Category Archives: Sick & Tired

Nutritional Type: Eat Right for Your Body Type

Nutritional Type: Eat Right for Your Body Type

If you’re ready to shed a few extra pounds or just want to feel more energized you’ve got to check out Nutritional Typing. I’m really not a big believer in diets to solve weight issues. And if you struggle with lack of energy and fatigue coffee and energy drinks throughout your day are not the answer.

First things first…Why not diets for weight loss?
“Diets” (in the sense of a weight loss plan) tend to be generalized plans. These plans generally cut something out, like calories, fat, carbs, sugar, meat, grains, etc. From my personal experience, my own research, and stories from others I really believe that everyone does not benefit from the same dietary plan.

One person may lose 60 pounds on the ‘Atkins Diet‘ which cuts carbs but still allows higher fat foods, while another person may lose 60 pounds from a diet that is lower in fat but allows carbs. Reverse the 2 people’s dietary plans and they may lose no weight at all. If you happen to find the right diet for you, you may be able to shed the initial pounds you want to lose, but keeping off the pounds may be a huge challenge.

My solution: to the challenge of finding the right dietary plan and sticking to it is to find your Nutritional Type.
Nutritional Typing focuses on how your body reacts to the foods you eat. Some people may be very energized after eating a large plate of pasta, while another person may be ready for a nap after that same meal. Nutritional Typing can help match you up with the foods that will contribute to a healthy weight and the maximum energy for your body. Nutritional Typing is meant to be a way of eating. It doesn’t deprive you of any one food, but helps you to focus your eating on the foods that give you the most energy and help your metabolism kick in.

What about the Energy Issue?
Nutritional Typing can help you get the maximum amount of energy from your food. The general American diet is saturated with sugar, carbs, and sodium. And unfortunately for the majority of the population these don’t contribute to lasting energy.

How to find out your Nutritional Type
There are 2 sources that I think are pretty accurate Nutritional Typing tests:

Dr. Mercola’s Nuritional Typing Test is the first. This test is a series of questions you answer and as a result you are matched up with a Nutritional Type. There are 3 Nutritional Types that you could be according to this test: Carbohydrate Type, Protein Type, or Carb and Protein Combo Type. This test also hooks you up with meal plans to help you eat according to your type. Its a free test, you just create a log in. Check out this link: http://nutritionaltyping.mercola.com/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fPreTestx.aspx

The other Nutritional Typing Test is a general informational video from The Today Show that has you look at where you gain weight and helps match you to the foods that will keep you lean and full of energy. Check out the video:

Closer Look: Kefir

Closer Look: Kefir

Today I’m taking a closer look at Kefir. When you have to eliminate foods from your diet like I have had to do over the last few years, you have to add new foods back into your diet or you tend to eat the same things over and over again. One of the new foods that I have more recently discovered is Kefir.

What is Kefir?
According to Dr. Mercola, “Kefir is an ancient, cultured enzyme-rich food full of friendly microorganisms that balance your ‘inner ecosystem’ and strengthen immunity.” Think of Kefir as a yogurt you drink. Kefir itself is a grain that is gluten free and is used to culture milk to turn it into a type of yogurt that has become known as Kefir. So, when people refer to Kefir most of the time they’re referring to the cultured milk product not the actual grain.

Why eat Kefir?
Kefir is full of good bacteria, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Ancient cultures from all over the world have used yogurt type foods to cure all sorts of ailments from gastrointestinal problems, to skin irritations, to sinus and breathing issues. Modern medicine has tried all kinds of foreign substances to heal these health issues and they are now resorting back to this ancient wisdom of health and healing. You’ve seen the evidence of this on tv even; you know Activia yogurt and Align probiotic supplements. Kefir is a traditionally consumed in Russia and the Middle East.

Basically good bacteria (pre and probiotics) help to maintain your intestinal balance. The good bacteria fight off the bad, disease causing bacteria, as well as unhealthy yeasts that can over run your body. Cultured foods found in people’s diets all over the world provide these good bacterias that keep your gut healthy and therefore keep your immune system in top working condition. These cultured foods include natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, olives, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. I can’t say I know what all of these are, so that’s why we’re starting with kefir.

