Hey Friends! I feel like it has been a while since I’ve written and the truth is, it has! So many post ideas have been flooding my mind, but I haven’t written mostly because I haven’t been feeling very well.
Everything hurts lately. My joints are especially achy which is such a joy (insert sarcasm here)! Aside from the aches, my energy level has been ridiculously low and unstable. I will have a few hours where I feel somewhat normal as far as energy, but then I crash and I crash HARD the rest of the day.
This past weekend was a perfect example. My husband, son, and I traveled to Cape Cod to spend time with family. Specifically, we were there to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday. Naturally, this is the time when I want to be feeling my best so that I can partake in all the activities and really celebrate the way I believe she deserves to be celebrated.
But no, I slept a good portion of the weekend. My body was so fatigued and tired, finding energy felt nearly impossible. I also had a wicked headache and body aches that knocked me down more than I was planning.
Now, some of these symptoms could have been my body detoxing from the new supplement regimen I am on (more on that in a minute…). I had just started it the day we arrived on the Cape, so my body was probably trying to adapt to the newly introduced supplements. Nonetheless, I was not the life of the party (not that I ever am as a HSP!), and it really disappointed me. I wanted to have a great time and sadly, I was out of sorts the entire time I was there.
My mind then goes into overdrive worrying about what people are thinking about me. I fear that people are assuming I am lazy, moody, or worse yet, making the symptoms up. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. So let’s get into what is going on in my body, shall we?
Functional Medicine Results
So, I learned that I have several things happening across multiple systems in my body that have me imbalanced. I’m not even sure how to consolidate everything into an organized summary, but I will try my best to break things down.
First, I have gut dysbiosis. In a nutshell, this means that my gut’s micro biome is out of whack. I have bacterial overgrowth, candida, and imbalances of my gut bacteria which could be contributing to my bloated belly. I can’t even tell you how many times people have thought I was seven months pregnant due to this bloating. My mom recently commented that my belly was looking quite bloated while I was wearing a flowy dress that I wore to try and hide my distended stomach. Embarrassing, right?!
In addition to these, I have “leaky gut” where toxins and bacteria are able to “leak” through my intestinal lining directly into my bloodstream. All of these factors alone are enough to make someone feel tired and out of sorts. The good news? They are all treatable.
Next, I found out I have a parasite which can cause tiredness and can intercept nutrients during digestion that my body actually needs to function properly. So it’s time to kill off that freakin’ thing ASAP!
I learned that having parasites and candida are actually very common but many people don’t know they have it because “regular” doctors don’t run in-depth tests the way a functional medicine doctor does. These practitioners want to get to the WHY of symptoms, not just the WHAT. Thank goodness!
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. I also have mitochondrial dysfunction, so it’s time to get those puppies working properly again. They are the powerhouses of each cell that ultimately give my body energy. When they are down, so am I. We aren’t entirely sure why my mitochondria are struggling, but hopefully they will get better.
I also learned that I am experiencing adrenal fatigue. My adrenals are overstressed and in desperate need of support, so I will be addressing that with holistic remedies and herbs. Adrenals are often affected from high levels of stress or the body’s difficulty detoxing, which we know is very much the case for me.
And finally, what seems scariest of all to me, is I have several heavy metals/chemical substances poisoning me. I was literally off the charts for MTBE/ETBE levels in my body. MTBE, what the heck is that!? I had no clue, but soon learned that it’s a gasoline additive. Say what? Why the heck was that in my body? I don’t drink gasoline (gross!), I don’t hang out at gas stations or around cars/trucks (why would I?), and I live in a suburb of a city, not in the city, so how is this wreaking havoc in my body?
Well, it is commonly found in groundwater which is then used as drinking water/bathing water. Whoa! My mind quickly got defensive and thought, “But, I’ve been using a Brita filter for all of my drinking water! I’ve been taking precautions.” Nice try, Wendy.
My functional medicine doc informed me that filters like those in Britas, known as carbon filters, are NOT strong enough to filter out most chemical pollutants found in water. They mostly target chlorine in water sources.
