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Patient of the Month – Nathan

What made you seek out Integrative Medicine? In 2017, I was beginning to notice joint pain that was impacting my daily routines. At 28 years old it was painful to get out of bed and start my days. Simple tasks at times became challenging like opening a jar or playing on the floor with my kids. Also, I have been battling psoriasis for over 10 years and that same year it started to appear on my face and head. I had tried every steroid cream/ointment a dermatologist could prescribe and this never delivered lasting results. After getting referred to a Rheumatologist I was told that I had psoriatic arthritis at 28 years old and that I should look at starting to take methotrexate to help prevent future joint damage.

I was skeptical that was my only option and I decided to do some self education before filling my prescription. This led me to the Paddison program which is a holistic approach to treating rheumatoid arthritis. Basically, a vegan whole food elimination diet. I did this for 8-10 month and did see initial improvement but after a while I started to go backwards in terms of my skin and joint health.

Feeling lost and depressed I knew that I needed more help and guidance if I didn’t want to take the prescription drugs for my joint pain.

My AMAZING wife, Christina, had also been on a search to help me find answers and she met Dagmara at a women’s group in the summer of 2018.

I was hesitant and tried to figure it out on my own with vegan elimination diet, yoga and mindfulness but I just kept getting worse.

In late 2018, I was now feeling anxious, depressed and the stress on my health was to much to handle and I knew I needed help.

I wanted to find a way to improve my health for myself and my family. I knew that the holistic approach was the way I wanted to go but i didn’t know how to navigate it on my own. I was lost, overwhelmed and very confused. In January of 2019, I decided to try Zuza’s Way.

How has Zuza’s Way helped you along your healing journey? From the first time I spoke with Dagmara over the phone for 10 minutes I was eager to get to work on improving my health. We first met in February 2019 I told my story. Dagmara listened and asked effective questions to help define a plan to help improve my symptoms. We ordered the labs and tests and started my path towards improving my health.

After getting labs and test we met again and solidified the initial plan to healing. I will say that is was not easy and it requires discipline and a open mind but I quickly started to see results. My skin was slowly clearing up and my joint pain was almost not existent compared to the prior two years.

I am so grateful for the direction and insight Zuza’s way has provided me to help improve my health and also stay away from the toxic arthritis medication. I believe that I was misdiagnosed with psoriatic arthritis as my joint pain is gone. I am still fighting psoriasis but it has gotten so much better.

Dagmara was a great life and health coach for me and helped me develop a plan but as a patient I have to do the work and apply what is being recommend.

What therapies at Zuza’s Way have been most beneficial? Food allergy testing, ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and gut healing protocols have all played and continue to play a huge role in improving my health. Mindfulness practices have also really helped me stay centered and focused. I enjoying running, yoga, meditation, reading and listening to podcasts about living a healthier life.

What has been the hardest part of your journey? The restrictive diet I follow to maintain my health. I am constantly trying new foods and seeing how I react and sometimes I get overwhelmed and frustrated when my body reacts negatively. I understand now that living a healthy and prosperous life isn’t just about diet alone. It is equally important for me to manage my stress, anxiety and lifestyle choices as it is to eat a healthy diet.

What do you wish to share with others that are on a similar journey? “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” – Brene Brown

Be open minded, never give up on yourself and be vulnerable to the process of improving yourself and your health. It is hard work and at times can be frustrating. Develop a plan with the help of an expert and TRUST the plan. When you have a bad day, learn from it. When you have a good day, figure out why it was good and do more of that thing the next day. Keep a journal and go back and reread it. Life goes by so fast and if you don’t take time to reflect you will feel lost. Follow the plan and be open to do things that might be out of your comfort zone. If someone would have told me that I would be doing yoga and meditation daily 3 year ago I would have called them crazy but being vulnerable and open to try new healthy ways to heal the mind and body are what will give you true results. Be true to yourself and don’t let the outside world of distractions derail your plan.

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