Dr. Bea's Newsletter
The 19 day Cleanse for Health
Two week bowel cleanse plus a 5-day modified fast
Product ordering information and recipes are at the end of this article. (If you are getting this information from my website, drbea.com, you might want to print this out, because you will be referring to it quite a bit during your cleanse.) It's that time again. Spring. Not only are crocuses, daffodils, tulips and irises appearing colorfully through the blankets of wet snow from errant spring snowfalls, but, on the less poetic side, cranky liver symptoms may also be appearing under our right rib cages. Spring is liver-time and a perfect time to support our most important detoxification organ.
At the start of your two week bowel cleanse which I will explain next, please eliminate the following from your diet: Sugar, dairy products, fried foods, caffeine and any fake foods like Nutrasweet, including all diet drinks, and alcohol. Of course, cigarettes if you are still smoking.
During the two week bowel cleanse, you will be eating liberally from the following foods: Fruits, non-starchy vegetables, non-gluten grains, nuts and seeds and organic animal protein.
The Two Week Bowel Cleanse
First of all, you must clean out your bowel for a minimum of two weeks before your modified fast. I believe that good health starts in the bowel. Starting about two weeks before the 5-day modified fast (more about this later) take a mixture of psyllium and bentonite every night before bed and, after you get the hang of it, once more before breakfast (Examples: Thorne's Herbal Bulk or Schulze's Formula #2) and a laxative to move things along (Examples: Thorne's Herbal lax or Schulze's Formula #1 or Young Living's Comfortone).
The laxative will cause the smooth muscle in the colon to move and will exercise the walls of the bowel whereas the psyllium products are strong intestinal vacuums and will draw old fecal matter, poisons, toxins and heavy metals off the walls of your colon and out of any bowel pockets. Do this bowel cleanse for a couple of weeks before and continue it during your 5-day modified fast. If you are uncomfortable using a natural laxative containing senna or cascara sagrada, then you could use magnesium citrate which works well for most people.
Regarding laxatives: I am of the school that thinks that it's better to be able to move your bowels (and the toxins therein) than to worry about laxative addiction. More people die of toxic conditions than moderate and timely laxative use. For the purpose of this cleanse and for the time being, do not worry about your use of laxatives to create more movement.
Do you know what a normal bowel movement looks like? Most people don't. Ideally, it should be light in color, break apart in the toilet bowl, and should fall effortlessly from your body. A normal variant of stool has the consistency of a cow pie (unformed) yet the movement should not be accompanied by spasms or pain. Liquid movements are not O.K. and indicate too much activity. Bowels ideally should be moved within an hour after every meal, but twice a day is just fine.
The fiber/laxative dance explained: The first night, take one laxative (or 4 magnesium citrate - about 400 mg.) before bed. Do not do any fiber the first night. If the next morning, you notice that your bowel has increased in activity and the consistency is softer without having diarrhea, then one laxative (or 4 magnesium citrate) is probably enough for you for the cleanse. If you don't notice a change, on the second night take two lax or 5 magnesium citrate. Keep increasing your dose of lax/magnesium until you notice a dramatic difference in the way your bowel moves.
Once you are having regular bowel movements with the laxative alone (1-3 days?) you can then start adding 1T of your psyllium/bentonite product of choice to whatever number of laxatives your body has decided upon. Your heaping tablespoon of psyllium product should be taken with 4-6 ounces of juice (orange, apple etc) diluted by half with filtered water (Never drink tap water!)
Here's the rule of thumb: If you have diarrhea add more psyllium product and if you become constipated, add more laxative product. Adjust accordingly as you go along. Some of you may need only the psyllium product for a good bowel movement and others may need 5 laxatives (or 1200 mgs of magnesium citrate) before you notice any difference. (Dr. Schulze tells the story of the very obese man who needed 45 laxatives to go then spent several hours on the toilet and lost 57 pounds. His wife's comment was "I always knew he was full of @#$%.")
Drink lots of water during this two week period. Two liters over and above what you are taking for the dissolution of the powdered psyllium product and don't worry about the laxatives! As soon as the smooth muscle of your bowel gets exercised enough, (it may be out of practice now) you will notice that you will automatically need less and less of the laxative to keep the healthy level of movement going. and eventually you will probably be taking only psyllium at night.
