A better way to vibrant health and wellness -
Functional Medicine and Functional Health Tests
Anthony's long ordeal
It is one thing to intellectually appreciate the benefits of Functional Health Testing but quite another to be absolutely awed by the rewarding changes in someone’s life that Functional Health Tests can instigate.
I met Anthony some time ago after his wife emailed me to see if I could help him. (Actually, I've never met Anthony - all our work together has been by phone and email.) Anthony’s English wasn’t that good and for a while we communicated through his wife whose English was better.
Anthony was in his late 30s but his problems had started when he was about 12 years old. He seemed to be allergic to many different kinds of foods and suffered from severe environmental allergies. His doctors had treated him in a variety of ways. They thought that he might have problems with his liver, stomach, and acidity. He had many allopathic tests done but all tests came up normal. Throughout this time he suffered from diarrhea every day.
When Anthony came to the US in the late 90s, he continued his search for a solution to how badly he felt. Many different medical specialists treated him – some from top-notch hospitals.
One of the doctors told him that he was suffering from acid reflux and he began taking many medications for acidity problems. He had a gastroscopy done - twice - but again everything came up normal. The doctors also gave him antidepressant medications because he was miserable, nervous, and depressed because of his whole situation.
None of this helped Anthony and actually he felt worse than before. About four years ago, he started looking for help in alternative medicine and he switched to working with herbalists. One herbalist he worked with told him about candida and his very poor immune system. She gave him many herbal products that helped but not nearly enough.
Later he found out about a Chinese herbalist and he drank her herbs for about 2 years. The herbs helped him. He had less diarrhea and less stomach gas but still he had problems with eating different foods.
He started reading many books about different bacteria that could have caused all the problems in his body and he came to the conclusion that candida might be the problem. He started to self-treat for candida using various natural products.
He began feeling better after these supplements but he still had problems with eating different food and diarrhea.
When Anthony came to work with me he would often (actually most days) have diarrhea 4-6 times a day, his breath had a very unpleasant odor, a white coating would appear on his tongue, his salvia was very dense, his pH was very acidic, he was always nervous, and his diet was extremely limited. His worst symptoms as reported were:
Rated on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the worst:
- Bad smelling diarrhea - 4
- Sinus, running nose - 4
- Muscle pains - 4
- Nervousness - 3
- Fatigue – 4
- Weakness - 5
For over 20 years Anthony had been dedicated to finding a solution to how bad he felt. He was intent on leading a better life where he finally felt good.
Anthony was a little suspicious when he first started working with me. After all he had been to many, many practitioners and had tried so many different remedies and treatments. We started out slowly with a GI Health Panel. The test results came back with some significant imbalances, but I did not think these imbalances accounted for the severity and chronic state of his symptoms. On my recommendations Anthony took a specialized Alcat food allergy / sensitivity / intolerance test.
Anthony’s test results came back with a slew of reactive foods plus they showed a severe reaction to candida and a mild reaction to gluten. Significantly, the results also showed several severe reactions to molds and chemical additives and food colorings. I saw this as a viable explanation for many of his symptoms. And we started monthly Treatment Plans.
Initially these Treatment Plans did not work at all for Anthony. He would start taking the recommended supplements and herbal tonics and his symptoms would get worse.
Also, initially he wanted to treat only the GI panel test results, and not the food allergy results so we started with that. This was a mistake because simply eliminating the foods was not going to be enough to treat his very allergic system.
So, we changed tactics.
And we started all over at the beginning. Anthony’s system was very sensitive and in order to get effective treatments in place we had to begin very, very slowly introducing the treatment protocols. Whereas normally someone would start taking B vitamins daily Anthony could only tolerate supplements 1 or 2 times a week in the beginning. Every remedy we wanted to try had to be introduced very gradually and slowly and over time brought up to a therapeutic dosage. Weekly we would upgrade his treatment plan step by step.
It took a couple of months, but we finally began seeing results in his GI symptoms. Whereas he previously had had diarrhea 4-6 times on most days, he now would only have diarrhea 1-2 times a week.
Week by week, we saw progress and week by week he got stronger. Around Christmas his wife emailed me to tell me how grateful they were to have found me because Anthony’s life and been miserable (and hers too consequently) before and now he was feeling so much better. That kind of feedback keeps me going.
But we weren’t done yet. Effectively treating GI problems takes 6-12 months under the best of conditions and we were going very slowly to get Anthony’s body to accept the remedies. Also, several of Anthony’s other symptoms - most notably his muscle pain and weakness, fatigue and nervousness - were still not improving.
