5

votes

I give up. What kind of doctor do I need?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 03, 2012 at 1:44 AM

Though I've fully embraced my inner 'doctor google', and although I very much appreciate the collective experience and practical suggestions offered here, I'm ready to see a doctor for the following issues.

However, I don't know what type of doctor I need, or how to go about finding a good one.

Despite all my efforts, trying to hack electrolytes, do elimination diets, and food challenges, I can't seem to nail down:

  1. muscle pain/soreness/cramping (foot/calves/thigh/scalp/neck).

  2. back pain (very infrequent, and I'm not sure if it's related to issue #1 above).

  3. headaches (which feel like tension / muscular) and often accompany my eyeballs actually hurting, which seems to associate with maybe too much salt, but also perhaps the issues above.

  4. brain fog (which I almost think is related somehow to the issues above).

I have been to my general doctor who did blood tests, and rules out anything he can think of.

I don't want to see a doctor who only practices standard, conventional medicine and who thinks paleo peeps are quacks.

I don't necessarily need a paleo practitioner, but someone who can help me plan out a strategy and action plan to get to the bottom of all this.

I live in Philadelphia, PA though I'm open to consulting via skype.

Where do I start? Chiropractor? Functional medicine doc? (I don't even know that that means).

I've wasted enough time self diagnosing and pestering everyone here with questions.

Any tips and thoughts will be profoundly appreciated,

Thanks,

Mike

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 04, 2014
at 12:17 PM

Having the benefit of 1.5 more years of food diary data of foods/reactions, I think you may be right about salicylates. I'm focusing in on that now. Thanks!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on July 03, 2012
at 09:27 PM

The idea of a chiropractor scares me a great deal. If I am able to correlate symptoms to foods, I'd like to avoid the back cracking stuff.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on July 03, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Thank you everyone for the different suggestions. Though I haven't been able to get to the bottom of this, I do have 2 years worth of food diary data. My muscle pain/cramping/discomfort got particularly bad over this last weekend, when I started consuming lots of coconut water, orange juice, eggs & sweet potato. Though I can't be 100% sure, I have a strong feeling that food is the cause, or certainly making it worse. Therefore, though things like massage might make me feel better, I don't think it's the root cause. I like the idea of seeing a doctor with some background in food issues.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on July 03, 2012
at 09:17 PM

Funny you mention salicylates Anniep. My muscle pain/cramping/discomfort got particularly bad over this last weekend, when I started consuming lots of coconut water, orange juice, eggs & sweet potato. These seem to be on the high salicylate lists. What do you think would be good paleo, low salicylate foods (e.g. kerrygold pastured butter instead of coconut oil, white potato instead of sweet potato? Chicken breast?) Any other food suggestions would be very much appreciated.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 03, 2012
at 05:45 PM

Ahhh. OK thanks. Your comments are very thorough and good though!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:34 PM

I will be honest with you - my brain is estrogen-based and people like me hate earning points, down/upvotes, and all kinds of badges. I wish I could turn all those points/votes/counters off. So for now I use "comments" for random comments and "answers" for like a speech-type longer opinions.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:04 PM

Yes, salicylate can cause muscle aches/brain fog/headaches. So can oxalate, which shares a common transport receptor with salicylate for transport across the cell membrane. Both are toxic in large amounts in the body and although most bodies do a good job keeping levels low, some do not. I was on a low salicylate, low oxalate diet for a long time and all of these symptoms cleared up (I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue). I eventually just switched to low oxalate and that seemed to be the key for me, but when you see your new doctor this might be an avenue to explore.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:46 AM

As others have mentioned chiropractic work would be good too, but I've found that I do better when I add that after getting my muscles realigned properly, otherwise I don't seem to hold the adjustments well because the overly tight muscles snap the bones right back to where they started.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Routine!? very seriously doubt that.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:25 AM

VB once again this is a great answer that you have put as a comment. Why is that?

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on July 03, 2012
at 04:51 AM

This! Myofascial massage helped my mother tremendously with the kind of aches described by the OP.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:49 AM

GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!!!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:14 AM

http://nccam.nih.gov/ http://www.functionalmedicine.org/ I would also see an acupuncture specialist, a naturopath and a certified Chinese herbalist.

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12 Answers

4
Afdf5873a082cd806c4d15c456f3614f

(336)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:22 AM

Have you considered lyme disease- those symptoms are in-line and it is very common over where you are from. I would suggest in all the testing to request a lyme test, but make sure it is done by a lyme-literate doctor who knows what to look for.... just thoughts, I have a few friends/relatives suffering from lyme that all had those symptoms and could not seem to remedy or figure out anything on their own. Good luck!

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 03, 2012
at 03:49 AM

GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!!!

