Do you believe in magic?

Hi. I’m frustrated, and I need to vent. You up for it?

I met my naturopathic doctor this afternoon for the first time. I had extremely high hopes – I basically can’t eat anything right now without getting hives. I can tell that my antibodies are out of control, probably the worst they have ever been.

I am so disappointed, discouraged, and frustrated. Now, a lot of you have gone to naturopathic doctors with success, so please, tell me if this doctor was right on track, or is one magic spell away from an institution.

I arrived to an office with no secretary, just a small little room. This room didn’t look anything like a doctor’s office, and had virtually no medical…anything. Equipment, etc. I had sent all my labs to her previously, even though the office didn’t request them, so she had time to look them over, which she did. Also, in the middle of this visit her cell phone rang, and she answered it. It was her teenage son. He wanted money. She started getting frustrated with him over the phone while I was just sitting there. Then, she called her main office in another town, and requested that the secretary give her son a $20 bill “from the box” if he shows up.

And that’s not even the half of it. She hooked my arm up to this band thing attached to a computer. This computer had a program that could “test” if I was “having issues” with anything, from foods to medicines. I don’t want to say allergic, because for me, I know it’s more of a sensitivity thing. How did it perform this magic test? I straightened out my arm (not the one with the band attached to it), and she pressed down on my wrist. I was instructed to push back. If, when I pushed back, my arm stayed up, it meant I wasn’t negatively affected by whatever she was looking at. If my arm went down, then that meant I had a sensitivity to it. WHAT THE HELL???

So I followed along, secretly wondering if she was just pressing down harder on my wrist whenever we came to something that I had already told her was bothering me. My arm “went down” for wheat, sugar, sperm amino acids, vaginal mucous membranes (um, ew), and progesterone (I had told her my LP was short, too..). I shouldn’t have told her anything, in reflection. I should have had her consult my palm and perform her psychic duties to see what my problems are.

That was weird enough. After that, she told me that I should take these “energizing pellets” (I never said I was lacking in energy…). They are virtually sea salt, she said, called Natrum Muraticum. I should take a little handful of pellets, once a week. They react badly with coffee and mints…so I would need to switch my toothpaste…

When I pressed her for why I need these magic pellets, she said I would just feel better overall, and also would be happier (I never said I wasn’t happy…). She said my symptoms might get worse before they get better though, so I might have more hives temporarily, and I might cry at random. She said not to worry, it will pass and then I will feel better. And THEN – when you think that’s as bad as it gets, she had me raise my arm again while the other arm closed around a package of these pellets. She had me press against her wrist and since my arm stayed up, she knew those pellets would be good for me. Then, to figure out the dosage of pellets that I would need, she used my arm like a Magic 8 ball, I kid you not. Can’t make this stuff up, people. It went something like this: “Does she need 50 c?” (Press), “100 c?” (Press), “200 c?” (Press). I guess my arm did something satisfactory at this point because she decided on 200 c. I thought she was actually asking me the question, what dosage did I need, until I realized she was talking to herself…or more like the spirits on the other side of a Ouija board.

She told me that she could basically cure me. Not totally, because my autoimmune issues were completely out of whack, which I know. But with her “treatments”, I would be able to enjoy an occasional wheat or sugar filled treat, with way less hives. Okay, I said, I’m listening. What’s the treatment? Well, she said, it’s not covered by insurance, and each treatment is between $90-150. “Are they shots?” I said. No. I go in, get hooked up to that computer thing again, she focuses in on one particular food or hormone that is problematic (like sugar), and then, she takes a back massager and rolls it up and down my back. She related it to acupuncture, something about stimulating spinal something-or-others. And then, that’s it! When I leave, I’m much better with that one particular issue.

I don’t know if this is all sounding crazy to you, but to me, it sounds absolutely f-ing nuts. Totally out there. This isn’t a doctor – this is a psychic. $150 to get a back rub? To cure my autoimmune problems?

