Dr. Laura Ruby, DNP, CRNP
IFM board certified in Functional Medicine
I am listening. As a nurse practitioner with over 13 years of Endocrinology experience, I have heard so many of my patients tell their stories of chronic unexplained symptoms that profoundly impact their quality of life. Many of them passed from practitioner to practitioner with no answers, being told that “there is nothing wrong with you” or “your tests are all normal.” I understand how frustrating this must be for them. I have lived through a similar experience.
As a mother of three young children in my early thirties, there were days I could barely walk down the steps. The muscles in my legs ached so bad at times that I could not even hold my children on my lap. I remember feeling exhausted, hopeless and depressed, feeling like I could barely get through the day. At one point, I reached out to several of my medical colleagues who told me there was “nothing wrong with me” and that I was just “stressed out.” Over the years my reflux was so severe I was told I would need a procedure to wrap my esophagus around the top part of my stomach, a procedure that had a list of potential serious side effects. Not one of my health care practitioners ever asked the question of why a woman of my age would have so many disabling chronic symptoms.
One day I ran across an article on food sensitivities and how certain foods could be an underlying driver for chronic disease. Then I found out that I was gluten and dairy sensitive. After implementing an elimination diet my reflux symptoms went away. Now my story is much more complicated than this. Intertwined in my chronic symptoms I also experienced many life stressors and eventually found out that I have chronic re-activated Epstein-Barr virus. So you can understand why I am so passionate about my work.
After practicing as a traditionally trained practitioner for more than 15 years, I finally took the leap and transitioned my practice to treat the person rather than the disease. I was inspired by a friend to learn more about the impact of nutritional deficiencies and eventually completed the Institute of Functional Medicine training modules and board certification. I was excited to blend this new approach in to my current Endocrinology practice. Unfortunately, soon thereafter, I was unexpectantly released from my traditional endocrinology contract because “I was moving in a different direction.” God closes one door, another door opens…
The way that I see it, the traditional health care system is the WHAT of chronic disease – what symptoms, what diagnosis and what medications do I prescribe to treat your symptoms, which never really gets to the root cause. I often found myself prescribing additional medications to treat the side effects of others I had already prescribed. As an endocrinology expert, I sat by and watched my patients with type 2 diabetes continue to get sicker and sicker even though they were taking their medications and following the American Diabetes Association’s nutritional guidelines. Don’t get me wrong, our traditional health care system has its benefits but you don’t have to look too far to recognize that we are not doing such a great job in the chronic disease department.
Functional medicine is looking through an entirely new lens where we ask the question WHY for the first time. WHY do you feel so exhausted that you can barely get through the day? Hurt all over? Have brain fog? You can fill in the blank. I opened the Optimal Wellness for Life Center in 2013 and never looked back. Over the past 4 years I have come to recognize common underlying triggers for chronic conditions such as the American diet, food sensitivities, gastrointestinal – immune imbalance (leaky gut), environmental toxins, hidden chronic infections and life stressors. I have been witness to many life changing transformations. I am humbled and honored by those that come to me for help when they have been told that there is no hope. Let me partner with you to find the root cause of your chronic symptoms. Let today be the first step to the life that you have always hoped for. Start your journey today!
So many people come to our Functional Medicine practice looking for answers. Many young people with a list of chronic symptoms and medications longer than most of the 80 year olds seen in my prior endocrinology practice. So often they are passed from health care provider to provider who are merely applying band-aids to their gaping wounds, treating symptoms rather than the underlying cause. Seen by the elite leaders in traditional medical care, still no answers. Still feeling like they can barely make it through the day. Somehow they make it to our door step. I have to admit that I was initially overwhelmed by the complexity of their illness. Then it all started coming together. Getting to the ROOT CAUSE through a Functional Medicine approach is the ANSWER you may be looking for. My team and I are ready to help you on your JOURNEY TO WELLNESS.