Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thyroid health

Before I found out that I had PCOS, I had blood work drawn to test my thyroid.  Thyroid conditions run in my family and I thought that it could be the answer to some of my health concerns.

My thyroid test came back “normal.”  And I was left with no answers and no solutions, again. 

I have since learned that blood work from the standard Western Medical approach looks for disease states.  If you don’t have a disease, you are considered “normal.”  Further, every year, the normal range changes based on the blood work of everyone who was tested the previous year. 

This makes blood work inaccurate to measuring optimal and functional levels.  There are doctors (mainly natural doctors) who test for optimal or functional levels for blood work.  A lot of us simply are not aware of alternative options for our health, or we assume that it is “normal” to feel tired all the time or to age the way that we age in America. 

I am protesting that notion.  The notion that with aging, I will feel tired all the time, have joint pain, forget things, and generally feel like I am a mess.  I will not accept that because I know that there are real solutions to my health needs. 

Nutritional testing is a great way to find the imbalances in your body and the nutrients that are missing to help the body heal.  When I have clients come and visit, nutritional testing eliminates the guesswork and helps me to find the root to their imbalances.

For example, if I have a client come to see me about low energy, there are many reasons why their energy could be low.  They could be lacking B-vitamins, hydrochloric acid, or Molybdenum to help with detox.  Or they could have adrenal fatigue or symptoms of hypothyroidism.  In fact, all these things could be going on at the same time (and typically does). 

The body and a holistic approach can become very complicated.  Thyroid health and hypothyroidism have individual roots to dysfunction.  For example, if the gut does not have the proper balance of bad bacteria and good bacteria (gut flora) your body may struggle to convert T4 to T3 (useable form of thyroid hormone).  Also, if your liver is overburdened with too many toxins, your body may not be able to convert T4 to T3 in the liver as it normally would. 

If I would have known this when I was 16, I think that it would have made a big difference on how I approached the PCOS diagnosis and possible thyroid symptoms.  It wasn’t until I was 25 years old that I became aware of alternative health options.  And this is when my quest for optimal health began.

I am so thankful for all the people who have helped me along the way because it has not been an easy journey.  I remember spending hours in the kitchen, teaching myself how to cook for the first time.  I remember having to use a recipe for every single thing that I made (including eggs) because I did not know the difference between cinnamon and cayenne.  I also remember hearing snide comments or jokes about what I was eating  (not that I cared that much because what they were eating looked completely disgusting while my food was like gourmet). 

However, in the past few years, it has become so worth it.  Completely worth every dollar, every hour, and every frustration.  I finally have a cycle that would be considered “normal.”  I don’t have extreme levels of pain or PMS every time I have my cycle.  And this was the last part of my health journey to be resolved.

After starting my cycle in Africa, I learned that having a cycle was not always the most comfortable or amazing thing in the world.  I also learned how out of balance my hormones were after so many years of not having a normal cycle.

I began to take a supplement that contains Fibroblast Growth Factor.  Growth Factors are amazing because they act like a signal molecule to stimulate stem cells to heal and repair at the cellular level.  Health is built at the cellular level and you are as healthy as your cells are.  You can feed the good health of your cells through nutrients, oxygen, positive emotions and thought processes, minimizing toxins, etc….Or you can gain access to new dormant stem cells through growth factors.  (you can learn more about growth factors on my website:

Through the process of adding growth factors to my healing process, my health has dramatically improved in the last year.  I began to have an amazing healing response that my body began throughout taking growth factors.  I will talk more about this in the blogs to come.

I hope that it is helpful to hear someone else’s health journey to encourage you!  I want to help people have hope for their health because I know it is possible to heal and to feel well all the time!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Africa: The Answer

I arrived in Africa and ran out of my supplements quickly.  After the first 2 months, I wasn’t doing anything in the physical realm to support my healing. 

I was working @ an orphanage and a high school for at-risk youth.  I loved the work and it shifted and expanded my heart to want to help vulnerable youth and babies who had been abandoned. 

During my time in South Africa, I noticed an increasing amount of guilt and condemnation in my thinking and emotions.  I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was going on but over time, the weight of guilt became heavier and heavier. 

I never felt like I was doing enough.  I saw the needs around me and it was overwhelming and beyond comprehension.  I did not know how the need was ever going to be met.  It felt like the black hole of never-ending need and vulnerability surrounding me continuously.  I felt completely helpless for the first time in my life.  The little that I could do every day seemed like a drop in the deep ocean of need in each child’s little broken life. 

I became very attached to a little toddler who had no father and a mother with HIV.  She also had HIV.  She was in the orphanage, sick, and with no family to intervene.  I felt such pain and hurt for her.  I spent a lot of time with this little baby.  But it never felt like enough. 

