Gut Check: A Case Study

1572

PATIENTS: 

Lynn Yeldell
Age: 43
Chief complaints: IBS/gastrointestinal issues and overall wellness

Alisa Weldon
Age: 37
Chief complaints: fainting, fatigue, headaches and heart palpitations

 

What was the reason you sought help?
L: Initially, I was jealous of Alisa. I had watched her go through the transformation of her health. I realized that as a society, we invest time and money into maintenance of many things, such as our cars and computers, but not our health. Alisa invested in her health with Dr. Myers and I saw how she manifested a change in her health and I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I was compelled by your individualized approach to treating the patient and finding the root cause of illness. I also went because I have had gut issues my whole life and all the other doctors gave me the same pills they give everyone and it didn’t solve the problem.

A: I, on the other hand, was ill and in a crisis mode. I had had headaches for four years and more recently I was having fainting spells that required my calling EMS and ending up in the emergency room on three different occasions. I had been admitted to the hospital and had an extensive workup including blood test, EKG, cardiac stress test, MRI of my brain, and a 24-hour heart monitor. I met with every specialist recommended to me: a neurologist, a cardiologist and an endocrinologist. None of them could figure out what was wrong with me. They all gave me the diagnosis of vasovagal syn- cope (unexplained fainting). I was simply told to drink more water, get plenty of rest and not to drive a boat. I followed all of their instructions and I still had symptoms until I saw you.

What were you hoping to learn?
L: I wanted to learn what was causing my gastrointestinal issues. I had tried various diets, exercise programs and medications and nothing had gotten to the root cause. I also wanted to learn about my individual health and to have a plan for wellness.

A: I was eager to learn to find out why all these things were happening to me and what were they rooted in.

Tell me about your experience with.
L: The first thing that comes to mind is that I spent more time with you than I had with any other physician collectively. The whole process was very comprehensive, and my first appointment lasted more than 2.5 hours. I realized that it took a commitment on both of our parts–I took a morning off work and she devoted her morning to me.

A: In one word—humbling! I learned so much so quickly. No one had ever before been so in-depth in asking questions about my health. At first, I did not understand why someone would ask if my ears itched and couldn’t imagine what that had to do with my current situation–I later realized it’s a clue to yeast infections in the gut.

Was there anything that you learned that surprised you?
L: Yes. I was surprised to find that the GI symptoms I was dealing with, and had been taught were inconsequential, could actually be causing problems throughout my entire body. That was scary to realize.

A: I was surprised that I had so many issues. I am only 38 years old and my family doesn’t have any significant health problems.

Was there anything that you learned that you were not surprised by?
L: Yes, the day I got my results back, I had just eaten migas and I was having horrible stomach pain. It turns out that eggs were the food that I tested most reactive to on my food sensitivity test. I had never been in tune enough with my body to realize that eggs were causing me problems all along. I am now very aware that what I eat affects my body and the eggs were a big a-ha moment for me.

A: I was not surprised that you were able to uncover more issues than any of the other doctors since you spent so much time with me, the care you provided and the amount of lab testing you did.

Were you able to easily make the changes I recommended for you?
L: Many of the foods that I could tell were real problems for me, like eggs, were very easy to eliminate. Some things were harder for me, like caffeine and alcohol. Ultimately, I found out what my body could handle and what it could not.

A: Because I was so eager to feel better, I dove right in and the adjustments were easy for me. For the first three months, I followed all of her recommendations. I started to experiment with adding more foods back in, and I learned to listen to my body and can immediately tell when I eat something that is not good for me.

I must say that I did also go through an emotionally difficult time realizing that I needed to adjust my diet since I am very social. But I had to decide whether I wanted to be in the hospital or wanted to feel better.

Because of the adjustments you’ve made, how is your health now?
L: My GI symptoms resolved. I have more energy, better mood, better sleep, I’m stronger in my workouts, and I have a greater awareness of my body and how foods affect it. I am actually eating more food and the right foods for my body.

A: I lost 15 pounds, my headaches have resolved, and I have not had another fainting spell or EMS ride. My energy is restored: Before, I would crash at 5 p.m. and now at 8 p.m. I feel like I can conquer the world.

 

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