As a Naturopathic Doctor and cardiologist I split my time between heart and everything else about 60/40, so when a 16 year old with rheumatoid arthritis was coming in I wasn't surprised.
However when she showed up, I found a fluid-bloated young girl in a wheel chair.
Turns out she was maxed on medication including steroids and a drug which has a side effect of lymphoma. The mother was overweight with poor skin, the father refused to come saying that the daughter was already seeing the finest physicians in the world at the Mayo Clinic.
I did a brief physical and had an explanation that because of her food and life habits, along with environmental toxicity, her body had become allergic to her joints. The family although reasonably wealthy, lived on processed (junk) foods. The mother stated that the other two children where obese, and that the father although thin, had a heart attack before the age of fifty.
I explained to the mom that they had a toxic and sick house, and that all the junk food needed to go. I arranged for one of my interns to take the family to Whole Foods, and the mother started to cry.
I started the young girl on a two week rotating juice fast, followed by a vegan grain free diet, with an emphasis on food rotation. I also had my hydrotherapy tech start working with constitutional hydrotherapy, infrared sauna, and lymphatic drainage.
Lisa Ann had been sick since the age of 4 with this, and in 90 days was off all of her medication. However, I was very clear, if her old habits returned, so would her illness.
ONE MONTH LATER
One month later Lisa Ann was in the waiting room without an appointment, apparently upset. I went out there to find her father screaming at her. I immediately pulled her and her father into my office and inquired as to what was going on in my waiting room.
The father told me that natural medicine was a scam, and the doctors at Mayo said Lisa Ann was in spontaneous remission and needed to go back on her meds. I tried to explain that the meds where palliative (for support) not curative so since their was no pain, there was no need. The father than lashed into me about the strict nutritional protocols that Lisa Ann was under, and was mad that she did not eat a piece of birthday cake at his party. He stated that he called Mayo and Mayo said it was OK for her to have the cake so therefore I must be a crackpot.
I stated to him that it is OK in their system to serve junk food to sick children, but not in Naturopathic Medicine. He also was mad that his wife (who was down 30 pounds) had removed the junk food from the house, and the food was his wife and daughters problem not his. I stated to him that the house and the family was sick and needed an emergency fast food-ectomy, he didn't laugh but stated his daughter was never allowed to come back.
THREE MONTHS LATER
I am not sure if this is sad or not, but Lisa Ann, now a high school cheerleader with a B+ average, and her mother, who looked spectacular after her yoga class, came in and said that the two of them had moved out of the house, and the mother was filing for divorce.
She stated that she laid down the law on the food and lifestyle, and her husband chose the lifestyle over the marriage. Lisa Ann stated that she missed her father, but loved feeling healthy. She gave me a hug and cried a little, and said thank you for her growth as a person.
Lisa Ann is in third year at Arizona State, and is applying to Law Schools. The mother has re-married and gave Lisa Ann a new baby brother. By the way, she met her new fellow at Yoga, and he lives a similar lifestyle with exercise and nutrition as she does. They reportedly have a healthy house.