Even though I did really well when beginning the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) 18 months ago, I hit some stumbling blocks with my health and stressful events beyond my control. I found I couldn’t get my health back on track. I have written about this before, but I think it’s important to reiterate. Diet alone sometimes is not enough. Sure its a starting point, and for some people the challenge is just getting to the starting point. But when it’s not enough and you require more, its ok to ask for help.
For me this involved seeing a Functional Medicine Practitioner. She uncovered that my thyroid was not working optimally and I had adrenal fatigue. She also picked up some interesting genetic mutations, which showed that I don’t detoxify well as well as methylation issues. And then the humdinger of them all, was that I was high in heavy metals, including mercury, lead, thalium, and cesium. This was what was casuing me to still have high antibodoes what was preventing me from getting truly well.
Six months ago I began, what I can only describe as a hideous chelation process. Chelation, is the removal of the heavy metals and toxins from the body. The process involved me taking tablets daily for 1 week on and 3 weeks off. The problem with chelation is that not only does it remove harmful metals from the body, but also removes vital and necessary minerals, like iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. In the three weeks off, I had to supplement with those.
I was very sick from the chelation. It brought out hideous aches and pain in my body and all of my joints. It caused my stomach to flare up to pre-Celiac diagnosis days and it left me feeling weak and tired. I began to question the whole process, unsure if I was doing the right thing. Here I was eating this restricted diet, but I felt so ill. I couldn’t function the week of the chelation and by the time I had recovered, it was time to start all over again. I began having body twitches from being so low in minerals and electrolytes. I also had almost constant agonising back pain. Eventually after my fifth month (I was meant to do six months), I stopped the chelation and went back to my doctor. My gut had become so damaged from the chelation, that I was no longer able to absorb any of the millions of supplements I was taking. I also had chronic diarrhoea and had lost so much weight. My doctor put me on l-glutamine (to help heal the gut lining) and high dose omega 3 and then I had weekly drips of electrolytes and minerals. I then carried on with some vitamin B injections. That was last week.
Yesterday was my 35th birthday. I am feeling so fantastic now for the first time in such a long time, I want to jump for joy. The last 6 months of my life have been terrible and all consuming, but I have come out the other side and I have survived. Sure, I still have a way to go and I need to get my gut properly absorbing again, but I really feel good. This is the feeling I long to attain, whenever I don’t feel well. I know how good this feels, so I know I can achieve it. I get so down when I don’t feel good. I also try hold on sometimes too tightly to the feeling of ‘feeling great’. It’s as if, if I hold on tightly, it will last forever. I know it wont, but what I do know, is that each time I feel lousy, I can work towards feeling like this again.
The other good news is that my manuscript for my memoir about my healing journey, is finally done and is busy being editing right now and I’m busy with corrections. I cannot wait to be able to share that with so many of you, who know exactly what its like to feel like this.