Though traditional allopathic physicians arguably do the best that they can with the resources they’ve been given, we need better solutions to address the increasing instances of autoimmune disease and chronic health issues in our country. The desire and duty to heal are present, but the treatment methods are severely lacking. The way our healthcare system is set up, doctors often are not afforded enough time with each patient to determine the root cause of their issues, so they offer medications to treat symptoms instead of researching and performing more investigative testing to determine the cause. I understand that pharmaceuticals are often necessary for acute and chronic health issues, but my gripe is with them being over-prescribed as a panacea, rather than only being used selectively when there are no other options to be explored in lifestyle modification.
Hitting Rock Bottom
We probably all agree that our current healthcare system could use some improvements, but as I mentioned, I believe the traditional approach to healing in the US is fundamentally flawed. Why do I care so much about this? Wellness has been a passion of mine since I graduated from college, but about 6 months ago, I felt hopeless about my health in a way that I never had before. My doctor was well-meaning but had never addressed the cause of my growing health issues. She advised me on what medicine would help ease my pain and what to take for my allergies, but these were only temporary solutions. In a nutshell, I was becoming allergic to everything around me.
- I couldn’t be around animals that I loved, and any exposure to dust or mold sent me into a spiral of sneezing and coughing that lasted for hours.
- I was taking Zyrtec almost daily just to function.
- I was developing odd rashes after eating many foods, not sleeping through the night and constantly feeling stressed because of my lack of energy at work.
- I experienced pain in my joints daily, and couldn’t lose weight even with exercise and diet, which made me feel like a huge failure.
I had been active in volleyball and other sports for the majority of my adult life, but somehow my “athletic” body had reached 40% body fat and I was terrified. I knew 40% was far above the safe and healthy range and put me at risk for many health problems, but I had no idea what was wrong with my body or how to fix it.
My Healing Journey
I knew the time had come to pursue other options since allopathic care had not helped me and my own efforts to lose weight were not working. I was already a Chiropractic patient at a holistic health center in my area called Triad Health Center, but I hadn’t explored the Functional Medicine services they offered. I had heard of Functional Medicine but wasn’t entirely sure what it entailed. After doing some research and reading many positive testimonials, my husband and I agreed that I needed to schedule a consultation to see if they could help me.
- My first consultation was so unlike any other doctor visit I’d ever had. Dr. David Schwartz (Dr. Dave) took a deep dive into my health history, family history, any possible prior toxic exposures (including those my mother may have had when I was in utero), and discussed all of my health issues, trying to determine how the symptoms were connected.
- I had a full food allergy panel done along with many other functional tests. These tests (and the analysis that was explained to me in-depth) were so much more comprehensive than the default preventative tests most of us have done at our annual physical. Those default tests seem to provide snapshots of the health of various systems in our body, but they don’t show how everything is connected, which is so key to enabling optimal healing.
- I also had genetic testing done previously due to some mutation concerns, so Dr. Dave reviewed those results, along with hormonal tests, my full blood panel, and health history to develop a completely personalized nutrition and supplement plan for me. I knew the path to healing was not going to be easy, but I was motivated to do whatever it would take to feel “normal” again.
90 Days Later
I started my functional medicine journey with a 90-day gut-healing program. I worked closely with both Dr. Dave and his wife Elise, who is a nutrition and detox coach. She has created an excellent website that provides healing nutrition advice, called Healing Cuisine by Elise. Both Elise and Dr. Dave were always available to answer my questions and concerns via email and through several follow up visits throughout the program. They provided me with recommendations as to what would get me on the track to healing the fastest but were never pushy or judgmental.
They instilled a strong sense of personal responsibility and confidence in me that they knew I would make good choices, which in turn DID make me want to do what was best for my body. Following a strict nutrition plan involving no grains/sugar/dairy seemed daunting at first, but now that I’ve seen the benefits of eating this way, I honestly don’t want to go back to how I ate (and how I felt) before.
I am thrilled to say that after 90 days, I was able to lose 20 pounds and more importantly decrease my body fat by 7%, which was so encouraging! It assured me that I had accomplished some major healing progress by reducing inflammation in my gut and regulating my hormones. I still have several areas to work on moving forward, but the improvement in how I’m sleeping and functioning on a daily basis has been phenomenal.
What Is Functional Medicine?
Now that I’ve shared some of my experiences, you may be wondering what exactly Functional Medicine is. It involves far more than just helping those with leaky gut or hormonal issues. It is a personalized approach to treatment that helps you get to the root cause of your health issues. Have you ever wondered why Food Allergies, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Celiac Disease, Lyme disease, MS, Fibromyalgia, Adrenal Fatigue, Thyroid disorders and so many others seem to be occurring at an alarming rate now, but weren’t that prevalent 20-30 years ago? Dr. Schwartz specializes in treating those with these New Millennial diseases, which he briefly describes in my interview with him below. I pray that this brings you hope, knowing that there are solutions to be found in functional medicine!
Triad Health Center and Chiropractic Care
As I mentioned before, I first became a patient at Triad Health Center due to severe headaches which they have helped me overcome through Chiropractic adjustments. Dr. Everett Tucker performs most of my adjustments and has been a huge blessing in my life, so I was grateful to be able to interview him as well in the video below. I look forward to my adjustments along with the encouraging education I always receive at their office. It’s truly an uplifting place of healing. Each team member greets me by name and always makes me feel appreciated. Some other things I love about being a patient:
- Weekly produce box pick-up at their office from J&S Farm’s CSA.
- Patient discounts on grass-fed meat from Summerfield Farms.
- Community events and seminars on cutting-edge topics such as Regenerative Cell Therapy.
- Triad Health Radio – Live on Saturdays at 11:00am ET (94.5FM WPTI)
I’d encourage you to visit their website or to find another chiropractic/functional medicine office in your area. Being your own advocate is vital in our current healthcare system, and functional medicine provides you with all the tools you need to better achieve this goal.
I hope through learning a little about Functional Medicine and Chiropractic Care, you will feel empowered to seek out well-equipped practitioners who will help you with any health issues you may be experiencing. Remember, there is a root cause, you just need someone dedicated to helping you find it.
The Planking Traveler