I know about trying to make the best out of life when things get so rough, it’s hard not to let it get you down. It’s one of the reasons why I’m writing this blog-if I can find beauty every day in life, you can too.
I’ve dealt with severe irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) and “leaky gut” for the better part of my life which only worsened to a point where anything I ate besides plain chicken, certain vegetables and certain fruits put me in a horrible digestive flare up that lasted for a week. I got to a point where I could barely function- which is no fun at all when you have young children, a husband, a job and a social life you’d like to keep. I definitely had “leaky gut” and an out- of- balance gut microbiome (the current buzzwords in the wellness world) pretty significantly. The research I read during my own healing journey discussed how leaky gut can predispose you to auto-immune conditions, but I thought it wouldn’t happen to me. After all, I was researching and reading books and trying various healing diets such as GAPS, Paleo, Autoimmune Paleo and Body Ecology Diet; taking probiotics, making probiotic food AND making lifestyle changes.
I got really serious about my digestive healing journey in 2011; but by 2014 when I thought I was making gains with my health, I came down with a serious case of hives which lead to a new diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease (also called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis). Talk about getting kicked when you’re down and just trying to get back up.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland attacks itself, causes inflammation of the thyroid, and produces thyroid antibodies. The thyroid tissue starts to break down which then throws your thyroid hormones out of whack. These hormone levels need to be “just right” for optimal health, as they are responsible for many important bodily processes. Hypothyroidism is a common result of Hashimoto’s which can cause fatigue, depression, weight gain, and hair loss, just to name a few. If not treated properly (and I’m not talking about getting a prescription for synthetic thyroid hormone from your doctor and out the door until next year), the thyroid will continue to destroy itself and can leave you feeling pretty darn miserable. It’s times like this when you can feel hopeless, but part of my own healing journey has been to adopt new attitudes-an important one being that God and the Universe has my back. That if I believe that there are answers out there to improve my health, they will find their way to me.
Dr. Izabella Wentz is just one of those earth angels who landed on my Facebook page one day. She has helped me greatly in my healing journey. I read her first book about Hashimoto’s healing, called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause, and I just purchased her latest book Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back.
Dr. Wentz is a pharmacist who herself has Hashimoto’s which also came about after suffering from myriad digestive and unexplained health issues. I related to her story so much, I literally cried. Her books are chock full research, not to mention she tried and has found success with many of her healing strategies, which focus on healing the gut as a foundation. She works with the reader to delve deep (very deep!) into their health and find healing. Izabella Wentz is an incredible pharmacist and scientist, and her passion for research, health improvement and helping others heal are very apparent.
Her first book helped me get my thyroid antibodies so low that my doctor deemed me “in remission”. And he was only giving me a teeny tiny dose of thyroid medication to support my thyroid even though my hormone levels were normal. Fast forward to lots of work stress/work hours and getting too lax with my health plan that my antibodies cropped up again, but nowhere near the levels they were when I was diagnosed. On a good note, I have “normal” thyroid hormone levels which I attribute to eating Paleo, as well as steps to balance the gut microbiome and taking supplements that I learned about through Dr. Wentz. However, taking on too much work this year, along with home remodeling projects, has really given me quite a few flare ups of debilitating fatigue and IBS. Actually too many for my liking. I am really excited to take more time for myself (I know, such a hard thing to do in this world!) and begin Dr. Wentz’ protocol to achieve even better health.
Dr. Wentz’ book is based on the premise that we are allowed to spend time taking care of ourselves and keep looking for the root cause until optimal healing is achieved. Taking exceptional care of yourself and believing that you have the power to find health and Bella Vita are huge lessons that I’ve learned and are STILL trying to make a habit. I’ve been on my health journey for a long time and I learned how I got sick. From all the DON’Ts that I lived through out my 45 years of life, I’ve come to learn many of the DO’s that prevent disease and bring about health and well-being:
Do know that you are worthy and deserve happiness and all that you desire in life.
Do try to eliminate fear-based actions in your life (fear of disappointing someone, fear of something bad that could happen, fear of not being liked, etc.)
Do believe that there are solutions to every problem.
Do treat your physical body and soul like the precious temple that it is. Take the time for it.
Do live your passion.
Do eat clean, organic whole foods (local is even better!) that came from God’s green earth, not some factory or lab.
Do listen to your body’s signals before things get out of hand. Do avoid covering them up with medication.
Do enjoy dessert and alcohol, but only on special occasions and in moderation.
Do enjoy the sunshine in moderation (vitamin D is so important in keeping your immune system in check).
Do find a fitness plan that works for your body, not what everybody else is doing.
Do avoid antibiotics as much as possible. There are many natural forms of antibacterial and antiviral supplements that can do the job well with much less damage.
Do use food as medicine, and take the time to be your own health advocate and look into alternative medical tests and forms of healing to supplement your medical doctor’s plan.
Do be mindful of what you eat, how you eat and why you eat.
Do be mindful of your relationships (work, people, etc) and the effect they have on you. Decide to stay with the relationship or not. Your well-being comes first and fore most.
Do hold onto your own power, always. Never, ever give it away to another person or entity. If you did, take it back! If you have Hashimoto’s or an autoimmune condition, Izabella Wentz’ books are extremely beneficial for all, she helps you take your power back!