Drink at least two-twelve ounce glasses of Master Cleanse per day during this two week period.
The 5-day modified fast
I would definitely set aside some time for this. For example, a Thursday through a Monday usually works for me, since I don't work on Thursdays or Mondays. Some of my patients take 5 days off from work and treat it like a spa experience with massages, saunas etc.
You will need a juicer and a blender. Take no supplements, except your bowel cleansing nutrition, during this 5 day period. Exercise moderately and gets lots of fresh air. Breath deeply. Stretch. Meditate. Saunas and massages are great. Epsom salt baths are good, too. See Optionals at the end of this article for more ideas. If you don't have a juicer and don't want to buy one, you can always take a clean glass quart container to Wild Oats and have them juice you a quart of combination juices for every day of the 5-day modified fast. Keep the lid on very tightly and you can preserve-for that day only-most of the enzymes.
A note on juicing: You might want to use more green vegetables in your juices because they are not so high in sugar. For example, your juices could be mostly swiss chard, celery, green cabbage, cucumber and parsley with one carrot or one apple, 1/2 organic lemon with rind and a piece of ginger-the latter three just for flavoring and bite. You could also use 1/2 Knudsen's organic tomato juice and 1/2 juiced green vegetables. As you decrease your solid food intake, you will increase the juices. If you have very sugary juices made from mostly carrot and/ or fruit then you may feel shaky from hypoglycemia, especially on the third day which allows no solid food.
What can you expect during cleansing? During any detoxification, the organs of elimination work overtime. As they excrete material that the body doesn't need, they may produce symptoms known as cleansing reactions. When the reactions are sufficiently dramatic, they are called a healing crisis, a term derived from the health improvements that typically follow detoxification.
Cleansing reactions can take place at any time, even during the two week bowel cleanse. Symptoms vary widely, but here's an idea of what you may expect: The skin, kidneys and intestines eliminate unpleasant smelling substances, like truly malodorous sweat, urine and fecal matter. The tongue grows a gray or white coat of thick unpleasant-looking and tasting fuzz; the breath smells bad; the skin may break out in acne, rashes or other eruptions; the pulse may race periodically and symptoms like headaches, weakness, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, nausea and sinus congestion are common. Some people breeze through with no symptoms, others suffer, but usually some mid-point is the norm.
Breakfast: Drink 12 ounces of Master Cleanse (see page 4) upon arising. Within one hour, prepare a Basic Flush Drink (page 4). Within 30 minutes drink two big mugs of Schulze's Detox Tea.
(The basic flush drink and the Schulze's L/GB/AP formula plus his special Detox tea are designed specifically to cleanse the liver and gall bladder. You may pass some stones which are small and greenish. This would be excellent.)
Lunch: Start with a large glass of fresh raw organic vegetable juice. Then make a large raw salad made with organic vegetables and sprouts and dressed with an olive oil/lemon dressing. You could add avocado if you like, plus any herbs and spices and of course, garlic. Take two droppers full of the L/GB/AP formula in some water and then two mugs of the Detox Tea.
Snacks: Have these at any time between breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime. There is no need for you to be hungry. Drink lots of vegetable juices, broths etc.: Bieler broth (page 4) pureed or plain; Potassium broth (page 4); more freshly made vegetable juices; or raw vegetables. Drink your second 12 oz. of Master Cleanse if you like.
Midafternoon: Two droppers full of the L/GB/AP formula in water and two mugs of the Detox Tea. Any allowed snack if you need to nosh.
Dinner: Diluted fruit juices; fruits; fruit salad; and/or herb teas. Two more dropper full of the tincture and a big mug of the Detox Tea. Take your colon flush stuff before bed.
Day Two: Half-Day Fast
Breakfast: Repeat day one procedure, starting with the Master Cleanse. Increase the olive oil to 2T. and the lemon to 1 lemon juiced. If you are doing the garlic with your basic flush, increase it to two cloves. Do the Tincture and the Detox tea.
Lunch etc: Repeat day one procedure until 1 PM. Have your salad then, then no solid food after 1PM. Continue the Tincture and Detox Tea.
Continue with the vegetable juices, potassium broth, Bieler broth and herb teas including the Detox tea through the afternoon. Drink diluted fruit juices and herb teas in the evening. Keep doing the Tincture and the Detox Tea throughout the day. Take your colon flush stuff before bed.
