In June of 2017, my general doctor diagnosed me with Hashimoto Thyroiditis. My TSH level was at a 10.18 (normal range 4.5) and I had thyroid antibodies of over 600 (normal 0). I was told prescribed to Levothyroxine for the rest of my life since Hypothyroidism was a lifelong illness. I REFUSED to believe that. When I panicked, my doctor told me not to worry and that most of his female patients had this condition. His comment caused me to feel uneasy. I thought it was odd that my general doctor did not even ask me how I was feeling, he didn’t ask me about my symptoms, nor did he ask me about the potential causes of my diagnosis. I wasn’t given any alternative options or any information on the condition. After I got off the phone with my doctor, I searched all over the internet to find out as much as I could about Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. I stumbled upon a group that directed me to find a functional doctor and change my diet.
I learned to remove gluten and dairy from my diet which was very difficult but I tried it anyway. As soon as I let go of dairy and gluten, I had more energy and was no longer falling asleep all day. In the meantime, I researched the FXMed website and looked up functional doctors in my area. Dr. Vanessa Gourdine came up and so I called the office to get an appointment. I was hesitant at first and unsure of what to expect. I was reluctant to even schedule an appointment because I knew the services wouldn’t be covered fully by insurance.
I started working with Dr. Gourdine in July of 2017. Throughout our consultation, I was able to figure out some potential root causes for my Thyroid issues. We discussed all areas of my life, career, finances, health, nutrition, fitness, feeling and emotions, family life and history, genetics, past traumas. We also discussed personal and romantic relationships. I was a little confused at first as to why she wanted to know all these things. What does my thyroid have to do with all this? I asked myself. Then I realized it had everything to do with my biochemical imbalance. I took a series of functional tests where I discovered so much about what was going on inside of my body.
After I received the results of the functional tests, Dr. G. created a treatment plan which was designed specifically for me to take action on. It consisted of following a very restrictive diet and taking a number of supplements to help bring my body back to its normal and natural state. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical but I had already invested a lot of time and money so I promised myself I would see it through.
A couple of months after working with Dr. Gourdine, AND doing the work required, I have gained my confidence and energy back. Dr. Gourdine alleviated my depression, fatigue, and anxiety by brining me back to good health with Functional Medicine. I am taking care of myself in ways I’ve never done before. No longer do I feel bad about myself and my life. I have the tools I need to maintain a healthy life. I know that food is medicine and it is important to educate myself on what to eat and which supplements are beneficial specifically for me. I’ve literally transformed my life through Functional medicine. It feels liberating and empowering. By the way, my TSH level went from 10.18 to 3.9 and my doctor told me that was impossible. I highly recommend anyone who wants to gain back control of their health and their lives to work with Dr. Gourdine. She’s very understanding, attentive and knowledgeable. With Dr. Gourdine, you will get the results you are looking for. In the process, you will learn so much more about yourself. This has been a very arduous process but it is worth every second and every dollar I spent. Invest in your holistic health! You deserve it!
A lot of positives things since I started this treatment have happened to me. I went to FxMed Centers because my energy levels were very low and I was very skinny, in 3 or 4 months I had lost 20 or more pounds. At FxMed, I did some tests through blood, saliva, urine and feces to identify the cause of my problems. Those revealed that I had a large amount of bad bacteria in my gut and also that I have a severe amount of toxins in my body; BPA, toluene, between others. After the test stage the doctor recommended me many supplements to boost my immune system, improve the detoxification pathways, elevate which translates into more energy, more focus, improve memory retention, etc. Also I have been gaining weight bit by bit along this process. I’ve gained around 10 pounds since I started the treatment. So definitely I have seen and experienced many improvements thanks to your treatment.
