Why did she come to me?
Melanie was having issues with menopausal symptoms such as bad joints, poor memory, migraines, and low mood. In her digestive system, she was experiencing symptoms of IBS, constipation, wind and bloating. Additionally, she had recently recovered from a case of shingles and was still experiencing peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain). She felt her immune system was not what it could be and that she fell ill easily.
Prior to this she also had a history of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), recurring bouts of cystitis, recurring bouts of shingles and a lot of stress.
Her initial MSQ (Medical Symptom Questionnaire) score was 68. *
She had had some blood tests done privately just before coming to see me, so I reviewed those. This showed some deficiencies or borderline deficiencies in iron, Vitamin C, and some of the B vitamins. Her thyroid appeared to be ok so that was not a likely explanation for the fatigue. Her LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol was slightly elevated. She showed some signs of possible dehydration. And Vitamin D was ok, but not optimal.
* I like to use the MSQ (Medical Symptom Questionnaire) when a client starts a programme and when they finish it in order to see what symptoms have improved and by how much. If someone’s score is over 100 then they have very many severe symptoms indeed. Moderate is considered 50-100, mild 10-50 and optimal below 10.
What did we do?
I asked her to complete a diet and lifestyle journal for a few days to see if there was anything obviously missing in her diet and routine that needed to be remedied or if there was something that perhaps would be better avoided.
From this I could see that her energy levels were indeed very poor: she was going to bed relatively early but having trouble getting up in the mornings and had almost no energy for exercise on some days. Also, she simply wasn’t eating enough food nor enough variety of food. Toast was the “go to” quick snack.
We made a few basic changes to her diet – too many changes can be overwhelming, so a couple of changes are often better. We agreed a comprehensive supplement programme for her focussing on digestive support, making up for any nutrient deficiencies, supporting the immune system and addressing the nerve pain. To be fair this was a pretty heavy-hitting programme, but we did discuss this as I always like to give the client options. She preferred taking more supplements in the beginning because she was worried that she would be too tired to be “good” with the dietary changes. And she did have a big list of symptoms – she just wanted to start feeling better!
What was the result?
Melissa worked with me a total of 3 months. Within the first 4 weeks, her nerve pain was about 90% reduced. She no longer had cravings for salty or sugary foods. Constipation and bloating were gone. In the next 4 weeks, she noticed that her mood was much improved and her concentration and memory were better.
By the end of our 3 months working together, I had her re-test her blood work. Vitamins B12 and folate were much improved. Vitamin D was in an optimal range. Her LDL cholesterol, while still slightly elevated had come down a whole point and I recommended monitoring this over time with her GP. As an added bonus her HbA1C level had come down 3 points. This is a marker often used to determine pre-diabetic/diabetic status. Although Melissa’s HbA1C was good to start with, this just showed that other positive metabolic changes were happening.
And her MSQ score had dropped 44 points down to a 24! That’s a super result.
I worked out a maintenance programme for her and told her to check in with me from time to time.
In her own words:
Working with Sharon has been a pleasure. She listened to my concerns and issues and understood exactly what I wanted to achieve. After the first week of her suggested protocol, I had already noticed a huge difference in my nerve pain and stomach issues and I became more mindful of my diet. Although Sharon has given me the tools to carry on independently, I wouldn’t hesitate to contact her again for advice, or further treatment.