Day Three: All Day Liquid Fast
Breakfast: Repeat day one procedure starting with the Master Cleanse. Use 3T oil and more lemon in the Basic Flush drink. If you are doing garlic, increase to three cloves. Follow as usual with the Tincture and Detox tea. Drink diluted fruit juices and herb teas until noon.
Lunch: Vegetable juices; herb teas; potassium broth; and/or Bieler broth/ puree. Continue the Tincture/Detox Tea.
Dinner: Diluted fruit juices; herb teas; potassium broth; and/or Bieler broth or puree. You must consume at least 1 gallon of liquids today! Skip your colon flush stuff tonight unless you think you are especially toxic and feel you need the flush. (remember an enema…) Continue the Tincture and Detox Tea. Fit your second 12 oz. of Master Cleanse in sometime today.
Day Four: Half- Day Fast
Breakfast: Master Cleanse drink plus repeat Basic Flush increasing the olive oil and the lemon. If you are using garlic, you may increase this as well. Drink the Tincture and the Detox Tea. Chew on raw ginger if you are nauseated.
Lunch: Diluted fruit juices allowed until 1 PM. Between 1-3 PM eat fresh fruit. Tincture/Detox Tea
Dinner: At 5 or 6PM eat a small raw salad. Chew it slowly. Do the Tincture, the Detox Tea and your second 12 oz. of Master Cleanse again.
Before bed: Eat an apple. Do your colon flush if you want.
Repeat Day One procedure for Master Cleanse, Basic Flush, tincture, Detox tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Remember: This program restricts only the types of food you will eat, not the amounts. If you are hungry at any point, drink and eat more of the allowable foods. The more you eat and drink of the allowable foods, broths and teas, the more you will flush the toxins out.
Be nice to yourself. You did a great job. Do not gorge on pizza or heavy foods. Why don't you use this cleanse as your starting point for a healthier lifestyle.
I strongly suggest the following "optionals" during the two week bowel cleanse and the 5-day fast.
19 Day Cleanse Optionals Explained
1) Coffee Enemas: What you will need: An enema bag, organic caffeinated coffee, filtered water.
Procedure for making the enema: Make a pot of coffee with 8-10 C water to 3T coffee. Let it cool. This is enough for two enemas. Put half in your enema bag and fill the rest of the bag with filtered water. Save the other half for later.
Procedure for giving yourself an enema: Go to the bathroom. Have it nice and cozy and warm. Hang your filled enema bag up on a towel rack or some sort of hook which you have cleverly devised. It must be higher than you are. Lay some old towels on the floor (coffee tends to stain). Lie down on the towels near the enema bag. Lubricate both your anus and the tube end with something like KY or olive oil. Gently insert the tube into your rectum a few inches and release the clamp. Let the first 1/4 to 1/2 of the bag flow in. Clamp the tubing off as soon as there is the slightest amount of discomfort or fullness.
Try to retain the enema for 10 minutes. Often, there is an immediate urgency to get rid of the contents, and that is just fine. The first quick flush just helps to clean the ready stool out of the colon so that the next time, you can hold more of the enema, longer. Never force yourself to retain it. If you can't retain the enema contents for 10 minutes, that's OK. Try the other half of the enema and see if this time it's more comfortable to hold it longer.
Your goal is to have two enemas (ie. one bag) per session not exceeding 2 C each that you are able to hold for 10 minutes each. It may take some practice. Using up what is in the enema bag is not your goal-holding whatever you can for 10 minutes is. During the 10 minutes of holding, you may hear a gurgling or squirting out of liquid up under the right rib cage. This is your gall bladder discharging its load into the bowel. This is good. If, even after you have become a pro with the enema and can hold it for 10 minutes, you have never felt or heard the gall bladder release, you should consider making your coffee stronger, going up in 1/2 T increments per qt. not exceeding 2T per cup. Or you could experiment with a slightly larger volume, such as 3 cups at a time. Sometimes, 3 enemas, rather than 2 at a session are more beneficial for some. Play with it and find what is best for you.
Always discontinue the enemas if there is an adverse reaction whatsoever. A very rare reaction is heart palpitations. Enemas are never meant to make you feel worse. They should just make you feel better.
