... at 4.30am when you can't get back to sleep.
Why I should start thinking about the NHS at that time I don't know, but while we are lucky to have it, something has to change and I don't mean the way it is funded. It needs to change its approach to utilising the billions which are poured into it.
The NHS is excellent in emergencies but falls down on chronic care, by which I mean the every day stuff of being 'tired all the time' and digestive problems. The resistance of doctors to a different approach is both disappointing, exasperating and very expensive for the NHS as it is just providing Band Aids for the symptoms of health problems and not getting down to the nitty gritty of what is causing these problems.
People come to see me when they have run out of patience with their doctors and their attitudes. I think the way doctors are trained has to change, they seem to be trained to write prescriptions or pass the patient onto an expert further up the chain, not play detective and work out what is causing the problem.
I have always assumed that doctors went through seven years of training and exhausting hours because they want to help their patients get better. When those patients fail to improve, I wonder why they don't consider looking for the root cause of the many problems they are presented with.
I was never given vitamin and mineral deficiency tests when I was suffering from chronic fatigue, I was just told that I had young children and it was pretty much inevitable. The number of prescriptions for antibiotics I was given from being a toddler was never taken into consideration. Parasites aren't considered unless a person has been on an exotic holiday but they can exist in our domestic water supply. Our water is very chlorinated at the moment and I wonder what Northumbria Water are trying to kill off.
Diet, apart from wrongly telling us to cut out saturated fat for the past 40 years or so, and eat 'heart healthy grains', of which there is no such thing, is NEVER taken into account.
I always say to my patients that we would never deliberately put diesel into a petrol car, but we do the equivalent to our bodies every day of our lives, with our doctors' blessing!
Tell people to give up gluten and they wonder what they can eat because the larger part of most people's diets are based around baked wheat products. You know the sort of thing, bread, pastry, cake, pizza (how I miss pizza), pasta and all those breaded coatings on chicken or fish.
Suggesting meat & fish, of which there are many varieties, both expensive and cheap, vegetables and fruit often elicits groans.
Why are dieticians, in the face of abundant information in books and on the internet, still saying that people shouldn't remove a whole food group (grains) from their diet because they won't get enough B vitamins?
The original allergy elimination technique that I used demanded that patients should avoid the offending substance for the following 23 hours. When we got to B vitamins, the only foods available which DIDN'T contain B vitamins were tapioca made with water (yuk) and something American called either Miracle Whip or Cool Whip, I can't remember! Nearly all fresh foods and some processed foods contain some B vitamins and there are a lot of supplements on the market to make up the shortfall.
So these are just two things which doctors can do, to help with 'tired all the time' patients and IBS patients, is to suggest they take probiotics after antibiotics and remove gluten and lactose (I explain this elsewhere on my website) from the diet.
Not too difficult to suggest and try, and would reduce the number of patients seeking help with these conditions, which in turn reduce the numbers seeking help every week.