Now, here's my update... As you may be able to tell, my last entry under "Nutritionist" was way back in September when I was just starting with the nutritionist. My progress has been really remarkable, and I would like to tell you about it. Most astoundingly, I remain totally off my thyroid meds. I don't recall whether I was off them with my last posting, but I am now and have been off them for over 7 months now. If you read my page on hypothyroidism, you will find that the level of meds I had been on was quite high, and I would have been basically hopeless of ever getting off them! Now to explain how. In a nutshell, it's the magic and healing of my nutritionist. I am not on any glandulars or thyroid containing supplements or meds, none. It's all food and a few basic vitamins and carefully chosen supplements. Food can do all kinds of things that we don't even realize! Unfortunately, it's not something you can do yourself, and you should NOT try. I'd encourage you to make some healthful eating choices, and we can talk about that later, but my progress is unique and very special and NOT something I could have accomplished on my own.
You may recall, my other areas of concern included: candida, adrenals/hypoglycemia, obvious nutrient deficiencies despite supplementation, food sensitivities/food allergies, infertility, emotions/depression, chemical sensitivities, hormones, emf sensitivity, photosensitivity. Let's go through them. My candida began to stabilize and become much less of a problem almost immediately, mainly due to the "food combining" aspect of the plans. I will talk more about this later. I shall denote my nutritionist now as "N" just to make it easier. N says that my candida will come out on it's own soon as my body becomes stronger and is able to kick it out on it's own. I've had a number of other cleansing episodes where the body has kicked out things, so this would not suprise me. At this point it gives me very little problem anyway, and N says this happens for most people around the 1 year mark, so I'm just biding my time (that should be just a few months away!). You can check back in and see what happens!
Next issue, adrenals/hypoglycemia. N has a very unusual approach to this too. N tries to rebuild the organs, glands, etc. using the healing power of food. My adrenals have not had any detox episodes yet, so I do not know what may be in store. Apparently it's a more complex issue than it sounds, because the pituitary is the master control gland, so the pituitary needs to heal and kick in before other things can function properly. Now at 8 1/2 months my pituitary is giving slight evidence that it is finally trying to work, so if it kicks in, I suppose more improvements will follow. N uses quite a bit of fruit on the plans because N says the fruit does lots of healing things, supplying oxygen, enzymes, nutrients, etc. needed by the pancreas, etc. to rebuild, heal, and ultimate start to work properly. I told you what N does is unusual! Not many people will tell you to go eat fruit to get rid of candida! And when I say fruit, I'm not talking measley doses either... So far, I've been on as much as 7 1/2 cups of fruit and 32 oz. juice a day!! It's the food combining that makes it work and not aggravate the beasties so much. More about that later. But now I'm starting to see the fallicy of the low carb diets. Now don't email me saying I should slam them, because I've done it myself, been made sick and depleted by it myself, and known lots of other friends who were left starving as a result. Yes low carb is pragmatic and seems to help, but it also cuts out lots of God-intended nutrient sources, and if you deprive yourself of nutrients, you don't get well; you get SICK! You've already been sick long enough eating low carb, maybe you should investigate this idea of food combining and eating more nutritious foods and give it a chance! I say this again, I know eating low carb and doing antifungals, etc. helps some people, but others it isn't enough for. If you're one of those, rebuilding the body through nutrients and then allowing the body to kick things out itself may work. N is getting it to work for a lot of people and has been doing it for 20 years. I've talked with people going to N who were so sick it would make your hair curl, and now they're well!
Now, I just mentioned rebuilding the body with nutrients, and that brings up the issue of using supplements and food. There is a book "The Self-Test Nutrition Guide" and I just gave away my copy or I'd look up the title. I got my copy used on amazon. When I read the book, I was disgusted to find that despite a year and a half of diligent use of supplements (all the fancy brands from my doctor), I was still moderately to severely deficient in just about everything!!! That was when I knew I had a problem and my doctor's protocol wasn't working. Basically it was poor digestion and my body not being able to utilize the things. Pretty disgusting considering how much I was paying! I suggest you get the book and see for yourself. If you've been paying a lot for supplements and are still having lots of deficiency symptoms, maybe you should reevaluate what you're doing. N changes my suggested supplements every time I get a new plan (every 2-3 weeks). Initially, N had me on very few because I couldn't utilize them anyway. Then, as my digestion improved, N started loading me with stuff and now we are working on filling in things, mainly using food, but also using a few vitamins here and there. N seems to have a lot of knowledge about how these things work in the body and has had enough practical experience helping people to be able to know when your body is actually using it and when it's being wasted. But I digress.
