Updates on my functional medicine approach

Affinity

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Hi everyone, it's been a while since I have posted here but I wanted to update you all on things. Back in January I posted about the beginning of my functional medicine journey and I will say that after 5 months I am feeling soooo much better!

Pain has been way better. I was consistently at 6-8 on a scale of 1-10 and now I would say it's 2-3 most days. This is a huge improvement!

Sleep has also been way better - I do admittedly have some trouble sleeping still but I would say 75% of the time I get a good night's sleep when before it was maybe 10%.

Energy is greatly improved. In April we made some adjustments because my energy was still very low but right now I am feeling more energetic than I have in a long time. I still have to be careful not to overdo things but I am no longer having flare ups and can correct feeling drained within a day. Like instead of having a backlog of exhaustion I have more normal levels of tiredness.

I have even started losing weight (about 12 pounds so far) which is a shock to me because my weight has been stuck for a long time regardless of what I have tried to do to lose in the past. I think this is a side effect of the gut healing work I have been doing. A large part of my current approach is nutritional including low carbs with no grains or beans.

I have more blood work scheduled for July to check my thyroid function which was still terrible in April but I expect it is much improved now due to my increased energy. After that, in October, the plan is to look at deeper issues like chronic infections that we have not yet addressed.

But I feel like a completely different person to where I was 6 months ago. Healing is possible!

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 and more recently with chronic fatigue, PCOS, and euthyroid sick syndrome (non-acute). Treatment under function medicine doc has included some medication (dexamethasone and low dose naltrexone) along with bioidentical hormones, supplements, and dietary changes. I am very please with how things are going so far and I look forward to continued healing.
 

sunkacola

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Wow, Affinity, that is great. And thanks very much for telling us about it. I keep feeling that I should find a functional medicine doctor and give that a try, and have not done so yet. I don't even know if there is one where I live, but I may look into it. I read a book not long ago written by a woman who became suddenly disabled by illness that they couldn't diagnose, remained very ill and on-and-off disabled by it, for
many years. She came close to dying more than once, but improved 90% after being on a Functional medicine plan for a year or so.
 

Affinity

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Hi sunkacola, nice to see you! It's challenging to decide to pursue medical treatment out of pocket that isn't covered by insurance but I will say that I feel that it has been worth the financial investment. The office I am going to (in Dallas, TX) says it usually takes 8 months to a year for fibromyalgia patients to see significant recovery and I would say I am already feeling signs of that. I am having to do a lot on my end to make sure recovery happens, including dietary changes, exercise, meditation etc, but all of those types of things I was doing before anyway, it's just that they weren't directed in the specific way they are now. Like before I was "eating healthy" but now I am following very specific protocols around food and fasting as well. I would encourage anyone who wants to feel better to give this approach a try!
 

sunkacola

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Hi sunkacola, nice to see you! It's challenging to decide to pursue medical treatment out of pocket that isn't covered by insurance but I will say that I feel that it has been worth the financial investment. The office I am going to (in Dallas, TX) says it usually takes 8 months to a year for fibromyalgia patients to see significant recovery and I would say I am already feeling signs of that. I am having to do a lot on my end to make sure recovery happens, including dietary changes, exercise, meditation etc, but all of those types of things I was doing before anyway, it's just that they weren't directed in the specific way they are now. Like before I was "eating healthy" but now I am following very specific protocols around food and fasting as well. I would encourage anyone who wants to feel better to give this approach a try!
I did some looking and there are no functional medicine practitioners where I live. There might be in a place a couple of hours away but I know that wouldn't work for me for various reasons.

There is one place that says it is a "functional medicine clinic" but they have a slick website, mention no actual doctors, and want you to sign up for a six week course on something.....no thanks. So I guess i won't be able to try that.

Unless... there is a genuinely good book about it, with instructions? I doubt that would actually exist, since the instructions would presumably have to be tailored to the individual, but if there were a good book, I would read it.
I don't really have a problem following specific protocols with food, since food is not my thing anyway, although I do know I have to eat meat or fish protein, or I never have any energy. Today I had planned to do something that really needs to get done, and I woke up without the energy to do it today. This is always highly annoying when it happens. Not that I am not used to it and can handle it without stressing or anything, but I just wish I could count on myself to be able to get done the things I need to do when they should be done.
Oops...I digressed a bit there, sorry. :)
 

Rhyl

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medical treatment out of pocket that isn't covered by insurance but I will say that I feel that it has been worth the financial investment.
Glad to hear that you are doing so much better! I went once and the experience was so bad and cost so much, I never returned. I think results depend on the practitioner...I wouldn't send anyone to the guy I saw!
 

