Dr. Patterson Stark
Dr. Patterson Stark
BSc. DC. ABAAHP. AACNEM.

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Choosing the right doctor

Choosing the right doctor is as important as choosing the right food. Using your doctor for information, examination and hopefully inspiration may have a dramatic effect on quality and longevity of your life. In order to make the right choice you must understand your needs.

The Infant and Child
Ideally, you want to find an individual who is sensitive to the issues of the infant and child. Proper nutrition for the mother who is breast-feeding needs to be discussed. I recommend that these mothers take supplemental calcium in the range of 2000 milligrams per day. It is best absorbed when taken four times per day with small meals. Also, a good B vitamin with iron, B 12, and Folic acid should also be taken.

You must understand that the metabolism of children and infants requires exceptionally high amounts of the highest quality nutrition. Selecting food for the infant is very important. I recommend at least 9, and preferably l8 months, of breastfeeding. Remaining on the breast cannot be stressed enough. Next, the introduction of whole foods is probably one of the most important events in a child's life. The infant should have only one food at a time for a period of 4-5 days. If the child does not have excessive gas, fowl smelling stools, or emotional outbursts after eating, the food should be well tolerated. If not done correctly, allergy and low-grade immune dysfunction can be triggered and may continue throughout childhood.

The Italians have a creative device for infant food preparation. A small grinding mill attaches to the table next to the mother and processes table food as a puree. Easy to clean, easy to use, it's all that is necessary to begin feeding of solid foods.

With the advance of the "lawyer-physician", the risk of illness to the pediatric population by the overuse of antibiotic therapy has become apparent. I do not like using antibiotics on children who have only two or three degree temperature (F) rise when febrile. In actuality, the child's immune system should get stronger with each successive illness. Homeopathy, Ayerveda and many nutritional products are good therapies, but look more closely at the diet. Corn, wheat and cow's milk may be weakening the immune system allowing for recurrent infections. For example, ear infections are commonly a result of excessive mucus created by the wrong diet. Physicians who see you as a prudent parent, capable of loving care for your child, will perhaps direct you to try a sponge bath first, when your child has a fever.

If these concepts are foreign to your doctor then maybe it's time to find a new doctor!! Once you begin looking, support can be found close to home. If you are locked into one of the organized medical provider systems, you may have to work harder in your search.

At the beginning of the century childhood cancer was a rare medical topic. Infant mortality was in large part due to infectious diseases related to poor hygiene and outbreaks of epidemics. Today childhood cancer is regrettably the first or second cause of death under the age of 16.

The Adult
Your doctor should screen you for the common illness associated with your age group. He/she should ask questions about your lifestyle, exercise, diet and self-exams. For women, self-breast examination is a monthly must. Between the ages of the 18 and 50 men should perform self-examination of the testicles. Look for changes in freckles or moles. Examining each other's skin at home including your children can reduce the risk of melanoma. In these examples, breast cancer, testicular cancer, and melanoma, early detection can be the difference between life and death. EKG's, Chest X-rays and Mammography all play a role. If your physician does not suggest these tests, then YOU ask your physician if they are necessary at your particular age. Females 35 should get a baseline Bone Density test. Remember that exercise, specifically resistance training, is the treatment of choice for maintaining bone integrity.

Do you have a serious illness? No matter how bleak the outlook, did you know that if you are involved in you own recovery and therapy, and feel included in the process of your healing, you can double your life span? This is well documented. Your doctor should ask you to get involved, place demands on you and invoke your healing powers to aid him /her in the job prolonging the time you have left. None of us knows just how long we will be on the planet. The best we can do is to get up each day and take care of ourselves in a compassionate way.

On a personal note, medicine has changed very much in the last ten years. The cost of new technology and the burden of the costs have come down on the shoulders of many caregivers. The results are many unhappy and disillusioned practitioners. Many feel trapped by the system and the simple reasons they began training have fallen by the wayside. Sometimes taking ten to twenty years to train, there are hundreds of thousands of dollars of education which must be repaid. It is not uncommon for a physician's student loans to not be paid off until he/she is nearly fifty years old. So, have compassion for your doctor too!