You might be wondering about this whole digestion issue, and that's really interesting that you ask. When I started my first plan, it looked like so MUCH food! I would get horribly bloated (poor digestion) and have to take hours to get it down. Within a few weeks though I started getting hungry, then more and more hungry. I didn't call, thinking I was just going to have to starve on this plan just like everything else. Well turns out, that was my digestion improving and my body asking for more food! Now I eat significantly more than when I started 8 months ago. Interestingly, what I experience now with my adrenals and hypoglycemia isn't so much about blood sugar; it's more about the body asking for nutrition (if you can believe it). I think it might explain why some things seem to help and others don't or they help too quickly for it to have been simply blood sugar. Our bodies are telling us what we need if we can just listen!
That brings up some interesting stories I've had where I've had cravings for things and then they'll show up on a food plan N makes me... Go figure, because I didn't tell N at all! And it can't be accidental, because it's happened too many times! One time it was strawberries, another chicken. I actually called my MIL up on a Sunday night asking if she happened to have any organic chicken because if I didn't get chicken I was just going to DIE! Well, would you believe my plan that next week came back saying to eat chicken or turkey four times a week! Now that's too unlikely to be chance; my body was telling me, and I just needed to know how to tune in and listen!
This idea of listening to my body has also confirmed to me the wisdom of what's known as "food combining". When I started with C, I was basically left brainfogged and out of it from just about anything I ate. If I ate it two days in a row it was a problem, all foods, etc. It basically looked hopeless, and I'm not a person inclined to starve (which you could tell if you could see a picture of me, LOL. Actually I say it's because my grandpa owned a Dairy Queen and food comes naturally in our family!). Sorry, rabbit trail again. N had me switch to all organic and N utilizes the rules of food combining in the construction of the food plans. The result was that within a week I was eating brainfog free. It's an exciting thing! Now there's also the issue of food allergies, acquired food sensitivities, etc. and I had some of those as well as some of the nastier reactions. Apparently a lot of it is digestion and can reverse. This is not something though you should attempt on your own; N has been doing this 20 years and takes things very carefully. N keeps in close touch with clients and introduces potential problem foods very slowly to allow for reactions and change if necessary. Many of my food reactions I think were due to the chemicals on the food (nonorganic), so that explains why switching to all organic made such a big difference. The food combining lessens the digestive load and stops those reactions (more on that later, maybe on another page at the rate we're going!). Then I had things like apples and corn that were acquired food allergies/hypersensitivities for me. With those, the digestive enzyme supplement allowed me to be able to eat them again. I did have headaches initially, but now they are gone and I can eat them without problem. Actually I've been craving corn chips lately and that's a bad sign to me, so I'm going to have to talk to N about it. Could be nothing, or could mean we're not over that hump yet! In any case, I can eat apples and pop corn without problem, so that's good. In fact, I generally leave all meals brain fog free and just as decent when I came in. I know many people are wanting that, and that's what N can help accomplish for you. I have started a yahoo group Nutritional Therapies where you can talk to other people using or considering N. Many people are using N, and N can work with people with phone consults and fax, so that would be something to consider. I've talked with many people who have gotten similar or even more astounding progress.
Some of my scariest reactions though were to melons, which caused lip swelling, tight breathing, etc. N says that reactions like this are due to the CHEMICALS on the food and not the food itself. Now I have never had a true anaphylactic, land-you-in-the-emergency-room reaction, but my melon episodes were enough to put the realization into me. Now, after 8 1/2 months with N, I am eating melon every day. I'm guessing it's everything put together and not just one thing (not just switching to organic, but also the improvements in digestion, chemical tolerance, etc. as many things are contaminated even when you buy organic). I want to say though that I have talked with several people now who were having anaphylactic reactions and have gotten improvement with N. This is incredible to me, because these people were at their wits end and preparing to do EPD/LDA at the time. It's a very long-involved issue, but I think it's incredible to think that people may be being told that injections like EPD (not FDA-approved) or LDA (uncertain safety because it is new) are their only hope if maybe a simple change to all organic food and working on digestion could stop their anaphylactic reactions. All I'm saying is that I have friends who were at this place and are using N and had their reactions stop and never had an anaphylactic reaction again once switching to all organic and using N's plans, and that if you are, it might be worth researching.
