I’ve had a chronic health issue for a number of years that I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of. I’ve seen many medical practitioners and have zero’d in on a few aspects of my illness but none have offered any real answers. After taking a comprehensive Organic Acids Test, I was finally able to get some direction as to the cause of some of my symptoms but my general practice doctor lacked the time to dedicate to me and my pursuit of an answer to my chronic pain issue. So, where do you go when your doctor only has 15 minutes to spend with you to try and unravel a huge health issue? In my case, I turned to a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) for help.
A ND is a medical professional with extensive experience in integrative medicine. This includes looking at the patient as a whole, not just treating symptoms but getting to the root of what is causing them in the first place. My first appointment lasted 2 hours! What a luxury! I didn’t have to speed talk my way through a medical interview as I was used to when visiting my regular doctor. As a result, we were able to really get to the root of my problem and design a treatment plan. But I’m getting ahead of myself… Here’s how my appointment went.
Our interview began with my ND telling me she has already reviewed all my medical records. I had already emailed a bulk of test results and a synopsis of my past and current symptoms to her earlier in the week. So, even before our appointment began, she had a pretty great idea of what was going on concerning me and my symptoms. After a few pleasantries, she proceeded to ask me a litany of questions.
How am I feeling today, this past week, this month?
Can you describe your symptoms?
Do you notice what you eat or drink that can make them worse?
Do they worsen with stress?
What supplements are you taking?
What support structure do you have at home?
What do you find helps manage/control your symptoms?
What stresses do you have in your life?
How do you manage your stress?
My answers to these questions and many others helped give her a picture of my current state of health. Add to that my test results that I’ve had done for hormones, an Organic Acids Test (OAT) from Great Plains Laboratory and a few others I provided, gave her the empirical data she needed to arrive at a diagnosis. And here’s the clincher! I had one doctor tell me my issue was from oxalates, another said it was a candida overgrowth in my gut… turns out they were both right but neither had the time to determine the big picture. The ND said that both oxalates & yeast overgrowth are a sign of a greater root problem – sulfation.
What is sulfation? Good question! Sulfation is a natural process of detoxification in your body. When the “load” of oxalates for instance is too high, your body cannot deal with the load and dumps other essential nutrients and ends up stockpiling oxalates. Having oxalates building up in your tissues can cause a host of symptoms found here. A few months ago I had ran across a website that listed all of these symptoms and it fit my condition perfectly. I went on their prescribed low oxalate diet and supplement regimen and achieved a modicum of relief. Problem was, the protocol wasn’t addressing the entirety of my condition. When my oxalate load had gotten so out of whack, other systems were affected as well. The low oxalate diet allowed the consumption of grains, dairy and sugar – three food categories that fed my yeast overgrowth which further aggravated my gut imbalance and viola, a vicious cycle had begun. In my desparation, I finally tracked down a medical professional with the time and the knowledge base to help me. Now I’m following a low oxalate, no sugar or dairy diet and taking the prescribed supplements. I’m already starting to feel better!
If you’re struggling with a health issue like I have been for years and cannot seem to get the resources or time from a regular doctor, consider this alternative. A Naturopathic Doctor may very well be the best medical resource you’ve been looking for.
For more information on following a low oxalate diet click here.