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Case Study

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Meet the Patient: Case Study on Treating Toxic Mold Illness via Remote Visits

Meet the Patient is a series here on the BioDesign Wellness Center blog that showcases actual patients we have treated over the years or are currently treating. It goes without saying that we do not reveal the identity of these patients, changing their names and certain details about their case in order to insure their privacy.

Our reason for us asking our patients to allow us to share their stories — again anonymously — is for the benefit of the reader who is or knows someone struggling with a similar health condition. It’s for those who perhaps have not received an accurate diagnosis or effective medical treatment. It’s for those who might be giving up hope of ever feeling healthy, energetic, and happy again.

 

Our objective with these case studies is to restore a belief that optimal health and fitness can be achieved, even for those who are chronically ill and may have no clear explanation of the underlying cause of their pain or dysfunction.

Up to the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Meet the Patient posts spotlighted patients we have seen in our Tampa functional medicine clinic. However, like many healthcare clinics, we have severely curtailed office visits to help prevent spread of the virus. As a result, we now conduct many of our patient appointments remotely via phone or videoconferencing software such as Skype, Zoom, or the telemed feature offered through our electronic health records platform, MPN.

Today’s Meet the Patient post is unique in that it highlights the successful treatment of a patient who has never stepped foot in our offices.

Meet AJ, a 63-Year-Old Patient

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 63-year-old retired woman, whom we will call AJ, was referred to our office by her daughter, who was concerned about her mom’s health. They both live in south Florida, and the daughter was already a patient of ours.

When she called us, AJ said she was certain that it was mold from her home that caused her illness. During our online telemedicine consultation, she described more than 30 symptoms that arose over a period of several years. Her symptoms included shortness of breath, constant stomach upset, anxiety, loss of memory, tingling in her body, extreme exhaustion, and weakness, to name a few. She was experiencing several of the more than 40 symptoms that can be ascribed to mold, including the following: continue reading

Meet the Patient: Case Study on Migraines and Environmental Acquired Illness

Meet the Patient is a series on the BioDesign Wellness Center blog showcasing actual patients we have treated over the years or are currently treating. (Each patient’s name and certain details about their case may be changed to ensure privacy.) Our hope is that these case studies resonate with anyone who is or knows someone struggling with a similar health condition and has not received an accurate diagnosis or effective medical treatment — especially those who may be close to giving up hope of ever feeling healthy, energetic, and happy again.

Our objective with these case studies is to restore a belief that optimal health and fitness can be sought and achieved, even for those who are chronically ill and may have no clear explanation of the underlying cause of their pain or dysfunction.

Meet Barbara

Barbara is a thirty-year-old female with multiple severe neurological and other symptoms, including the following:

  • Buzzing in her ears.
  • Persistent migraine that had sent her to the hospital several times over a three-month period. Her head was pounding so badly that she was having difficulty speaking.
  • Tingling sensations throughout her head and body.
  • Chest pain and tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate).
  • Painful cramps on the left side of her abdomen making breathing difficult.
  • Vomiting.
  • Restless sleep.
  • Extreme fatigue. She felt completely drained to the point of stating, “I have no ability to do normal tasks, I am just about on bed rest.”

During a three-month period, Barbara had visited a neurologist and several other healthcare providers. She had computer tomography (CT) scans, a lung X-ray, an electrocardiogram (EKG), and a barrage of blood tests. When hospitalized for severe migraines, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan was performed and found to be normal. In fact, all results came back normal, but her symptoms persisted. Her previous health history was normal, except for migraine headaches once or twice per month that were aggravated by stress.

For her initial clinical objective, all she wanted to do was find out what was making her so sick and to restore hope.

Barbara was not referred to us by another doctor or a neurologist or hospital. Instead, it took a Google search and a suggestion from a close friend that maybe she had an Environmentally Acquired Illness (EAI) — something like mold that was making her sick — to look outside conventional medicine for a solution. She took the advice of her friend and started to look for a doctor who understood mold illness. She also started to limit the time she spent at  continue reading

Meet The Patient Part 2 — Case Study on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

Editor’s Note: The following blog post appears in our Meet the Patient series — case studies of BioDesign Wellness Center patients have or are currently treating. In some cases, to ensure confidentiality, patient names and other details have been changed or omitted. That said, the specifics you’ll below read about conditions, diagnoses, and treatments are accurate.

