Hello, my name is Zhanna, and I am a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner trained in Functional Medicine approach.
Just five years ago, I considered myself a healthy adult living a healthy lifestyle. I regularly exercised, cooked organic homemade meals from scratch, ate my recommended servings of whole-grain bread and pasta, vegetables, and a little bit of low-fat meat.
Additionally, I practiced hot yoga, never drank or smoked, you name it – I lived it. Still, I could not understand what could be going wrong and why I always felt tired; why 2 hours after my breakfast I was crashing with extreme hunger, fatigue, and irritability.
After all, did I not do the right thing by having a healthy bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon, banana, skim milk, and no butter for breakfast? Did I not follow the guidelines of The American Heart Association (AHA) to eat a low-fat diet with 8-11 servings of whole grains per day? I could not understand why I wanted to take a nap every day after sleeping 9-10 hours through the night. The Bottom line, I wanted to be healthy and productive, not fatigued and moody, and a barely functioning person.
So, I asked my family doctor to run some lab tests, and I was eventually diagnosed with “subclinical hypothyroidism” with TSH 4.2 and Hashimoto’s (autoimmune) thyroiditis with TPO thyroid antibodies in the high +2,000 (the normal range < 35 depending on the lab used). I got a prescription for a low dose of levothyroxine that was supposed to resolve all my symptoms. Unfortunately, I did not get an answer to why my body was destroying my thyroid and why I was feeling so fatigued if my thyroid function “was not too bad after all” (per the conventional medicine paradigm).
I learned that very few conventional medicine doctors routinely check the function of the thyroid gland, even though symptoms derived from this condition are highly prevalent: 30% to 40% of patients in the endocrine clinics are those with impaired thyroid function. Looking for specialists in the thyroid field was even more frustrating: most doctors I worked with treated me by suppressing my symptoms, never questioning the exact cause.
Unfortunately, in the short term, there were a lot of questions and no answers. With the help of my personal research, numerous hours of studying the functional medicine approach, and connecting with like-minded healthcare professionals, I got to the cause of my morning fatigue, and various other ongoing personal issues including joint and muscle pain, stress, seasonal allergies, food sensitivities, and mood swings. I have been dealing with all these symptoms for approximately seven years, while pushing through undergraduate and graduate nursing schools, night shifts as a nurse, eating what I thought to be a healthy diet, and keeping up with the demands of daily life.
I addressed my levels of thyroid and adrenal hormones, improved my digestion, changed my family diet, switched the type of supplemental thyroid hormone I was taking, and, finally, I began to feel better. I started healing myself by addressing the cause of my thyroid condition, not just my symptoms. I also had a few functional tests to discover the underlying cause of my thyroid symptoms, climbed out of postpartum thyroiditis and depression related to low levels of thyroid hormones.
Changing my thyroid provided me with a new level of energy that I have not had in the last 7-8 years and the ability to focus and accomplish tasks. I also decreased the level of the thyroid antibodies from 2000+ to just 200 – something that conventional medicine does not deem important or even attainable – the premise is that once you have antibodies to any tissue, they will never disappear and will keep destroying until there is no more tissue to destroy. I feel great today and I only wish I had known what I know now much earlier.
I am a Family Nurse Practitioner who treats the whole person, not just a set of random symptoms. I discover and fix any lack of nutrients, treat offenders of the immune system that wreak havoc on the body. I prescribe vitamins and supplements, pharmaceutical and herbal antimicrobials based on the results of more advanced functional testing and simple laboratory analysis. I prescribe relaxation and meditation techniques. Every patient is unique and has a unique set of circumstances and triggers that damage the health and lead the patient to seek treatment. I do not treat my patients with a band-aid approach of suppressing or concealing symptoms.
If you want to get your body to work for you, your energy replenished, find out the actual cause of your symptoms. Make an appointment with me and we will find the cause of your health problems.
After obtaining Master’s in Psychology and English Language and Literature (Ukraine), Zhanna wanted to explore foreign countries and came to the U.S.A. as an exchange student. She was passionate about studying further and obtained Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Oakland Community College, and worked as an RN at Medical-Surgical Unit in Michigan. Later on, she advanced her studying and received Master’s in Nursing at Frontier Nursing University, Kentucky. Her focus is on prevention of chronic disease and optimization of health.
Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) Functional Medicine University (FMU – 2017) Seeking Health Institue (Dr. Ben Lynch Genetic Certification 2018 – present) ADAPT courses (Chris Kresser program) Allergy Clearing Technique Certification (Dr. Kevin Ross, DC – 2018)