I learned the hard way that one's health should never be taken for granted. At age 19, I became very ill after a dermatologist gave me a 3-month course of antibiotics and steroids for acne. The acne cleared but quickly returned worse than ever before. Soon after, I began suffering from a bizarre array of symptoms: daily headaches, severe digestive problems, odd skin rashes, heart palpitations, uncontrollable sugar cravings, and fatigue. I was not enjoying my life anymore and at times I thought was dying. I looked terrible and felt even worse. In hindsight, it's a miracle that I was able to finish school.
I CONTINUED TO STRUGGLE
Over the next seven years, I saw countless doctors who all told me that there was nothing wrong with me. Since all of my basic labs were normal, they could not give me a diagnosis or offer any treatments. My symptoms continued to worsen. I felt hopeless. I felt disregarded. I was angry and frustrated. But I was desperate to get well. I began pouring over books, science journals and the internet, learning all I could about sickness and healing. More than anything I wanted to know why I had become so sick, seemingly out of nowhere. Eventually I connected the dots and discovered that my sugary diet combined with stress, bad sleep habits and imbalances in my gut after the antibiotics were responsible for my health problems. I was lucky to find an amazing medical doctor who practiced integrative medicine. Under his care, I gradually regained my health.
A NEW PASSION FOR HEALTH
What I learned along my quest for wellness – that most illnesses can be prevented and that the body can heal itself – left me amazed and excited. I completely revamped the way I was living and became a health enthusiast. Gone were my days of staying up until 2:00 am and eating gummy bears and fast food with reckless abandon. I came to appreciate my health as my most important asset. When I discovered naturopathic medicine as a profession, I knew it was my calling. I left my career in research and went to naturopathic medical school because I felt a responsibility to help other people who had fallen through the medical cracks.
WORKING WITH ME
In Latin, the word "doctor" (docere) means "teacher" and you will find that I take that role seriously. When you work with me, I want you to understand what is going on so that you can make educated choices about your health care. You'll never be left wondering what your action plan is or why I've recommended a specific test or treatment. I also want you to feel more capable of maintaining your own health so that you stay healthy for years to come. I consider the practice of naturopathic medicine to be an honor and a privilege. I will work my hardest to uncover the root causes of your issues so that you can reclaim your enjoyment of life. I know what it's like to struggle and feel awful, but I also know that healing is possible. You deserve to live without pain and discomfort, and I look forward to helping you along your journey!
I had always considered myself pretty healthy in spite of a few extra pounds. My early 20's found me in a stressful job along with chronic stomach pain and eczema on my face and body. I was desperate to look and feel better. After a couple years and several rounds of steroid creams and acid-blocking drugs, my skin improved a little but my stomach pain was worse than ever. With each new prescription, I was hopeful that my problems would be solved. Unfortunately, I continued to feel worse and became increasingly hopeless about my future.
A New Way of Looking at Health
On the recommendation of a family member, I decided to see a doctor that practiced holistically. The experience was very eye-opening and, for the first time, I realized that my food choices played a huge role in my health issues. The dietary changes were one of the most difficult things I had ever done, but they were life changing. After struggling with chronic stomach pain, skin rashes, anxiety and depression for years, I regained my health and was medication-free in a few short months.
My desire to help others combined with my newfound passion for building health inspired me to pursue a degree as a Naturopathic Doctor.
A Major Setback
The stress of medical school combined with gluten sneaking its way back into my diet led to a major set-back. I suffered from a return of the skin rash and stomach pain plus fatigue, hormone imbalance, weight gain and poor exercise endurance (despite having exercised regularly for years). I was eventually diagnosed with a complex thyroid issue that was suspected to be autoimmune. Genetic testing also revealed several problematic variants including the common MTHFR SNP.
Health as a Journey
Through my setback, I was further inspired to understand the complexities of chronic health issues and autoimmunity. Health is a continuum and I view each health challenge as an opportunity to grow and learn so that I can connect with and help others.
Working with me
It is a great privilege to be trusted with a person's health. I take time to understand each patient's unique situation in order to create a personalized wellness plan. My goal is to educate and empower each person to be an advocate for his or her own health.