Two words -- functional medicine. This has been the answer to the questions I've had regarding my pressing health condition.
For nearly a year and a half I have been questioning, up late searching online for answers to my increasingly difficult and mysterious fatigue issues. Could I have chronic fatigue or adrenal fatigue? How will I ever recover and how can I take care of my family if I can't even take care of myself?
How? And why was this happening again?
After completing the Clean Program (once in December 2014 and again in January 2015), I felt better and found that my energy levels normalized. However, by the end of April 2015 I found myself slipping back to complete uselessness. My debilitating fatigue returned but this time with a vengeance! I was pretty much stuck back in bed spring and summer of this year. Traveling was out of the question and most Sundays I could not muster the strength to attend Mass.
You could say that I was homebound. My dear husband and son were on their own most days. Martin was mama and daddy to our son as well as managed to work a full time job. By the grace of God, he was guided and given the strength to persevere during those tough times.
I believe that our faith guided us to functional medicine. I was curious about an ad on the back of the church bulletin that read "Center for Holistic Medicine".
I was familiar with functional medicine because I had learned about it in Clean by Dr. Junger. In one of the last chapters, he highly recommends seeing a functional medicine doctor especially if you do not feel better after completing the Clean Program. He asserts that this could mean that there are issues that need to be addressed before you can reach optimal health.
I looked up the doctor who heads the Center for Holistic Medicine on the functional medicine website and sure enough she was listed as an accredited functional medicine doctor.
For those who have never heard of functional medicine, it is also known as integrative or holistic medicine which integrates western and eastern medicine. Many functional medicine doctors were trained in traditional medicine but found drawbacks in their practice. These doctors wanted answers to give to their patients and desired to delve deeper to get to the root of their patients' health problems. The pill for an ill method was no longer a viable solution to help their patients' needs so these doctors have taken courses in functional medicine and are certified. In my opinion you get the best of both worlds. In this kind of medicine, west meets east, and with this awesome knowledge these doctors help patients get to the root of the problem.
No more patient packed waiting areas at clinics and no more short fifteen minute visits talking with the doctor. Instead expected wait times are very minimal and one on one time with the doctor could last between 60 to 90 minutes! (I spent 90 minutes at my first functional medicine appointment.)
I think that the above scenario is the most ideal. Patients deserve better treatment methods and answers. The beauty of functional medicine is that practitioners can recommend effective options other than over-the-counter drugs, prescription medicines, and surgery. They can also administer specialized testing and get to the bottom of your health issues.
By no means am I downgrading western medicine. Western medicine is needed for some cases as it can save lives as it has in the past for my own mom! I'm saying that having knowledge in both western and eastern medicine can be very beneficial in determining the best course of action for patients.
Over the next weeks I will be sharing my experience with functional medicine, my test results, and how functional medicine has helped me to the path of recovery.
If it was not for the knowledge that I've gotten from functional medicine, I would be on antidepressants and possibly other medications right now. Who knows what side effects these medicines could have caused?
I am extremely grateful to the Holy Spirit for leading me to functional medicine and to the functional medicine doctor who is treating me as well as my family and loved ones who support and love me.
In my experience functional medicine has been a Godsend. If you are suffering from an illness or condition that isn't getting any better or can't seem to be diagnosed properly, I would encourage you to see a functional medicine doctor.
Thanks be to God, I am definitely on the road to recovery as I feel that my energy levels have lifted and I can function on a daily basis. As I am hopeful that I will make a full recovery in the months ahead, I will continue to give updates about my progress.
Dr. Katarzyna Ferraro M.D. (Dr. Kathy)
9 Brookwood Avenue
Carlisle, PA 17015
Phone: (717) 243-0616
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