(Before reading this post, be sure to check out A Case Study in Autoimmune Disease – Part 2 – Evaluation, where Dr. Ian gives an overview of Molly’s initial test results.)
We began a course of brain-based therapy in the office called “neurologic rehabilitation.” Basically, we took the findings from her exam and began to customize brain-based exercises she could repeat at home after being taught in office which targeted the weaknesses that were creating symptoms and vicious cycles. In particular, we targeted her parietal lobe and vagus nerve/brain stem. She noted that within weeks of starting the therapy, she was digesting better and seemed less preoccupied with her body image. This was critical because when doing deep dietary intervention, there is always the possibility of doing more harm than good. Even though she was not perfect on keeping up with the home-based exercises, it appears what we did in office significantly helped her.
Molly was an avid runner and because of a chronic knee and hip issue, she was prevented from her favorite pastime, jogging. This was her outlet for stress. We began breaking up scar tissue with our shockwave device, doing gentle chiropractic adjustments, and using muscle activation techniques to get her flexibility up and pain relieved. We got her back on the trail after about 6 weeks and slowly increased her miles so she could get the benefits of exercise. I think Molly may have been most excited about this, but the reality was as her fatigue went away, she immediately wanted to become more active. Cortisol management through exercise may be one of the most effective ways of helping my clients so this was very satisfying to watch her improve and get back on the trail.
|Previous||8 Week Follow Up||16 Week Follow Up|
|TSH||1.2 (normal!)||Not repeated||Not tested|
|Vitamin D||31||95 (Too high, dose adjusted down)||Not tested|
|Ferritin||15||16 (Started iron supplementation and gave dietary recommendations)||47|
|Eosinophils||5||7 (Determined she was reacting to a few specific foods in her diet)||3|
|EBV||15.4||15.6||19.1 (Not unusual to see a mild increase before it drops)|
|Candida Abs IgA +||Normal|
As you can see, her hormone reserve (DHEA-S) has come up (from 37 to 81) and she is showing a strong ovulation response! Her husband is happy the testosterone came up from 3.8 to 6.3 (she is too!) and her estrogens have started to recover. Overall, she noted an improved menstrual cycle with fewer cramps and less irritability.
Lessons and Takeaways
Molly was a complicated case, but she is a quintessential example of how the functional medicine model works. She was suffering from a disorganized immune system brought on by stress from hormones, gut, dietary imbalances and an inability to manage her stress load. Even though it sounds complicated, the reality is, we changed her diet with guidance from our nutritionist, customized supplementation based on her labs, used some basic in-office therapies like PeMF, worked through her structural problems and gave her the confidence through repeat labs and the resolution of her symptoms that she was back on track in life! She came to us frustrated, upset and let down by her western medical providers. I knew because of her motivation and initial blood work and exam findings we could change her life. But don’t take it from me; below is her testimonial on her results to date.
“I can’t recommend Dr. Ian and the rest of the staff at [Dr. Autoimmune] enough–they have truly changed my life. I came in earlier this year for help with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I had recently discovered the autoimmune origins of my hypothyroidism and decided to see whether there was any truth to the idea that nutrition and lifestyle changes could actually have a noticeable effect on how I felt. After following through on an elimination diet (and eliminating gluten for good), taking the supplements Dr. Ian and Natalie suggested, and doing neurofeedback, I can honestly say I’ve never felt this good–ever. I thought feeling low energy and motivation was just a part of my personality, but after almost five months of working with the team here, I can see that’s not the case. I have a level of energy that amazes me most days, which has affected my work life and relationships for the better, plus my generalized anxiety has quieted down. I can’t shut up to my friends and family about how much better feel, and the team at Dr. Autoimmune is to thank for that. From Joy and Danielle at the front desk, to Natalie the nutritionist, to Dr. Ian, I felt seen, cared for, and consistently prioritized during my whole treatment. The best investment I’ve ever made!”