Last week I wrote about my weight loss struggles, and how I finally realised there might be more than “eat right, eat less and move more” to the weight loss equation…
After speaking to my naturopath-trainee friend Jodie, I got an appointment with one of Sydney’s top naturopaths. I've always been a little wary of seeing an expert, for fear of being told to make sure I eat my whole grains and switch to soy milk. Luckily my naturopath happens to completely support & endorse the grain-free, organic, natural food diet that I eat.
I completed a detailed questionnaire before my appointment, and during my appointment we went through a lot of detail about my medical history, things that may have affected my past and how I feel. Reflecting on it now, it’s quite amazing to think no doctor had ever asked me for such a complete picture before. Questions like: Have I ever had food poisoning? What illnesses have I had? Do I get pins and needles? Do I retain water? What do I eat in a typical day? How do I sleep?
We spoke for almost an hour and it made me think about things I've never thought about before. Now I come to think of it, I do quite often wake up with pins and needles in the middle of the night. I quite often feel exhausted. I've been seriously ill with two unexplained pulmonary embolisms. There was that time I capsized in the river three times during my first (and last) time canoeing, shortly after heavy rainfall – and got suspected Weil’s disease. I got food poisoning when I backpacked in India. All of these things, perhaps completely irrelevant, have never been considered together.
What I love (and hadn't realised) about naturopathy, is that it’s a fusion between age-old herbs, and cutting edge science. I’d naively dismissed naturopathy, as I imagined I’d be given a mysterious overpriced mixture of herbs and sent on my way. I couldn't have got it any more wrong.
The naturopath took notes as we spoke, of things she wanted me to be tested for – and at the end gave me a referral letter to take along to a doctor. An actual medical doctor, who specialises in functional medicine and works closely with the naturopath.
A few weeks later I managed to get an appointment and went along to this doctor, expecting her to charge me a lot of money in exchange for a 2 minute appointment and a form for the blood tests I needed. Wrong again.
I was with the doctor for almost an hour, during which time she asked me a barrage of questions again, homing in on particular areas as my answers lead her. Was I breast-fed as baby? Was I premature? Did I take lots of antibiotics as a child? Did they find out why you’d had the Pulmonary Embolisms? Have you had genetic tests? And on, and on.
She not only knew what paleo was, but spoke to me about Chris Kresser’s latest book. She completely gets it and believes in going grain and sugar free.
As with the naturopath, the doctor was not surprised I have struggled to lose weight with diet and exercise alone and explained how so many different biochemical reasons can prevent fat loss. What a relief to hear there may be an answer out there.
I was surprised at her interest in my Pulmonary Embolism episode. Yes, I had had genetic tests, but come to think of it, I had never seen the results myself and just took the assurances that everything was fine. She compiled a fairly sizeable list of blood tests she wanted me to have, then asked if I have ever had food poisoning, before giving me a kit for stool samples. I knew that was completely unnecessary, but took the kit to humour her.
A few mornings later I went to the clinic for the blood tests, which other than being quite lengthy due to the huge number of vials they needed – was quite uneventful. I also provided the urine and stool samples, and waited for the results, fairly convinced we were going to find some sort of thyroid related issue.
I've been on a big journey of discovery over the last few months, and will be sharing with you what I've learnt about my own weight loss struggle over the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your journey in the comments, below. Do/ did you struggle to lose weight? Have you seen a naturopath or functional doctor?