My Story and Journey into Functional Medicine

Posted on April 24, 2019 at 1:10 pm

My Functional Medicine journey is a personal one; I have experienced the health benefits first hand. It began when I was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition (Sjogren’s syndrome) after an acute episode of joint inflammation. I remained reasonably healthy (depending on how we define healthy) for years, although I suffered with fatigue and frequent colds/flu, and needed 3 or 4 courses of anti-biotics to get through the colder months. However, no major intervention was required until three years ago. At this time, I had a particularly rough winter with a chest infection. My lung function tests showed areas of concern, and I was advised to take steroids.

However, the situation worsened even before I had a chance to process this. I was rushed to hospital with acute abdominal pain due to an intestinal obstruction and needed an emergency laparotomy. This revealed nodules in my peritoneum and small intestine. There was a hush within the surgical team, who expected the worst (perhaps cancer).

After a week’s agonising wait, I was diagnosed with abdominal Tuberculosis and commenced an anti-TB regime. This was a very difficult phase. I didn’t have much left in me after the operation; I quickly developed serious side-effects and needed another hospitalisation, with gradual introduction and building up of the anti-TB medications.

I was able to tolerate this to some extent, although during the following nine months developed a number of side-effects such as mouth ulcers (I could only eat yoghurt for a few days), deranged liver, fatigue and breathlessness. The breathlessness worsened until I was unable to climb stairs without taking a break or talk whilst walking. More tests indicated under functioning lungs, perhaps due to the auto-immune condition. I had to be commenced on high dose steroids and immunosuppression infusions.

I also had to go on anti-anxiety medication. After further 5 months of these medications, and every possible side-effect including loss of appetite (I do love my food generally!), bone pains and fatigue I decided to take a different approach.

Finding functional medicine and Ayurveda

The last straw was the infusion on the day of my daughter’s birthday – here I was lying in a dark bedroom, whilst I should have been partying with my family. I decided there must be another way. After a lot of research, I was drawn towards Ayurveda, which addresses the root cause of disease rather than focusing on its symptoms.

I had my first Panchakarma (a multi-step traditional Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenating therapy), and felt connected back to myself and my body. I began to eat and live in tune with my body and emotions. I was directed towards Functional Medicine through my Ayurveda Consultant, Sharon who sensed that I was also frustrated by my career at the time, where the expected outcome was a quick fix via medication. Everything about Functional Medicine felt very me.

Three years on, here I am, healthy and full of energy, a fully qualified Functional Medicine Practitioner. I walk the talk and live a meaningful life with purpose. I am pleased to write that I have not used any medications for nearly three years, not even a paracetamol. I have had no sick days. I am happy, content and keen to pass on my knowledge to people who are on a similar health journey, or who wish to be.

To discuss your need you can always contact me or call me at 01604 432966.