This is all frustrating enough, but there are other reasons. She is covered by my insurance (except for those “treatments”). Why would she be in my insurance’s network if she sucks? Also, my mother’s coworker, who recommended her to me, found total success! I don’t know if she went through what I would be going through, but I guess she had a severe milk allergy that this doctor practically did, in fact, cure. So I have someone who claims this actually works.

Now, she did say a couple of valuable things to me. I mentioned the burning and swelling issue, and talked about Recurring Candida Proliferation (Thanks, Sunny!). She agreed that sounded plausible, but, like I knew, it’s all connected to my other issues. She also told me about a diet she thinks I should try. I was expecting a diet change, though this one is pretty drastic. It’s an anti-inflammatory diet, because of course, I’m out of control inflamed. It’s gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and meat-free. Think about that. I would be limited to vegetables, small amounts of fruit, beans, rice or quinoa, only occasional organic chicken, fresh fish no more than 2x a week, and that is it. It’s a vegetarian diet, with no sugar or processed anything in addition. Here’s the thing – I need help with my health right now. I can’t handle it alone anymore. I’m up for trying a new diet. But I can’t do this one, I’m telling you right now. I can’t. Quality of life, I mean seriously. Nothing on the grill, no chemicals (which means no butter, ketchup, parm cheese, coffee creamer….I could go on and on.) I can’t handle that drastic of a diet, plus these hives, plus this infertility. I can’t do it. I’m not doing it. Not that drastic, anyway.

Lastly, she pulled out a report from my RE. “It says here that you seem to show signs of PCOS….” WHATTT??? Yes, after my ultrasound, when I met my RE, he wrote up a little letter and put it in my file, and it says that I demonstrated symptoms of polycystic ovaries. What. the. hell. He NEVER mentioned that. Let me emphasize NEVER. I’ve been with my RE for four, almost five months now, and never once has anyone told me I have PCOS. And that’s fine and all, if I have it. But it changes everything. Is that the cause of what’s going on in my body? Is that the cause of my infertility? Am I pursuing the right course of fertility treatment? I have no idea. I couldn’t believe it. The ND suggested I give him a call, which I will be doing. But I’m more upset than mad. Why do all my doctors have to suck? My RE is highly recommended. His program is one of the biggest in the state. But I’ve never felt like I’m getting their full attention. Now, to find out he thinks I may have PCOS? Well, that explains so much! It explains the mustache I’ve been shaving off, the little dark hairs I plucked from my CHIN yesterday, the recurring yeast issues….so much.

I’m upset because I need doctors who will help me. I have 7 doctors, each specializing in one little piece of my puzzle. I was hoping this ND could take them all on, sanely. Clearly, she can’t. But you know what’s the worst? I’m upset with myself. Why do I have to be going through this? All of this. The fertility problems, that cause my Clomid hot flashes and haven’t allowed a good night’s sleep in weeks, the stress over not getting pregnant. The thyroid problem that kept me from TTC for a while and can at any time the number decides to jump. The hives, which are now after almost every. single. meal that I eat. I don’t feel good. I don’t look good. I’m a mess. I just want to be worry-free. And I would be, if my health problems went away. Instead, after seeing this “doctor” today, I’m more upset. I need help with my medical problems and I don’t know where to turn.

It’s just suddenly gotten to this point that I’m creating my own panic attack. It’s all just too much for me to handle. Too much. I can’t live happily like this. Something has GOT to change.

So, if you’ve gone to a ND with success….please, is this woman completely mad? Should I try this diet? Thoughts?

By the way….we’ve decided. I’m going to try IUI, this cycle.


25 thoughts on “Do you believe in magic?

