One by one, I watched as my favorite foods were placed in the “bad” pile until the only thing I could comfortably consume was chicken soup. As I reached my breaking point, I knew I needed a new kind of help. Probiotics and clean eating weren’t cutting it, and traditional practitioners refused to see my body as a whole.
On the recommendation of my brother who’s a doctor, I sought out a naturopath. With gusto, I forked over $400 and prepared to embrace the naturopath's routine — until I read what it would entail: I was to avoid salad and juice bars at all costs, wash all fruits and vegetables in a specific parasite cleanser, and suck on tiny, herb-filled metal balls around the clock.
Her prescription also included nearly $2,000 of blood and stool testing plus some very invasive procedures that I dare not speak of lest you lose your lunch. Terrified of her strict sentence, I opted for another route.
I tried countless books and DIY cleanses, spent weeks working with a different naturopath and acupuncturist, and visited a Chinese medicine doctor obsessed with parasite cleansing and stimulating my chi through ginger tea.
One particularly miserable day, I called a “leading Candida specialist” in Florida who asked whether I’d ever had an extraterrestrial encounter. I hung up the phone.
I felt like I was following a gluten-free breadcrumb trail to health.
I was desperate but refused to give up. The alternative was utter misery as I continued to lose weight and struggled to find anything edible. The emotional roller coaster of my physical illness plus the indecision of what to do about my relationship caused severe anxiety, amplifying everything. My friends were tired of hearing about it, and I was too.
Eventually I walked away from the perfect-on-paper relationship and began a relationship with a functional medicine doctor. Dr. Robin Berzin bridged the gap between Western and alternative medicine and encouraged me to link the emotional and physical issues I was having.
Free of my relationship indecision, I was finally able to focus my energies on healing my own body, mind, and spirit. I began meditating regularly, spending time to create beautiful meals from the few things I could eat, and denied my health issues space by talking about them less.
I no longer identified myself as a “sick” person, instead focusing on positive thoughts of healing. As my anxiety receded, so, too, did my symptoms, and little by little, my digestion began to flow.
I wish I could say that was the end of the story and I’m 100 percent healed, but the truth is that I still have my ups and downs. I still don’t eat any American wheat, though I have no problems abroad, where the wheat is processed more naturally than in the U.S. On a super-stressful day or after having a trigger food like nuts or wine, my belly sometimes rebels. But it’s less often, less severe, and getting consistently better.
The brain fog and fatigue have become a fuzzy and distant memory. My period stays stubbornly away. But I can sense ovulation and am confident that like everything else in my life, it, too, will soon flow again.