In December 2013, life as I knew it changed forever!
My dad, aged 61, a strong no-nonsense farmer went to the doctor complaining of fatigue and shoulder pain. Three months later he died of colon cancer that had metastasised to the liver...
During that brief period, I did everything I could to find ways to support his health and immunity; my first instinct was to look to food.
The experience of losing my dad changed the way I thought about my own health and emphasised the importance of prevention. I was driven to learn as much as possible about nutrition, its role on our health and to increase awareness of all the healthcare options available to people.
Unfortunately, too many people go about their lives inhibited by ongoing symptoms that worsen over time before they find the motivation to make changes in their lives.
My health journey
The stress of losing my dad impacted on my own health, particularly on my hormonal balance.
I started to experience extremely heavy periods which led to iron deficiency anaemia. The bodies iron stores (ferritin) should be a minimum of 20ug/L, mine was 2! Naturally, my energy levels were low, getting out of bed in the morning was a struggle, and I was tired by 3pm in the afternoon.
My G.P prescribed iron tablets and advised me to go back on the pill to reduce my menstrual bleeding. I took the iron tablets but was reluctant to go back on the pill as I had been on the pill for over ten years already, only taking breaks to have my three children.
Instead, I booked to see a nutritional therapist; she advised me to have my thyroid checked, as iron is needed by the thyroid to make thyroid hormone. Poor thyroid function results in poor oestrogen metabolism, leaving me with many symptoms of oestrogen dominance.
The results showed an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), caused by autoimmunity, this means my immune system was attacking my thyroid tissue.
My G.P said it was hereditary and there was nothing I could do about it. I would be on Thyroxine medication for life!
Nutritional therapy proved otherwise
My health history and the results of a stool test showed that my gut bacteria was imbalanced and that the stress of losing my dad impacted on my digestion resulting in leaky gut. Evidence links many autoimmune diseases to inflammation in the gut and immune dysregulation.
The gut lining has tight junctions that allow digested food molecules into the bloodstream; if these junctions become bigger (leaky), it allows larger (undigested) molecules through that the immune system does not recognise. If the molecular structure of these particles resembles thyroid tissue, the immune system gets confused and attacks the thyroid.
This was my root cause, in order to support my thyroid, I had to address the underlying problems, simply topping up with thyroid medication was not going to address this. With the support of my nutritional therapist, it took me roughly six months to regain my thyroid function and as a result my other symptoms improved and my energy increased.
If you need help identifying the root cause of your health issues and want to know more about the services I offer, please get in touch.