  1. Infertile First Mom says:

    Holy crap! I’m sorry I have no good advice on NDs, but it does sound like there were too many magical red flags to ignore! But how frustrating that she came with recommendations from people you trust!!! All that arm raising stuff sounds absolutely rediculous! Maybe you should confirm that she is not a witch…tie some rocks to her, toss her in a pond, and see if she sinks or floats. 🙂
    So sorry you’re dealing with all of the health issues on top of the IF! I’d def speak w/ your RE about the mysterious PCOS issue! Congrats on making the decision to do IUI this cycle!!! That’s really exciting! Hope it works and things turn around soon.

      • Infertile First Mom says:

        I think my bad joke about checking to see if the ND was a witch may have been a bit insensitive- I didnt mean it like that at all. I truly have never heard of any of that stuff and didn’t realize so many people rely on those types of treatments! Thats just my ignorance. Sometimes I tend to try to lighten things up a bit, but I apologize for doing that in my comment because it’s really not a laughing matter. I’m glad the rest of the comments were actually helpful;)

      • futuresoccermom says:

        No worries – I reacted the same exact way! I thought it was all ridiculous, and I was glad to know I wasn’t the only one! I’m still definitely on the fence about it. You definitely didn’t offend me in the slightest!

  2. Hope says:

    Okay, I’ll take the plunge and take on this lady, since I grew up in an alternative medicine loving community. I will preface my thoughts by saying that I believe that it is essential that you be comfortable with your doctors and their treatment methods, and if it makes you more stressed, it isn’t worth it.

    What she was doing with your arm is called muscle testing, and there are people (myself included) who believe that it has merit, at least as a way of finding out what is going on in your body. I’ve never heard of the back massage “treatment” you mention, but the pellets sound like homeopathy, which is a real system of treating disease, (I’ve used it and find it helpful in certain situations). As to the diet, my experience is that most natural health practionera who suggest diets are really strict about them. My acupuncturist is the exception. She says, “80% is perfection.” 🙂

    So I would say that this person is probably legit *within the natural/alternative health field*, but she doesn’t sound like the right practitioner for you. There are alternative health care providers out there who are more balanced, with one foot in the medical world and another in the alternative world, but they can be hard to find. If it was me, I’d look for someone who specializes in infertilty and supporting people going through standard treatments if you want a natural health care professional on your team. Those people are going to be more likely to be less “magical” and more down to earth and realistic, in my experience.

    • futuresoccermom says:

      Thank you SO VERY MUCH for commenting! 🙂 I am happy to have someone who has had success with an ND tell me what makes sense and what doesn’t. I really appreciate it. I am comforted by the fact that you have heard of the muscle testing thing, but I just wish she was able to explain it more to me. I found it fascinating, but if I don’t understand how it works, I have a hard time buying into it. It seemed like a miracle machine – why wouldn’t every doctor have one? As for the pellets – you are exactly right, she mentioned the word homeopathy. After googling what they are suppose to do for you, I decided to put them on the back burner for now. However, I’d love to know if they do help, and how. Did you take them? How exactly did they help you? I’m definitely not writing everything off, I just..need more information. And a different ND. I definitely need someone a little more down to earth, like you said. Thank you again!

      • Hope says:

        First, I actually haven’t used an ND, but I have seen numerous different “alternative” practitioners, and I sometimes use muscle testing to self-diagnose when I’m using home remedies. It can be done without any machine. In fact, your post is the first time I heard of using a machine for muscle testing.

        As to homeopathy, I don’t think I’ve used the exact remedy you were recommended, so I can’t tell you about that one, but the system is based on the principle that like cures like. Each remedy is specific to a particular symptom pattern, and they work by giving you a tiny does of something that in large doses would create the symptoms you are having. This is why homeopathic remedies can make your symptoms worse initially. Many remedies can be self administered for acute conditions like coughs and colds. One of my favorites is called arnica. It is specific for brushing. If I bump into something hard enough to hurt and then immediately take a few arnica pellets, I won’t get a bruise, but if I skip the arnica, I will. Remedies for more long-term issues should be prescribed by an experienced homeopath. I think the one you were give probably fits into this second category, and I know less about those types of homeopathic treatment.

