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Recovering from Lichen Sclerosus: A Patient Case Study — Part One

By |2024-05-31T20:13:00-04:00May 22nd, 2024|Categories: Lichen Sclerosus|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Editor’s Note: Today, we’re taking another detour from our usual blog posts that present information from our own medical team and staff. As we did a few weeks ago, we’re presenting a case study that we recently received from a patient who wants to share her personal journey with our healthcare practice, this time for a case of Lichen Sclerosus.

Below, in her own words, is 42-year-old Janet’s experience with Lichen Sclerosus. If you’re not familiar with Lichen Sclerosus, it is a chronic inflammatory skin condition primarily affecting the genital and perianal areas, although it can occur on other parts of the body. Common symptoms include:

  • Smooth white patches of skin
  • Itching, discomfort, and pain
  • Easy bruising or tearing
  • Painful sex and painful or difficult urination (if it affects the genital area)

The condition is more common in women, particularly those who are postmenopausal, but it can also affect men and children.

Next week, we’ll be back to our normal format with a blog post featuring our plan of care and some additional thoughts about treating patients living with Lichen Sclerosus.

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My Journey With Lichen Sclerosus

The most important thing I learned from my journey with Lichen Sclerosus is that the first thing I should have done is visited with someone like Dr. Matthew Lewis at PROKOVE Health.

Prior to seeing Dr. Lewis, I had been dealing with the symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus for more than 10 years. At first, I suffered from itch and irritation, but I didn’t have the classic “white patches.” I consulted multiple doctors, primary care and Ob/Gyn, who diagnosed me as having yeast infections and prescribed repeated courses of fluconazole (an anti-fungal medication). Given the inconvenience of repeat visits to doctors who provide little to no relief, I started using over-the-counter creams, suppositories, and probiotics, none of which was very effective.

Lichen Sclerosus medical form image

Four years ago, the disease progressed to the point where I could no longer tolerate it. My skin began to tear when I had intercourse, and I was dealing with persistent irritation and discomfort. I consulted three more Ob/Gyns and received ineffective treatment recommendations — from changing soap and laundry detergent to using prescription estrogen cream to having surgery. I went to a functional medicine doctor and saw minor improvement after addressing nutritional deficiencies and making dietary changes. However, the discomfort was still consuming my life and causing tension in my marriage.

About three years ago, after conducting my own internet research and bringing it to the attention of my doctors, I finally received a diagnosis of Lichen Sclerosus and was prescribed the standard of care — topical steroids. When my condition continued to worsen, my physician performed a series of experimental, in-office procedures with the goal of rejuvenating the affected skin. The procedures brought me no relief, and the only option I was offered was to try another round of procedures. The physician went so far as to say I should lower my expectations. I continued to seek alternative solutions through Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and experimental laser.

In December 2023, we uncovered mold in our home, and I was referred to Dr. Lewis for his expertise in mold and mycotoxin exposure.

My Medical History

Dr. Lewis conducted a thorough review of my Continue reading…

Personalized Long-COVID Treatment: A Case Study – Part Two

By |2024-05-20T16:15:39-04:00May 10th, 2024|Categories: Long Covid|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Last week on our blog, one of our patients shared his experience with Long COVID and how we have been helping him on his journey to recovery (see “Recovering from Long COVID: A Case Study.”) His symptoms started after three bouts of Covid-19 in as many years, and even though he was a strong and healthy 63-year-old, the disease had taken a toll on his resiliency — his body’s ability to bounce back after a serious illness.

Long Covid Patient Frustrated

When we first met him, Doug was physically weak and exhausted and cognitively impaired (both thinking and memory). He had already consulted two other doctors who told him that conventional medicine had no effective treatment protocol for Long COVID and that his symptoms were likely to last for six to 24 months. They recommended that he enroll in a Long-COVID program available through the University of Florida.

We offered a better solution — a personalized plan of care to restore his health, fitness, and resiliency.

In this post, I share additional details about the personalized treatment protocol we prescribed for Doug at PROVOKE Health. But first, we offer a few words of caution.

Not a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Here at PROVOKE Health, we practice functional medicine and integrative healthcare — a systems-based, whole-body approach that focuses on restoring health instead of merely eliminating illness or suppressing symptoms. That’s why functional medicine is effective in treating health conditions that conventional medicine cannot resolve.

Unfortunately, it is also why what works for one patient may not work for another. Every patient is unique and has special medical needs based on their age, genetics, medical history, family health history, lifestyle, health and fitness objectives, as well as other variants. We do not have a “long-COVID treatment protocol” that we prescribe to all our patients who report symptoms of long COVID. What we offer is a personalized plan of care, which evolves over time as the patient’s health improves.

In this post, I share the personalized plan of care we prescribed for Doug. We caution against using this as a standardized long-COVID treatment protocol or as a way to self-medicate. Prior to treating any patient, we conduct a thorough evaluation, which may include ordering lab tests to determine specifically what the patient needs. Taking too much or too little of a medication or supplement, poor quality products, or the wrong combination of medications and supplements, can do more harm than good. We recommend that you work closely with a certified functional and integrative medical practice in order to obtain personalized, medically supervised treatment.

Doug’s Long-COVID Plan of Care

For Doug, we developed the following personalized plan of care. Below, Doug’s doses have been omitted intentionally because they are patient-specific and because recommended doses of some medications and supplements change as the patient’s health improves over time. Medical interventions, including prescription medications and intravenous treatments are provided by our medical team using trusted compound pharmacies: Continue reading…

Recovering from Long COVID: A Case Study – Part One

By |2024-05-20T16:17:21-04:00April 30th, 2024|Categories: Long Covid|Tags: , |0 Comments

Editor’s Note: Today, we’re taking a slight detour from our usual blog posts that present information and analysis from our own medical team and staff. Instead, we’re presenting  case study that we recently received from a patient who wants to share his personal journey with our functional medicine and integrative healthcare practice.

Below, in his own words, is Doug’s experience with Long COVID and PROVOKE Health’s founder Dr. Matt Lewis and our team of healthcare providers, including our Medical Director — Dr. Karalynne Blochberger, MD. Next week, we’ll be back to our normal format with a blog featuring Dr. Lewis’ care of plan for Doug and some additional thoughts about treating patients living with Long COVID.

Here then, is Doug’s story in his own words:

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I’m a 63-year-old man, 5 feet 11 inches tall, about 190 pounds, a father, physicist, businessman, preacher, and author. I exercise regularly and am generally in good health with no prior major medical issues except for a previous bout with black mold toxicity from 2010 to 2012.

Long COVID Case Study Graphic

I contracted Covid-19 three times — each about one year apart — in 2021, 2022, and 2023. The first two cases were mild, and I recovered in about a week. The third time, however, the symptoms were more severe. I discovered that I had Covid-19 for the third time on Dec. 20th, 2023. By Jan. 1st, 2024, I thought I was fully recovered. However, two days later I began to experience symptoms that would later be attributed to Long COVID.

My Long COVID Symptoms

Long COVID is a collection of symptoms that last three months or longer after the first symptoms. I experienced the following three severe and debilitating Long COVID symptoms: Continue reading…