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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

Meet the Patient: Case Study on Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Meet the Patient is a new series we are launching 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 these stories resonate with anyone who is or knows of 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 happiness — a major step toward optimizing health and fitness — is attainable, even by those who are chronically ill.

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Please note that in some cases (not all) names and certain other details may be changed or omitted to ensure patient-doctor confidentiality, but specifics about conditions, diagnoses, and treatments are accurate. Our case studies are based on information provided by actual functional medicine patients and their BioDesign doctors, and patients have agreed to share their stories.

Introducing Christine M.

Our first case study focuses on Christine, who asked that we not use her last name but said it was okay to reveal that she moved from Northern Virginia to the Tampa Bay Area just a few years ago. Christine is in her mid-60s, and while living in Va., she consulted with her primary care physician and with cardiologists and a pulmonologist — along with two ‘wellness doctors’ — to find out why she was feeling so exhausted and physically weak all the time:  continue reading

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