Like many dedicated wives, Christine Brown keeps a keen eye on her husband, Doc. It goes with the territory after 42 years of marriage.
So, when the Waynesville resident noticed Doc’s movement becoming strained, as well as changes within her own body, she decided to go on a search for answers.
“Getting old sucks … menopause sucks. And Doc, he was having problems getting around with his knees,” she said, tearing up a bit at the memory.
Brown has also been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune condition that attacks the thyroid. It led to a number of other issues including weight gain and lack of energy. But every time she went to a doctor for answers, she was sent away empty-handed.
“I’d been to several doctors. It was always the same story. They’d check your thyroid and if they numbers were good (or within range), they’d just blow you off. They’d say, ‘eat less carbs and you’ll feel better,’” she said.
But she refused to give up. Instead, she kept looking for solutions — both for herself and for her husband. Brown found those while reading a Brunswick News story about a patient of Heller Healthcare, a medical practice that offers a wide variety of healthcare services.
The Brunswick-based office offers a wealth of services, all under one roof. While Heller Healthcare offers chiropractic care and massage therapy; its sister practice, Golden Isles Functional Medicine, offers anti-arthritis programs, degenerative joint care treatments, holistic pain management options, hormone optimization, nutritional planning, weight loss and specializes in regenerative medicine.
“I saw a story about a gal named Megan and she had Hashimoto’s. She was much younger than I am but in that article, she hit on everything,” she said. “So I thought, this is something worth looking into.”
Brown brought her husband, Doc, along to see if he would be a good candidate for their regenerative medicine. She was hopeful that it would help restore his knees (and spoiler alert — it did, Doc’s story was published in the paper’s Sept. 13th edition).
“On home reveals on HGTV, I would get emotional. I mean, just the stupidest things,” she said with a laugh. “I also had some anxiety, I guess, and weight gain. I was having joint pain and trouble sleeping.”
Dr. Heller and her team take the same approach with any new patient, they always start from scratch. So even though Brown had seen numerous doctors, they started a fresh, more expansive round of testing.
“We always have to test before we can treat. Nutritionally, we had to get to WHY the body wasn’t functioning the way it should,” Heller said. “We did a hair analysis. We did extensive blood testing, more than what’s typically ordered. We did a food allergy test. That was a big deal. Being able to see all of that, we were able to see what the problems were and what was causing it.”
With that detailed information serving as a guide, Brown and Heller created a plan. The first step would be a detox, removing foods that aggravated her system. The next piece was adding in the supplements to support her body in areas that were lacking.
“Her chemistry was completely off. We have to be able to heal the gut which is why we start off with the detox. She did really well with it,” Heller said. “Now that we did the testing, we know what supplements she actually needs because of deficiencies versus taking just anything that sounds good to feel well. We go through each month and look at which supplements to add or take away if she no longer needs them based off of her progress. We look at her goals, whether it’s weight loss or energy, but it’s really about changing her chemistry. She’s done great.”
The dietary changes have also benefited her husband, Brown adds.
“I cook and he’s been tagging along,” she said with a chuckle. “He’s done well. We cut out gluten, carbs and sugar. Dairy too … I used to eat two eggs a day. But honestly, it hasn’t been so bad.”
“Those were her food allergies that we didn’t know about,” Heller added. “So changing that changes her gut chemistry and how her body functions better.”
Looking back on her journey, Brown is incredibly grateful.
“From when I first walked in the door, I feel infinitely better,” she said with a smile.
The couple is looking forward to future adventures and even just doing the small things.
“We just got a palette of mulch from Home Depot for the yard. And, we just finished renovating our Airstream and we’re still together,” she said jokingly.
Considering both her and Doc’s journey, she hopes that others will take advantage of Heller Healthcare’s services.
“If there’s any little tiny, iota of a thought that says, ‘this looks interesting, it might help.’ Just look into it. Why suffer? It’s really an investment in your future. You can’t go down without a fight,” Brown said.