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Naturopathic Care: Is it For You?

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…

For about a year before the 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 pastas and breads to those that contain these grains.

Naturopathic Care: Is it For You?

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!




Bye Bye Asthma…

In one of my first posts, I think I told you how the last time I went to my respirologist to check on my lungs, he told me the condition of my lungs had improved.  I had been diagnosed with asthma several years earlier, with my symptoms and test results getting worse each visit to the respirologist.  Since my father had recently died from pulmonary fibrosis, and my mom from lung cancer before that, the deteriorating condition of my lungs was worrisome.

At that 2012 visit, I didn’t tell the respirologist about my wheat allergy news (discovered by a naturopath) and the fact that I had been wheat-free for almost one year before this round of testing as I wanted to see if there was a change in the pulmonary (lung) function test results first.  His response to my belief that my wheat-free diet was the reason for the change in my lungs was skeptical, as not many doctor like to be told that advice from a naturopath is sound.  His comment at that time was “well, whatever you have been doing, keep doing it.  Come back and see me next year”…

Well, i just returned from the annual respirology appointment, and my pulmonary function test results were even better than last year!  In fact, the respirologist  feels he doesn’t need to see me anymore, unless my symptoms return.

Although some things, like smoke and strong chemical smells, still bother me, I know to avoid them.  I also know that daily exercise and reduced stress make a difference too; my new career takes care of that aspect…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?

For the past year or so I have noticed a significant decrease in my energy level and suffer from constant “brain fog”.  I can’t seem to concentrate on anything for very long and get distracted very easily.  Most people I complain to shrug and laugh saying “its just age” As just turned 50, I find that hard to swallow. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Getting Started

A complete physical from my family doctor revealed my iron stores or ferritin levels were very low. As a result, I was put on an iron supplement.  My ferritin level is climbing back up, but still has a long way to go to “normal” levels.  My hormone levels are within the normal range; so I am classified as perimenopausal.  It was suggested by two different doctors that I am suffering from depression.

I also found that hard to believe, so I started digging deeper.

Naturopaths can Help

I found a naturopath online and went to see her.  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. The options were to eliminate 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.

Blood Test Results

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. Most grocery stores sell gluten-free products these days.  I can eat barley, oats, corn, rice, rye, etc. so have switched my pastas and breads to these grains. 

The bonus is, since I quit eating wheat, I have lost approximately ten pounds (most of which I notice has come off my middle) and my cholesterol level has gone down from slightly high to the mid normal range.

Further Investigation

This naturopath referred me to a second one who is also an MD and so can order blood tests etc.  He suggested that although my thyroid test results were normal I may suffer from hypothyroidism. (low thyroid function)  My other symptoms of low blood pressure, fatigue, and the fact that I always feel cold fit this theory.  He suggested treatment with dried thyroid. Although I gave it some consideration, I decided to wait to see if my rising ferritin level and absence of wheat in my diet would make me feel better.  In the meantime, I went to a thyroid specialist who has suggested testing my saliva for adrenal gland function,  stools for dairy and egg sensitivities, and my blood for further thyroid function tests.  

These tests are in progress, stay tuned!

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