Wednesday, February 20, 2013

since you've asked

Let me tell you a little bit about my health.
Ten years ago, almost to the date, I got really sick flying back to Scotland. What should have taken me a couple of hours turned into a two day journey, due to snow at a London airport! (Every time I'm in London and it snows, I laugh because it is truly ridiculous that everything shuts down but on the other hand I think of people, like myself all those years ago, who end up sitting somewhere at the airport and I feel terribly sorry.)
No-one knew what had happened to my body - I went straight to bed and basically didn't get up for a month. Doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong so they filled me up with antibiotics until they finally tested my blood about a month later. Three months after that flight I went back to Austria as I still didn't have the energy or strength to return to work. To cut a long story short, a month later I bumped into my friend's dad who is a GP and after he asked me what happened (my face was completely covered in cystic acne and my skin felt like it was on fire), he sat me down and did a blood test there and then. Turned out that not only had the antibiotics killed of the bacteria inside my body, but pretty much everything else too. The result was candida. So for three months I went on a super strict candida diet, which meant no sugar and no starches. As a lot of food turns into that I had to cut out any form of grain(bread, rice, pasta, cereal, ...), sweets, fruit and alcohol. Apart from the diet I went on vitamin supplements and on the pill to rebalance my hormones (everything was out of whack!). It took 2.5 years until my blood results were back to normal!
I will never forget the feeling of waiting for blood results, it is the most nervous I have ever been in my life and although I trusted God to be in control, a lot of the times you are plagued with feeling that your life was coming to an end. Seriously weird times! It is a tricky thing when people can't see that you're sick, in addition to feeling completely useless you have to excuse yourself and fight people's opinions as to what they think you're doing (lazy, pretending, etc). Being in Christian circles it's even worse as some stupid people will come up and tell you that you're not believing enough to be made whole! Oh yeah, I experienced it all :)

Anyway when I moved to Australia I let the pill run out and as your diet in a hot country is pretty much salad based I had hardly any digestive or skin issues. It was never perfect, but due to constant sunshine it was alright I guess.
Cut to 2.5 years later and I moved to London and BOOM poor nutrition, especially poor food standards will get the best of you! If it wouldn't have been for a friend who happens to be a nutritionist, who knows what I would have done! She confirmed the candida and explained to me that more or less what happened is that not only was the candida overgrowth back but I had developed the next level which is leaky gut syndrome.
Back to candida cleanse it was. In addition she told me to stay away from dairy and gluten and she gave me a long list of supplements from a good multivitamin (yes I said good, store bought wont cut it as a lot of vitamin pills/capsules lack certain resources for your body to absorb the vitamins - you might just be paying for expensive pee ladies and gentlemen!) to milkthistle to essential omegas to good bacteria to repopulate your intestinal flora.
It takes months for your skin to heal but eventually it does. The better it gets the more you let go of your diet and believe that finally you will be over this.
Ever since then I have cut out as much dairy and gluten as possible - apart from tour, everything goes out the window when you travel as you don't feed yourself :)

Two years ago it all came back when I lived in Salzburg and looking back it had a lot to do with how depressed I was and eating the wrong things. For the first time in years and years I went to see a dermatologist who was basically laughing in my face when I told him that I think it is eating related. Talk about making a girl feel insecure and cry when she's already down and out! He prescribed a cream and told me to just wash my face with water and stay away from make up.
Skin cleared up and I limited myself to a diet but not super strict.

So when everything went pear shaped in November I completely crashed. My face was covered in spots and since I don't use make up anymore(more on that tomorrow) it was a treat to go to work every morning, trying to cover up my face with my scarf as much as I could.
The last thing I wanted to do was go and see a doctor for I have yet to meet a normal doctor who will go to the root of the problem! The only doctor who didn't laugh at me when I told him my story was the guy at the allergy centre in June. He even told me that it all makes sense! I wish everyone could listen to what patients have to say the way he did. Reason enough to try and go the natural way?!

More tomorrow x

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