Case Study: Shawn
Shawn, a 62-year-old senior partner in a law firm presented with chest pain, panic attacks, and memory impairment. Shawn worked 80-hour weeks and traveled globally for work for decades, without taking a single a sick day in his life. He attended clinic only because his memory impairment began to impact his ability to keep up his usual pace in the workplace. Shawn hid his panic attacks by using alcohol before big meetings and sublingual Ativans (benzodiazepines, which are muscle relaxants) that he got from his GP. He was also taking anti-hypertensives (blood pressure lowering medications) and statins for high cholesterol, and presented with low libido.
Traditional western medicine had 'chopped Shawn's body up' into specialties: Cardiology for the chest pain, Psychiatry for the panic attacks, and Neurology for the memory impairment. In contrast, Functional Medicine is based on Systems Biology and approaches a patient and their symptoms with the understanding that everything is connected.
In Shawn's situation, his statin therapy (Lipitor) had depleted his levels of a brain nutrient called coenzyme Q-10, and his fast-paced, hard-driving lifestyle had depleted his critical neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin. Shawn's fast food nutrient-depleted diet had depleted his good brain fats (Omega-3), as well as his levels of vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and magnesium.
Once the nutrients and neurotransmitters were repleted, Shawn's panic attacks stopped, his chest pain resolved and his memory improved. Integral to his full-body healing was Shawn's relationship with his health coach and nutritionist. They helped him with prioritizing, stress management, food preparation, and achieving greater balance in his life. By giving Shawn testosterone therapy, his libido, heart, and brain health improved. The renewed vitality and charity of thinking allowed Shawn to renegotiate his life-path and spend more focus on philanthropy, traveling for enjoyment and mentoring his younger colleagues.