If having MTBE in high volumes wasn’t enough, it turns out, I was also overloaded with pesticides, a chemical found in styrofoam and plastics, bleaching agents, and a few other scientifically, too hard to pronounce chemicals (like the one found in french fries). Whoa again! Why are all of these things in my body?
Two reasons: 1) Because my body is so out of whack, it hasn’t been detoxing these chemicals normally. Instead, they are saturating my insides. 2) I am living in a toxic environment. I haven’t been mindful about avoiding exposure to these things. I never gave it much thought, actually.
Sure I have read news articles about the dangers of plastics leaching into foods and beverages, but I never actually thought it could harm me. Boy was I wrong!
So now I have a journey ahead of me to detox and rid my body of these things and to restore its natural balance. I also have to start being more conscientious about what I choose to expose myself to.
I had already started weeding out toxic substances in my home (read about that here), but now I have more reason than ever to make this a full lifestyle change! I would encourage anyone reading this to please think about their exposure too. Your health depends on it!
So what about Lyme Disease?
Going into my doctor’s appointment this week to learn if I had Lyme disease, I was convinced that was exactly what was causing my body to feel the way it has been for the past seven months. Going down the Lyme checklist of symptoms, I was matching up to just about every one of the symptoms! It had to be Lyme.
Furthermore, in the past few weeks, it seemed like everywhere I went, I would overhear conversations from other people talking about ticks and Lyme disease. I believe there are no coincidences, so I took it as a sign. Additionally, it wouldn’t be far fetched to have Lyme since I live in the #1 state for tick-borne infections and I am often playing outside in some way.
Years back, I was taking weekly trail runs through state parks with my dog (who had Lyme disease). While I didn’t remember a tick bite other than some from my childhood, I knew Lyme could be contracted without the tick bite being known.
So, I sat at my doctor’s desk as she reviewed my test results. Negative. Negative. NEGATIVE. No Lyme, no co-infections. Wait, was I hearing this correctly? No Lyme? How could that be possible? I feel so freaking lousy and every symptom seems to be getting worse, but it’s not Lyme!? I started to cry and said, “I’m so sorry that I’m getting emotional about this.
I am so blessed and lucky that this isn’t Lyme because I know that can be a long, awful battle, but I’m scared because now I still don’t have any answers to why my body is feeling this way.” The doctor sympathetically handed me a tissue and completely understood why I was feeling despair. She validated that not having a concrete answer is agonizing and so frustrating.
But then something worse happened. She said that one of the tests might not be very accurate because she wasn’t sure if my body even produced a certain type of antibody needed to show up on the specific test she ran. So why wasn’t I tested originally to see if I produced those antibodies before even doing that specific Lyme test?! Now, after the fact, she wanted to test me for that.
So, she also ordered several more tests to look for answers. This time, more autoimmune conditions are going to be ruled out along with a full view of my metabolic profile. So, I’m back to the drawing board of trying to figure this whole thing out.
Where does that leave me?
So, for now, I’m on a hefty supplement regimen to address the imbalances and other ‘nasties’ happening in my body and we will see if that does the trick. I’m also back to my strict gluten free, dairy free lifestyle I followed for several years before my pregnancy.
So far, almost a week in, nothing has noticeably changed. The aches are worse than ever, but I wonder if that could be my body detoxing and squeezing the toxins out of my muscles, joints, and cells? Possibly. Time will tell, I suppose.
In the meantime, while I continue to seek answers, I am counting my blessings. Even though I feel lousy, I am extremely grateful for my overall health. I know that my condition could be a heck of a lot worse, so I am truly thankful for what my body does for me on a daily basis.
I continue to journal, pray and meditate with crystals, and focus on my monthly intentions to get me through. I vowed to find answers and that’s exactly what I intend to do all while trying not to lose hope.
So please stick with me on this journey. Having your support and prayers means the world to me. Send those healing good vibes my way please.