I am listening. As a nurse practitioner with more than 10 years of traditional 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 it would hurt to hold my children on my lap. I remember feeling exhausted, hopeless and depressed, feeling like I could barely get through the day. Read more about my journey…
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 unexpectedly released from my traditional endocrinology contract because “I was moving in a different direction.” God closes one door, another door opens…
Chronic Disease is on the Rise
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 addresses 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.
It’s sounds so ridiculously simple. I spent the equivalent of 12 years in various traditional health care training programs learning how to diagnose and treat disease, to finally come to the realization that most of the chronic disease we encounter in our society is food-borne. And that our food is medicine. To be perfectly honest, it is much easier just to write a prescription. Frankly, that’s what many people want, the “magic pill” rather than to commit to making comprehensive lifestyle changes. Despite this harsh reality, I finally took the leap of faith to stand with a growing team of health care professionals across the nation who share the same vision.
From my perspective, one of the biggest strengths in the FM model is the search for underlying triggers…. looking for the WHY of medicine. So many times, we solely blame genetics on many of the chronic diseases we see. While genetic predisposition may be one layer of the onion, there are many other modifiable triggers for disease. The best example I see every single day is Hashimotos thyroiditis. From my traditional endocrinology background, Hashimotos is primarily treated with thyroid hormone, which I now realize is merely applying a band-aid to the wound. Hashimotos is an immune mediated disease, thus, the key to managing Hashimotos is not only to support the immune system, but to figure out what is triggering the immune response.
Optimal Wellness for Life
Our center, Optimal Wellness for Life, opened more than 8 years ago with the vision of helping our clients “peel back the layers of the onion” by treating the root cause. The most common underlying triggers to chronic disease and symptoms we see are food sensitivities, gastrointestinal imbalance, chronic hidden infections, leaky gut, toxins and stress. Yes, STRESS! Stress is one of the biggest underlying triggers for inflammation and chronic disease that we see and is the primary reason that we expanded our services to include Relaxation and Life Balance Services.
Our Functional Medicine services have evolved since our initial opening in 2013 to include a comprehensive team approach, led by me, Dr. Laura Ruby, DNP, CRNP an IFM Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner with extensive general endocrinology training. Our team includes a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) candidate anticipating certification as a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN) in the State of Maryland, RN Nurse Navigators to help guide you on your wellness journey, and our growing Administrative Team to better meet your needs.
Since opening the Optimal Wellness for Life Center, our team has partnered with many clients to help find the ROOT CAUSE of their chronic symptoms and have been witness to many life changing transformations. We are humbled and honored by those that come to our center for help when they have been told that there is no hope. Let our team 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!