Sorry this is getting so long... I'll try to go more quickly! Infertility. Apparently this too is a more complex issue than we realize. When the body is nutrient deficient and sick, it nixes the fertility to protect you and your baby. We should not fight this. Looking back, I can see how I did the low carb diet for 8 months, then got pregnant and my body totally crashed post-partum because I was so depleted. We are trying to rebuild my body and let the fertility issue kick in naturally. It does appear to be on track, more on that later! There are other issues involved too, like dietary fat levels, etc. I don't totally understand, but N has mentioned to me that my hormones will balance out when we can get my dietary fat up higher, but right now we can't because when we try to take it higher (from 22% up to the 28% N likes to promote fertility) I get sick from not being able to digest the fat. I mean throwing up SICK! Fun. Actually I haven't tossed my cookies from it, but nearly have and close enough.
So that brings us to the subject of hormones which we will combine with emotions. N strives for balance, but some things the body has to do on it's own and it takes time. The approach is very different from the traditional "supplement and fill in the holes" approach. Instead of trying to take thyroid meds, progesterone, dhea, etc. to fill in what is low, this approach is to rebuild the body so it will balance out and right the levels of those things itself. It does appear to be working, but it takes time. My blood pressure and vein size have been good (adrenals, aldosterone). My female hormones are improving but not quite where we want them to be. As I said, we're in mid-process.
Interstingly, N has some way of evaluating cell function. I'm not sure how N does this, but N says that when I started, my numbers were at 15% and 20% cell function on my RNA and DNA (not sure which number went with which type). By 7 months I was up to 35% and 40%! That explains how I could feel better, but not nearly as well as I needed to be! N's goal is 80%, so at that rate my path will take 2 years. So I'm just being patient. Did you ever see the movie "Awakenings"? Sorry if there are objectionable elements in it, been a long time. I was just telling my husband today though about how the way the people are in that movie is how I feel! The people are sick from some vaccine or something (sorry I don't remember exactly, but it's based on a true story, I could have details wrong), and this doctor develops a drug that brings them out of their catatonic state. As they wake up, they rediscover life, but also are sad because they had been sentient, living people all that time! And isn't that just how we are, like zombies, sick but real people inside. Then as we wake up, we have to rediscover life. N says the only people who get well are the ones who actually have the will and WANT to get well. It's a sad thing, but when we've been sick a long time, sometimes you lose your spunk or aren't sure what you have to get well for! Or, getting well means admitting the rest of your life has been in such a zombie state. :(
Chemical sensitivities. That is of course a whole bunch of things: liver function, candida sensitizing, leaky gut, nutrient deficiencies so can't process/excrete, poor bowel function, immune system out of whack. My ability to tolerate things is increasing, and I have every reason to expect, based on my current progress, that eventually (by that 2 year mark presumably) I will be quite "normal" and healthy in ability to tolerate and detox chemicals. The migraines are less, more easily kicked. Basically I can go places but I still avoid pesticides. A month ago we went to some friends where it was pesticided and my body kicked into this immediate diahrea; it was the most incredible thing! N said it was my immune system kicking in and that it's finally gotten strong enough to where it notices foreign things and is trying to kick it out.
That brings up a funny subject because I always figured that if I had autoimmune problems, never got sick, etc. it was because my immune system was "overactive". In reality though, apparently it was UNDERactive. This means that it was harbouring all kinds of stuff! As part of my healing, I have had all kinds of weird things come out and happen. I have had rashes, itchy places (that spread if you scratch them, don't do that!), vomiting and diahrea, etc. The most unpleasant was the months of cracked hands and swelling I endured, which we now think was chemicals coming out from my days working custodial in college. N likes to say that if the body can't find a way, it will MAKE a way for the stuff to come out! I had deep, terribly painful canyons and craters on my right hand (I'm righthanded and that's where they predominantly were, hence the conclusion it was the chemicals) that lasted for months. It was not low-fat problems, because I'm eating the same amount of fat now as I was then and my skin is silky smooth! It wasn't water, because I drink plenty of water. I'm not on city water, and I DON'T wash dishes. (I have a very good dishwasher!) So my pain and misery (along with the agony of being unable to crochet, which I adore, very stress-relieving, you should try it) were inexplicable until one day we were trying to figure out why the cracks were predominantly on one hand and not the other, and I mentioned to N about my past exposures to chemicals... then we realized!
Well, I'm out of time; it's late. As you can see though, if I were to summarize, I would say that 9 months ago I was a sick sick person who felt like a sick sick, chronically ill person who was going to be sick for the rest of her life. Now I feel like a person who happens to have some problems we're working on. Most of this stuff is on track to resolve. I can now go places, eat food, do things, and generally maintain a state of wellness. My adrenal reserve, chemical tolerance, etc. are improving, and this is improving my overall quality of life. It doesn't make up for the past years, but it does mean my future can be bright. I wish this brightness for you too.