In the winter of 2009 in Melbourne, I caught a horrible virus at work at the time Swine Flu was going around. I was working at a Community Legal Centre in Administration and Community Development. The office became flooded by recent storms, with mould growing on the ceiling and a heater blasting all day didn’t make things any better.
That’s when I developed persistent nausea and breathing difficulties. My immune system started to became susceptible. I ended up being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Post Viral Syndrome. For the next 8 years I saw several Doctors, Specialists and Naturopaths to find out why I wasn’t getting better.
After being diagnosed with multiple chronic disorders such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), I received my final diagnosis – Lyme disease. The cherry on the cake! ☹
My long list of lingering symptoms over the years included brain fog, dizziness, derealisation, nausea, body aches and chills, fatigue, shortness of breath, tickling sensation in my stomach, digestive issues and chronic gut damage, food intolerances, severe period pain, chemical sensitivities and not to mention all the anxiety from feeling like this continuously.
I travelled to Sydney and Germany to receive expensive treatment, as I was desperate to get better. I had my pantry full of prescription medicine, continuous doses of antibiotics, vitamins, herbs, creams, gels and alternative therapies. At one stage, I was 38kg and was only able to stomach a handful of foods at my weakest. I had a stack of medical paperwork which ranged from diagnostic test results, appointments and product receipts to name a few, which my husband could barely fit in a single, expandable file. Over the many years I was unwell, I racked up tens of thousands of dollars on my medical bills! I had every test and scan done from blood, urine, faeces, biopsies, ultrasounds, MRI, CT, saliva and even my own hair was tested!
I saw the best specialists but also the worst ones too. From the amount of antibiotics I consumed, my gut was so compromised, that I wasn’t able to absorb any of the nutrients from the good food and vitamins I was taking. I was destroying the engine room of my immune system and was giving my body the perfect environment for viruses, bacteria, fungus, candida and parasites to thrive.
I know how hard it is to get all the medical tests done, only to be told that there is nothing wrong with me and it may be ‘all in my head’. I was mentally, emotionally and physically at my lowest point and was desperate for answers.
I finally started to eat very healthy and remove all environmental stressors after becoming intrigued by the power of nutrition on healing. I especially worked on my gut health since your gut is 70 – 80% of your immune system.
None of my specialists ever asked me about my eating habits or lifestyle choices. I recovered through my own endeavours and sheer determination which lead me to a complete career change and toward my passion for nutrition and natural therapies.
Food is truly medicine. Through my long and hard journey to wellness, the underlying factor that was never addressed from my numerous appointments with medical specialists was GOOD NUTRITION AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. I believe everything happens for a reason and if I didn’t become chronically unwell, I would have never found my passion for nutrition and gut health. Everything lead me to where I am now and I am much more mentally, emotionally and physically stronger and wiser as a result.
People would often tell me that I looked well – I didn’t feel well at all! Through my discoveries and research, I realised that the gut is often ignored as a major factor in the development of DIS-EASE!
In order to grow a healthy plant, you need to have good quality soil, plenty of water and sunshine, fertiliser and nutrients for the plant to flourish. Similarly your gut should be treated the same way – good quality nutrients and water, feeding the good bacteria through healthy food and eliminating environmental stressors.
I hope that by sharing my story, I have inspired you to be your own health advocate. Always remember to listen to your own GUT instinct when it comes to health! 🙂
Wishing you all the very best of health always.