Part II: Nine Reasons Why Chronically Ill Patients Fail to Get Well

Part II: Nine Reasons Why Chronically Ill Patients Fail to Get Well

Paul A. Goldberg MPH, DC, DACBN, DCBCN

Part One of this series addressed why taking a Medical Approach, whether Conventional Medical, Alternative Medical or Functional Medical, is the leading reason patients with chronic disease conditions fail to recover their health. Part II explores eight additional reasons. Avoiding these errors dramatically increases the opportunity for “chronically ill” patients to improve their condition.

For over forty five years, The Goldberg Tener Clinic has utilized an individualized, Bio-Hygienic Approach resulting in a high success rate reversing the chronic diseases of thousands of patients with medically diagnosed, chronic disease conditions. The Clinic’s website ( presents over one hundred case studies with patient interviews and accompanying laboratory studies, documenting recoveries from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Gastric Ulcers, Diabetes, Hashimoto’s Disease, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Chronic Allergies and a myriad of other chronic conditions along with functional issues such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Many of these patients had suffered for years, even decades, prior to seeing us. Those on the website represent only a fraction of the patients who have reversed their chronic diseases by employing a causal centered Bio-Hygienic Approach.

The question remains, however, as to why some patients, even some of those coming to consult with us, fail in their quest to regain their health. Understanding common reasons as given below, can help you or someone you know avoid making the same mistakes.

Reason I

The Patient Takes a Medical Approach Whether Conventional, Alternative or Functional Medicine.

All of these are Medical Approaches which treat symptoms rather than addressing causal factors as addressed in Part I:

Reason II

The Individual Identifies with a Disease Symptom as Being the Cause of Their Issues.

In the 1970’s, it was Hypoglycemia. In the 1980’s and 1990s it was Candida. In the 21st century it has been gluten intolerance, SIBO, Food Allergies, Dysbiosis, Leaky Gut and other popular titles patients attach themselves to. Unfortunately, many alternative practices do the same and are happy to cater to patients with these symptoms. None of these symptoms, however, cause chronic disease and addressing them alone will not reverse chronic disease. It is the causal factors behind these symptoms that are responsible and these are the factors that need to be identified and addressed for successful chronic disease reversal.   

Reason III

The Patient Believes that Medical Evaluations will Uncover the Factors Behind Their Disease.

Undergoing costly and often dangerous medical evaluations including CT scans, endoscopies, colonoscopies, biopsies, mammograms and other medical tests reveal the effects of disease rather than its causes. Many of our patients have had numerous visits to “specialists” and seen a succession of alternative/ functional/integrative/complimentary medical practitioners. They have been to “the best specialists in their fields” and arrive at our office with binders full of medical notes. The patient believes they have been thoroughly evaluated.

The contrary is usually the case. The more medical and alternative practitioners seen and the more treatments undergone, the farther the patient has usually gone from the shores of recovery. Treatment after treatment presents us with knots that must be untied for we must investigate not only the original causal factors of their disease but also what additional mischief has resulted from medical, alternative medical and functional medical “treatments” that have compounded the complexity of the patient’s problems.

“We are not so much interested in knowing about the medical description of the “disease” but about the patient having the disease.”

An adequate investigation requires a causal based perspective, understanding the highly individual nature of each person. The first step is a lengthy (one to two hour) interview utilizing a Clinical Epidemiological/Bio-Hygienic Approach. Why a one to two hour interview? We must know not just the patient sitting before us today but all that went into the patient that then resulted in disease over their entire life. We are not so much interested in knowing about the medical description of the “disease” but about the patient having the disease. This takes time, understanding the life story of the patient and the details that have affected them. A physical examination and the right laboratory studies by proficient laboratories are then employed. Lab Tests must be current and interpreted from a different perspective than that of the Medical Matrix.

Reason IV

The Patient Fails to Understand the Nature of Symptoms and the Process of Healing.

“In our instant relief world patients may fail to give the healing process the requisite time.”

Recovering from a chronic condition complicated by medical meddling requires addressing the damage done by prior treatments, breaking down old diseased tissues (catabolism) and rebuilding new healthier ones (anabolism). We refer to this process as Re-Creation. The patient must understand the symptoms the body expresses as it is afforded the opportunity to evolve into health. It takes time for the body to undergo its re-creative work (see article The Time Factor In Recovery). In our instant relief world patients may fail to give the healing process the requisite time. New symptoms or temporary exacerbations of old ones are often part of the process of the body evolving out of chronic disease and emerging into a higher state of health. It is important to understand and trust the process of getting well.

