From SteadyMD functional medicine doctor and Whole30 Certified Coach Rick Henriksen, M.D.
Following the Whole30 program for thirty days can yield amazing life changes for many people. Whole30’ers report finishing their Whole30 program with great improvements in many areas, including energy, sleep, digestion, clearer skin, self-confidence and self-efficacy and more. However, most people can not solve all of their health problems in just 30 days. Our bodies are wonderful and resilient, but also very complex. For some, a successful Whole30 is just the start of a journey of discovering how to treat and heal a condition; continuing on this journey often requires the expertise of a doctor.
Over the years through my work with patients doing Whole30, I’ve heard a few similar comments along the lines of:
“I did a Whole30, and while I felt better overall, I thought my ___________ would totally get better.”
“After my Whole30, my digestion got worse. What gives?”
Often, these people feel like failures. They’re worried they somehow did not follow the program closely enough, or somebody must have been sneaking sugar into their coffee at work. But I’m here to tell you that you’re not a failure, you may just need help figuring out what’s going on “under the hood.”
The time you spent discovering and learning during the Whole30 was not in vain, it will be incredibly important to finding the root cause of these ongoing symptoms! Even if it didn’t take you as far as you’d hoped to go, it’s likely NO nutrition plan or lifestyle interventions alone would have; and that there is something bigger, requiring additional interventions, going on underneath the surface.
Underlying gut infections, hormonal imbalances, and many other syndromes require the diagnosis and targeted treatment plan of a medical professional. The Whole30 is a great place to start, and an excellent foundation to build on for a doctor, so please here me when I say, congratulations … you’ve done everything right!
Where should you start when diet and lifestyle aren’t enough?
Under the guidance of your doctor, there are several “next steps” you can take. Here’s what I usually do with my patients:
- Complete Blood Panel: Not just a basic blood draw – a full panel that really gets to the root of the problems. The specific biomarkers needed to get “the full picture” will depend on your medical concerns.
- Advanced Stool Testing: Take a good look into your gut microbiome. This testing provides immediate, actionable clinical information for the management of gut health, which in turn affects your whole health.
- Dig Deeper: This is the important part. Most appointments with regular doctors are 10 minutes in and out. This is just not enough time to really figure out the root cause of your medical issues or how to optimize your health. Find a doctor who will have a deeper, more thorough conversation about what’s going on.
- Follow up: Don’t just talk to your doctor when you’re sick. Create a long-term, two-way relationship with a doctor that really knows you and is invested in your overall health. This may come in the form of follow up labs or simply a phone call/text message (we do this at SteadyMD!).
Find a doctor that will partner with you on your journey to better health
I hope you have a doctor that you trust; someone who will work with you to find root causes and solutions. However, I’ve heard time and time again that it’s often difficult to find a doctor that will spend enough time addressing your concerns.
If you’re searching for a doctor who can help you dig deeper but don’t know where to begin, Whole30’s medical partner SteadyMD might be just what you’re looking for. I’m a board-certified family physician at SteadyMD with training in integrative and functional medicine. I’m also the personal doctor to Melissa Hartwig Urban, and have been working with Whole30 and Paleo patients for nine years.
SteadyMD pairs you with a doctor who is right for you and your specific medical concerns, dietary preference, and lifestyle; completely online. SteadyMD doctors see a limited number of patients and have time to really get to know you, helping you get to the root cause of illness with no waiting, co-pays, or surprise bills. Unlimited call, text & video chat anytime, from anywhere.
You can work with me one-on-one to take your Whole30 and Food Freedom lifestyle further, and achieve all of the health benefits you hope to see. (And the best part? I’m also a Whole30 Certified Coach, so there’s no need to justify your “crazy diet” to your doctor.) We’ll develop a long-term relationship and create a targeted treatment plan together, including coordinating with your local medical team if needed.
If you’re ready to take the next step and put your Whole30 to work for you, reach out to me through SteadyMD. I’m looking forward to getting to know you, and working with you to achieve all your health and wellness goals.
Dr. Rick Henriksen
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