Beth O’Leary, FMCHC

Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach

My Story Hi! I’m Beth O’Leary. My own health journey is what eventually brought me to holistic medicine, and my desire to become a health coach. From my teenage years on, I’d always had an interest in health and fitness on a personal level, yet had the normal challenges of not always eating well or taking very good care of myself. I kept up a decent balance though, and was young, so I usually stayed healthy and felt good. When I was close to age 30 I noticed that I didn’t recover as quickly after workouts, and was repeatedly getting staph infections that showed up as lumps under my arms. After several doctor visits with no answers as to why a seemingly healthy 30 year old is constantly getting staph infections, I finally pushed my doctor to check my blood. He called me the next day with an apology and explained that I had an extremely low white cell count, and that I had an appointment already scheduled with a hematologist. That visit resulted in a bone marrow sample being drawn to check for leukemia, lupus, and a number of other tests, all which thankfully came back negative. I’ll spare the countless details of the years that followed with many blood tests and experimenting with medication, but the end result was a diagnosis of severe chronic neutropenia. This means that my blood’s white cell count is below normal range, specifically the neutrophils which help fight off bacterial infections. ​ Blessedly, this condition has not caused much of a disruption in my life. I am more susceptible to small infections, and at times experience body aches and fatigue if I overdo it, but all in all have maintained good health. I owe a lot of my success in managing this to a Naturopathic doctor who prescribed the best supplements and diet to boost my immune system and bring down inflammation. ​ I later realized that working with this Naturopath would serve a two-fold benefit, because within a year after working with her my husband was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. My doctor referred my husband to a Naturopathic Oncologist, and he took advantage of both worlds of allopathic and naturopathic treatments. It was a long, stressful journey, with a lot of ups and downs, but we feel that this approach is the reason that he is healthy and virtually cancer-free 13 years later. ​ Obviously there was a good amount of stress during this time, adding in raising two young children (our oldest was 2 years old, and our second child was born just over 1 month after my husband was diagnosed). Just as things were on an upswing in his health, my own health began fading. It seemed my body was holding up because I needed to be strong during this tough time, and once circumstances were more stable, it decided to cash out. I felt tired and experienced aches almost all the time, had brain fog, irritability and night sweats. I was recommended to a rheumatologist due to my muscle and joint aches, was told I had fibromyalgia and given a prescription for Lyrica. I immediately knew this was not a path I wanted to go down, so instead I called my Naturopathic doctor. Again, I followed natural treatments that ended up clearing my symptoms and eventually brought me back to feeling well. From the standpoint of my brain fog, it was like somebody turned the lights back on. What a great feeling! One that we often take for granted until our capacity feels so diminished. I also began to work with a Functional Medicine doctor, and the combination has made such a difference in my well being. ​ Through the years as I explored ways to improve my and my family’s health, I became immersed in learning and listened to almost every health summit that I could find. I focused on learning about the ways that our bodies naturally heal themselves, and how I could help myself as a whole. As a yoga practitioner for over 20 years, I appreciate and understand the mind-body-spirit connection, and continue to learn more about how I can keep these in optimal balance. ​ I am so grateful for the teachers and resources that God put along my path, and for how my faith grew during the process. I realized that I wanted to be a resource to those going through their own health struggles, and that becoming a health coach was the best way I could help. Going though the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy has been and continues to be an incredible learning experience, and I’m excited to help others achieve their own wellness goals!