By Dietitian Jill Place
Yes … I’m STILL angry (see below!). Because people contact me almost daily SURE that they have salicylate sensitivity.
They’ve had problems for some time. And are grasping at diagnostic straws (the medical model) without looking for the root cause (the functional one).
Functional medicine is the new paradigm that looks at dysfunction before it turns into disease. And treats individuals … not individual symptoms.
It’s the medicine of the future. Actually Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said over 2,000 years ago “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
My apologies to Hippocrates. But, in our toxic world, being healthy is a lot more complicated than that …
I haven’t shaken off the anger from my last article yet. If you want, read it here. I’m still mad because more people out there are self-diagnosing and then medicating themselves based upon that incorrect diagnosis.
And here’s one horrific example … one that, true to my talent for attracting synchronicity … just fell into my lap the other day.
I was talking to one of the nurses at one of my consulting jobs about self-diagnosing and she told me this story (no lie … I DIDN’T make this up! But I AM paraphrasing because my memory isn’t THAT good … )
My brother told me a few weeks ago that his eye was red, that he had “googled” a solution, and was sure it was Pink Eye. He also had medicated himself accordingly per internet advice.
I begged him to see a doctor. Weeks later, when it didn’t improve, I begged him again to see a doctor. When he finally did, HE FOUND OUT THAT HE HAD A SLIVER OF WOOD IN HIS EYE!”
She also told me that, many weeks after his mis-diagnosis, he’s still not better. MY final verbal “diagnosis” back to her … HE COULD HAVE BLINDED HIMSELF!
Beware the Dangers of Self-Medicating or Diagnosing
So if you’re absolutely sure it’s salicylate sensitivity … or one of the other popular diagnoses below … here’s a wake-up call … and a fun game for you! I’ve “googled” the symptoms for …
- Salicylate Sensitivity
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Now can you guess which is which?
SYMPTOMS #1: fatigue, stomach pain, weight loss or gain, depression, anxiety, difficulty breathing, headaches, swelling, rash, hives, diarrhea
SYMPTOMS #2: fatigue, stomach pain, weight loss or gain, brain fog, rash, hives, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas
SYMPTOMS #3: fatigue, stomach pain (i.e. bloating, gas), weight loss or gain, diarrhea, constipation, brain fog, anxiety, depression, skin issues (i.e. rash/hives),
SYMPTOMS #4: fatigue, weight loss or gain, constipation, brain fog, thinning hair, depression, heavy menstrual periods
Wondering which is which? Wondering why they’re so similar?
Well … that’s exactly the point! WITH THE EXCEPTION OF VERY FEW CONDITION-SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS, (i.e. swelling and difficulty breathing for salicylate sensitivity and thinning hair and heavy menstrual periods for Hashimoto’s) SYMPTOMS FOR EACH ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!
And many other conditions can cause Hashimoto’s symptoms, like other hormone imbalances. And salicylate symptoms … there are nine-plus causes for shortness of breath coupled with swelling, like renal cysts, COPD, and pericarditis to name just a few.
How do I know? I “googled” them. Still want to know which is which? Well, I didn’t mix them up … the symptoms are in the original order that I mentioned their conditions.
So, can you now see that you shouldn’t be going around self-diagnosing yourself? My “diagnosis” … see a physician or a practitioner who specializes in alternative medicine.
Because MDs will laugh you out of the office when you say you want to be tested for “salicylate sensitivity”.
Testing for Salicylate Sensitivity
There are tests for many health problems. But specific testing for salicylate sensitivity? IBS? Parasites? Other root-cause problems? There aren’t any traditional ones.
The only salicylate test I know of is used to detect toxicity from medication. And IBS is diagnosed from symptoms … you CAN test for leaky gut … the main cause of IBS … and other root-cause problems like parasites. But those tests are alternative and mostly not covered by insurance.
Parasites … difficult. I recently learned that parasites are smart little “buggers” … they secrete an enzyme which dissolves their bodies AND most of their DNA when they detect any change of condition in their environment.
There is one .
But neither are 100% conclusive. And … at 45% … the COVID-19 one isn’t either.
The Solution, Then, for these Conditions?
Find an alternative practitioner (alternative MDs are few and far between … and the one I considered cost NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS for the first visit … OUT-OF-POCKET ) who understands these conditions. There ARE, however, definitive tests for Hashimoto’s and subsequent medication.
But perhaps the best treatment appears to be … as for many autoimmune conditions … alternative also.
The best thing to do when you have all the symptoms I talked about (and more) is to DO FOOD SENSITIVITY TESTING. Because all the symptoms above can all be caused by inflammation, which is the root cause of many dysfunctions and diseases.
I’ve treated all of the above … including salicylate toxicity, which can be kind of (but not definitively) detected and then treated by avoiding sensitive foods and food chemicals.
I wrote an article a while ago about salicylate sensitivity, and am still hearing from people who are possibly mis-diagnosing themselves with it. In the article, I also mentioned doing food sensitivity testing instead of “googling”.
But, like many people today … like those who contacted me … they’re still looking for a definitive diagnosis and treatment.
I’ve also been saying for years that our increasingly toxic environment plus lousy living has led to all this dis-ease and autoimmune. So I was very heartened when I heard Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, toxicity and integrative medicine pioneer, say exactly the same thing in a web-based Parasite Summit.
The reality is that, when you decrease the inflammation caused by that lousy living, you decrease the overall toxic load, and give the body a chance to heal itself.
My Healing Journey
I started this whole journey toward healing by working with Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, who wrote the famous book, Fit for Life. Their idea was to clean up that lousy living so people could heal.
And, boy, did they! Food sensitivity testing and other alternative treatments can be like Fit for Life on steroids. Boy, are they!
Here’s the link to learn more about FOODStrong™ for food sensitivities … my unique take on testing using LEAP Mediator Release Testing (MRT). Need to know more about the test itself … here’s the link.
Want more peace, less anxiety, more awareness? Need to reign in overeating? I’ve got the answer! Click here to experience my downloadable audio Micro-Mindfuls™ … sequential snippets of downloadable mindful experiences.