My most recent health journey, healing mold toxicity through functional medicine, has reminded me a lot of my rock bottom in 2006. That was the year I was diagnosed Gluten Intolerant. My health had hit an all time low. I was bed ridden for two weeks with 104 fever and blisters in my mouth and throat. In those two weeks I also lost 15 pounds and half my hair. Before that point in my life, I had never fully taken responsibility for the way my lifestyle could be contributing to my health. The recent state of my health forced me to take a good look at how I was living my life yet again.
The trigger for my most recent health bump began in October 2017. That month Pegs and I were invited on a culinary retreat to Italy with Jovial (you can read all about out amazing trip HERE!). Unfortunately, while we were in Italy, we were served a slice of glutinous pizza. My symptoms of gluten intolerance leave me with a weakened immune system. After two weeks away, indulging in all the Italian cuisines, paired with a long travel day and eating a little bit of gluten, it was a recipe for disaster. By the time I got off the plane at LAX I was not feeling great. What began as a nasty cold spiraled into a yearlong struggle with chronic congestion and fatigue.
In February of 2018 I began my Functional Medicine Coaching certification program (FMCA). It was at that time I really began to understand the negative effects this chronic congestion and fatigue could have on my health in the long run. There were so many possible factors that could be contributing to my current state of health. As I had learned, the best way to figure out what was going on inside was to get tested for a wide variety of possibilities and get to the root of the problem.
Functional Medicine is different from Allopathic, or Western Medicine, in that it is searching to understand the root cause of health issues. It focuses on individual-based healing protocols, as well as prevention and longevity. It uses a wide range of healing modalities that is specific to each individual patient that includes quality of sleep, meditation, exercise, and meaningful relationships. Functional Medicine has proven that all of these factors contribute to our overall health. Mental and emotional health is equally important and physical health. Without one you can’t fully have the other. Read more about functional medicine HERE.
Unfortunately, Functional Medicine is still viewed as a concierge health service and is not covered by most insurance companies. From February to October 2018, I researched all the functional doctors in the Los Angeles area. One of the amazing things of being a student in FMCA was the list of recognized functional doctors in our area. I began trying to find one that took insurance. After a horrible appointment with a local functional doctor in Redondo Beach, I was feeling extremely discouraged. The cost of the initial consults was anywhere from $250-$750 dollars and I didn’t have the budget to see as many as I would like.
Some doctors gave a free 15-minute consultation before the initial appointment. This initial phone conversation is how I found my current Functional Doctor, Dr. Lekkos. He was generous with his time, going over our 15 minutes on our call, and made me feel extremely cared for. His assistant Betsy was also extremely responsive and pleasant to communication with. The cherry on top, was in our very first appointment, Dr. Lekkos spent two hours going over my entire health history and asking throughout questions about my life – things I wouldn’t have thought could have been contributing to my health.
I am beyond grateful for Dr. Lekkos and my newly acquired education in functional medicine. I have gained the confidence to be my own advocate for optimal health and demand quality health care – even if that means saving up to pay out of pocket.
Pegs has always taught to invest in your health now versus spending your money on hospital bills in your “golden years” ~ prevention is key!
What I learned from Dr. Lekkos, aside from my mold toxicity, is how great my blood and other lab results were! He said my lifestyle had completely reversed any signs of previously diagnosed gluten intolerance, auto-immunity, and hypothyroid. Some of the key factors to my healthy lifestyle include a low-grain gluten-free balanced diet, daily activity/exercise, stress management and quality sleep.
These past few months I have learned so much. The combination of working with a Functional Doctor myself, paired with my coaching certificate, I fully understand the benefits of additional support. Health issues are physically and emotionally draining. Having someone to support you in between doctor visits, is something I myself wish I had! Being able to offer my service and help others on their own healing journey LIGHTS ME UP!
If you are curious what working with a Functional Doctor looks like:
- I created a vlog of the past 3 months working with Dr. Lekkos. Watch above!
- Read more about Functional Medicine from Dr Mark Hyman, head of Cleveland Clinic HERE!.
If you are interested in Health Coaching:
- I would love to work with you! To learn more about health coaching + my coaching sessions, please email me ~ [email protected]
If you are interested in talking to your doctor about the tests I did:
- Blood work ~ Quest / LabCorp / Genova / Alletess / Cyrex labs
- DUTCH full hormone panel urine test
- Genova GI Effects stool sample
- Alletess food sensitivity
Healing is not linear! Our health will go in waves throughout our lives. The best thing we can do to prevent hitting a “rock bottom” is what we choose to do daily. This is exactly why Pegs and I share what we do with you here on Curry Girls Kitchen. Please do not hesitate to reach out. We love hearing from you!