As I mentioned several weeks ago, I was cutting back on my posts on the blog to help focus on reducing stress and my health in general. Recently, I completed new tests for myself, and discovered some not-so-great things causing havoc inside of my body, so I decided to share the protocol with you all today. I hope that this will help you not only see the value in testing, especially testing gut health, but also understand the impact that stress can have on the body.
If, after reading through this post, you too are interested in taking control of your health, let me know! We can get started with simple, but powerful testing options that will transform your health for the future.
Before we jump into my recent test results, I want to give you the briefest background of my health. I had an eating disorder from age 14-16, and disordered eating/over-exercising issues until I was 22. During that time, I was restricting my calories, exercising as much as possible, and stressing every second of every day. About 4 years ago, I discovered paleo, and started slowly changing my diet and exercise bit by bit, but one stressful summer in 2015 was the breaking point for my health that caused me to start having a host of digestive issues. Now, several years later, I’ve been trying everything to get to the root of those issues. I’ve worked with all sorts of holistic practitioners, and even taken courses myself to learn all that I can. I’ve come a long way and have made some great strides during that time, but that still doesn’t undo the damage that I did to my body for so many years.
This brings me to today. I have been extremely tired all of 2019 and simply not feeling good despite doing “everything right.” There are very few foods I can eat without repercussions, and I can hardly push myself to do too much of anything without feeling poorly for days on end. Last year, I completed a few tests followed a couple of protocols for my gut and adrenal health, but I decided it was time to retest and see what was going on.
I started with a DUTCH test, which is comprehensive hormone test that can test sex hormones and adrenal hormones. I mostly did this test to check the status of my adrenals, and in doing so, I found that my cortisol (stress hormone) is still very high and that my body is not clearing this excess cortisol from my body very effectively. This indicated that my liver and/or thyroid might not be functioning properly. From previous DUTCH tests dating back to 2016, I’ve made some improvements in my cortisol numbers, but they have remained consistently high, which is NOT good for the body longer term. My question was: what besides the stress in my life is causing my cortisol to be so high? Is there an internal stressor causing issues as well?
Second, I ordered blood work to assess my thyroid and liver function, among other markers. What I found is that my liver needs some extra attention, and that my thyroid looks okay for now, but might not be if I don’t make any changes. My vitamin D and several other markers were also a bit out of whack. With this information, I decided to switch to a completely organic diet, buy an in-home water filter, and start using a sauna. All of these strategies will help take some of the pressure off of my poor liver, which has to detoxify anything that comes into my body (chemicals from food, chlorine in the water, etc). I also added a few supplements to my protocol, including vitamin D.
Lastly, I ordered another stool test because most of my issues are related to my gut AND because all disease begins in the gut, so if we don’t start addressing imbalances there, we won’t get anywhere. This is where the results started to get a little crazy. Several pathogenic bacteria strains, as well as a fungal growth and two parasites popped up. Lovely. These hadn’t shown up on any of the previous tests I had taken before, but I had taken what we call a biofilm disrupter about 2 months before the test. Pathogens in the body can sometimes build a “bubble” around them called a biofilm to protect them from being eliminated from the body. A biofilm disrupter “pops” that bubble, making eradicating them easier. It also means that they will now show up on a stool test! Since I had just completed a round of a biofilm disrupter, all of these new pathogens showed up on the test, even though they might have been living in my gut for years.
So, with all of this information in mind, I will be starting a pretty intense supplement protocol with gut healing agents, eradicating agents to get the bad bugs out, and draining formulas to help clear any dead pathogens out as efficiently as possible. Sounds fun, right?
Plus, I’ll also be starting a lower carb diet for a few weeks because fungi especially feed off of carbs. I’ll be mostly eating protein, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables. This, coupled with the supplements, will last for 12 weeks. I’ll stop most of the supplements, and retest in a month afterwards.
Stress-reduction and rest will also be at the top of my list. With the parasites and excess cortisol messing with my energy levels, I’ve learned I cannot overdo anything. Even though I’m 25 and should be able to do just about anything, I’ve learned I just can’t. I can’t do cardio or super hard workouts. I can’t eat certain foods. I can’t stay up super late. I just can’t or my health suffers for several days afterwards.
Am I a bit frustrated? Yes. But am I ready to embark on this new protocol? Even more so yes!
Because in the end, I need to remember a few things. First, going through all of these health issues only makes me a better practitioner. I can relate to my clients on such a deeper level after all I’ve been through. Second, I lived a very harmful lifestyle for so many years, and I can’t expect to heal from that damage after just 2-3 years. It takes TIME to heal, and small changes day in and day out add up. Finally, this isn’t how I have to live for the rest of my life. I am only 25, so if I make changes to my health now, I can look forward to healthier (and less tired!) years to come.
So if you are feeling just like me – tired, frustrated, and not getting answers, let me know! I want to help you get to the root cause of your health issues so that we can create a target protocol just for you.