Dr. David Brownstein, M.D
Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: nutritional deficiency | lab tests | hormones | dr. brownstein

Nutritional Deficiencies Are Common

David Brownstein, M.D. By Tuesday, 26 December 2023 04:23 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

My job as a physician is not only to properly diagnose a patient, but also to help that patient improve his or her health. My medical education taught me how to diagnose pathologies. However, it did not teach me how to analyze a patient’s health status.

After educating myself about what aids the human body in achieving good health, I learned to order the proper lab tests to assess a patient’s nutritional status. This includes checking for proper macronutrient and micronutrient levels.

Unfortunately, I was also taught that nutritional deficiencies were a thing of the past that only occurred back in the days when food was scarce. I recall only three hours (out of four years of medical school) of instruction devoted to illnesses caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I learned that scurvy — caused by severe vitamin C deficiency — was characterized by bleeding gums and leaky blood vessels.

I was also taught that iodine deficiency causes goiter, which is a swelling of the thyroid gland. During that instruction, the professor emphasized that both scurvy and iodine deficiency were essentially extinct conditions because of the U.S. government’s mandate that many foods be fortified with vitamin C and that salt be iodized. But during those three short hours, I was not taught to order a lab test to see if a patient had optimal levels of vitamin C or iodine (or any other nutrients, for that matter).

Some 30 years later, after ordering and interpreting thousands of laboratory tests for levels micronutrients and macronutrients, I can assure you that nutritional deficiencies are very common in the modern world.

When I began checking patients’ micro- and macronutrients, I was astonished by how deficient they were. It didn’t matter whether they were young or old, everybody had some deficiencies. How could that be the case with our abundant food supply?

I had very few overweight classmates when I was in elementary school. Today, obesity has become commonplace in schools, and one-third of U.S. adults are obese. That’s a national tragedy. Overweight patients have many more abnormal lab test results. In fact, I’ve found that the vast majority of all patients and nearly every obese patient has multiple nutritional and hormonal imbalances.

Unless those imbalances are identified and dealt with, the patient will continue to struggle with his or her weight and other comorbidities such as diabetes and heart disease.

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My medical education taught me how to diagnose pathologies. However, it did not teach me how to analyze a patient’s health status.
nutritional deficiency, lab tests, hormones, dr. brownstein
Tuesday, 26 December 2023 04:23 PM
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