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Awareness Magazine
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A Doctor Who Has Not Suffered from

Chronic Illness May Not Understand

By Aleksander Strande, ND, PhD

 

When Alex Strande fell sick fifteen years ago, he thought he was going to die. A typical workaholic . . . running 100 miles an hour, 24 hours a day, he suddenly collapsed. It felt like a heavy flu, and he thought that within three to seven days it would be over. Instead, he got so ill that he could not get out of bed.

Soon many new debilitating symptoms started to appear. They included constant sore throats, low-grade fever, total body aching day and night, lymph node swelling, headaches, depression, inability to concentrate, anxiety, mood swings, hot and cold flashes, sensitivity to noise, light and temperature, intestinal discomfort (reacting to most food consumed), sleep disturbance and extreme debilitating fatigue.

A variety of tests were taken which showed absolutely nothing but an antibody to a flu-like virus. He was subsequently diagnosed with MyalgicEncephalomyelitis (ME), Mononucleosis, yuppie flu, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Glandular Fever plus a number of other name tags. He was offered treatments, drugs, vitamins, natural remedies, . . . you name it.

Strande started to recover only after consulting with another naturopathic doctor, one of his mentors at the Australian College of Natural Medicine, who had suffered from chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia. As he recovered, he became fascinated with this condition. Many health-care practitioners had claimed to bring about recovery, but in fact, people got showered with irrelevant tests and treatments.

As he recovered, he became more interested in patients who suffered from CFS and Fibromyalgia. People say that very often a doctor who experiences a disease himself, will attract and better help those suffering from said disease.

In spite of the fact that he attends to many other difficult conditions, close to half of his clients come to him for a resolution to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As he became proficient in addressing this condition, this experience was a great asset to him in securing his Ph.D. on “Effective Naturopathic Treatments in Post Viral Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

Strande found the reason some doctors have a low success rate is because they don’t understand what the therapeutic dosage should be in the field of naturopathic medicine. In conventional medicine, one prescribes specific doses indicated by a pharmaceutical company. Standards in naturopathic medicine are different as one is recommending concentrated extracts of foods, plants, nutrients or homeopathic.

A practitioner creates a personalized program for a patient. It is not the herbs or nutrients that work, it is the knowledge together with clinical experience in treating these cases. It definitely helps when a doctor has gone through the misery of these symptoms himself or herself.

In ancient China, a village doctor was paid wages by the village or community when no one was sick. When someone fell ill, the wages were cut until the doctor cured the condition. One wonders if any doctors would survive if there were the same policy in America.

The major criteria used to distinguish CFS are:

1) Persistent fatigue that does not resolve with bed rest and is severe enough to reduce average daily activity by a least fifty percent for at least six months.

2) The presence of other chronic clinical conditions, including psychiatric disorders, can be ruled out.

CFS was hardly known in the 70’s and it was often misdiagnosed as hypochondria or a mental problem. “You’ve got it all in your mind.”

Even now some practitioners in America have this type of approach. At the end of the 90’s it had become one of the most common ailments people talked about.

Most clinicians dealing with a reasonable amount of CFS cases observe certain patterns of deregulation of immune and hormonal/metabolic systems as well as the whole body’s detoxification system. CFS is not only a vastly complex illness, but also one that is escalating alarmingly in frequency. Epidemiological studies confirm that it is spreading and crossing all boundaries, including socio-economic, racial, political, gender, occupational and geographical.

“I find that among people who suffered from CFS or Fibromyalgia for more than 10 years, about 20% have gone from one practitioner to another and after continued failure, they give up. Call and talk with me before you totally give up.’

Aleksander Strande, ND, PhD, is a microbiologist and naturopath. His special interests are: difficult-to-help conditions. His office is located at 3017 Clairement Dr. in San Diego (Clairemont Village Center next to Keil’s Grocery). Call (619) 607-4211 for questions and appointments. Visit: www.simplyhealingclinic.com