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Deeper dive discovers key to chronic illness, autoimmune disorders.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin native Mari Velar didn’t have the most pleasant childhood. One of five children, she says she grew up often feeling as if she had a flu bug she just couldn’t shake.

Mari Velar had been miserable most of her life. She finally started feeling better after she went to see Dr. Axe at The Root Cause Medical Clinic.

Dr. Axe’s recommendations have Mari feeling better than ever.

“I often threw up and had headaches, and my muscles and joints were always hurting,” says Mari, now 57. “But when you’re one of five kids, you just kind of have to go with the flow and move on, which is what I did.

“I wasn’t in the hospital all the time, but I did miss a lot of school. Not an inordinate amount, just a day or two here and there. But seldom, if ever, did I really feel good. I always just felt bad.”

Those ill feelings stuck with Mari even through her family’s move to Florida during her senior year in high school. The move to a warmer climate was one Mari hoped would bring her some relief from her discomfort, but that did not prove to be the case.

“Things actually got worse after we moved to Florida,” Mari explains. “But I just kept plugging along until, eventually, I had some tests done to figure out what was going on with me. That’s when I found out I had Lupus, Lyme disease and Fibromyalgia.”

Lupus and Lyme disease are autoimmune disorders that decrease the body’s ability to fight off infections. Fibromyalgia does not qualify as an autoimmune disorder, but many of its symptoms are similar to those associated with Lupus.

Mari was diagnosed in 2006 and began a series of medical treatments designed to alleviate the symptoms associated with her disorders, which include fatigue, joint and muscle pain and skin rashes.

The treatments, which included the medication Plaquenil®, had no positive effect. In fact, Mari says her symptoms only got worse as a result of the medications. So much so that in 2009, she was forced to give up her job as a bookkeeper.

“I was working from home, but I couldn’t concentrate,” Mari states. “My comprehension abilities were completely shot. I tried for two years to fight through it and keep on working, but eventually, my boss said, I’m sorry, but you just can’t do this.

“It was right around that time that I started falling a lot because sometimes I lost feeling in my feet. I was also having bad chemical reactions to the medications I was taking, and that caused me a lot of stomach problems.”

Frustrated, but determined to find a solution, Mari began searching for an alternative to all the medical remedies that weren’t working for her. Fate stepped in and led her to Jordan Axe, DC, at The Root Cause Medical Clinic.

“I was looking around on the internet when I found an article about Dr. Axe and The Root Cause Medical Clinic and thought, This sounds interesting,” Mari remembers. “And I made an appointment to see him.”

A Unique Approach

At The Root Cause Medical Clinic, the goal is not to mask a patient’s symptoms with a one-size-fits-all approach to healing. Instead, the staff digs deep into each patient’s issues to find the root cause of their pain and discomfort, knowing that true healing often requires time and customized care.

“When Mari first came to us, she had lost all hope and wondered if she would ever feel good,” Dr. Axe reports. “I told her that everything she was dealing with was autoimmune related, so even though she had a lot of symptoms, she had only one root cause. We just had to find it and most of her symptoms would go away.”

Dr. Axe began his search for the cause of Mari’s symptoms by completing a detailed medical history on Mari. He then conducted a series of tests designed to determine the source of her autoimmune and gastrointestinal issues. Those tests proved quite revealing.

A nutrient test showed Mari was suffering from six different vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, including a severe lack of Vitamin B12. Meanwhile, a gastrointestinal test revealed she was suffering from dysbiosis, which is a microbial imbalance, in her stomach.

“Your gut is only as healthy as the bacteria that make it up, so you need to have the right environment in there,” Dr. Axe educates. “And believe it or not, too much good bacteria can be just as bad as too much bad bacteria.

“For example, if someone takes probiotics but they have too much of that good bacteria in their gut, they’ll actually feel worse. The key is finding the right balance, and you need to perform the right tests to discover what that balance should be.”

To establish that balance, Dr. Axe put Mari on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet. Also known as the GAPS Diet, it is a six-phase, 60-day-long nutrition program designed in part to reboot and rebuild the gut and the immune system.

Next, a strong regimen of supplements aimed at normalizing the levels of vitamins and nutrients throughout Mari’s body was prescribed. In particular, Dr. Axe was hoping to boost Mari’s Vitamin B12 levels, which happened.

Getting Better All the Time

“Before I went to see Dr. Axe, my B12 levels were nonexistent,” Mari says. “And that was despite taking B12 shots and using a B12 spray under my tongue. For some reason, I just wasn’t absorbing B12 no matter how I took it. But Dr. Axe figured out why.

Mari Velar had been miserable most of her life. She finally started feeling better after she went to see Dr. Axe at The Root Cause Medical Clinic.

Dr. Axe (bottom left) with Mari (bottom center) and the staff of Root Cause Medical Clinic.

“It turns out that there are other compounds, other chemicals, that have to be right in order for me to absorb the B12. Dr. Axe was the first one to get that right. The same concept was necessary to balance my female hormones, and he got that right, too.

“He also ran a blood test which discovered that I don’t have an enzyme that allows me to digest chicken properly, and I eat a lot of chicken. Believe me, I’ve had every blood test under the sun, but Dr. Axe was the first one to discover that as well.

“It’s really remarkable what he’s done for me. First of all, I can’t believe that just changing my diet would make such a difference, but it did! And now that I’m absorbing the B12 and my hormones are right, I feel so much better.

“I’m much happier now, and I want to add that I have a fifteen-month-old grandson that I’m really enjoying spending a lot of time with. Before seeing
Dr. Axe, there was no way I would have been able to keep up with him.

“I still can’t work every day. But each day is better, and I know waking up each morning that I’m going to feel as good as I possibly can because the program Dr. Axe put me on is working. It’s amazing how well it’s working.”

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