“Finally!” Yes, that’s what you’re inner-voice just said. Today I’m giving you the 9 steps to building your gut healing team.
I literally cannot tell you the number of times people have asked me something along these lines,
How do I find a good doctor who will listen and help?
One of the hardest parts of your gut-healing journey is finding the right partners.
And by partners, I mean:
- A doctor
- Specialized doctors (GI? Dermatologist? OBGYN?)
- Health Coach
Today, I can go down that list and instantly tell you my favorites.
But do you know how many of the above I have seen and been to since my journey began? Maybe 20-50-ish? I literally don’t know; lost count.
I have worked with professionals who have been good and great; average and awful.
And here’s the thing, I believe in the power of creating your best team. Why? Because without it, you might never heal. Also, after awhile with awful experiences, you give up. When you give up, there is no permanent healing.
I know and believe that anyone and everyone can create their best gut healing team. So here are 9 steps to do so.
9 Steps to Building Your Gut Healing Team
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Who and what do you need?
Don’t start your research and calling around before you even know what you need. And before you tell me, “….but I don’t know,” you do know. Listen to your gut intuition. Think about your gut healing journey from a very holistic standpoint. And by “holistic” I don’t mean that you’ll go an alternative route for the doctor(s) you choose. By holistic I mean that you’ll need to ask yourself these questions:
- What are my symptoms?
- Do I carry a lot of stress?
- Are there things from my past or current that need to be addressed?
- How are my relationships?
- Have I been previously diagnosed with anything?
- Are there any genetic conditions I’m aware of?
- Do I have the tools to help myself? If not, what do I need?
Western or Alternative?
The next step is asking which route you’ll go? And honestly, depending on who makes up your team, you might use a combination. For example, I have a Western GI, alternative gut-healing doctor, Western therapist and alternative, etc. And I’m not even slightly making that up. If you want more help in narrowing this down, with pros and cons for each, read THIS post.
Should they be local? Are you willing to drive ‘x’ amount of miles? Could it be a virtual team member? These are critical first questions to ask as well. If you’re like me and live in a small town in Southern Minnesota with approximately 10,000 people and you’re not willing to travel anymore than 10 miles, your options are very limited. That is not saying the options are not there and/or bad, but they are very limited. Decide what you’re comfortable with.
Ask for recommendations
This one might be hard for you if you have a condition or conditions that you do not want to discuss and be open about. In fact, this is one of the reasons I started A Gutsy Girl; I wanted it to be YOUR safe place. No one needs to know about your poop issues 🙂 Anyways, if you choose, ask for local recommendations from friends, family, co-workers, Facebook “friends” (of-friends-of-friends), etc. If you’re interested in virtual team members or you’d be willing to travel (by car or plane), ask online acquaintances or even go to various forums. For example, if you have SIBO, there are many huge, thriving online communities where you might be able to find a SIBO-specific doctor (locally or virtually). You won’t know until you ask.
Okay, now that you should have a ton of information at your fingertips, it’s time to research the options. Google can be a friend at this point. If it’s someone that you were referred to, then perhaps your referring person can give you the information you need. The idea, though, is to gather a list of at least 2 (preferably more) for each team member you’re looking to add and then find out everything you can about them.
Make the appointment
Now it’s time to make your appointment. This one seems easy, and it is easy to physically make the appointment, but depending on the person you’re seeking, there might be a long wait list. At that point, you have to decide. Can you wait 3 months? Is s/he worth it? Could you make the appointment and call your second option to see the wait time with him/her and then decide? You’ll have options. But you need to understand a timeframe you’re working with.
Prepare for the appointment
Once your appointment is made, you can prepare for it. Now, you can choose not to prepare for it, but the more you prepare, the better your experience will be. No matter what kind of doctor you choose, time is of the essence. Be prepared! HERE you’ll find “Preparing for Your Appointment.”
Evaluate and decide
After your initial appointment is over, you’ll need to evaluate and decide on the next steps. I’d love to sit here and tell you that the appointment you just did will be fantastic. After all, isn’t that why you did so much research? Yes, it could be the answer you’ve been looking for. It might also not be. I’ll give you a prime example. The very first time I ever saw a therapist was just prior to getting married. She came to me highly recommended in the Bay Area. Seemingly, everyone went to her. Sure, there were many steps on this list I did not do, but I was confident. Awful. My experience with her was awful; hers was the same. She fired me after the first session. (Ryan and I still laugh about it to this day.) Things don’t always go like you think or plan. Know that going into this step.
And last – move forward. Choose them or don’t choose them; but move forward swiftly and confidently. This is YOUR health and YOUR life. The quicker you respond and react, the faster you’ll heal and build your A+ gut-healing team.
Those 9 steps were for ONE team member. Sorry to break that news to you now.
Rinse and repeat for each member of the team.
The 9 steps to building your gut healing team are simple, but they are not easy. If you think it will be accomplished in a month or two, think again.
But do go the extra mile. I promise you will not regret it.
More questions? Ask away.
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You will heal. I will help.