On June 23, 2015 I was finally diagnosed with Celiac’s disease and Hashimoto’s thyroid disease. Approximately 6 years prior, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and Endometriosis after having chronic UTI’s (urinary tract infections) for 5 years (I’m talking once a month here). I was placed on a low dose antibiotic for 18 months to help with the UTI’s. My urologist told me that my body was just in a cycle and it was used to getting the UTI’s that I needed to break the cycle by taking antibiotics every night for 1 year or more to break the cycle. Unfortunately I had no idea how to properly take antibiotics or how they would effect the rest of my already depleted body.
A very quick synopsis of my medical history: From as far back as I can remember I was never as energetic as the other kids. After 3-4 trips per week to the nurses office, at about 10 years old, I was finally diagnosed with hypoglycemia. Whenever my blood sugar would crash, I would reach for some candy or drink something sweet in order to remain at school for the day. I became known as the girl who always had a bag of candy in her backpack. As long as I had a sugar high, I felt okay. Around age 15, I had a terrible bout of food poisoning that took me out of school for 2 weeks. I could not stand up straight because it felt like my intestines were being ripped in half. After that, the digestion problems started.
By 16, I was already taking reflux medication (no one looked at my diet at this time even though I was 5’10”, 120 pounds, and ate a carton of ice cream every day). I was also suffering from stress fractures (I was a runner) and insomnia.
By age 18, the UTI’s started as well as IBS, Depression, Panic Disorder, Vertigo and Acid Reflux. Doctors repeatedly told me that I was totally fine. At 18 years old, I was on Anti-Depressants, Anti-Anxiety medication, high doses of Ibuprofen for the swelling that caused pain in my chest after my monthly (sometimes weekly) panic attacks, and Zantac for the heartburn and to protect my stomach lining from the high doses of Ibuprofen. I refused any IBS medication.
At 22 years old, I added the low dose antibiotic for the UTI’s and Valium for my insomnia and vertigo.
At 24 I finally sought out a naturopath who explained to me that after almost 5 years of being on antibiotics I had completely destroyed the lining of my organs. The pain I was experiencing in my bladder was now constant and could not be relieved from antibiotics or pain killers. The doctors told me that I would now have to be on a pain management program and take medication for the urgency. The naturopath helped me clear infections from parasites, change my diet, adjust my hormones, and heal the linings (I was still getting the UTI’s, just less frequently).
Within 4 months I was feeling better than I had in my whole life and BOOM, I got pregnant with my first baby. I was sick while pregnant but nothing I couldn’t handle. The endometrioses pain was gone, no bladder infections, and I could eat whatever I wanted. I nursed her till the day her sister was born exactly 2 years later. I nursed the second baby until January 2015, and by March 2015, I could barely stay upright more than 2 hours at a time. I couldn’t eat hardly any foods without experiencing problems and the bladder infections returned, this time with no mercy and they were completely antibiotic resistant.
On June 23rd, I cleaned out my house and pantry. I got rid of all my food that could potentially cause me pain but my children still have bagels and bread (we have a gluten zone in my kitchen that I do not go near). I quickly felt the symptoms of detox, which lasted for a few months. Between April 2015 and June 2015, I only had two bladder infections but they faded quickly with use of supplements. I lost 35 lbs. I still have pain from the IC and endometriosis and I still have problems with my thyroid symptoms and malabsorption. I was on a strict grain-free and dairy-free Paleo diet for 3 months. I cut out all nightshades and decided to embark on my Autoimmune Protocol journey three months after my diagnosis. After a lifetime of being in pain, I was ready to reclaim my life.
Fast forward three years later, and I feel better than I ever have before. I also absolutely believe in the Paleo diet because when I don’t follow Paleo, and don’t take care of myself, I feel the effects immediately.
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