This year I decided it was time to figure it out for good. I started working with a fellow health coach and she helped me get on track with an anti-inflammatory diet. I’d done this for a month at a time, but never for an extended period of time. I had been off of most grains and completely gluten free for about 2 months, when I accidentally ate a flour tortilla. I decided to go ahead and have a little more gluten the next day to see if gluten was the issue and I had an immediate inflammatory response. My upper gut swelled up overnight, my head clogged up and I couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than a few hours for several days. It took over a week to get back to normal. Now I wanted to know if this gluten reaction was something I could get over if I healed my gut or if it was always going to be an issue.
I love how things seem to come into my life when I need them. Another fellow health coach had recommended a book called “Why isn’t my brain working”. I started to read it and one of the first things I noticed was one of the practitioners (Linda) featured in a couple of the testimonials was in my area. I marked the page and decided “one day” I would look her up. It took me a while to get through the book, it is a very science based technical book and my ability to read and comprehend is very limited, generally I can only read for about 20 minutes before I stop absorbing the material. I took the book on vacation with me and found that environment helped me focus better and I was able to finish the book. The therapies that they talk about in the book had me wanting to give them a try. It is a Holistic approach, meaning they look at the whole body, specifically looking for deficiencies and hormone imbalances.
Within a few days of getting back from vacation I called Linda’s office to see if she could take me on as a client. I was set up with a 15 min phone appointment to see if I was a good candidate and I was impressed with her insights after a few minutes of talking about what’s going on with me. I was able to get an appointment about 10 days later so I’d have time to get the blood and urine tests done and she’d have the results before our consultation. I also had several assessment forms I needed to fill out and send back to her.
Today I met with her for 2 hours and we went over all the test results and my assessments, she shared with me what she saw in them. She is not an MD, so I don’t like to use the words diagnose. I have many vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which is often a sign I’m not absorbing them. I have high levels of specific anti-bodies which indicates an auto-immune response, several tests that show I have chronic and systematic inflammation. The one that surprised me was an elevated HbA1C, which indicates insulin resistance. My thyroid tests were also surprising, generally medical providers only test TSH, which mine shows I’m borderline Hyperthyroid, but when you look at the whole panel, I’m very low in all T3’s and in addition high in rT3 which puts makes me very hypothyroid. In addition to being anemic despite taking iron supplements and eating plenty of animal proteins, I’m also showing signs of adrenal fatigue. So, in other words, I’m a hot mess and although I’m doing a lot of things right, it isn’t enough.
I was happy that the list of things I should change wasn’t too extensive. We will be working first on the inflammation and in a month should start working on my neurotransmitters. I will basically be on a modified Paleo diet, I get to keep legumes for now. I need to be diligent about gluten, I’m sure I’ve had some sneak in with salad dressings or soy sauce, so I’ll have to do a bit more research on brands and restaurants, but from now on I need to be strict about it. I’ll be giving up all grains and dairy for the next few months then we’ll test to see which ones I may be able to add back in. None of that seems too difficult because I was already mostly there. The hard part will be the timing to balance my blood sugar, eating within an hour of waking, eating every few hours and adding protein to every meal and snack will be a bit of a challenge. Also cutting back on extended exercise until my adrenals can handle it disappoints me, but I know it’s temporary. Then there are the supplements, I’m already taking a bunch of supplements, so this won’t be a big change other than I’ll have to take them at different times of the day, I’m used to taking them all at once.