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Get To Know

Dr. Kersty

Hey Friend!

I'm Dr. Kersty MacLean

I'm a Doctor of Pharmacy, Certified Integrative Health Practitioner, Functional Medicine Specialist, Health Coach & Recovering patient. Through my own journey of repairing my gut, rebalancing hormones and shifting my mindset I was able to access a life I only dreamed of. This not only transformed my life, but my career. How did all of this happen? Well, grab your favorite drink, snuggle into your seat, and take a read below! (You may be surprised how similar it sounds to your own story)

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Learn about my personal health journey and how I use my own experiences to help my clients obtain the health they deserve.

Gain insight into why I am passionate about functional medicine  and why we approach your wellness journey as a team.

Learn how my Doctor of Pharmacy pairs with Functional Medicine to provide you with the best care to reach your health goals.

Learn how my Doctor of Pharmacy pairs with Functional Medicine to provide you with the best care to reach your health goals.

See how my advanced  education and specialized expertise makes me qualified to best help you.

My Story

My Story

I'm no stranger to hospitals or doctor's visits. But let's back up and start at the beginning.

I had the pleasure of being THAT kid. You know, the one that was always at the doctor's office or ER.  Growing up I had it all - severe seasonal allergies during the day and stomach pains galore every night. My period symptoms kept me out of school, I couldn't eat pizza (or most food) without having the acid reflux of an 80 year old, and I had diagnoses that could make it on an episode of Grey's Anatomy. Every doctor's solution? Another pill. And If it came with side effects, I had them. 

I had all the invasive tests from expert's at children's hospital, and they all said the same thing: "Your results show you're fine." But the constant pain and XL pill-pack said otherwise.

Growing Pains

&

Stomach Aches

I had digestive problems from the time I was a baby, but began the years of tests, blood draws, hospital visits, and medications when I was 5 years old. I never received a real answer as to why I was doubled over in pain every night, looked 6 months pregnant, had a bowel movement once every 3 days, and had unbearable acid reflux all hours of the day and night. The best answers they could give were “IBS” and "GERD", which are catch all terms for “there is something off with your stomach and intestines, but we don’t know what it is”. The solution was to guess which foods to avoid, take medications to ease the symptoms, and thank my dad for  distracting me until the pain passed. 

The worst part? The medications didn't heal me. They didn't prevent the symptoms from coming either. They simply reduced some, but not all, of the pain.

I began taking prescription dose acid blockers when I was 13 years old, and was never told to come off them. Although this reduced my heartburn and allowed me to eat many more foods, I still wasn't symptom-free.

No one ever asked about my diet, stress levels, or sleep habits. No doctor tested me for food allergies, vitamin & mineral deficiencies, or anything else that may have been causing these symptoms.

The answer to every pain was always a pill. Don’t get me wrong, medications can be helpful, necessary, and even lifesaving. Believe me when I say I don't hate medication. I made it my career as a Doctor of Pharmacy to understand medications, when to give them, and what side effects to be weary of. However, medication shouldn’t be the ONLY answer, especially after a 10 minute conversation that didn’t address your entire health history and lifestyle. If you are put on medication, it should ALWAYS come with a long-term plan to fix the underlying cause of your symptoms and eventually get you off the medicine.

Fast Forward through decades of environmental toxins, poor self-care habits & a plethora of medications later - I reached my breaking point.

I had a surgical procedure to address my ever growing stomach pains and got some of the worst news: "You have no stomach lining left." I was told all the medications to "suppress" my pain had actually been contributing to my Gerd and IBS, leaving me in more pain and critically damaging my stomach. I was informed I had chronic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), and could never take NSAIDs moving forward.  Now I had no choice but to take matters into my own hands and figure out how to heal my stomach.

Teenage Years

&

Hormone (Imbalances)

This is normally when I tell you how I got into functional medicine & it changed my life, but not just yet. My story is a little bit more complicated.

As I grew older, digestive issues were not my only problem. I had very painful periods that left me debilitated every month. I was eventually diagnosed with endometriosis in high school. The answer: hormonal birth control.

Over the years I was placed on the pill, IUD, and inserts. Each one had severe reactions - worsening heartburn, horrible acne, raging hunger, or emotional breakdowns.

In grad school I was at my worst. For the first time in my life I developed anxiety, panic attacks, and  mood swings that made me unrecognizable. I withdrew from friends, had no energy to do anything I enjoyed, and I had trouble doing simple daily tasks. I was constantly overwhelmed and unable to relax.

I stopped birth control as symptoms grew to be unbearable. I was told that the symptoms would go away after a week, but they didn't.

The symptoms remained as the months progressed. Every doctor said I should be fine, but it felt like I was still on birth control.

