Written by one of my patients…made me cry…thank you! People like you make all the effort worth it! Dr. Jess.
Like many people who eventually find their way to Dr. Armine, I have been to countless doctors, of all ‘types’, over the years. Many of them have been very good, dedicated, skilled practitioners, and several of them were able to isolate some aspect(s) of my condition and make a noticeable difference in some very specific symptoms. But those improvements were limited, often short-lived, and, distressingly, they were often not without ‘consequences’—which is to say, as my overall condition has evolved and deepened, it has become clear that pulling just one strand out of the intricately-snaggled hairball of symptoms tends to tighten and intensify the tangle in other areas. There are so many factors that need to be addressed—healing the gut, eradicating the pathogens, correcting longstanding nutritional deficiencies (not to mention their systemic consequences), compensating for genetic expression, clearing detox pathways and so on—and they are so intricately inter-related. After my last concerted attempt to address dysbiosis I ended up in the ICU unit for 9 days with a severe complicated Shingles infection… and a whole ‘new’ series of rapidly escalating auto-immune symptoms began after that. I have never felt such despair. I have never been so close to giving up. If every single attempt to heal was going to cause an imbalance which my body could not process, how could I hope to get well? Where to even begin?
THAT is what Dr. Armine has been able to do for me which no other doc has been able to thus far: he has identified where to start. He studied the hairball strand by strand, meticulously, and then… he reached right into the middle of my multifactorial mess, found the crucial strand, and… gently and confidently… started to pull. Within a few short weeks of beginning his (slow, gentle) approach, I already had improvements which I had pretty well stopped believing might be possible.
It is early days yet. I know there’s a long (long, long) process in front of me, and I know it is not all going to be as encouraging as this opening stage has been. But I have renewed hope and determination, and that is pretty much entirely because I have utter faith and trust in my doctor. There is nothing slick about Dr. Jess (by his own admission he’s a goofball, and he’ll be the first to tell you he relies on his notes because he has a mind like a sieve)—but I’ll take the hugely evident humanity that goes along with such traits any day over yet another narrowly-focused, academically detached (and ultimately unfruitful) doctor-patient relationship. Experience has taught me that brilliance is almost always accompanied by one of two extremes: arrogance or humility. As vulnerable patients, we are often drawn to the sense of assuredness offered by the first—but experience is also showing me that we are better served by the latter.
That’s all I can say at this early stage. I’ve found a doctor with an uncanny ability to move with equal ease through the micro and the macro, one to whom my densely tangled multifactorial hairball of symptoms/ailments is, apparently, an elegant Celtic Knot. It has been a relief to at last be able to put my faith in someone. I will post another review in the future.
I have had difficulties with Lyme’s disease for 20 years. I have seen over 30 doctors over that 20 year period including Lyme’s specialists. I suffered with problems from food allergies, migraines, severe fatigue, lupus symptoms, tachycardia, insomnia, anxiety, numbness of hands and feet, and many more . I was even diagnosed as bipolar which I was later told was a misdiagnosis. Dr. Armine improved my symptoms by 90 to 95% in two months. I am very grateful for his help. It has been a long and difficult 20 years. I only wish I would have found him sooner. He was the first practitioner to think outside the box and actually get to the root cause of my problems ; the primary reason… leaky gut.
“…I never expected from any doctor – much less a doctor that was so many states and miles away – the extreme amount of care and commitment that he gave to my daughter and my family…”
“…Increased energy, Improved digestion and assimilation of nutrients. No peripheral neuropathy…”
“… Dr. Armine has helped me in healing from Multiple System issues related to an Antibiotic I took, which I had a severe systemic reaction to. He is also helping tremendously with my MTHFR and detox issues. Finally, a Doctor that understands, he treats the whole of me, not just the symptoms with a band aid approach. Thank you so much…”
A Heartfelt thank you letter…..
“I’m writing this as a thank you to an awesome doctor and one of the most caring people I know. About a year and a half ago, my daughter became very sick. No one seemed to have answers, and she just kept getting worse – running an extremely high fever, horrible cough, itchy skin, and numerous other problems. As I was searching for answers online, I came across Dr. Armine’s name and contacted him.
I never expected from any doctor – much less a doctor that was so many states and miles away – the extreme amount of care and commitment that he gave to my daughter and my family. He guided us through which tests should be done, what lab work should be considered, which specialists to see, and different supplements to try. All of this led to a test that he ran for Lyme Disease, for which my daughter tested positive. He guided us through a treatment regimen. He created a relationship of trust not only with my husband and me, but also with my daughter (all of this without us even stepping into his office). He showed over and over that he cared deeply about my daughter and her health. He listened to her physical and emotional reactions to different things and pulled back when necessary. He tried a different approach if something in the current one wasn’t working.
