As you may recall, several years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and told it was not curable, but that it was treatable with thyroid medication I would have to take for the rest of my life. After a few years, I decided that I needed to know more about this condition. About a year ago, I looked into functional medicine as a potential avenue for curing my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. You can read about my efforts here and here. This update is about my continued improvement, and extolls the virtues of functional medicine discipline that is gaining traction around the country, for a good reason: it works, and my case is a shining example.
Reduced Dose Worked
Six weeks ago my doctor, Dr. Myrto Ashe, reduced my medication dose by half. My current thyroid medication dose (0.025 mg, once per day) is so small that it is prescribed to people who do not even have hypothyroidism. Last week I had a blood test to see if my thyroid had adjusted to the reduced dose, and was making more thyroid to compensate for the loss when my dose was decreased. Great news! It did! Not only that, but the test result was better than when I was on the bigger medication dose. In other words, my thyroid has been rebuilding itself.
Retest My Thyroid In 2 Months
In two months, I am going to retest my thyroid function. Dr. Myrto Ashe and I are hoping that I will go off the medication then. Can you believe it? Can you believe that I am very closed to saying ‘good-bye’ to a disease that conventional medicine considers uncurable? Conventional medicine considers hypothyroidism chronic and prescribes medication for it for a lifetime.
A Heavy Sand Bag Lifted
How do I feel? I feel like a heavy sand bag that I had been carrying for years on my shoulders has been lifted, literally. I feel so much more energy. I have a brighter outlook on life. And I feel more confident.
Here is an example. My website was down for a few days (GoDaddy’s fault; I am no longer with them!). In the past, that would have devastated me. While I was not happy about it, I treated it as a problem that needed a solution, nothing more and nothing less.
Functional Medicine Gives A Choice
I want to scream in everybody’s ear that they can be healthy, too. You do not have to take medication for the rest of your life, medication that may have side effects and may possibly make your illness worse over time. Do you know that 70 percent of Americans take prescriptions drugs? You do not have to be one of them. You have a choice.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine (aka integrative medicine) is science-based medicine that is gaining popularity. These are traditionally trained Medical Doctors (“MD’s”) who dared to ask the question, “Why does this person have this illness?” It takes a special person to become a functional medicine practitioner. Their work is more challenging, and they may not make as much as their conventional medicine counterparts, but they are obsessive researchers and perpetual learners who would not have it any other way. Dr. Myrto Ashe, MD, MPH is one of them. (For more information about her approach, read here.)
Conventional medicine is quick to prescribe medications that merely address the symptoms of an illness. If a medication is not available, then your symptoms may be dismissed as not real. Functional medicine doctors will dig deeper into the origins of your disease to eliminate the causes of your illness. This requires time, patience, and more than a ten minute conversation once a year. It may be a more challenging approach than simply taking a pill, but is potentially so much more rewarding. Who doesn’t want to be healthy?
Functional medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It treats a person and his/her lifestyle, not just an isolated organ. For example, Dr. Kelly Brogan, MD is a psychiatrist who uses anti-depressants as a last resort and who will probably start with your diet. (Read this fascinating interview with Dr. Brogan, here.)
I Feel Empowered
Besides feeling so much better physically and emotionally, I feel in control of my health and I also feel empowered. I feel empowered to get healthy and continue building a powerful community of people who will lead us to a sustainable future.
Please share this post with people you care about – and even those people you don’t. I say this jokingly, but it is up to all of us to demand more from our doctors and health care. Right now, many functional medicine treatments are not covered by insurance (which is short-sighted on the part of the insurance companies, because functional medicine will probably lead to better results and less money spent in the long run). Only by banding together and demanding more from our health care system will we ultimately make strides in understanding the mechanisms of chronic diseases, and their ultimate cures.
I look forward to sharing with you many more non-toxic product discoveries that won’t harm your health and the environment.
For more information about my illness and steps I have taken to get to this point, read these:
Update: I do not have to take thyroid medication anymore!