        I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck finding someone who is a better fit for you!

  3. Jenn says:

    Yeah, it definitely sounds a little sketchy to me…but you did go there for a reason so maybe she isn’t that far off balance. She might just not be the right ND for you? Either way, it’s a good story 🙂

  4. Izzy says:

    I’ve had many friends see naturopaths and non had such strange experiences. Seems sketchy to me. Have you looked into finding a functional medicine doctor? As far as I’m concerned they have the best picture of how the body works and how to find the root causes for things rather than just treating and covering up symptoms.

    As for the diet, I know its insanely hard to imagine but I really do believe diet is everything. I don’t believe I ever would have cycled on my own without the diet changes, I was completely gluten and dairy free, low sugar and all organic. If you have Netflix streaming look up the film “fat, sick and nearly dead” the title is a little offensive but the film was eye opening for me. Diet cures diseases and all kinds of body issues. I have a good friend with horrible arthritis and she has no gone off all her meds and is practically pain free since going on some crazy limited diet. When I first started making changes it was so incredibly hard but I took it slow by reducing things and finding good alternatives. Eventually I was able to completely cut things out and it wasn’t so painful, but cold turkey is crazy.

    I’m sorry for all your frustrations, I would be pissed to if I were you. Its hard to find good doctors.

    And I’m happy you’re doing the IUI. I hope it does the trick!

    • futuresoccermom says:

      Thank you thank you!! See, I know so many people have had good luck with ND’s, I just wish I had as well. Tell me more about your diet – I’m always intrigued to hear how people actually are able to do this. What did you eliminate first? How did you deal with outings with friends and holidays, and all that? I want to give a stricter diet a try, I just don’t know how I could possibly do it. I will check out that film tonight!!

  5. Elle says:

    I agree with Hope and Izzy. But I also think this doctor seems a little out there. My ND was very professional and emphasized the importance that I understand every part of the treatment and really take charge myself. If this ND wasn’t willing to explain what she was doing and how it was related to anything, that to me is a big red flag. The testing sounds like it might be this: However, I really agree that diet is the biggest factor. I certainly wouldn’t be willing to shell out all that money before trying some dietary changes. I have been there. I went on an antiinflammatory diet and am gearing up to go on it again but even more strict this time. I think it’s a huge journey, and more and more people are realizing the importance of diet and how all this crap we’re eating is making us sick. Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, and Foodmatters are other documentaries on Netflix in addition to the one named above that are interesting and relevant to you. Also, getting pregnant is the first step. Then you have to carry the baby, have a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and then if you want to breastfeed (which is hands-down the best thing you can do for your child in the first decade of life!), you will undoubtedly face more problems if you don’t get these issues under control now. It doesn’t stop there either. The thyroid has a huge impact on the entire body, and diet has a huge impact on thyroid. Your body and this journey are trying to tell you something. Also, what kind of mom do you want to be? Do you want your children to be raised in a healthy, whole food environment, which will minimize their risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, etc? What better time to start than now so that they grow up knowing about healthy food choices? By giving up dairy and feed-lot meat, you will also reduce animal torture/suffering, reduce greenhouse gases, and work towards solving world hunger, amongst other things. For more on these issues, read this post: or check out The Veganist, by Kathy Freston.
    Another thing to consider is supporting a local sustainable family farm. Is there a farmer’s market near you? Or a farm you can purchase meat from? Or even a Whole Foods? In my opinion, if you reduce your meat considerably, you could probably still have meat occasionally (like 1-2/week) as long as it is grass fed and pasture-finished. Most of the problem with meat is that it comes from feed lots where the animals are fed grains instead of grass.
    And the 80/20 rule is a great one. Don’t beat yourself up about the 20% if you are vigilant 80% of the time (maybe 90/10 in this case since you are really desperate to see results). The exception is gluten. Any amount of gluten will cause a reaction that can stay with you for months, so I would be vigilant about that one if it was me. And I would also say the same for refined sugar. But there are plenty of other sweeteners that you could have occasionally. Check out Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet (the superhero section mainly) or this cookbook called Clean Food. Also, check out this website:
    Holy crap, I made her Tamale Shepherd’s pie last night and it is the best thing I ever tasted. All vegan recipes. It might expand your horizons and introduce you to new foods and a new way of cooking.
    There are plenty of milk alternatives: almond, soy, coconut, hemp, flax, rice. I like coconut milk in my coffee and almond in my granola, but experiment.
    Other advice:
    get Circle & Bloom. The discount code on my blog is only good until the end of March (tomorrow!), and the program will help you with ovulation and implantation as well, so there’s no reason to wait until your TWW. It will also give you something to do every day to help you relax and feel like you’re doing something positive.
    Try to focus on non-food related things that you get to enjoy (i.e. your favorite show, sunshine, reading, pedicure, whatever). It’s really hard to focus on what you can’t have, but it’s important to try to find things to be excited about. Here are a few more links: (she is an ND in Colorado who offers Skype appts.)
    I know it is so hard, but there is a blessing somewhere in here, and the universe is sending you on a journey for a reason. I think you said you want to be a green mom, and I can say without a doubt that when I had trouble getting pregnant, that is where my green/holistic journey started. If I hadn’t learned what I learned then, I wouldn’t be the mom I am today. I am thinking about you every day and cheering for you.
    Also, one other question, are you on thyroid supplements/hormones? The thyroid wonkiness is most likely what’s causing the irregular menses, so it’s really thyroid support that you need more than Clomid. The Clomid will bypass the thyroid problems and force your body to ovulate, but if you treat the thyroid, it should regulate your cycles naturally. As soon as I started to take Naturethroid (bovine thyroid), my cycles regulated themselves and then I got pregnant within a couple cycles. Synthroid is similar, but it is synthetic, whereas naturethroid is from an animal (and synthroid is just T4, whereas naturethroid is T3 and T4). There are also homeopathics, herbs, and glandulars that will support thyroid- ask at your health food store or whole foods, or ask your ND if you go back. What is your TSH? You want it to be around 2, and what are your antibody levels, your free T3 and free T4? If you want to talk over email, I am cottonbottommama (at) gmail.

    • futuresoccermom says:

      Gosh, you are amazing! Thank you so much for this wonderful information. You’ve given me so much! I checked out the naet website, and yes, that’s exactly what the treatment is that my ND offered. I’m glad she didn’t just make it up, but it sounds – too good to be true! Like you said, I’d want to try the dietary changes first, and see what happens. But then again, even that sounds so hard. I am checking out the other websites you sent me now as well, for diet ideas. As for the local farms, my husband and I wanted to sign up last year, and it was too late, and are hoping to this year. My husband is totally on board to go local and organic, especially with regard to meat. However, he wouldn’t be able to make all the other dietary changes I might need to do. And with the thyroid, yes, I take Synthroid, which I know i just T4, and luckily I have a wonderful endo, and my TSH is normal, somewhere between 0 and 1 right now, and has been for almost a year. That I am very grateful for. I appreciate all of your insightful comments, and I may in fact email you sometime soon! Thanks again!

  6. says:

    I feel like i have a very similar story to yours. I have always suffered a lot of random allergy and skin rash issues, that are most likely an autoimmune reaction. I also suffer from thyroid disease and am struggling with infertility. I have to say that I did use to see an ND who made a WORLD of difference for me. He cured my skin rash problems in 2 weeks, which my regular doctors couldn’t do over 2 years. He gave me pellet pills as well, but there was no back massage. I have had other practitioners do the muscle testing before, I believe there is probably something to it? I agree with what the others have talked about, it is important that you find the right doctor who you are comfortable with. I wish I could continue with the ND I loved, but he moved to Seattle 😦 I am not back to the normal doctors and am trying to find a decent ND in this area again.

    • futuresoccermom says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! It does sound like we have the same issues. I’d love to know – what did your old ND do for you that worked to cure your skin rash problems? What supplements did you take, or what dietary changes did you make? I would love to hear your story!

      • ACK says:

        My rash ended up being more of a bacteria infection that got into my skin. My body has a hard time fighting infections. I also suffer hives often, so my PCP first thought it was allergies, but did a biopsy and realized it was something different. They wanted me to take bleach baths every day and be on a lifetime of antibiotics. It didn’t seem right, so I decided to go see an ND. My ND had me take hepar sulfur pellets ( and zinc pills. He also wanted me to drink a lot of beet juice and carrot juice. Both are good in building up your immune system and dealing with skin challenges. If you are ever in the Seattle area, look up Dr. Marco ( I used to see him when he was located in Davis. I have even thought that if I ever had a problem too difficult to solve via traditional medicine…I would consider flying up to Seattle to see him. Good luck and feel free to email me anytime, because I definitely understand where you are coming from and how frustrating it can be. Skin rashes may not always be life threatening, but they certainly diminish your quality of life.

  7. Emily @ablanket2keep says:

    First I would talk to your RE about the PCOS and why the heck they didn’t tell you! I wasn’t diagnosed with PCOS, but put on metformin anyway to help. I probably wouldn’t be able to do that drastic of a diet, but I know eating healthier and cutting back on things really helped how I feel. Exercising really helped me to just feel better in general even if I don’t lose weight. I hope you get things figured out. Hugz!

  8. Elle says:

    I thought of something else. I learned to take charge of my own medical information rather than relying on doctors to interpret everything for me. I always get copies of everything for myself and then do lots of research on what all the numbers mean. I had a doctor diagnose me with PCOS, which turned out to be a crock of shit (as confirmed by my research and the opinion of two other docs). If someone did make a PCOS diagnosis for you, find out which lab values they used to make that diagnosis and then do some digging to find out if you really agree. You will quickly become the expert on your body and your lab results. Many doctors don’t even agree on what constitutes normal or optimal results. You might also look at the book Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition. It’s $4 on Amazon, which is basically just paying shipping. And I was thinking a little more about the gluten thing, and I wanted to say that I think some unrefined gluten (like whole barley for example) is probably better than the highly refined gluten-free products out there. Just replacing white or wheat flour with highly refined gluten-free products or replacing meat with highly processed meat substitutes isn’t going to do you any good. If you prepare things yourself from whole ingredients, it will be hard to go wrong. Think whole grains–like the grains themselves rather than flours made from them. If you want any suggestions on meal ideas or menu planning, let me know.

    • futuresoccermom says:

      I can’t thank you enough for your helpful comments! They are wonderful. I will take any advice that I possibly can. I will definitely go check that book out this evening. I also agree about being an advocate for your own health – I don’t do it enough, I don’t think, but I have done it some. I keep all my lab results and everything and I tell every doctor my story. But I need to be even more persistent about it, as you said. As for the dietary changes, I agree with you – those gluten-free packaged products really can’t be good for you. I need to read up more on other types of grains. I would love meal ideas, or any other advice you give! You have been most helpful!

  9. JustHeather says:

    Mom my believed in the muscle-test-stuff. And the acupuncturist I went to did too.. I don’t really believe in it and I think that is a lot of what makes things like that work or not work. Somethings you just need to believe in for it to be beneficial to yourself.

    I’m truly sorry that it seems many of your doctors aren’t seeing the whole picture of you and your symptoms. I hope you can find someone to help you advocate yourself and get you what you need!

    • futuresoccermom says:

      I agree with you – you just need to believe in it, and unfortunately, apparently I really don’t. Not yet, anyway. Maybe that muscle thing does work – but it just seemed too easy, too much of a miracle to actually fix my health problems! Thank you!

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