Health Journey: Part 1 - My first visit to a Functional Medicine Doctor

Hello!

It's been a while since I've last blogged. I've been navigating this world of health and wellness, cooking for those with dietary restrictions or wanting a reset for a number of years now. I'd love to share with you what mistakes I've made and what approach I am taking now. 

No, there are no fun photos or videos associated with this, yet. Enjoy!

 mmm.. diner breakfast: not ketogenic as is

mmm.. diner breakfast: not ketogenic as is

I just got back from a Functional Medicine doctor, a naturopath with an integrative approach to medicine. I asked my General Practitioner friend what she had heard of Functional Medicine. She replied, "nothing". She asked why I wanted to go see one and I told her that Functional Medicine doctors look for the cause of what's ailing people. She responded by saying that all doctors should be doing that... UGH.

I was nervous to proceed with the appointment with the naturopath. I only have the initial visit covered by my health insurance and I had already been to several doctors with the following results:

2 GPs (test results = I'm fine)
1 allergist (not allergic to anything but here, take this Epi Pen prescription for that anaphylaxis you experience)
1 allergist for NAET diagnoses and treatment (remedied my ailments for 1 year)
1 herbalist intermittently for herbal tinctures and lifestyle advice
1 gynaecologist using an ultrasound and not finding any cysts or weirdness

Maybe I should go over what's ailing me. I want a solution for my dismennoreah, or FUCKING PAINFUL PERIODS that make me bed ridden for 2-4 days of my period. I had already cut out gluten (and most grains as I was told to do by my second allergist visit) and since then, (not expecting it either!) the grain elimination got rid of my depression, cognitive difficulties (think hearing things and feeling the floor falling from me) and am no longer anaphylactic to what I now know was caused by sulfites. However, I can't afford to or WANT to be bed ridden for 2-4 days anymore.

How was it seeing a Functional Doctor?
Good! She seemed legit which was nice. After some recent experiences, I've been weary of anything self-help that's of the 'alternative' variety.

We went through the progression of my periods throughout my life and other big events in my life like surgery, development of allergies, living conditions, supplement and medication history, what and when had my symptoms improved or nah.

I am going to do a stool sample (WHAT I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO - YAY!) to see if I don't have an underlying parasite, bacteria, dinosaur, etc living in there that's wreaking havoc.

I've also got some supplement advice. I had already been taking some that I had suspected had been helping me but I was corrected on dosage (aka WHY YOU SHOULD SEE A PROFESSIONAL).

Last but not least, I was told to eat a.. dun dun dun.. ketogenic diet! BOO! I have come to love my plantain chips and fruit yoghurt but I'll try it. I almost eat that way anyway. I feel like this, however, is a gateway to moving into a new career path.

 I wonder how phó will taste like without noodles. I'll ask to sub in extra vegetables.

I wonder how phó will taste like without noodles. I'll ask to sub in extra vegetables.

Reaction to a Dietary Change Verdict

I'm tired of being tired. I takes so much for me to recover from the trauma of the pain of my periods. I need healing. 

Honestly.. how I feel is a loss of identity. Loss of my chef identity.. loss of cultural identity.. I know this could be interpreted as a bit of an extreme, but I want to be part of innovative cuisine. Hell, I have a plethora of bad-ass gluten free recipes that taste like the real thing, damnit. I want to EAT IT but at least I can still share it. 

Another frustrating part is that I don't know if this all means I need to MOVE. I know that health is also a function of lifestyle. The only time in my life where I was the most consistently happy and period pain-free was when I lived in IRELAND. When I look at my time there, I was doing all the things that a Ketogenic or Paleo - centric medical professional refer to in terms of nutrient intake and lifestyle.. lemmy break it down:

  • only eat high quality fats (nothing we cooked with was pre-made.. we only ate pasture raised animals, raw milk dairy for butter, milk and cheese)
  • bone broth (we made it every morning and used it in many many dishes)
  • locally and seasonally, mostly vegetable diet

I know that it's possible to recreate that in Ottawa but it was so easy over there... maybe keep an eye out for me in Ireland.

Pozzies (positive aspects)

At least I'm practicing what I preach by doing what I've been telling people who ask me what kind of diet to eat, "find a professional to help you.. don't blindly just try diet or lifestyle changes without someone to measure the results". Why? You are removed from your own biases and inclinations. It's motivating to see lab test results as they improve with your efforts under the watfchfull eye of a professional.

Alright, stay tuned for more posts! Let me know if you are going though the same thing below. Navigating through the online world of health and wellness can be confusing I know. I've been obsessively listening to podcasts with experts and can't wait to share more resources with you!