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THE HEALTHIEST YOU

Progress not Perfection, straight forward changes to create your healthiest you.

One half of ALL adults have a chronic illness, which means multiple medications...side effects....drug interactions and yet nothing to solve the ROOT of the problem.  Instead we treat the symptoms of the disease.  Sure some medications help to prevent complications of the diseases, but what about PREVENTION or better yet HEALING!?!    As medicine advances we are learning that increasing certain foods, herbs, vitamins, minerals and decreasing others can help us heal from the inside out.  Limiting our chemical exposure...increasing our movement...focusing on natural or homeopathic medicine we can heal ourselves from the inside out.

it can be very confusing and extremely overwhelming!!!  Most people make drastic changes and then cannot stick with it.  Let's learn about making lifestyle changes that stick. If we take time to learn the WHY behind things it helps motivate us to make the changes more permanent.  I'm not your average physician, I trained and practice as an MD, but I love the intersection of traditional medicine and holistic medicine.  Every day I learn more about both.  

Join me on this journey of decreasing stress and inflammation through the food we eat and the life we live.  Let's become the healthiest version of ourselves one step at a time while learning the science behind it all!

BIO

Marguerite Weston, MD
I am a Family Medicine and Sports Medicine Physician practicing in Ohio. I have been practicing for over ten years and in three different states, but am finally back home, Go Buckeyes!  I am currently studying Functional Medicine and planning for certification to be complete this fall.  I love the intersection of traditional training and holistic medicine.
I am a wife, mom, encourager of others and lover of education.  I love trying new recipes although I am not an adventurous foodie!  I love to make healthy choices although I also love pizza and homemade chocolate chip cookies.  At the end of the day we are all a lot more alike than we are different let's show each other some grace.

 

MY TEST RESULTS THAT LED ME TO FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

MY JOURNEY INTO FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

 

I have always wanted to be a doctor and I loved every rotation in medical school so family medicine was the logical choice.  I also love sports, I played soccer at a small university in Ohio (GO POLAR BEARS!)! And so I completed a sports medicine fellowship after my family medicine residency.  

 

THE TURN

My first job was with the University of Oklahoma and in Oklahoma everything changed.  I started having numb patches over a couple different areas.  I cannot remember if it was before or after my first child.  You think you are going to remember things…like the date of your last mammogram…you can’t!!  I’ve had patients unable to tell me which knee was operated on!  We’ve had to look for scars!  So anyway…weird neurological symptoms in a 30 something year old female equals MRI’s and labs to rule out MS.  Have you had an MRI?  I felt like the criminal in Con Air with that mask on my face.  My ANA (an autoimmune marker) was in the “gray zone”, not negative, but not quite high enough to be considered positive. However it was definitely high enough to freak me out.  Plus my brain MRI had some abnormalities, abnormal but not quite consistent with MS.  Great just what everyone wants to hear...that your brain is not quite normal.  Couldn't be my left elbow or a toe...had to be the brain!  Followed that up with spinal MRI’s, which were completely negative (great news because typically lesions in the spinal cord means active MS).   And so I will continue with MRI’s yearly to every other year-ish to make sure nothing is changing in my brain.  What caused the MRI changes?  No one knows. But it is pretty freaky knowing they are there.  

THE FREAK OUTS

Many of you have gone through similar scenarios I’m sure.  So you start playing the “WHAT IF” game…a dangerous little game!   I can what if myself into having an incurable cancer, into something happening to one of my kids, to the plane crashing.   Specifically with the MS scare I “what if-ed” myself into a wheelchair.  I remember one day my kids were in the car and one of them forgot something so I ran back up into the house, bounding up the stairs to grab it.  While I was going up the stairs I thought to myself, “what if in ten years you can’t run up the stairs?” ….cue water works.  I cried often and hard.  In my warped mind I already had mom guilt about imagining the girls having their mom in a wheelchair at graduation and worried that they would be embarrassed of me, sad they would have to care for me.  Seriously…and I have a lot of anxious patients so I know I am not the only one with the “what if’s”.  Why don’t we “what if” my kid is so smart she gets a full ride or “what if” I meet an amazing group of friends that I just click with?  Why does it have to be worst case scenario on crack?? 