Dr. Armine listened and took into consideration both mine and my husband’s thoughts on certain treatments and worked with us in every way possible. He had no personal agenda and no ego when it came to her case. When he wasn’t sure about something, he would ask other specialists that he trusted and took every aspect into consideration when coming up with a treatment plan. Over time, she started improving, and continued to improve.
The result of his hard work, knowledge, compassion, and time -in addition to a lot of prayer – is that my beautiful, sweet 10 year old girl, that I was so fearful of losing a year and a half ago, is healthy and happy today. I would highly recommend Dr. Armine to anyone seeking to improve their health.
– Erika , Texas”
Dr. Jess P. Armine
1.What was your situation like before you started to work with me?
“I was poisoned pretty severely by an antibiotic called Levaquin. I was being misdiagnosed by my normal doctors and not receiving the appropriate care or knowledge to combat such a systemic issue as I was facing.”
2. What were your concerns about making the decision to start working with me?
“My only concerns were you knowing what you were taking about or trying to ring me up for extra tests and fees as none of this was covered by insurance.”
3. What happened between then and now
“From when we started working which was 1 month after my poisoning to now which is 6 months I have begun to make a miraculous turn around. I went from neuropathy and digestive issues and low energy and joint pain. To now exercising 3x a week like I used to and doing yoga 2x a week. I still have much more healing to encounter and kinks to iron out but feel blessed to be on the road to recovery.”
4.What specific results do you have now.
“Increased energy, Improved digestion and assimilation of nutrients. No peripheral neuropathy.”
5. How do you feel / how has your life changed as a result
“The help and advice I have received have given me the strength and courage to trek on. When dealing with an INTENSE medical condition that no one knows about much fear and stress arise which shocks the body even harder then normal. Knowing I had a Dr who knew of this and assured me of things helped along the way. He was available by email and responded promptly. Definetley high level service and my utmost gratitude.”
Dr. Jess P. Armine
1. what was your situation like before you started to work with me.
“I battled for over 12 months with fatigue, sleep problems general pain and digestive issues that seemed to have halted in any improvement. I tried diets, supplements, acupuncture, physiotherapist and numerous Drs just to name a few.”
2. what were your concerns about making the decision to start working with me
“I was concerned about seeing another practitioner and throwing good money away once again, but Dr Jess had a good recommendation.”
3. what happened between then and now
“With a couple of appointments via Skype as I am in Australia, Dr Jess implemented a supplement program and testing procedure that immediately unearthed the root cause and confirmed his suspicions, I was surprised by the efficiency and accuracy in Dr Jess without dragging things on.”
4. what’s specific results do you have now.
“I sleep much better, which has improved my fatigue. My digestive issues have healed. My pain has subsided and I have a slight spring in my step now. I will continue to see Dr Jess so I can make a complete recovery.”
5. how do you feel how has your life changed as a result
“For the 1st time in 12 months I have planned a trip away with my partner, my daughter and her husband and granddaughter. Something I would not have considered in the previous 12 months. Work has become less of a chore and my interactions with clients and people in general have improved.”
If you are reading this review of Dr. Armine you are hopefully trying to *optimize* yourself. If not, you are likely are as sick as my daughter and I. I feel for you, and am so sorry for what you are going through. Please know that there is hope in Dr. Armine! For both myself and my daughter it is not an easy road to recovery (we are still on it), and it is not as quick as we would like, but we are finally ON that road, and so grateful to be on it. With our primary care physicians and specialists there simply was no hope. My Internist really “cared” about me, but could not come close to even figuring out what could be wrong with me (fatigue, scary neurological symptoms, brain/cognition issues). As an aside, I just saw my Internist last week for something unrelated and she said “oh, I see you have been coming to us for a few years now with fatigue as your chief symptom… let me get you a TSH test”. Seriously, that was the extent of her “help” (she meant well). My 9-year old daughter on the other hand had spent 3/4 of a year with specialists at Johns Hopkins and Hershey Med (both top east coast teaching hospitals), and we got nowhere (she had incredibly severe gastrointestinal issues). We were both at dead ends, and the specialists were at the end of their options. I was desperate.