Why you should eat Kefir if you’ve taken rounds of antibiotics for other health issues?
Kefir is a natural source of good bacterias that are beneficial to your immune system function. If you’ve suffered from any illness that has resulted in you having to take many antibiotics Kefir would be a great food for you to incorporate into your diet. Antibiotics do help to treat various sicknesses like sinus infections, tonsil infections, and a variety of other infections, but they also wipe out your body’s natural good bacterias as well. This lack of good bacterias can make you very susceptible to another infection of the same or a different kind or can lead to a variety of stomach or intestinal issues.

After antibiotics always follow with a protocol of probiotics for a few months to build your good bacterias back up. Try Kefir to assist with this.

Why try Kefir rather than yogurt?
Kefir contains many more strands of beneficial bacteria than yogurt does. It also contains many beneficial yeasts as well.

For more detailed information check out this resource: http://www.kefir.net/kefiryogurt.htm

What if I can’t eat dairy, can I still eat Kefir?
Kefir is generally cultured cow, sheep, or goat’s milk. If you are lactose intolerant you may still be able to eat Kefir as the good bacteria in it consume most of the lactose. If you’re like me and you cannot tolerate other parts of dairy like the casein, then try coconut milk Kefir.

I know you can make your own, but I haven’t gotten that adventurous yet. I found this cultured coconut milk drink (pictured above) (So Delicious brand’s Cultured Coconut Milk) at Whole Foods. Its a little different from traditional Kefir in that this particular one uses inulin from chicory root to ferment it, but its the same idea.

How to eat Kefir?
Drink it straight. Pour it over berries or granola. Blend it with fruit to make a smoothie.

Where do I buy Kefir?
Health food stores and Whole Foods are great places to start looking. But, I’ve also found the regular Kefir (cow’s milk) at grocery stores that carry a variety of cultural foods.

You can also make your own Kefir, which is probably very cost efficient and also ensures that you’ll get the highest potency of the good bacterias. I have to admit that I haven’t tried this yet, but definitely plan on it in the future. If you want to try making your own you can buy the Kefir grains onlne from a variety of sources and most of them show you exactly how to do it.

Here are some resources to get you started:
http://www.kefir.net/sources.htm

http://rawglow.com/blog/2009/08/15/your-guide-to-making-raw-coconut-kefir/

http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/03/coconut-kefirs-health-benefits.html

Other Resources:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/08/Top-12-Foods-for-Healthy-Immune-Response.aspx

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/3238-kefir/

Delicious Gluten Free Bread

Delicious Gluten Free Bread

I have to confess that this week I’ve been thoroughly enjoying rediscovering why the American diet consists of so much bread…I mean, I can’t eat gluten so its “Special Bread” but its still bread none the less. After all bread can be made into toast, used to create a delectable sandwich, or eaten as a side with soup. And I’ve really been enjoying it this week.

If you’re like me and you are gluten free, then you know what I mean when I say I don’t take bread for granted like I used to. Because of my combination of gluten, dairy, and egg intolerances many of the premade gluten free breads are not options for me. And to be honest the premade gluten free breads that I have had are really not that great. They crumble to pieces when you try to eat them and tend to be very gritty in texture.


So, today I’m sharing my secret on how I enjoy delicious, soft, chewy bread that doesn’t have gluten, dairy, or eggs in it. I make my typical bread I use for sandwiches or toast from Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix. And can I just say that it is indeed Wonderful!

The bread mix comes with a yeast packet and the other dry ingredients for the bread (various other flours blended). You’re just required to add some sort of milk (I use rice milk), eggs (I use egg replacer), apple cider vinegar, and butter.

The bread can be made using a hand mixer and an oven or you can use a bread machine. I generally blend all the ingredients together using my hand mixer. Then I let the bread rise for about 45 minutes and bake it for 45 minutes to an hour.

