JUNE 23, 1997
Ask Dr. Henry
by Henry Hochberg, M.D.
Questions and answers on health, wellness, and the doctor-patient relationship.
Q: I want to be tested for intestinal candida. After reading about it in a book, I think it explains many reasons why I feel so tired. My doctor refuses to order a test for it. What can I do?
A: Candida, also known as yeast, is not considered by many physicians to be something that makes healthy people ill. This may explain your doctor's reluctance to order the test--he or she may simply not believe the results are useful. The bigger question you are raising, though, is what can a patient do if he or she wants a test but the doctor disagrees.
First off, it's important that you yourself understand (as you have done with your own reading about candida) why you think the test is relevant to you. Tell your doctor what you have found out. When it comes to things outside traditional medical training, many doctors either have never heard about it or may disagree or disbelieve it.
If your doctor can give you a reason that you accept, such as why you, as an individual, may not need the test, or that there is a better way to get the information, then the issue might be resolved. If, however, he or she refuses without hearing you out, contact a lab where such testing is done (resources are often given in the back of the books you read) and inquire where you might get the test.
If the test provides valuable information about your health, consider sharing the results with your doctor, despite his or her initial reluctance. There is always something new for us to learn and our patients are frequently sources of that information.
Henry Hochberg, M.D., is a board certified family physician with a special interest in wellness and natural approaches to healthcare. Send your health and medical questions to: Ask Dr. Henry, c/o Woodinville Weekly; P.O. Box 587; Woodinville, WA 98072; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.