Louise got married a little later in life at 37 years old, and within one year was having her first child, but within 3 years, had a total of three children. She wasn’t very big to begin with, in fact, she was previously a body builder, now a trainer and in very good condition. But after three children is very rapid sequence, it took a toll on her body. I had been treating her off and on for a few years for typical neuro-muscular-skeletal type issues, prior to the children, but now she began coming in, sometimes several times a week, for recurrent pain in her neck. In previous visits her pain was typically resolved, but now, no matter how often she came in or what I did, nothing seemed to work. I had spoken with her and her husband about the distinct possibility that something was going on internally and that the cause of her pain might only be found by looking within her GI system. They thought the idea had merit, but decided instead of using my testing, to see their own Internist. But he couldn’t find anything wrong, so he sent them to another MD and then another. By the time they got back to me, they had seen several MD’s, but she was still in pain and no one could find out why. So, they decided she would see if I could find the cause of her problems.
What we found – I ran several tests, some routine, like blood work, but others were more advanced, like a stool test. Louise and her husband were very reluctant at first to do this test because they couldn’t understand why I would want to look at her stool, when what she was dealing with was neck pain. And none of the MD’s had ever mentioned a stool test for her neck pain. But I assured them that her pain may be in her neck, but the CAUSE of the pain, was NOT in her neck and the GI track is a great place to start looking. So when the tests came back, they were amazed at what was found. H.pylori, E.coli, several parasites and a large quantity of yeast/fungi. How they wondered would these findings relate to her neck pain. Quite simply, these are pathogens that are not supposed to be in the body. And all of these pathogen, release toxins and can and generally are, harmful to the body. In her case, these toxins were the cause of her neck pain. How do we know this? Because we provided therapy for these pathogens and within a very few days, Louise started to feel better. Within a few weeks, her symptoms, were almost completely resolved. She felt so much better. But there was still an issue.
Even though Louise felt so much better, she still had a slight lingering headache. She woke up with it and went to bed with it. No matter what we did, nothing resolved this headache. Now, when she was thinking or doing something else, she really didn’t notice this headache but it was always there. So now, with confidence in what I had been explaining, she asked me if there were other tests she should look at to help find the cause of this relenting headache. So another test, this time, a Food Sensitivity Test was performed. Why? Because of what she had told me in previous conversations. And when this test came back, it showed that she had food sensitivities to many of the foods she loved to eat – but they were also, healthy foods, like tomatoes and watermelons. We reviewed the tests and asked her to remove these foods from her diet. She went home and within 24 hours, she called the clinic and reported for the first time in month that she didn’t have a headache.
Bill is a 40 year old, who works for a major hospital in the Houston area. Over the years, he and I have spoken and I have tried to educate him on the attributes of FM and how it tries to find the cause of conditions and not just cover them up with drugs. But he was taught that medicine and medical doctors know everything and if there was something out there that could help patient’s, then those MD’s would use it. But after several conversations, over a couple of years, he came to me with a question: Can you help me sleep? Apparently, he had been to many doctors because he couldn’t sleep. For now long I asked? 12 years was his answer! 12 years without sleep – well, not exactly. He has slept, but for only a few hours at a time and only a few hours a night. He has felt exhausted for years! So what could I do for him?
Again, a complete history and a standard blood lab were performed, but neither really gave me a lot of information about WHY he was not able to sleep. So, I ordered a more specialized test that shows what is happening with his adrenal glands and things called neurotransmitter. Once this test came back, imbalances within these hormones and neurotransmitters were found and a specific protocol was given. Within a week or so, he reported not only being more relaxed during the day, but was sleeping a little better; but not great. Now, this really surprised me, so I had to ask him to dig a little deeper to provide more information. In the end, Bill finally relayed to me that he was sleeping about 4-6 hours a night, but was still tired when he work up. Also, he report that he was feeling more relaxed during the day which came as a surprise to me, as well as to him. He really didn’t know that he wasn’t feeling that good during the day, until he started the protocol. It was only then that he realized that his lack of sleep was really having a tremendous effect on his job and how he felt. So after a couple of revisions to his protocol, Bill reported that he was now sleeping 7-8 per night and waking quite rested.
Judy first came to see me because she felt miserable over her entire body. She had been to numerous doctors with very vague complaints like fatigue, upset stomach, cold hands and feet, brain fog, low energy, thinning hair, almost no sex drive and insurmountable stress. Several doctors looked at her thyroid function and told her it was normal; but no one really found anything wrong that they could diagnosis. So a couple of them decided that she was depressed and put her on anti-depressant medications; which didn’t help with a single symptom. After several years, multiple doctors, multiple medications and medication changes, she was referred to me. She had no idea what Functional Medicine was, how it worked and the only reason she was here was because a good friend had referred her to me and she decided that it couldn’t hurt to see me, but she didn’t expect anything to help her.
