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The New Medical Catch Phrase: “Age Appropriate Illness”

An increasing number of clients I see in clinic have clued me in a new catch phrase in the medical community- “age appropriate illness”.

When I first heard this term I thought it was goofy because Chinese Medicine does not make any direct correlation between illness and age. Then I found out that different doctors were using the same term to mean completely different things! That was the real kicker.

One doctor treating arthritis, let’s say, will tell their patient that the illness is age appropriate and from his point of view this means, “You are old. You will just have to live with it and there’s nothing I can do.” At this point the doctor is washing his hands of any responsibility for you and hopes you’ll just go away.

Another doctor treating arthritis will tell their patient the ailment is age appropriate and what he means is, “You are going to have to take prescription medications for the rest of your life.” In this way they keep you coming back for medication indefinitely and, if left unmonitored those medications can result in irreversible side effects.

So, if your doctor tells you that you have an age appropriate illness, ask them which of these two scenarios they mean and see if they’ll give you an honest answer. Then ask yourself if that’s a doctor you want to keep.