The doctor's told me the symptoms were all in my head, that I always had panic attacks and just didn't know it. I felt like I was going crazy, and no one took me seriously.

After a few years off birth control with little improvement, I found a functional medicine doctor who truly listened. He told me that hormones don't regulate quickly, and if given the right environment, they can remain out of balance.

After several tests, I found out that the years of birth control had put me in a state of estrogen dominance. Not only that, but the stress of an accelerated doctorate program, existing health problems, a world wide pandemic, planning a wedding, lack of sleep, and  improper nourishment had also put me into adrenal fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue is also known as HPA Axis Disregulation, Adrenal Insufficiency, or as you may know it, "Burn out".

These answers meant I had to unlearn many years of go-go-go lifestyle habits that although were normal, were not healthy.  The environment you create can either make you better, or make you sick (and keep you there).

College Degrees

&

Infectious Disease

Stomach problems & hormone imbalances were more than enough for any college student, but add in multiple infectious diseases & autoimmune disorders and you have a full blown nightmare. I was so excited when I started college. I have (and always will be) a book worm with an excitement for learning & the opportunity to make new friends. Unfortunately, I wasn't given much time to enjoy it.

I became very ill the summer going into my sophomore year. My symptoms were diverse and no one had a clue as to why they were happening.  I was a regular at local ERs & Boston specialists' offices looking for answers, but still had no solutions. 

I had a "stomach virus" that lasted for months, severe inflammation in my rib cage that paid a visit every few weeks, a high pulse that required daily heart medication, short term memory loss, exercise intolerance, asthma, rashes that appeared without rhyme or reason, extreme nausea, insomnia, inability to focus, muscle pains, anxiety, and more (if you can believe it). I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at 20 years old and was put on daily muscle relaxers & pain meds around the clock. 

While most college kids are out socializing, I was trying to keep track of all my medications and do everything right to prevent another night in the ER.

 

After years of worsening symptoms, I finally received a diagnosis a few weeks into my senior year - 3 long years later: Lyme disease & 5 other co-infections. Not to mention this was going on while also dealing with the stomach problems & endometriosis.

Health is almost never an isolated issue. When one part of your body is breaking down, other parts often follow because your body is one open system. 

Treatment was complicated, but here is the gist: I was hit with every antibiotic under the sun for four years straight. I had a port (PICC Line) placed in my arm so I could give myself multiple IV antibiotics daily. It was supposed to be for a month or two, but that slowly turned into 18 months, while also taking 30+ pills a day to manage all the other symptoms & side effects.

 

Lyme disease and it's hard core antibiotic treatment caused me to develop an allergy to dairy and uncovered a gluten allergy (hello main cause of childhood gut problems). It also lead to emergency gallbladder surgery, tonsil and adenoid surgery, 3 endoscopies, that chronic gastritis you heard about earlier, an overwhelming amount of daily medications, side effects galore, and stress. Lots and lots of stress.

Although antibiotic treatment was necessary, it wreaked havoc on my body. I was left with new, lingering symptoms from a body that had received a beating for years. All of those medical problems slowly created health anxiety, which only intensified the already unbearable symptoms.

 

After years of fighting for my health, I finally got my life back! It wasn't easy. It took time, targeted protocols, and lots of grace, but it came and It can come for you too. Now that doesn't mean my health is always perfect. I still have struggles that resurface when I am not diligent in taking care of my body, but the symptoms I have now are nothing compared to where I was a decade ago.

 

If you've ever struggled with health problems while in school, working a job, or being a parent, you are probably good friends with a lot of what I've talked about. Your body has told you it needs a break but you can't stop because you need that job, or to pass that test, or to prepare that meal. But that shouldn't be your norm, or anyone else's. Surviving and thriving are two very different things and I learned that the hard way. You only have one life, and it was reaching my breaking point that brought me here to help prevent you from reaching yours.

Now I don't share my story for sympathy or to try to validate that I was really sick. I share because I want you to know that the person you are working with has been there and understands all the unspoken hardships that come with it.  No one knows how to support someone who is struggling with health better than someone who has been there before. The best advice I can give as someone who has been on the healing journey for a long time: START NOW. The longer you wait, the longer it will take for your body to recover and the more you will struggle to do the things you love. Self care is not selfish - it is a necessity. 

My Career
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The Functional Medicine PharmD.

(out of the pharmacy & into the home)

Being a patient, I learned just how challenging it is to receive several treatment plans with no guidance on how to implement them, and multiple diagnoses that aren't thoroughly explained. The worst part? Doing everything you are told and not getting better.

