Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Naturopath Report

Last night, after work, I headed down to a small little house with a sign out from that, among other things, confirmed that I was at the right place.

For better or for worse, I was about to head into my first naturopath appointment.

I wasn't sure what to expect but I had some pretty good ideas of what I did and did not want.

I did not want to be told to dramatically change my diet, to give up sugar (wouldn't that be a neat trick for a type 1?), red wine, chocolate, my morning coffee etc etc.

I did not want to be told that I need to take a bunch of weird smelling herbs and tinctures at every meal to balance my chakras or realign my feng shui.

I did want someone who understood type 1 diabetes, the challenges of eating properly to fuel all the activity I do. I wanted someone who would listen to my list of issues (fatigue, ear plugging weirdness, lower than ideal bone density) and work me me to see if there are things I can do feel a little better, a little more energized and a little less prone to breaking.

Guess what?

I got it!

We chatted for an hour and a half and didn't even get to everything. He had obviously done his homework and asked intelligent questions about diabetes, continuous glucose monitors, insulin usage etc. He even laughed at my subtle diabetes jokes that only people who get it would laugh at.

He listened to my concerns and suggested some blood tests based on what I said. I was handed a requisition form to have my ferritin tested, my B12 levels, vitamin D and thyroid. Things I have either never had tested or haven't been checked for in years.

He thought I might have difficulty absorbing minerals (iron, calcium etc) and suggested a digestive enzyme test for a few days. He gave me some samples to try and I am to report back at my next appointment as to how things felt.

He suggested a tablespoon of fish oil in my breakfast shake which is an antioxidant and will help reduce inflammation. He promised that it doesn't taste like fish. "More like lemons" he insisted.

He suggested vitamin K2. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium but Vitamin K2 is important in helping get the calcium from the blood into the bones. "Like how insulin gets sugar from my blood to my muscles?" I asked. "Exactly!" was the response.

Finally, he suggested Vitamin C with bioflavenoids. It's an antioxidant, improves collagen production (which helps strengthen bones) and improves immune function.

That was about the point when I asked for tips re when to take what. Iron shouldn't be taken with anything else other than vitamin C. Calcium and Vitamin D should be taken together - ideally not at meals. Vitamin K2 should be taken with a meal. It gets tricky.

We talked about what to take when. I got my blood work form. I booked a follow-up appointment in a few weeks and I promised to email a week's worth of food diary info. "Everything I eat and drink? Even Dex 4s and 3am fig newtons?" I asked.

"Everything" he said.


The only thing that didn't get resolved? My ear plugging thing. I described it, he asked a ton of questions. At the end, he was just as perplexed as every other doctor I've spoken to.

"Let me do some more research" he said.

Next appointment is November 22nd. Stay tuned for blood work results and a report on how well my digestive enzymes are doing.

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