Doctors of Conventional Medicine, GP’s and Medical Specialists tend to focus on the recognition or absence of pathology – the actual disease processes. Luckily for many of us, we do not often have serious pathology, however there is usually a cause for our symptoms.
Our Diagnostic Consultant – Complementary Medicine, Mr. Gerry Gajadharsingh DO, has over 30 years of clinical experience. His job is to make sure there is no obvious pathology, where medical referral may be more appropriate, and then to explore the functional components that may be contributing to the patients particular problem.
The Diagnostic Consultation uses complementary and conventional medical approaches to assess your health and consider you as a whole – body and mind.
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The Complex Patient An Integrated Approach
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Reoccurring chest infections were putting a real damper on my training, with over six infections in one year that usually lasted 2 to 3 weeks; with one bout lasting two months during some of my busiest cycling events. Conventional medical routes had me on antibiotics, steroid inhalers and rest; this was not a prescription that fitted in with the demands of my sport.
As a sponsored athlete training for the UCI World Masters, the added pressure of delivering results was always in the back of my mind. I was conscious of every day missed in training, during the 6 months of peak training; clocking up to 800 miles of intense sessions on the bike was fairly normal. This, on top of a physical day job, placed a huge stress on my body and consuming enough calories always seemed to be a large chore. Advice from my previous coach was to take on both a post training protein recovery drink and a nighttime protein drink, along with a supplement of iron and colostrum.
With a trust in the integrated medicine practiced at The Health Equation and safe in the knowledge that, as an elite sportsman himself, Gerry Gajadharsingh would offer a solution that would fit in with my goals for the season. After an in-depth consultation on both training goals, health issues and a review of my food diary, Gerry offered a number of options including some laboratory investigations.
As an athlete, keeping control of the factors affecting training and performance are paramount and form part of a strict training regime, where marginal differences make a huge impact on results. Being able to discuss the tests and options for change were a liberating approach from the usual prescriptive GP advise and limited physiological knowledge on the coaching front; where advice generally follows current trends in sports nutrition, and at my level of competition are not based on sound evidence.
Blood samples and Capnometry (breathing evaluation, ETCO2, breathing rate and Heart Rate Variability) were completed in the clinic with a comprehensive adrenal stress saliva test (cortisol and DHEA hormones) and an optional stool test done at home. The results offered a platform from which to make changes with sound physiological decisions underpinning the reason for change. From my point of view, this suited my desire to understand the physiological impact of the changes being made and how they would fit into my regimented daily routine.
The keys changes made, which had the most impact on my sports performance, were a change in breathing patterns. When tested by ET, CO2 levels were quite low, the knock on effect of how oxygen is taken up in the muscles was fairly significant. Easy to follow breathing exercises brought my CO2 levels back to normal, thus increasing O2 utilisation, and I was able to extend my maximal effort outputs for longer.
Changing from a grazing style eating pattern allowed me to consume more food, much to the entertainment of my male teammates who I currently eat under the table. My energy levels have doubled and my regular “hitting the wall” or “feeling the knock” on the bike have abated to the point where I can do my easy 3-hour rides just on water, and my legs don’t suddenly give up on me.
I have not had a protein recovery drink for a year and have no noticeable decrease in recovery times, and my kidneys are thankful for not having to breakdown excess protein. The quality of carbohydrates and variety of protein, recommended by Gerry, have ensured my recovery times have improved and energy levels have a more consistent output.
All I was hoping for from my consultation with Gerry was to avoid regular chest infections, which I have not had since my consultation and have not missed a single day of training. What I wasn’t expecting to have was; increased energy levels, a more balance eating routine, which fitted so easily into my training regime; and lest of all, an in-depth understanding of the physiological impact my poor habits were having on my internal organs, especially those responsible for energy production in the body.
My year ended on a high with two cups from the World Masters and a new sponsor for 2011.
Peta McSharry is a sponsored masters cyclist, updates are available on her blog http://racingwoman.wordpress.com
For Simple Clinical problems you will be offered follow up treatment with Gerry.
For Complex Clinical problems you will be offered a variety of treatment pathways, including treatment with Gerry and or referral to other medical specialists, taking into account your preferences, budget and level of care that you will need to help you overcome your problem.
Why diagnostic investigations are important
Any diagnostic test is only as good as the clinician requesting it.
Results are dependent on the interpretation in relation to the patients’ history and clinical examination. Frequently, patients request laboratory testing, such as for food intolerance. This is something that is offered at The Health Equation, but before such testing, it is important that patients attend a consultation, where a thorough case history and clinical examination will be conducted to make sure the test is clinically appropriate.
Why do diagnostic tests?
Tests help with the diagnostic process to eliminate the presence of suspected disease processes or to help with the patients’ management / treatment strategy. Clinical testing can be expensive, but the results interpreted by an experienced clinician can accelerate the healing process.
Gerry embodies what science tells us about the very best clinicians…he is professional, he is empathetic, he is patient, he is experienced, he is knowledgeable and up to date, he is conscientious and persistent, he takes your input seriously and works with you…he is forthright and honest
He holds my highest recommendation for the very best practice that you can completely trust and know you have seen the very best.
Gerry is an excellent opinion as a complementary medical practitioner and my patients speak very highly of his service. He achieves results in those with very complex and challenging symptoms.