On October 23rd I went to see Dr. Maggie... a Naturopathic Doctor. After years of trusting the western medical system with no answers other than a "we have no idea, guess you have to live with it", I threw up my hands and did a metaphorical "to hell with you" and promptly booked an appointment with Dr. Maggie.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I know I went in prepared to disbelieve almost every word she said and was prepared to stand strong against any "cleanses" or diet restrictions. My diet is restricted enough thank you and my health can't really take any harsh cleanses (I'm actually firmly opposed cleansing in the dietary manner, but that's for another discussion... maybe with a Dietician's input).
I was pleasantly surprised at the same time as not.
I sweated a lot during the 1hr45min interview. I was wildly uncomfortable, and I'm not sure why other than she must have had the heat turned WAY up in her office.
In any case, she actually listened to what I had to say, validated that it sucks ass to live this way, and made some interesting connections between the emergence of my Reflux/IBS and hormones. I'm a little sketchy on her explanation that should be stomach not be functioning properly that my hormones aren't being processed and filtered from there to my liver/kidneys (with a build up feedback loop back to my pituitary gland). But hey, everything is connected right? And I know more than most just how much stress can manifest physically in the weirdest ways (stomach pain, hives). So why not?
She agreed to not restricting my diet and EVEN conceded to my cheese needs. Our compromise, stop putting milk in my coffee (it was minimal anyway, and so now I just dump two tablespoons of organic fair trade chocolate powder instead), and go every other day without cheese. She also recommended I eat more cruciferous vegetables to stimulate... some sort of something (I'm eating brocoli, kale and cauliflower like it's the bee's knees). According to wikipedia they can be suppress the thyroid gland... so maybe I should stop eating them raw...
Did you know that Naturopathic Doctors are all about the supplements? I mean, I kinda knew, but in case it wasn't obvious here's what I've been prescribed:
1. YOGA- I totally went on a hiatus while I was feeling less than optimal. I think this is understandable, and tonight was my reintroduction. Regardless, I need yoga to keep my stress levels down and my IBS under control. Done and done.
2. 1 teaspoon of disgusting tasting vitamin complex tincture before bed. They have created at their clinic and I have no idea what is in it. I should ask at my next appointment. Check.
3. 1 Vitamin B6 at lunch time on a full stomach. Unlike Andrew, I am not motivated to take vitamins (or eat vegetables) that make my pee turn colour. It's creepy. Sadly, I can't remember why she recommended this, other than I think it goes along with the cruciferous vegetables... something to do with stimulating hormones or something. (I was completely exhausted by the end of the appointment, most wasn't fully processed).
4. Probiotics twice daily with meals. This I've been abismal at keeping. Mostly because they have to be refrigerated and I kept either forgetting them at home or at work. My new solution is to have split the B6 and probiotics into two stashes, one for home and one for work.
5. A potential hormone test that would cost another 250$ once my cycle evens out after stopping the pill. I'm still on the fence about this one, she seemed quite certain that conventional hormone testing weren't as sensitive as their clinic's tests would be (from a saliva sample). I'm thinking this is a question for my Gynecologist...
6. On day one of my new cycle, begin taking my temperature each morning before I even get out of bed. This is actually a lot trickier than it sounds, since I have a lot of "fake-out!!" when it comes to my cycle...
My current status? This is the first month in about a year where I went a full 17 days with zero symptoms. I was hoping for a full 21, but I'll take 17 over 8-10 any day! Whether it's placebo effect, or the tincture (I've been WAY to inconsistent for it to be B6 or probiotic), but really... do I care at this point?
Almost 2 hours after I first walked in her office and a good 275$ later (more than half of that will be covered by my medical plan), and just her plan made me feel better. I still have appointments with my Gynecologist and GP, but perhaps this is an important compliment to my journey.
Any thoughts on the Naturopathic process? Experiences, suggestions?
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