With a fire in my chest (both figuratively and literally), I  set out to be part of the change in our damaged healthcare system.  I received my Doctor of Pharmacy in the hopes to better educate patients on their disease states, create reasonable treatment plans, empower patients to take control of their health, and help set a goal to wean off medications once the cause of the pain was addressed and healed. When it was time to work in the field, I quickly realized that the job I was looking for didn't exist in mainstream pharmacy. Pharmacists have the knowledge of medications and disease states, but aren't given the time or private environment to care for patients the way it is desperately needed.  

Functional Medicine provided the approach and patient care necessary to truly make a difference that I knew my patients not only deserved, but needed. Functional Medicine looks for the cause of your symptoms, rather than a diagnosable disease and a medication to match. By finding the cause of your problem, pain, deficiency, or imbalance, we can properly support your body so it can begin healing. No more covering up symptoms or having to grit your teeth and accept that you just have to live with the discomfort.

As a Functional Medicine & Certified Integrative Health Practitioner, I come along side you to help find the cause of your struggles. I provide guidance and support that empowers you to approach your health with confidence and hope, knowing that better health is attainable. Not only that, but we take the time to answer your questions. Better yet, we admit when we don't know the answer. When we aren't sure we do one of two things - 1. Do the research and tell you an evidence based response. Or 2. We refer you to someone who does know the answer! There is not one person on this planet that knows everything, and we believe you deserve honesty and a proper answer.  Your health is the foundation of your life. Let's make sure your foundation is strong & stays that way for years to come!

This Is My Why

When I say I’ve been there - overwhelmed with your current health situation, frustrated with the treatment regiment, loads of unanswered questions & unheard concerns, dismissed symptoms, sleepless nights, and fear that this reality is going to be the rest of your life - I truly get it.

This is why I’m here. I became the practitioner younger me desperately needed, but didn't have. And now, I have the privilege of being that practitioner for you; to see you, hear what your unique situation is, and work with you to address what’s actually going on.

You know your body better than anyone, and I guarantee whatever you are experiencing is not all in your head. If you’re ready to truly be heard, find answers that explain why your body is reacting the way that it is, and receive protocols that work without being overwhelmed, I would be honored to help you restore your health. 

Fun Facts
&
Personal Faves

Fun Facts
Beach Sand

1.  I am a born & raised Boston girl who loves the Patriots, Fall in New England, and snow storms.  

2.  I met my sweet husband (and best friend) Dave at church up in Boston. We did 3+ years of long distance, got married in a world wide pandemic, and recently moved cross-country to the beautiful state of North Carolina!

3.  My relationship with Jesus has gotten me through all that life has thrown my way. 

4.  I love all things design, cooking, mystery, and Hallmark (yes, I know they're cheesy and you see the ending coming from a mile away, but they get me every time!)

5.  I am a giant bookworm. Barnes & Noble is my version of Disney World. I often leave with more books than I can carry and stay up way past my bedtime because I HAVE TO KNOW what happens.​

6.  I am a cat person through & through. I have two tigers back at my parents' house, but my husband and I plan to have a blended household of cats & dogs one day soon.

7.  The Beach is my happy place & sweet treats are my weakness (along with anything soft)

8.  When I'm not working with clients, I'm cherishing quality time with Dave. We're probably cooking up new creations while listening to country music, watching a storm pass from our front porch, playing a card game with friends & family, or staying active by playing ultimate frisbee. 

My Experience

Bachelors of Science - Chemistry

Doctor of Pharmacy

Recovering Patient

Certified Health Coach (IHP -1)

Certified Integrative Health Practitioner (IHP -2)

Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner

(In Progress)

Gordon College 

  • Professional Chemistry Degree

  • Focused on medicinal biochemistry, disease mechanisms and drug action

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (MCPHS) University

  • Accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy Program 

  • Certified in Medication Therapy Management, Immunizations, & Diabetes Care

  • Focused rotations in herbal medicine & ambulatory care

  • Lyme Disease & 5 Coinfections (Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Brucellosis, Rickettsia)

  • POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

  • IBS, GERD & Chronic Gastritis

  • Endometriosis, Estrogen Dominance & Adrenal Fatigue

  • Toxic Mold & Parasitic Infections

  • & More

Integrative Health Practitioner Institute

  • Diet & lifestyle modifications

  • Healthy mindset & stress reduction

  • Sleep hygiene 

Integrative Health Practitioner Institute

  • Restoring vitamin & mineral imbalances

  • Correcting bacterial, yeast & fungus overgrowth

  • Rebalancing hormones 

  • Supporting detox pathways

  • Functional medicine lab testing

Functional Medicine University

  • Details coming soon

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Want To Know More About Working Together?

Check out the "Work With Me" page for a detailed explanation of what to expect while working together to restore your health.

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