I know it does take a good amount of time to make it, but the ability to enjoy delicious sandwiches and toast makes it so worth it. I really love that I have been able to buy this particular bread mix at my local supermarket and also have found it at Walmart. It makes it nice not to have to make a separate trip to a specialty store during busy weeks.

The full directions to make this bread are on the package, so no need to list them here. I just wanted to open up your gluten free world to my favorite bread. Its been a sanity saver on my diet. Even though you’re gluten free you can still enjoy piece of toast at breakfast or a sandwich for lunch. So, eat up!

Allergy Sufferers’ Relief

Allergy Sufferers’ Relief


Happy Spring! Its now officially Spring and with Spring comes beautiful flowers, green grass, budding trees, warming sunshine, and hazy rainy days. But, Spring also means hello allergies once again!


Not to be “debby downer” because despite my own allergies I gladly welcome budding plants, green grass, and warmer temps. After all I do live in Chicagoland, where winter hits and it hits hard, so I’ve been ready for Spring since December.


Some may say if you suffer from Spring allergies just stay inside. This is definitely not an option for me as I crave the outdoors. So, in this post I’ll give some basic information about allergies and how I’ve gone about treating mine. Throughout the post I’ll post some beautiful Spring photos to remind you why staying indoors is last resort to managing your allergies.


First thing’s first, what are allergy symptoms?

Allergies symptoms can be quite varied, but here are some basic symptoms:
Runny nose                                                                Post nasal drip
Sinus headache (including pressure at the base of the back of the skull and into the upper neck)
Red, itchy eyes                                                          Coughing
Sneezing                                                                     Wheezing/ Shortness of breath
Itchy nose and throat                                               Conjunctivitis
Skin rashes


Second, what are you actually allergic to? When people say they’re allergic to pollen that can be true, but isn’t quite accurate enough. There are many different types of pollen. Knowing which ones you’re sensitive to is important.

Here’s a breakdown of seasonal allergens:


Tree Pollen- If you have symptoms as early as February through as late as May, then tree pollen could be your trigger. Even before you see buds on trees up North the tree pollen from the southern states actually blows up North with southern gulf winds.

Grass Pollen- If your symptoms don’t start peaking until May then grasses may be your trigger. Grass pollen will generally begin in May and last through August. If you head outside on a sunny day and your neighbors are all mowing their lawns and you begin reacting, then grass may be your trigger.

Weeds- If your allergy symptoms seem to be the worst from June until the first frost then weeds could be your trigger.

Ragweed-
This famous Fall allergen will start to effect sufferers from August until the first frost.


Then there are year round environmental allergens you should also be aware of:

Molds- Indoor molds are present year round. But, outdoor molds peak in the damp months of Spring when the snow melts and it rains more frequently. Outdoor field molds (meaning smuts, mushrooms, and field grain dusts) are year round except when the ground is frozen completely.

Dusts and Danders- These are year round, but increase indoors when the forced air and furnaces are turned on.

You may have one of these allergies or, like me, you may have them all.
So, how do I treat my allergies and their symptoms? Other than just taking typical allergy medicines there are lots of short term (quick fix) treatment options you can implement to reduce your allergy symptoms and many of them are free.

Here are the Top 10 things that have helped me to reduce my allergy symptoms:

1. Don’t sleep with your windows open. I love having fresh air blowing through my home, but keep them closed especially at night. Leaving them open, especially at night, allows pollens to blow through your home all night while you’re laying there breathing them in.

2. Keep your home clean. Stay away from antibacterial cleaning products (Lots of research backing this one up, but that’s for another post. Trust me on this one.). Vacuum, dust, and wet mop your home often.

3. Protect your bedding with allergen/dust mite protecting covers. Most allergist will recommend that you get these covers for your mattress, comforters, and pillows. If you can only afford to get covers for one item get a cover for the pillow you sleep on. It makes a world of a difference.

