It was July 2016 and I decided to see a functional medicine doctor here in Wichita, Kansas. Something was wrong with me and nobody could figure out what was going on. I am a strong, determined woman and I was not going to just settle for hypothetical possibilities. I wanted an answer and I wanted it yesterday.
I saw a naturopath who spent almost two hours with me. I was ecstatic! I remember thinking how awesome it was that she gave me so much time to listen to what had been going on with me. I felt like we were going to get to the bottom of this. Finally!!
Before I left the appointment she recommended I begin a probiotic daily and she ordered several blood tests. It was going to be around three weeks before I would get the results of those tests. Ugh-three weeks is a long time to wait when you are not feeling well to begin with!
In those three weeks I decided I was going to go gluten free as I figured it would not do me any harm and maybe I was just experiencing a gluten sensitivity?! A very good friend of mine who a couple of us refer to as “Dr. Trudy” was certain I had gluten sensitivity or possible celiac disease. Dr. Trudy (who really has no medical background at all) is known to have great insight, but I will have to say when it came to my diagnosis she could not have been more wrong! Right or wrong though that girl was by my side every step of the way and you know how much I love you! 😘
We traveled to Colorado a few days after my appointment and everywhere we ate I ordered off of the gluten free menu. I continued to eat dairy as I did not think I had an issue with dairy. Overall I did not feel like I was missing out on many foods. Prior to my car accident I had trained for a fitness competition and my desire for breads decreased, so I was okay with the sudden diet change. Colorado was a blast but the majority of the days I was putting my “game face” on for my family. I really was not feeling well. I was fatigued, had headaches, and my muscles and joints ached. I was not about to ruin our family vacation so I pushed through.
Three weeks later I had my follow up appointment with my doctor to discuss my test results. I found out I had multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies (weird since I eat so healthy), had a sluggish thyroid, and had many “food sensitivities”. This explained some of my symptoms, while other symptoms were chalked up to be both “peculiar” and “likely hormonal”. At that appointment I heard the word “peculiar” around 8-10 times. Peculiar as in you have never seen this before?! Fine.. but just tell me that!! Let’s not just keep saying that word and move on to the next symptom.
And I will do a whole entire blog on the “likely hormonal” diagnosis because this gets tossed around way too damn much. What does that even mean?! I have encountered 50 plus women who say they were told this as well and I am tired of it! That is not a diagnosis and it is NOT normal! (Sorry for the tangent!)
Back to the appointment….. So what exactly is a food sensitivity? A food sensitivity, also known as a delayed food allergy, manifests in many different ways as they can affect any organ system in the body and can take from 45 minutes to several days for symptoms to become apparent. The delayed onset of symptoms involved in food sensitivities make them a difficult puzzle to try to solve. Multiple times food sensitivities go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Food allergies cause an IgE immunologic response, while food sensitivities cause a response via white blood cells, IgG and IgM antibodies, and in C3 and C4 levels.
The immune system identifies foods and food substances as foreign objects and initiates an immune response triggering immune cells to attack. Chemicals such as histamine are released from immune cells to destroy invaders and then tissues become inflamed and damage occurs leading to symptoms.
How does one develop these is still being researched. Currently we know poor digestion, an imbalance of gut flora, chronic stress, genetics, overexposure to chemicals, and immune system overload play a part in developing food sensitivities. So did my breast implants alone cause this?… likely not, but they did cause issues with my immune system as well as the obvious toxin overload, so they were a contributing factor for sure.
In attempt to correct food sensitivies one must eliminate the offending foods for 3 months. They can then re-introduce the foods one by one. You then have to wait a minimum of 3 days before eating that same food again or another offending food. This way if symptoms develop you can pinpoint the trigger. Okay, pretty simple. I can easily cut out a handful of foods.
I then received my list of food sensitivies. 😫😫😫 My beloved chicken. Dairy?! Asparagus and broccoli?! I remeber thinking… Oh boy-this may be a bit more difficult than I imagined. On average I was eating chicken once a day but sometimes I was eating it 2-3 times! Chicken was such an easy food to prepare and I LOVED it. I cooked it overnight in a crock pot and in the morning I would have 8-10 servings of chicken ready for the week. Some have said food sensitivities can be caused by overconsumption… I am not quite convinced about that. I was sensitive to several foods that I NEVER consume, so I am still researching this topic. #researchfreak
Winner winner no more chicken dinner…..
I survived going actually longer than 3 months without eating chicken. After the first couple of weeks I was okay with it. I have learned to love salmon, sushi, bison, and other sources of protein. Currently I am not 100% back to my normal so I have not added chicken back into my diet quite yet. Healing does not occur overnight and unfortunately likely due to long term oral birth control pill use, NSAIDS (due to my ankle injuries), my breast implants causing immunity issues, and offer factors my gut and immune system is still a work in progress. It has improved tremendously though! I am hoping by the end of the year I will be able to eat any and all foods without any issue. Will I ever go back to eating chicken multiple times a day?… the answer is no.
I am unsure if my outlook on life has always been this way or if the past couple of years has intensified my outlook. “YOLO” is my new motto that goes along with my signature duck lip/peace sign look. Don’t ask me why I take pictures this way… I really don’t know other than I just don’t take life too seriously. I enjoy life! I enjoy being goofy, silly, laughing etc. And you should too! I laugh at myself on a daily basis. Whether it’s because of the jokes I make (I am pretty hilarious 😂), the silly faces I make, if I stumble while walking (I can be clumsy), or if I make a mistake…. laughter is the best medicine.
The below photos are a representation of my summer 2016. Enjoying the ride!