Learning to ask for help - Week 1 of my new healing journey

It’s been 6 months since my last post and a lot has changed in that time! I wanted to resurrect my blog to help me to track my journey with my health as I have recently started working with a Naturopath who is helping me to get to the bottom of my health issues.

Starting at the beginning, here is a short summary of my symptoms:

Cystic Acne (since age 13)

IBS / Gut issues (since age 20)

Anxiety

Depression

Fatigue

In my quest to cure myself naturally, after moving to California in 2016 I decided to switch my diet to a Vegan/Plant-based diet (although still including honey). In 2018 after having a few weeks of recurring Cystic acne again, despite my vegan diet, I also committed to being Gluten-free, which resulted in a cupboard clear out of all my pastas and processed foods that contained gluten. It probably goes without saying that this diet felt really restrictive and I can only credit my friends and new boyfriend for being so understanding as I tried to heal myself. However, when another bout of acne came, coupled with debilitating stress, anxiety and fatigue after receiving a big promotion at work and much more responsibility, I knew I needed help.

Luckily, my journey into Mindfulness had led me to a friend who I was chatting to one day about my health issues, and she proceeded to recommend a naturopathic doctor to me who worked in my neighborhood, it seemed perfect! It took a few weeks to get an appointment, but it was like no doctor’s appointment I’d ever had. It lasted almost 3 hours and she dove into my full medical history; I had to text my Mum a few times to get answers to her questions and learnt a lot about my family history in the process. She also took my blood pressure lying down and standing and noted that I had low blood pressure but also that it didn’t increase much when I stood up; potentially a signal of adrenal fatigue. She sent me of with instructions for a round of extensive testing, blood tests, saliva tests & stool tests that all needed to be done at specific times. It seemed like a LOT of work at this point! It took me almost 6 weeks to get an appointment with her to get my results because she is so busy. Here is what I remember from that meeting:

1) No symptoms of Autoimmune disease, White and Red Blood cell count seemed good

2) Low Protein, Low Vitamin D, Low Ferritin (Iron Stores)

3) 2 “bad” strains of gut bacteria and low counts of good bacteria

4) Candida overgrowth (gut yeast)

5) Adrenal Fatigue Stage 2, “the rollercoaster” (sometimes too high, sometimes too low)

6) Food intolerances. Sugar, Soy and a combination intolerance of Potatoes and Grains

As you can imagine, the results were fairly surprisingly. The 2 things that I HADN’T cut out from my diet were the things I’m intolerant to! I opted for a intolerance test that gave more generic food groups back as intolerances as this showed your intolerances from birth, because the other more specific test relies on you having eaten the foods fairly recently.

So…what is the plan? As you can imagine I was keen to get healed, after feeling like i’ve been shooting in the dark for 20+ years. Dr Mach explained that as there is a lot going on in my results, she wanted to focus first on the intolerances and the Adrenal Fatigue and leave the candida for some time in the not so distant future. I agreed that it was important to not feel overwhelmed. So for now, here is the plan:

1) Remove all white and processed sugar or foods containing it (main culprits for me would have been almost daily Kombuca, Frozen Yoghurt and Chocolate).

2) Remove all Soy foods — bye bye Edamame :(

3) Consider reintroducing Eggs. I am still thinking about this, not happened in week 1

4) Take a herbal mix of Ashwagana, Eleutherococcus and Shisandra to support Adreanls

5) Take cell salts 3x a day

6) Salt my food! This is a new one for me, and one my friends found funny as i’m notorious for not seasoning my food

I’ve also been focusing this week on a few extras:

1) GET MORE SLEEP! I have kicked my dog Layla out of my bed to support myself in getting 8 hours a night. I am feeling a little better in the morning from this I thingk

2) Light movement. More time walking, more time stretching or yoga. I’m not putting any pressure on myself here. I know it will come when I feel ready

3) Eating before I go to work to help replenish protein. I’ve been making coconut quinoa with Peanut Butter

4) More diverse foods. This will apparently help my gut bacteria This week I cooked Raw Golden Beets and Butternut Squash for the first time!

How I’m feeling after Week 1: Honestly, I think I feel a little better even though it’s probably WAAY to early to feel any different. Perhaps even just feeling more focussed and less lost is helping me mental and I’ve noticed a knock-on positive effect at work. I managed a few days of 15 mins of yoga and some longer walks this weekend. So looking forward to a similarly positive week ahead!

My healing intention for next week:

1) Continued focus on Sleep and Light Movement (as above)

2) Take my own foods to work, don’t just eat what’s there because it’s free. I’m going to take my own healing teas and my own Almond Butter, as the one there is laden with Sugar!

3) Meal prepping where possible

I will keep you posted, if you have questions please get in touch!

Laura xox