By this time, Anthony had seen enough improvement in his health and wellness to feel confident in my suggestions to him. Over the next couple of months, we did several functional health tests to find out what was impacting his lingering symptoms:
He had some significant imbalances in all of these test results and we started to address those imbalances. The results were nothing short of spectacular. His latest weekly ratings tell all:
Rate the following on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best:
- Energy - 8
- Sleep - 10
- Feeling Well - 8
- GI system - (the better your gut issues = the higher the rating) 8
- Stress - (the more stress you feel = the lower the rating) 9
- Aches and Pains - (the fewer aches and pains you have = the higher the rating) 8
- Muscles - (the better your muscles feel = the higher the rating) 8
- Mood - (the better you feel = the higher the rating) 8
Now that’s an incredible improvement!!
And we aren’t even done yet. We still have to take a couple of more months to consolidate, take care of lingering symptoms, and establish a maintenance program. If we don’t take these last crucial steps his symptoms could be back in only a few months.
Want to know what brought about these wonderful results? And how the same can happen for you?
Choices that support results:
First off, starting with hard data from Functional Health Tests made all the difference in the world for Anthony. Allopathic medical testing had not proved helpful because Anthony’s problem was not a disease or illness that could be diagnosed. Because we were not searching for a medical problem, we could direct our attention to the uncovering the true source of Anthony’s symptoms – disrupted fundamental biological functioning.
By identifying where his functioning was disturbed, I could focus Anthony's treatment on restoring optimal functioning in his body and thus leverage the innate healing wisdom of his own body.
My focus, training, and experience allowed me to design an integrated series of treatment plans that not only resolved Anthony’s symptoms but more importantly tonified and restored his body’s natural functioning toward optimal health. I wasn’t interested in just getting rid of or masking the symptoms, but rather I stayed focused on recalibrating his body’s natural functioning.
Anthony himself was the lynchpin in ensuring the success of the program. No matter how accurate the functional testing or how vast the knowledge, experience, and ability of the practitioner, if you don’t implement the treatment plan things are not likely to get better.
Do you know what is the biggest block to health, wellness, and well-being?
Lack of compliance with the health recommendations.
Studies show that people make more progress toward health and wellness if they are compliant with their health provider’s recommendations even if what they are doing is a placebo. Compliance itself seems to carry significant healing power.
And Anthony was stellar at being compliant. He followed every recommendation to the proverbial T. If he didn’t agree or had a problem with something, we would discuss it and once he understood the rationale behind a recommendation, he would fully implement it in his life. The Treatment Plans required many significant changes in his lifestyle but he was dedicated and determined to feel better so he poured himself into making those deep changes.
Although Anthony had had many years of feeling bad, he almost never focused on that. Rather he would always talk about even the smallest positive change he was experiencing.
Not sure which test is the best choice you? How to Choose.
Babs' Food Allergies
To get her blood pressure under control, Babs came to see me with high hopes. She was still a young woman though in her 50s who until recently had not had any trouble with her blood pressure. A couple of years ago she underwent some major changes in her life left her corporate job to start her own business, incurred some significant debt, saw her savings wiped away by several large unexpected expenses the stuff of life.
She "suddenly" put on more than a few pounds, developed significant aches and pains and saw her blood pressure go up and up. She had tried many natural means to get her blood pressure down she was very opposed to using medication if she could avoind it.
Babs had tried acupuncture, lost some weight, adjusted her diet and added appropriate supplements. Everything worked a little bit. Gradually she was getting the blood pressure lower. But it would spike up "for no good reason" and she could not break that magic cut off point reach the 120/70 range.
Her doctor finally said that it had been long enough. The blood pressure readings needed to be below 130/80 or she really had to resort to medication.
When a client has signs and symptoms that just do not seem to be resolving, I look to fundamental imbalances that have not yet been addressed.
In Babs' case, hidden food allergies seemed likely. We tested for IgG food allergies and found that she had some significant reactions to several foods.
We implemented an elimination diet with GI tract healing recommendations and a long term dietary rotation plan.
Within 10 days of eliminating her known offending foods her blood pressure dropped into that magic 120/70 and below range. (Plus, she lost 10 pounds and saw most of her aches and pains disappear.)
I have to say that I was very impressed. Not everyone who eliminates their offending foods shows such dramatic results. But I have seen consistent positive benefits from eliminating hidden food allergies.
Not sure which test is the best choice you? How to Choose.
Lois' Lyme Disease
A couple of months ago, a client came to me because her 17 year-old daughter had been having progressively more trouble breathing. Lois was tired, in pain and couldn't keep up with her usual routine. This had been getting worse for a year. Her mother had taken her to many different practitioners - acupuncturist, kinesiologist, chiropractors, medical doctors, and a pulmonary specialist.
