I Know How You Feel.

 


Like so many other health practitioners, I became an Integrative and Functional Medicine dietitian because I had to heal myself. I know what it’s like to have a chronic illness. To be in chronic pain. To be unable to find anyone who can help.

In my early 30s I went from being a healthy, athletic mom and dietitian to someone who could barely get out of bed. I had achy joints and muscles, swollen glands, chronic sore throat and daily fevers that stopped me in my tracks. This was preceded by years of abdominal pain diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Every health care provider I met told me not to worry.

I was scared and frustrated that I couldn’t just will myself out of this mess. I couldn’t play with my kids, couldn’t run after a ball, could hardly do housework. I even had difficulty putting my kids in car seats or a seatbelt on myself. I was also weak and experiencing neurological symptoms. Many expensive medical tests and visits to specialists yielded no solutions. I lived this way for more than 8 years.

I ate healthy foods but my training as a dietitian could not solve my problems. When it became apparent that I wasn’t getting any better and in fact was getting worse, I finally decided to get educated in alternative health and heal myself. I began by studying advanced nutritional biochemistry with the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists (IAACN).

At the first training session I learned that muscle and joint pain are almost always caused by something in the GI tract. Wow! I was blown away! Obviously no one treating me had ever heard of this before. I shared it with my third rheumatologist. He was fascinated, especially since my small intestine and left hip happened to be on fire that day. He agreed to run a slew of lab work and discovered that my antibodies to gluten were off the charts. I had celiac’s disease. All these years it had been missed, despite numerous scopes by gastroenterologists.

Following a strict gluten-free diet helped tremendously but didn’t solve all problems. It can take three-five years to heal from celiac’s disease. I had extensive tissue damage that had to be repaired, I was still running fevers, and still plagued by insomnia and adrenal fatigue. This is where my integrative nutrition and homeopathic training kicked in. I did some integrative testing and found what I still needed to heal, using supplements and homeopathy to solve lingering issues.

It took a while before I was confident enough in my body to take a long bike ride or back packing trip. Today I am grateful for my health and take great pleasure in being able to hike, bike, ski with my family, go on hut trips, sleep through the night, travel without pain, have a brain that works well, and feel happy and positive. I feel so fortunate to be raising healthy kids who know how to take care of themselves - and our pets - holistically.

Today, it is a privilege to work with people who are suffering and in pain. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is to see the healing process take place in others. I love watching their lab work correct, seeing their faces light up as they start gaining back energy and pleasure in their lives, and hearing about all the activities they can add back in when their pain starts decreasing.

If you are struggling with a chronic health issue I hope my story inspires you to keep seeking solutions. I am happy to help you in any way, even if it’s just a 15 minute conversation. Please feel free to contact me.