A Looooong Two Years
I imagine the people reading this blog in its early days already know me and ‘my story’, but just in case, I want to introduce myself a bit further and tell you a bit about how I ended up in interested in health and nutrition.
Growing up, I think I was a normal kid. I was energetic and happy, played lots of sports and enjoyed school. Fast forward to moving to Toronto at 21, and all of a sudden my health started deteriorating, quickly. I was working in my first ‘real’ job out of university, and I remember needing to sleep 10-12 hours a night and barely being able to be able to keep my eyes open by 11am. If you think back to life at 21, most people are out having fun both nights of the weekend and still completely functioning humans afterwards. I would dread the weekends because I didn’t even have the energy to go out with my friends. If I went out, it would take me days to recover.
I went to the doctor and explained how tired I was, and they told me I was just ‘stressed’. I had just moved to a new city, moved in with my boyfriend at the time, and started a new job – all things that could cause some stress, and therefore fatigue. I really felt like there was more to it, but not knowing any better, figured they must be right.
At the same time, I started having an insanely upset stomach every morning, and sometimes again throughout the day. Not only was it incredibly embarrassing to be literally running to the bathroom all the time, but I would be even more exhausted after the stomach upset. The doctors continued to tell me it was stress, and that I had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which I’ve since learned can be used as a catch-all for anyone with digestive issues, but that’s for another post.
As the fatigue was so debilitating, my emotional health took a toll too. I was moody and miserable, and couldn’t stop crying, all the time. The final straw came one evening when I fainted. I kept trying to get up but fainted over and over again. It was pretty scary, and I ended up going to the hospital by ambulance. But, as per my million other trips to the doctor, they couldn’t find anything wrong. After this episode though, my doctor did finally decide to test me for Celiac disease.
The test came back positive. I was allergic to gluten. “Glu-what!?” I said. I think I had heard the word before, but didn’t know what it was. Upon learning what it was, I immediately changed my diet. I cut out gluten 100%; but still, I didn’t really get much better. The upset stomach continued and I was still chronically tired. With that, I continued to be an emotional rollercoaster. I started to accept that I was just someone who had less energy than most, and would just have to miss out on the fun. I continued to go back to my doctor, did numerous other tests but all tests came back ‘normal’. This lasted for over two years!!
My family still believed there was something else still going on. My mom had heard of an alternative doctor, ‘the blood doctor’ he was known as in my small home town, who was known to really help people struggling with their health. Desperate for ANY sort of help, I booked an appointment. Within 5 minutes , he explained I had a parasite, that I had contracted about 2.5 years ago (right around the time I had traveled in Southeast Asia, and when my Celiac symptoms started). He gave me a three month food & supplement plan and almost three months to the day, my stomach was suddenly completely better. As my digestion improved, so did my energy levels, and my mood. Now, more than two years later, I’m a picture of health, am happy, and have as much or more energy than people of my age.
This crazy health journey combined with having to radically change to a gluten free diet really sparked my interest in food, nutrition and healing the body naturally. As such I enrolled in the Institute of Holistic Nutrition to get a better understanding of the effects food has on your body.
So, that’s my story! Rather dramatic, but I think everything does happen for a reason, and although it was a horrendous couple of years, I’ve discovered what my passion is which I think is an amazing thing!