THE UNKNOWN & UNCONTROLLABLE

I tend to be a tad of a control freak.  So logically I looked at what I could control with these symptoms.  How could I normalize my labs?  I wanted to know the WHY.  And so I started studying inflammatory foods, which led me to functional medicine.  I changed my diet.  Luckily I’m married to the most amazing man ever so when I said we are now eating a plant based diet he was totally supportive.  We were not perfect but we were pretty good.  And lo and behold…my labs normalized!  My ANA dropped from 1:640 to 1:40…whoop whoop!!! Now the MRI is still abnormal, I'm not saying it is going to be normal next time. Honestly, medically speaking ANA is not part of the MS diagnosis, BUT no one likes having abnormalities.  You want to be boring and normal when it comes to medical testing.  

NEW WAY OF THINKING

For over ten years I have been treating patients with medicines...medicines and more medicines. I wanted to learn about natural ways.  Well guess what…FOOD IS MEDICINE!  What we eat matters.   

Now I'm not perfect, we still love ourselves some pizza and I still bake cookies with my girls. We are no longer all plant based but we definitely eat more plant based.  It is so cool (inner nerd alert) to see what a body was made to do and how a body uses the foods we give it. I grew up learning a calorie is a calorie is a calorie....oh so not true!! It is about the cascade of hormonal reactions that occur when we eat certain foods...it is amazing!! 

One of the areas of my job that I love the most is education. I love educating patients. Now believe me there are times when I start on my "rants" about things I think are so great and a patient will stare blankly. Yes I then wrap it up quickly. However when I see a patient move towards the edge of their seat or their eyes widen in awe...it is on!! I will draw, demonstrate, re-inact, raise my voice in excitement! I love that part of my work. After all, who is going to do what I ask of them if they do not know the why behind it?! I have to "sell" my patients on the reason they need to eat a certain way or exercise a certain way. My goal is to give you the why behind things. Then and only then will you truly believe and then act.  And once you prove it to yourself then you will be hooked!!

 
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Final Elimination Diet info! What to do if you have symptoms when you add food back in.

Sorry it has taken so long to get this last post in!!


Have you had those seasons when your days fly and weeks fly even faster?? Those weeks I need to remind myself of what is really important and try to slow down and appreciate the little things. Just stop and watch my kids play or spend some time just listening to their awesome stories and looking straight into their eyes at their level.


You may find that after your elimination diet you feel amazing and then you start to add in foods and certain foods trigger you. You may notice that certain foods cause a rash, IBS symptoms, headaches, rashes, or brain fog, What do you do then? You take those back out. What if it is your favorite food ever and you don't think you can live without it? (seriously though, I did not realize my love for eggs until I did not have them for three weeks!!).

There is still hope, it may not be forever, but it should be for the next 3-6 months. Any foods that trigger need to go for the next 3-6 months. During that time you are allowing your gut to heal. Adding prebiotics will help to heal your gut, or better yet prebiotic foods such as fermented foods, asparagus, garlic, leeks, apples, oats, flax seed and cocoa (that's right I said cocoa!!). Everyone has heard of probiotics, which are the healthy bacteria needed to heal your gut lining, but what in the world are prebiotics. Prebiotics are the nutrients needed for the good bacteria to eat. If you take probiotics without giving that good bacteria it's needed nutrients to grow (prebiotics) then you are honestly wasting your money.


Why does our gut need healing anyway? When we expose our gut to unhealthy foods (high sugar, highly processed, low fiber foods) in addition to toxins in our food sources and environment (pesticides, heavy metals) we get "leaky gut". This will be a future post I guarantee it! These small and constant attacks on our gut lining causes the junctions between the cells to leak. As a result particles cross the gut lining into our bloodstream that should be kept in our gut. Our immune system then recognizes these as "foreign" and creates anti-bodies against them. These immune complexes can wreak havoc on every system in our body. Do you think it is coincidence that there is a rise in autoimmune diseases?? Immune complexes against ourselves??


Back to the elimination diet. You take out the foods that triggered you for 3-6 months while your leaky gut heals. Some healthy supplements to support gut health include L-glutamine, quercetin, DGL licorice, slippery elm and N-acetyl glucosamine. Stay tuned for future posts on these supplements and their multiple uses!


Once you heal for those 3-6 months you can try to reintroduce those foods again. If your symptoms return then you may have a sensitivity or intolerance to those foods and they should be very limited in your diet.


Now...what if you do not feel any better with the elimination diet or you feel better but not 100% better? Then you may need to talk with a functional medicine provider about other options for you. There are many personalized diets based on symptoms or risk factors. There is also specific testing that can be done to look for foods you may have sensitivities to.

So please don't get discouraged if you are not 100% better, it is still a great starting point to "reset" your gut. I hope that makes sense for everyone! Let me know if you have any questions. The elimination diet is a wonderful starting point before you spend unnecessary money on special testing, but you have to do it right to try to get the answers you need!



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