10. Striving for Holistic Wellness with Chronic Illness – Dr. Patricia Stott

In our first podcast crossover, Dr. Patricia Stott and Thomas Stott interviewed me on the Thriving with Stripes podcast, and I had the opportunity to interview Patty for Chronically Badass. Patty brings a wealth of knowledge to the conversation, as she is a physical therapist, athletic trainer, functional medicine practitioner, and running coach—and a Badass with hypermobile EDS, MCAS, POTS, and autoimmune issues. Patty enjoys running, taekwondo, swimming, and yoga.

Patty: Health and Wellness Practitioner | Well Rounded Athlete | EDS Warrior

As Patty shares on our show, she dealt with chronic conditions throughout her life. She grew up with frequent dislocations and knee pain and didn’t know that daily pain and pain exacerbated by exercise weren’t normal until she was diagnosed in adulthood. While she was working toward her diagnosis, some physicians explained away Patty’s symptoms by calling them a result of her being “too active.” With the hindsight conferred by diagnosis and with her experience in movement science, Patty is better able to understand her history.

Patty describes the mechanisms behind and some presentations of MCAS/MCAD and how they differ from mastocytosis and histamine intolerance. She shares that new research indicates that as many as 10-17% of the general population may have some sort of MCAD. Patty also explains the applications of a low-histamine diet.

Today, Patty strives to “exercise in a very healthy way and respect my body,” shedding an all-or-nothing mentality. Patty is mindful of exercising in such a way that allows her body to be able to exercise later. “For me now it’s an algorithm of ‘If I can’t do this, what can I do that’s still going to make my body and my system happy,’” Patty explains. She approaches exercise from three angles—cardio, strengthening, and stretching—and incorporates all three, dialing back her intensity on bad-health days.

Patty discusses the importance of learning a new sport from a coach or instructor who can teach good form and knows anatomy and biomechanics. She shares that hip weaknesses and imbalances, for example, are quite common and that hip-strengthening can be essential to warding off overuse injuries. As she explains, we’re taught how to play soccer, basketball, and football, but it’s a mistake that no one teaches athletes how to run while being mindful of biomechanics, form, and technique. 

Finally, Patty shares the importance of self-advocating (or finding someone who can advocate for you) and of building your own care team, with the help of recommendations from local and national support groups. She suggests considering tele-appointments with specialists.

Links from our discussion:

To contact us about the podcast or your own Badassery, email podcast@chronicallybadass.org. And, for your daily dose of Badass athletes who are redefining what it means to be chronically ill, follow @chronicallybadassclub on Instagram and Facebook.

Podcast music by: Caleb Ritchie

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