When I first came to Dr. G I was very much in distress. I had hardly slept in almost 4 days preceding our first meeting and was in a scary place mentally due to the sheer exhaustion. Although it was nice to have someone to confide in by sharing what was happening I continued to have the worst insomnia issues from racing heart and thoughts. I would literally pop awake almost gasping for air every time I would start to fade into a deep sleep. Ultimately I was more afraid of not sleeping and not feeling well at all and wanted to feel normal again.
It was about this time Dr. G called up some tests to be done. All throughout my time being treated by Dr. G she of some separate digestive issues that I had been dealing with simultaneously and had been so off and on (though on more than not) for around 5+ years. So there were about 13 different blood samples taken for many different tests. It is important to note that during the years of dealing with my digestive issues I had multiple colonoscopies, endoscopes and other expensive go to tests conventional medicine rely on for diagnosing serious diseases and cancers. Everything always came back negative and healthy except I did NOT feel healthy. Between the stomach discomfort, unrelenting constipation and anorectal pain I was at my wits end. It just so happens that one of the tests Dr. G called up was to test how my body deals with gluten and gliadin. It turns out that my gliadin antibodies to gliadin were off the charts! I didn’t know exactly what it meant as Dr. G was going over the results but I was ecstatic that a test actually turned up something that could be the source of my digestive issues over the years. Fast forward to now, after several months of excluding gluten from my diet I feel like I did 10 years ago! My stomach issues are like a long lost nightmare at this point. On top of that my mental state, anxiety and sleep have all improved to where I was before I ever started having any of these issues. Looking back, my digestive issues were causing a great deal of mental stress and anxiety. On top of that I have an extremely stressful and demanding job which was compounding on top of the worry and anxiety I was having over my health issues. Thank God Dr. G ordered up some “unconventional” tests that none of my previous gastro docs or even primary care physicians ever mentioned as a possibility. Who knows where I would be if this wasn’t discovered and I wasn’t able to improve how bad I was feeling. It just makes me wonder how many others out there are in a similar situation spinning in the circles of expensive tests provided by conventional medicine when the answer could be something so simple as it was with me.
My experience with functional medicine with a personalized treatment plan based on lab results reflecting my specific biochemistry has been a very positive one. Functional medicine approach not only helped me easily get off my medication but also improved my mood and health in general. After using medication for over 4 years, I realized that over time the benefits of these drugs diminish while staying on the same dose so it often requires increasing the dose to get the same benefits. In the last couple of months when I was still taking medications, I have experienced extreme negative effects almost like depression symptoms coming back despite going through continuous therapy sessions. After switching to a functional medicine plan and going through a detox regime, I felt less anxious and more positive. Following a functional medicine treatment makes me feel a lot better since I know that I am not introducing chemical substances to my body, enabling me to have more natural emotions. Additionally, functional medicine does not have side effects like medication which is usually a large problem since the negative side effects may sometimes overweigh the positive effects of medication. It also fills in the deficiencies of your own body identified by lab results which makes it a very effective approach.
I also viewed medication as a short cut and easy way to feel better however after experiencing the diminishing returns I was ready to spend more time trying to improve my health naturally and invest effort in this area. At first, it is seemed time consuming to make sure you have all your supplements, vitamins and powders ready and to prepare them for consumption with shakes and green juices. However, after getting used to the routine and observing the real benefits, it felt much better and worth the time spent. Now, I feel like I am back in control of my own mind and not dependent on some chemical substance to make me feel better.
