My Journey Through The World of Functional Medicine Pt 1

Ugh, I’ve been dragging my butt so hard lately *again* and if I’m being honest, it’s been a lot of months, like 6-7 or so!  I just thought I was exhausted and burning the candles at both ends and that it would pass (I need to learn to listen to myself better).

If you’re reading this, then there’s likely something in what I posted that resonates with you.

I feel that what we consider “traditional medicine” absolutely has a place, my opinion is that in the 15 minutes or so they are allotted to us they focus on acute care  i.e. “how can I fix your symptom?”.  What they fail to consider (in my opinion) is the root cause – What is causing your symptom(s)?

So, recently, I go to my interim GP (General Practitioner) who says to me – “Let’s give you something to get rid of that rash!”.  And I wholeheartedly agreed, let’s get rid if this massive rash which has taken over my face (and it hurts and stings).  Now to be honest, until I got the rash on my face, I had been bypassing every single sign that my body was telling me to GET HELP!  It wasn’t until I got this rash on my face that I was like “oh, wow, I really need to do something about the state of my health!” How vain am I, right?  Not really, that’s most of us to be honest, we ignore our bodies until we can no longer sweep it under the rug.  My poor body has been telling me for months that something was not ok and that I needed to care for it.  And, it wasn’t until it totally revolted and put a rash the size of Texas on my face that I stopped and took heed!  So, I say to the doctor “ok great, I’ll take something to get rid of the rash in the interim, but what is it? And, why did I get it?”  He says to me “It’s peri-oral dermatitis and we don’t really know what causes it and I can’t be sure why you got it!” Ok cool! (ok not not cool! Sounds like a general medicine catch all to me).  Now, I should state for the record that we went over that I haven’t changed my diet or facial products in the last long time and he checked if I had any other rashes on my body.

So, I left the clinic with NO answers and a facial cream for my rash (which didn’t work btw and I had to go back 14 days later to get ANOTHER facial cream and antibiotics).

…. and, we still didn’t address my lethargy, my need to nap 2x per day and then why I’m in bed at 10:00 PM regardless of napping twice during the day.  It was non-existent to him, he was only concerned about my rash, not by the plethora of other symptoms I had been experiencing which were 100% NOT NORMAL for me nor any of the times I had been to see him had anything to do with what’s going on now. With that my 15 minutes were up and he asked me to book another appointment for the following week.

Feeling completed dejected, and knowing that this wasn’t just about a rash on my face, I knew I had to turn to functional medicine for the answers at the urging of a friend of mine.

That being said, you may still be slightly in the dark as to what this cutting-edge medicine is really all about, and how it may be of benefit to you.  I’m writing this because it may save your life … this may sound like a dramatic overstatement … and bear with me, I’m going to explain to you how and what my findings are as I go through.

This blog is not intended to shun traditional western medicine (which is essential and highly effective in an acute care setting), rather, it is to recognize that we are living in the middle of a chronic disease crisis and it’s not being properly addressed.  I see this EVERY DAY as a Disability Claims Specialist, trust me. 

I started seeing my functional medicine doctor, Satdip Binning about 6 weeks ago to help me find answers.  I’m not looking for a new prescription, nor for a catch all, even a diagnosis.  I’m looking to understand why my body is doing what’s it’s doing and why I’m experiencing a whole host of symptoms that I cannot simply understand or be explained.  Why are all of my tests coming back negative (except for my anemic testing) and they tell me I’m “normal”.  No, I’m not! I want to feel well again!

The symptoms I’m currently exhibiting are

  • feeling mentally and physically exhausted even after a solid 8 or even 9 hours of sleep
  • profound fatigue during the day (need to nap twice per day usually)
  • brain fog
  • decreased concentration
  • decreased memory
  • flare up in Raymaud’s of hands and feet
  • a huge peri-oral dermatitis rash on the lower half of my face
  • irritable bowel
  • thinning hair (+hair loss)
  • lethargy
  • body aches/myalgias

Not only am I tired, I’m tired of this being my life for the last half a dozen months.  I take naps at work, yes, some days, I literally leave my desk and go down to sick bay and snooze for 30 minutes, even longer when I work from home.  I have had to withdraw from my participation in certain courses and programs because of my lack of energy.  I have to be planful of the days I have things to do after work (because I have to squeeze in a nap).  I forget how to get to places I’ve driven to my whole life.  My condo looks like a bomb went off and I’m too tired to even cook, so I grab Skip the Dishes or don’t eat.  This is not me!  This isn’t who I am!

For this On Health : The World of Functional Medicine series – I’m working with Dr. Binning as I document my journey and quest to get some answers via functional medicine.

To bring you up to date, just so you know what I’ve been working on so far:

  • we’ve gone through diet (gluten, organic eating, reading labels, understanding fats and GMOs).
  • talked about digestion and detoxification
  • discussed hormones and the importance of exercise
  • went over sleep, circadian rhythm
  • and ways of eliminating unnecessary stressors on the body while it tries to heal and repair itself.

I have eliminated dairy from my diet (that wasn’t too hard, I already only are cheese on occasion and sometimes had cream in my coffee).  I’ve reduced the amount of gluten I intake.  I’ve stopped drinking regular coffee and have switched to one that contains rare organic Ganoderma lucidum spores powder, used for thousands of years for its immune benefits (Organo™ Premium Gourmet Organic King of Coffee).  And I am trying to eat mainly organic foods.

I have just recently competed my fecal and urine collections.  So, once these results are received, Satdip will be going over the results and what next steps are …

Why am I doing this?  

I’m doing this because I believe functional and integrative medicines are the future of medicine. Physicians need to begin to take a more holistic approach to treating patients, no longer just concentrating on treating the symptom, the diagnosis or the disease!

I work with 3 different physicians in the course of my 9-5 and I deal with family doctors and specialists all day long and the large majority of them believe that Western medicine is the ONLY way to go.

I also feel that that most physicians do not even leave the door open for any kind of alternatives.  In fact, I see it quite often when I am speaking with my claimants. I will often inquire if they are considering any other treatment modalities such as chiropractic, naturopathy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine or functional medicine and the large majority of the time the claimant tells me their doctor has advised against it! Shouldn’t the most important thing to any doctor be the well being of their patient? And, if that means integrated treatment – then so be it.

person holding green leafed plant
Photo by Chokniti Khongchum on

Stay tuned for next week’s update, the tests should be back … let’s see what they reveal about my over all health and what we’re going to do about getting me back to feeling “normal” again – I’m leaving in 3 months for my year long adventure all around South East Asia and I need to feel fit as a fiddle – I have friends and fam who will not let me leave the county until I feel well again.

If you’re interested in reading the other 2 blogs on my functional 
health journey, you can find them here:

What are your thoughts on naturopathy?  Functional medicine?  Alternative medicines?  

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