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Patient Success Story: Emilie

Jun 27, 2022 | Blog, Functional Medicine


Issues in the gut don’t necessarily cause gut issues.

It seems obvious to look at the gut when that is the patient’s primary concern but what about when those symptoms are not a big concern?

You know how they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? The gut isn’t like that– issues in the gut don’t stay in the gut. An imbalance in gut bacteria can lead to an array of symptoms ranging from skin issues to depression/anxiety to autoimmunity and yes, gut issues too. The thing is when you aren’t feeling well, there’s a reason. Often that reason can be found in the conventional approach to healthcare, but when it isn’t found, it can be found by digging deeper.

My approach is to partner with patients and look together for these root causes in a step-wise fashion. The body breaks down in a predictable manner and we usually find the answer by looking at the most common causes of dysfunction from a functional standpoint: adrenals, hormones, gut issues, and toxic overload. If we don’t find an answer there, we keep looking. Your body is an amazing machine that was designed to function optimally. When it isn’t, there is always a reason!

Meet Emilie.

Emilie is 74 years old. She has had a history of severe eczema for the past 3 years. She was initially misdiagnosed with scabies, but when the treatments didn’t work, she was diagnosed with papular eczema. The rash covered her entire body from her neck all the way down to her feet. It itched and affected her quality of life. Steroid creams helped a little but never caused the rash to go away. The relief was temporary. When she stopped them the rash would return with a vengeance.

Because she wasn’t responding as typical eczema patients do and she had a history of hyperthyroidism as a teen and then hypothyroidism in her 40s, her dermatologist appropriately decided to dig deeper. She ordered thyroid antibody tests and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Seemingly unrelated, Emilie also had some gut-related symptoms. She suffered from constipation, bloating, heartburn, and gas/belching. She also experienced mild intestinal pain and mild nausea. These symptoms were present for years also.

She blamed these symptoms on her diet. She had cleaned her diet up in the past and during that time her symptoms were much better. Although even when she was perfect with her diet, the symptoms weren’t entirely gone. Intuitively it seemed to Emilie that there was something more going on.

When I first met Emilie in the summer of 2021, she was looking to discover the root cause of her thyroid and eczema issues, eliminate those issues and come up with a structured life plan for her health.

We both appreciated the work the dermatologist had done, but we decided to dig even deeper. For starters, we checked her adrenals. We also did in-depth thyroid testing. Once we established a strong foundation, we tested the gut.

Check out Dr. Libby’s latest program all about optimizing the gut!

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