Do You Dread Medical Tests?

Do you avoid medical testing until you are really sick or injured?  I have experienced the White Coat Syndrome.  It was strong in me for years.  In fact, I remember calling my stepdad, who was a medical doctor so often during my thirties and forties to ask him for his measured opinion to avoid going to doctors because I was fearful of getting horrible news. 

I was lucky that he was a great doctor with great bedside manners and a ton of wisdom.  When he declined into dementia and then passed, I had lost my trusted, calm health guide. I was again lucky to find Annaliese Klein, A.P., Dipl.O.M. (NCCAOM) about whom I wrote last week in my newsletter (read it here).  For the last ten years, she has calmed me down and given me such sage advice on the strange, often changing symptoms that accompany having a chronic condition like Hashimoto’s.

A Different Approach to Complex Chronic Conditions Is Needed

Chronic conditions are not like short-term illnesses or injuries.  They are complex and involve so multiple systems in our bodies.  It is the reason that western medicine often falls short in providing comprehensive, holistic measures to prevent, manage and even recover from these issues.  Our western medical system focuses on individual parts of the body, a single system or disease.  That  forces us to find another specialist and another specialist to handle the next symptom or unexplained issue that crops up. Unfortunately, most specialists are not trained in understanding the whole body or how nutrition and lifestyle affect the body.

In medical school, the average amount of training in nutrition is 6 hours.  After leaving medical schools, most doctors receive their continuing education from pharmaceutical companies.  That means they are trained to treat with medicine.  What often happens to those of us with complex medical issues is that we could end up on multiple drugs prescribed by different specialists who are treating only one aspect of the condition. This approach has not been incredibly effective with many chronic conditions, and specifically autoimmune diseases, from which statistics show that 50 percent of us are suffering.

 Functional Medicine and Health Coaching Have a Different Approach to Chronic Issues!

This is why when I arrived in Norfolk, I was so determined to find a different kind of doctor known as a Functional Medicine Doctor. Functional medicine doctors look for root causes of illnesses.  They treat the whole person rather than the disease and they rely heavily on very innovative testing methods to help the patient/client come up with a plan to heal.  Unfortunately, most of what they do is not covered by insurance (that is another issue for another day).

Dr. Heather Moday and I met for more than an hour.  After that meeting, I was given some homework.  During the past two weeks, here is what I have done.

  • I did standard and not so standard blood tests covering everything from free T3 and T4 to Thyroglobulin antibodies to ferritin to insulin to TSH to a comprehensive metabolic panel to C reactive proteins to a lipid panel to levels of vitamins like D and B and Magnesium and Zinc in my body. I also tested for the presence of heavy metals.
  • I did a urine test that is a more accurate measure of  levels of cortisol, melatonin, sex hormones and master hormones over the course of 24 hours.
  • I did a stool test and a SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) breath test to see whether I have an over-abundance of bad bacteria living in my gutIt also was looking for parasites and other signs of gut dysbiosis. (I will share results in the next blog)
  • I also did my mammogram.

With all these tests under my belt, Dr. Moday and I will together develop tweaks to my already healthy living routine.  “Test don’t guess!” is what I was trained to do when I went through my Integrative Medicine Health Coaching certification. 

In a recent conversation with a client, we talked about the importance of empowering yourself with knowledge and awareness of your own body to develop a lifestyle that will help you age more vibrantly no matter what you are facing.  Listen in please and reach out if I can help you navigate the complexitities of your diagnosis. 

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