2
D95fc428af83cdb84706dd85588a7724

on July 03, 2012
at 01:38 PM

I am in no way trying to ignore your question about doctors. However, I had all your symptoms for most of my life and got nowhere with doctors because lab tests and medical exams came up negative for any disease. After medical blogs/forums became common on the internet, I was able to trace the cause of my symptoms to an intolerance/reaction to phenols/salicylates (in topical products and foods). Many, many very healthy, unprocessed, and paleo foods contain salicylates. You might try doing some online searches to see if that might possibly be your problem.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on July 03, 2012
at 09:17 PM

Funny you mention salicylates Anniep. My muscle pain/cramping/discomfort got particularly bad over this last weekend, when I started consuming lots of coconut water, orange juice, eggs & sweet potato. These seem to be on the high salicylate lists. What do you think would be good paleo, low salicylate foods (e.g. kerrygold pastured butter instead of coconut oil, white potato instead of sweet potato? Chicken breast?) Any other food suggestions would be very much appreciated.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:04 PM

Yes, salicylate can cause muscle aches/brain fog/headaches. So can oxalate, which shares a common transport receptor with salicylate for transport across the cell membrane. Both are toxic in large amounts in the body and although most bodies do a good job keeping levels low, some do not. I was on a low salicylate, low oxalate diet for a long time and all of these symptoms cleared up (I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue). I eventually just switched to low oxalate and that seemed to be the key for me, but when you see your new doctor this might be an avenue to explore.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on February 04, 2014
at 12:17 PM

Having the benefit of 1.5 more years of food diary data of foods/reactions, I think you may be right about salicylates. I'm focusing in on that now. Thanks!

2
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on July 03, 2012
at 02:49 AM

I think you need a really good ND or an MD who practices Functional Medicine.

This website can help you locate one and will explain functional medicine!
http://www.functionalmedicine.org/

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:20 AM

Try an appointment or two with a myofascial therapist. They can get way deeper than a massage therapist and really work the kinks out of twisted muscles and fascia, and even get way in there to undo muscle fibers that have wrapped themselves around nerves, tendons, and bones. Twisted muscle fibers could be contributing to all of the things you are trying to fix.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on July 03, 2012
at 04:51 AM

This! Myofascial massage helped my mother tremendously with the kind of aches described by the OP.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:46 AM

As others have mentioned chiropractic work would be good too, but I've found that I do better when I add that after getting my muscles realigned properly, otherwise I don't seem to hold the adjustments well because the overly tight muscles snap the bones right back to where they started.

1
Ca28795ff0707339ba2938734b602b7a

on July 03, 2012
at 04:57 AM

I would try the route of Chiropractic and one who is educated in Functional Medicine. Seems like a routine case for anyone well-trained in this field. Best of luck and keep us posted!

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 03, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Routine!? very seriously doubt that.

1
F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

on July 03, 2012
at 02:52 AM

My first choice is always naturopathic doctors. But it depends upon where you live and whether you can find a real one who has graduated from Bastyr or National. Many people call themselves naturopathic doctors without graduating from an accredited school, and I suppose that there are even online diploma mills, so you need to do your due diligence if you decide to go this route.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 03, 2012
at 01:51 AM

I think you may be looking for an "integrative" medical practitioner.

Integrative medicine is as controversial as alternative medicine and you need to be wary of who you choose. Get some referrals if possible.

0
Medium avatar

on February 05, 2014
at 03:54 AM

Back issues? Have you ever had an MRI? I'm with Mario on this one. I think it would be good to either see a physical therapist or find a nurse practitioner who deals with athletes (they're out there). Your body is a huge kinetic chain. Tight fascia in your feet can cause all sorts of problems like the ones you're describing.

0
Medium avatar

on February 05, 2014
at 01:34 AM

If it were me, at this point I'd start with the Internal Medicine doc and ask for a referral to Rheumatology (autoimmune stuff). Agree, Lyme titer should be done regardless if you live/have been in a high risk area or not). If Lyme's suspected based on symptoms and exam and IM doc is clueless, would see an Infectious Disease specialist.

If it were me, I'd also check CK and aldolase and go from there. Mild congenital myopathies can go undiagnosed for life.

Heavy metal screen - it's rare to be exposed, but one never knows.

See complementary medicine person if all's ruled out.

Avoid chiropractors http://www.paleocrush.com/what-your-chiropractor-will-not-tell-you/

0
B5fb873f94766774e49a6f9d533a3223

on February 04, 2014
at 11:40 PM

ND all the way

0
71af3866ba45915e06061a627b40f31d

(235)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:30 PM

Hmm, this could possibly be a musculoskeletal issue (due to poor posture etc.), it may help to see a physical therapist to get diagnosed, and then someone like a myofascial therapist.

-1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on July 03, 2012
at 02:47 AM

I vote chiropractor. Saved me from surgery at the age of 15....so I am biased (oh, I went that route to learn too). In fact in the past 20 years the only doctor I have seen have been chiropractors.

If you search it out some chiropractors are also practitioners of wellness principles (i.e. discuss nutrition, exercise, proper mental attitude) or functional medicine.

Typed this into google and got a bunch of hits "philadelphia pa chiropractor functional medicine"

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