So, I explained to her how FM is different, what I look for and how our protocols were different from conventional, allopathic doctors. She finally agreed to some specific testing that I believed she needed. Once the tests came back and we found several barriers that were preventing her body from functioning normally, as well as some nutritional deficiencies, we started a therapeutic protocol that was designed specifically for her needs. Within a week, Judy was feeling like a different person. When I first met Judy, I thought she was in her late 50’s or even mid to late 60’s – she just looked old. But the next time I saw her, after her protocol started, she looked much younger and revived. On one appointment, Judy asked me when she could stop her medications and I told her to make an appointment and talk with medical provider who had prescribed her medication. You see, some meds you can come off easily and other you need to be very careful how you reduce or stop those medications and I wasn’t qualified to make that determination.
So a few months later, I am sitting with a new male patient who had been referred by his wife and there came a knock at my closed door. But instead of waiting for an answer, this woman comes walking in. I was actually a little startled that a stranger would just walk into my office, but I soon found out that it was the wife of the gentleman I was seeing, but to my greater amazement, it was also Judy. She had transformed into a vibrant, young looking and attractive woman. I was simply stunned; I didn’t recognize her at all. She came in and explained that she went to her medical doctor and he told her that she could never come off of her drugs and that nothing an alternative provider could give her would make any difference – she was simply having what he called, “a placebo effect.” She thought the protocol was working, but her medical doctor said it was all in her head – just like her depression. So Judy simply stopped her meds, on her own, and she immediately started feeling even better than she had while she was taking my protocol along with the meds. I told her that was dangerous, but I was very excited and happy that she had responded so well.
A little 14 year old named Trisha came in to see me with her father. If anyone knows anything about Texas, the very last thing you need in Texas, in July, is a sweater; but that is what little Trisha was wearing. Her father had taken her to several other doctors, without resolution of her symptoms. She was very cold over her entire body and her hair was falling out. In fact she brought in a small baggy of her hair that she had lost, that morning! Trisha was a very intelligent young girl and had done her research. The previous doctors had told her that her thyroid was normal, but she knew that something had to be wrong with her thyroid. Everything she researched on the internet, pointed to her thyroid. Her father handed me the blood labs that another doctor had ordered, the very ones he had used to determine that her thyroid was functionally normal. The only problem I had with this report was that there were only 2 thyroid lab values on the report. Two lab tests and he determined her thyroid was functionally normally. Well, I wasn’t sure what might be the issue, but I do know that I order 8 lab values for my thyroid panel, not 2. So I performed my normal exam and learned that Trisha and her family had moved to the US within the last year or so and that is when her problems started. I recommended a nutritional supplement for Trisha and asked them for some new blood tests and for them to return in one month.
When they came back, now late July, I asked how she felt and she reported that she was better, not as cold, but she was still losing some hair, but not as much. So I reviewed the labs with them and provided some additional supplements. I asked them to return in another month, but was informed that it would be 6-7 weeks because of a planned trip back to Greece. But when they returned, did they have a surprise for me. Trisha had absolutely no symptoms, at all. She wasn’t cold and her hair had stopped falling out. Does anyone reading this want to guess what her problem was? Yes, her diet. You see, in Greece, she ate a Greek diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, lean meats, nuts, etc. But here in the US, she had started eating the SAD diet – Standard American Diet – processed foods! So we modified her diet and supplements and saw her one month later, this time with her mother. At last report, Trisha was a healthy and thriving young lady without health issues and a normally functioning thyroid.
When Sara was presented to me, she had been referred by not one but two different friends that I had assisted with their health issues. Sara was a 30ish, energetic trainer who worked hard, had two children and some long standing health issues. Approximately 12 years ago, she had been diagnosed with IBS – irritable bowel syndrome. She had terrible abdominal pain, bouts of constipation, followed by diarrhea and that left her with fatigue and the inability to function for her job or her children, let alone her husband. She dealt with this on a daily basis, with or without medication. Nothing previously had worked. Not diet, not medications, nothing. Her friends assured her that I could help. So when Sara came in, the first thing I had to do was explain that I might not be able to help. Her friends had convinced her that I could do anything. WOW – what a reputation to live up too. But I told her that I would do my best to try and determine what might be dysfunctional within her body, but that IBS is said to be a life-long disease. That was in September 2011. So I ordered some tests and when they came in, I discussed with Sara what was found and how I believed we could proceed; but without promises and that I wanted to see her in 2-3 months.
Approximately 1 year later, I see Sara on my schedule. Frankly, I had forgotten who she was, but once I reviewed her chart, I realized that this might be a difficult appointment. I had no idea why she hadn’t returned for her follow-up appointment and felt that now she was going to tell me that my protocol had failed. So you can’t believe how I felt when I saw and finally spoke with her. Sara looked fabulous. She skin tone was clear and her eyes were bright and alive. I asked why she had finally come back in to see me and how she was doing. She told me that she was wonderful. She was cured! I explained that I didn’t think she was cured, but she insisted that she was. A couple of weeks after starting my protocol, she was completely without symptoms! And hasn’t had a serious bout of constipation or diarrhea since she last saw me. I asked again why she hadn’t made her follow-up appointment and she told me that she didn’t see any reason to because she felt so great. I asked her why she was here now and she said she just wanted to follow up with me to make sure I thought she was doing well. Now that is a great patient.