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Has anyone consulted an Integrative medicine doctor who specializes in progressive and/or chronic disease?
@judyhodgern Well, I read Daniel Pecaut's book Beating Bronchiectasis probably three times and I asked my pulmonologist if he had ever had anyone ask for glutathione to nebulize (one of the things that Pecaut used). He sort of rolled his eyes at me and said "oh that's the stuff that you get at the health food store". So I knew at that point to not press on. That's when I went to a functional medicine doctor and asked him if he could get glutathione for a nebulizer and he did. He also said that glutathione is the single most important antioxidant in the human body. (so much for that "stuff" you get at the health food store). So I've been nebulizing that for a year and a half along with the the 7% saline. Is it helping? Who knows. But at the last CT scan I've had no progression. He also gave me liposomal glutathione to take orally. So that's one of the major things. And I also follow Dr. Mark Hyman, the head of Functional Medicine at Cleveland Clinic and who has written many books…and I'll never forget him one day saying that they did a study of sick people in the hospital and their levels of glutathione were very low or none (don't quote me on this…it was awhile back and I can't remember the exact words) and that they tested a group of people not in the hospital and their levels of glutathione were normal. I always remembered that, I don't know why. The only down side is that glutathione is not cheap and functional medicine is not covered by insurance. He also gives me other supplements and is willing to try things that a traditional doctor might not try. And I am in no way against traditional medicine because it is needed for certain things and important in many ways but medical schools teach a certain curriculum and that's it. They hardly talk about nutrition and anything alternative or integrative. Personally, I believe functional medicine will become more prevalent in the future because it makes so much sense but it will be awhile for it does. And I'm also one of those people who will test just about anything if I think it might help me. I'm careful but I'm not afraid to try things. I mean, look at the Dr. Terry Wahl's story if you want to be inspired. She was in a wheelchair, feeling like she was dying with MS, and started doing research and long story short, reversed her MS with DIET. I'm not sure if she uses the word reversed but she's jogging now, bicycling and has a huge following and has written two books on the ketogenic diet that she used to heal herself and is helping others with autoimmune conditions.
My closest friend is a medical doctor who had excema for years and went to a functional medicine doctor who put her on the Terry Wahl's protocol diet and her excema went away 90% and she had been given steroids for 20 years.(It's a tough diet…something like 6-9 cups of vegetables a day). And that same friend is the one who told me I HAD to exercise when she heard of my diagnosis 5 years ago. And I have been. I think it's key. I said, well, this lung disease is incurable and she said that's only because they haven't found a cure. I loved that answer. Who knows, one day maybe they will. But she said with exercise you will at least be fighting it back. Sorry to have gone on. Hope that answered a little bit of your question. Nan
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Thank you for the information. I had heard the terms functional medicine and integrative medicine but never looked into them. I am currently satisfied with conventional medicine in treating my lung issues but conventional medicine has nothing to help my digestive problems. I know the cause of my problems is the surgery I had 5 years ago for colon cancer and the removal of the valve between the small and large bowels. Basically it is a bacterial overgrowth problem. I have met with a dietician and have tried the one antibiotic (3x) that sometimes helps but I am stuck on a white rice and toast diet and even then have debilitating cramps.
Perhaps a functional doctor could help?
@rits. I know a functional medicine doctor could help with your digestive issues. As I understand it, one of the first things they do when a patient walks in the door is to check what's going on in his/her gut and heal any problems there as a first priority. I did a quick search on the web site of the Institute for Functional Medicine — and used their "find a practitioner" tab. Six pages of practitioners came up for Chicago and surrounding area. I've been looking for — and have made an appointment with – a functional medicine practitioner in my area who is a medical doctor. I want help getting off some medications and feel more secure working with DO or MD. Since I'm new to the area, I don't have any people to ask for recommendations…and hope you might. Good luck! Nancy
PS Most insurance policies doesn't cover alternative medicine practices like acupuncture, etc, which is terrible. Thus, I've had to pay up front and submit the forms they have given me to my insurance company for possible reimbursement. I'm checking to see if Medicare and my Aetna plan F supplement will cover the visit to this doctor and the labs. Hope so!
I wasn't sure of the difference between integrative medicine and functional medicine, so decided to look it up. Here are couple of explanations I found:
– The Difference Between Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine https://www.patronusmedical.com/blog/functional-medicine-vs-integrative-medicine
– What's the Difference Between Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine? https://www.balancedwellbeinghealthcare.com/whats-the-difference-between-functional-integrative-medicine/
The biggest asset of either is the whole person approach that breaks down the silos between specialties. We are more than our disease(s), as @windwalker wrote about in this discussion:
– We are so much more than our disease…. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/we-are-so-much-more-than-our-disease/
For @woot and any interested in learning more about Keto (as the title of this discussion suggests), you may wish to follow this new group about low-carb, healthy fat (keto) living on Mayo Clinic Connect:
– LCHF Living & Intermittent Fasting https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/lchf-living-intermittent-fasting/
@woot I started seeing a functional medicine doctor almost two years and am not turning back. I will keep my primary care doctor but I now believe the functional medicine is the way to go. I agree with @nla4625 that they can be a supplement to your conventional doctor but they are so much more willing to dive deeper and look at alternative/integrative medicine. My "no progression" of my lung disease has nothing to do with conventional medicine. I did the big three four years ago but the MAC still came back so I've been off drugs for four years and exercise regularly and nebulize with 7% saline and am trying different things with my functional medicine doctor that a conventional doctor wouldn't try. And I don't fault conventional medicine. It is what it is. I just think that functional medicine has so much more to offer. Nan
I finally found a functional medicine dr. First meeting lasted an hour and a half, virtually. Only after I filled out 4 pages of questions. She had read all my detailed answers. Ordered all kinds of tests for me. Those tests and her expertise may lead to why I got MAC in the first place. Not even National Jewish could answer that. But leaky gut, unable to absorb nutrients has put me on a long, slow decline in overall health. As I sit here nebulizing 7% saline (no I lung infections for 18 months) I have hope, for the first time. Thanks, everyone for your advice, encouragement and sharing your story.