Reason V

The Patient Fails to Give Up Old Behaviors.

“Evolving out of chronic illness takes effort and right actions.”

Many patients say they “really want to get well”…but lack the will to implement necessary changes. They look for excuses to continue old disease producing habits yet expect different results. Wanting to get well and exerting the will to get well are not the same. It is comparable to the person who really, really wants to be financially well off but is unwilling to acquire the needed skills and do the hard work required to earn it. Evolving out of chronic illness takes effort and right actions. Old disease creating habits must be left behind and health-promoting habits acquired.

Reason VI

The Patient Remains With One Foot in The Medical Matrix.

Some patients want to follow our instructions while hedging their bets and continuing to pursue programs of medical and alternative medical practitioners as well. They falsely believe that the more different treatments received the greater their chance for success. This commonly entails fear in leaving the Medical Matrix behind.

Some patients find it difficult to give up taking pills and potions for their problems whether from a medical, alternative medical or functional medical practitioner. They cannot resist trying new fads they find on the Internet (see article on “Dr. Google”). This dooms the patient to confusion and failure. Multiple cooks in the kitchen (particularly when using the wrong ingredients) will ruin any dish.

This is also commonly seen with Alternative/Functional Medical Practitioners and “health coaches” who advise patients to remain on pharmaceuticals while loading them with “alternative” medications. Irrational notions such as the idea that inflammation is the cause of a patient’s disease (rather than the effect of their disease) and that the patient needs to take drugs to suppress it to keep it from spreading, shows a fundamental misunderstanding that leads patients into an ongoing quagmire.

Reason VII

Focusing On Only One Element of a Health Reform Program.

“Focusing on food alone or any other single element of a program while ignoring others is an invitation to failure.”

To regain health from chronic disease requires identification of causes and addressing them through a comprehensive plan of action. Often times patients will cherry pick a health plan focusing on just one element rather than the entire program. Most commonly this will be the diet, which some patients focus on obsessively while ignoring other important recommendations. Good health does not come only out of what we ingest. Focusing on food alone or any other single element of a program while ignoring others is an invitation to failure.

Reason VIII

The Patient Bargains as to What They Will or Will Not Do.

Some patients bargain as to what they will or will not do. It is as if we can give them permission to break the laws of nature and not suffer the consequences. They won’t follow all diet recommendations because they just have to have bread, hot sauce (or other item) but will exercise a lot. They won’t give up coffee or marijuana but will be careful about not taking alcohol. They won’t go to bed before midnight but will get sunlight. They want to stay on “Bio-identical” Hormones prescribed by their functional medical doctor but they will take extra Vitamin C.

A variant of such excuses, is to tell us they have not been following their plan but it was because they had a good reason for not doing so e.g. they had family over, or they had to go to a business banquet or they had to stay up late for a few days for a charitable event. The notion is that they should not suffer any ill health effect from the violation of their plan because it was for a good cause.

We, however, are not in a position to bargain with nature. We do not make up biological laws and cannot circumvent nature simply because the patient contends it was for a good reason. Nature’s laws cannot be violated without consequences. Having a “Doctor” before our names does not give us power to intercede for forgiveness from Nature for harmful behaviors…regardless of the reasons.

Reason IX

Failing to Have The Will to Get Well.

A Bio-Hygienic Approach…the path of causal identification, addressing those causes, creating the conditions for health to evolve and persevering through rough times as the body overcomes chronic disease, requires hard work, time, discipline and the Will To Get Well. Taking a passive, half hearted, approach to reversing chronic disease will not yield success. We must enter into the battle with not just the intent to get well but also the will to do so. We must give up all destructive habits and take the needed steps with perseverance to create the right conditions to recover our health.

Avoiding all the above pitfalls allows the opportunity for a positive outcome. The reward? Good health, a high state of vitality and enjoyment of life. It is well worth the effort. 

Related Articles from the Goldberg Tener Clinic

1) Part I: Why Chronically Ill Patients Fail to Get Well
2) Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis
3) Tackling Inflammatory Bowel Disease Part I
4) Reversing Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
5) Reverse SIBO
6) Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia? You Have Been Misled.
7) The Tragedy of Thyroid Hormone Replacement
8) Serious Considerations Regarding Colonoscopy
9) More Articles

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