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All Because of the Dog

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

This is the story of TI and how she overcame acute and chronic conditions.

1. What’s your story in terms of your health?

I was athletic as a kid and very healthy. In college, I badly strained my back carrying boxes up six floors of an apartment building. In my career, I handled a lot of stress which has built up over the years. Overeating was a way to deal with it. In my 40s, I learned about homeopathics; after that, I tried to avoid Western medicines (allopathics) and used acupuncture and natural remedies for any health problems. When I turned 70, I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a heart disease my father had. I am on blood thinners as a result in order to avoid having a stroke. I developed acid reflux or GERD. I was prediabetes. Two years later, I came down with a bad case of poison ivy when I picked up a small dog who had just walked through it. Huge blisters started caking on my arms, hands, neck, face, and legs. When the poison ivy started up my face, my primary care doctor recommended oral steroids. The steroids put me into an acute state of weakness, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and susceptibility to viruses. I stayed in bed for two weeks unable to hold my head up, and I was at the ER twice in excruciating acute pain. Chronic pain started in my leg and hip.

2. What did your doctors recommend?

The oral steroids did harm to my immune system. My primary care doctor suggested Benadryl and extra-strength Tylenol for all the pain. For the GERD and acid reflux, the doctor recommended anti-acids like Mylanta, histamine blockers like Tagamet, and proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec. For the pain in my leg and hip, a hip X-ray was clean. The doctor suggested physical therapy for the leg pain and he made an appointment for me to see a spinal surgeon for spinal stenosis.

3. What alternative modalities and behavioral changes did you do?

Even before the poison ivy, I knew I had to lose weight. I joined a 12-step program and worked at losing weight through mindfulness, diet and exercise. For my hip and leg pain, I saw a generative touch chiropractor and also did the physical therapy. On and off, I did acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Instead of taking any of the allopathic meds, I began working with a functional nutritionist who did a nutritional assessment and then tested my body with a noninvasive hands-on procedure. She then started me on electrolytes and supplements for adrenal fatigue, histamine intolerance, anti-fungus, and pathogen detox for bacterial overgrowth. I changed my diet to avoid fungus/yeast promoting foods and foods high in histamine. She also suggested I release stress from my life. I am more mindful of staying out of stress. With the change in diet and physical therapy, the pain in my leg and hip went away and I canceled the appointment with the spinal surgeon. I joined a gym and began focusing on exercise and walking. I continue to go to 12-step meetings because I need recovery at the physical, spiritual, and emotional levels. I’ve been doing Reiki which also helps at the emotional and energetic levels. I now do a daily 20-minute Qi Gong program for seniors in the morning.

4. What have you learned about food as medicine?

I went dairy free in my 40s because adults don’t need milk. To deal with the havoc my body was in from the oral steroids and poison ivy, initially I avoided foods with yeast like bread, sugar, peanuts, pistachios, alcohol, cereal, fermented foods, mushrooms, vinegar, etc. I ate anti-fungal foods like coconut oil, garlic, ginger, turmeric, carrots, cloves, and cinnamon, etc. For the GERD and acid reflux, I began avoiding foods high in histamine (fermented beverages and foods, dairy, dried fruits, avocados, eggplant, spinach, processed or smoked meats, shellfish, aged cheese) and foods that trigger histamine (bananas, tomatoes, wheat germ, beans, papaya, chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts, food dyes). I eat healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. I avoid oils like canola, corn, and safflower oil. I avoid processed foods. Recently, I began drinking water with lemon juice every morning to detox my liver. The key is to get minerals and nutrients from foods, not from pills. I consume foods that are rich in iron, specifically non-heme iron (which is from plants like pumpkin seeds, lentils, asparagus), with a source of vitamin C to help absorb the iron (not ascorbic acid). Since I can't eat citrus fruit, I take a Vitamin C powder made of berries and fruit. I’ve started eating egg whites instead of whole eggs (which feed viruses and unproductive bacteria). Other healthy foods I eat are wild blueberries (flush neurotoxins), cilantro (removes toxic heavy metals), Brussel sprouts (detox liver) and kale (for strong immune system). I’m slowly switching to organic everything to reduce pesticides and other toxins in my body.

5. What is your life like now?

I don’t need the supplements any more. I am not taking any over-the-counter or prescription meds except for the blood thinner. I take a few vitamins and electrolytes. I am not in any acute or chronic pain, and I am noticing my back is hurting much less these days. My digestion is good and so is all my bloodwork. I am no longer pre-diabetic. I eat anything I want but I do still avoid foods high in histamine and I try to focus on healthy foods. I log all my food in order to monitor my nutrients and calories. I'm maintaining a 60-pound weight loss and I have plenty of energy. My next step is to be relieved of the atrial fibrillation. Stay tuned!

6. What advice do you offer?

Treat their Western diagnosis as a symptom, not a root cause. And food as medicine. And stay active!



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