4. Wash your bedding often. Wash your sheets and blankets in hot water to kill mites and get rid of pollens and danders that you’ve brought to bed with you. I’ve found that even if I don’t get around to changing my bedding as often as I should, if I change my pillow case, even that makes a huge difference.

5. When my allergies are worst (late Spring through late Fall) I have found that showering or at least rinsing off in the shower before bed has made a huge difference for me. When pollens are at their peak and you’re outside, you’re collecting all those pollens on you hair, skin, eye lashes, and clothing throughout the day. Then when you go to bed, you’re taking all those pollens to bed with you. Showering at night helped me even more than allergy medicines last Summer. Try it!

6. Change all your clothing before going to bed. For the same reason as #5. Your clothes gather pollens and danders throughout the day. If you go to bed wearing that clothing, you’re bringing all those allergens to bed with you.

7. Use a nasal rinse, like the Netti Pot often during your peak allergy seasons. I know I’ve posted about the Netti Pot before, but it’s really been a life saver for me. During peak seasons try using it at least 2 times a day. It is a bit of a hassle, but really helps to relieve sinus pressure, congestion, and sinus headaches. I know the idea of saline liquid going through your nose isn’t really appealing and feels odd, but try it more than once. The first time its really strange, but I’ve gotten used to it. You can pick up a Netti Pot kit at the drugstore. Click here to see my previous post on the Netti Pot.

8. Wash your throw blankets and pillows often in hot water. You may forget about your pillows on your couch and those blankets you love to curl up with while watching a movie, but they collect dust, dander, and pollens just like your bedding. So, don’t forget to wash these often.

9. I discovered Roobios loose leaf tea (red tea) a couple years ago. I’ve found that high quality Roobios loose leaf tea relieves my allergy symptoms. It especially helps to relieve wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest.  It has to be high quality, or I’ve found it doesn’t really work. I buy my Roobios Tea online from Our Special Tea.

10. Buy an air purifier for your home. Get one that has a a true HEPA filter (a HEPA type filter is NOT a HEPA filter) and a carbon filter. Run the purifier especially in your bedroom at night to reduce your symptoms. I have a Holmes air purifier that I use often.

Long Term Allergy Treatment:
Because I have so many allergies and they are pretty severe, I’ve turned to long term treatment for my allergies by doing immunotherapy allergy shots. The shots work by gradually introducing the allergens back to your body to reduce your body’s reaction to the allergens. They are not a short term fix. I have completed one full year of the shots and this year I’m feeling much better than last year. If you’d like to get more information on immunotherapy allergy shots click here for a link to my allergist’s website.

I hope this information will help you to manage your environmental allergies and their symptoms so that you can enjoy the great outdoors this Spring, Summer, and Fall and be comfortable indoors during the Winter. Just remember there is more that you can do to manage your allergies than just taking your typical allergy medicine. Here’s to beautiful Spring days!


Sick & Tired: Hypothyroidism

Sick & Tired: Hypothyroidism

I decided to do this post giving some very basic information about hypothyroidism, with a little info at the end about its link to fibromyalgia, out of my heart to see people that are Sick & Tired of being Sick & Tired possibly narrow down what may be going on in their bodies.”

“It (hypothyroidism) is often seen in people who suffer from multiple allergies, immune disorders and chronic fatigue,” says Dr. Mercola. Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/01/02/temperature-regulation-for-thyroid-testing.aspx

(Me and my very supportive through all this hubby, Matt)

My Experience with Hypothyroidism:
I’m being really transparent here in hope that this may point someone to what may be causing their own Sick & Tired experience. I have a type of hypothyroidism called Hasimoto’s Thyroiditis. Its the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S.

When I was 20 years old my family doctor discovered that I had hypothyroidism. I had gained weight unexplainably, so she decided to run the standard blood test to determine if my thyroid was underactive (hypothyroidism). The results came back positive, so she put me on Cynthroid (Levothyroxine), the standard medication for those with underactive thyroids.

My weight seemed to normalize and I felt better for a while, but within 2 years I was more sick than ever.

