Okay, so this week I had some more visits with Naturopaths. I’ll get into the details below but first, a bit of a disclaimer. 🙂 Being raised in a medical household, I have a natural skepticism towards any medical professional who does not have an MD or better yet, a DO, after his/her name. When my dad was practicing back in the 70’s and early 80’s (if I remember right), there were a certain class of “doctors” that were starting to become popular. These “doctors” did not have medical training like my dad did, yet the proclaimed they could do the same TYPE of things my dad did. Living in the house, I heard a titch about them, and it angered my dad, who had gone through YEARS of medical training to become not just Medical Doctor (MD) but a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine (DO). What is a DO you might ask? They are a doctor who has received their MD degree, but instead of just looking at symptoms, they are interested in the whole person. So, with a DO, you have a doctor who will look at all your ailments, combined with who you are, and try to get to the root of the problem. They are also trained in how the muscles and bones and tissues work together. SO….if you need an adjustment, you can just go to your DO and he can “crack your back” or any other things that a chiropractor can. Only difference….they went through many, many years of training to be able to do that.
My dad was very proud of the fact that he was a DO. He worked hard for that title. He truly looked at ALL a patient brought, not just a few symptoms.
I think my dad is likely rolling in his grave right now, knowing that I’m going to a Naturopath. 🙂
So, on to my Naturopaths. For simplicity sake, I will call them N1 and N2.
N1 is the first Naturopath I went to. He’s the one that wanted me to do a comprehensive stool analysis. He’s also the one that has the REALLY nice office. In this office….everything is tidy and perfect and in its place. It is better than a lot of doctors offices or clinics, actually!
N2 is the second Naturopath I saw. His office is the exact opposite of N1. The building is small, everything is neat but more homey. The sign outside is a bit dirty and needs cleaning. The waiting area is separated from the receptionist by just an oriental screen. My reaction when I first saw his office was….”You’ve got to be kidding me.” BUT…this is the doc that has Crohn’s. He also wanted me to do a stool analysis (I was able to use the other results for this though) as well as a food allergy test. That is coming…so look for another post on that in a few weeks.
SO….I went to N1 yesterday in order to go over my stool analysis. Wow!!! I had no idea you could tell all this from a pile of poop. 🙂 This test looked at a few different areas. The first was my digestion. I was in optimal range for all of those results.
The second was absorption, meaning…how well my body can absorb what’s being put into it. This had a very interesting result. There were 5 things it looked at. The one out of whack was cholesterol, but not the HDL or LDL kind. (I’ll try to remember all this correctly!). Basically what this translates into is that I have a fat absorption problem. Not just a minor problem, but enough to call it “malabsorption.” This means that all the fat that I’m putting into my system (meaning, the good fats that my body needs), my body is not creating enough of the enzyme Lipase which helps digest and ABSORB these good fats. Without the lipase, the good fats are just passing through my body and I am not getting the benefit of them.
The third area we looked at were metabolic markers. This told me that, a) my hydrochloric acid in the stomach can be a bit higher. With more hydrochloric acid, my stomach will be able to break down foods even better. It will also balance out the SCFA distribution, but I cannot remember what all that means. Sorry! Since my hydrochloric acid was just on the verge, he did not want to prescribe any supplements, but instead told me to eat one lemon a day to see if that will be enough. Easy enough!
With metabolic markers we also looked to see if there was mucus or blood in the stool (two very good markers of Crohn’s). I did not have excess mucus (your body will produce extra mucus if you are in a severe flare…your body is trying to soothe the inflamed areas so the mucus is created to try to coat the intestines more….thus it shows up in your stool). I still do have blood in the stool, but since we cannot see it, it is called “occult” blood. Thankfully it is not the explosive bloody stools like I hear other crohnies talk about! There is nothing that needs to be done with these markers.
The last part was microbiology. Basically, what is the make-up of bacteria or pathogens in your stool. Here, I’m again doing pretty good. I have no pathogens to worry about. No other bacteria that we might need to treat. HOWEVER, I have NO lactobacillus in my system. If you don’t know about this bacteria, I’ll tell you in brief. It is one of the main beneficial bacteria that, when the gut is colonized with them, it fights off the bad bacteria. This can have any number of chain reactions. Because I have NONE of these, that means there is nothing to really fight off the bad stuff, and so I need to get those into my system NOW. Looking back, I believe I have had this imbalance for years, and the medical doctors just never took notice of it. I also question, again, the GI doctor who prescribed Flagyl and had my files available to him which showed this lack of this good bacteria. I wonder if he would have prescribed this knowing I had nothing in my system already to fight off the bad stuff.
SO…all of this analysis to say that I am now on these products: Intestinal Repair Complex (which helps to repair the gut), NESS #5 (which is a lipase enzyme), and Pro Flora Colonizer (which has the acidophilus and rhomnoisus bacteria that I need to help re-colonize my gut). I have started these, and will try them over the next two weeks.
All in all, I like N1 because he is VERY knowledgeable. This appointment was much better than the first one, but I still have questions about treatment. Specifically….is he just treating the symptoms in front of him, or is he treating the whole person?
I will go back to N2 in three weeks to see what he has to say about the stool samples and the blood work. I’ll go from there as to what my long-term treatment will be.
I probably have more to say about all of this, but I think that’s enough for now. Stay tuned for “Doctors, Part 4.”