When should I do an enema? During a cleanse of course. Also, when you are coming down with a cold or flu, when you have a cold or flu, when you have a headache or feel toxic. You can do enemas after you abuse your body-like 8 hours of gardening, skiing or a marathon. Do them after any injury or if you have a hangover. Also good for brain fog or chemical overload.
How often should I do an enema? You could just restrict them to cleansing times. Or do them on an "as needed" basis.
2) Dry Brushing: Use a dry vegetable brush or a loofah from a bath supply shop or health food store. Gently but vigorously brush from the toes up your feet and legs, then from your fingers up your arms and shoulders, always moving toward the heart. Five minutes of dry brushing should be enough. Then get in the shower and scrub yourself with a wet washcloth in the same way.
3) Skin Cleansing: Rub your skin from head to foot with a mixture of equal parts olive oil and castor oil. Then with the oil still intact on the skin, take a hot bath for 15 minutes. Careful - you will be slippery! The bath allows the oil to penetrate to the deepest levels of the skin. After your bath, go to bed under heavy covers for at least 1/2 hour to sweat out the poisons. Finally, take a hot shower. Do the oil soak at least once during the 5-day modified fast and once during the 2 week intestinal cleanse.
4) Castor Oil Packs: Health food stores are now selling castor oil pack kits with everything you need in the package. What to do: Gently heat about 12 oz castor oil. Soak a washcloth or a natural cotton cloth in the heated castor oil. Lie down and apply the soaked cloth to your liver area. Put plastic over the cloth, then a heating pad over the plastic to keep the castor compress warm. It's messy. Use old towels and maybe a big trash bag under you. When you are finished (about 45 minutes) you can store the used castor oil pack in a baggie. Use the same one for your whole cleanse and do it every day during the 5-day modified fast. (FYI: Edgar Cayce used castor oil packs in almost every cure he recommended.)
To Order Products
Order the Schulze products from the American Botanical Pharmacy: 1-888- HERBDOC (437-2362). They take credit cards. You will want one Dr. Schulze's Liver/Gall Bladder & Anti-Parasite Program for $44.00. If you choose to use his psyllium/laxative products, then also order Dr. Schulze's Intestinal Detoxification Program for $36.00. (For future reference, it would be a good idea to do another 19 day or at least the 5-day modified fast in Sept/Oct concentrating on your kidneys and bladder. In this case you would order Schulze's Kidney/Bladder Program for $44.00)
If you are a patient, you can get any of the Thorne products from me and also the magnesium citrate.
You will be ready to start after you purchase an enema bag (drugstore) a loofah or a brush and your castor oil pack (health food store) plus all of the food you will need for salads, juices etc. It is very important to be PREPARED! Recipes for the 19-Day Cleanse.
Master Cleanse Drink: 12 oz warm filtered water, 1 tsp. Maple syrup, one squeezed lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper.
Basic Flush Drink: This is 1T olive oil, 1/2 lemon juiced, a 1/2 thumb sized piece of peeled ginger, 6 ounces of apple juice and 6 ounces of water. Brave souls may add 1 clove of raw garlic. Add 2 droppers full of Schulze's L/GB/AP formula. Blend this all and drink it down.
Potassium Broth: Use your biggest stainless steel stock pot. Buy only organic vegetables. Fill 1/4 pot with scrubbed unpeeled and chopped potatoes. The next 1/4 of the pot with scrubbed, unpeeled and chopped carrots and beets. You're up to 1/2 of the way now. The next 1/4 with chopped onions and garlic-as much as 2 whole BULBS, smashed a bit to release the garlic juice. The last 1/4 is an assortment of greens like celery, chard, kale etc. Then a couple of hot chile peppers for flavor. Pour in enough DISTILLED water to cover all. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 2-4 hours. Strain the broth. All you will be eating is the BROTH, so throw away the vegetables. You will probably need a couple of these pots to get you through your 5-day modified fast. Always drink as much as you want.
Bieler Broth: This could be an addition to or a welcome alternative to potassium broth. Both are highly alkalinizing. Place 1/2 pound each of zucchini, string beans and celery plus a bunch of parsley in 8 quarts of distilled water. Simmer for 2 hours. Strain and drink the broth. You can season this with Braggs Aminos.
