My Journey to Good Health

It has been on my heart for quite some time to share my journey to good health with you, so here we go!


From an extremely young age, it was apparent that something was off in my body. When my mom switched me to solid food, I had diarrhea for six months until someone suggested she put probiotics in my milk and I seemed to improved. Again, in high school, I started having some issues; primarily a feeling that my food was getting stuck in my esophagus and not digesting properly. Finally, in college, I returned to the having severe digestive issues. These continued throughout college and no one seemed to have any ideas about what was wrong until I had some blackouts (on the commuter Amtrak train from MD to DC, no less) upon our move MD post college and masters. Finally, at that point, I was diagnosed with celiac disease (however, it was discovered about 6 years after this, by Dr. Gerard Mullin, that I did not actually celiac but rather gluten intolerance with crohn's disease antibioties in my blood). 

I lived for several years gluten free, but I was still eating dairy and other things, such as rice and corn, that were still causing destruction in my intestinal track, leading to a return of many of my issues that had temporarily disappeared. No one really got concerned until I had a massive unexplained loss of blood the same month I had a fertility treatment. 

As you can see, it was a long hard path to come to a complete understanding of what was going on in my body, and I am so thankful that Dr. Gerard Mullin (Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD) and Dr. Carolyn Matthews (Baylor, Dallas, TX) worked so diligently to uncover what was going on. I believe God used my infertility to help us finally get the bottom of what was happening in my body. As I worked through and dealt with infertility, I never thought I would be able to look back and say I am thankful for it, but I can now. I am thankful because God used my infertility to ultimately save my life. 

All my health issues surround my autoimmune disorder which is my body refusing to digest foods properly and reacting adversely to foods. I have an intolerance to gluten, corn and dairy and am randomly allergic to bananas. I also have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) which will haunt me the rest of my life. My doctors believe that my excessive use of antibiotics as a child, and then again as an adult for acne (I took tetracycline for five years every day in high school/college), reacted badly with my autoimmune issues to create recurring bacterial overgrowth in my small intestine that causes all sorts of stomach and digestion issues. This is also all in conjunction with my hiatal hernia (which is why sometimes it feels like my food is stuck in my esophagus). 

After working with my doctors and nutritionists for over five year,s and doing research myself on healthy living and what will work best for me and my issues, I now follow the Paleo diet, and I haven't felt this good in a long time! 

I also highly recommend doctors that have been trained in Integrative Medicine with Dr. Andrew Weil. Both my doctors in Baltimore and Dallas were trained by Dr. Weil along with their medical degrees and specialties. They were willing to look at my issues as a whole and devise a treatment plan that involves diet and supplements rather than medication. 

Now, that we know and understand my issues, it is simply a matter of eating right and exercising. When my SIBO flares up, I have to work hard to kill off as much bacteria as possible so I go completely sugar free for awhile. I like using the 21 Day Sugar Detox which provides encouragement and support through daily emails and a Facebook group page. This means no fruits which is very difficult for me. I also take two supplements which are helpful in killing off the bacteria: Metagenics CandiBactin AR and BR. I, of course, take many other supplements as well including Vitamin D, B Complex, Liquid B12, Probiotics, Multivitamins (my favorite it the one sold by Life Time Fitness), and Fish Oil.

I also believe that exercise is a key piece of a healthy way of life. I, myself, am a Pilates instructor and work hard at many different types of fitness to stay healthy. 

So what is the Paleo Diet, you ask?

Simply put, the Paleo Diet includes eating meat, nuts, fruits and veggies with not grains or dairy. So, I don't eat grains or dairy and now instead use Coconut flour or Almond meal as often as I can. I use earth balance butter, Almond or Coconut Milk, and Coconut or Olive Oil for cooking. Ideally, I should eat out as little as possible and cook at home as much as possible.

When I follow my diet as prescribed, I feel great, when I veer off even slightly, I instantly regret it. Let me tell you, it is not easy to follow this diet all the time. I crave cookies, candy, bread, cheese, pasta, cupcakes, etc. But after many falls off the wagon (and more to come I'm sure), I know what I have to do to be and feel my best so that I can serve my family, friends, and clients. 

I would love to talk with anyone who has additional questions about what I went through or what I do for my health. Please feel free email me at surpassinggreatness@gmail.com

My Favorite Paleo Websites/Facebook Pages





My Favorite Books on Autoimmune Disorders and Yeast Overgrowth

The Inside Tract by Dr. Gerard Mullin (I am featured in this book as an example of successful treatment :) )

(there is a questionnaire you can take on this site to help you see if you have the symptoms)


2 comments:

  1. I have followed your blog for awhile and our similarities, well, they just astound me. I truly feel that God has put your blog into my life for a purpose! God has filled my heart with wanting to adopt, since I was a child, and I am constantly encourage when I see your process. Unfortunately, I also 100% understand your digestive issues growing up. Mine didn't hit til high school, but boy when it hit, it really hit. I was so sick on my high school graduation day, I didn't think I was going to be able to go, and then when I got there, all the kids sitting around me thought they were going to have take me off in a stretcher - I was ridiculously pale, dehydrated, nauseated, and felt like I was going to pass out. For years I've had doctors who have constantly shoved more and more medicine in my face, while I've begged them to help me find a more holistic way. There are a few girls at my work who do Paleo and they all swear by it, but it has never been for health issues and always been for weight loss. Now that I'm reading your story (and Against All Grains' story), I'm starting to think this may be the way for me. Thank you for the informative post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alicia, it means so much to know that God has used my journey to encourage you. Please don't ever hesitate to contact me with questions! Blessings!

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