My Symptoms Included:
-Extreme Fatigue
-Muscle and joint pain
-Mind Fog (felt like I was walking around in a daze)
-Weight Gain
-Dry Skin (it almost had a more gray under tone look and just looked unhealthy)
-Thinning Hair (that changed texture, one of the reason I hacked it into a short bob)
-Cold fingers and toes (even when it was warm out)
-Intestinal Issues
-Low body temperature
-Unexplained Muscle tension (even if I wasn’t stressed)

Proper Testing:
I went to my family doctor and she ran the standard thyroid blood test and she said that my levels were normal and there was nothing wrong. With my list of symptoms above, needless to say, I begged to differ. Thankfully God has given me a persistant spirit (in a good way) and I generally don’t just accept answer from people because of letters at the beginning or end of their name. I’ve learned that I know my body better than anyone and I knew something wasn’t right.

I started seeing a holistic doctor who upon hearing my symptoms said that it didn’t sound like my thyroid was working properly. He told me the standard test most doctors run for thyroids only tests 2 to 3 of the 7 items they need to test to see what is fully going on with the thyroid. The 7 panel test he ran found that the thyroid was still not functioning properly and showed the specific type of hypothyroidism I have, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Treatment:
He prescribed a natural thyroid replacement compound that is a natural hormone to the body. Its actually derived from pig thyroid (sounds gross, but this is natural to the body, pig is close to human makeup, verses a foreign agent to the body like Cynthroid). There is a similar drug makeup on the market called Armour.

He also suggested I go on a gluten free diet, which I did right away…no last meal loaded with bread, pasta, and pastries for me…I just wanted to get better asap!

Results:
Within a few months almost all of these symptoms disappeared! Most importantly I had my energy back, my muscle and joint pain disappeared, I’m generally not as cold as I used to be, my hair and skin textured went back to normal, my intestinal issues improved, my weight regulated, and I was able to think clearly (no more glazed over feeling).

Hypothyroidism and Other Health Issues Linked:
Many holistic and natural doctors are now discovering that Hypothyroidism is linked to other health issues, maybe even the root of them. The newest one I was really interested to hear about was its link to fibromyalgia. If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia please read this linked article http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/26/dr-john-lowe-on-thyroid-disease-part-1.aspx

Sources:
-My personal experience
-http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/02/Many-Symptoms-Suggest-Sluggish-Thyroid.aspx
-http://www.medicinenet.com/hashimotos_thyroiditis/article.htm
-http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hashimotos-disease/DS00567

The Sweet Stuff and Your Weight

The Sweet Stuff and Your Weight

I’m wordy again today, but I’m hitting a topic that you’ve got to know the facts about! Did you ever wonder why people who continually drink diet sodas often seem to be overweight?…then read on. I noticed this through pure observation when I was really young, which is why I’m fascinated by this research.
Let’s get the facts and stop letting advertising campaigns educate us about what’s good for us.

Sugar has become the villain in today’s diets and artificial sweeteners have become a hero to dieters everywhere.
More and more research and studies are exposing the truth about artificial sweeteners, showing they not only contribute to weight gain, but can cause a whole world of health issues.

The Problem We’re Trying to Solve:
We as a society (I’m definitely included) love sweet foods, juices, sodas, yogurts, desserts, cereals, etc. But, we don’t like the negative side effects that consuming excess sugar has on our bodies. Side effects such as weight gain, diabetes, elevated triglycerides (leading to heart disease), suppressed immune system, etc. So, we look for ways to still indulge in the sweet taste, without these terrible side effects…thinking that we can have our cake and eat it too.
source: http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/sugar.htm

Real Sugar:
According to a series of experiments done at Purdue University and published in Behavioral Neuroscience, when you consume real sugar (from foods such as fruit, table sugar, honey, real maple syrup, etc.) your body connects and anticipates the caloric load that comes from eating these real sugars and it revvs up your metabolism.
source: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1711763,00.html

According to various research studies and written about by Andreas Moritz (naturalnews.com ),

“The body has a self-regulating mechanism, a kind of thermostat that measures the amount of energy (or calories) it can obtain from a particular meal. When your body has received enough energy from the food you have eaten, then your mouth, stomach, intestines, and liver send messages to the brain that all energy requirements have been met. Subsequently, your nervous system secretes hormones that stop your desire for more food. This point of saturation is essential for your wellbeing, for without it you would continuously want to eat and never feel satisfied.”

