A holistic approach.

I am one of those people who look healthy, but on the inside not so much. Apparently, my insides are all out of wack and my body has had enough.

For years I have been trying to lose weight. I have proof of it here and here and here. But no matter how hard I worked out, how much sugar I stopped eating, I could never lose any weight. And then there were the headaches. A few years ago I started having horrible, migraine worthy, headaches that were making me miserable. Are still making me miserable.

My “regular” doctors were no help. The answers that I received were to work harder and to see a neurologist for the headaches. A neurologist? That advice was neither reasonable or helpful. I was frustrated and beginning to feel like this was simply my life. I had started resigning myself to the fact that this was how it was going to be for me. But one of my best friends snapped me out of all that crazy talk.

My friend Amy, one of the smartest, prettiest, healthiest, all around best people I know, recommended that I find a holistic doctor. She had started going to one several years ago and it changed her life. She reminded me that God had given me this precious gift–a body to take care of–and I needed to do whatever it took to take care of myself. So I started to search for a new doctor. I live in Southern California. Finding a holistic doctor shouldn’t be hard.

So yesterday I went to see my new naturopathic doctor. I was a little nervous. I had no idea what to expect. I’m all about being as natural as possible. Whole foods and yoga and healthy choices, yeah, I’m all about it. But would this lady end up wanting to do some kind of weird voodoo treatment that involved chanting and drinking some kind of weird, homemade brown stuff out of Bell jars?

Not even close.

I liked her right away. She spent a lot of time just listening to me. Typed out everything I said with a keyboard in her lap while never taking her eyes off of me. I’ve never had a doctor listen that closely before so it was a little strange at first. But I could tell that she was working on putting a puzzle together about what was going on with me.

I told her that my main symptoms–in a nutshell–are an inability to lose weight no matter what I do and horrible headaches 2-3 times a week. She asked me a ton of questions based on what I was saying. Told her about a menstrual problem in 2009 (non-stop bleeding) that led to a D&C and Ablation and because of that I no longer have a period. Told her about my occasional “funks” and my low energy levels. Told her about my stresses with motherhood, a wife that travels, and regular life crap.

And then I held my breath, praying that she wasn’t going to tell me that I needed to work out harder and see a neurologist.

She didn’t diagnosis me in a traditional sense but explained everything that she thinks is going on. Right away she said she wanted to run all of the blood work for the hormone tests that my OBGYN didn’t do when I was having my bleeding issues. So I have to get my regular doctor to order those labs for me. She actually wants to try and bring back my period. I thought that I had just gotten lucky not having one anymore, that I had one some kind of great female lottery, but she said that not having one has most likely affected my estrogen levels (hopefully the blood work will show that.) Basically, it’s like I’m in early menopause which she said isn’t good at all for someone so young (loved it when she said that) because it will be bad in the long run for my bones and heart. She put me on an herb, Maca, to help bring back my period.

She also thinks I have issues with my adrenals (adrenal fatigue), that I’m hypoglycemic (big, huge problems with stabilizing my blood sugar) which is causing all of my headache issues and that I possibly have a thyroid problem. Wow. I didn’t realize that I was such a mess! All of this, along with the hormones and stress, are all related, all connected. They feed off of each other like the perfect storm. They affect my metabolism, cortisol levels, and my weighty issues. When she was explaining it all to me I had my own little light bulb moment. The moment was that someone cared enough to put all of my symptoms together, to make sense of them all, and offer me a way to get better.

She wants to detox my liver, which is necessary for the blood sugar to stabilize. This is a huge part of my getting healthy again. She has put me on the Paleo Diet–70% veggies and a few grains, 10-15% protein, and 10-15% good fats. No processed anything, no sugar, no caffeine except for in teas if possible. I have to make a smoothie every morning with a protein powder called Vital Clear (for liver detox), spinach or kale, red cabbage, beets, a good fat, and any other veggies I want to put in there. Can also put cinnamon, water, one fruit like a pear or mango if I want (uh, yeah, I’ll probably want.) I also have to put 2 supplements–turmeric and resveratrol–in my smoothie. Basically, this will be my “medicine” every morning that I have to take, along with the Maca. I have to do this for 2-3 months, which is usually the amount of time that it takes your liver to detox.

I go back to see her at the end of August. By that time I will have my blood work back and have a liver that is partially detoxed and I should be feeling the positive effects of it. Adjusting to this new diet won’t be an easy change, but honestly, it’s the way all of us should be eating anyway! But the bad thing is that I forgot to ask her about alcohol. I’m assuming that it’s a no because of the sugars. I’ve gotta add a lot more protein to my diet and be better about what kinds of snacks I eat, always putting fruit with a protein, fat or veggie. I shouldn’t eat fruit alone because of the blood sugar spike it causes for me.

That’s probably a lot more info than you, my kind reader, ever wanted to know about me, but writing this helped me process a lot of the info. I desperately want to be faithful to this and stick with it. I really believe that if I can do this that I will feel like the way God intended me to feel.

To be continued…

One Comment

  1. debie

    Stephenie – I read your weighty issues: week ,3 and decided I needed to go to the beginning of your posts, so here I am. I can't believe how much you sound like me. Most of my life, I always ate what I wanted, didn't exercise, and maintained a decent weight, but when I hit 35 everything changed…I gained weight quickly and then steadily…20 lbs in one year and a couple pounds every year after. At age 40 I was horribly overweight, especially for me, and now at 48 I feel like a blimp and don't recognize myself in the mirror.
    I never was great at sticking to any diet or exercise program, but when I did watch what i ate, or I tried to exercise, it didn't seem to work. All the effort with very little results was depressing. About 10 years ago I realized I had a lot of symptoms of depression and my Dr. prescribed medication…no blood work or psych eval, just medicine. It seemed to help lessen some issues, but not all of them. I too would get regular headaches and occasional migraines, and i am tired all the time, and take naps. My friend has suggested a naturopathic doctor several times, but I worry about the cost, and time, and I just don't trust doctors much.
    I know I need to eat better, exercise and get more sleep at night, but I completely lack will-power, and feel foolish that I can't just make the healthy changes needed, but I also know that part of that is the depression which leaves me totally unmotivated.
    And that smoothie sounds horrid!
    Reading on and eager to see how things turn out for you…
    -debie kimball

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