Tag Archives: osteopathic medicine

Health Matters: First Appointment

31 Jul

First of all, since my last post sharing my back story on starting this new natural health quest, I’ve received a lot of new followers and I want to say welcome and how excited I am that people are into figuring out this whole health thing along with me. It’s fascinating and overwhelming and empowering all at the same time. And although I will share what my doctor has told me in my case, please do the research for yourself and get a professional opinion before doing anything.

So, on to my first official appointment with Osteopathic Dr. Alexander…
After an initial consultation that lasted about 45 minutes (it’s usually about 30 minutes, but you know me and all my issues now…) I was sold. Dr. Alexander’s knowledge and compassion won me over, despite the fact that insurance does not cover this form of treatment, which of course I find ridiculous.

The particular program I am under involved a $500 payment for the first month and subsequent $150 payments for every month I continue to need guidance and testing.

It was a hard pill to swallow at first, but I tell you that the first in-depth consultation I had with Dr. Alexander was worth the $500 alone. It lasted two hours. I’ve never spent so much time talking to a doctor. We got so into the discussion that we went after closing time and not one person complained about having to stay and draw my labs and set up my next appointment.

I never feel like a burden here and I never have to wait.

Dr. Shelley talked to me all about my history, asked me a ton of questions about what I’m experiencing currently and patiently answered all of my questions. The experience was nothing less than eye opening. Dr. Alexander would say things like, “We’ve known birth control is terrible for our bodies for a long time…” and my eyes would bug out and I would shake my head and think to myself, “We” know no such thing! (Here’s more on that.) I was shocked and amazed at all the things I didn’t know. Because no one ever told me. No doctor ever shared with me the side effects of all the drugs I was on. I could have looked them up myself, sure, but I assumed there was nothing I could do because I had to be on these meds and there was no alternative. I was just a good little girl who took her pills and didn’t ask questions for something like nine years. All the while not feeling like myself and becoming less and less connected with who I am, mind, body and soul.

Here is a breakdown on what came out of our first meeting:
1. Dyslipidemia (cholesterol problems): I am on a statin, which depletes CoQ10 in our bodies, so I am now on a 100mg/day CoQ10 supplement. According to WebMD, CoQ10 is “used by cells to produce energy our bodies need for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. Coenzymes help enzymes work to digest food and perform other body processes, and they help protect the heart and skeletal muscles.” So yeah, we kinda need it.

I learned that cholesterol is the father of all of our sex and adrenal hormones (it looks something like this) and statins inhibit the body from making appropriate levels. My main hormones were checked in labs to follow up next time. A more thorough panel of my cholesterol was also checked. The goal is to get me off the statin and on a more natural way to treat cholesterol.

2. Hypothyroid: When I stopped taking birth control (and also when I was pregnant) my thyroid level changed and my regular doctor decreased my dose synthetic thyroid supplement. When they drew my blood last May, my antibodies were also high, which they did not tell me. When I brought a copy of my labs (which I had to ask for because they were never sent to me) to my new doctor, she immediately noticed the connection between my thyroid and my high antibodies and suggested the idea that I may have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. (Here’s more on that). It is very common in women of childbearing years and the most common form of hypothyroidism. She checked a more in depth panel of my thyroid in labs and started me on a more natural thyroid supplement called Armour. It is bio identical instead of synthetic. I also ordered Lugol’s Iodine Solution at 2% from Amazon. Iodine is essential in thyroid function.  

3. Irregular periods: This is probably due to a hormonal imbalance. Hormones are being checked in the lab.

4. Vitamin D deficiency: A Vitamin D deficiency was noticed in my labs that were drawn in May. Dr. Alexander says we are all essentially low in Vitamin D and she wants the level at around 80. She called in a prescription strength supplement for me at 50,000IUs a week.

5. Healthy Aging:  Dr. Alexander asked me to start taking fish oil twice a day with meals. She said, the higher the dose the better the health where fish oil is concerned. She also suggested using sea salt because it is a wonderful safe source of minerals, including iodine. (More on that here). Because my body has been depleted of vitamins due to oral contraceptives, she asked me to take a B Complex vitamin daily.

So basically, it was a great, long conversation on what she suspects is going on with my body (without seeing new, more in-depth labs) and how it all works together. I left feeling very hopeful and much more knowledgeable and equipped to research more things on my own instead of feeling so lost and alone.

I had my second visit with my lab results on Monday and I’ll write about that later this week. Here’s to our health!