Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

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JuliusFC
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Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by JuliusFC » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:20 am

Does anyone have any experience going to a functional medicine doctor?

Briefly, I am months away from FI, but due to a chronic illness the freedom that FI was to bring has become irrelevant as I will not be able to do anything I had planned (FWIW, not lifestyle related and my lifestyle has MDs and specialists perplexed about how I have this illness in the first place; sometimes bad luck really does just happen even if you "do everything right").

Where I live, you pay out of pocket for these types of doctors (a few thousand dollars commitment up front). I would give up my entire FI nest egg in a heartbeat to get my health back, so my concern is not the money (insert don’t know what you've got til it’s gone clichés here…). My concern is that they perhaps don’t get the results they claim they do. I’ve spent a lot of money over the past year on alternative practitioners all claiming to be able to help but with zero positive results.

I realize situations and illnesses are different, of course, but I am curious what people's general experiences have been, if any, with functional medicine practitioners.

Michael_00005
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by Michael_00005 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:43 pm

Sorry to hear that Julius. You are correct, good health is vastly underrated when we are young! If you don't mind sharing, what is the issue?

I've been to a functional doctor, but it was NOT for a chronic aliment... soft tissue damage to a foot while playing Volleyball. Personally I was not impressed, but it's probably more important to look at the person rather than profession.

If a serious health issue were to arise, I'd recommend something like what is listed below. But that would depend on your preference, if you are into allopathic medicine your interests would likely go in a different dirrection.

https://hippocratesinst.org/?gclid=Cj0K ... gKEALw_wcB

http://www.healthpromoting.com/clinic-services

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKBMFCFYe4A

http://www.neurosomaticeducators.com/

This health documentary lists several health clinics in the US:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRKbtWblICE

It's also worth noting, most think they follow a healthy lifestyle, which is not true in reallity.

Smashter
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by Smashter » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:05 am

I went to a functional medicine doctor three years ago to get a general assessment, to talk about some nagging sleep issues, and to see if there were parts of my diet I could be optimizing. TLDR; I spent a ton of money and found it to be a waste of time.

The doctor was nice enough and really wanted to help me, but I'm not sure he knew how. We talked about my health history for a while, and he asked a lot of questions that a "normal" doctor doesn't usually take the time to ask. That was nice, but also expected since I was paying about $500 for the hour consultation, and it wasn't covered by insurance. (oh, to have been on the ERE train back then.)

The upshot of our visit was that he wanted to run a bunch of blood tests. At our follow up visit, we spent most of the session going through my food sensitivity panel (IgE antibody testing.) According to the test, innocuous foods I'd never had issues with, like bananas, green beans, and garlic were "not safe" for me. We put together a plan to avoid my problem foods.

We also went line by line through the rest of my blood panel. This basically culminated in him going "well, you have no overt autoimmunity." There was no actionable takeaways, though I guess I gained some peace of mind. That said, I could have learned that from a routine physical.

Also, I later did a bunch of research into IgE testing and found that it does not have a good reputation. It doesn't seem to be accurate in determining food sensitivities. I didn't follow my new, restrictive, diet plan for very long.

I think doing a deep research dive on my own would have been just as effective as anything this guy could have told me.

JuliusFC
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by JuliusFC » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:32 pm

Michael_00005, Thank you for your response. I did not see it until today and apologize for not replying. I've been told I have IBS, which seems to be the diagnosis they give instead of just saying "we have no idea". I will take a look at your links over lunch today. I'm in Canada, but I'm sure some of the information will still be useful. Believe me, I'm not claiming to have the healthiest lifestyle out there...I'm just saying that I never ate or drank (or smoked) things that doctors throw out as the cause of GI issues, such as packaged foods, fast food, coffee, soda, and so on. Once they ask you about low-hanging fruit like that, they seem to have no other answers.

Smashter, Thanks for sharing your story. I had similar tests to yours at a Naturopathic doctor and have so far been unimpressed with the results of the hugely restrictive diet changes and the (limited understanding I have of the) science behind the food sensitivity testing (IgG and IgE). It seems obvious that the foods I ate regularly would show up as having antibodies in the blood and the foods I never or rarely ate would not, but that wouldn't necessarily mean a sensitivity. I have not had the miracle cure that others seem to have when they eliminated the bad foods. I would happily eat a restrictive diet for the rest of my life if it made me feel better, but it's just not doing that.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:22 am

I would recommend going to a IBS forum. And some other condition specific forums. (Fora?)