Below, we present Part 2 of Abby’s case study on her journey living with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). For the first part in this post, please see Meet the Patient: Part 1 — Case Study on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

Part 2 of Abby’s story:

After some unusual lab results, Abby’s mother searched online for a doctor or medical center in Tampa with expertise in her daughter’s condition. That’s when she found us, first through Dr. Matt Lewis’ personal blog, where the first post she saw was about POTS..

After only a few minutes of talking with Dr. Lewis, Abby and her mom were convinced we could help. At their first appointment, Abby was lying on Dr. Lewis’ office floor, unable to sit upright. He asked about adrenals, water damaged buildings (WDBs), and more. Because the family’s home had previously experienced a large window leak several times in its bonus room, what Dr. Lewis said about WDBs and chronic inflammation was like a light bulb going off for Abby and her parents (though her dad took some convincing).

Abby’s diagnosis

Based on Abby’s symptoms and medical history and the fact that the family’s home was water damaged, we suspected that Abby was, in fact, suffering from POTS, but also that her adrenals were involved and that she was likely to be suffering from chronic inflammation response syndrome (CIRS). CIRS is a multi-symptom, multi-system illness caused by biotoxins or neurotoxins from a biological source, such as molds in WDBs, tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates such as those responsible for red tide, Pfiesteria, and poisonous spiders such as the Brown Recluse.

Initially, we recommended Abby immediately eliminate sugar, caffeine, carbs, vegetables that grow below ground (such as potatoes), and bananas. Within a few days, Abby was feeling remarkably better, as she reports in her own words:

What a huge difference this made in just a few days! I was able to celebrate my birthday on the Monday after our first meeting that previous Friday night.

We ordered numerous tests to help us identify and address the root cause of all of Abby’s ailments and put her on the path to recovery. Abby was like many patients who seek treatment for  continue reading

Meet the Patient: Part 1 — Case Study on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

Editor’s Note: Meet the Patient is a series we recently introduced on the BioDesign Wellness Center blog to present case studies of actual patients we have treated over the years or are currently treating. Our hope is that these stories resonate with anyone who is or knows of someone struggling with a similar health condition. That would include those who have not received an accurate diagnosis or effective medical treatment, as well as those who may be close to giving up hope of ever feeling happy again.

Note that names and certain other details may have been changed or omitted to ensure patient-doctor confidentiality, but specifics about conditions, diagnoses, and treatments are accurate. Case studies are based on information provided by actual patients and their doctors, and patients have agreed to share their stories. This is our second story in the series and the first part of that story.

Meet Abby

Abby was a high school student here in Tampa when she experienced two fainting episodes about a year apart. In both cases, she was told by doctors not affiliated with our Tampa Functional Medicine practice that these episodes were related to dehydration.

The second episode came after a weeklong cruise with her family and resulted in what looked like a seizure. Abby was transported to a local hospital, subjected to numerous tests, and was seen by a neurologist and pediatric cardiologist. The episode was ruled a syncope seizure, which is characterized by a loss of consciousness caused by a drop in blood pressure.

After being released from the hospital, Abby followed up with a cardiologist, who diagnosed her as having hypermobility(joints that can move beyond the normal range of motion). He said that was probably part of the issue with her feeling “off” and passing out. She was told to increase her fluid and salt intake.

From August of 2017 to the beginning of 2018, Abby’s health gradually deteriorated. She experienced more dizziness, became weaker and complained of exhaustion. She returned to the cardiologist, who ordered an echocardiogram. All of Abby’s echocardiograms (a total of four, including a stress test) came back normal. The cardiologist also ordered a tilt-table test.

During a tilt-table test, the patient is securely strapped to a table that quickly tilts the patient into the upright position. In healthy patients, the body regulates heart rate and blood pressure to supply the brain with sufficient oxygen to remain conscious. Patients who pass out after being tilted into the upright position suffer from a condition called  continue reading

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