Part 27. Hey, I sat there for a day and a half. Think how I feel.
Anyway, this was the last presentation.
Psychological Impacts: Strategies Effective in Managing Individuals Diagnosed With Lactose Intolerance
Janet E. Taylor, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Taylor wrote that "Undiagnosed individuals with gastrointestinal complaints may present with somatization preoccupation." How many of you out there know what somatization preoccupation is? If you do, you were one up on me. I had to look it up.
Somatization disorder refers to the preoccupation with multiple physical complaints suggestive of a somatic disease for which a clear physical etiology and an adequate medical explanation cannot be found.
In shorter words, you're sick with a real physical, as opposed to psychological, disease but no one can tell you what you have. Lactose intolerance should be easily diagnosed, but often isn't. And many people have a range of gastronintestinal disorders that may overlap with or be confused with or be suffered in addition to LI. I also have irritable bowel syndrome, and needed to find a treatment for that before my intestinal complaints could be brought under control.
Disorders that aren't quickly and properly identified lead to long-term distress of many kinds. More suffering, more sick days, more disruption. The psychological complaints that you didn't have in the beginning, like depression or anxiety, can result from not having the physical side go untreated.
Physicians have to become more aware of these psychological issues and look for signs of them and learn how to treat them as well as the physical illnesses.
Here's a real problem that is almost never talked about when health is being debated. As many as 30% of adults in this country are functionally illiterate. They read at a fourth grade level or less. They may not know basic terms like "serving" or "calcium." They're probably not reading blogs, much less books or medical journals. The nutrition information on a package is probably confounding. The list of ingredients may not be understandable. They may not go regularly to doctors and if they do they're probably more concerned about other, urgent, health care needs.
I'm addressing this blog to a literate, probably well-educated population. That turns out to be only part of what needs to be done. All of the people in the U.S - and elsewhere - need the best health and the best information to achieve it, not just 70%. If you have any ideas on how that might be possible, please let me know.