"There are no difficult cases, only difficult patients."
- Zhou Jian Ling
I am a clinician. I see hundreds of patients a week and from that experience I can say that there is an extra-ordinary number of people in the community that complain of some form of gastrointestinal (GI) problem.
Symptoms include: abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, a feeling of fullness, constipation, diarrhoea, or even alternating between the two, heart-burn, burping and farting and a vague non -specific feeling of general discomfort. Many of these conditions are referred to as "functional" because, when investigated, no anatomical cause can be found. In many cases it is attributed to a "psychological" basis.
Under the heading of gastrointestinal problems we could also include liver and gall bladder problems. Here I am not just talking about classic disease, as understood by the orthodoxy, such as hepatitis, or gall stones; but functional problems, as understood by the more alternative side of medicine. This would include such problems as "liver toxicity" which can produce a wide variety of symptoms, including skin problems, pruritus, eczema, allergies, hay fever, food sensitivities, weight problems, fatigue, constipation, etc. The full list of problems will be discussed in the liver section.
On average, most of these patients have been to their local doctor and have either been referred to a physician or seen a gastroenterologist. Most have had an endoscopy and/or a colonoscopy, were told all is normal and yet, were still put on either an anti-acid drug or an anti-spasmodic or maybe, even an anti-depressant!
To be fair, many times the diagnosis of a functional problem is made by exclusion of serious pathology, so it is important to look. If serious pathology is found, such as an ulcer, or polyp, or tumour, etc then at least they can give a definite diagnosis. The treatment? Well, that is another matter!
I will not tell people NOT to go down the conventional medicine pathway. I am giving information so that people will have more knowledge, then perhaps they will research the matter further and then decide for themselves what their course of action will be. The law says that people must make an informed choice about any treatment. So to be able to make an informed choice they must have knowledge. Hopefully, this book will be a part of that.