For the past month I have enjoyed the delicious taste of some fantastic locally grown heirloom tomatoes. They are so flavorful, reminding me of the ones my father raised when I was growing up. One slice of his tomato would cover the entire piece of bread! To me, few things beat the taste of a real tomato!
We see the abundance of the growing season all around us- our gardens, the farmers markets, the fruit and vegetable stands and the grocery stores full to overflowing. The feeling of fall and harvest time are beginning to edge out the summer days.
This same concept of “harvest” shows up in patients in the practice all the time and I thought you might find it interesting to hear what some of your fellow patients are experiencing.
Sometimes when you start out on this path towards balance, prevention of disease and promotion of good health, things can seem a bit overwhelming.
How can I manage all this? Will I remember to use the hormones and supplements? Will I really see any benefits? These and other similar questions can logically come up. But, look at what these women and men have accomplished…
Nine months ago a female in peri-menopause came to me feeling tired all the time, not sleeping, experiencing uncontrolled weight gain and low moods. We found imbalances with sex hormones, adrenals, thyroid and she was knocking on the door of diabetes with her lab indicators. She decided to embrace the recommendations and has followed up every couple months to ensure right progress.
She met with me last month and had these wonderful changes to report. She lost 20 pounds., has her energy back, sleeps through the night consistently, moods are stable, and other things.
But one of the biggest changes is that she is not only out of diabetes risk, she is completely out of pre-diabetes!
She followed the program and now can feel confident that she can control this risk factor and have better health because of it.
Another patient that I have worked with over the past 5-6 years came in with thyroid nodules and low thyroid. Nodules are a risk factor for thyroid cancer. We approached her care from the functional medicine model of balancing underlying systems so that the body can be supported in healing itself. We worked on her adrenal function and sex hormones and then optimized her thyroid function.
She did various protocols to improve her health by decreasing inflammation, detoxing, controlling stress, doing other supportive therapies, supporting healthy gut function. She just did a new scan of the thyroid and found that two nodules have disappeared and the remaining one is much smaller than previously. It will probably disappear also with more time. She remarked how much better she feels now than several years ago.
Two patients in the past month had repeat DEXA tests for bone density after having been diagnosed with osteopenia (thinning of bones) and one with early osteoporosis (degeneration of bones) about 2 years ago. They had each been on the functional medicine protocol for bone generation which includes bio-identical hormones along with supplements and lifestyle methods.
For the first woman, she is now out of osteopenia completely, meaning the bone thinning process has stopped and she is building new bone. The second one is now out of osteoporosis, with new bone building happening and within another year or so should be out of osteopenia, if she maintains the protocol. This is despite a positive family history of osteoporosis.
A conversation with a patient just this week speaks to her “harvest”. She said, “I don’t feel like a zombie like I did before I started working with you 2 years ago. Everything we have done is worth having my life back.”
Everyone working in this office feels privileged to support each of our patients in their processes of creating optimal health and well-being. The integrative medicine approach may be new to you or may at times feel overwhelming but we are here to help you through those challenges into the “harvest” of optimal health and vitality.
Personally, when I see the success of so many of you in reclaiming your health, I am grateful to be part of reaping the harvest in your life which spreads like ripples in a pond to your families, friends, and community and back again.
Jane Kennedy, CFNP, MN, MPH