Functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. It integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.
Imagine being “allergic” to things as basic as exercise or the sun. Now read on about how the SHAPE Program brought much-needed healing.
In August 2014, our 29-year old female patient, SW, went from weighing 165 lbs., being an avid weight-lifter and jogging five miles every other day to suddenly not being able to walk down the block without nearly passing out. In a matter of two months she had gained thirty pounds. Muscle turned to fat while strength and stamina disappeared. Primary symptoms included chronic full-body hives, asthma, GERD, IBD/digestive issues, extreme fatigue and full-body pain along with migraines and extreme hand weakness. Her entire body was going on strike!
A year later, after seeing multiple specialists in the fields of rheumatology, gastroenterology and allergy, and having many lab tests and even a liver biopsy, SW was diagnosed with Autoimmune Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria with exercise, heat and sunlight being the main triggers. Additional diagnoses included exercise-induced anaphylaxis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, mal-absorption disorder and high cholesterol.
Despite trying a variety of diet programs and taking prescription diet pills, SW was not able to lose weight. The extensive testing did not provide an explanation for why her body was in a highly inflammatory state. The prescribed medications did not alleviate many of her symptoms. SW decided to follow a lead to start the SHAPE Program.
Two months into the program, along with some strategic supplements, SW is seeing what is known as many “non-scale victories.” She has learned which foods she cannot tolerate (dairy, gluten, raw veggies and some nightshades). Her GERD, digestive issues, migraines and the weakness in her hands are gone. The full body pain and fatigue have shown great improvement and the hives are mostly limited to only when she is exposed to heat sources.
SW has worked up to walking approximately 15 minutes for up to three consecutive days without complications or feeling like she needs the whole next day to recover from the walk. The biggest victory from SW’s perspective is her improved recovery time. When she does get a flare up, she is back on her feet within 24-48 hours. Prior to the SHAPE Program, SW would be out for close to a week and actively missing work. SW has seen a miraculous transformation and is thankful for the SHAPE Program. She is looking forward to seeing the weight loss reward once her body has healed itself enough.
Submitted by Laura Hobbs, PA