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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • August 2018
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Jane visits a functional medicine practitioner — Part I

I admit, I am getting older. We all are. Time has been pretty good to me but during the last few years I have been struggling with the usual issues we face once we cross into that last half of life on this earth. I have always been diligent about keeping up with my annual physicals, lab work and checkups. I am sad to say that the only help I have been offered to address my newest issues have been the latest pill on the market. I started thinking that there has to be a better way.

I came across a quote from Dr. Scott Vander Wielen, a local chiropractor and functional medicine practitioner. He said, “Death is inevitable, disease is not.” So we are not all doomed to aging with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s? According to him, we are not. I was intrigued, and kept that quote in the back of my mind for a while before I decided to take action.

Functional medicine looks at the body as a whole and focuses on treating the individual and not the disease. It believes the body has a natural capacity to heal itself and once that is complete, the disease resolves. Dr. Scott recognizes that every individual is unique, so not every patient — even if they have the same health issue — will have the same treatment plan.

I called Vander Wielen Health & Wellness Diagnostic Center and spoke with Christine who was very helpful. They offer a complimentary consultation so I scheduled one. Christine let me know to block off one hour for the appointment. My first surprise was that I would get more than 10 minutes of the doctor’s time. I filled out a questionnaire they gave me and gathered up any medical records that I thought might be helpful and went for my first visit.

Dr. Scott reviewed my concerns and what I wanted to achieve and decided he could help me. He admitted if he meets with someone with unrealistic expectations he will let them know he can’t help them. I like that kind of honesty. Functional medicine care is not a “one and done” process since it takes time to reverse what may have taken years to develop into disease and find the underlying cause. It also takes trust and communication between the patient and provider over more than one appointment. Contrary to what we’ve been told, there is no magic pill. What impressed me the most was that both Christine and Dr. Scott are so compassionate and nonjudgmental, and that they genuinely care about the patients they see. That, along with the fact that they took the time to really get to know me. After my complimentary consultation, I decided to move forward with an exam. After all, according to my blood work and scale, my numbers kept going up even though I was doing my best to follow my doctor’s advice.

My first exam was about an hour of in-depth testing. I had neurological and cognitive testing done along with a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), which measures body composition. That was an eye opener, let me tell you! I found out how much of my body was fat, muscle, water and skeletal. I learned that research has shown that body composition is directly related to health. The BIA also let Dr. Scott know my phase angle and if the water was inside or outside my cells (more on this in Part II). That gave him a great picture of my health and all I had to do was lie down with a couple of electrode pads stuck to me.

After the exam and going over my health questionnaire, he let me know what blood tests he felt he should order and why. He felt it was needed that I have a few “extra tests” but at the time did not feel I needed to go the food allergy route. I was good with that.

During the beginning course of my treatment he recommended I complete a detox program because even though I was eating good, quality fats like avocados, olive oil and fish, my tests showed I wasn’t absorbing the nutrients from these foods. I detoxed for two weeks and returned for a followup, which showed I was able to get rid of some of the pesky toxins that were hanging around in my body. I do attribute some of that success to the high quality supplements I used to assist my body with this detox. We also discussed the best nutrition for me based on what my tests revealed. I’ve never had a doctor really dig into what I ate before but Dr. Scott does believe that food is medicine and key to optimal health. This started me on a path to weight loss, which had previously been very difficult for me.

In part two of this article, I will update my progress after 10 months of Dr. Scott’s care and how successful we have been in eliminating my high blood pressure, which was my biggest priority when starting this journey. It has already gone down to an almost normal reading without any medication! I also have a lot more energy. I can’t wait to see what the next several months can do! 

This is Part I of a two-part article. Stay tuned to the January 2019 issue of Nature’s Pathways for its follow-up.

Vander Wielen Health & Wellness Diagnostic Center, LLC

1486 Kenwood Dr, Menasha


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