Alfa Thermometry: Bridging the Gap in Women's Healthcare
Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
October 6, 2020
Chronic illness leads to many diagnostic dead ends
I have spent my life dealing with chronic illness. My symptoms were confusing to my doctors because they didn't fit the criteria for any singular diagnosis. As a teenager I was severely fatigued and was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. I was shunned by my peers who spread rumors that I had AIDS. I felt unheard and misunderstood when I was told my debilitating symptoms were "all in my head" (a common sentiment experienced by women whose complex symptoms are a 'medical mystery'). Disparities in women's healthcare and treatment added to the vicious cycle of diagnostic confusion.
The BBC's Health Gap series highlights how women and men experience the healthcare system and their own health in very different ways. Maya Dusenbery, author of Doing Harm, states that "Women are more likely (than men) to wait longer for a health diagnosis and to be told it’s ‘all in their heads.’ That can be lethal: Diagnostic errors cause 40,000-80,000 deaths in the US alone." In Doing Harm, Dusenbery points out that it takes an average 12 months for men to receive a diagnosis of Crohn's disease; for women, 20 months. It took decades to confirm I had Crohn's disease, an autoimmune inflammatory disease affecting the small and large intestine. By the time I was properly diagnosed at age 30, I was seriously ill.
According to the American Autoimmune Disease Related Association, Inc (AARDA), of the 50 million Americans suffering from autoimmune disease(s), seventy-five percent are women. The AARDA says, "Women who have an autoimmune disease have suffered from a lack of focus and a scattered research approach." I was in the middle of this chaos.
With chronic illness, it is common to undergo numerous diagnostic procedures. For many of us, this is "normal," because the quest for answers is essential to our survival. Conventional medical models are based on ruling-out diseases rather than a systems approach that shows how the whole body works together. Until I realized and acknowledged the commonly-used standards I assumed were "normal," I wasn't open to new possibilities for healing and understanding my body.
Test after test leads to physical, emotional, and financial depletion
The process of finding answers to health problems can be stressful, provoke anxiety and fear, and deplete one's energy as well as finances. With each test, my doctor and healer told me they would find the one test that would change my life. I was poked and prodded as samples of my body fluids were collected and tested. I was alarmed that most of the time even my own doctors could not fully interpret the test results. It felt like a waste of time subjecting myself to the stress. Thousands of dollars were drained from my bank account. I was left without information to provide me a clear treatment direction. I was sick and confused.
Even more devastating was my loss of morale and hope. With each test, my positive attitude and belief that my health would improve started to fade. These thoughts contributed to depression and feelings of hopelessness. I lost faith in my healthcare team. I stopped believing I would find answers. I began to accept this situation as my sad reality.
We focus on the benefit of tests but what about the RISKS?
With every diagnostic test and treatment, there is a risk to benefit ratio to consider. Some of my diagnostic procedures were minimally invasive and then another, routine outpatient exploratory procedure, almost cost me my life due to a medical mishap. Turns out, I didn't have the condition the procedure was intended to confirm. I came out of the procedure with MORE problems than I went in with.
Diagnostics can be time consuming: time away from work, phone calls, coordination, daycare needs, and scheduling conflicts due to doctor wait lists. Then, in addition, waiting for test results increases stress and anxiety as "what ifs" are contemplated: "What if I have a tumor?" Some people avoid procedures because the preparation is miserable (e.g., colonoscopy). Others want to avoid exposure to radiation. Not everyone has a caregiver to help them following a procedure. Many people are afraid of being sedated or having a needle inserted into their bodies. Sometimes procedures require drinking prescribed liquids. The ingredients are not always disclosed, and some can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. There are many things impossible to anticipate when we choose a diagnostic procedure. These stressors can cause some of us to avoid tests altogether. Avoidance of some diagnostic procedures can limit preventive interventions and may result in the discovery of medical conditions once they are in advanced stages.
"What I wished for was a test that showed ME and how my body worked as a whole. I hoped for a test that empowered me with its results by giving me a MAP to follow that was uniquely mine. Fortunately, my perseverance prevailed.
I was on my way to finding this whole-body method."
Alfa Thermometry: A Paradigm Shift
After years of searching, I discovered an adjunct diagnostic device called the AlfaSight 9000--a true paradigm shift in healthcare. Alfa thermometry offers hope and information with zero risk; it is evidence-based and non-invasive. Drawing on the natural heating and cooling system (thermoregulation physiology) of the human body, it offers a view of whole-body systems by displaying the interconnectedness of every organ and body system. It has zero gender bias. Hidden weaknesses in the body are identified at both early and later stages. Users are empowered to consider treatment options that were otherwise unexplored and are now brought into awareness. Many symptoms, expressed in one part of the body, are a result of things going awry in other parts of the body. In my case, I developed an awareness of how unresolved dental infections influenced my gut microbiome. Alfa thermometry is able to identify these critical relationships and draw attention to feedback loops and priority systems other tests would never reveal.
For years I focused on how to reduce the infections and toxic load on my body, but there was a lot of uncertainty. Alfa's Regulation Thermometry uses specific temperature patterns created from specific organ influences on skin temperature and mathematics-based algorithms to diagnose. Patterns are then used to distinguish between Lyme disease, viruses, and other infection-caused influences. This allows doctors and healers a treatment direction that is supported by knowledge of an individual's unique body patterns.
Alfa thermometry does not involve hospitalization, preparation, or recovery. It is a simple in office procedure that takes less than 30 minutes. A gentle probe touches the skin in select areas to register temperatures. I am relieved to have a non-invasive option for obtaining in depth information about my body. For the first time I have an affordable alternative to track how my body responds to interventions over time. Alfa thermometry can reveal high risk areas. With this knowledge, I can choose if I want to follow through with other conventional diagnostic procedures. When high risk areas are not identified, I am at peace staying on my current course. Reducing worry is priceless.
Alfa thermometry empowers me as a woman to take charge of my health. I am thrilled to be breaking the vicious cycle of stress and confusion from unnecessary testing and missed diagnoses. By inspiring collaboration and bringing together diverse disciplines with the common goal of healing, Alfa thermometry is a long-awaited paradigm shift. Let's celebrate its arrival.
Benefits of Alfa thermometry
• FDA approved (510k, Dept. of Radiological Devices)
• Easy to use
• Immediate results
• Safe (non-invasive, zero risk)
• Zero gender bias
• Considers the entire human body and how all systems and organs work together
• Stress free
• Facilitates collaboration among various disciplines
• Offers results that are understood by the patient--this is empowerment
• Embodies a prevention model
• Provides a clear mapping of priorities and which body systems should be treated first
• Triages the remaining weaknesses in the body to be addressed with less urgency
• Reduces unnecessary testing and out of pocket expenses
Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker, author, and founder of www.lightyoursparkle.life. She specializes in integrative treatment models for chronic illness. Inspired by her own struggles with autoimmune illnesses and trauma, she educates about empowerment and how to build individualized healing plans.
For more information visit: www.alfathermo.com
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