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Are You Waiting for the White Coat Cure?

Doctors are highly educated people who can help you when you need urgent care or surgery, but what about chronic illness?  Do you need to wait for the white coat cure?

White Coat Cure | Responsible for Health | Who Is Responsible for My Health?Have you heard of the white coat cure?

It is a term I coined for what I did when I was sick.  You see, I wasn’t feeling well most of my life, so I would go to doctors and have them run tests on me.  The testing would inevitably come back normal.  Blood work and other tests would be within range, and I would be told I am healthy.  Yet, I wasn’t feeling good, and it seemed to get worse as the years passed.  Because someone in a white coat told me I was healthy, I thought it was in my head.  Maybe I was a hypochondriac.  Maybe it was just aging, and this is what it was supposed to be like as I got older. Yet, I didn’t feel well even when I was a child, so it couldn’t be just aging. I was waiting for someone in a white coat to tell me what was wrong and what I could do to make it go away.

I recently wrote a blog post about waiting for a catalyst to get you to do something about improving your health. I do believe that many of us wait until something propels us to make changes in our diet and lifestyle.  However, I also believe many of us are waiting for the white coat cure, at least I know I was.  I was lost and confused as to what to do to feel better.  I was busy and was scared to make changes when I wasn’t sure what to do. But most importantly, I was waiting for someone in a white coat to tell me what was wrong and exactly what to do to cure it.

What I didn’t realize was that although most physicians went into the profession to heal and help people, they are trained in pharmaceutical intervention to manage symptoms of illnesses more than they are trained to help the body heal or cure itself with diet and lifestyle changes.  Physicians are wonderful if you cut yourself severely, have a heart attack, or many other acute illnesses or problems, but they are not trained to cure chronic, stress-related illnesses.

And what is plaguing the American society, as well as much of the developed world….chronic illnesses of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and many autoimmune diseases where our bodies are attacking themselves.

Most physicians only receive a few hours of nutrition and lifestyle training at best.

So when you ask your doctor, what can I do to not go on medicine or to stop taking medicine, you may get the typical advice to eat healthier and exercise. It is not their job to go into detail as to what you can do to eat healthy, or what exercise may be best for your condition and body. Insurance only reimburses them for so certain things.  Their contracts may require them to only spend a few minutes with you, and explaining eating, movement, sleep and stress reduction would take too long.  Finally, much of what they have learned about healthy diets is no longer valid.  Take low-fat diets, for most people, it is the exact opposite of what they really need.  Everyone is different, they do not have the time to help you figure out what is right for you personally.

Are You Waiting for the White Coat Cure? - Inner Savvy Wellness
Photo by NEC Corporation of America with Creative Commons license.

Are you waiting for a white coat to tell you what to do to be healthier?

If so, you may be waiting a long time. In the mean time you may be put on prescription drugs that may cover the symptoms so you feel better for a while, but rarely cure the illness or help the body to heal.  Studies done on drugs are usually done in isolation and not tested together in combination with other pharmaceuticals.  Could it be possible that the interaction of drugs could cause side effects no one anticipates?

Your knight in shining armor, when it comes to your health, probably is not a white coat if you have a chronic illness.  Your knight needs to be…you. Yes, you.  You can take charge of your own health.  Develop a trusted team of people to help you improve your health.  Yes, a physician should be on that team, but the likelihood that a physician alone will cure you, is pretty small.

Stop waiting for the white coat cure and take charge of your own health.

What do you think?  Are you waiting for a white coat cure?  Do you know someone who is?  Comment below.

Join  Savvy Circle Facebook Group to get daily tips and ideas on how to improve your health.  If you are facing going on prescription drugs or have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, set up a free phone conversation with me to tell me about it.  I would love to hear your story, help you set some goals, and if it is right for both of us, tell you about my services.

White Coat Cure | Responsible for Health | Who Is Responsible for My Health?


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  1. Excellent advice! Most medications treat symptoms and not the actual causes of the disorder. So many symptoms can be better addressed when medication is combined with lifestyle treatments or complementary medicine. Integrative medicine is the best medecine.

