Naturopath Update: Visit #7

I haven’t written much here concerning my naturopath visits, which started about the same time I started this blog. I think I may copy over my ND posts from my other (more personal) blog, so all my health progress is in the same place.

I’ve been seeing Dr L, a Chinese Medicine/Naturopathic doctor/acupuncturist. There are a couple of complaints I have about her: she doesn’t explain things as much as I’d like her to (she does tell me stuff–I just want MORE), and I feel there should be more focus on my gut. However, she has helped me quite a lot, and while I feel I’d like to see another ND for help with my gut, I find she is too knowledgeable about kidney healing to not see her.

It’s odd I’m complaining about not enough focus on my gut because when I went in the first time, I wasn’t thinking about my gut at all. She brought it up, told me I needed good digestion for my body (particularly my kidneys) to heal. It was like an aha! moment for me, and a catalyst that got me more focused on changing my diet. I do always get asked about my digestion when I go in for visits, but I usually just say it’s better (because really it is–I rarely bloat anymore, rarely have gas or other problems), but it really isn’t all better. Nobody’s gut heals that quickly, does it? What I actually want is for someone to tell me what foods I need to eat/avoid. My friend has an ND that can diagnose food sensitivities through applied kinesiology and is very diet-focused. I like that, because I strongly believe in food as medicine. Dr L apparently does, too, but her focus in more on herbs. My entire diet should be my medicine, not just the supplements. (Update 11/28/11. I think I am just going to do the GAPS diet instead of seeing the other ND.)

But the supplements she has recommended have been nothing short of amazing for me. With each new thing I add, I can tell a difference. I feel calmer, more energetic. My PMS symptoms have almost completely disappeared (a year ago I had very severe PMDD). My last period was even shorter–only 7 days instead of 9+. I can’t say how much is the supplements or how much is the diet, but they are both definitely working for my health. My period did shorten, however, only after increasing my magnesium intake.

Two months ago Dr L told me my liver was stagnant. She determined this by doing something that I don’t understand–I really ought to have her explain it to me–she seems to feel my pulse and look at my tongue and then she’ll tell me what’s going on with my organs. It’s nothing specific–not like she can diagnose a kidney disease, but she can recognize that my kidneys are weak, or doing better, etc. So anyway, she said my liver was stagnant but I don’t recall her giving me any advice on it. The following month I told her that while I was still improving, I was very irritable all the time. She told me I was irritable because my liver was not detoxing well. This was interesting because the irritability started when I started taking Neprinol, which can cause detox symptoms. She put some liver-supporting herbs in my herbal preparation, and told me I needed more magnesium. That really stood out to me because even before I starting seeing her, I suspected I had a magnesium deficiency. Also my friend had recently told me that chocolate cravings can be a sign of magnesium deficiency–I had started craving more chocolate after I started on Neprinol, and had no idea why. After this visit with Dr L, the author of blog Cheeseslave shared some very enlightening information she had read in the book The Magnesium Miracle, and so much if it hit home with me (something I hope to write about in the future) It’s very exciting when the all puzzle pieces start fitting together.

I just recently had a visit with my nephrologist (kidney doctor), who was glad that I was feeling much better and had got my blood pressure back to normal, even if she had nothing to do it. Some labs were done and indicated that my protenuria had reduced from 1.8g/day to 1.48g/day. Not as good as I had hoped, but still an improvement (let’s remember that my nephrologist told me that I have a degenerative disease that is supposed to get worse). I had hoped to be strong enough at this point to get pregnant again, but it doesn’t seem that way. It’s really hard holding off on pregnancy…my son is three, and if I got pregnant right now, he’d be four years older than the baby. To space my children even further than that…I just don’t want to. *sigh*

Anyway, the last visit to Dr L (three days ago) resulted in my getting vitamin B12 shots–about four or five of them–in my right hip, which I had somehow got hurt. I had seen a chiropractor immediately after my hip started hurting, and it brought the pain down from “it’s killing me” to just sore. The achiness had persisted for over a week, so Dr L thought it warranted the B12 injections. It was not pleasant, and I was more sore afterward, but the next day I felt better, and the last two days my hip has not bothered me. Nice. She did tell me that the B12 only relaxes the muscle and that the root of the problem should be dealt with (which I think is lack of proper exercise and an old injury).

She also suggested that I start on the herb cordyceps, which is actually a fungus that has very cool healing abilities. I am taking so many supplements now, I feel like I need one of those pill boxes with the compartments for the different times of day. I look forward to one day being off most, if not all, supplements. They are definitely working for me, though. If I forget to take them one day, I can really tell a difference.

So, that’s my update on that area of my life.

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