WP 1 Biomedicine – Gabby Wahla

Hi everyone, my name is Gabby!

So for the past two years, I have struggled with insulin resistance. All of my grandparents, aunts, and uncles have diabetes, so I always knew that if I did not treat my body right, I would eventually get diabetes. Insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes, and can cause a lot of problems.

Growing up, I was super active, playing soccer and volleyball basically every day. In high school, I broke my ankle in soccer in a very competitive game against our team’s rival. When I broke it, the adrenaline in my body made me think I just twisted it, so I kept playing, but it was very broken! Breaking it ruined some of my tendons and ligaments in my leg, making it practically impossible to walk for a while, then even harder to exercise. After a lot of physical therapy, I can do much more stuff on it. However, while struggling with not being as active, I have gained some weight, which triggered insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is “a state or condition in which a person’s body tissues have a lowered level of response to insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps to regulate the level of glucose (sugar) in the body” (The Free Medical Dictionary). At first, I took the biomedical approach and took a lot of medications, did weird diets, and saw about 5 different doctors. I had a doctor for basically everything: allergist, endocrinologist, dermatologist, primary care doctor, etc.

After a few years of struggling and not really going anywhere, I was fed up. All of my work to do better for my body and spending a ton of money had given me anxiety, depression, and unhealthy eating habits. While I was grateful for all the work my doctors put in with me, I was sick and tired of trying so much medication and paying so much money for zero results. So, this year I decided to switch over to an alternative medicine doctor. With my new doctor, I look at a much more holistic approach to my body, and I am much better equipped to handle my problems. I am off all medications, I feel much better overall, I’m less stressed, and I have even found better ways to exercise that don’t put as much emphasis on my leg.

Overall, my doctor and I have handled my insulin resistance much better so that now I know what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and how my body processes what I eat. I know alternative medicine sounds like a bunch of nonsense to those who whole-heartedly believe in biomedicine, but it really worked for me! If you have a chronic health problem and you feel like your doctor(s) are not really helping, I highly recommend looking into finding an alternative medicine doctor. While biomedicine is primarily what I study at MSU, alternative medicine works better for me as a patient and a person because I am getting care from all fronts, not just diagnosing what looks like it could be wrong. I am not saying I don’t believe in biomedical practices, but I’m saying you have to find what is right for your medical care!

One thought on “WP 1 Biomedicine – Gabby Wahla

  1. Hi Gabby,

    I actually had a friend in high school with insulin resistance. It had always been so difficult to watch her as she dealt with it. She was working constantly, as you were, to overcome it. Nothing seemed to be working. She was continuing to gain weight, despite working out hours upon hours each week with her tennis training. I wish biomedicine took more of a holistic approach to the situation, much like alternative medicine did so for you. In the field of biomedicine, we tend to forget that other factors are at play other than having something initially going wrong. Very few things in life actually have one cause, and biomedicine has difficulty treating things as such. With biomedicine we look at the science and not the impacts of our environments. I feel like if we took the time to do so, our nation would have a much better and a much more progressive health care system. Thank you for sharing and I hope your experience continues to remain positive.

    – Ashlyn Sovereen

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