Privia Health

Having an undiagnosable condition can be incredibly frustrating. But you don’t have to feel hopeless! Primary care physician Ben Howell says when one specialist can’t figure out your problem, keep consulting different ones. Doctors can only confirm if your problem is caused by their area of expertise.

In the meantime, many mental health and digestive problems can be traced back to chronic inflammation, dietary issues, and stress. Physical ailments and body mechanics issues can be targeted with breathwork and at-home physical therapy. Try the following tips from Dr. Howell while you wait to see the next specialist.

Eliminate Discomfort With an Elimination Diet

Your gut is your first line of defense against inflammation and disease. Your anxiety, depression, and stress may be the result of a weak gut lining. That’s right, your gut health impacts mental health. Rates of anxiety, ADHD, and autism increase dramatically with concurrent intestinal issues. Inflammation that starts in the gut can cause systemic joint inflammation and chronic pain. Strip down the foods you eat.

Eliminate all potential agitants, including starches, nightshades, spicy foods, sugar, dairy, and gluten. Gradually add these foods back in one at a time. Pay attention to what makes you feel worse. If your anxiety increases when you add bread products back into your diet, gluten could be the culprit.

Breathe Deeply

Breathwork is more than just meditation. Deep breathing normalizes the stress response by stimulating the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve means “wandering nerve” in Greek. It runs down the length of your spine.

When you breathe deeply, you apply pressure to the vagus nerve and stimulate it. Stimulating the vagus nerve reduces stress and inflammation by normalizing the stress response.

Stretch, Yoga, and Roll

Most physical injuries fall short of anything that can be solved with a medical procedure. Minor sprains, dents, dings, and body mechanics issues need to get sorted out at home. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do in the comfort of your own home. Foam rollers can help break apart tense muscle fascia that inhibits healthy body mechanics.

Doing ankle rolls can speed the healing of sprained ankles. Yoga combines breathwork, balance, and stretching to restore optimal movement. Hope isn’t lost if your doctor’s in the dark. Troubleshoot your health by getting back to basics!