Let’s get real and raw for a minute. I want to share this part of my journey with you in hopes of making you see the the true importance of health and the serious implications stress can have on it.
How it all began…
I have always probably taken on more than I could really handle. I mean, I always believed and felt I could handle it all, and truth be told I have never been good at not having things to do.
Going through a really difficult year in 2013, where my relationship ended, struggling to sell our home, being forced out of my job due to slow business, having to move back home after 7 years of living on my own, learning hard truths and loosing an entire group of friends…it took an enormous emotional toll. Once that was all over I got straight back into full time work, no holidays, and then a year later I started a full time health science degree. I was ready to keep going, keep moving forward and determined to rebuild my life how it “needed” to be.
Eating healthy was not always a part of my life. In fact, I used to eat so much crap. Fast foods, sugar, wheat (bread was life!), soft drinks, energy drinks, processed meats, processed sauces…you name it.
By this stage I was already experiencing a range of physical imbalances, so I decided to go vegan in the hopes that I would feel better and go back to being healthy. I was vegan for 4 years, and it was great! But getting closer to the end of my degree, my body wasn’t thriving on it anymore. It just wasn’t enough. My nervous system was suffering, BIG TIME! I had honestly never felt so much stress in my life.
I believed I had adrenal fatigue. I had (and still have) all the symptoms. It makes sense. I have never been officially tested for it, but I am certain it’s definitely present. My nervous system has always been my weakest system.
My symptoms were (and still are), extreme fatigue, no matter how much sleep I get, dizziness, brain fog, trouble focusing and concentrating, weakness in my muscles, lack of energy, loss of appetite (past) increased appetite (current), irritability, restlessness, increased heart rate.
Recently I had had enough. I was eating “healthy”, meditating, moving my body )all the right things), but I wasn’t getting any better. In fact, I was feeling worse. I had been going through massive internal shifts, with past pains and hurts coming up to the surface and being dealt with, and that was enough to push me over the edge. I was beyond exhausted. I had never felt so drained in my life.
Fortunately, I know people who are absolute experts and who I knew could get me real answers. Every doctor’s visit I’d had, I was “healthy”. I recently saw an incredible woman who is a one of a kind pathology expert, who did a live blood analysis for me and analysed my pathology results very thoroughly. This was incredible because it literally gave me a glimpse of what was happening IN my body. My suspicions were confirmed. I had leaky gut (where the intestinal permeability of the gut mucosa is increased, meaning unwanted substances leak out into the blood stream and cause havoc), high inflammation, a stressed liver and elevated liver enzymes (due to the leaky gut), and malabsorption of nutrients like iron, even though my blood tests showed my iron is “normal”.
Due to all of this, which is all very much stress induced, more tests also came back with some very abnormal thyroid results and positive for thyroid antibodies, putting me in a possible Graves Disease picture. Of course, my doctor wants me on medications straight away, which for me personally, is not the answer (that is the absolute last resort, no other options answer). The good news is, we don’t think it’s true Graves, but the bad news is, it will be if I’m not careful.
I am no longer vegan (haven’t been for over a year, to those still surprised to see me share non-vegan foods), and I am not going back to it (not anytime soon at least). There is healthy eating, and then there is eating for specific health conditions. When you are dealing with conditions such as these, there are many things that, while yes, they are healthy foods, are not actually very well processed by a compromised system. For example, I can’t have any sugar, dairy, gluten, high fructose fruits, legumes, beans or any grains (and of course anything processed, which I avoid anyway).
To be honest, thyroid is not an area I am very familiar with as I have had limited experience with it, so it’s a great opportunity for me to learn this condition inside out and be able to help others overcome any related health obstacles.
So what now?
I am working with a variety of practitioners who are helping me get on track, teaching me and supporting me. I am very strictly monitoring my diet, which is surprisingly easier than I anticipated it would be. I have joined a mediation group which I will be attending weekly to help me relax and rest my nervous system, and lots of downtime. LOTS. Guilt free, doing nothing kind of downtime.
I will be sharing more on this journey with regular check ins and updates, and I am sure before we all know it I will back to a greater and healthier version of myself than ever before.
If you have any questions on this topic, or feel you can relate to anything I have talked about, please reach out, I’d love to help you get on the right track.