The Short Story
I grew up on 10 acres, eating food that was grown in the garden, and supporting wellness through herbal medicine. Ahh, those were the days.
Then life happened - I became a busy teacher, mother, and wife along with everything else that those roles entail. Stress and exhaustion outlined my days, and free time was a concept that eluded me. Something had to give. I have always had a passion for learning more about holistic approaches to health and healing, so with the encouragement of family and friends, I launched into a second career in 2009, initially working in community nutrition for a local food bank. I found that I loved working with people and food.
Where the story gets interesting is that during my academic and early nutrition career, my health actually started to decline. At least I thought it started then. I had a long history of allergies and asthma which were manageable, however, I began wandering into more concerning symptoms of autoimmune disease with the onset of Raynaud’s Syndrome, pain and stiffness, headaches and a few things that were just difficult to identify! I began to understand how mold exposure and mercury toxicity were serving as a catalyst toward a life that was not at all what I wanted. I looked healthy but felt horrible. I dug deeper into Integrative and Functional Medicine Nutrition, which was instrumental to managing and eliminating symptoms, keeping myself off of medications, and relieving chronic pain. The MRT/Leap Food Sensitivity Test and food plan, yielded additional results, resolving my food sensitivities once and for all. This was a major step toward relief and management of my symptoms. It was a game changer in terms of how I felt physically, my energy level, and mental clarity.
I mentioned earlier that I thought most of my symptoms started when I was in graduate school, but when using the integrative and functional medicine timeline, I could see just how early on my symptoms first appeared, and the triggers, perpetuators of my autoimmune disease progression. Using the functional medicine matrix I could address all of the modifiable lifestyle factors and monitor the physiological function of all body systems. This approach left no stone unturned and has been instrumental in halting further progression of my autoimmune condition. Through the timeline I could see how mold exposure was keeping candida in a constant state of overgrowth, the mercury was the likely culprit for the Raynaud’s and thyroid goiter which improved 90% after the removal of mercury amalgams. I used a dentist specializing in safe mercury removal, gave myself increased lymphatic drainage, detoxification support, and elimination through supplements, hot yoga, and ion foot baths.
So, know that you are not alone if you feel that you have strange unexplained collection of symptoms and even having difficulty figuring out the root cause of your health concerns. I have learned first hand (and through my training) that it might not be what you think or what you have been told. All health practitioners have the best of intentions, but not all work systematically to identify a root cause. If you are interested in working in partnership to maximize your health outcomes, let's talk.
Mark Hyman, MD, a leader in Integrative and Functional Medicine, summarized this approach by saying [paraphrasing] “A conventional approach provides the WHAT and a functional approach provides the WHY” - by finding the why, we can work to improve or even resolve the why and provide better care for clients.