My point being that you don't have a testable diagnosis. You have guesses. Sure, professional guesses, but guesses. So reading the stories of people who have gone down the path you expect to follow may be extremely valuable to you. Read as they talk about symptoms, and the misadventures of diagnosis. And you will read about cases of, "thought it was IBS, turned out to be X" stories. This is what you are looking for. Those stories have the diagnosis and test and symptoms. Then, when next you go see a Dr, bring the list you have compiled of possibilities, and tests, and discuss your options. This is the only way I have gotten better results from doctors. Give them the list of answers, and they seem to eliminate a few on their own, then order the tests. And test results are what you need.

Once you have those, going back to the forum will give you some perspective on the results. I doubt it will work every time, but it's a safer bet than just picking another doctor.

JuliusFC
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by JuliusFC » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:27 am

Riggerjack, Thanks for your response. I have done all of the things that you mention and there is nothing more that I can get from the traditional medical system here (it's been about 18 months). That's why I was contemplating a functional medicine doctor. It was the logical next step where some people in the relevant forums had seen positive results. I was just looking for people's general experience with these types of doctors and not anything specific to my condition (which is why I didn't include it in my original post, but Michael asked what it was) because this would be the most expensive "alternative" practitioner yet.

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chenda
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by chenda » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:19 am

I had not heard the term functional medicine before - I thought you meant a competent doctor.

But yes I did go to one, a psychiatrist who had branch into alternative medicine with a focus on diet and nutrition for treating mental health. 'Sometimes I think I risking my medical licence doing this' he told me during our first meeting, but he did a batch of tests and recommended diet changes and supplements. I was a bit skeptical of some of his ideas but my health did radically improve following his advice, fwiw.

If you want to PM me I can give you more info.

Douglas
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by Douglas » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:17 am

Based on the information provided I highly recommend reading all books by T Colin Campbell. If you follow a plant based diet 100% it will be your best chance to stop your regression and reverse the disease. Conducted under medical supervision there will be zero negative side affects. Any good functional medicine doctor would say the same.

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finity
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by finity » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:38 pm

I‘d go very low carb for 2-4 weeks.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2693479/
https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/benefits/ibs

May or may not work. Worth a try I think.

JuliusFC
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by JuliusFC » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:48 pm

Thanks Douglas. I was vegan for 10 years (and was when this started). It is not the magical solution for me that it can be for others. (And yes, I was a whole-foods vegan, not an Oreos and fake hot dogs vegan. :) )

Hi finity. Thank you for sharing that information. I started on on a low-carb diet around February. As I was vegan I obviously ate a lot of carbs and this was a drastic change in eating and cooking. It has not been successful for me, but I am still on it as the naturopath says that I need to give it more time to work (12-18 months according to her). I have my doubts as most people seem to feel some results within 24-72 hours when they change their diet (to something that works for them) but I am continuing for lack of any other option right now (and lack of any other things I've tried having any noticeable results either).

Douglas
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by Douglas » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:54 pm

If a plant based diet will not work for you then I would consult a geneticist and get your exome sequenced and screened for genetic disorders. This will cost you almost $10,000 though and is not guaranteed to result in a diagnosis. Good luck.

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finity
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by finity » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:25 am

You could kickstart it even more with a water fast for a few days - Give your body the time to recover. Food often means damage to your body. If your body is healthy it‘s no problem, but you‘re damaged. The body can repair itself very quickly if the damaging stops. (You should probably consult a doc when doing a water fast though)

RealPerson
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by RealPerson » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:22 am

Douglas wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:17 am
Based on the information provided I highly recommend reading all books by T Colin Campbell.
FWIW I have a friend who is a PhD in epidemiology and biostatistics. He is the head of the department of biostatistics and epidemiology of one of the most prestigious universities in the US. He specializes in study designs and analyses like the China Study. He told me that Campbell should do what he understands, which clearly does not include large epidemiological studies (Campbell is a biochemist). The study design and statistical analysis of Campbell's studies are so far off the mark that his data and conclusions are meaningless. I don't know either way. Just passing the info along.

Michael_00005
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by Michael_00005 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:14 pm

removed

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sl-owl-orris
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by sl-owl-orris » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:04 pm

I don't have experience with functional doctors but I have some second hand experience with IBS. I know this is not what you asked for, so disregard if not applicable to you. Just throwing some ideas in case you didn't come across them already.

Have you tried low FODMAP diet? It has many variations and seems to help many people with symptoms of IBS. Even if you don't have IBS it can improve your life quality.