The problem is we eat too much sugar and require our foods to be sweeter than our ancestors ever did. According to Dr. Hubber, healthyalterego.com, if you look back to 1910 the sweet foods that people consumed were mostly from natural sources like fruits. Even table sugar was not highly used. Our problem today is that we eat far too much sugar. Our tolerance for sugar has risen; we need/expect our food to be sweeter.

Artificial Sweeteners:
To solve this dilemma (wanting the sweet taste without the negative side effects) many people have turned to artificial sweeteners. This includes anything that’s labeled diet, sugar free, or products that contain sucrolose, aspartame, saccahrine, NutraSweet, Sweet ‘N Low, Neotame, Splenda, Equal, etc.

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners
Why Artificial Sweeteners Make you Fat:
Dr. Huber (healthyalterego.com) summarizes all the research and science stating,

“Translation: fooling the body with excessive sweeteners resulted in increased calorie intake at subsequent meals as their appetite was stimulated, increased weight gain and fat deposits, lowering of metabolism so fat burned less efficiently.”

Basically, artificial sweeteners never satisfy your body’s craving for calories and cause you to just crave more. That’s not so good for those trying to loose weight by eating these substitutes, but is really good for the companies making these “diet” foods and drinks because you’ll eat more and more of them.
other sources: http://www.naturalnews.com/022785.html
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1711763,00.html

The Other Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners:
You can look through all these sources to see the details including how these items scooted their way past the FDA, but here are the basic facts.
Aspartame (and the sweeteners made from it, phenylalanine) are especially dangerous as they damage the central nervous system. Some of the health issues they cause include migraines, fuzzy thinking, changes in behavior, depression, seizures, visual disturbances, gastrointestinal reactions, joint pain, fatigue, etc. Aspartame is the cause of over 75% of adverse food reactions reported to the FDA.

Other artificial sweeteners can cause cancers, testicular damage, negative effects on baby of a pregnant woman, and much more.

sources: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/31/aspartame-update.aspx

http://www.naturalnews.com/022785.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/13/Artificial-Sweeteners-More-Dangerous-than-You-Ever-Imagined.aspx

What to do?
So, you feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place? You don’t want to eat sugar because you’re watching your weight, are prone to diabetes or candida overgrowth, but obviously these artificial substitutes are not a better option.

I’ve personally noticed that when you eat sugar, your body craves more. One thing to do is to fight the cravings and just not give in. I crave sweets, but for me its especially chocolate. With my restricted diet, unless I make sweets from scratch I often cannot eat them. I satisfy my craving, by keeping a bar of high quality dark chocolate on hand. When I crave sweets, I’m shocked that a small piece of this high cocoa content (less sugar than lower cocoa content chocolate bars) bar often satisfies my craving.

Find a way to satisfy those intense cravings, that works for you. Such as:
-Fruit, its sweet and natural
-Indulge in what you crave in smaller amounts
-Real soda but a small amount

Another option is the natural sweetener that’s been used for centuries called Stevia. You can find it in the health food section of your grocery. Its made from a leaf and contains no sugar and its natural (not man made, but found in nature).


Another option is Agave Nectar. Made from the agave plant, its also a natural product. It contains sugar but has a lower glycemic index (good for those watching weight or those with diabetes).

I hope this will encourage you to know what you’re eating before you eat it. The sources I’m linking to in this article are just some of many that are out there supporting these facts.
Still confused about what to eat and not eat? My general rule of thumb is, eat real stuff…ingredients made by God, not a scientist. Eat what you love but in moderation.

