How Chasing Root Causes Can Keep You Sick
Most people seeking help outside traditional medicine are often looking for someone to find the “root cause” of their suffering.
Often this means looking for an organic biological cause for illness, usually using tests like imaging or blood work.
Finding the primary cause of Illness is very important in cases where someone’s life can be in imminent danger. Things like infections, autoimmune disease, tumors, or organ damage can be treated effectively.
Unfortunately most things that cause pain and suffering don’t have a straight forward biological mechanism. In humans, every condition we face has elements of biological, psychological, and social factors. Our experience is the net result of how these factors interact in our lives.
When patients become entrenched in finding a single biological cause for their condition, it often leads to a lot of time and expense spent on things that are not likely to meaningfully improve quality of life.
It also takes us away from doing things that may be really helpful to improve recovery.
So when I talk about psychological factors like anxiousness and stress, or sociological factors like work and community, it doesn’t mean that I think your condition is imaginary or in your head.
It means we want to address all of the elements of your condition, because you’re not just a bag of biological parts, you are a whole human being!
And at the end of the day, the psych and social factors all contribute to your autonomic nervous system which becomes biology all over again.