First of all, be patient. Healing takes time.
I realize that you may feel reading this, that this is easy to say when I am not the one who is suffering and experiencing your symptoms.
However, when I began to grapple with multiple serious health issues that all came on at once over a couple of years, I was suffering alot.
My list includes: ulcerative colitis, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, frozen shoulders, severe PMDD----> depression and anxiety that got to the level where I felt like I was constantly being chased by mastodons, as well as severe sleep disturbance and obesity. Oh and then there was the rosacea that I'd had since age 31 that got MUCH worse...
When this all began in 1997, the mood disturbance/sleep issues were severe enough (never mind living in the bathroom all the time between the colitis and cystitis!) that I took Paxil for a little under two years. I do not regret that because I was getting about zip sleep and coming out of my skin with anxiety, but I paid dearly for it, going from being significantly overweight at 183lbs to between 235-240.
Finally, in 1999 (most of this time period was prior to my having a computer) I had found enough information in very diverse places to know how I was going to go about things. And go about them I did, going "clean" /strict low-carb, finding a source for DHEA, starting a schedule of titration up to high dose O3, getting on a highpowered mutlivitamin and other specific supplements and starting bioident progesterone cream.
And there were a multitude of de-stressing life interventions as well, like cutting my workaholism.
And I healed. But I didn't heal in 5 months...and each of these condiitons responded differently and took varying amounts of time to show some decrease in symptoms....then more...until finally,by 2003 I can say I was about 90% clear. From 99 until 2002 I continued to have bouts of waxing and waning ulcerative colitis.It progressed and changed, but it was still there. By the summer of 02, I was really done with it. But it took 3 years. The interstitial cystitis went through two waning periods and then I had a significant flare-up in the beginning of 02. I had to get very strict about eliminating some foods or drastically reducing them, like nuts, tea and coffee and anything carbonated, EVER. I would strictly eliminate, get better and then my tea intake especially would climb and the symptoms would start again. It was both a healing and a learning process.
And I'd say it was a choice process...as in, how serious am I about getting rid of all this stuff? What am I willing to do to be healthy?
All the joint stuff 100% resolved by 05. Again, there were waxing and waning periods of symptoms. In my opinion, this is not unusual in healing. I think it is also not unusual because as humans, we also slip-up or get in environments where we are not in control of the food, etc and get "surprised-up" by a return of symptoms.
All the PMDD stuff was actually the easiest to kick once I started on progesterone cream and continued for 6 years. But, it too, was a work in progress for at least 2 years into all the dietary and other intervention.
I am healthy as a horse today and have been for some years, with the exception of my rosacea , which is still 75% better than when I started.
I didn't have some of the choices you have now. Take advantage of them!
First of all, as others have stated, there is alot to be found by researching.
Are you familiar with GAPS/ Natasha McBride MD's work?
You sound like someone who really might find most of your answers and effective treatment, which you can learn and self treat with, by going straight to a GAPS certified practitioner, though I'd recommend you do some reading first, as well.
Here's a list of certified practitioners with alot of information as well.
NOTE: Do not be put off by the fact that gut treatment is linked with psychological symptoms/disorders in GAPS. What is being treated is GUT DYSBIOSIS. This also deals with food intolerances and allergies. You have likely seen references to "leaky gut" here or elsewhere and how this causes a wide variety of illnesses. This is what GAPS can effectively target.
Chris Kresser could be a great place to start as well, since wherever you are, he does Skype with patients and he couldn't be more familiar with ancestral diets, nor more flexible, in my opinion. And he's one bright guy and an experienced provider! As well, folks seek out providers like Chris when they have hit all the dead ends in seeking help that they can hit. So, he's very accustomed to working with "mysteries" and what might be considered very hard, untreatable cases in allopathy.
Also understand that there are MDs who are functional medicine Docs. My impression from your question is that you believe that functional medicine is only practiced by non-MDs. This is not true.
Mark Hyman, MD is a functional medicine Doc who has a great video presentation on WHY he practices functional medicine and what functional medicine means. I'll try and hunt it up for you and post it here. Hyman has a website and you can find him on FB as well, just for your own knowledge base.
EDIT: Here's Hyman's excellent TED presentation on functional medicine. It's only 19 min - watch it!
I follow Staffan Lindeberg on Twitter and loved a tweet he shared the other day that was a first person account of man diagnosed with MS in about 1953. He set about curing himself primarily through his diet, which was an ancestral diet except that he strictly eschewed saturated fat and used high pufa oils. He succeeded in curing himself, but it took FOUR years for complete remission of symptoms and he stressed this in his account.
Some people do experience very rapid healing of some conditons. For alot of us, it takes time and I believe that this would be especially stressed by many who deal with gut conditions.
So, hang in there. Persevere .Don't get antsy. Do the research and find someone who is a good fit for you to work with and learn what you need to know.