Have a good weekend!

Other sources:

http://www.splendaexposed.com/

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=4271246&page=1

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/96849.php




Sick & Tired

Sick & Tired

I’m a little long winded today, but I think it’ll be worth the read. I seem to keep meeting people that have very similar health stories to mine. So, I thought I’d start a segment as a resource specifically for people who are having difficult health journeys. You can see my full story in the “Who is Madindy?” page.

Have you seen a hand full of doctors or specialist who have never told you the cause of your health issues, but just prescribe more medications to treat your symptoms? (see my story)

When you go in to see a doctor do they pull out your huge medical file and say “wow, you’ve got a lot going on here”? (like that’s comforting…and yes, I’ve had multiple doctors respond to me this way)

Do your friends, family, or maybe even your health care professionals say that you may just be a hypocondriac/ it’s all in your head? (yep, I’ve had many people suggest that as well)

Are you so sick and tired of being Sick & Tired? (that’s why I didn’t stop searching for better ways to treat my health issues)

Are you tired of taking prescription drugs that continually get pulled off the market or cause more than undesirable side effects? (been there, done that)

Do you just keep thinking, there has to be a better way to manage my health? (hence my journey toward homeopathic/ holistic/ natural healthcare)

I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone! Since I started to begin talking more openly about my health struggles a few years ago and starting this blog at the beginning of this year, I’ve met more and more people that have a similar and some almost the exact same combination of seemingly random health issues that I have.

In this segment, Sick & Tired, I’ll give suggestions for different avenues to managing your health.
*Disclaimer: Please always seek a  medical professional’s advice before implementing any new health care plan, diet, or supplementation plan. I don’t claim to be a medical professional, just someone who wants to share my own journey toward a healthier life.

Here is my first piece of advice for someone experiencing a variety of health issues, and despite seeing many doctors, their health seems to keep spinning out of control (new symptoms, medications don’t seem to solve the issue, just mask it’s symptoms):

Find a medical professional that you trust who you can work with.
In my own journey I saw your typical family care practitioner, who referred me to a hand full of specialists (gastrointernologist, standard allergist, pulmonologist, dermatologist, etc.). I’m sure there are good standard medicine practicing doctors out there who truly do help people. But, I have to say, that was not my experience! After years of treatment (15 years), all my health issues were managed through a meal full of prescriptions…only managed, but never solved.

It wasn’t until I began doing my own research, through the help of my husband (reading a lot online), talking with chiropractors, talking with friends with similar issues, and reading a lot that I began seeing other ways of managing my health. I began seeing a holistic M.D. (http://www.meta-ehealth.com/site/office/practice.jsp), who works with people who have allergies and other chronic health issues. This was the first time a doctor asked me to hear my full medical history, according to how I’ve experienced it and he said “your story is very similar to so many others I’ve heard.” Its been a long journey, but through proper testing techniques and one doctor looking at the whole picture, I have experienced true progress in my health. I now use not one prescription (not even a maintenance inhaler, and I have asthma). I manage my health through diet, immunotherapy allergy shots, and a supplement program. I’m not 100% yet, but am 10 times better than I was 2 years ago!

I encourage anyone with similar issues to find a holistic/ naturopathic/ natural/ homeopathic doctor who treats people with chronic health issues. A great way to find one in your area is to go into your local health food store and ask if they know of any local holistic doctors. Talk openly about your health struggles and you’ll be surprised at others who have similar issues that may have some great local resources (I found people I had known for years had some similar issues, I never knew about until I began talking more openly).

I found a doctor through friends that has a great online resource community, Dr.Mercola. He tends to be controversial within the medical community, as he exposes a lot of flaws in standard medicine, but I’ve found him to be a great resource.

My biggest piece of advice is don’t give up on your journey toward a healthier life! Its not an easy road to walk, so find others who will support you (friends, family, others who can relate) and pray with in your journey. And remember its a journey.
Hope you’ll keep following for more tips!