By: Judy Piersall 

It’s been seven years since I first sought an integrative medicine physician. At 51, I was having night sweats and sleepless nights.  Seventeen vials of blood were collected in the initial lab work. Among the many things checked was my Vitamin D. The normal range is 60-100 ng/mL. Mine was 19, dangerously low! Not only can a low level be a precursor to many types of cancer, the doctor couldn’t believe that prior to a recent colonoscopy, the specialist had not checked it. I learned it’s ill advised to have any sort of medical procedure with low Vitamin D.

Even though I’m outside a lot, I have olive skin and I don’t absorb what I need. The darker your skin, the harder it is to absorb Vitamin D naturally. In addition, the use of sunscreen prohibits many of us from getting what we need from the sun. I now take a D3 supplement and my level stays normal.

Regardless of age, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a true integrative medicine doctor on your health team. These physicians may have various specialties, such as anti-aging, holistic medicine or wellness. Do your research; they are not created equal. A few conferences and/or seminars do not equip a physician to be an effective integrative physician. Ask how long they have been in the field. Did they come from another specialty? If they did, what was their reason for switching? Their answer should be more compelling than for the money.

My current integrative medicine doctor has been practicing in the field for 40 years. For most of his career he was ahead of his time; now the times have caught up. A good integrative medicine doctor treats you outside the box of traditional medicine, usually free of pharmaceuticals, and by making simple tweaks that can change your life. The answers are in our blood. It’s highly beneficial to have a doctor that not only knows what bloodwork to order, but also knows how to read it properly and, in doing so, educates you. They empower you to take control of your health.

Till next time here’s to healthy living and remember, you always have choices.

The information in this article is intended solely as a sharing of information and knowledge based on real life experience. It is not a substitute for professional care, but a complement to it.  It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem; always consult your healthcare provider relating to any suspected health issues you may have.