My own journey began with a vacation to Costa Rica that set off a string of life changing events. Once home from my trip, I noticed that I began to feel “off”. Foods that I had always eaten began causing extreme pain, often so intense that I considered going to the ER. Next came crushing fatigue making it hard to get out of bed and almost impossible to go to my stressful fashion job and work all day. At 5’6” my weight dropped down to just 96lbs and I had a distended belly that made me look pregnant. From there things spiraled downward with new symptoms seeming to pop up daily.
I went from doctor to doctor told to try antacids and PPI’s (though I didn’t have heartburn), see a therapist and cut down on my stress levels. Not one of them asked about my diet, ran stool or deeper blood work or considered the health of the microbiome.
After a year of searching for answers, my health had degenerated to the point where thinking was difficult, I spent most of my free time in bed and I now had a whole host of symptoms including a constant metallic taste in my mouth, peri-oral dermatitis, tear duct infections, styes, hives and skin rashes. I was a mess! It was unbelievable that I could have so many symptoms yet no one could figure out what was wrong with me.
Finally I found the right people who could help and it was determined that I had undiagnosed Hashimoto’s disease, could not process gluten, had contracted a parasitic infection in Costa Rica, had a microbiome out of balance and was immune compromised. All of this happened right under my nose while I was busy with my life and work.
While I was grateful to have found educated practitioners who could help me get my life back, I was quite surprised and disturbed that conventional medicine had failed me. In the end I didn’t have anything rare or exotic so it shouldn’t have been that hard to figure out how to get better. All it required was someone to really listen and run the appropriate tests. As a result of my own journey, I decided to leave my 20 year career in fashion and return to school to study nutrition.