In episode two our intrepid integrative medical practitioner, Dr Pitsilis is joined by colleague, Dr Glenn Twentyman in treating two patients who don’t feel they have received effective treatment from their previous medical practitioners.
The first patient was a young woman who suffers from blackouts, up to 10 a day, something I’m sure most of us would consider to be quite terrifying. After numerous tests, CT scans etc, no cause had been found. Dr Pitsilis described going over all the information she could gather on the young woman, and then after asking questions and monitoring her breathing decided that the cause could be a form of hyperventilation so sent her off to a breathing physiotherapist to assist her to reprogram her breathing. The end result was that several months later the blackouts had stopped – excellent.
It seems to me that Dr Pitsilis spent a lot of time looking over this patients notes and observing the patient directly. This again highlights how rushed a visit to most medical practitioners is. It also makes me wonder how much a consultation not subsidised by TVNZ would cost with Dr Pitsilis?
The second patient was a 20 year old man who suffered from migraine attacks. Apparently his first doctor provided some dietary suggestions while a second gave him drugs to deal with the migraine. Dr Twentyman, after talking with the young man, recommended reducing his intake of caffeinated drinks, and the use of magnesium (relaxes muscles) and melatonin (to improve sleep). After a few months, the incidence of migraines had significantly reduced. Another successful treatment.
However, a couple of things about this case seemed odd. Having suffered from the occasional migraine myself, reduction of caffeinated drinks is an obvious piece of advice I would have expected from any good doctor. Secondly, naturally occurring or not, melatonin is a drug. I was a little surprised that the integrative medical practitioner moved straight to prescribing this instead of other techniques to improve sleep.
So after two episodes we have seen the prescription of various treatments most of which fall under the umbrella of conventional medicine, along side providing sensible advice about diet, exercise and getting adequate sleep. The consultations have been more thorough than a typical GP consultation, which I believe is the key to these better outcomes.
We also have not seen anything close to an example of modern medicine killing anyone, suggesting that the title of this programme is pure hyperbole.