Since I shared some of my health struggles in my Rainbow Baby posts, I have been asked about the supplements and other things that helped. I would love to share some of the insights I gained along the way.
- Do your own research. I had two very nice doctors along the way that tried hard to help but couldn’t find what was wrong with me. I had to do a lot of research on my own. I had to ask for a Vitamin D level test (which was indeed low). And research does not consistent of googling symptoms and freaking out at the very generic results from WebMD. I found lots of information about the issues that I was dealing with on DrLam.com. I read Dr. Weil, Dr. Mercola, and Dr. Axe’s information, though I realized that not everything they said was gospel truth. They have opinions that are off, just like everybody else. Do not be afraid to get a second opinion on anything from any doctor. Read the actual studies, or at least the summaries and conclusions NOT the blurbs you see in magazine articles.
- IgE food intolerance testing was helpful. In my case eliminating beef and poultry eliminated the bizzare body aches that plagued me. But insurance usually does not cover this test. So if you are not committed to eliminating offending foods, do not bother with the test. Plus, you must not feel all that terrible in the first place! Believe me, cutting out offending foods is such a relief for my body. But not all food intolerances are the same. I can have beef broth or pepperoni and be okay. But even a little dab of chicken makes me ache all over.
- An Integrative Medicine doctor was key for ordering tests and interpreting results. These doctors incorporate both pharmaceuticals and vitamin and herbal supplements into treatments. They are M.D.s or D.O.s that, rather than seek to diagnose you with something, although they can and will do that, seek to get you into the best health possible. Expect lots of bloodwork. There are far more tests than your basic CBC and these tests can tell you lots about your health.
- Reducing stress was one big factor in restoring my health. For me this meant creating some boundaries with people in my life, getting rid of some activities, noticing what creates stress and having a plan for it and noticing what reduces stress and doing it. Rushing the kids out the door and resistant kids at bedtime creates stress for me. We set out our clothes and packed lunches, thought through uniforms and put backpacks by the front door to reduce morning tension. At bedtime, after devotions and family prayer, I go to bed and let my 11 and 14 year olds dawdle themselves right to bed at their own pace. It meant spending time in prayer and letting my husband know what I needed help with.
- Exercise sounds cliche, but it really works. I had to work up to running several miles, but I did it a little at a time, starting with walking with my sister. I just had to commit to it on a regular schedule. I don’t really like running, but I like the way I feel when I do it and the way I look as well.
- Three supplements really stand out to me: Holy Basil supports my body in handling stress, Pregnenolone, as a progesterone precursor, helping my body produce this crucial hormone, and DIM Detox assists my body in metabolizing estrogen. Additionally, I take Chromium GTF to reduce insulin resistance, Tumeric (as Meriva) to reduce inflammation, the root of so many ills in our bodies, and fish oil, which I think everybody should take for its beneficial effects on joints, hormones, muscle, skin and brain!
Be patient. A journey back to health is just that – a journey, with many steps along the way. Keep trying and do not assume that your doctor knows everything or that this is just how it has to be. Don’t give up!