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My Health Journey

The following is a chronicle of my ensuing journey to better health from my return from Honduras to the present day.  I’ve included details that I feel may help others who are battling similar ailments (what to try vs. what not to try).

July 2007 and through 2008:  return from Honduras to Phoenix; quickly felt a small measure of greater health due to having access to clean water and more diverse, organic food.  Attempted to self-heal with a “whole-foods” type diet; most meals involved not enough veggies, copious amounts of fruit (lots of green smoothies), and grains (whole grain crackers or bread).

March 2008:  persistence of daily symptoms (gas, bloating, cramping, constipation, low energy/fatigue) led to paying to see a PCP on recommendation from a family member, on the insistence that he was “naturally-minded;” was diagnosed with a case of severe IBS and was instructed to simply eat a more high-fiber diet and take laxatives, as needed (the first, of which, I already did and the second was not something I was willing to try).

Aug/Sept 2008:  online research led me to a colon hydrotherapist (not something I’d now recommend for someone with any type of gut infection) who suggested a local parasite specialist.  Confirmed specific species of parasite and severity of both parasite infection (ranked 3/4 presence in the gut) and candida infection (ranked 2/4) via stool sample.

April 2009:  desperation from persistent symptoms and basic lack of knowing what else to do led me to attempt 2 separate rounds of broad spectrum antibiotics, upon the recommendation of the Dr. at the Parasitology Center;  felt some immediate relief but within 4 weeks, symptoms were back and worse.  Began noticing an anaphylactic allergy to mushrooms soon after (previously ate mushrooms weekly without a problem)–antibiotics, anyone??; became full blown with subsequent mushroom consumption within 3 months.

May 2009:  married my husband (pictured to my right), a chiropractor with a wealth of nutritional knowledge, who began insisting on eating a more anti-inflammatory diet; about 60% adherence to a Paleo-like diet led to some GI relief.

September 2009-August 2010:  saw a handful of different naturopaths, all who strived to help my gut health through supplementation but with general lack of parasite/candida knowledge.  One Ayuvedic doctor recommended a diet of (I kid you not) oatmeal for breakfast and mung bean soup (daal) for both lunch and dinner,; needless to say, my symptoms were highly elevated on this diet and I did not continue treatment with her.  The most successful treatment to this point was a naturopath who put me on a gut healing protocol through Standard Process supplements; found relief here but not completely due to a lack of parasite/candida diet recommendations.  She basically said I could eat whatever I wanted and still heal, which I later learned was not the case.  She did introduce me to kombucha, which I have continued to use for gut healing.

August 2010:  husband became a Thorne Research rep and we were introduced to an anti-candida diet (finally!), which I began immediately; combined with the Standard Process supplementation, I felt tremendous relief.  Coincidental meeting of a fellow candida sufferer led me to investigate eliminating the mercury in my system; a visit to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Medical Center gave me a heavy metal testing, showing high levels of both mercury and lead.

October 2010 – October 2011:  removal of ALL amalgam dental fillings.  Then a 9-week heavy metal detox via oral chelation tablets and supportive supplementation through Thorne Research; very tough but very successful.  Followed by another round of 3-month extreme candida restriction diet; at this point I felt the most relief I’d felt since returning from Honduras (symptoms were down to weekly or bi-weekly).

October 2011 – October 2013:  wavered between various levels of commitment to a Paleo diet, sometimes 80/20, sometimes more like 20/80.  Life happened.  I opened and closed an artisan chocolates business, foster-mom’ed 2 wonderful little boys, miscarried at 12 weeks, and discovered that my less than perfect life and therefore diet/workout regimen had resulted in chronic ovarian cysts and a large mass of unknown origin growing on my left ovary.

February 2014:  Exploratory laparoscopic surgery led to removal of the benign mass and a diagnosis of endometriosis.  Decided that no cheat foods were worth the hell my body was being put through every 28 days (and many in between).

March 2014 – present:  hormone/endometriosis/guthealing protocols used for the time being —

1.  strict adherence (95%+) to a Paleo diet plus avoiding foods positive from an IgG food allergy test (dairy and eggs); daily consumption of fermented foods like kombucha and sauerkraut

2.  daily intermittent fasting (IF) with an average 16-hr fast period: bulletproof cacao around 10, lunch at 2, dinner at 7, no snacking

3.  treatment with an acupuncturist, including Chinese herbs for clearing inflammation and healing my surgery site and effected ovary (used for 4 months strictly as a post surgery/acute treatment for the endo site)

4.  diet modifications for SIBO and FM (fructose malabsoption, aka FODMAPs diet) based on the book Fast Track Digestion:  IBS by Norman Robillard; relief of most all remaining IBS symptoms and much more effective than many online SIBO and FODMAPs guides

5.  very precise daily supplementation regiment including: liver capsuleslactate-free probiotic, anti-inflammatory digestive enzymes (Systemic Enzymes by Pure Encapsulations), high dose vitamin D/K2 (10-15k IUs), high dose vitamin C (2-4g), calcium-d glucaraten-acetyl cysteinemagnesiumPerma-Clear (leaky gut healing blend made by Thorne) and a few estrogen metabolizing/progesterone boosting based on Dr. Gottfried’s recommendations in The Hormone Cure (b6, indole3 carbinolcurcumin)

At present day, my previously noted symptoms are next to nonexistent.  I am shedding excess weight put on during the trying years listed above and my most recent scan showed ZERO ovarian cysts or endometrial tissue regrowth.   I pray my experiences can help those of you who suffer from similar ailments and I send much love your way! 

***Note/disclaimer:  My healing protocol is based on copious amounts of research and constant trial-and-error attempts.  I stand by these recommendations but keep in mind, I am not a doctor and these statements are not meant to diagnose.  Any attempts at the same treatments are at your own risk.  For specific info on any of these supplements or other aspects of my healing protocol, feel free to email me for more details.