Press Room for Sugar Shock
Annoyed because your allegedly smart, qualified M.D. thinks your so-called “sugar addiction” is all “in your head?” Feeling frustrated because you can’t find a physician who understands the incredible power and value of good nutrition? Feeling hopeless about finding a doctor who “gets it?”
Fear no more.
Plenty of open-minded, nutritionally savvy, holistic-oriented, integrative physicians or medical practitioners are available to help you-whether you feel “hooked” on sugar, trying to lose weight, or suspect you have hypoglycemia, diabetes or pre-diabetes. It’s simply smart to find a cutting-edge doctor who takes your sugar habit seriously and who can guide your progress to licking your problem.
Now, before you pick a doctor, do your homework. Make sure that your physician is well trained, competent, caring, sensitive to your needs, and educated about blood sugar-related issues such as hypoglycemia and diabetes.
And, as humorist Erma Bombeck used to quip, “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”
As you begin your search for a smart, sugar-savvy M.D., I recommend that you first try to find a graduate of the innovative University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine, which was founded in 1994 by the pioneering, Harvard-trained physician and best-selling author Andrew Weil, M.D.
After interviewing Dr. Weil and doctor graduates of this program, I’m impressed by its goals “to lead the transformation of health care by creating, educating, and actively supporting a community of professionals who embody the philosophy and practice of Integrative Medicine.” You can find a doctor in your region at the PIM website at http://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/alum/, or you can e-mail them.
If you can’t find a doctor in your area that way, then check out some of these other organizations, which also can provide referrals.
1650 Tiburon Boulevard
Tiburon, CA 94920 USA
Phone (800) 515-4325
AlternativeMedicine.org bills itself as “the leading alternative medicine content provider” in the United States. Founded in 1990. Also operates a radio show, magazine and book division. Offers an online, searchable “Find a Practitioner” database.
American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)
7701 East Kellogg, Suite 625
Wichita, Kansas 67207
Phone (316) 684-5500
Formed in 1965, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine is an organization of physicians trained to recognize environmentally triggered illnesses. Doctors examine outside factors that can have adverse effects on health, including diet, inhalants, chemicals, radiation, heat, cold, humidity, and more. Maintains an online database of “Referable Physicians.” Referred doctors are AAEM members, who’ve completed additional training and passed the Academy’s board examination.
American Academy of Osteopathy
3500 DePauw Boulevard, Suite 1080
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Phone (317) 879-1881
The American Academy of Osteopathy is dedicated to advancing osteopathic medicine, which focuses on “treating the whole person, not just the symptoms.” Members are either osteopathic physicians (Doctors of Osteopathy, or D.O.s) or M.D.s with an interest in osteopathy, including the art and science of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). Maintains an online “Find a Physician” searchable database.
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)
3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW Suite 350
Washington, DC 20016
Phone (202) 895-1392 or (866) 538-2267 (toll free)
Founded in 1985, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is a national society that promotes treatment strategies that combine traditional medical science with therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, classical Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy, and naturopathic manipulative therapy. Offers an online “Looking for a Naturopathic Physician” database.
American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM)
23121 Verdugo Drive, Suite 204
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Phone (949) 583-7666 or (800) 532-3688
The non-profit ACAM is an alternative healthcare medical society, with nearly 1,000 physicians (M.D.s and D.O.s) from 30 nations. Founded in 1973, it is dedicated to educating physicians about complementary and alternative medicine. Provides online “Doctor Search” database. You also can get the Physicians Referral List by sending an SASE with 99 cents postage to ACAM, P.O. Box 3427, Laguna Hills, CA 92654.
American Holistic Health Association (AHHA)
P.O. Box 17400
Anaheim, CA 92817-7400
Phone (714) 779-6152
Founded in 1989, the American Holistic Health Association is a consumer-education group dedicated “to promoting holistic principles: honoring the whole person (mind, body and spirit) and encouraging people to actively participate in their own health and healthcare.” Offers extensive online “Resource & Referral Lists,” which includes information about holistic doctors and how to locate treatment options.
American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA)
12101 Menaul Blvd. Northeast, Suite C
Albuquerque, NM 87112
Phone (505) 292-7788
The American Holistic Medical Association, founded in 1978, is a membership organization for nearly 1,000 licensed health care professionals (M.D.s, D.O.s, and more) who practice holistic medicine, which is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person body, mind, and spirit. Maintains an online “Physician Referral Directory.” A bound, printed copy of “Doctor Finder” is available for $15 by writing to the address listed. To read, “How to Choose a Holistic Practitioner,” see http://holisticmedicine.org/public/pub_selecting.shtml.
The Institute for Functional Medicine
4411 Pt. Fosdick Drive NW, Suite 305
P.O. Box 1697
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Phone (800) 228-0622
Fax (253) 853-6766
The Institute of Functional Medicine seeks to improve patients’ health through prevention, early assessment, and comprehensive management of complex, chronic disease. Functional medicine is a science-based field of health care that emphasizes “patient care” rather than “disease care.” Functional medicine specialists examine core clinical imbalances that underlie various disease conditions, which could arise out of diet, exercise, and trauma. Maintains an online FM Practitioner Search database at http://www.functionalmedicine.org/findfmphysician/form.asp
Life Extension Foundation (LEF)
1100 W. Commercial Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Phone (954) 766-8433 or (800) 544-4440
Officially incorporated in 1980, the Life Extension Foundation is a non-profit organization which seeks to radically extend the healthy human lifespan. Maintains an online “Directory of Innovative Physicians.”
How to Choose and Approach Your Potential Doctor:
Now that you have great leads to find doctors, it’s vital to get a handle on exactly what you need and seek. In other words, do your homework first. In other words, find the person, who has the right mix of qualities, experience, and beliefs for you. (Special thanks to Roberta Ruggiero, author of Do’s and Don’ts of Hypoglycemia, for some of these ideas.)
Choose your physician carefully preferably not during an emergency situation.
Call the doctor’s office ahead of time and ask: “Do you treat hypoglycemia, pre-diabetes, or diabetes? How do you test for it?” (A 5-hour Glucose Tolerance Test could be helpful.) “Do you provide nutritional counseling or can you refer me to someone? What is your consultation fee, and do you accept insurance?”
Check your would-be doctor’s references by asking other patients, if you know any, and/or doing research online.
Don’t be intimidated by your would-be doctor. He or she is there to help you.
Bring a diet/symptom diary to the doctor’s office. This should include a list of everything you’ve eaten or medication(s) you’ve taken in the past 5 to 7 days, as well as the times you ate and any symptoms or reactions afterwards.
Prepare a list of questions, and discuss your concerns and goals.
Ask for a complete prevention program, and write down instructions you receive.
If you don’t like the first physician you see, see another one instead. There’s no need to go back to someone with whom you didn’t click.
Finally, please bear in mind that how you feel is often (though certainly not always) in your own hands. You can choose to treat yourself like a jewel or a garbage can. Now, take charge and find the right health care provider for you.