Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I know this post is long, but I think this doctor's story is similar to so many stories I hear from people. This book, Clean, is really good---Dr. Alejandro Junger writes about his journey and the journies of his clients from impending sickness and unhealthy bodies to learning how to become detoxified and healthy. I ordered this book a while ago because Sarma from http://www.oneluckyduck.com/ kept commenting on it, and then a few weeks later I ordered it again because I forgot I already had one coming (oops). So when I got back from my yoga trip, I had two waiting for me----if you want to borrow one, let me know! Here's an excerpt from Chapter 2. I'm not suggesting you need to buy products or anything, just that the information in this book so good (and it's a really easy read), that everyone can benefit from this information. You choose how far to go with it. And if you're not interested, stop reading now :)

"After three years of internship and residency, I moved to Manhattan's Upper East side and started my training in cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital. Running the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, admitting patients from the emergency room, and consulting all over the hospital added the weight of responsibility to my shoulders and the weight of bagels to my belly. In those second three years of training my allergies got so bad that I had to take antihistamines and use steroid inhalers several times. My digestion was turning in to a nightmare. I was often bloated, and I had abdominal discomfort and alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea. This was alarming.

"I decided to ask one of our attending gastroenterologists for help. Within minutes of listening to my story, he ordered an upper and lower endoscopy, abdominal sonogram, and full blood work. Every test came back absolutely normal. The specialist's diagnosis was 'irritable bowel syndrome.' Not much could be done, I was told, except try to control symptoms with antispasmodics, antiflatulence pills, painkillers, and antidiarrhea medication alternating with laxatives. Nobody asked me what I was eating----which was not surprising, since I had never had a nutrition class myself.

"A few months before finishing my fellowship I started waking up with chest pain. If I hadn't already been a cardiologist myself by then, I would have gone to see one, but I knew the heart muscle and its arteries were not the problem. That other aspect of my heart, the one I had not had a single class or discussion about in all my years of training, was the problem. I was sad. In fact, I was depressed.

"This to me was unbelievable. There was no history of depression in my family. My life was busy, but I liked working hard and I was good at what I did. Something was very wrong, because my feeling of impending doom was not justified by whatever difficulties I had at the time......

"I could not sleep...At one point it got so bad I decided to seek help from one of the top psychiatrists in New York. After one session of questions he solemnly said, 'You are depressed. You have a chemical imbalance.'... He wrote me a prescription for Prozac.

"I didn't like the idea of taking a medication for the rest of my life, so I decided to get a second opinion. It took the new psychiatrist two sessions before he declared, 'You have a chemical imbalance in your brain,' and wrote a prescription for Zoloft....When I asked him what had caused my cells to reduce the production of serotonin, he answered that it was not well understood, but that I was not alone."

Let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

What I think about this is that we all need to ask our doctors, dentists and everyone else more questions ---

Anonymous said...

I agree! And we should get second opinions more often...