I decided it was time, I finally feel sure enough to share a journey that I have taken over the last year of my life. It has been a game changer around here so it seems a shame that I have left all of it out of my blog. Strap in and I will share.
Last March my life began to feel a little exhausting. I am not talking about the I don’t want to take my kids to soccer or scramble them eggs kind of exhausting, I am not talking about feeling bored or stressed or frustrated with life. I am talking about being drop dead exhausted. Just getting through the day seemed a huge feat.
I decided this was something that I needed to seek medical attention for (it really was that bad). I went and had a full spectrum of tests done. All of them came back normal except for my vitamins. I was dangerously low in Vitamin D and B12. It seemed a simple enough fix and the doctor told me to take some vitamin supplements and he would check again in a month. I went back for another blood test and guess what? Those vitamin levels were even lower!
I am bravely sharing a picture of myself from last March, 2014. This is over a year ago. Here I was plugging away in the garden. Little did I know that my life would quickly be changing. Looking at this picture now, I can see how tired I was. I can visibly see the inflammation in my body.
My doc was a bit baffled and told me to buy higher end vitamins and try again, this time after three more months. Certainly it was the brand of vitamin I was taking and that should fix it. Meanwhile, I was still exhausted and trudging through life.
I went back and all of the vitamins were still extremely low. He couldn’t figure out why they weren’t coming up. He suggested maybe we talk about injecting vitamins.
I didn’t feel comfortable with this idea. My body was not absorbing them for a reason. I put off making a decision and kept started taking a B12 that went under your tongue. At least that went directly to your body rather than through your gut. It got me thinking. Maybe my gut was the problem?
After our Boston vacation I felt worse than ever. I had begun Crossfit and my energy level was rising because of the exercise but honestly even getting through some of my workouts was a huge feat.
After some discussion with a few friends I decided to look into a Functional Medicine Doctor in our area. He listened to my story, and asked plenty of questions about other parts of my health like hormonal and nutrition things. He didn’t seem at all confused by the state of my vitamins and health problems. It made perfect sense to him.
He explained that when someone eats in a way that causes damage to their intestines (more specifically the microvilli that are on the walls of your intestines) they begin to have enough damage that the vitamins of your food cannot absorb. Additionally it also creates gaps in which tons of inflammatory items CAN leak in and cause many other symptoms.
Some of the things that I had been battling for years seemed to make sense. I didn’t have regular periods. I had a ton of tendonitis on and off for years. I struggled with a fair amount of anxiety. My digestion was all over the place. I had times when I struggled with acne.
He ran a blood test called ALCAT that is sent off. Here is a quick video on how the ALCAT works.
I was given a list of items I was not to eat under any circumstance. That list was:
These were all items that reacted in my body.
I went off of all of these items. I am proud to say in the last 9 months none of these items have passed my lips.
The results? I started feeling better about 6 weeks in! My digestion started balancing.
After about 3 months my periods came back regularly. (not sure if I am super happy about that one…lol)
At 6 months I had another vitamin blood test and ALL of my vitamins were increased! All of them were at normal levels. I am now absorbing vitamins from my food.
I feel great! I have a ton of energy. I am able to handle Crossfit workouts without feeling exhausted everytime. Sometimes I can even handle two a day!
This was not all from food removal. I added somethings to my diet as well. Part of the doctors prescription was to eat one large salad everyday. He also had me remove coffee from my diet for awhile just to help with hydration levels. He put me on a high power probiotic along with a digestive enzyme and a liver support drink.
I have had such success with this process, I will never look back. I know my body cannot handle eating gluten and soy. I know it was slowly killing me.
Here is a current picture of me (I MUST add this is an unedited picture, you can visibly see the health difference)… I am healthy, happy and have plenty of energy to keep up with these boys!
It has been such a journey, and it has not always been easy. Friends and family have questioned my choices more than once, going to dinner parties has been a pain and traveling is much more work.
I can say with 100% assurity that it was worth it!