In this episode, I continue the discussion around the importance of partnership in your health journey and the benefits of working with both your medical doctor and a health coach / integrative health practitioner and why. I also share with you questions that you might want to ask your doctor when seeing them, as sometimes you simply don’t know which questions to ask, so I’ve provided some to get you started. I hope you find this episode both helpful and educational.
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About the Host:
Melissa is an Integrative Health Practitioner helping people get to the root cause of their health issues. Melissa neither diagnoses nor cures but helps bring your body back into balance by helping discover your “toxic load” and then removing the toxins. Melissa offers functional medicine lab testing that helps you “see inside” to know exactly what is going on, and then provides a personalized wellness protocol using natural herbs and supplements. Melissa’s business is 100% virtual – the lab tests are mailed directly to your home and she specializes in holding your hand and guiding the way to healing so that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.
Melissa is the winner of the 2021 Quality Care Award by Business From The Heart and is also the recipient of the Alignable “Local Business Person of the Year “Award 2022 for Whistler.
Melissa has been featured at a number of Health & Wellness Summits, such as the Health, Wealth & Wisdom Summit, The Power To Profit Summit, The Feel Fan-freaking-tas-tic Summit, the Aim Higher Summit, and many more! She has also guested on over 60 different podcasts teaching people about the importance of prioritizing our health and how to get get started.
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Imagine getting up every day full of energy is if you were in your 20s. Again, what would that be? Like? What would that be worth to you? What is your health worth to you?Melissa Deally:
Think about it. Your health isn't everything. But without it, everything else is nothing. And yet too many of us are taking it for granted until something goes wrong. No one wakes up hoping to be diagnosed with a disease or chronic illness. And yet, we've never been taught how to be proactive in our health through our school system, or public health. As a registered health coach and integrative health practitioner, I believe it is time this information is made available to everyone. Combining new knowledge around your health and the ability to do my functional medicine lab tests in the comfort of your own home will allow you to optimize your health for today in all your tomorrow's. Don't wait for your wake up call.Melissa Deally:
Welcome back to another episode of The don't wait for your wake up call Podcast. I'm super excited to have you here today and to continue the discussion around ideal partnerships about lots of great info to share with you today. But first of all, I just want to share another fabulous testimonial that I had from a client, in case this resonates with you and perhaps is someone you know, is in a similar situation. And perhaps you can let them know about my work and refer them to me. Melissa, Delia of your guided health journey is beyond knowledgeable in all things health. Her resources are extensive, and she has provided me with information for a variety of concerns for not only myself, but my family as well. I've done the detox program two times and felt amazing. Next, I've ordered some at home tests to further examine my health concerns. I'm so happy I found Melissa contact her you will be amazed at her extensive knowledge and that is from Heidi Koch. In California. Thank you so much Heidi for sending me that testimonial. And as we dive into this episode and continue talking about ideal partnerships, let's talk about why it's important to have a partnership with your medical doctor and a health coach or integrative health practitioner. It's not about having one or the other, or that one is better than the other. It is truly about having that ideal partnership between both in order to truly take full control of your health. Most medical doctors run bloodwork labs. And you should run these annually because it does give you really good insight into your health. And they will often include your complete chemistry panel, your complete lipid panel looking at your cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, your complete blood count. And sometimes it includes your vitamin D level as well. These labs diagnose disease, and let you know if you're you know you're within the ranges that they're looking for. But if you want to know why you have that disease in the first place, you need to go deeper as these labs do not provide that information. That information that you need in order to figure out why you have that disease in the first place comes from discovering the deficiencies in your body and the imbalances in your body. So you should absolutely run your bloodwork with your medical doctor every year. But you should also run the additional functional medicine labs that will show you those imbalances and deficiencies and help you get to the root cause of the disease in your body. Because that allows you to actually know how to bring your body back into balance so that it can truly heal rather than just accepting that diagnosis. And thinking that your body can't heal and that you're going to have that situation forever. For instance, if you are running your cholesterol levels, and you find out that your levels are high. The lab information doesn't tell you why they are high so that you know what changes to implement in order to bring your levels down. Your doctor will very often give you a statin drug to help bring your cholesterol down. But ask yourself this 10 years ago was