Another suggestion would be to see if this is not SIBO. It's also difficult to diagnose, but less so than IBS. They can check your gut flora which can give them a clue. They can also give you an antibiotic which has 60% chance of helping. If you feel better after - it worked and that confirms diagnosis. If not, it can still be SIBO. There is also low FODMAP diet specifically for SIBO.

Another thing- not sure what your symptoms are, but check if you have underacidic stomach. Most doctors only check for overacidity, but it may be the case that your stomach doesn't produce enough acid.

Lastly, check this link in case anything there helps:
https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/irrit ... -syndrome/

Good luck and don't stop looking for a way to have a healthy life. All the best!

zarathustra
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by zarathustra » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:59 am

I'm coming from a very biased position here, but one with a few years of experience now as a nutritional therapy practitioner (my chosen post-ERE career) . . .

I love the idea of Functional Doctors/Naturopaths, but I find that many of them still lean on a lot of flawed tests (the IgE panel drives me BONKERS), they still focus on pet projects, dogmatic diets, have very narrow focuses, and treat the symptoms far more than the foundational causes and still use diet as a small part of an overall "treatment" and they are incredibly expensive.

I find that starting with the FOUNDATIONS of health and working on getting those functioning really well is the most powerful strategy and works to heal you in such a way that is long-term and doesn't rely on supplements and crazy expensive treatments. I say this a lot, the most important things to focus on are the following, and in this order:

(1) hydration
(2) sleep
(3) digestion (you could eat the most perfect diet but if you aren't digesting and absorbing it, what is the use? this is how you get your nutrients!)

If you get those things right and also reduce lifestyle stress, you will see massive improvements.

If you are having digestive dysfunction, which is the root of most disease according to Hippocrates (and logic), I would suggest going on a digestive healing protocol and the very best one is GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) by the Russian/British Neurologist Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I am a certified GAPS practitioner and have used this protocol with many of my nutritional therapy clients (I focus on neurological and digestive conditions in my practice) and it helps 100% of my IBS clients.

100% I am NOT kidding or being hyperbolic.

I used it myself to recover from my brain injury. Chronic URQ pain? Erased by GAPS. Inflammation? Erased by GAPS. Bloat? Constipation/Diarrhea? All of it. It's an incredibly powerful protocol, but it does take strictness and some work. Please reach out if you want to know more.

Here are some quick links/videos:
www.gaps.me - she is not big on technology, as you can tell, but she's amazing.
This video series of a lecture she gave: [https://youtu.be/EkbjJbf4WqE]

Try this first before spending a bunch more money and please please let me know how it's going!

Stahlmann
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:02 pm

zarathustra wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:59 am
(3) digestion (you could eat the most perfect diet but if you aren't digesting and absorbing it, what is the use? this is how you get your nutrients!)
interesting insight.
I personally like wipe test.
in system view you can save on toilet paper.

JuliusFC
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Re: Anyone gone to a functional medicine doctor?

Post by JuliusFC » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:19 pm

@sl-owl-orris, Thank you for posting that information. I did try FODMAP for a couple of months and did not get any results from it. I asked the gastroenterologist I saw last year about SIBO and parasites and low acid and other possibilities and he could not have been less interested. He was a locum and I will be seeing the doctor I was actually referred to later this month. She apparently tries a tad harder and I planned to ask her about just taking Xifaxin and seeing what happens, in addition to asking her about other possible testing. I have lost a considerable percentage of body weight since this has happened, which you would think would be a pretty good indicator my body is no longer absorbing nutrients properly, but the GI doctor just shrugged about that.

@zarathustra, I appreciate your input and info. You have described my current naturopath quite accurately. For her, everything is about the (questionable in my unqualified opinion) food allergy test and her "fix" is the same no matter what you come to her with it seems. I did try GAPS (prior to the naturopath) but did not see any results from it. I used her book "Gut and psychology syndrome". It was over a year ago now so I don't remember fully of course, but I think I followed it properly. It was only for a couple of months though. Maybe I didn't give it enough time. And maybe I didn't do it properly. My GP referred me to a dietician, who I'll also finally be seeing this month, as she wants me to try FODMAP again (with this person's help, although I didn't think FODMAP was really that hard, but anyway...). Maybe I'll ask her about trying GAPS instead. The referral is through the local hospital and all the intake forms were targeted to people looking to lose weight, so I'm not sure how much experience this person has with helping people with problems other than being overweight.

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