Bieler Broth Puree: Use a lot of water to steam until very soft, 4 zucchini, 1/2 lb of string beans and 4 stalks of celery. Blend the very soft vegetables with some of the steaming water and with a handful of parsley until very smooth. You could add spinach to this and spices of your choice, like Braggs Aminos, Spike, Vegesal or cumin.
back to top
Important News about Your Thyroid: The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (January, 2003) has released new guidelines which narrow the range for acceptable thyroid function to between .3 and 3.04. The difference between the upper-level number being lowered from a high of 5 to 3.04 is very important here: This means that as many as 27 millions more people (most of us women)-miserable with the symptoms of hypothyroidism-will be diagnosed and treated. This is indeed good news.
I have noticed for years now that not only do my patients feel better, but that I feel better when my lab TSH is around 1. Previously, this was considered mildly hyperthyroid and our medication might have been taken away.
Conversely, I have had patients who were clearly hypothyroid (eg. chronically fatigued, dry skin, cold all the time, constipation, depression, difficulty in losing weight.) yet their TSH levels were within the normal range, somewhere under 5. Their M.D.s would not give them a trial run of thyroid boosting hormone to see if they felt better because of their strict adherence to the previous guidelines and since I cannot prescribe pharmaceuticals (nor do I want to), we were up the proverbial creek. It has been very frustrating for me, especially when natural remedies don't work.
Normally when I notice that laboratory guidelines have been changed so that MORE people need to take MORE drugs, my highdudgeon reaction would be on code red, but I cannot get cranky and paranoid about this one, because Synthroid and Armour cost pennies per day, so apparently it's not a Big Pharma profit-driven business ploy here. Unless…hmmmmm, there is a new, very expensive thyroid drug in trials… We shall see.
A short note on Synthroid and Armour: Synthroid (from "synthetic") is manufactured, is fake and only has the T4 fraction. People on Synthroid tend to become dependent on it. Armour is directly from a pig, contains both T3 and T4 fractions, and resonates naturally with the body (even though it can only be obtained through prescription). Armour is much better if it works, and truthfully, sometimes it doesn't. If you have a hypothyroid condition and a trial run of diet change and natural remedies doesn't work, then I would suggest that you ask your M.D. if you can start with the Armour product.
Things They Don't Want You To Know: You'd better sit down for this one. A new study, posted by Medinews.com on 2/20/03 shows that severe sepsis is a rapidly growing problem in Intensive Care Units in hospitals in the United States and is the leading cause of death in the ICU's. From 1992 to 1999, the number of cases increased from 635,000 to 965,000 and takes more lives each year than breast, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer combined.
To make matters worse, a recent survey by the Society of Critical Care Medicine has disclosed that nearly two-thirds of critical care providers practice "bedside rationing" of services and medications, and that 43% said they would ration the only drug approved for severe sepsis (drotrecogin) in order to reduce medical costs. Keep yourself healthy so that you can stay out of hospitals! It could be the difference between life and death.
Not only are fish fast becoming an endangered species but they are fast endangering our human species.
Pick up almost any health magazine and you will read an article on how bad certain fish are, how we shouldn't eat too much tuna (a staple of most American families) or Chilean sea bass or almost any large ocean fish due to their dangerous levels of mercury and other heavy metals. Our oceans are being criminally polluted by toxic waste, not only from our own US of A, but from other highly toxic continents like Asia.
We are a closed circuit here on Gaia: we can't just keep throwing bad stuff into the air and into the water or it's toes up for all of us. It's a very sad state of affairs when the largest masses on our planet earth-our oceans-can no longer be trusted to offer us sustenance: No more memorable summer vacations fishing for supper off the side of Grandpa's boat on Golden Pond; or trout fishing on a special weekend with Dad in a crystal clear (debatable now) mountain stream in the Rockies; or buying -with any confidence at all-an unappealing shrink-wrapped piece of salmon at Safeway. What's in this fish? Is this stream polluted? Is it going to infect me? Will I get mercury poisoning? Can we just have hot dogs for dinner?
