I’ve dedicated a huge portion of my website, my books and really my business to the idea that we are capable of affecting massive change in our health all on our own. From the healing made possible by a nutrient-focused Paleo diet, the most therapeutic variation of which being the AIP (see What is The Autoimmune Protocol), to lifestyle shifts in sleep, stress and movement (see The Importance of Sleep, How Stress Undermines Health, and The Benefits of Gentle Movement), there are so many small tweaks we can make to the implementation of our diets and lifestyle that can help us heal and achieve that worthy-yet-lofty goal of optimal health.
But what do we do when those tweaks are not enough?
My own health improvements have only been possible because of my work with a Functional Medicine practitioner. So, I understand that when we hit roadblocks that no amount of “tightening up” can improve, it might mean it’s time to call in the experts. It can be frustrating to not experience the results we’re expecting, and then we can feel like we’re failing, like we aren’t “Paleoing hard enough”; but in reality, there’s a missing piece to our individual health puzzles that we need expert guidance to discover and address. And, by seeking out this expertise, you are becoming your own health advocate and empowering yourself with the healthcare resources you need to achieve your best health.
In this post, I’ll address two paths we can use to troubleshoot our lingering health concerns.
Work With a Practitioner
We’re all experts on our own bodies. But while it’s true that no one knows you as well as, well, you, it’s often the case that an outside perspective can help us identify areas for improvement. It wasn’t until I began working with a Functional Medicine practitioner that I discovered I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (see Grief Upon Diagnosis: Uncovering Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis). Even though I spent years studying inflammation and literally wrote the book on managing autoimmune disease (check out The Paleo Approach if you haven’t yet!), I was still experiencing symptoms several years into my Paleo lifestyle.
When I chose to work with a practitioner, I was so relieved to finally feel I had a partner in my healing journey. Whether we’re seeking resolution to a nagging health concern, working on symptom management or just looking for strategies to help us stick with healthy lifestyle changes, chances are there’s a practitioner out there for us.
If you find the prospect of tracking down a practitioner daunting, I think I can help! At The Paleo Mom Consulting, I’ve assembled an incredible team of health consultants with experience guiding people through hard-to-identify roadblocks that keep us from optimal health. They are Nutritional Therapy Practitioners, RD’s, Certified Health Coaches and even Functional Medicine Practitioners with a wealth of experience. With a wide range of services offered through The Paleo Mom Consulting, my health consultants can customize an approach that’s right for you. They work 1-on-1 with clients via e-mail, Skype, and phone anywhere in the world and can tackle a huge range of challenges to help you be successful on your health journey. This consulting group was a dream of mine because it allows me to connect the people who find me through The Paleo Approach and my website with more resources in the form of caring, compassionate practitioners—many of whom are living with autoimmune disease themselves!
If you’re curious about troubleshooting with a consultant, please check out The Paleo Mom Consulting. If you know you’d rather work with a doctor, chiropractor or other type of practitioner, the Paleo Physicians Network is a great resource for local help.
Test, Clear and Heal
Testing is often the key to identifying the underlying conditions keeping us from optimal health. This idea is at the root of functional medicine—that health is about identifying and treating the root causes of illness, rather than just symptom management. If you’re managing chronic disease, knowing your own lab results is a powerful way to take ownership of your health. Plus, it’s absolutely the best way to troubleshoot new problems because it gives you a clear picture of what’s happening within your body!
I know that working with a Functional Medicine specialist can be prohibitively expensive, and that tests required to get a full picture of autoimmune disease can be downright overwhelming to understand. So I was thrilled when my friend Anne Angelone introduced a simple, cost-effective way to test and interpret some of the most common (and helpful!) functional medicine labs at home.
Test Clear Heal combines 6 weeks of online videos covering common autoimmune complications like food sensitivities, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), FODMAP intolerance, MTHFR mutations, Th dominance, and heavy metal toxicity with the basics of testing and treating these complications. You’ll even learn the ideal ranges for things like thyroid disease, various types of anemia, adrenal function, acute bacterial and viral issues, micronutrients, and methylation.
I love the idea that by completing this program, you’ll have the knowledge you need to understand how your tests fit into the overall picture of your health. That makes the program a wonderful complement to working with a practitioner. The information in Test Clear Heal will likely help you prioritize your health care spending and give you an incredible sense of empowerment!
Anne is one of the sharpest AND kindest voices in our community, and her program is a true gift for those of us with chronic health conditions!