And at the high school, it would even be worse.  One of the older kids was a child solider and had came to South Africa for refuge from a war torn nation.  He had seen death and had even been forced to kill as a child soldier.  Another young man had grown up with no father and his mother was a prostitute in their home growing up.

I loved these kids so much.  I never felt so much love for anyone in my life.  But it never felt like enough.

One day, I did a Google search on the word “condemnation.”  Now, I am not the type to Google everything every day to find information.  I am cautious at best with Google search because I know that there are a lot of half-truths and blatant lies on the Internet.  But this time I felt the need to Google.

To my surprise, a Pastor by the name of Joseph Prince came up in my Google search of condemnation.  He explained in detail the Biblical stance of grace and freedom from condemnation.   

The biggest concept that spoke to me was the concept of the “gift of righteousness.”  I had never seen that term in the Bible before this day.  Biblically, the gift of righteousness is what Jesus gives a believer who turns to the Lord.  Jesus lived the perfect life that I cannot live.  Every mistake that I ever made can be redeemed and does not disqualify me from my calling.

This was revolutionary to me.  I had never understood grace.  Until this moment.  I realized that I was off the hook.  That God was actually not expecting me to solve the world’s problems.  I realized that I was actually not the answer to the well being of these children.    God was and it was already completed in Christ.

I realized that all of my life, I was trying so hard to fulfill a role that I felt I had to play.  I was in a constant state of performing for everyone and internally battling the feelings of not being enough and not doing enough.  Or worse, I was not going to fulfill my calling.

That day, I felt the weight of guilt and condemnation lift off of me and for the first time in my life, I felt free.  I felt free from not doing enough, not being enough, and not changing the world.  I finally felt like I was okay.   Jesus not only paid the price for my sins on the cross, He lived the perfect life that I could not live and fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law.  The law or commandments were the tutor to bring me to Christ.  It was Christ who had fulfilled every law and commandment that was set forth in the Bible.  It was my job to receive this gift and allow it to set me free from condemnation and not measuring up to my conscience or conviction of what is right and wrong.   

My whole life, my internal dialogue was about beating myself up for saying something the wrong way to someone.  Or, I should have done this instead of that.  Or, I can’t believe that I messed that up.  It was always an internal dialogue of not being enough, not accomplishing enough, and generally messing up every social and professional interaction that I have ever had. 

But in that moment, I felt so free. 

The next day, I went to work feeling light and happy.  Loving the kids was enough and was what I could do.   God would just have to do the rest.  That was a cool feeling.

After the first few hours of being at work, I had my cycle for the first time in 8 months.  It was also that first time I had my cycle without oral contraceptives, which increased my estrogen levels so that I could have a cycle. 

I was healed.  And the root was completely different than I had thought.  It was an emotional/spiritual root.  After that first period, I had my cycle every month, without any synthetic, or natural aid.

This was the first major shift in my endocrine health and in my health in general.  The fears of not being able to have children completely dissolved.  I knew that I was going to have awesome babies and easy pregnancies.

And having a cycle was the tip of the iceberg because the feelings of joy, peace, and freedom stayed.  I was free, more free than I ever thought possible. 

If you can believe it, there is more to my story.  I would say without reservation, however, that this was the pinnacle of my healing and the most profound shift in my life that affected my body, my soul, and my spirit in the deepest and most meaningful way.  Grace was real and I found grace in a person:  Jesus Christ.  I no longer had to live up to religious standards or rules, I had life and He filled me continuously with the life of God.  Forgiveness was a fountain that never stopped flowing in me and through me.  It was always available.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Birth Control

The only time I would have a period was on birth control.  When I was not on birth control, I would not have a period.  The cysts would prevent my body from having a normal cycle. 

At the point when I was searching for answers and a real solution, I began questioning the birth control that I had been taking for 4 years.  If I only had a period with birth control, where was the true healing?  Where was the resolution?  How would I have children one day if my body was completely reliant on birth control in order to have somewhat of a “normal” cycle?

I needed a new approach.  Thus, I decided to try coming off of the birth control.  I felt an urging, a compelling voice whispering to me to jump, jump off the mountain and find a different question to your problem and you will find a different answer.  The question I had been asking is, how can I adapt to PCOS?  The question I needed to be asking is how can PCOS adapt to me?   I came off my birth control with the idea that it would just be gone.  I would have my period and there would be no issues.

The first month came and went and nothing, no period, no cramping, no migraines.  Absolutely nothing.

I started seeing a chiropractor.  I knew that after getting my spine in alignment that my period would start to come.  I knew that it would come.

The second month came and went.  Nothing.  It felt uncomfortable, like something was stuck inside of me and could not find its way out. 

