My Personal Health Journey and Experience With Functional Medicine

After serving 2.5 years in the Peace Corps in rural Paraguay, I decided to become a doctor.  My second year of medical school I was having panic attacks, tremors and insomnia.  I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease in which my thyroid was attacking itself and causing it to become overactive.

I first did nothing.  I then tried Chinese Medicine and was eating lots of fermented foods, whole grains and terrible tasting powdered herbs.  That did not help.

I finally decided to do the conventional medicine called PTU, which inhibits my thyroid from making so much hormone.  After a few weeks I felt terrible.  I returned to my doctor for lab testing and found that my liver was being damaged by the medication and I had something called toxic hepatitis.  I was ordered to stop the medication and to strict bed rest.  fearing my health, my life and the possibility of having to drop out of medical school, I opted to have my thyroid ablated.

Watch the video above to hear how my journey unfolds….

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  • http://www.facebook.com/alea.d.bunker Alea Dietze Bunker

    It is very encouraging to hear about functional medicine. I have never heard the term before. But, It definitely seems more viable than traditional medicine. I agree that everyone is different. I recently found out about a special diet for women with PCOS called the low amylose diet. I have the syndrome, and am wondering what I can learn about it from you. I don’t have the money to come see you, but I would if I lived closer.

    • AmyMyersMD

      Alea I would recommend a gluten-free and low carb diet for PCOS. I wrote an eBOOK with the program I have all my patients go through and my nutritionist does guided ‘cleanse’ based on this book each month — we have one starting Feb 11th. I would recommend those resources to you as well. They can be found at http://www.AustinUltraHealth.com/store

      • Lubna Siddique Kiran

        Dear Dr Myers,
        God bless you. Could I please join you on fb?
        Thanks

  • Emmy Cameron

    Hi, it was very interesting to hear, especially to know that you have Graves Disease. I also had the radio active iodine. Have you had any problems with your eyes? You are the first person I have heard other than myself that has this disease.

    • http://www.dramymyers.com Dr. Amy Myers

      no I did not have any issues with my eyes.

    • AmyMyersMD

      no I did not have any problem with my eyes.

      • Emmy Cameron

        You don’t have any problem with dry eyes? I have really dry eyes and there are days that they are dryer than normal and it’s hard to keep my eyes open. I was told since I had the radio active iodine, I probably won’t have to worry about them protruding.
        My original Dr. didn’t think I had a problem, I thought I was going through menopause. So because of this I went probably two yrs without being treated. After being treated for about two yrs, I was having trouble again & had all the symptoms back. Again he kept ignoring me until I talked to the Internal Specialist, who sent me for blood work. My tsh was off, so because my Dr. wouldn’t listen, all my organs had slowed down, so it took another 3 months to get back on track.
        It was nice to find your page. I changed Drs. but she still doesn’t want to refer me to an Endocrinologist. So it has been pretty lonely going through this on my own, as there’s no one to talk to that can relate to this.
        Thanks for listening, look forward to your next blog!

        Emmy

        Subject: [dramymyers] Re: My Personal Health Journey and Experience With Functional Medicine

        • http://www.dramymyers.com/ Amy Myers, MD

          thank you! Come over to facebook if you’re not already there and LIKE AmyMyersMD I post a ton of stuff there as well!

  • http://www.arianainstitute.com/ ArianaVincent

    What an informative video blog describing your fascinating journey from early childhood to a career as a specialist in functional medicine. Your path has taken your from your childhood roots with parents who were tuned into a healthy lifestyle, to the Peace Corps in Paraguay, to studying traditional allopathic medicine, to working in emergency pediatric ER services, to studying with Andrew Weil, to studying with the Institute of Functional Medicine, to directing your own medical group at Austin Functional Medicine in Austin. The path you have taken is fascinating. It is very helpful to know that there is more than one choice out there. Thank you for the good work you are doing in the world.

    • http://www.dramymyers.com Dr. Amy Myers

      thank you so much!

    • AmyMyersMD

      thanks so much!