your cholesterol high? Likely not. So why is it hi now? We shouldn't just be putting this down to aging and accepting it. We should be asking why does this lab tell you that? Wouldn't you rather know why it's high because then you can do something about it in order to bring it back down and then not be dependent on a chemical drug forevermore. Because there is always a reason why the imbalance has occurred. It didn't just happen because you were Getting older, but it can absolutely be triggered by your overflowing trash cans and resulting toxicity levels inside your body, your hormone levels being imbalanced, your cortisol levels being too high. And the bloodwork you get through your medical doctor doesn't show any of them. But it does get shown in the functional medicine lab tests that I offer other integrative health practitioners offer naturopathic doctors offer.Melissa Deally:
Another example along those lines is that looking at your thyroid, your labs that you get through your doctor will very often assess your TSH level your thyroid stimulating hormone level. And if your level is below a five, they'll tell you that's within range, and everything's normal with you. But meanwhile, you're struggling with weight gain, you have cold hands and feet possible hair thinning, brain fog, and you know, in your body, something isn't right, and you're left wondering what is wrong. But when we use functional medicine markers, we're looking at markers, relative to optimal health versus just average. So we actually want to see your TSH level below a 2.5. And we'll actually go deeper and look at your free T three and your free T four levels as well in order to catch the early warning signs of a struggling fibroid. And if we see that we can use natural supplements to support the deficiencies and help your thyroid get back to a healthy level of function. Before it gets so far out of balance, that you have to intervene with a pharmaceutical prescription. It's also really important to know your mineral levels and your Omega three levels. If you want to have optimal health, healthy omega three levels mean healthy inflammation. But right now many people are struggling with gut health issues and other imbalances that trigger inflammation in the body. And high levels of inflammation cause your cells to turn on your genes for the diseases that you're genetically predisposed to, as I talked about two episodes, episodes ago in Episode 73, when I was talking about the science of epigenetics, but we don't have to have those disease genes turned on, when the environment inside our body is healthy and clean, and we have normal levels of inflammation, those cells never need to be turned on. So that means we don't have to wait until that happens, we can take responsibility for our health, we can step into preventative measures by assessing what our inflammation levels are through a functional medicine lab, and then take corrective action with natural supplements and then choosing to eat more fatty fish and understanding the best sources of Omega threes for you. These labs will even tell you if you need more EPA or DHA. Without the lab, how do you even know what kind of supplement to buy. And as an added bonus, when we use this lab to optimize your inflammation levels, we can reduce the risk of sudden death from cardiovascular disease by 90%. Yes, nine 0%. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in North America. And using just this one lab, we could change that and bring down the number of deaths by cardiovascular disease drastically because we would see what people's inflammation levels are, we could then bring that down through the use of supplementation, the right supplementation for what their body needs, as well as diet changes in order to bring their inflammation levels down. So they're not at risk. How powerful is that? It's very powerful. So do you see how having a partnership between running the labs that your doctor runs and then running the labs on the functional medicine side gives them a really well rounded view of your health, your body's deficiencies, your body's imbalances. And I could go on and on about the labs, but I've actually explained them all in a previous podcast, it was podcast number 56. You can go and check that out if you'd like to learn more about the labs that are available to you. If the idea of working in collaboration in partnership with myself as an integrative health practitioner and your doctor is appealing to you. If your health is important to you, then why wouldn't you want to be able to do that and understand everything you can about your health. So my point here is that when we use these additional lab tests to catch problems early, it's so much easier to bring the body back into balance and it's not your doctors fault. They don't run the additional labs or that they're accepted. will range is based on averages rather than optimal health levels. But this is where partnerships can be so useful because you can work with your medical doctor for all the labs they run. And then also work with an integrative health practitioner like myself to do the additional lab work to give you the full picture of your body's imbalances and deficiencies relative to what optimal health looks like. So you can make the tweaks needed to get back to optimal health.Melissa Deally:
