Once a week we hear from real Parsley Health members, in their own words, about how working with Parsley Health has changed their lives. This week we’re talking to Adriel Irons, an insurance executive who lives in Long Island City, New York who spent years battling allergies , brain fog and joint pain.
Adriel had been searching for most of his life to find an answer to his health problems.
“I’ve struggled with sinus and respiratory issues as long as I could remember, and as a child, had various medical episodes involving joint pain, inflammation and infection,” he explains. He grew up eating a fairly healthy diet, one that roughly paralleled a kosher diet, so he never thought food was an issue. His symptoms got worse in college and worse still in his twenties.
“My congestion and post nasal drip began to increase. Most worrisome to me, however, were cognitive symptoms. The thing about mental impacts is that they are difficult to detect through self examination, and with a gradual onset, they can become quite severe before one realizes there is a problem,” Adriel says. “As I began to struggle with headaches, lethargy, memory loss and speech difficulties, I became more and more anxious, and more and more accepting of the thought that maybe I just wasn’t very smart This thought process was compounded by the fact that the doctors I went to couldn’t find anything seriously wrong with me. The majority of them saw me as a healthy 20-something with a head cold.”
He went to an ENT who diagnosed him with environmental allergies and chronic sinusitis. He saw an allergist, started allergy shots, and had several sinus surgeries in the pursuit of feeling better. There was some degree of improvement, but it still seemed to Adriel that there was more to my mental symptoms than what I was being treated for.
“I began researching and looking into leaky gut syndrome, candida overgrowth and the GAPS diet. Trying the GAPS diet seemed to have some impact, but it was so restrictive that I knew it wouldn’t be sustainable for me, especially with so much contradicting information on its specifcs and duration. With so much info out there and so little of it accurate or proven, I finally came to terms with the fact that I would need a partner in getting healthy that was willing to be open to non-traditional forms of medicine, but would still apply scientific rigor to my treatment. This train of thinking led me to look into integrative/functional medicine, and pursuing that route led me to Parsley Health . My initial experience with Parsley was one of cautious optimism. I work in the health care industry, and though I am not a clinician, much of my work has involved optimizing clinical workflows and outcomes. It has made me skeptical of pretty much all parties involved in both modern and alternative medicine, whether they be providers, pharma or payers. The initial doctor’s call I had with Parsley Health gave me hope that I would receive care that would consider all of my symptoms in finding a root cause, and would not be restricted to big pharma solutions in providing a treatment plan. At the same time, the openness did seem to be based in evidence and the conversation didn’t descend into quackery, which led me to sign up and give it a try.”
Adriel began working with Dr. Soyona Rafatjah in New York City. She placed him on a treatment plan that recommended both lifestyle changes and medications.
“While some of the lifestyle changes may be permanent, the majority should be (hopefully) temporary. Adherence to diet changes is a bit easier with knowing that there is a finish line, or at least a reassessment date to work toward,” Adriel said. “Since starting treatment at the end of November, I’ve experienced a night and day change in many of my symptoms, and in my outlook towards life. I’ve felt an improvement in mental clarity that has been pretty astonishing. I didn’t realize the extent to which my personality and outlook had been effected by my imbalance until I began to improve so drastically. I also began improving in ways that I didn’t even consider previously. Much of the joint pain, that I had become so used to that I no longer really noticed it, started to ease and evaporate. I noticed increased energy levels as well. Probably most outwardly noticeable, however, was losing 20 lbs. While I have routinely exercised and maintained what I thought was a healthy weight for some time now, I wasn’t prepared for how well my body reacted to the treatment. I am hoping that with additional work over the next few months, I will get to a point where I am completely asymptomatic. I feel like I can begin to focus on the things that I want to do for my family and society that I always felt were possible for me. Though I know I’m not completely out of the woods, I now feel more capable and confident than I have in quite some time.”