After completing my Family Medicine residency, I got an awesome job of working with people of rural Virginia. During this time I started having some health-related issues. I started having abdominal pain problems at random times.
Initially, I thought it would be mild stomach upset from my diet but it continued to progress and I was having daily symptoms, of acid reflux, severe pains, and sleepless nights. Being a physician I started taking acid reflux medicines to see if this will help. I was taking PPI regularly and still was getting breakthrough symptoms.
On few occasions, the pain was so severe that it caused me to double over, and I thought about going to the ER, but then I thought the Emergency Department wouldn’t do much except for giving pain medications. I didn’t want any pain medications so decided to go through the agonising pain at home on my own.
After going through this ordeal for a few months, I started getting concerned about the possibility of a stomoach ulcer, cancer, celiac disease, IBS, IBD.
So, I finally decided to see my Gastroenterologist friend and he suggested to get an upper GI endoscopy. The endoscopy showed minimal hiatal hernia, and gastritis. And he suggested to continue PPI and adding tums with meals and also Zantac at bedtime. But I didn’t get any relief from these heavy doses of medicines also, so I went back. We decided to do further investigation and looked into my gastric emptying, potential liver and gallbladder problems and also to see if I had food allergies.
All of those tests were again negative, and at one point we even treated me empirically for H pylori infection. But symptoms were persistent and nobody had an answer for me, other than just take PPI “to control the symptoms”.
This was the point when I understood the condition of those people who do not find answers to their health issues, and who are often told to just keep taking the medications, which truly don’t help; and then eventually they’re told, the problem is just in their head. While in reality they are utterly confused and will do what it takes to heal them.
After about a year of difficulties with my stomach issues, I decided to take charge of my health and started to look into a non-conventional approach to heal me. I was not ready to keep taking PPI to control my symptoms for life, I was just 30 yrs old and this was not a long term solution for me. So while looking for non-conventional alternatives to my health problems, I decided to try the Functional Medicine approach for my health issues.
I changed my diet drastically, removed a lot of pro-inflammatory foods and introduced foods that support gut healing. I started taking some basic supplements to support my body, started a movement program, which included cardio and yoga exercises.
Also started with a meditation routine. And within 3 weeks of starting the program, my symptoms were dramatically better. I was still on medications but at least no breakthrough pains were happening.
At that time I started to wean off medications, and in another 1 month I was off all medications. And the most important of all, no symptoms at all during this time, and no medications needed.
This different approach and the positive health results that I saw totally boggled my mind. At one point I was struggling with this increasing abdominal pain and none of the medications were effective, I underwent all the crazy investigations, and took all different kinds of medications but no relief. And by doing the Functional Medicine approach for 2 months, I was able to get off all medications and also became completely symptom-free, this was huge.
Some other extra perks with this program that happened were that I lost 40 lbs over the course of 1 year. Since childhood, I was always overweight and has tried multiple diets before with no success, and with this protocol was not only able to lose weight but it has been a sustainable weight loss.
I also had eczema issues, frequent skin infections and also had allergy issues and they all improved significantly. Previously I had to use steroid and antibiotic creams on a regular basis, but one day my wife made a comment that you haven’t used your cream for a while, and we realized I hadn’t used the cream for over a month, which was unusual for me.
All in all, it has been a life-changing journey, one which led me to change my profession, and get trained in Functional Medicine, and help people through this modality now!
This journey helped me experience the power of nutrition, movement and stress management, in my own life, and I’m very passionate to share it with the world.