So the other thing that I would love to share with you today is just some questions that you can be asking your doctor in order to help build an ideal partnership between them and a health coach or an integrative health practitioner. And I've put these questions together. In no particular order, and the list is not exhaustive, but I thought it might be a really good starting point for you. Because sometimes you don't know what to ask, right? We don't know what we don't know. And so I thought I would share some of these. And so when you're talking to your doctor, and perhaps you've, you know, they've prescribing a drug to you, they've diagnosed you with a chronic illness of some sort. Here are some of the questions that you can be asking. So the first one is simply Have you ever partnered with a health coach before or an integrative health practitioner, and if they say no, then you might want to be asking if they understand the value of you partnering with an integrative health practitioner while also continuing to work with them. And you can explain to them that they are so busy, they don't have the time to help you change your lifestyle habits or adjust your nutrition or give you exercise plans or help you improve your sleep or lower your stress. They'll tell you that you need to do all of those things. But that's the end of it, there is no further support provided. Whereas a health coach or an integrative health practitioner, do offer all of that support to help you be successful in making those changes. And perhaps if your doctor understood that, that extra piece of IT support that the health coach or the integrative health practitioner is providing, and that we can all work together in partnership to help you achieve your health goals, then that could create an ideal partnership where they they embrace that. You can also ask them if they're prescribing a prescription drug to you? Do you know of a natural alternative to this treatment? And the answer may be no again, they've been trained in what they've been trained in which very often is pharmaceutical drugs, and they may not have been trained in plant medicine and botanicals etc. But if they don't know of an alternative treatment, you can take the prescription but you can also say, I am going to try and find a natural alternative first, before I start using this prescription. There are a lot of safe and effective natural options for depression, for instance, and yet most doctors will write a prescription for an SSRI chemical drugs that over time can become less effective, then you need a higher dose or they have to switch you to a different drug altogether. But most doctors just don't have the time to ask you about your diet, your sleep, your stress, or look at your gut health, all of which can impact your mental health and your depression. And that's not their fault. As I said, it's not what they're trained in. But as you are listening to this podcast, you know there are options, and that you can ask specific questions to help yourself. I have clients that I've worked with that have been able to completely come off their meds as a result of detoxing, healing their gut and changing their diet. And as I said in my episode 73 I don't guide people in coming off their drugs. That's not what I'm trained in. I will have them work with another concierge pharmacist that is absolutely trained in that so that they're coming off their drugs safely. But the reason that they can come off them is because they're healing their gut, changing their diet and detoxing. And so they no longer need those drugs because in healing their gut and changing their diet, their mental health is improving as well. The body doesn't just heal in one place at one time when we start healing the body and we give the environment, the body, the environment to heal, the whole body starts healing. And I'm not going to say that will be true for everyone. We are all different. But I would love to see where we start with natural options first, before going straight to a chemical truck that causes other side effects and then you need another drug to address those side effects. The natural products typically don't have any side effects. So that's a great Starting Point. And so it's always worth asking that question of your doctor before you start on a pharmaceutical prescription.Melissa Deally:
If you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, ask your doctor to if they can help you change your diet and your lifestyle factors in order to reverse the diagnosis. Because most chronic illnesses are not a life sentence, they are a state of dis ease or imbalance in your body, which can be resolved once we get to the root cause. And your doctor might be able to help you do that. So it's always worth asking. And if they cannot help you, then that's a good time to be asking about working with a health coach so that you don't have to be on a prescription medication forever, you might need it depending how far out of balance your body is, you might need it now to start off with, and then start changing some of these lifestyle habits, etc, etc, so that you can be weaned off it. And if your doctor is willing to partner with a health coach or integrative health practitioner that just serves you better, because you know that you're supported on both sides. And if they can be communicating as well. It's in your best interest of your healing when this lovely partnership is happening. And it helps you achieve the best results. If your doctor is recommending you change your diet, ask if they can provide a meal plan with recipes that aligns with what they'd like you to do. Because we've eaten one way our whole life, you know, we as adults, we tend to eat the way that we did as kids in many cases, and we've got a lot of comfort foods that we turn to. And when we have to start giving those up, it can feel hard, we can have resistance to it, our brain can be talking to us and asking us, you know, why are we making these new recipes? It's taking longer, they're harder, why are we doing this? What if you don't even like them, because your brain is noticing that it's different. It's trying to keep you safe, it's trying to pull you back into your comfort zone where knows you can keep you safe. And that's when we often will fall off