If this post sounds familiar, it is because it is an updated version of one of my first posts, way back in January of 2012. Naturopathic care has been a frequent subject in my posts since then.
For about a year before that first post, I noticed a significant decrease in my energy level and suffered from constant “brain fog”. I could not seem to concentrate on anything for very long and became distracted very easily. Most people I complained to shrugged and laughed saying “it’s just age” As I had just turned 50, I found that hard to swallow!
After a complete physical from my GP (general practitioner), I was told my iron stores or ferritin levels were very low and I was put on an iron supplement, which constipated me but did very little for my ferritin levels. My hormone levels were within the normal range; so I was classified as perimenopausal. It was also suggested by two different doctors that I was suffering from depression. I also found that hard to believe, so I started digging deeper…
I found a naturopath online and went to see Kandis Lock. Although I had to pay for this visit (my health insurance does not cover naturopathic treatments) it was well worth it. She listened to my “story” and set up a plan. She suggested testing for food allergies and/or sensitivities, again at my own expense. I had suspected for years that I am sensitive to many foods with frequent bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhea. I had the option of eliminating foods from my diet to see if I felt different/better (which could take months or even years) or a blood test. I agreed to the blood test and received results within two weeks: I am allergic to asparagus and wheat protein. Now asparagus is pretty easy to eliminate from my diet, but wheat? Wheat is in everything! Luckily I am not allergic to gluten as many others are so my diet isn’t quite as restricted. Gluten-free products (which means no wheat to me) are sold in most grocery stores these days. I can eat barley, oats, corn, rice, rye, etc. so have switched my pasta and bread to those that contain these grains.
Fast forward to almost three years later…
I feel more energetic, have fewer stomach cramps, and feel healthier. At the time it was suggested that I undergo further testing to determine other foods (dairy, eggs, etc) that I may react to that were not covered in the original testing panel. I declined that option at the time, preferring to deal with one major change at a time. Now that I know how much eliminating wheat improved my health, I am thinking of undergoing more tests. I do have another complete physical examination scheduled with my GP also, so will find out my current blood levels of ferritin, cholesterol, and hormones.
The moral of this story is to recognize that your body is providing warning signals when you experience symptoms like stomach cramps, brain fog, lethargy, and low energy levels. It is up to you (and no one else) to do something about it!