Functional Medicine and My Autoimmune Disease

I was diagnosed with both Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2014.  My problems started in the fall of 2013– I would get random pains in my joints and my left foot was swollen and painful, even though I hadn’t injured it.  I was eventually referred to my current rheumatologist, Parveen Qazi.  Dr. Qazi is in high demand and it would take 3 months to get an appointment with her- which was March 2014.

It was January and my symptoms were getting worse.  I found another rheumatologist who could get me in right away.  He was very old and told me that he thinks I have a parvo virus, not rheumatoid arthritis, and that was causing my symptoms.  I had a sausage finger and he injected my hand with a painful steroid that never did help.  I kept my appointment with Dr. Qazi but never went back to the old doctor.

My visit with Dr. Qazi was way more intense.  She took one look at my sausage finger (yes, I STILL had it even months later) and told me I have Psoriatic Arthritis and that the sausage finger was a classic symptom.  She did bloodwork and took xrays of all my joints.  She started me on a medication called Methotrexate and gave me several brochures on different medications, all with possible serious side effects.  I’ve been following up with her every few months since then & have been happy with her treatment.

My visit back in May was stellar.  I had been alcohol free for about 3 months and feeling amazing.  Most days would begin with a 2-3 mile walk/run and end with a 8-15 mile bike ride.  She asked me about all of my previous ailments, most of which I forgot that I even had.  I felt SO good, but do have to say that I had been taking Humira for a few years (to quiet down my immune system), so my health really wasn’t perfect, but it was good with the Humira bandaid.

Fast forward to July and for some reason my health fell apart. I have no idea why.  I was still not drinking and wasn’t working so my stress level was low.  It started with random pains that would make me scream out when I turned over at night and my foot got bad again, but this time it was my right foot. It is now November and things have progressively gotten worse.  Additionally, I’m taking twice the amount of Humira and have added prednisone to my daily regimen.

I’ve been doing a lot of research and looking at alternative ways to treat autoimmune diseases.  I was convinced that I had leaky gut and that was causing my inflammation.  I tried an elimination diet but failed during week 3 because I was so painful, tired and gagging on all of my meals.  I wanted to continue looking at fixing my gut, but thought I needed guidance from a professional.

I found a reputable chiropractor who treats all sorts of things and is world renown.  Luckily he had a cancellation for today and I was able to swipe that appointment right up. This was excellent, I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to get in until the new year.  I was excited but also nervous.  By now, I’ve had so many bad experiences with doctors, I really don’t trust them generally.  What if he tells me nonsense?  What if he just tries to sell me a bunch of supplements?  What if this is a waste of my time?

I’m happy to report that after my appointment I am feeling REALLY positive– for the first time in a long time (at least pertaining to my health).

I had been watching his lectures, so when he popped into my room while reviewing my record it was weird- like he was a celebrity.  He looked at my hands first and asked me many questions.  I told no lies.

I told him that I’m an alcoholic.  THIS.

You see, when I go to a doctor for help, I am honest and open.  This isn’t the first doctor that I’ve said this to, but this is the 1st doctor who did not wash it down the drain with barely an acknowledgement.  It is the most helpless feeling in the entire world to open yourself up like that to someone who you think may be able to help you but they don’t.

This is how our conversation went:

Me: “Oh, and I’m an alcoholic.  I have periods of sobriety- but really I have no idea how much or little alcohol contributes to my health problems.”

Dr: “Who are you, your mom or your dad?”

Me: “Ummmm, both?”

Dr: “Who’s brain do you have?  Your mom’s or your dad’s?”

Me: “My mom.”

Dr: “It won’t stop will it?  It won’t shut up.  You drink to shut off your brain.  I can see it in your eyes, just like Catherine Zeta Jones. Just like my dad and my uncle Larry.  The alcohol gene skipped me, but my dad and uncle have it.”

Hmmmmmmm… my mom had a very busy mind and so do I.  This guy was spot on. He thanked me at least twice throughout the visit for being honest with him and telling him about my addiction.  SO MUCH more than I ever got from the other doctors.

Overall, I was very happy with my visit.  I was painful when he pushed behind my knees so he said that’s where the infection is and it’s going straight to my feet.  He suspects that I have strep and staff throughout my body and also a Parvo virus that moves around and causes problems in different places (remember the old rheumatologist…..).

He says that he’s going to cure me and that I’m quite complicated and will be excited for him to fix me.  I think he’s going to turn me into a case study when it’s all said and done!

He even gave me something to turn off my brain.  He said that if I didn’t tell my husband, he would guarantee that hubby would notice it on his own in 7-14 days.  He said that my eyes will look more relaxed, not like they look now– which is like I’m about to be murdered.


This is my regimen:

I’m going back for a recheck in 2 weeks.  He thinks I’ll be cured in about 8 weeks.  I will be absolutely floored if this works!!  GOOD, positive thoughts <3 <3 <3


Published by Organic Revival

I am a mom of boys, wife, furmom, gardner, walker, runner, teacher, reader, writer and cook. I am 42 years old and live in the beautiful state of Michigan. I love my job as an elementary special education teacher. The most remarkable quality of mine is that I'm a recovering alcoholic.

6 thoughts on “Functional Medicine and My Autoimmune Disease

  1. How exciting! I look forward to hearing more.

    I was diagnosed with palindromic rheumatism. Drugs offered and refused. I am able to deal with the flare ups I have.

    It’s hard to know what to do,

    Hug! Anne

    1. Sorry you have an autoimmune disease too 🙁 I’m glad that you can control it without meds. It is SO hard to know what to do sometimes! It was ok when I was taking meds and feeling good. The reality is, though, that for over 2 months I’ve not only more than doubled my meds, but I’m still in pain. The bandaid method of modern medicine is not working and I don’t think is the best practice.

  2. Thank you for sharing. We understand the struggle of having to deal with an autoimmune disease and recognize your strength. If you would like to learn more about autoimmune diseases and ways to improve your health through functional medicine (such as food therapy and movement therapy) check out our blog. We have lots of resources that you may be interested in 🙂 #spooniestrong

  3. I hope you feel well soon. I was almost completely free of autoimmune issues in 2014 through a combo of diet, herbal antifungial/antibiotics, exercise, meditation, yoga, and many, many alternative therapies. Then I was harassed for over a year at a toxic job. I’m even worse, or maybe it’s just different symptoms now so I have to start over again. I hope we both have a great 2019!

    1. Wow, how amazing that you cured yourself naturally! I’m sorry that the stress of your job made awful symptoms come back. Wishing you the best in your journey to wellness 💙. If nothing else, these autoimmune diseases are making us strong & resilient 💪🏾. I have faith that we will both have a great 2019 🎉🎉🎉

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: