A Tale of Two Rheumatologists

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I’ll call them R1 and R2.

After taking my history, doing an exam, completing bloodwork and sending me for xrays and an MRI, R1 diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in August 2014.

R2 examined me and reviewed my labs and history in January 2015 and said: “You might or might not have rheumatoid arthritis.”

R1 told me that the ball-of-foot pain in my right foot indicated onset of RA.

R2 told me that the ball-of-foot pain in my right foot was biomechanical in origin.

R1 told me: “Yours is not a moderate disease.”

R2 told me:  “Your immune system is acting up” . At a subsequent appointment R2 said, “You’re healthy.”

R1 told me to begin taking DMARDs (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs). R1 wanted to prescribe the mildest one.

When I told R2 that R1 wanted me to take a particular DMARD, R2 shook his/her head and said: “Oh, no.”

R1 said that diet doesn’t have any impact on disease outcomes.

R2 ordered food sensitivities testing for me.

R1 is a conventional doctor whose approach is directed toward relief of symptoms and slowing disease progression.

R2 is a functional medicine doctor whose approach is directed toward rooting out disease triggers and supporting individuals’ unique paths for healing and returning to balance.

I align with R2’s approach. Or, more aptly stated, R2’s approach aligns with mine.

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