So what is it like working with a Functional Medicine Doctor? In addition to my first week break down, I’ll lay out what working together looks like so far to me. Prior to starting the first week we had an initial consultation. Part of this consultation, included letting my new doctor review my most recent blood work, if I chose and discussing what’s been going on with my body and what my goals were to be. Because I had just had my annual appointment with full work up, I gladly sent him a copy of the disappointing results. In addition to the blood work, I sent a detailed summary of my medical history that I had written out. I started with my first surgery at age 4, removal of tonsils at age 8 and everything medical up to now. I also included key stressors in my life, allergies, and any issues I was seeing with my skin.
The Initial Consultation
Once I sent those files and the doctor, he took some time to review them. Next, we did a zoom call and spoke a bit more and I clarified any questions he had. Next, he got to work on my prescription. The doctor even followed up with a couple of emails for additional questions before he completed my protocol/prescription. I was very impressed by that! It made me feel as if he was really digging and putting something together that was very specific to my needs. I felt the doctor was very personable and thorough.
Following our discussions we set my goals to:
- Lower my weight to 135 (-17 lb decrease)
- This is basically a goal set to get me past the 140 lb plateau that I continue to hit
- I will see how I feel and decide if I want to go lower or if I’m satisfied with where I am when I hit 135
- Get me in a good hormonal balance
- This will help clear acne
- This will also help get me off my Sertraline
- Improve my energy levels
The prescription I received was began with my stopping all the supplements that I initially put myself on. I also dropped my Sertraline from 50mg to 25mg. Additionally, within my prescription I received a list of new supplements provided by my doctor to help bring my body back into balance and to supplement the things I’m currently missing and Sertraline that was being lowered. We will work on weening me completely off Sertraline in 3-4 weeks.
Even though the supplements did cost a bit, but I felt that would be partially offset by stopping ordering my current ones. The supplement prescription also stated it’s not a permanent, so the extra outgoing money is worth it to me.
Within the prescription the doctor explained what he was seeing with my bloodwork, medical history and other issues that I had laid out to him. My doctor clearly explained what he wanted me to do and why in a very detailed plan. When I have my next consultation meeting, at the beginning of August, we look at the progress made toward my goals and adjust as needed.
Nutrition Supplement Protocol
We will be working on fixing my stressed Adrenal glands, which are the cause of my Thyroid disfunction. In addition, we will be working on evening out my Estrogen/Progesterone mix. Due to these issues we decided to use a Nutrition Supplement Protocol to start.
We are keeping it simple, for the first four weeks. I will be doing a 17/7 intermittent fast, eating all my calories within 7 hours, trying to keep it to 2 meals. While my doctor doesn’t really like counting calories and Macros he did provide a calorie, protein, and carb suggestion for me to use as a baseline.
Of course I was also provided with a list of foods to keep my diet to in these first four weeks. Thankfully the list is very large and I enjoy most of the foods listed, so there’s no worry of boredom. The diet is pretty much a Paleo/Keto style, which should result in helping to speed up my initial progress. Also, for the first two weeks I will be keeping dairy out of my diet. However, I can add in some high quality dairy during the 3rd week while monitoring how my body reacts to it.
My exercise protocol is very simple and to the point.
- Strength Training
- 2-3 days a week
- Upper/lower body split, then add abs
- Minimum of 20 minutes
- Long slow cardio
- 2-3 days a week
- No specific cardio, just long and slow
- Minimum of 30 – 40 minutes
Week One Results
Week one of working with my Functional Medicine Doctor had me eating ALOT of meat and eggs in an attempt to make my protein intake. At the beginning of the week, I had a hard time eating all of the meat, fruit and vegetables without getting full and still feeling full when it was time for my second meal. Even so, being full longer is not necessarily a bad thing. Focusing on high protein, low carbs and moderate fat leads to being full for longer periods reducing snacking between meals.
Never the less, even with all this eating I was not hitting the minimum calories listed. I also missed my dairy, it helps me to get closer to my protein requirement, which I knew I wasn’t hitting anyway. (Not enough protein is a common female issue).
In spite of those difficulties I did have the below sucesses:
- -4.2 lbs
- -0.7 BMI
- -1.1% Body Fat
- -1.55 inches lost off total body parts measured
- Waist to hip ratio -1.03
What did I learn in my first week working with a Functional Medicine Doctor?
- Cutting dairy increased difficulties getting to my calories and protein.
- To help offset this for the second week, I ordered an approved high quality protein.
- I need to start cooking with butter and oils
- Recent information suggests high quality oils and butters are NOT bad for you. I don’t eat enough calories and adding in “good” oils will help me with calories.
- I need to change my workout from toning with weights to strength training to build muscle faster and help reduce fat.
- I need to eat more meat at meals, which is a culture change for me.
- Eating rice/noodles/bread at each meal is not a requirement. (although I am looking forward to adding some healthy grains back to my diet if that’s what happens after my next meeting
Image by Freepik
Stay tuned for week two summary and results early next week! (I’m currently mid way through week two right now) In the mean time, if you missed my article on why I chose to work with a Functional Medicine Doctor, check it out here.