Minnesota Personalized Medicine Experience
Updated: Sep 19, 2019
If you know me, you know I am really into natural ways of healing. At my last appointment with my primary Doctor, she recommended I check out Minnesota Personalized Medicine. Minnesota Personalized Medicine specializes in treating people with autoimmune disorders. It is a group of Doctors and Nurses who all have their degrees, but went on to research and specialize in natural ways of healing – and it is AMAZING. I would highly recommend this to anyone having any health problems and looking for answers that your Primary or GI Doctor can’t seem to give you.
I have been holding off writing this article because it was kind of intimidating. I am not a Doctor, nurse, dietician, or involved in the medical field whatsoever, so trying to explain these results, presented itself as a challenge to me. I am going to give it a go though so please bear with me!
Let’s start at the beginning. Minnesota Personalized Medicine is located in Minneapolis in the Loring Park area (if you are not located in Minneapolis I am sure there is a place similar where you live!). When you walk into the lobby you are offered infused water (I chose lavender) and are able to request an essential oil to be defused while you are waiting. All new patients have an initial 2-4 hour appointment along with pre-appointment paperwork (make sure you are thoughtfully filling out the prework, as it is very helpful at the appointment). During this initial appointment you feel like all their attention and energy is focused on you. You feel like they genuinely care and want to see you get better. Which for me personally, is not a feeling I have ever experienced with a GI Doctor. At the end of your initial appointment, they send you home with some tests to collect more information they deem necessary, along with some initial recommendations to implement until you get the test results back. The tests they sent me home with were: a NutrEval test (this test helps them understand your metabolism and allows them to make personalized recommendations for you), a GI effects test (this test provides information on your gut microbiome, measures of inflammation, and information about your digestion), and a DDI 24 hour iodine urine test (this test provides an accurate approximation of dietary iodine intake). At first I was stressed about all of this ‘homework’ but all tests are extremely easy to collect and send off. After you complete the tests, they analyze them and you go back in for your follow up appointment.
The follow up appointment takes anywhere between ½ and 2 hours. During this appointment they will take you through your findings and give you recommendations tailoring your medical care to you. I also experienced feelings of anger towards my GI Doctor during this appointment for not doing any of these tests on me before (ha!). ANYWAYS, let’s go over some of these results. The NutrEval test showed that a lot of my B vitamins where low, so they put me on Designs for Health Twice Daily Multivitamin for good B-vitamin support. I had been taking B12– but had a high need for other B vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, and B9.This is not surprising, as many people with UC have problems absorbing folate (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins. My omega 3 index was also very low. Omega 3 is known to be beneficial in reducing inflammation and it is considered important for people with inflammatory diseases to have adequate supply. Due to this result I was put on Nordic Natural ProDHA1000 (the pills kind of taste like strawberries so no complaints here!). An interesting find of this test is that my tin levels were elevated. This could be from eating too many foods out of tin cans (which I do not) and also could be an indicator of exposure to mold. I work from home and did have my apartment tested, but we are mold free – so I am not sure where that is coming from. However, all on my other metals are low, so I am not worried about it. The next test was the GI Effects. My GI Effects test showed 4+ growth Proteus mirabilis, which is a potentially pathogenic bacteria. To address this there were two options: put me on an antibiotic, or support optimizing good bacteria with a high-potency probiotic. Given that antibiotics cause flares and are hard on your body, we decided to optimize the good bacteria. To do this I am taking OrthoBiotic 100 (a probiotic) along with Saccharomyces boulardii. S. boulardii is an organism that helps to fight off disease-causing organisms in the gut such as bacteria and yeast. Alongside these two medications I am also assigned to follow the anti-candida diet plan, which means - no potatoes, or bananas. This is extremely sad news for me because potatoes and bananas are my two main food groups! However, it is only for a couple weeks and I have decided I am going to find a new favorite food for the time being and pray that I don’t have a reaction when I add them back in. :) The last big thing my GI Effects test demonstrated was an extremely low Akkermansia muciniphila. Akkermansia muciniphila is bacteria that helps protect the body against colon cancer. This result made me mad because shouldn’t GI doctors be testing all their IBD patients to make sure they are sufficient in this bacteria that fights against colon cancers when we are already more susceptible to it?!?! I feel that discovering and treating this now, could save my future self! To combat this I was put on Resveratrol Extra. Resveratol act like antioxidants, protecting the body against damage that can put you at higher risk for things like cancer and heart disease. Needless to say, I am very thankful for the results of the GI Effects test. Lastly, we have the DDI 24 hour iodine test, this is short and sweet, as it just measures the iodine. My iodine was extremely low. It showed an excretion of 58% compared to the expected 90%. This suggests a functional deficiency in iodine. What I have never mentioned before publicly is that on top of my UC, I have also struggled with hypothyroidism, which means you have an underactive thyroid gland. When you google iodine and hypothyroidism it literally says “As the body's iodine levels fall, hypothyroidism may develop, since iodine is essential for making thyroid hormone.” – so my question is – why when you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism are your iodine levels not tested?? Post this test I am taking Iodoral 12.5 mg once a day and hoping this can kick that issue in the butt! The bright side of this is that my nurse emphasized that I must be maintaining my sodium (salt) intake while taking iodine. Little does she know, salt is my specialty. (;
To summarize (I feel like I am writing a college essay), I am so thankful that my primary Doctor suggested I go to Minnesota Personalize Medicine and I feel hopeful that these results and this new treatment plan will lead to a happier, healthier me! :)
Please reach out if you have any questions about any of the above or my UC/Hypothyroidism in general by DMing me on my Instagram (@anextrapinchofsalt) or joining my facebook support group which is linked on my page.
Things to note:
1. Since Minnesota Personalized Medicine does not practice traditional medicine and is considered ‘out-of-network’. This means that they do not participate in any insurance programs. However, you are able to submit your bill at the end of each appointment to insurance for consideration of partial reimbursement. (I think it is worth the cost)
2. Dr. Gregory Plotnikoff and Nurse Erin sit down and discuss all their patients test results together and prescribe the same treatments. Erin is $150.00 less expensive to see per hour than Dr. Plotnikoff even though you get the same treatment plan. So, to save money I would recommend seeing Erin.
3. Minnesota Personalized Medicine is not to replace any GI or Primary Doctors you may see.
4. COMPLETE THE PRE PAPER WORK THOUGHTFULLY! This made my appointment go so fast since they are reviewing it before you come in and saved me a lot of $$$!!