By Mark P. DiRoma, DC –
Have you noticed that more and more, the youth of America are faced with health issues that at one time, were almost exclusively seen in older adults? The cause of this increase could easily be attributed to the lack of nutritional content in our foods or just the overall stress of living in today’s rapidly moving world. Either way, it is important to not let these symptoms go untreated and imperative that we find the cause before they escalate into bigger problems.
Jonah Hallahan was living life as a healthy, athletic, baseball-loving teenager who excelled in academics, when illness suddenly turned his world upside down.
The crisis arose abruptly one day during his sophomore year of high school when Jonah went for a jog and started experiencing shortness of breath and severe abdominal pain that left him doubled over at the waist.
“It just came over me out of nowhere,” Jonah explains. “I never experienced that degree of pain before or difficulty breathing. I thought I was having a heart attack. I called my mom at work and we ended up at the hospital. It turns out that I was having episodes of reflux and it seemed like from that day on, anything I ate caused severe stomach pain. I started to lose weight and had a very limited diet as far as what foods I could tolerate and keep down. I had a lot of trouble sleeping because stomach pain would just come out of nowhere and I missed a lot of school. It was really difficult.”
In their search for a cause and a cure, Jonah and his mother, Deanna, sought the opinions of several physicians before finding the help they needed with Dr. Mark DiRoma and the staff at MDR Advanced Medical Associates in Boynton Beach.
Deanna says that prior to meeting Dr. DiRoma, doctors diagnosed her son with gastritis, an esophageal ulcer and an H-pylori intestinal infection. She believes her son’s problems stemmed from the previous use of an oral acne medication.
“There’s really no other explanation,” Deanna explains. “The medication he had used really did a number on him internally and we never realized the extent of the damage until this happened. So a friend of ours recommended we look into Functional Medicine and told us to try MDR Advanced Medical Associates.”
Jonah first began consulting with Dr. DiRoma who quickly realized that Jonah needed nutritional guidance and introduced him to Deborah Paiva, Nutritional Lifestyle Coach at MDR.
“It was obvious that some of the foods in Jonah’s diet were causing him inflammation and pain,” says Dr. DiRoma. “So, Jonah was asked to keep a detailed diet diary.”
“From his detailed records we were able to figure out which foods were causing the most distress and help him to eliminate those foods from his diet.” For example, Dr. DiRoma and I were in complete agreement that gluten was a source of inflammation for Jonah and so it was one of the first foods that we asked Jonah to eliminate from his diet. We also wanted to get high quality pharmaceutical grade supplements, including probiotics, into his system to help reduce his pain and begin healing his intestinal tract,” explains Deborah.
Within a few weeks Jonah was experiencing much less pain.
“Jonah did a great job of following the plan that we developed for him,” says Deborah. “In order for us to help a patient, the patient has to be committed to helping themselves and Jonah was a great example of that!”
The next step was to get Jonah in for a consultation with Dr. Nia Smyrniotis, head of functional medicine at MDR Advanced Medical Associates. Dr. Smyrniotis says MDR’s protocol for new patients calls for starting with a full health assessment. “That may include blood work, specialized micronutrient testing, food sensitivity assessments, use of certain prescription medications, and other pertinent information gathered that allows us to assess the patient’s overall level of health,” she adds.
Jonah’s treatment plan included changing his overall diet to promote improved gastric health.
“Food sensitivity testing was crucial for a clearer understanding of Jonah’s specific nutritional needs, opening a window into what foods may be disrupting Jonah’s body chemistry at a cellular level,”
Dr. DiRoma says. “Our body reacts differently to each and every food that we eat. Food will enhance body chemistry or disrupt it, resulting in a wide range of food-related health issues. Weight gain, lethargy, acne, muscle aches, stomach pains, headaches and poor concentration are just a few examples of how the foods we eat everyday can negatively affect our daily lives. Identifying these foods and eliminating them from the diet can greatly improve how one functions throughout the day.”
Jonah added, “I had to eliminate yeast and wheat products and incorporate a gluten-free diet. They put me on probiotics, fish oils and a multivitamin. They basically optimize your nutritional health through diet and supplementation. It is really amazing.”
For decades, MDR Advanced Medical Associates has practiced patient-centered care to promote health and wellness. In the relaxed, family atmosphere of their clinic, they tailor patient treatments to address individual needs using a holistic, whole body approach. The staff at MDR offers a wide range of services including chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy, personalized exercise programs, nutritional counseling, medical weight management programs, hormone replacement therapy, stress management and anti-aging treatment.
Deanna says she is amazed at the effects that functional medicine has had on her son.
“He is back to throwing a baseball again and walking long distances,” Deanna says. “He has really come such a long way. It is great to see. I am very grateful to Dr. Smyrniotis and the staff at MDR.”
According to Jonah, he has been following his new regimen for about a year. He is a freshman in college, his overall health has improved, and he is looking forward to a promising healthy future.
“I really feel better than I ever have,” Jonah admits. “The staff at MDR is professional and open-minded. I have a strict diet and exercise plan that I follow now, and I feel so much better nutritionally because of the dietary changes and the supplements I take.”
If you would like to learn more about how you can optimize your health contact Dr. DiRoma and his team at MDR 561-731-3361
1899-9 N. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, FL 33426
A Young Man’s Journey To Health
By Mark P. DiRoma, DC –