programs, because we don't really know if we're doing it right, and we don't have that support. And if your doctor doesn't have anything to offer, then again, it's a perfect time to be asking about working with a health coach or an integrative health practitioner that has access to these resources, and can be supporting you. And if you're asking your doctor about it first, then you're getting their buy in and you're setting up that you know opportunity for a great ideal partnership for your health journey. You can also ask your doctor if they offer functional medicine lab testing, because more doctors are able to do that now. And if they say no, that's fine, you can again ask if you can seek out these labs and then share the results with them. So again, by sharing the results with them, you're creating a partnership, you're not working against them or making them feel like you don't, you know, trust what they're telling you, et cetera, and feeling like you're gonna go somewhere else, you're sharing the results with them, it's your body, you have the choice, you have the right to get as much information about your body as you can. And you want to do that when you feel amazing, because then that's a really great baseline of what you want to try and stay at. And then you know, if you run the labs a year later, and things have moved slightly, you might not have noticed that you don't feel as amazing as you did, because we don't notice the slow changes in our body over time. But the lab will show it. And then you can bring your body back into balance and go, Oh, wow, I have more energy or my brain fog has gone away, or those aches and pains in my joint that I hadn't really noticed creeping in, have gone away. Some doctors might indicate that doing the lab testing the functional medicine, lab testing is a waste of your money. But you now know that that absolutely isn't true. They just don't know what the functional medicine lab testing offers. So once you do it and then share the results with them, they might have a different opinion.Melissa Deally:
So more information, as I said is always helpful in understanding your symptoms and your baseline of optimal health. And again, if you share the results with your doctor, you're working in partnership with them, providing them the additional information that you learned from these lab tests. They may not be trained in reading them. Some of them they might be able to figure out some of them might not mean much but once you've learned what they mean, you can also share that with your doctor. And the other thing is that you always have the right to ask why. Whenever you don't understand something or you're being told you need to do something, know that you can ask, why do I need to do that? What is this drug for? Why do I have these symptoms? That was some thing that I did myself with my doctor when my migraines suddenly got worse. And I didn't want a another stronger drug. I wanted to know why they were suddenly worse because if I knew why then I could do something about it. And unfortunately, my doctor didn't have the answers, but I really wanted to know the why. So I kept searching. And that's when I found a naturopathic doctor that could run my hormone labs for me, which showed me that my progesterone levels were really low, which is a common cause of migraines. And so now I knew. And so then I was able to supplement with progesterone, in order to bring my hormones back into balance, and bring my migraines to being almost non existent for about seven years. And then when the migraines got worse again, well, now I was like, Oh, I think I know why. Because I learned that from before. And I went back to the naturopath and I got more of that absolutely disgusting tonic that I had to take in order to rebalance my hormones. But it was so worth it because the migraines were awful. And once I got rid of them, life was easy. I also want you to know that you absolutely have the right to get a second opinion, even a third opinion, and to listen to your body, your intuition. If something doesn't feel right to you, if you're being told something and it just doesn't sit right with you get a second opinion, get a third opinion. It's really, as I said, it's your body, it's your health, you need to take responsibility, you need to be invested in your health. And when you listen to your body, and you listen to your intuition, and my last four episodes, were all on intuition, go back and listen to those. You can at that point, you know really start to be empowered in your healing journey. And it's as much about you being part of the partnership with your doctor with your integrative health practitioner, as it is about them guiding you. So ask for a second opinion. There's nothing wrong with that. And in fact, it could be very, very helpful for you. So your health is your responsibility. You need to be educated about it. To ask the right questions, your health is not your doctor's responsibility. And therefore you ultimately have a choice as to who you work with on your health journey. Ideally, it would be great to have both a medical doctor and a health coach or an integrative health practitioner. But not all doctors are open to this. And that is when you can choose to change doctors in order to be able to create the ideal partnership for yourself. Don't accept being told there is only one way to do something, there is always another option, you can always get a second opinion. And there is always a reason why. So I hope you've enjoyed this podcast. I hope you found it helpful and enlightening. I've certainly enjoyed putting it together for you. And again, please share it with anybody that you think it might benefit. I've enjoyed creating this podcast as I said, Thank you so much for listening. Have a wonderful week, and I will be back again