BRENDA MARSHALL, MD
Sleep Deep. Think Clear.
Crave Less. Feel Alive!
MY PERSONAL JOURNEY
A Natural Approach to Healing
Going through the rigorous program of Medical School was actually enjoyable for me because I was naturally drawn to science and the physiology of human beings. And I trusted what I had learned was good science and that I was following the “Hippocratic Oath” of doing no harm…and went on to practice over 15 years of traditional Family Medicine and Urgent Care, treating mostly with traditional pharmaceuticals.
It wasn’t until around 36 years of age that my journey into Integrative/Functional Medicine began, and that reason started with fatigue…bad fatigue. Like waking up and the first thought in my head was “geez, I hope I get a chance to take a nap today…” I did have my one-year-old son and a snoring partner so my sleep patterns weren’t great and figured it would just get better with time. But it didn’t, and the sleepless nights and fatigue started to roll into somewhat of a depression because I was “just so tired all the time.” And Benadryl, Ambien, and Elavil became my go to sleep aids but no help with the energy.
My thyroid doses were “in range” according to my primary (yes, even Doctors go to doctors!!) so that appeared to not be the cause. And then one day I noticed an old photo of my Mom and how trim she was in her 30’s and found out that she had been on Armour thyroid back then. That is when Pandora’s box opened, and I ran my first Free T3 level thyroid level, only to find that it was absolutely horribly low - and my journey had begun…I was not converting thyroid hormone (as many people don’t for an arm-long list of reasons). And I began to try to figure out why this was happening...
So many lab tests later, discovering lots of underlying issues which I think are worth sharing. First, low Vitamin D3 levels due to poor conversion (thanks to elevated lead levels from my high school stained glass hobby, which was my most recent finding) There was also the discovery of having Hashimoto's thyroid antibodies which are autoimmune and low B-12 (behold, the diagnosis of Pernicious Anemia, a second autoimmune issue.) Then there was the low iron Ferritin level, which also had a role in thyroid activation and energy…stemmed probably from not being much of a red meat eater, and having heavy irregular cycles due to the underlying thyroid problem. I also discovered my low serotonin as a result of low thyroid T3 levels and low B-12 ( Aha! the source for the depression symptoms). And oh yes, the mercury, which was from having those 7-8 dental fillings replaced 14 years ago, slowing down my mitochondrial energy and affecting my thyroid too. Wow, I was a smoldering little train wreck! No wonder I felt so poorly.
So that was me back then…fatigued, disrupted unrestful sleep, depressed (especially in the winter I was always looking for a tropical vacation somewhere), heavy irregular cycles, and oh yes, I failed to mention the migraines and some irritable bowel as a bonus. And the weight struggles. At one point I was told by my primary that it was “normal” to kind of lose your libido at the age of 37! Wrong!
No one should live this way, and no one has to. With my program of holistic evaluation and integrative intervention, we can all feel great, sleep restfully and live a life of wellness and vitality. This is for certain as I have experienced the journey and transformation myself, and helped thousands of my patients. Life is too short to feel poorly… Let your journey to wellness begin today!