My Health Journey + My Experience with Functional Medicine

Posted August 18, 2016 in functional medicine, weight gain, migraines, supplements, weight loss, balance, My Health Journey, hormones

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Today, I'm getting super personal and sharing some struggles that I've been having with my health.

This is something I've been going through for a few years now, but I've been hesitant to share because I didn't know what was going on with my body.

Over the past three years, I've transformed the way that I treat my body - eating more nourishing and whole foods, working out consistently, incorporating meditation and more yoga into my life and putting more energy into my life passion.

Yet, I found myself experiencing more and more headaches and migraines, and gaining weight very steadily.

Feeling off

After gaining five pounds, I thought it was due to moving in with the BF, working out less intensely and eating out more often. 

But the weight kept creeping up. Even after eliminating all added sugar for 30 days, I was still gaining weight. I assumed my continued weight gain was due to stress. I started a new full-time job three years ago at the same time began my studies to become a health coach and launched my health coaching business.

I continued to eat healthy, workout and focused on reducing stress. But, eventually, I couldn't even pull my jeans over my thighs. 

I didn't share my weight gain with you because my intuition told me that it wasn't about what I was eating or how I was working out. 

My headaches and migraines also increased in frequency and pain level. To relieve my headaches and migraines, I began using natural remedies, started wearing a night guard (because I clench my teeth while I sleep), started going to a chiropractor, started getting acupuncture and worked with my gynecologist to change my birth control (since I get hormonal headaches).

Despite my efforts, my headaches and migraines continued.

I knew something was wrong.


Finding Answers

In July, I made an appointment with Dr. Allison Blessing of Functional Medicine of Omaha. Just filling out the paperwork before my first visit made me feel like I had made the right decision. She wanted to know what foods I ate, my stress levels, what my relationships were like, etc. Her holistic approach was very in line with my own approach to health coaching.

Functional medicine is personalized health care that treats the individual not the disease. Functional medicine practitioners focus on supporting the natural healing of the body. It's based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself. 

A functional medicine doctor is interested in why you have your problem in the first place and how you can regain vitality. 

During my first visit with Dr. Blessing, she asked questions....for an hour. It was the best visit with a doctor I've ever had. 

A few weeks later, I had some blood work done. Then I scheduled another appointment with Dr. Blessing to go over my results.

I met with her earlier this week and I'm feeling so much more optimistic about my health. Here are some details from my results:

  • My HDL cholesterol is amazing! It's 116, which basically makes me super human. This shows that eating high quality, whole foods and working out consistently works! All those green drinks and smoothies are working their magic!
  • My kidneys and liver are functioning properly.
  • My electrolytes are balanced.
  • I most likely don't have an intolerance to gluten.
  • My iron and B12 levels are very low. 
  • I am clinically deficient in vitamin D.
  • I have a sensitivity to dairy.
  • My hormones are most likely crazy out of whack.

Dr. Blessing recommended that I keep doing what I'm doing because my overall health is great. But she also suggested that I cut out dairy completely and begin taking iron, B12 and vitamin D supplements. 

I'll take these in addition to the supplements that I already take - multivitamin, omega-3 and probiotic.

We also talked extensively about the pros and cons of being on birth control. I also did my own research in between my visits with Dr. Blessing. I've decided to stop taking birth control in order to balance out my hormones, which will (hopefully) help reduce my headaches and migraines and possibly help me manage my weight.

Dr. Blessing is guiding me as I stop taking birth control to help reduce the symptoms that I'll most likely have from the sudden drop in estrogen. 

How I'm Feeling

I'm feeling excited to make these changes and see where they take me. I want to feel balanced, energized, healthy and content! 

Total realness: Although I'm excited to make these changes to see if I'll feel better, I don't think it will be easy. I'm giving up dairy! You know how much I love pizza….and ice cream.

But health is an always evolving process. I always tell my clients that healthy living is a journey. There's no end. We're constantly learning and growing. 

I'd love to take you on this journey with me. I'll share updates on my health and let you know how I'm feeling…and let you know how sad I am about not eating pizza.

Thanks for reading! I really appreciate your support and you coming along with me on this journey! 

A Final Note

Please keep in mind that this is my journey that I'm sharing with you to be transparent and possibly help someone that is going through something similar. I'm making changes based on results and recommendations that I received from a doctor. I don't suggest that you make any changes to your health without consulting with a doctor first. I do highly recommend seeing a functional medicine doctor though! Dr. Blessing works in Omaha if your local. 

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