Listen to Your Body & Trust Your Instincts

Written by Julia Curtman

I’ve been a vegetarian for the greater part of my life (31 out of my 39 years). I have always eaten well and exercised. I grow my own organic garden every year and frequent my local farmers markets every week. I always assumed I was the picture of health, that is, until the death of my mother, which very ironically, probably saved my life.

After my mid -thirties, I noticed that I began to feel more tired. I gained weight, and my sex drive was extremely low. Prior to this, the only problem I’d ever had to deal with was constant and persistent heartburn for which my doctor prescribed Prevacid. They told me it was perfectly safe. Every day, I continued to pop a pill for years, never realizing I was destroying my once healthy body.

As I grew weaker and more tired than ever, I told myself, “this must be what it’s like to get older.” I had blood work which always came back at “normal levels.” I was informed that there was nothing physically wrong with me… and would I like to try some antidepressants? No, thank you.

Then, my mom died suddenly, and my world was turned upside down. I was bombarded by grief and stress. Months went by, and I was not feeling any better. My health and emotional state were rapidly deteriorating. I did just enough to get by and take care of my kids. When I started believing I would be better off dead, I knew there was something horribly wrong with me beyond the grief that I was still reeling from. I visited a naturopath who diagnosed me with severe adrenal exhaustion, low thyroid, anemia, and mal-absorption. The mal-absorption was caused by taking Prevacid for years.

Today’s poor diets and genetically modified foods are contributing to the dependence many people have on these acid blocking drugs, many of which are now available over the counter. Most people don’t know that these proton pump inhibitors can block most of the major vitamins and minerals your body needs, including vitamin B-12, vitamin D, C, iron, calcium and magnesium. I was critically low in all of these, even though “traditional” lab tests led me to believe my levels were normal. My body was completely acidic and my low immunity was leading me down the path of chronic disease.

I have been on a regimen of supplements, meditation, and yoga for six months now, and am finally feeling better than I have in years! Listen to your body, and trust your instincts. Don’t take a doctor or anyone else’s word that something is safe, and always do your research. It could very well save your life or the life of someone you love.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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