Nancy Hunter, Concord, NC
How bad was your problem before beginning the treatment? What were your limitations and difficulties?
My weight had started to creep upward in 2015. I dutifully got yogurt and low carb/low calorie shakes and ate sensibly for dinner but instead of my weight going down, it continued to creep upward. I felt tired every day and worn out when I got home. I am usually a high-energy person, but I felt depleted, wasn’t sleeping well, and even on weekends couldn’t muster much energy. My wakeup call came when I brought breakfast and lunch to work, set the bag down, and started my day. I worked late and as I closed my computer, and grabbed my bag, I realized I hadn’t eaten since 630 the night before and I was NOT hungry.
I knew something was wrong with me.
In your own words, explain what benefits you received from Functional Medicine Treatment at Innovation Health.
I wasn’t sure when I started that I could be successful; the requirements seemed too hard. I would have to temporarily stop eating many of my favorite foods and beverages, take a lot of supplements, and eat more often; apparently, I’d been unintentionally starving my body for years. I complained, I whined, and Dr. Pepper was my best friend and worse ‘enemy’ at the same time! I stayed the course with her help and after 6 months, had dropped 30 pounds and didn’t die from changing the way I ate! My goal shifted from simply wanting to feel better, to really wanting to have good health as I age and to give my body what it needed to do the job.
Together, we discovered that my body was not producing what it needed to efficiently process, digest and use the nutrition from food. My blood sugar was unstable, and I was headed toward pre-diabetes. My insides were full of negative bacteria and my pancreas and liver were not doing their job efficiently.
I made it through those first months and started slowly bringing back the foods I loved one at a time. I listened to what my body told me and shared with Dr. Pepper. Together, we discovered foods that caused issues for me: gluten, dairy, pork, corn, coffee, sugar. I have now chosen to be gluten free, I’m 99.9% dairy free, I don’t eat sugar except in my coffee or an occasional piece of dark chocolate.
I’ve been eating seasonally, healthy, clean food without preservatives, hormones, chemical additives for about 18 months now and I’m still alive! I have strategies for eating at restaurants, going to parties, having dinner at friend’s homes; I feel terrific! My brain ‘fog’ is gone, I sleep much more soundly, and my energy is back. My blood sugar has stabilized, is still a little high but I am no longer trending toward pre-diabetes; I’m trending AWAY from pre-diabetes. It will take time and I’m committed to my healthy food choices.
What else would you want people to know about your treatment?
It’s hard when friends ask, ‘why are you not having wine: Are you sick?’ ‘When are you going back to eating like a normal person?’ ‘I can’t have you over because I don’t cook gluten free.’ Or at work ‘We want to say thank you for the great work, so we have pizza and soft drinks and cookies in the kitchen for you – ENJOY!’ It’s isolating.
I was skeptical. I was unsure about the supplements and muscle testing. I felt as if I was planning my life around when I had to eat, and I was frustrated and aggravated – but I didn’t give up or ‘cheat’ then lie to cover it up. I had great support from my family which is crucial. I didn’t give in to the negativity and skepticism of others. I carried on. Sometimes I crave a piece of good bread with butter, and pizza from the best pizza place I know. But I know if I indulge, my body will pay the consequences of those decisions and I’ve already put it through enough. It’s time to care for it with love.
When people comment and asked what ‘diet’ I’m on? ‘I am not on a diet’ I say, ‘I’ve decided I need to eat in a healthier way, so I don’t have health issues as I age’. I deserve to be healthy.