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Thu, Apr 11 11:00am · Your experiences with IBS mixed? I feel sick and alone in this. in Digestive Health

I'm fairly new to this whole ball of wax, so it's likely what I say here won't help much, or could even be incorrect. But I have written elsewhere on these forums about the benefits of functional medicine (I thiiiink if you click my username, it'll take you to those posts). And after about 9 months on all kinds of probiotics and enzymes (including the world's strictest GI elimination diet and $400+/mo in supplements), I read somewhere that probiotics and enzymes can actually worsen a 'leaky gut' if it isn't healed enough to handle them. So I stopped taking them about a month ago, and started seeing a(nother) functional MD who confirmed that they can worsen things. Some enzymes can have egg whites in them, which can exacerbate problems for some folks with egg (esp white) sensitivity. @jackiem95 mentions a VSL3 probiotic, so she likely knows more than I do, and I'm adding that to my list to investigate and ask my functional MD about. He did some very fancy bloodwork to test for intestinal permeability at a higher level than what others have tested, awaiting results. (Jury's still out on whether or not he's going to help heal me, I'll give his name if so!) A naturopath requested bloodwork to check IA2 levels, which came back slightly elevated, but she didn't suggested any diet changes for those. Functional MD was the first to suggest that it's possible I'm having IA2 cross-reactivity (meaning, even on the world's strictest GI elimination diet, I'm allowed to eat things that would be cross-reactive with antibodies and keep making me sick). Also, in case this helps anyone else out there, I haven't had gluten in 10yrs, so my IgA keeps coming back 'normal' (seronegative) (Mayo said it was 'normal' and dismissed me …), but a gastroenterology NP training in functional medicine recently asked why no one has tested for the Celiac gene — and I'll get that test tomorrow. I'm off gluten, so that isn't a huge piece of the puzzle, but there's this molecular mimicry thing I'm learning about, where your body attacks what it THINKS is gluten, exacerbating food immune reactivities and autoimmunity.

Fri, Mar 29 9:29am · Functional vs Integerative Medicine in Digestive Health

Sigh. First (& probably ONLY) Mayo visit underscored the vast difference between functional medicine and traditional medicine. Like @mrmie, the endocrinologist looked at my blood work, things looked "normal," and he dismissed me. Worse, he first tried to give me bisphosphonates for the osteoporosis, and diet & exercise brochures for the osteoporosis, which I could've gotten from my small-town PCP without a trip to Mayo. I had to fight for blood work at all, and then they failed to test (though they promised they would) for the Celiac gene, so now they're mailing that kit to me at home. To be fair, many functional practitioners have also missed the possibility of Celiac, seeing the GI issues through their own lens (and just treating the leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, which has failed to heal despite all their efforts), failing to widen that lens broadly enough to see how the osteoporosis and anemia and 20+ other symptoms form a complete picture. One naturopath tested for the islet antigen (IA2), which came back high, and suggests something she caught (possible Type 1.5 Diabetes, or LADA), and something she missed — but an outstanding functional MD caught — (IA2 food cross-reactivity; you can geek out here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5551512/). In sum, what looks "normal" to the Mayo endocrinologists requires both deeper looks at existing tests (some functional practitioners describe test results as lab low/high vs functional low/high) and deeper testing (e.g., for IA2). Honestly, in hindsight, I wish I'd saved the money and time and hassle and waste of hope, and skipped Mayo in favor of more work with functional MDs. That said, I've also encountered many a naturopath and functional MD with too narrow of a lens, so it is essential to keep looking until you find the right one. I'm not sure I'm there yet. I'll definitely recommend when I find THE one, if they exist. Meanwhile, I'm considering training to become a certified functional medicine coach — but I'm too sick to do it right now! — because I want to spare others the hellish journey I've been on for so long. These complicated chronic illnesses are multifactorial (numerous causes), and traditional medicine is still too deductive a process to understand and treat those cases. Deductive has a theory and seeks to test it. Inductive has data and seeks to discover a theory. Functional is more inductive but, alas, even those practitioners — if they lack experience &/or motivation to keep pulling on the ball of yarn — can get too deductive to understand and treat the outlier cases that don't fit their experience. Hope this helps someone out there!

Mon, Mar 25 6:02pm · Functional vs Integerative Medicine in Digestive Health

I'm new to Mayo (first appt today), so not sure if they have anything. From my initial perusals of these forums and online content, they seem to 'debunk' much of what Functional Medicine has to say. But I've found Functional Medicine to be a more fruitful path than traditional medicine, esp for a cluster of symptoms that traditional docs don't seem to understand as parts of a whole. Functional Medicine practitioners do, like all providers, really range from the great to the terrible, so do your research and find one of the great ones, even if they're not geographically close to you. Many do video consults. Don't bother with their lower-cost 'coaches' or 'practitioners,' they're still in training; make an appt with the MD directly. And if you don't see improvement in 1-2 months, move on to the next one. https://www.ifm.org/

Mon, Mar 25 10:16am · Functional vs Integerative Medicine in Digestive Health

I'm new to Mayo (first appt today), but seems they have some Integrative providers (https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/complementary-alternative-medicine/about/pac-20393581). I posted elsewhere about Functional Medicine (I thiiiiink if you click on my username it'll take you to that post?).