My tipping point was April 4th 2018, I saw something my best friend from 3rd grade had posted on facebook about healing and health. She is an MD and a Functional Medicine doctor. Her post lead me to reach out about my own health issues with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I wrote her my summary about how I was suffering terribly and had multiple surgeries plus living with constant pain. She quickly and compassionately reached back and recommend the book Healing Arthritis by Dr. Judy Blum. It also lead her to suggest I see a Functional Medicine doctor.
Functional Medicine is a new way of looking at disease and medicine. It’s really a GPS for new science to explore where the root cause of poor health starts. Learning about the why not the what. I had decided this would be a new beginning as I was given complete confidence and support that this dis-ease in my body was reversible was testing.
My first steps were to do some advanced new testing to find out what was going on in my body. The testing is helpful at identifying nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances, how fat is digested, environmental toxins in the body, and gut health. Once we had the results I was put on a new lifestyle plan to fix poor gut health and reduce inflammation. This plan included what I put on my fork, quality of the water I drank, the environment I live in, and my beliefs. BOOM! Life started to change and it was not long that I could tell inflammation was slowly leaving my body.
My husband and I had just moved to Mexico to open a second cooking school. Life was new and we had our ups and downs while living in construction, my new way of eating, and new surroundings/language. Mexico life was abundant with trips to the ocean and our vibrant neighbors that we love. Much of my time was spent making construction decisions with my husband and studying many aspects of health/healing that I became obsessed with. Living in the construction was wild! For three weeks 90% of our living area had no roof or running water. We happily showered outside under the sun and the stars.
Through my Functional Medicine doctor I learned that it’s important to realize that poor health did not happen over night and it could take years to repair. During this time in Mexico my right foot was still in constant pain and we were unclear if the damage that had been done would heal itself without surgery. A doctor had told us about foot fusion surgery and we decided I would push on without it and try alternative treatments. While living in Mexico I was dedicated to physical therapy and acupuncture twice a week for four months. My foot pain continued to be a big part of our new life no matter what we did for it. I remember one day after acupuncture I was pain-free for about 3 hours. My mind was so happy, I buzzed around our house like normal. It had been years since I could walk pain-free. However the next morning I was back to not being able to walk. Every night for a year my husband would rub my right foot with CBD cream in hopes it would help. This was out nightly ritual and sweet enough something he did on our first date in 2014. We realized it was time to evacuate Mexico to get me some help. My labs kept showing that inflammation was low and that I was better so we came to realize the disease had stopped attacking my foot and this was the damage that was left over from the tornado of RA. Flights were booked and back to Vermont with hopes to find a solution.
More soon to come on what happened next.
The rate of people being diagnosed with autoimmune conditions is skyrocketing and is not slowing down. What is an autoimmune condition? It is when the body starts attacking itself and you create elevated levels of antibodies. Often in patients with RA Intestinal permeability plays a roll and has many causes - imbalance of gut bacteria, starchy foods, gluten, stress, and more. Often an autoimmune condition will be proceeded by a huge stress event in someones life. Our bodies often may get assaulted by our environment both outside and inside our bodies.