What I’m Addressing with My Functional Medicine Doctor

by | Jun 26, 2023 | Blog

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning if you click through and purchase, I might earn a small commission. Also: I’m sharing my experience and this should in no way be considered medical advice. Consult your doctor for all medical issues. 

If you’re interested in hearing about my journey with my functional medicine doctor, what we’re working on, how we’re addressing it and the recent results, make sure you don’t miss episode 1101 of the Primal Potential podcast!

In the episode I give the backstory of why I felt it was important to work with a functional medicine doctor and how we realized we needed to focus on inflammation.

In this blog, I want to outline the main points of the episode and put all the resources in a single, easy to access place. For the details though, you’ll want to listen to episode 1101.

While there are many ways to measure and monitor inflammation, the marker we’re focusing on is C-reactive protein.

Before we get to that, I want to make sure to emphasize that inflammation is not bad. In fact, without it, we’d die! It’s one of the most effective defense mechanisms our body has! Unfortunately, there are a lot of lifestyle, environmental and dietary factors that trigger an inflammatory response, sending our systems into overdrive where there is too much inflammation. (I talk a lot about those factors in episode 1101 of the Primal Potential podcast.)

C-reactive protein (CRP) is, not surprisingly, a protein that works to clear dead and/or damaged cells from the body. Elevated CRP can indicate anything from mild localized inflammation to chronic systemic inflammation or acute infection. For example, at the height of a serious infection, CRP could rise 50,000 fold! But, that would be a very short-lived spike.

Mild or moderately elevated levels often indicate systemic inflammation.

Why do we care about systemic inflammation?

This is really important to discuss and understand because I think a lot of people still think of headaches or swollen joints when they think about inflammation. Inflammation is much, much more than that.

For example, mild inflammation in the brain might feel like brain fog, slow thinking, fatigue, anxiety or depression. Additionally, over time this inflammation can lead to neurodegenerative conditions.

Beyond brain health, chronic inflammation leads to weight gain, trouble losing weight, insulin resistance, impaired appetite control, impaired immune responses, infertility, bowel irregularities, headaches, skin issues and a whole lot more.

After my 3rd c-section (and 3rd + 4th babies) in less than 2.5 years, I knew there was a lot of inflammation in my body. I knew it was impairing my weight loss, damaging my health, and threatening any future hopes of additional pregnancies.

It’s important to note that when looking at any laboratory value involved in the picture of your health, there’s almost always a difference between what’s considered a “normal” value and what’s considered a “healthy” value. Many practitioners only want to note the absence of disease (which they refer to as normal). In a world where “normal” is often overweight, overtired, anxious and pre-diabetic, I’m not interested in “normal” labs.

My functional medicine doctor and I are targeting an “optimal” CRP value of less than 1 mg/L (or 0.1 mg/dL). 

Six months after my c-section with the twins, my CRP was measuring just over 10 mg/L. This didn’t surprise me as I was still healing, massively sleep deprived, and coming off tremendous emotional strain of their 93 day NICU stay (not to mention any healing I hadn’t done from my other 2 sections just one and two years prior.)

I made a few changes and 4 months later my CRP had dropped over 6 points to 3.6 mg/L.

Here are the changes that I made in those 4 months (and I go into more detail in episode 1101):

I talk about how the supplements impact inflammation in the episode if you’re looking for those details. Also, if you give the last 3 supplements a try, the code BENTON at checkout saves you $10 on your first order. 

*I have a free training series and I did an entire training on my continuous glucose monitor. By registering here, you’ll get an email with the replay of the glucose monitor one! You can also read my blog overview here.

So, those shifts brought my CRP from 10+ to 3.6 mg/L over a few months. The next goal is to get it under 1 mg/L over the next few months. There are a couple of adjustments I’m making to support my further progress:

  • I’m going completely gluten free (I explain the molecular mimicry at play in episode 1101)
  • I’m increasing my all natural anti-inflammatory from 2 capsules daily to 3
  • I forgot to mention in episode 1101 but I’m adding back in my crazy pricey coQ10 supplement. I know, the price is high but coQ10 is amazing AND most of the stuff on the market is straight shit.

I promise to update you in a few months when I do my next lab test, but I feel really amazing about the progress.

If you’ve read through all this and still feel like you have a lot of questions, make sure you listen to episode 1101. If you already have, shoot me a message with your questions and I’ll do a follow up episode!


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