I’ve been feeling pretty crappy lately. I have stubborn weight on my tummy, adult acne, fatigue, a growing amount of facial hair (more than normal- which is a lot anyway), and frequent intense abdominal pain that I think is benign ovarian cysts. My mom (who is my physician) even happened noticed that my thyroid gland was enlarged. I was in no way surprised because all my symptoms were telling me one thing: Your thyroid sucks right now!
I’m sure it all has to do with my super-high stress level and terrible diet the past few months. I produce a full length musical every year around the end of March, so for that month I’m usually a complete stress case and I eat horribly. From little cast snacks lying around to take-out food and Starbucks lattes- my body was pushed to the edge. I do best on homemade food, and when I suffer the effects of being away from my kitchen, I realize how tremendously important home-cooked meals really are.
**My problems could also have to do with the fact that I, like most others, am a very busy and tired mom. On top of everything, I’m breastfeeding and constantly trying to start new projects. I think that even if I didn’t have my teaching job and was a true stay at home mom, I’d still have these problems!**
I also got it in my head that I could eat more carbohydrates- mainly in the form of sugar and flour. There’s been a growing emphasis on the food/nutrition websites about the importance of carbohydrates. I agree with many of the points on this topic, and I know as a professional that SOME people do well eating carbs, BUT I DON’T. I’ve suffered from severe hypoglycemia and adrenal dysfunction since I destroyed my health as a vegan/vegetarian and professional athlete (dancer) 10 years ago. I cannot eat carbs. A small percentage of my diet (about 20%) can be properly prepared grains and brown rice, but baked goods, pastas, and other heavy carbohydrate foods make me crash and gain weight. My problem is that the “properly prepared” part of this carbohydrate-eating debate is essential. None of the quality sites out there are promoting heavy carb eating in the form of processed sugars and flours. But I foolishly chose to just eat a lot of carbs- mostly un-soaked, un-sprouted, or otherwise improperly prepared.
I knew what I needed to do. I needed to see a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)- which I happen to be! It’s amazing how often we are able to give others advice, but we have such a hard time following the advice ourselves. I needed to get an effective plan in place that was customized to my needs- which is exactly certified NTP’s do best.
First I completed a Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire- an analysis of 321 questions about lifestyle and symptoms. This AMAZING tool is used by NTP’s and other healthcare professionals to properly assess a person’s individual needs. What were my results?
- SEVERE Blood Sugar Handling Issues
- Significant Adrenal Dysfunction
- Liver Congestion
- Female Health Issues
- Thyroid Hypofunction
- Mineral deficiencies including iron, magnesium and phosphorus
The first step of my plan is to get my diet back where it needs to be. This isn’t really difficult because I’m constantly working on meal plans for my subscribers that fulfill the need for a good, nourishing weekly menu. Of course, all the Easter treats in my house needed to be thrown out. I hate to throw away food, but jelly beans, candy and cookies are not what I would consider “food”.
Next I created a supplement protocol for my needs. NTP’s are trained to use special testing and assessment skills to build a very specific supplement regimen. In addition to my daily pro-biotic and fermented cod liver oil capsules, I’ve put myself on a blood sugar regulating supplement, adrenal gland, natural support for liver clearing, B12/Folate, Iron and specific minerals. I’m going to re-assess myself in 6-8 weeks to see if symptoms have improved. From there I will assess if I need to tackle my thyroid more aggressively. (NTP’s are trained to follow a specific hormone protocol, beginning with blood sugar and adrenal support before we go straight to the thyroid.)
To be quite honest, it’s only been a few days and I already feel so much better. I don’t have new pimples popping out on my face anymore and I’m curbing my obsession with carbs. Once my blood sugar is regulated (because right now I’m strictly avoiding carbohydrates with a blood sugar regulation diet), I’m planning to work on properly preparing grains. I know how, I just need to make it a better part of daily life. I know my kids will appreciate this, too. Actually, I plan to start a sourdough bread challenge soon, so stay connected if you want to join me!
*This post is not intended to IN ANY WAY recommend a specific diet or supplement plan for anyone other than the author. This article is meant to encourage the use of a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) or other healthcare practitioner to develop a specific natural health plan for you.