Medicine to Move You

It’s been a long week at the office with plenty of excitement.  It’s rewarding on most days and occasionally emotionally draining on others.  But today, I wanted to share a pull-at-your-heartstrings type of visit that I had.  Sometimes, I’d like to just let you in on what it’s like being a doctor practicing Integrative Medicine.

Celiac disease, a disease caused by an inability to digest and process a food protein called gluten, affects approximately one in 133 people.  It is notoriously under-diagnosed by the mainstream medicial community and sadly, easily cured by just one thing- removing gluten from the diet.

My story starts with a mother who, herself, came in as a new patient to be evaluated for years of abdominal pain, faulty digestion, severe constipation.  She was a “health nut” through and through and despite all of her efforts, she was still “sick” in terms of quality of life.  She had seen specialists galore and all came back with the same answer- ‘Nothing’s wrong with you.’  To make this part of the story shorter, we found that she had been having negative reactions due to eating wheat.  Desperate to feel better, she eliminated this and immediately noticed a difference.  Her joint pains, constipation, belly pains, swelling and overall lack of energy started resolving.  She, obviously, was sold and has not stopped since. 

Of course, a mother feels good and starts wondering, “What if my kids have this same issue?”  And so she brought her teenage daughter in one day.  The picture is vivid in my mind.  She sat slumped at one end of the table, arms crossed in front of her, her gaze preferably downwards, hair hanging in her face strategically masking the acne she was there to see me for, looking up only to avoid major disciplinary action for rudeness.

Her mother listed her concerns as her daughter was customarily skimpy on the words and heavy on the attitude.  Yada, yada, yada…daughter is diagnosed with celiac disease.  Yada, yada, yada…Mom comes in after a summer of eliminating trigger foods with near tears in her eyes, “I have my lovable, happy-go-lucky daughter back.”

One protein was responsible for this teen’s behavioral havoc (and the happiness of an entire family).   As I always say because I am reminded of it day in and day out at the office… You Are What You Eat- More Than You Know! In

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