It was a huge leap of faith seeing Dr. Armine… I really sweated whether I was making the right decision… for financial reasons (if we had been wealthy it would have been a no-brainer). I also worried about the “woo woo” factor, because I have a (super smart) sister who is a doctor (Internal Medicine), and I had such faith in the medical profession… especially because it is “science based”. I simply didn’t know if Dr. Armine’s approach was going to be too weirdly holistic (please no offense!). Well, for us Dr. Armine’s approach worked. Now, 4-5 months later, I am better educated and consider conventional medicine to be “woo woo” (chronic conditions only… acute care is a different story, I think our medical system excels in that arena).
Here is how it went for us: we spent 2 hours on our initial consult, and Dr. Jess ordered some lab tests – some of which seemed unusual to us, but we gained faith during this visit that we were on the right track… just by some of the questions Dr. Armine was asking we could tell he was hitting the right ‘buttons’! We went home sick, but somehow the trip felt “right”… as though we were finally on the right path. We still had reservations, but we had a glimpse of HOPE. We left with a small list of supplements to get and a few labs (we took them to either Quest or Lapcorp or did them on our own and popped them into the mail, depending upon the test). The bill for Dr. Armine’s services and all the tests was a few hundred dollars… our insurance picked up a little of the lab work (maybe half). Please don’t let that scare you if you don’t have $… I have some ideas for you at the end of my review. 🙂
The tests began coming in – for some of them he just called us with the results (no charge) and when they were all in, we took another trip to Philly (we live 2 hours away). We were floored by some of the revelations Dr. Armine had for us. For example, upon looking at one of my daughter’s tests, he said that I should ask her about the “voices” in her heard… it turns out he was right, I was STUNNED… she heard “voices” and they were causing so much noise in her head, that it mimicked ADD (no wonder the ADD meds don’t help!). My daughter’s chief complaint when we started with Dr Armine was gastrointestinal… it turns out that when you begin to heal neurotransmitters/hormones/etc… the gut heals too! I am sickened at how many visits and procedures we had at Johns Hopkins that never even came CLOSE to figuring out my daughter’s issues (and it makes sense… why would a Pediatric Gastroenterologist consider that my daughter’s gastrointestinal issues were party caused by her *brain*… she is a gastroenterologist not a neurologist). And yet here was the “Teddy bear doctor” (as my daughter calls him)… a chiropractor/nurse/doctor working on his own in the outskirts of Philly, who cared about finding the CAUSE for her problems… and not just covering up the SYMPTOMS. (Let me repeat this: Dr. Armine’s goal is to find a *cause* for your problems. Think about your own doctors… are they doing that? Mine were not… they were matching my symptoms with their pharmacy references, trying to help me with symptoms). Anyway, at this visit, we did some adjusting of supplements (based on symptoms) and ordered a few more simple labs. We felt like we were “honing in” on some key issues. I read for hours a day on the internet to educated myself (I had been doing that for a year already, which is how I came across Dr. Armine’s name).
Now, I have to also state this: this road is difficult. For Dr. Armine too! We had some huge “hits” and some “misses” too. For example, Dr. Armine missed one important lab test at the beginning. When he realized it 2 months into our process, he called immediately and said that he should have tested for Lyme earlier (not Elisa, by the way, but Western Blot – if that means anything to you). I was amazed (and strangely relieved) that a practitioner would call to flag a mistake he had made. (I am so grateful he did – I think that is what my biggest problem is… I tested positive and I think I have neuro Lyme…). I keep in mind that we are on the forefront of medicine here; in 20 years what Dr. Armine does will be mainstream medicine. There is no handbook for Dr. Armine (or us) to consult. This work of healing involves some level of trial and error, and there is a lot of work we patients have to do too (in terms of reporting symptoms, keeping up with supplements, and staying educated along the way).
So, at this point (as of this review) we are 4-5 months in. For me, some of my fatigue lifted, but I am still suffering with neurological symptoms, and Dr. Jess referred me to a neurologist (conventional medicine has an important place in what he does, too, and he will work with the neurologist’s results, likely greatly improving my outcome). Dr. Jess and I have some more work to do together on myself; more lab tests are on the way. But I have to say that FINALLY we are getting an idea of what is wrong with me… the picture is becoming clearer and that is such a relief. Sometimes just knowing what you are fighting is so very important. It is not just wishful thinking that Dr. Armine will figure this all out with me… I truly believe it because I *see* we are getting close. And my body feels different (we are doing some “ground work” to gear up for the battle ahead). It is impossible that I would be at this point with a conventional doctor… had I developed full-blown MS, then my docs would have paid attention to me… but that is too late in my opinion; my goal is to head that off at the pass!