    • Karen G says:

      I agree, unfortunately the state in which I live, does not have a functional or integrative medicine doctor yet, so we do the best we can. Plus even those who have access to them, find longer waits because there are so few. In the end we all need to take charge of our own health.

  2. helloredds says:

    What an interesting post, Karen!

    It does seem like we go to the doctor and get more meds or have more tests run. The idea of taking charge of one’s own health is a great one. I agree that we are our own best advocates in this arena.

    I came over on 100 days, and I’m glad to find your post.

    Hope you have a blessed day~

  3. I spent YEARS getting told by doctors that I was perfectly healthy, being treated like I was making my symptoms up just to get another prescription for pain medication. (None of which I took). Even after I got a diagnosis, nothing helped until I made some dramatic lifestyle changes. I had been doing everything that I was being told was “right” before in terms of diet and exercise, but the changes I made, made all of the difference in the world.

    • Karen G says:

      I am so glad you took control and made the changes, and it sounds, you are so much better. Being told you are healthy, can do something to your head. Glad you didn’t let that stop you.

  4. I belong to this category of people who do not expect the worst happen to change just like you! I make healthy meals for my family and try to control my weight. I do all the medical exams i have to do and try to educate my son to do the same type of life!

  5. Would love to get my husband off of BP meds, but he is too fearful to make the move away from them, although we have improved diet and lifestyle so that his BP without them is within normal range.

    I’m much different than he, and have maintained my health totally through good choices.

    • Karen G says:

      Keep making good choices. As for your husband, never go off medication unless you consult your doctor first. Has he seen all of the long term side effects that are listed? Sometimes we just glance over those side effects and think that won’t happen to me.

  6. Nicky says:

    This article gives great points to consider. I was once looking for the white coat cure. It was only after I sought nutritional guidance did my health improve. Thanks for sharing this with us at the Let’s Get Real Link Party.

  7. I realize that each doctor can not specialize in every area, but boy does it make a difference when you listen to your own body and do your own research before hitting up the “experts”. I realized this when I visited a doctor and he pulled out his laptop and plugged my symptoms into a database. Let’s just say that I didn’t leave with confidence in him.

    • Karen G says:

      You are right, drs can’t know it all. They are trained on the human body, but we are all so different based on our genes, our environment, what we eat and so much more. Drs. are so important to be on your team, but you need to be the Captain and trust your instincts. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Using food as “medicine” should be mandatory for anyone in the medical field…and everyone else for that matter. Health starts with your diet. But because that healthful strategy doesn’t involve expensive big pharma, Dr’s don’t go in that direction. Eating for health is an ongoing process, like probiotics to get/keep your gut in good shape. Consistency is key. But it does work eventually.

    • Karen G says:

      Yes nutrition should be taught in medical school, but it isn’t. Most doctors mean well and do the best they can with what they have been trained in, but we can do better for ourselves.

  9. creativesouthernhome says:

    Interesting points. it is important for us to do all we can to treat our bodies the best we can. I know when I am conscious of exercising and eat well, I feel so much better.

  10. joylovefood says:

    I’m definitely not looking for a white coat cure, I try and avoid going to the doctor’s office, I know I feel my best when I eat well, exercise and most importantly get enough rest!

  11. caendicott says:

    My grandma was soooo brainwashed by the White Coat Cure. She takes no responsibility for herself, and complains about her weight and the amount of pain she’s in. She expects the doctor to prescribe a pill that will make her skinny over night and take away all of her joint pain caused by her excessive weight.

    • Karen G says:

      I think the generation of your grandma was promised so much about all the latest and greatest cures that would be coming that it is hard for them to believe that a pill is not a ‘magic bullet’. Maybe something will trigger it for her to realize that it is what she eats and her lifestyle that does it. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. The Peaceful Haven says:

    This post really hit home for me! As a person with chronic illness that has been diagnosed with 7 different autoimmune diseases you get a whole hearty AMEN from me. The only healing that has come for me is a result of personal research and diet and lifestyle changes!

    • Karen G says:

      Janelle, That makes me so happy. I am glad you have taken your healing into your own hands by educating yourself and trusting your self to make changes that are right from you. My mission is to help other women realize they can do this. It is never too late, but the sooner the better and easier it is.

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