As I have mentioned in my previous blogs I decided to go the functional medicine route to find healing instead of the traditional route. I do want to mention that I think traditional medicine definitely has it’s place and is very critical in many health journeys, however personally for me I found that with my specific diagnosis, this route is what I needed. I know many people still have no idea what functional medicine is, I know before this summer I had no idea at all. Basically a functional medicine doctor works one on one with you to find the root cause of what is going on. What I am dealing with can easily be covered over with medicine such as antihistamines, stomach acid reducers, and many other medicines. But underneath that I would be getting worse and worse over time and never attacking what is actually wrong. I actually unknowingly was doing this for years (I will get into that later). So, a few months ago once I started doing some research on what I was very certain I had, leaky gut, I found that most others found relief with working with a functional medicine professional. As I continued researching and saw that I probably had sibo (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and candida overgrowth which can all be linked to leaky gut, it all pointed to functional medicine. Not only the gut issues but I also noticed that I had many immune system reactions occurring (hives, swollen throat, nausea, etc) which again pointed to functional medicine. Therefore after having no luck with a traditional doctor I decided that without spending any more unnecessary money I found a functional medicine doctor. Any am I ever so glad I did!
Even from the start I felt fully listened to. My first visit with him was a 2 hour consult with lots of assessments such as testing for orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure laying to standing), vision/color testing, BMI, urine culture, and extensive history. Since then he has been available at any time for me to contact with any questions or concerns, and believe me I have taken full advantage of that! I have felt fully guided, supported and helped. He has led me to some tests that have been critical to me getting on the path to healing (more on that below), as well as supplements.
For the first two months of this healing journey I was doing all the research by myself, which was great because I learned so so much. But it got to a point where I hit a wall and diet wasn’t enough to fix what was going on, I knew I needed supplements and I didn’t want to dive head first into that without having professional help. My doctor now has me on some supplements that has definitely helped some with my stomach, however it’s not exactly what I need. So, he ordered me a test to find out exactly what bacteria/parasites/virus are inside me. We didn’t do that at the beginning because it’s a very expensive test, and most people that have leaky gut with some candida overgrowth will respond well to what I was doing. But I seemed to be a bit more complicated (of course haha). So that should be exactly what I need to help me fix the gut issues, alongside my diet!
Now for the immune responses my body has been giving…I wish I could talk about this without writing a book but really I can’t. I can trace these back all the way to childhood, however I had a hugeeee increase in them two and a half years ago. Growing up I had mini reactions to certain fruits-apples, plums, peaches. Nothing big, just my throat would itch a bit or my face would break out in hives around my lips. When I went to college they seemed to increase some-more fruits, mustard, some vegetables, my seasonal allergies got way worse. I went on somehow thinking that was normal, I mean some of my friends and family have the same things happening to them and my doctors never thought it was a big issue, so why should I? Welp, that’s where I went wrong. Why don’t we question things like this?? Spring sophomore year I started having throat reactions all the time..so much that I got diagnosed with tonsillitis 4-5 times at the doctor within 7ish months (that’s obviously not normal). They told me I would need to get my tonsils out if it kept happening..so thankful I did NOT do that! Our tonsils are so helpful to our immune system! Someone then told me to try taking an antihistamine and see if that would help. And that it did, I almost never got an itchy throat once I started taking Claritin every day. If I did I took some Vitamin C and I seemed to be all better. Little did I know that what was happening with me had nothing to do with allergies and all to do with a body imbalance.
Fast forward to this summer, I stopped taking Claritin and have been having the worst responses ever-breaking out in hives all over my back and arms, swollen throat nonstop, nausea and headaches. I knew after doing research I needed to get my genes tested to see if I had a mutation (COMT/MTHFR, there are many), but I didn’t push myself to get it. My doctor however did! I am now awaiting results to see that. However, since growing up I wasn’t this bad I knew something else was going on to make it terrible these last few years…and that is where my gut and hormones come in.
My doctor had me look into a hormone and adrenal function test, so I got that done and got the results last week. If I hadn’t had gone to see him I wouldn’t have gotten this test done which was so needed for the next steps of my healing!
So in conclusion, functional medicine may be more expensive and not what everyone else does. But I can tell you that I would rather be on the slow route and be fully healed versus never feeling good and covering up my problems. And having someone guide you who has the connections and the full knowledge is so critical. In addition to my doctor I have someone above guiding me too, and I have full confidence that the Lord will restore me even if my health doesn’t ever become perfect.
1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.