Gant I can’t thank you enough for sharing this information and for taking the extra effort to actually care about the well-being of your patients – something of course which shouldn’t be such an unconventional trait but sadly is. With your book “End your Addiction” and taking the nutrients you suggested I was able to completely stop taking anti-depressants – something I have not been able to do for TEN YEARS. And this was right after my doctor increased my dosage because my depression seemed to be worsening! I can’t thank you enough for providing this information. This is only the first step in my path to wellness as I have other issues to deal with including high metal/toxin levels as well as some other substance issues but your book and shared knowledge gives me hope that otherwise just isn’t out there. Thank you for being caring and humane when others only seem to be self-serving and greedy at the expense of others’ quality of life.

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