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Gut Feelings

Follow-up with Functional Medicine Doc + Probiotics Update

Functional Medicine Doc Follow-up

As I mentioned in this post, I consulted with a functional medicine doctor in July whom my herbalist wanted me to see. They first met 30ish years ago, when my herbalist was the only acupuncturist in the area who would treat the functional doctor’s AIDS patients. Years later, they both worked at an integrative health center in Cambridge, Mass, and now, they are working at offices not far from each other. I’ve got the best healers on my team and am so lucky to have them in a reasonable distance from both my house and my school.

Over the summer, the functional doctor had me do a stool test and a blood+urine test to get a profile of my digestion and nutritional needs, in addition to other things. This past Monday, I had my follow-up appointment with him, where we went over the results of these tests. The reports were quite extensive, and he discussed the most important findings of them with my parents and me.

Based on the results, the issues that he wants to address first are:

  • candida overgrowth
  • leaky gut (permeability in the wall of the small intestine)
  • nutritional deficiencies

To address the nutritional deficiencies (and maybe the other issues in an indirect way), he wrote up a custom prescription for me, which I didn’t know could be done! There is a compounding center in Waltham that he works with; he writes up the type and amount of nutrients each prescription should contain, and they create the supplements with pharmacy-grade ingredients. I will have one supplement with vitamins and one with amino acids. And insurance actually covers these, can you believe it?! But what’s best about them is that these will be exactly what I need – no more, and no less. And I’ll be able to stop a few standalone vitamins since they’ll be in these custom supplements. Cool!

I would tell you more about the results, but there are so many details he discussed that I think it’s best for all of our attention spans if I leave it here. As I said, the reports are very extensive, plus most of the results he needed to interpret for me and explain his view on. It’s very helpful that he is very familiar with these reports and can extract the most important information from them.

My next visit with him is in early November, and in the meantime, I’ll start the supplements, which should arrive in the mail within a week.

On the Probiotics Front…

I had started a 200 cfu probiotic from Renew Life while waiting for the VSL#3 to arrive. The day after my first dose, I had an amazing day – felt good, had less frequency, less blood, the works. The day after that, I experienced a lot of frequency in the morning, but still, there was less blood, which is the more important marker of inflammation. But in the next few days, I had more frequency, both during the night and well into the morning, and the bleeding increased again (which could just be due to the frequency). What the hell? Possible explanations: wrong mix of bacteria for me, bacteria die-off is happening, or it was too high of a dose.

Holding onto the fact that I did so well at first, I’m thinking that maybe I should have eased into the probiotic, starting with half the dose at first – 100 billion cfu. But then yesterday the VSL#3 arrived, so what to do now? Make the switch? Take less Renew Life? Take some of each? Am I over-analyzing this? I settled with that last option; I didn’t want to stop the Renew Life cold turkey, I did want to start the VSL#3, and I did want to take a lower total dose, so I got out a piece of paper to pour one probiotic onto at a time, split into sections with my expired Boston Public Library card, and pour what I wanted into a glass of water and the rest back into the packet. I decided to take a quarter dose of the Renew Life and 1/6 dose of the VSL#3, totaling 115 cfu. My roommate come into my room during this process to ask a question, and I explained that I was not doing cocaine…

So hold tight – we’ll see what comes of this. And tomorrow I think I’ll go renew my library card.

In other news, from the non-UC side of my life, I have an interview for an internship in a couple weeks at an engineering firm in downtown Boston!

The reading room at the BPL…one of my favorite spots in Boston

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One comment on “Follow-up with Functional Medicine Doc + Probiotics Update

  1. Barbie Walsh
    October 11, 2012

    I was without a computer due to a virus for 3 days so have just caught up with you. A lot to digest – did I really just say that? Sorry. I will read again and send you a note next week.
    Love, Auntie Barbara

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This entry was posted on October 6, 2012 by in Health/Life Update and tagged , , , , , , , .

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