Parsley Health San Francisco member, Robert Enck, shares how he learned that when it comes to your health, everybody is different, and how simple lifestyle changes were the key to solving his health concerns.
Like a lot of young teenagers, I started having difficult acne around 8th grade, but for me, it never went away. I was referred to a dermatologist who ultimately put me on antibiotics. I was on and off them throughout my entire high school career and some of college, even trying accutane and other stronger drugs, but nothing did the trick. The whole experience was really frustrating. Skin is outward facing—it’s always apparent. When you’re in public, everyone can see it and that really hurts your self esteem.
While I was in college, my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The last treatment facility she went to was a functional medicine practice where they looked at her holistically, focused on her diet, and made sure she was taking time to focus on her mental health. Unfortunately, she passed when I was 22. What I learned from her experience was that instead of treating the symptoms, maybe I should look at treating the root cause.
I then abandoned the conventional route and decided to try and fix my skin issues on my own. I started eating much healthier (or what I thought I was much healthier)—a plant-based diet with no dairy or gluten . But I still wasn’t getting the results I was looking for. At that point, I knew I needed some guidance and wanted to find a functional medicine practice similar to what my mom found. That’s when I discovered Parsley.
When I got to Parsley, it was so refreshing to sit with a doctor who really wanted to take the time to listen to my whole story and get to the bottom of the cause. There were no more conversations like, “OK I hear on the surface level what’s going on, take these drugs that I think could fix it.” Instead, they said “We’re going to try different things and take the time to get to the bottom of it.” That was refreshing.
“These solutions have been a huge burden off my shoulders.”
I started working with my doctor and health coach to finally get down to the root cause. With clear data from the first round of thorough blood tests and then food sensitivity testing, I finally got the reassurance that something was wrong; I wasn’t going crazy. Specifically, the food sensitivities test was huge. I was still “eating healthy” for the first few months with Parsley and nothing was really changing, so we did sensitivity testing and within weeks I could tell a huge difference by eliminating some of those sensitive foods .
These solutions have been a huge burden off my shoulders. Finally getting to the bottom of this has helped my confidence tremendously. The next goal of mine is to start helping others around me. This experience has really shown me that everyone is completely different. One diet might work for some people and might not work for others. I want to become an advocate and help others who are in similar situations, so they don’t have to go through 16 years of experiencing what I did.