  • jesica

    Hi Amy, as i read you´ve worked in paraguay, do you read any spanish? Im from argentina. I have hyperandrogenism, PCOS, something wrong with my adrenals too ( my doctor checked for hiperplasia suprarrenal congenita, it was not, though my 17 hydroxy progesterone is very high), and hipotyroidism. I´ve been struggling with my energy levels, fatigue, mood swings, depression for years. Im reading your blog looking for some hope. Gracias, Jesica.

    • http://www.dramymyers.com Dr. Amy Myers

      yes, I am pretty fluent in Spanish

  • Amanda Whaley-Stultz

    I was just diagnosed with Graves disease. After I turned 21 my health has went down hill. From endometriosis, breast biopsy, anemia, gall beater removed, allergies to everything, and now this. I’m trying to decide on treatment. I’ve had the same trouble with the medicines. So I’m starting to think removal of my thyroid wound be best. Please help. Advice?

    • Tina Leonard Samson

      Hi Amanda – I was just diagnosed a few weeks ago….my symptoms started after 21…I also had my gallbladder removed. it was a long road to getting diagnosed. I started the meds but so far, little change. what did you end up deciding?

    • http://www.amymyersmd.com/ Amy Myers, MD

      I just reversed Grave’s in one of my patients. PLease come see me 512-383-5343

  • Paula Soileau

    enjoyed hearing about your story. and i am a huge supporter of functional medicine! also nice to know you’re from NOLA – I grew up in La and lived in NOLA for 12 years – now in Austin but still no place like NO!

  • Gayle Krampl

    Thank you for posting this. It feels really good to know that there are people out there that are truly practising holistic medicine. I have Graves Disease also. I also have thyroid eye disease and have had double vision for just about a year now. I am on long term disability from my job as a nursing instructor. The endrogrinologist I saw wanted to do radio active iodine tx and I refused. Recent research is now showing that this can make thyroid eye disease worse so I am glad I made that choice. Now they want to take out my thyroid and I am refusing this also because they are not treating me holistically. They are only treating symptoms and not the cause. I have been going to massage therapists, chiropractor, natural therapist, and even for an intuitive reading. I also have diverticulosis and was very interested in how you mentioned that gluten could be a culprit for Graves. Because I am on a very limited budget, I would be unable to come see you (which makes me very sad!). Is there anyone in Alberta that you would recommend? I am enjoying your posts on FB. Please keep up the great work. Cheers. Gayle Krampl RN, BN, MScN

    • http://www.amymyersmd.com/ Amy Myers, MD

      I don’t know anyone. Get my eBook The Myers Way and do the AI protocol

  • Nancy O’Brien

    My husband and I have recently found a Dr. certified in allopathic and homeopathic medicine and we’re so thankful for his thoroughness in testing us (in our 60s and 80s). He has just been diagnosed with autoimmune disease that’s attacking his thyroid for many years probably since he’s had hypothyroidism for nearly 10 years. I’m trying to learn everything I can to see what path to healing the Lord will direct us to. So glad I found your blog and have more info in my arsenal. Thank you!

    • http://www.amymyersmd.com/ Amy Myers, MD

      you’re welcome

  • Barbara J. Peiker

    Dr. Myers, your video was very interesting and motivational to me. It’s amazing how my life story is similar to yours. I grew in the most Southern tip of Mississippi near the Louisiana Stateline and lived in Hammond, LA for 7+ years. My mother died of Pancreatic Cancer also. I have Hyperthyroidism and have been on and off Methimazole 5
    mg. for several years now. I’m very pro-active in my health care and that’s why I’ve not agreed to have my thyroid ablated. My doctor tried to have me kill off my thyroid now for many years, however each time I went for iodine testing, my thyroid levels were normal.
    Please tell me how to get additional information that could lead to different treatments for my thyroid. I’ve asked my treating physician several times “how and what can I do to cure this thyroid problem” and he doesn’t have any answers other than meds or ablating the thyroid.
    If there are other treatments, I would jump at the opportunity.
    Thank you,

    • http://www.amymyersmd.com/ Amy Myers, MD

      I would come see me if you can. I have reversed Graves in several people. Or get my eBook The Myers Way and do the Ai protocol. My AI book will be published by Harper One March 2015

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