Dr. Lee, the Healthy Professor

Symptomatology Defined by Dr. L. Lee Coyne

Researchers have found certain changes that take place in the body when a nutrient becomes deficient. By studying the "body language'" or things that are SYMPTOMATIC - one can determine deficiencies (or excesses) of specific vitamins, minerals, protein, etc.

Such analysis is often referred to as “nutritional symptomatology". It is a way of interpreting bodily signs to find underlying causes. It is especially helpful at detecting sub clinical conditions which do not show up on conventional laboratory tests.

Each of us is biochemically unique. Fingerprints, voices, outward appearances — all differ from person to person. Our nutritional needs differ also. No two bodies react to the same nutritional intake in exactly the same way. We all have different metabolism and so have different nutrient requirements.

Some of the foods and supplements we take may be absorbed too quickly or too slowly. Some nutritional factors may be almost completely lacking in our systems. Some of them are already produced by our bodies in quantities large enough that we don't need more.

Nutritional symptomatology is a very reliable way we have of determining the nutritional status of the individual. It pinpoints nutritional inadequacies which can be corrected by changes in diet or food supplementation. By applying such measurements at intervals during a nutritional program, it can also be used to assess a person's progress and make adjustments.

Although "scientific" tests can produce very accurate measurements, the significance (if any) of such numerical values is not always obvious or even relevant. Nutritional symptomatology is, on the other hand, an approximate form of measurement. Some of the individual signs relating to specific nutrients may have other possible causes as well. Nevertheless, a consistent pattern can be significant. Usually a person will have several manifestations relating to the nutrient in question, and often the complaints may be of marked frequency and/or severity.

"It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong" is a statement which applies well to the differences between symptomatologies appraisal and conventional laboratory analysis as used in the nutritional field.

Another advantage of symptomatology is that the client is encouraged to participate in his/her own health care. In answering the questions, the client focuses on many bodily symptoms that could have been taken for granted for a long time, without realizing that nutrition may be involved. It is a learning experience which can help one to monitor his/her own progress in the future.

L. Lee Coyne