A few months back, pregnant women were advised not to eat certain fish and to limit their consumption of even so-called safe fish to once a week because it might endanger their fetus. Now, everyone of us is well-advised to limit our consumption of fish, or at the very least to pick and choose carefully both the type of fish and where it is caught. (See table on page n2)
"So," you say, "I will eat farmed fish." I suppose that's better than polluted ocean fish, but most farmed fish are fed with dog food or even fish food (Whoa! Fishy cannibalism-that can't be good for us, at the very least on an energetic level.) Furthermore, the omega 3 oils are almost non-existent in farmed fish. So if we are eating fish for their health giving properties, namely their large doses of Omega 3's, then logic tells us that farmed fish quickly becomes a why bother.
Omega 3's are good for all of us, but I don't think we should try to get our daily dose in fish anymore. I believe that the days of "be sure to eat fish 3x a week" should now be a thing of Mother Earth's healthier past and that we must now switch over to the carefully manufactured and de-toxified fish oil caps in order to get our Omega 3's.
Regarding Omega 3's: We are humans drowning in a sea of Omega 6's in the form of partially hydrogenated and other toxic vegetable oils. As early beings, we evolved, grew and changed (eg. we started standing up straighter and lost our jutting eye brows, our prognathus jaw) not only by eating lots of animal flesh (See Paleolithic Diet by Loren Cordain) but by maintaining a ratio of 1:1 with our Omega 6's and 3's. Most of us are now maintaining an unhealthy 15:1 with the pro-inflammatory 6's wreaking havoc on our hearts, joints and immune systems. Excessive amounts of Omega 6's promote many diseases: cancer, cardiovascular, inflammatory and autoimmune whereas increased levels of the Omega 3's exert suppressive effects on the above conditions. (Alt Med Rev, Vol. 8, Number 1, 2003, p 83)
However, a balance is needed with the Omega 3's and the so-called "good" 6's, like black current or evening primrose oil. I always test for balance in my office, but mostly find that people need 3's when they are initially my patient (to counterbalance all the bad 6's they have ingested in the past) in the form of flax and fish oils. Eventually, most will become more balanced and will then need an Omega balanced product to maintain health. However, some of us will just need to keep sopping up the 3's indefinitely.
If you have any question at all about what you need, please err on the side of Omega 3's and start taking at least 4 big black gelcaps of Omega 3 fatty acids daily. (Carlson's fish oil is a good brand as is Nordic Naturals. They are both assayed for purity and for the absence of heavy metals.) Each 1000 mg cap will be typically balanced in a ratio of 180 mg EPA to 120 mg DHA. I suggest that you take the fish oil caps-two at a time-right before you eat a substantial meal, as this will dampen the potential for unpleasant fish burps. If you still burp up the oil, then try putting the fish oil caps in the freezer.
Reasonably healthy fish: I have located a place to buy good canned fish. Check out their website: www.buyseafooddirect.com. They catch fish by line off the coast of Washington in some of the purest ocean there is - the north Pacific-and can it themselves. It's pricey, but very, very good and I feel safer eating their fish than I do other canned fish. The canned tuna is consistently excellent-no surprising grody tasting cans-and it is very densely packed so you get a lot of bang for your buck. The canned salmon is delicious as well. I bought 12 (7 1/2 oz.) cans of the Fancy Blueback Red Salmon and 12 (6oz) cans of the Solid White Albacore Tuna (Home style/Hand picked) and my bill including shipping was $121. (It's still fish from polluted waters, so don't go crazy and eat it every day. Use fish as a special treat.)
N.B. I'm convinced that the best "flesh" to eat now is grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef actually has a lot of Omega 3's, reputedly as much as un-farmed fish and without the heavy metal toxicity. The best thing to do is to try and locate a rancher who will sell it to you in quarters or eighths. However, I noticed just the other day that Whole Foods is now selling grass-fed ground beef and I would imagine that with the grass-fed hue and cry becoming louder and louder, they will soon be offering more cuts to choose from.
Are your favorite fish okay to buy?
The answer is complicated. Here are some general guidelines for buying seafood. Our favorite substitutes for the fish that we recommend to avoid are striped bass, black cod, and tilapia. Table below from Sunset Magazine, March 2003.
back to top
home directions about me what i do mission statement handouts newsletters suggested reading archived hot news webmaster
No statement or content in this web site shall be construed as offering diagnosis, cure, mitigation or prevention of any disease. Anyone having questions regarding the content of this site should contact their own health care provider for verification.