@woot This is great news…thanks for letting us know. I hope you're on your way to better health!
@nannette I have seen a functional medicine specialist for years who has helped me more than conventional medicine. I have also researched things myself and I stopped seeing an arthritis doctor who was telling me this was incurable while she was offering arthritis drugs. I had developed issues with gluten and food allergies which I figured out myself with diet changes. I was getting pain in my hands caused by eating dairy because when I took dairy out of my diet, the hand pain stopped. That was back in 2000, and at that time most doctors didn't accept that gluten issues were real and celiac disease was considered very rare. I had just gone through my first surgery and incredible stress which seemed to bring on these issues. The gluten caused enough inflammation to develop a leaky gut, so I developed the other food allergies and I had to test through my diet what was safe to eat and what was not. I made changes and changed my health. I still can't eat certain foods even though it's been twenty one years. My functional medicine doctor told me that the old silver amalgam fillings in my teeth were toxic and could be causing my autoimmune thyroid condition Hashimoto's, and he was right. I had all the fillings replaced and my thyroid function improved a lot, but the damage had been done. I also had several root canals under crowns that were the result of trauma and breaking teeth as a kid, and over the years, those failed and leaked infection and cadmium into my jaw bone. I made the decision to remove the teeth and replace them with dental implants that have no metal, and my lung function improved a lot after those bad teeth were extracted. I have allergic asthma which had gotten worse over the years, and these issues were causing inflammation affecting everything.
Functional medicine doctors tried to prevent health problems by fine tuning body chemistry and they agreed with my own assessment of what the issues were. I had been given advice from a lab test that suggested NAC or N-acetyl cysteine as a supplement because it is a precursor to glutathione (the master antioxidant). I found that my lung function improved from that too because it thins the phlegm and makes it easier to expel. My functional doctor also treats my allergies with custom extracts for allergy shots. This reduces inflammation. Allergies are variable. You might be really reactive to ragweed, but also allergic to tree pollen to a lesser degree, and even more or less allergic to specif tree pollen. There is a treating dose that is correct for each thing and my extracts are mixed to be specific for me. Functional medicine is about prevention, and not treating symptoms with prescription drugs. Drug companies do have an influence for conventional medicine and they wine and dine doctors at meetings to introduce their latest drugs to the market. My choice would always be to try to prevent a medical issue through simple choices before drugs are called in to put a bandaid on the problem. Drugs also come with side effects and sometimes side effects cause another health problem that would not have happened if the patient wasn't using the medication.
You can consult AAEM, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. On their website at the top right side is a button to click for a provider search. https://www.aaemonline.org/ My doctor belonged to AAEM. The website also has educational information.
Good luck! Please keep us updated.
Also will insurance cover any of it? I've been looking into registered dietitians who use functional medicine anda lot of what they do is covered.
I’m curious what state you live in and how you went about finding your functional medical Dr? Thank you
I live in North Carolina, near Raleigh. Before I found this doctor, I had only searched for an Integrative medicine doc. Learning the term “Functional medicine” did it. I googled that, turned up a few, started reading their medical education, including what their undergraduate major was and which university, then their medical degree, then reviews of them as a functional med doc. Too many had unrelated degrees. This doc had first been an Internal Med doc. But where I live has been immaterial. My meeting and discussions have all been virtual or email. All the tests ordered were either mailed to me, to be mailed back to the specialty lab that sent it, or blood orders sent to the LabCorp near me. Hope this helps.
@glendamoseley1 In addition to doing a general google search, you can go to the web site of the Institute for Functional Medicine and click on the tab for Find a Practitioner and type in your location. Many health professionals are practicing functional medicine including MDs, DOs, psychiatrists, chiropractors, nutritionists, etc…so it is a little confusing as to whom to select. @woot decided to go with a MD who is practicing functional medicine. I haven't consulted him as a patient, but I've been learning a lot from Dr. Will Cole….through his website, books, etc. He isn't an MD, but he has a whole alphabet of degrees behind his name and is a leading functional medicine practitioner. The Cleveland Clinic has a Department of Functional Medicine and offers several great interactive web courses moderated by their health care professionals. I think you can do individual telemedicine conferences with their people as well. Good luck.
Thank you so much!
Thank you for all this information! I will get busy researching!
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