I had been practicing FM for a few months in Australia when a patient came for her usual repeat prescriptions, but instead of her regular doctor she saw me. She had multiple problems, which as per conventional medicine philosophy were each being treated with different drugs. She was in her late 40s and was on 14 tablets per day! She was miserable when she saw me, fed up with all the medicines, not knowing what half of them did. She told me since she was diagnosed with Diabetes and Crohns disease, her health had been slowly plummeting downhill, as well as her weight, energy levels and mood. I did not say much the first time I met her, rather just listened and really listened (you don’t get ten minutes in Oz, you get as long as it takes!). At the follow up appointment I did the same; listening to her version of the events, tales of her childhood traumas, which included rape and death of her father by hurricane! By the 3rd meeting, she was getting annoyed at my lack of input, at which point I told her; the key to me helping her, was for her to trust me firstly and secondly for me to know EVERYTHING. Now, that didn’t mean her medical history, I had all of that information, I wanted to hear about HER; what SHE thought was wrong with her, what lifestyle factors (be them sleep, diet, stress) made symptoms better, whch made them worse etc, I wanted to hear about her family support, her diet, the kinds of activites she enjoyed.I knew instinctively that there were not multiple issues with different organs, but that they all had common roots and in her case this was severe childhood trauma. The cascade of events following on from that resulted in the lady I saw in Spring 2013. The death of her father in her 20s, had led her to comfort eating. This in turn led her to have a poorly functioning immune system which resulted in persistent infections, most of which would be treated (wrongly) with antibiotics. Decades of antbitoic use, damaged her gut resulting in Crohns disease (there were other reasons too, but antibiotic damage to the gut microbiome is severe) To manage her Crohns, she was put on daily oral steroids and eventually immune supressing drugs. Shortly after she developed diabetes. All the while, there was underlying depression aswell. Now, this is not an uncommon tale at all. People get started on a rollercoatser of drugs and intervetnions at an initial diagnosis, often when quite young with little understanding of the long term side effects. Symptoms suppression will only last so long before side effects make the medicines intolerable or they just stop working.
I explained to the patient, that lots of change needed to be made, and we could eventually start tapering off her medications. A positive side effect would be weight loss, better sleep and a more positive outlook. Over the next few months ( I would often see her hourly twice a week) she started making small changes to her diet. I removed all grains, legumes, glut