Apr. 19th, 2016

eliste: (lighthouse)
I was scheduled to see my New Integrative doctor on Thursday, but my right ear started hurting on Sunday night. It got really bad on Monday. I was able to snag an earlier appointment.

I don't know if this is a Texas thing, but doctors who have their MD certification but practice integrative medicine don't (can't?) participate in insurance. So seeing this doctor is all out of my own pocket, as well as any test and/or treatments. The only thing I can do is bring his treatment to my PCP doctor and see if she can order the tests and/or treatments through my insurance. I'll be working on trying to get that arranged shortly. In the meantime, I'm going to keep a running tally of what I am paying out of pocket to get an idea of where I stand on that.

The integrative medicine plan is very comprehensive and more than a little confusing. I'm going to write what I understand, which hopefully will become clearer as I go through the process....

My Initial Diagnoses:

Outer Ear Infection
  • Yuck. This is an acute problem, one the doctor was able to easily diagnose.
Low Vitamin D
  • Based on the previous blood tests done by my PCP doctor.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • I got this diagnosis when I was 17, and passed it along to my integrative medicine doctor.
  • He actually seems concerned about it and has a treatment plan for it.
Based on my medical history and his examination, my integrative doctor suspects the following:Doctor recommended the following tests:
  • Blood labs
    • CRP, High Sensitivity
      • "CRP is a protein that increases in the blood with inflammation."
    • DHEA Sulfate
      • "Evaluate adrenal gland function"
    • Homocysteine
      • "to determine if a person has a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency"
    • Iron @ and IBC
      • "Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) is most frequently used along with a serum iron test to evaluate people suspected of having either iron deficiency or iron overload."
    • Progesterone
    • Testosterone Fr/Tot w SHBG
      • "also commonly used in the evaluation of women with signs and symptoms of excess male hormones"
    • Estrogen, Fractionated
      • "Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficiency or excess in a woman and to help diagnose a variety of conditions associated with this imbalance."
    • Epstein-Barr VCA
      • "Testing may be ordered when a doctor wants to establish previous exposure to EBV (Mono)."
    • CD4/CD8 Lymphocyte Enumeration
      • "The results can tell a health practitioner how strong a person's immune system is and can help predict the risk of complications and debilitating opportunistic infections."
    • CD57 for Lyme Disease
      • "Lyme disease tests are used to determine if a person with characteristic signs and symptoms has been infected by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi or Borrelia mayonii. The tests detect antibodies produced by the immune system in response to the infection."
    • Quantitative G6PD
      • "G6PD enzyme testing is primarily performed when an individual has signs and symptoms associated with hemolytic anemia."
  • Lyme panel & Co-infection panel (recommended)
  • Organic Acids urinalysis / OAT (recommended)
  • 23andme Genome Testing (recommended, but less necessary. Am putting off at this time.)
I am supposed to stop all current supplements and wait one week before any testing to get a clear baseline of where I am truly at. Vitamin D is the only exception, noted below.

  • Ciprodex
    • Prescription antibiotic & steroid ear drops
  • EnteraGam
    • Prescription medical food that helps with IBS-D
  • NuMedica Micellized Vitamin D3 1200 IU drops
    • micellized is apparently the most bioavailable (as in, you actually digest it) form of vitamin D.

The doctor suggested a paleo type diet. When I informed him of how I have done on paleo previously (which is to say, it made me feel awful), he felt like that confirmed his diagnosis of disordered mitochondria. He decided that I'd have to go so low on carbs for so long because of the other things going on in my body currently that it wouldn't be worth the mental and physical strain to start that now. We agreed that my current diet of low-sugar and moderate intake of whole carbs was good for now.

Today's Costs:

1 hour doctor visit: $360
Organic Acids urinalysis / OAT test kit: $30 (to take home; will be subtracted from test price)
Lyme & Coinfection panel kit: $30 (to take home; will be subtracted from test price)
Ciprodex: $171

  • Including the bloodwork from my primary care visit
  • Including this year's thyroid medication refills
  • Including the adrenal fatigue test 


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