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Treat the Cause Not the Symptom and That Can’t be Done on the Internet

by | Dec 7, 2017 | Personal Experiences, Practical Suggestions | 3 comments

Treat the Cause Not the Symptom

Have your ever forgotten where you are going or can’t remember your schedule?   How many times have your heard a family member say, “Where are my keys?” or “Where are my books?”  How about the friend who constantly says, “I’d love to go, yet I’m exhausted.” How often have you complained of these symptoms and turned to the internet looking for help and advice?

What’s the Difference Between Symptoms and Causes?

People normally treat the symptom not the cause. Now before I continue, I truly believe you need to do both. Not one or the other. The only way is to treat both the symptom and the cause. Then, and only then, will you feel better and be able to regain your life again. Now what do I mean by symptom and causes?   For instance, if you have a runny nose, that is a symptom of an irritant to your nasal cavity.  It is important to take something to stop your runny nose.  Yet, if you also don’t treat the cause, you will continue to have a runny nose. Is the runny nose a result of being allergic to something, or is it from a bacterial infection or from a virus?    If it is from a viral infection, taking an antibiotic will have no effect and you will still have the runny nose.   If you only take something for the runny nose, without treating the cause, you will be on the medicine for the runny nose indefinitely.   If you treat the cause, the symptom will eventually stop.

Essential to Find the Cause

Find the cause of your headache, sleep issues, anxiety, fatigue or memory problems.  Too often you read about solutions such as changing your pillow, adjusting the room temperature or lighting, using soothing music, and other techniques in order to help you sleep better.  While this is maybe true for some, treating the symptom of your sleep problem, it is NOT addressing the cause.  In this blog and many of my upcoming blogs, I will be labeling and focusing the SYMPTOM and the CAUSE of common issues many people are living with on daily basis.

The Symptom of Fatigue

You may feel your fatigue is a result of being over worked or from having a hectic life and busy schedule. Yet, the cause might be from an improper diet, heart issues, hormonal issues, bio-chemical issues, or a brain injury from a concussion that you were not aware about.  It can also be a result of adrenal exhaustion caused by chronic stress or anxiety. Many of my patients suffer from repressed emotions of trauma and/or abuse causing the fear driven brain, thus resulting in symptom of chronic fatigue, which is different than chronic fatigue syndrome.

The Symptom of Anxiety

On my page about anxiety I note that anxiety is not a cause. It is clearly a symptom, and the causes can be from a wide variety of individual or combined causes. For example, if you were in an automobile accident your body has experienced a trauma, causing the reactive brain (limbic system) to activate your adrenal gland propelling you into a fight/flight mode. If the cause is successfully treated, your body will become more reactive, living in chronic fear as seen in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The treatments for both the over reactive limbic system and injured frontal lobe includes changing to a Brain Healthy diet, neurofeedback, and psychotherapy.

Memory Problem Treatments

The treatment plan above is also effective for treating memory problems. Recommended in by my book Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury is a product you now see advertised on TV, called Prevagen, and another product called EHT. Restorative sleep is critical to treating symptoms as well. That means 8 hours of sleep that includes alternating between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and Non-REM. This allows the brain and body to repair itself.

Symptom of Headaches

If you are having bad headaches, you probably are not sleeping well. This can result in fatigue and even memory problems. The cause may be your inability to control the over-reactive limbic system which also controls your autonomic system. This is the area that controls the heart and vascular system, which might be causing your headache. If you ever had a brain injury, headache is the number one symptom, along with sleep problems. Thus, to correct the symptoms of your headache and sleep problems, you absolutely need to address the cause, your brain injury.

Social Media for Medical Advice?

Sick Women With Computer Searching For Medical Advice - Treat the Cause not the Symptom!I was reading on one of the many social media pages on brain injury and various people were giving advice on how to treat headache… from using Botox to cannabis. Now I’m not going to say this may not work for the pain symptom of a headache, however if you do not address the cause, you will be using these methods for your pain for the rest of your life. If you want your headache to diminish, you must address what is occurring in your neck, muscles, nerves and vascular system that is causing the headache. A brain tumor can also cause symptoms of a throbbing headache. If you used just Botox or cannabis and ignored the brain tumor, this may cause seizures or even death.

Dangerous to Treat the Symptom Alone

I can’t emphasize enough that your symptoms are an indication that something significant is not right. Pain is a useful tool indicating there is injury. It is sending a signal that something is wrong. Just like a warning light on your vehicle’s dashboard letting you know that something in your car is not functioning properly or needs attention. You wouldn’t just turn off the indication and ignore what is wrong. Yet, this is what many people do daily by taking medication, food or alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. How often do you consume an energy drink or take some form of caffeine to combat your fatigue?

Did You Know?

How often do you have your cellphone next to your bed playing music when you can’t sleep? Did you know the EMF waves from your cellphone interfere with your brain’s ability to sleep? Did you know that the symptoms of grief, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and post-concussion syndrome (PCS) are often similar, yet the treatment for the cause of each is vastly different? Click to see Chart: Do NOT use neurofeedback or medication for grieving! Rather you provide an open heart, compassion, and often group support. Often the treatment for the cause of PTSD is similar to the treatment for the cause of PCS, yet depending on the core reason, it can be vastly different. Yet, the treatment for the symptoms of fatigue and sleep problems may often be the same regardless of the cause. However, as mentioned for the symptoms to disappear, you need to address the cause. It can sometime take a long time to discover the root cause of your problem. But it is worthwhile to keep on pressing and not give up.

Conventional Medicine Treatments are Commonly Symptom Centric

Treating the symptom not the cause is all too common in conventional medicine. You could go from doctor to doctor and specialist to specialist and be treated with an array of medications to alleviate your various symptoms. Yet, these symptoms could all be brought on from the same root cause. Each of these doctors prescribes the right medication for each problem, but no one is considering how all these symptoms may be related. The doctor or specialist you see for headaches, will very unlikely ask you about your psoriasis. Without anyone managing all of your symptoms and digger deeper to understand the underlying causes of these symptoms, you could end up taking many medications and still not feel well.

Dr Diane’s 5 Prong Approach

At Dr. Diane Brain Health, regardless of the presenting problem or situation, we view each client and patient from the five distinct views that make up Dr. Diane’s 5 Prong Approach physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and energy. This helps us get to the root cause of the problem so we can not only treat the symptoms, but eliminate them all together. Investigating ALL of someone’s symptoms helps to shed light on deeper imbalances and the root cause of the symptoms. In addition to looking at lifestyle, diet, family history, background, and other unique aspects to treat sleep issues, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, memory problems and other health issues. Where To Turn for treatment help? Dr Diane!


Dr. Diane® Roberts Stoler, Ed.D.
7 Hodges Street
N. Andover, MA 01845
Phone: (800) 500-9971
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Dr. Diane is a catalyst for change

Image Credit Elaine Boucher

Within each person shines an inner light that illuminates our path and is the source of hope. Illness, trauma, suffering and grief can diminish the light and shroud hope. I am a catalyst for hope and change, offering a way to rekindle this inner light.

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