Affinity

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I did some looking and there are no functional medicine practitioners where I live. There might be in a place a couple of hours away but I know that wouldn't work for me for various reasons.

There is one place that says it is a "functional medicine clinic" but they have a slick website, mention no actual doctors, and want you to sign up for a six week course on something.....no thanks. So I guess i won't be able to try that.

Unless... there is a genuinely good book about it, with instructions? I doubt that would actually exist, since the instructions would presumably have to be tailored to the individual, but if there were a good book, I would read it.
I don't really have a problem following specific protocols with food, since food is not my thing anyway, although I do know I have to eat meat or fish protein, or I never have any energy. Today I had planned to do something that really needs to get done, and I woke up without the energy to do it today. This is always highly annoying when it happens. Not that I am not used to it and can handle it without stressing or anything, but I just wish I could count on myself to be able to get done the things I need to do when they should be done.
Oops...I digressed a bit there, sorry. :)
There are several books that I have read detail the approach, including “The Fibromyalgia fix” by David Brady, “The auto immune fix” by Tom O’Bryan, and the “plant paradox“ by Stephen Gundry. I have read a few others but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. I also know that there are functional medicine services that you can sign up for and it’s like online medicine. I know because I did a couple phone calls with them when I was looking for a functional medicine doctor. I think one of them is called parsley health. They have you do all your testing locally but you do your consultations online. I did not go with them because I wanted to work with someone in person if possible, but I was interested in their services. But a lot of the books that I’ve read detail very specific approaches both with supplements, lab testing, and food. And so it’s certainly worth a try that way.
 

Affinity

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Glad to hear that you are doing so much better! I went once and the experience was so bad and cost so much, I never returned. I think results depend on the practitioner...I wouldn't send anyone to the guy I saw!
It’s too bad that you had such a terrible experience! I will say that when I first went to the office I’m going to I was not very happy. I thought she was very harsh and not very personable, and I felt kind of judged. But I decided to follow her recommendations and the next few times I talk to her or saw her it was much better and she seem much friendlier and I’m happy to say sticking with it resulted in great progress so far.
 

Affinity

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I wanted to add an update to give you all an idea of how much improvement I’ve seen. So yesterday, for the Fourth of July, I got up and took my dog for our standard 15 minute walk. Then we decided to go to a state park here in Texas so we drove or rather I drove for about an hour and 15 minutes. At the state park we spent over An hour hiking in the Texas heat in the middle of the day on a very strenuous path. It was quite challenging but I was able to do it. Then we spent over two hours swimming in the lake. Then after driving home we decided to walk to see the fireworks which was another hour of walking there and back. There is no way I could’ve done that level of activity six months ago. And I feel pretty good today, my body is a little tired and my legs are a little sore but I’m not concerned about having a flareup. So that was over four hours of physical activity and one day when in the past I would struggle to go for like a 10 minute walk. And I got up and took my dog for another walk this morning.
 

Affinity

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I wrote the update above and I didn’t even mention that I also had to pack all of our gear including our picnic stuff and pack the car and haul it at the park and there was a lot of other things involved that were very taxing and normally would have exhausted me. My husband and daughter helps him, but I did most of it, and it feels good to be able to do things like that
 

sunkacola

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I wrote the update above and I didn’t even mention that I also had to pack all of our gear including our picnic stuff and pack the car and haul it at the park and there was a lot of other things involved that were very taxing and normally would have exhausted me. My husband and daughter helps him, but I did most of it, and it feels good to be able to do things like that
This is so great to hear.
I read a book by a woman who was so ill for so long that her life was basically ruined for years, and she found health through a functional medicine practitioner. I have been looking for one ever since.
 

Auriel

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Affinity what is functional medicine?is that like holistic and herbal .i wasn’t long ago I was given the number for a naturopath is that the same ?
 

Jemima

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including “The Fibromyalgia fix” by David Brady
Thanks for all of that insight, Affinity! I just had a poke around in David Brady's blog - there's all sorts of good info to be found, and free access to his podcasts elsewhere online. Will have a dig on the other two later!
 

Affinity

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Affinity what is functional medicine?is that like holistic and herbal .i wasn’t long ago I was given the number for a naturopath is that the same ?
Functional medicine is also called restorative medicine and it's goal is to restore optimum and appropriate functionality. It is not the same as a naturopath but they do take an approach of treating the root causes instead of the symptoms.
 

Affinity

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Thanks for all of that insight, Affinity! I just had a poke around in David Brady's blog - there's all sorts of good info to be found, and free access to his podcasts elsewhere online. Will have a dig on the other two later!
Yes there is a lot of good info out there online! It's too bad we can't share links in here!
 

Auriel

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Ooh this is very interesting , new thing bye for me to look at 😁
 
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