Overall, I recommend everyone a medication free life as it is more clear, healthy and feels like your own self again
If you’d like to get physically and mentally healthy again, and get your life back, I suggest you see Dr.Gourdine. If other doctors told you even after too many tests that nothing is wrong with you, I suggest you see Dr.Gourdine. If you have on-going and getting worse fatigue, digestion problems, immune system issues, anger, feeling out of things, stressed almost all time even when there is no reason for it, unable to sleep or sleep too much, not being able to enjoy things you did in the past anymore, I suggest you see Dr. Gourdine. She does not approach your health problems from one dimension as most doctors do but from multi-dimensions: physical, mental, emotional, nutritional, work, family…, and narrows down to the source of the health problems you have. You will greatly benefit from both the sessions and the treatment plan. And you will thank her when you get your health and life back. Be healthy, stay healthy An ex-patient
I first started seeing Dr. Gourdine to address issues with anxiety and stressors with relationships in my life. Once I was able to address those needs Dr. Gourdine also helped me to stop taking medication for anxiety. On a daily basis I suffered with constant sinus congestion where I experienced swelling and redness around my nose and eyes, clogged ears, and congestion in my chest. After many visits to my doctor without any solution other than repeatedly being prescribed antibiotics, I was referred to an ENT doctor and allergist. Testing did not reveal many issues with allergies and I was even given a CAT scan of my sinus which also did not reveal anything of significance. Dr. Gourdine convinced me to get testing to identify issues that may be affecting my health. These results were significant as I had many food sensitivities, some severe including gluten and yeast. After receiving a treatment plan and changing my diet, including other treatments for my stomach, I feel like a new person. I experience minimal issues with sinus problems, have more energy, and finally feel I have control of my health and life. Thank you very much Dr. Gourdine for your treatment of overall health and being able to identify the problem and find the solution!
Dr. Gourdine was able to help resolve our teenage son’s long standing but undiagnosed health problems when traditional medicine could not. For several years, our son missed increasingly more days of school due to symptoms that his pediatrician continually attributed to a “virus”. At our insistence the pediatrician finally prescribed a full round of blood tests, which were inconclusive and left us where we had started. Our son’s health continued to decline and we looked outside of traditional western medicine for help.
After Dr. Gourdine met with us to obtain our son’s medical history, symptoms and more importantly the timeline for his symptoms, she recommended several tests be performed. Although blood tests were recommended, Dr. Gourdine explained the difference between “her” blood tests and traditional blood tests in a way that made perfect senses to us and we proceeded with the testing as recommended. Additionally, with Dr. Gourdine’s psychology background, she was able to comment on our son’s emotional well-being. This was gratefully received as the pediatrician had begun to suggest that perhaps our son’s symptoms were psychosomatic.
Following test results, Dr. Gourdine developed a comprehensive analysis (using a functional medicine approach) and plan for our son that included diet changes, supplements and a full description of our son’s immune system.
After a year and a half, following Dr. Gourdine’s recommendations, our son has not experienced any of the prolonged periods of undiagnosed symptoms, has recovered faster from normal colds and has even seen an improvement in his acne.
I would highly recommend Dr. Gourdine to any parent who’s instinct is that there is something wrong with their child that conventional medicine cannot resolve.
I have been going to therapy and seeing psychiatrists for over ten years. I was never satisfied with any of my doctors and felt that they didn’t help me in any way. I was very hesitant when my father said I needed to go back and seek help again. However, my life was in complete turmoil. I was depressed, always angry, had severe anxiety and simply was not myself. I had a mental breakdown. I knew I needed to seek help. I knew my father was right. When I finally gave in, he decided to send me to Dr. Gourdine.
I began to see Dr. Gourdine in early June of 2014. I was very impressed with her extensive knowledge in her field and beyond. This included the effects of diet and the digestive tract which have an affect on brain chemistry and mood. With only one visit, she was able to hit the nail on the head with my diagnosis. She put me on a medication and numerous supplements that have helped me immensely.
She has been a tremendous help and I am very grateful for the knowledge she has educated me with about how to live a happier, healthier life. I feel like my happy, confident self again. I will never be able to thank Dr. Gourdine enough for changing my life for the better.
I just wanted to let you know how deeply I appreciate the functional medicine work-up you did for me. As you know, when I came in I was feeling tired, not sleeping well, having numerous hot flashes every day and night, difficulty concentrating at times, urinary tract infections and my hair was falling out at a rate I found alarming.
