As a counselor, I always tell my clients I do not ask them to do something that I haven’t tried or currently do myself. It allows me to have an idea of how helpful (or difficult) something may be. One of the first suggestions I have for many people is to go see their physician for a check-up. An individual can attempt many behavioral and cognitive techniques but if the body isn’t functioning as it should, no other techniques will work as well as they should.   So after my Mom died, I knew my body was out of balance and I made an appointment to see my physician Dr. Lena Edwards. At that appointment she sent me for blood work (seven vials and other tests). Dr. Edwards’ main focus is anti-aging medicine which means she looks at how to make the body work at it’s optimum rather than just treating problems with a prescription. I began seeing her over six years ago after knowing something was wrong with my body but having two other physicians state my blood work was fine and although I was fatigued it was likely just stress. (By the way they both offered antidepressants and other prescriptions which I didn’t take). Dr. Edwards was the only one to diagnose my hypothyroid and this was because she did further blood work that the other physicians do not do and actually looked at where I was on the scale.  I personally think she saved my life as physically I could barely move. Thus, over the years she has helped me become more balanced physically with eating and supplements. Some of my friends joke that I’ve “drank the kool-aid” but I  am a firm believer in listening to your body and that many issues can be cured with changing diet, lifestyle and having a good physician.  So yesterday, I finally made it back for my follow-up appointment (had to cancel the one earlier in the month because of Nanny). The short answer to my results is I’M A MESS!!!  And here I was thinking I was doing pretty well. The reality is I also knew physically that something was going on with my body – hair was thinning and coming out (hello stress), my body constantly feels bloated and puffy (I’m gluten intolerant but that diet hasn’t been easy to maintain lately). I just felt my thyroid was off. On no, that’s not the problem! The problem is I have extremely high levels of yeast in my blood. Yeast in the blood stream can cause muscle and joint pain (well since she mentioned it I do have some), inflammation throughout the body (this includes bloating), fatigue (but that’s really hard to distinguish right now after all I’ve been through). Additionally, my  counts for my Cortisol (stress hormone) were extremely low.  So what causes all of this? We all have yeast in our intestines but there are circumstances which can cause the yeast to get out of the digestive tract into the blood. In my case it’s likely been the stress I’ve been under and not eating as well as I should. Yeah, Me! In regards to the low cortisol levels – this is our fight or flight hormone and needless to say I’ve been dealing with constant stress for longer than I truly want to admit.  And how to I get rid of this?  UGH – with a month’s worth of an anti fungal medication and a change in my diet- NO DAIRY, NO SUGAR, NO GLUTEN and NO ALCOHOL.  All of these substances help yeast to multiple so I need to eliminate them by not putting them into my body. I’m a relatively good patient – and I said I understood and that of course I will try it. Then I left the office and got mad.  How I am supposed to change my diet at this time in my life – doesn’t she know I’m grieving?  I’m a southern girl and I need southern comfort food right now.  My famous line has always been that no one has ever found comfort in a piece of lettuce.  And then I thought things through.  Isn’t now as good of time as ever to change my diet and to start healing myself from the inside out? How do I expect to heal emotionally if physically I am mess?  I’ve made changes before – you are looking at a girl who went on an elimination diet of gluten and chocolate for three months during the holiday season several years ago. I felt so much better afterwards and then I slowly added all of the things into my diet that aren’t good for me.  As I said earlier, I’ve been thinking that something was off and that I probably needed to make some changes in my diet. It simply helps to have your physician say you NEED to do it. Of course, I should add that we have a trip to Vegas planned and I will likely have to cheat.  It also helped me to have this blog and to put this out into the world. The blog title is How to Make A Life- making your life includes taking care of yourself physically and having a healthy diet. (I want to add that I truly don’t feel my diet has been unhealthy, I’ve just been eating the wrong things for me).  Monday is July 1 (and begins the month of Sheryl but more on that later) and I feel it’s a great time to start. I’m looking at it as a new fiscal year for me.  I’ll be keeping everyone updated. Wish me Luck!   ]]>

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