As for my daughter… her ADD is greatly relieved (we are getting the voices down to a “whisper”). Her gut is healing incredibly well. We still have some work to do… we have not yet figured out the cause for her symptoms (remember Dr. Jess is big into finding the *cause* for something)… could it be Lyme (she tested positive, though we are not convinced it is an active infection at the moment), could it be SIBO that we almost eradicated? And so we are still on the path for her… But I would say that her symptoms (which were debilitating for a full year in 2013) are at a level 2 now (on a scale of 10)… when before they were a 9 (often a 10 out of 10 when she was acute). We are TRULY *healing* her… which 9 months at outstanding teaching hospitals could not accomplish.
You may be wondering why this healing process is taking so long… there are steps that must be taken in order. Dr. Armine’s first step with us was fixing some imbalances in the body… especially nutritional, hormonal, and neurotransmitters (with amino acids). Some lab testing occurs at this initial point and others come into play later (when deficiencies are rectified). Often, addressing deficiencies will help pathways in the body (and sometimes open up other issues!). Each step (and each supplement or medicine) needs time to work and for an assessment. These chronic conditions don’t often have immediate answers, I have learnt. But if you take that first step, it will get you closer to the second step… and so on, until you realize that you are doing far better, and that you are finally on *that* path to healing.
Now, to address the elephant in the room: money. Dr. Armine is expensive (you can get an idea from the payment page on DrJessArmine.com). There I said it. He is worth it, and he knows it, and this *is* his income. He does not take advantage. In fact, you will find that often quick phone calls and emails are free. The time he spends researching to become a human medical encyclopedia is “free”. I can totally justify (based on my experience) that he is worth every penny. But none of that matters if you are already struggling to pay bills… I know. I KNOW! Many of us simply don’t have the funds to see someone like Dr. Armine, and it is isn’t fair. And then people tell us to cut corners and “buck up” to get a second job in order to pay for our healthcare… it is simply depressing. I won’t say these same things to you… but I will give you some ideas I have! I am the type of person that when I want something REALLY BADLY (like to heal my daughter) I will do ANYTHING it takes. There is simply *no* stopping a mama on the warpath to helping her child. These are the things that I either do or would do, if I needed to: I would go door to door in my neighborhood or church or work)… not begging for money because people hate that and it makes them uncomfortable…but rather I would write a short book (!) on my family’s struggles… i would let people peer into my deepest soul and be a PART of my story… and ask for prayers and help as you hand them your “book” (I bet you get some serious help if you try this). I would at the same time ask those same people (and strangers too, seriously!) if they have a job that I do could at home, while resting (if I am sick myself). I would do a fundraiser… but not simply asking for handouts… rather I would DO something I am good at (like a simple craft) and make it personal to my situation and then I would sell them (they don’t have to be great – just show that you are invested in this!). I would make a website with my story… full of personal insights/struggles/fears/hopes. I would call the newspaper to see if they are interested in my story (when I adopted my daughter they ran a story on our adoption – we live in a small town it made the front page LOL – and to my surprise I had free diapers pouring in!). I would see if Dr. Armine has past patients that might be willing to help (Dr. Armine may not agree with this, especially with regard to HIPPAA but worth a try)… both emotionally or otherwise. All of these ideas may sound impractical… but if you want this bad enough you can MAKE it happen, even in ill health. Lastly, pray a lot and find your faith… our help came this way too! If you are reading this review, you are where I was 4-5 months ago. Conventional medicine is failing you (if you are sick and not just optimizing). You need someone in your corner like doctor Armine…. please make it happen for yourself, you are so worth it. Best of health to you!
Tips: arrive early, the location is not easy to find (Google Maps is accurate, but we still drove by it twice). You can often print out your labs from your current medical system online now (call to fine out – I was surprised too)… bring these with you so you don’t waste money on unnecessary tests. Dr Armine can use your 23andme genetic results (if you have them) to get a good picture of your health (it helped in our case), but he does *not* treat based on genetics alone… it gives him a great idea of what is going on, but there is much more to the story than which polymorphisms you have (if you don’t know what I am talking about, do not worry!). Lastly, do not be surprised when you see a large teddy bear of a guy walk in the waiting room with a Sherlock Holmes detective hat on… that is Dr. Armine. 🙂
Barb (and my daughter “A”)