I was determined though.  When I decided that I was going to do something, I would see it all the way through.  I was going to see this through until I found the correct answer to my question, my new question.

How can PCOS adapt to me and my desires to be a mother?  I knew that I would find the answer.

The third month came and went uneventful.  Nothing.  I continued on with chiropractic and added some supplements into what I was doing.  I became more and more “granola” and focused on organic, nutrient dense food.

I was going to beat this stupid disease label.  I was going to figure it out.

The year kept on going and month after month I would expect some sign of healing, some manifestation of the cysts shriveling up and dying.  Nothing came.  7 months later, I was in the same situation but moving to South Africa to work at an orphanage. 

I liked the feeling of not being on birth control.  I liked being free of medication.  I knew that the answer was coming; I just didn’t see the change yet.

I went to Africa with some supplements and hope that things were changing.  At least my thinking was changing.  At least I had hope and I was going to find the answer, somehow and someway.  My belief and hope was that I would beat PCOS and would not have to live life with this label and with this disease.  This was a huge change and the first step towards my eventual healing.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Label

When I was in 8th grade, I started having migraines.  They were the worst, most earth shattering symptoms for an 8th grader with minimal life experience facing pain in the form of a brother tackling her to the ground, getting stuck in a tree, or falling during a figure skating lesson.

 I remember distinctly being in a figure skating lesson and my eyes starting to go blurry.  I thought to myself, “I am going blind, I am losing my eyesight…” I grabbed the edge of the skating arena and led myself by feeling to the exit door.  My skating instructor asked me what was wrong and I told her, “I can’t see!”

Through my blurred vision, I stumbled my way to the bathroom to see what was wrong.  In the midst of bumbling my way, I started to feel a queasy, uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.  At the last moment possible, I found my way to the toilet and threw up several times.

After throwing up, my head started to throb and pound as if there was something inside of me that was trying to push and force its way out.  I could hardly stand up because the pain was so excruciating.  I stared into the mirror, looking to see if my eyes at least still appeared normal or to see if they had started to fall from my face and leave me in a perpetual state of blindness.

Thankfully, my mother appeared in the bathroom to find out what was the matter.  I told her, “I think that I am going blind!”  And I started to cry out of fear…what was happening to me?

My mother led me to the car, where I laid in the back moaning and twisting, trying to exit my body so that I could escape the excruciating attack upon my body.  It was as if there was a full on assault to my body. 

When I got home, I crawled into bed, asking my mom to make sure that it was dark.  I shut my eyes and tried to sleep to escape the pain.  Sleep would not come.  I writhed in pain for about an hour before my body calmed enough to let myself slip into a deep, restorative sleep.

The first migraine was the most traumatizing because I literally thought that I was going blind.  I thought that I was not going to be able to see ever again.   I had many weird thoughts running through my brain.  However, after the first one, I was prepared.  I knew what to expect.  Every month, my body declared war on my soul and myself and I experienced the same symptoms.  Month after month after month.  At least I knew that I wasn’t going blind.  At least I knew that I needed to find a bucket and put it next to my bed, turn off all the lights, and count down the minutes of writhing pain until I could slip into sleep.

Exactly one year after the migraines started, they stopped.  My body changed as well.  I became a woman.  I was no longer a little girl.  Curves came to my hips and I felt different.  However, all my friends complained about the cramping and the PMS.  I didn’t experience any of that.  I was the only one of my friends who experienced severe migraines and then nothing. 

It was strange.  Inexplicable.  Until I went to my gynecologist and she told me exactly what was going on and why.  There was a lot of comfort in knowing why.  There was a lot of comfort in knowing the name PCOS.  Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.  I turned the words around in my mouth and in my brain, trying to become accustomed to the label that defined what was wrong with me and why I wasn’t fitting into the box of what it means to be a female.

It was comforting for the first 4 years or so.  I did what I was told, took my birth control and tried to move on with my life.  After 4 years of that, it became uncomfortable again.  PCOS became unwanted in my life and became my nemesis.  My enemy. 

I wanted a different answer, I wanted a different solution.  Surely there was one.  Surely I could redefine this issue in my life.

So in my mind, I began rejecting PCOS and what it had been doing to my body, to my mind, and to my femininity.  I didn't want it anymore.

I found people with different stories.  My first boyfriend’s mother had PCOS and she had 4 boys.   Four.  Not one, not two, four.  I was astounded.  Everything that I had heard up to that point was that you probably would not be able to have children.  

My thinking began to change as I sought out a different answer to my questions about my health and what defined me as a woman.  This was the beginning of the end of PCOS in my life and it started with my belief and my thinking.  I began to reject the label.  PCOS was not going to define me.  A disease was not going to be the definition of who I was.