Unfortunately the complexities don’t stop there, for what is healthy for one, may be very unhealthy for another. And this was the case for my client, Sally, we searched for the route cause of her chronic and frustrating conditions, and found that the cause of her imbalances weren’t in the most obvious of places.
Sally is a 40 year old woman, and a mother of 3 children. I have been working with her on and off for 3 years, and over the time she has put in a lot of commitment, and made a lot of fabulous changes to her nutrition and lifestyle:
Current Nutrition/Lifestyle looks like this: Oats, fruit and almond milk for breakfast. Omelettes or quinoa salads for lunch, lean protein and lots of greens for dinner. 2 litres of water, herbal tea, occasionally a couple of glasses of wine in the weekend. Regular exercise, and in bed before 10 every night. No history of high levels of toxin exposure. Stress and emotions balanced.
Most people following diet and lifestyle factors such as this would be feeling pretty good. But Sally wasn’t getting the results she deserved after years of trying almost everything. Sally’s main concern is that she has been plagued with acne throughout life, that in more recent times was actually worsening, and coming up in even more areas. Her weight was stubborn and she had trouble losing it no matter what her level of exercise (alongside her already good nutrition), and she generally felt fatigued.
Understandably she was fed up that her state of health didn’t seem to reflect the healthy choices she was making, fortunately she wasn’t ready to give up searching for the answer either – there is ALWAYS an answer. In most instances the human body is created to be well functioning, healthy and faultless, when it's not we first must look into environmental factors, as these are the clues to our triggers, therefore where we need to focus on rebalancing to regain health.
OUR PLAN OF ATTACK –
- Test Sally's Hormone Levels: during our appointments in the early days, it seemed Sally had a very ‘normal’ hormonal picture, her cycle was regular, menstrual symptoms mild and she had 3 easy conceptions and pregnancies, there were no obvious signs anything was out of balance. But our hormones play a large role in the health of our skin, testosterone in particular stimulates sebum production (your skins natural oil), so a hormone imbalance resulting in a higher level of testosterone could be blocking pores and encouraging acne. Outside of that, commonly with acne doctors will prescribe the oral contraceptive pill (which Sally had been on extensively in the past), and more recently she also had the Mirena inserted for 3 years (which was removed 12 months ago). Because her skin had worsened since stopping any form of contraception, it could be a sign of an underlying hormonal imbalance.
- Test for Food Allergies: Sally’s diet was already pretty balanced, the vast majority of her foods were healthy, however her weight wouldnt budge. She had rarely any digestive symptoms to complain of, her bowels were regular and she had very infrequent episodes of bloating, so at first glance it wouldn’t seem obvious that the diet could be causing her distress. However, Acne is an inflammatory skin condition, and inflammation stems from internal factors, you can put as many expensive products on the exterior of your body, but if you don’t turn off the trigger of inflammation, you will never completely heal. The foods we eat (if not suited to the person / or unhealthy) can be extremely inflammatory, damaging the structure and function of our internal tissues (e.g. gut, joints), as well as our external tissues (e.g. skin). Our skin is also a large detoxifying organ, so built up toxicity from ongoing immune reactions (and long term medication) may have been causing/worsening her outbreaks. We wanted to see if any of the ‘healthy’ foods Sally was regularly eating, may not be so healthy for her. These may not only be a part of causing the drama in the first place, but if we don’t remove these foods they will inhibit her healing.
THE RESULTS –
Hormones: Sally’s hormones we’re extremely out of whack, one particular hormone reading was 6 X higher than the top of the reference range. This may have been ongoing through life for Sally, or, this higher level could be a result of contraceptive use. Even though Sally hadn’t been on anything for 12 months, usage of these medications can have very long lasting effects in the body for some people, and alter its ability to naturally rebalance hormones due to the toll on many organ systems, including the liver – our master detoxifier.
Allergies: Among other things, Sally showed up with severe allergies to egg (which she ate daily), high allergy to all forms of dairy (which she consumed occasionally) and a moderate allergy to yeast (which includes things like vinegar, mushrooms and some alcohols, as well as commonly used in baked goods and bread). Together all of these foods featured numerous times per week, resulting in an ongoing inflammatory response for Sally, which as well as being exhausting, links back into her skin and weight issues.
So by finding her triggers, we are now on a pathway of rebalancing and cleaning up her body systems, things wont improve immediately overnight, but over time all of these symptoms will be a thing of the past, and Sally can finally get the results she has been spending years working for.
MORAL OF THE STORY: never stop seeking out optimum health and wellbeing, it is available to everyone. You just have to create the right internal, and external environment for your body to thrive in and everything else falls into place.
::::PLEASE NOTE::::: This is not a suggested protocol for weight loss, acne or fatigue. This is a real life client and a case study of her situation, her triggers / method of healing will not transcribe to every person. Always seek guidance from an Accredited Nutritionist when removing foods from the diet.