Why am I leaving the practice of conventional medicine to do health and wellness coaching?
That’s a great question.
I have worked in the medical field for 47 years as a nurse/nurse practitioner/nurse midwife.
I still work per diem (as needed) in an urgent care and industrial primary care wellness clinic.
But, my heart and soul is in the prevention of chronic disease and maintenance of health.
Isn’t that what is done in conventional medicine? NO!
About 3 years ago, I had some routine testing done. My cholesterol was over 200 and my LDL was in the 130’s. My LDL had been stable there for a decade. I had just turned 65 years old. By the calculator that is used to determine whether or not someone “might benefit” from the use of a statin, I was called and told I should probably use a statin. No one took into consideration that my fasting blood sugar was 113 (100 -125)which signifies glucose intolerance. And, my A1C was 6.1. Six or more is Metabolic Syndrome. The use of a statin would have made me diabetic. Statins are known to affect carbohydrate metabolism in susceptible people. I was Obese by clinical standards. I was in a stressful job. My diet was the standard American diet with a slight attempt to eat healthily. I tried to get 10,000 steps in a date but could never get over 8200 and generally was lucky to get 5,000.
I was not treated as an individual. I was treated as everyone walking int he door with an elevated cholesterol was treated. They use standardized guidelines. These are the guidelines to which health care providers are held in a court of law.
I knew, if I followed these guidelines for myself, I would become diabetic. I would be placed on Metformin and without changing my lifestyle, it would progress to insulin. By the way, I also took blood pressure medicine, an antidepressant, and an anxiety medication.
My family history was positive for early onset heart disease, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. I found out recently that I have a genetic predisposition to all of these things through the MTHFR genetic mutation with a double copy of T. This has to do with how I metabolize B vitamins (or don’t metabolize) which increases my risk of cardiovascular disease and includes symptoms of hypertension, anxiety, and depression. My inflammatory markers are also slightly elevated. No one else ever checked these before my current provider.
Thankfully, I decided to research the way I could be healthier without taking a bunch of medicine (which generally leads to taking more medicine but does not resolve the chronic illness).
First of all, I lost my stressful job. Yup, I was fired. The best thing that ever happened to me. I didn’t shed a tear. January 13th? or 14th, 2016 was the beginning of my new life. I vowed NEVER to work full time in medicine again. Thankfully I was 62 so I could collect social security which decreased some of the financial stress.
I started seeing a chiropractor who does “Nutritional Response Testing”. It’s a type of muscle testing that tells him what nutrients I am deficient in. I started taking whole food supplements. I changed my diet slightly. Through the supplements and other minor lifestyle changes, I was able to discontinue my blood pressure meds. I weened from my antidepressants and benzodiazepines. I was confident that there had to be a better way. By the way, I lost 10 pounds just leaving the stressful job and getting adequate sleep.
In the summer of 2017, in my continued search for health/wellness, I came across several books on grain-free diets and high-fat diets. The book that resonated with me the most was “Eat Fat, Get Thin” by Mark Hyman MD. I am a meat eater and I enjoy fatty foods. I read most of the book (I didn’t get into the menu ideas though I probably should) and adopted some of the things he recommended. I also read “The End of Alzheimer’s” by Dale Bredesen MD. He mentioned many of the same things that Dr. Hyman mentioned. The advice from these two books allowed me to fashion my health and wellness plan so that I lost an additional 20 pounds and I am not longer prediabetic. I am still insulin resistant but things are better.
So what does all of this have to do with my leaving the conventional medicine scene to practice as a health and wellness coach with training in functional medicine?
I know that in the conventional medicine arena, I can’t help anyone. I can throw pills at symptoms and see patients every 8 minutes. Even my integrative medicine doc, who spends time with me, only explains labs and throws supplements at the lab markers.
No one is there to keep me accountable nor is anyone helping me figure out the why. I could say “well, I’m MTHFR TT positive. It’s in my genes”. There are things to turn off those genes. I have already lived past the age of death of my mom, dad and maternal grandmother.
In my never-ending thirst for knowledge, I know I can help myself and others to increase their level of wellness and decrease their dependence on pharmaceuticals.
I know that functional medicine works for chronic disease.
I also know the importance of credentialing so I am a board-certified nurse coach and will soon finish my functional medicine coaching course and sit for international accreditation.
To learn more about how I can help you reach your wellness goals email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 419 819 9181