About 2 years ago, I started to feel extremely sick. I was fainting, had terrible headaches and felt nauseous all the time. Getting out of bed in the morning became difficult. Being that I have always been a morning person, that didn’t make sense to me. I had no idea what was going on – all I knew was that things needed to change. I was working in a super high stress job at the time and although I often felt overwhelmed – I didn’t think that was a factor for the way I was feeling, so I made a decision to focus on my nutrition and what I put in my body. I started with eliminating certain foods, mostly anything processed. I knew that if I wanted to make this a lifestyle, I needed to enjoy what I ate and feel satisfied – otherwise, there is no way this would last long term. I researched all types of health articles and tried to figure out easy ways to make interesting, healthy foods – and I started to feel slightly better.
Now, if you know me well – you know that even before this, I ate generally pretty healthy. My parents would say to me “You are already a healthy eater, do you think it could be something else? Most people eat much worse than you and they feel totally fine.” What I wasn’t realizing at the time was that it’s not just what you put in your body, but also how you treat it. I wasn’t realizing that sleeping 4 hours a night and being overly stressed out on a daily basis could possibly be the reason that I didn’t feel well. However, it was one of the biggest contributors. Sometimes in life when we don’t want to face an issue we are having – the universe has a way of making us listen. It puts us in a situation where we need to face the reality of what is going on – and that is exactly what happened with me.
One Sunday night, I woke up being unable to breathe. It was one of the scariest moments I have ever experienced. I was alone in my apartment, couldn’t catch my breath and was panicking because I didn’t understand what was going on. I spent 10 minutes gasping for air, throwing up and wheezing. Unfortunately, this episode happened multiple times that night. The next day I went to the doctor’s office because there is no way I wanted to go through another night of that. When I arrived at the doctor’s office, the first thing they thought was that I probably had an allergic reaction to something that was closing my throat and making it difficult to breathe. Unfortunately, after taking medicine to try to fix what they thought was the problem – I only started to feel worse. For the entire week, the doctors couldn’t figure out what was going – they thought that maybe it was asthma, severe anxiety and/or panic attacks. They felt that my body was overworked, I was living a high stress lifestyle and that I needed to learn how to relax. Although, I believed what they were saying – it was also clear there was something else going on because the symptoms weren’t getting any better. I finally went to see a specialist and she explained that I had an extreme version of GERD, which was causing the episodes I was having at night. The specialist, along with another doctor I had seen the week before, found out that I had major gut issues and that the bad bacteria (candida) from my gut was spreading throughout my body. Basically, until I got my gut issues under control and figured out a way to seriously destress – the GERD would keep coming back and the candida would continue to grow.
So there I was, 30 years old, living a high stress life with gut issues and GERD. That was when I realized that if I don’t cut back on the stress – my body was going to completely break down.
The doctors told me that most importantly, I needed to learn how to relax. I would need to eat clean, try to work out (even if it was walking 30 minutes a day) and go off the birth control I had been on for a few years (which was another contributor to my gut issues). I was also given a bunch of medication that they recommended I take for a minimum of 3 months, if not longer. This was hard for me – growing up my mom never gave us medication and I rarely ever took Advil, but I was willing to try it because I knew I couldn’t live the way I was. I started focusing all my energy on getting better and following the guidelines I was given. My symptoms started to go away and after a month, I was finally feeling better. Now that I felt I was in a much healthier place – I thought that was good enough and I stopped taking the medications. I went back to just eating healthy and I thought that would do the trick. Two months later, I went back on birth control and got back into some of my stressful patterns – and sure enough, my symptoms started to come back. This left me feeling super frustrated and upset. I felt like I was back to square one. However, in reality, it was just a step backwards and another lesson I needed to learn. I went back off the birth control again and decided to look into natural ways to heal myself, instead of going back on all the medication.
It has now been a little less than a year since that first visit to the doctor’s office and I am finally almost back to 100%. One thing that I had to come to terms with is that getting back to where I want to be without any symptoms takes time. It is not an overnight fix – it was a complete lifestyle change. One that has made me a happier, healthier, stronger and much more relaxed version of myself – all of which I am still continuing to work on every day. This process has also made me realize that you can’t just change one aspect of your life and think things will dramatically get better, you have to focus on all of it – the mind, body and soul.
Genuinely kate is a lifestyle brand that covers all the things I have learned over the last couple years throughout my journey back to good health. It discusses nutrition, health/wellness, fitness, beauty and has lots of delicious recipes that are not only easy to make, but taste awesome too!
I am grateful to have you as a reader and I hope I can inspire you to live the best life you can.