I have never had a doctor do such a comprehensive assessment of my health and symptoms. Generally my primary care physician runs a standard test or two and is done. You ran many tests, looked at results and sent me for more test. Your work up and findings was extensive, detailing not only why I was feeling the way I was, but what my risk factors are for the future as well as for my family.
I have been taking the supplements and made the dietary changes you suggested and feel ENORMOUSLY better. My energy is back, the hot flashes are so minimal that they don’t impact my sleep or daily functioning. My hair in no longer falling out and I feel like I can keep up with everything in my life, and more.
I just want to express my deep appreciation again.
We began treatment with Dr. Gourdine. several years ago. My daughter was suffering from depression, poor self image and suicidal thoughts. Her school work was suffering. Life seemed tough for her. Through careful and thoughtful treatment from Dr. Gourdine my daughter has made incredible progress. She is now medication free, no longer thinks of harming herself, is more focused and less withdrawn. Dr. Gourdine worked with us individually and together to come up with strategies and solutions to a variety of issues. I have confidence that we will continue in a positive direction post treatment.
I have had the pleasure of being treated by Vanessa Gourdine, nurse practitioner at Life strategies. She is prompt with appointment times. She took her time in getting to know me as a person and understand my needs. She is extremely knowledgeable in medications and even side effects. I found her to be kind, caring and friendly which created an easy environment for open communication, allowing me to easily express myself.
She is also knowledgeable of alternatives to prescription medication, sharing information of diet and natural supplements. She treated me as a whole person and I am extremely appreciative and pleased with the care and direction she has helped me find.
In summary, I recommend Vanessa to you without the slightest reservation. She is the type of health care provider that is highly motivated in guiding her patients to wellness treating you as a whole person.
I highly recommend her to any and all of my friends and family members in need.
My parents brought me to see Dr. Gourdine as a child when I was suffering from separation anxiety. I was unable to do anything that would separate me from my parents, such as going to school, without experiencing extreme anxiety. After seeing her for some time, I was able to do things on my own. I took some time off from seeing Dr. Gourdine and eventually realized I was still experiencing some anxiety, so I decided to contact her again. She continued to work with me through my anxiety as I was growing up and helped me face things I never thought I would be able to face. I attended college and lived on campus, something I never thought I would be able to do a few years before. Throughout my time in college, Dr. Gourdine helped me build up my confidence and helped me see that I had accomplished so much already. I am now attending graduate school where I am studying clinical psychology, an interest that was sparked by my time with Dr. Gourdine. I am now able to get through my day without feeling anxious, and it is a great feeling. I am very thankful that I met Dr. Gourdine as a child. Without the great impact she had on my life, I would not be where I am today.
I was under the care of Dr. Vaness Gourdine for one year. When I first met Dr. Gourdine I had attempted to commit suicide. I was extremely depressed. I was unable to work. Every day was unbearable. Dr. Gourdine recognized immediately that the sleep aid that I was taking had caused a chemical imbalance which deepened my depression and led me to consider suicide. With medication and monthly visits I was slowly able to regain control of my life. I returned to work within the month. Slowly my interests and enjoyment came back. I am happy to report that I am no longer depressed, and I no longer need medication. Dr. Gourdine saved my life.
I would like to thank Dr. Gourdine for training me to be a better person and making me realize that there are so many options and opportunities in life and that it is too short to be unhappy. I thank her for giving me the courage and wings to pursue my dreams.
I appreciate the wonderful conversations we had during our sessions. I was always excited to hear her point of view and advice which was something I looked forward to every week. I will definitely miss those times and although she may not be around, I know that I will hear her voice in my head that will help me find the positive side of things.
Dr.Gourdine will always be a very special person in my life; a person who changed me for better by guiding me through the steps of a healthier and positive mindset. I feel that I have grown so much in that respect but there is never an end to correcting yourself. I hope to keep in touch with Dr.Gourdine in the future; it is definitely not the end of my story.