Friday, January 30, 2009

My Personal Health Journey

I think it is time for me to share about my personal health journey. Would you like to know a bit more about me? Personal stories can get long. I'll try to keep mine to the point. But I hope that the portion I share encourages you to make good health choices... choices to give your body the nourishment it needs to keep you well.

I haven't always been well. In fact, I started my independent life with a very skewed picture of what health is. I realio trulio thought that Snickers were healthy because they were packed with peanuts. And I realio trulio thought that Tang was the same nutritionally as Orange Juice. I was a total sugar and caffeine addict, squeezing in foods laced with these stimulants at every meal. At the same time I also practiced disordered eating. I went on and off starvation diets so that my body was deprived of any consistent nourishment.

Eating like that took its toll on my body. My immune system was shot and I succumbed to all sorts of viruses. My bones and teeth were demineralizing. I had fractured bones and holes in my teeth to prove it. At 20 years old, I had joint pain, cysts and crazy allergic reactions to very odd things. I'm keeping it brief here, so I won't go into all details. Suffice it to say, I was a health-wreck. And believe me, our physical health dramatically effects our emotional health!

After a very scary wake up call, I began to wonder why my body was deteriorating so fast. I found What the Bible Says About Healthy Living and bought it on a desperate whim. All that Dr. Russell said was shockingly opposed to my previous thoughts about nutrition. Yet it all made perfect sense. I began immediately to change my eating habits. And, I noticed improvement in my health.

Fast forward four years and two babies later. I began to lose my hair. The majority of postpartum women go through a shedding time a few months after delivery. I considered this as the cause for my hair loss. But I kept losing hair. I was losing it in gobs. And I noticed that I wasn't really recovering from my c-section. I continued to be greatly fatigued. My muscles felt like lead. My brain was in a perpetual fog. I lost my ability to follow conversation and to stay awake as long as my children. And I kept losing my hair!

I saw doctors, doctors and more doctors... both allopathic and alternative health practitioners. I had tests, tests and more tests. Every doctor could tell me what it wasn't but none could tell me what it was. Even the holistic therapies made no noticeable difference. This debilitating fatigue lasted over four years. I lost 75% of my hair volume. Meanwhile, I was still eating an impeccable diet.

During those years, I had also been taking various health food store vitamins... at no small cost! I read about vitamin deficiencies but thought that couldn't be my problem since I was taking expensive supplements. I switched them out from time to time, but never saw any improvement.

Fast forward to my introduction to Shaklee. It was actually the toxin-free cleaning products that first drew my attention to Shaklee. Since I was very health-conscious, I wanted our kids to grow up in a safe environment and I decided to give Shaklee's Get Clean a try. Then I began learning about their supplements and what makes them unique. I didn't think they could be that much different than my other supplements. But I gave them a try as I did everything else that had the potential for healing.

This brings me pretty much to the end of the story. Within two weeks of starting Shaklee's multi-vitamin and B Complex, my hair stopped falling out and I began to feel alive again. Within two months I was daring to call myself normal. Could it be that I, who was so well-nourished, was vitamin-deficient? Could it be that my body was displaying signs and symptoms as a call for nourishment above my stellar diet?

In looking back, I can see that my body was so seriously depleted from my years of negative nutrition that, after two babies, my systems began to shut down. I may have been getting a dosage of nutrients from my food sufficient for the day, but NOT to make up for lost ground. And I may have been getting some help from the supplements I was taking, but I have learned a lot about why the vitamins I was swallowing were not being used by my body... I'll have to post soon about how to read vitamin labels.

I'm not claiming that vitamins will heal all diseases. I'm just sharing my story and saying that maybe, just maybe, your body is where mine was in crying out for good nourishment.

A thought to consider: Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling said, "Recommended daily allowances only give levels of vitamins and minerals that will prevent death or serious illness from vitamin deficiency. To get real health benefits from vitamins, you need to get more than just the minimal recommended amounts."

Another important consideration: "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

(By the way, I would much rather write then publicize my blog. Marketing isn't a strongpoint of mine. So, if you have enjoyed reading my posts and you know other women who might benefit from the content... would you mind passing along my link? Thanks so much for helping me!)


Anonymous said...

I had no idea you went through this, what a beautiful story! I would have laughed if you told me we used to lead similar lives, but now I see you made honest blunders about health... just like me! It's very encouraging to see that a gal like me can be health conscious like you (soon I hope!), I am so thankful you are feeling better and THANK you for sharing such a personal story with us. You inspired me and I applaud you for using your testimony to help others :)

Super Fun Mama said...

I'm going to check that out because it sounds like me. I gained 95 pounds when I got pregnant. It was unbelievable. I can't lose th weight. I too had a c-section, which got infected, and I had a hard birth recovery. Since then, my system has been completely messed up. A year ago my gallbladder was removed. Out of nowhere I was diagnosed with IBS (after they couldn't figure out why I have diarrhea every single day yet no weight loss), I keep getting kidney infections that will not go away for months at a time, serious infections, extreme fatigue, my hair is drier than it ever has been, pain, and my hair is extremely brittle and thin. I'm going to look into those vitamins.

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Super Fun Mama,

Please do check out the supplements. You can see the particular pak I take here: It contains a complete set of daily nutrients, including probiotics that would help your digestive tract.

I do think that your body is signaling its need for nourishment. However, I am not a medical professional and cannot promise that all symptoms would disappear. When I was experiencing so many undiagnosable symptoms is was definitely worth a try!

Praying for wisdom and health for you,
Amy Ellen