The pulmonary specialist had diagnosed asthma and prescribed some strong medications - which were not helping and the symptoms were still progressing. Finally, her mother brought her to me. Looking through the daughter's history, her symptoms, and at our intuition we decided on a panel of Functional Health Tests: ALCAT food sensitivity test, Adrenal stress test, GI health panel, NeuroSelect neurotransmitter test, and an advanced set of Lyme tests that I have available to me (even though she had already taken the standard allopathic Lyme testing which was negative).
Her ALCAT food sensitivity test revealed that she had multiple severe allergies to food, mold and some chemicals. Her adrenal test and neurotransmitter tests revealed that she had some early adrenal stress and some brain chemistry imbalances that were making it difficult for her continued effective coping.
The most revealing however, was the state of the art Lyme Disease test. This young girl was showing abnormal results across almost every parameter on the panel. I referred them to a Lyme specialist in New York who combined medical and alternative therapies. In the end, it turned out that she did have an advanced case of Lyme disease. Finding this out means that she can now get the proper treatment and turn around something that - if left undetected - almost certainly would have gone on to make her very sick.
Every day things like this happen. I am so grateful that I have these tests available for people to look at the fundamental functioning of their bodies through Functional Health Testing. Every day I appreciate more and more that you now have this option for taking your health care into your own hands and can then take the steps that are important to live in optimal health, wellness, and well-being.
The Lyme test is a pricey test. Because Lois had not tested positive for Lyme according to the antiquated test currently standard in allopathic medicine, this more advanced lyme testing probably won't be covered by their insurance. After all- it is not cost effective!
But what about the real cost involved for this family! Beyond the personal cost of having a serious disease that is not being properly treated because it is not properly identified - what about the monetary cost of continuing to use medications that aren't addressing the correct problem and the long term monetary cost in treating more serious complications down the road.
It's a bit unusual in my practice to pick up a mis-diagnosis like this. Rather most of the time what we are doing is identifying fundamental imbalances in the body that - if left unattended - are likely to go on to create a greater imbalance in body functioning that can lead to actual illness and disease.
Not sure which test is the best choice you? How to Choose.
Joe had his family at their wit's end.
Joe was 17 years old when in desperation his mother brought him in to see me. He was having terrible “stomach” problems, felt depressed and angry and had no energy. His parents had taken him to a specialist – a gastroenterologist - and did all the standard medical tests. When nothing specific came back in the results to treat, the GI specialist declared that it was IBS sent him home telling him to “learn to live with it.”
But that wasn’t the worst. Joe was under so much distress that he was causing utter chaos in his home. His bad moods, aggressive behaviors and dark depression were causing everyone in the household unbelievable stress. His therapist was thinking he might be a lost cause. Everyone was at their wit’s end and were close to giving up hope. Everyone except Joe – he just knew that there was something that was happening in his body that could be mended and help him feel better.
When I first saw Joe I could see his wonder underneath all of that suffering – and I knew that he could be alright and find himself again. The first thing we did was a series of Functional Health Tests to look at what was happening in his physical body that would be stressing. We did a GI Health Panel, Food allergy testing, neurotransmitter testing, an Adrenal Stress test, and several others. When the test results came back it was obvious what was troubling him. He had significant imbalances in all of his tests.
In this case, there was no condition or illness (IBS is just a syndrome) for allopathic medicine to treat – which was fine. But there were key functional imbalances in the body that could be identified and, with a bit of rebalanacing, the body could get back on track functionally – and the only thing he had to learn to live with was sensible ways to keep his body in balance.
We set to work to correct the physical imbalances in his body – the parasites in his gut, the exhausted adrenal functioning, the many food allergies - all of it. Joe was an exceptional young man and despite all of the angst he was experiencing on a day to day basis he willing took up the task of doing what was necessary to bring back good and healthy functioning to his body and brain. Working closely with his mother and with the support of his family, Joe is now free from those daily dark moods and aggressive outburts. He is happily setting out on his life’s path and looks forward now to the adventures in front of him.
I think often of Joe and think that even if he was the only person out of the thousands of people I have been able to help – all my efforts would have been worth it to know that the gifts in his wonderful spirit wouldn’t be lost to the world.
The more you know about the underlying functional balance and imbalances in the body the more power you have to take the steps that will support health, wellness and well-being – and the better you will feel.
Not sure which test is the best choice you? How to Choose.
Functional Health Testing and the follow up Treatment Plans may not be for everyone – BUT if you want to resolve a long-standing health problem or check out your body on a basic functional level so that you don’t develop a health problem - the path is clear and easily available to you.
If you don’t see the test you you think you need – contact me. I have MANY more Functional Health Tests available that address almost any wellness need you have.
Not sure what you need? Visit our How to Choose page.