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11 Things That Wasted My Time On My Health Journey

Updated: May 17, 2023

  1. Believing into other peoples magical success and copying what they did- Now firstly I'd just like to say that I am not judging and accusing people of lying for their quick success, but we must remember that everyone is different and although Sandra healed her Lyme disease, autoimmunity, arthritis and fibromyalgia from taking 1 supplement for 1 month it does not mean that everyone else will be the same. Because I was new to the chronic illness community and desperate to get better, I believed and did everything I saw online. Although I gained some valuable information along the way, it only led to me spending unnecessary amounts of money on supplements and treatments that didn't work for me and giving me false hope. It is SO important to work with a naturopath who understands your bodily needs and not just take a wild stab in the dark on your own. Additionally, make sure you do your research and not just believe everything you see online! Which leads me onto point number 2...

2. Buying stacks of supplements that weren't specific for my specific needs- Early on in my health journey I was tirelessly researching the best ways to recover from chronic illness and joined numerous facebook groups for those in similar situations to me. I saw countless supplement suggestions and felt that I had to have them all because they must have been working for them (I did not take into account that those poor souls are still on those facebook groups years later for a reason). I also saw 2-3 (non-naturopathic) dieticians/nutritionists who did not understand me or my case properly. They prescribed lists and lists of supplements that I now look back on as a complete waste of money. The supplements prescribed by these nutritionists where general and not what my body needed. This left me with thousands down the drain and nothing to show for it. Seeing a naturopath/naturopathic nutritionist is crucial so that you can have your case properly understood and supported. Once I finally came across my naturopath my health really took off and my finances still went down the drain, but with something to show for it!

3. Extreme dieting over long periods of time- In my desperation to heal I tried every diet out there and that is no exaggeration. I tried SCD, FODMAP, blended, raw, carnivore, vegan, keto, paleo, juice fasts etc. Because I found some relief on a low FODMAP/mostly carnivore/paleo ketogenic diet and was instructed by my nutritionists to stick to it 'OR ELSE', I kept going for years. This not only depleted me of vital nutrients but gave me terrible food fear and an eating disorder. Food fear is something I am still struggling with and have to receive help for, therefore, please don't make my mistakes, find a naturopath who understands chronic illness, listen to your body and see food as your medicine not enemy.

Another thing to note is different diets work for different people in different situations. For example, one person may thrive and even reverse their hypothyroidism by consuming a vegan diet, however, for another, this may make them more sick and depleted and they may thrive on a carnivore diet. We are all different with unique biochemistry, therefore, it's important not to listen to misleading information, but rather find a naturopath who can understand your constitutional needs.

One of my lowest points was during a 5 day chicken broth fast. I performed this as instructed by a dietician/nutritionist at the start of my journey and had never felt so ill in all my life! All of my symptoms increased 10 fold, my kidneys where overloaded with toxins, I was weak, dizzy, anxious and could not function. Unfortunately, my body was in no state to fast and I needed gentle nourishment and support before doing any form of detoxification. Again, SO important to find a naturopath who understands chronic disease and only perform fasts where applicable.

4. Buying into the candida creates all disease and anti-fungal diets with no fruit- Research has developed significantly since the candida craze and we now understand 1) the terrain is the problem, not the pathogens, 2) we all have fungus and candida, it's just a matter of WHY it has overgrown- what is the root cause? and 3) everyone is different with unique biochemical needs and drivers of disease!

Getting consumed in the candida craze can literally drive you crazy. Unless you fix your terrain and understand/fix the cause of pathogenic overgrowth you will stay in the same endless loop. Unfortunately, the uneducated practitioners I saw at the beginning of my journey and things I read online lead me to believe candida was my 1 and only problem and lead me down a pathway that had no light at the end. It was only when I discovered what was causing my pathogenic overgrowths with help of my naturopath (mould exposure, heavy metal toxicity, gut dysbiosis etc) that I began to heal. During my candida craze I removed all fruit and only ate meat and vegetables. As stated in point 3, this only lead to deficiencies, poor health status and food fear that I needed therapy for! Fruit is our friend and contains so many beneficial nutrients, polyphenols and anti fungal/viral/bacterial properties. In saying that, too much fructose (consuming 15/20+ portions per day) may worsen a fermenting gut; everything in moderation as they say!

5. Treating conditions without treating the emotional side of why I got ill- Emotions are everything. The word emotion comes from motion. All emotions are energy. Energy moves, transforms and is replaced. All emotions have a vibrational frequency which take form, change and if not dealt with, get stored within our body. Every cell is composed of energy and can be affected by low resonating emotional frequencies, therefore, continuous/ intense negative emotions which have not been properly dealt with store in the body and contribute to disease until released.

When practitioners talk about stress and disease, what they're really talking about is emotional drain. The reason 'stress' contributes to so many health conditions is because when you are stressed you are shutting down your parasympathetic nervous system and activating fear, tension, anxiety etc. These emotions hold negative vibrations which, if prolonged and suppressed, can get stored inside your body and manifest as disease. Fear is one of the lowest vibrational frequencies available to us, yet it's something we all feel frequently. If you are chronically ill and fearing that you will never get well again guess what you are manifesting! It's important to work with a practitioner who understands the emotional element of disease so that you can identify what your trigger is and work to release it.

I'll give a quick example of my journey and the emotional component to it. My biomagnetism practitioner worked with German New Medicine and emotional health. My practitioner told me that the GNM emotional cause of Lyme Disease is prolonged unhappiness in your career and grief over the loss of something. Until this discovery, I was hanging onto my old job that I knew wasn't right for me anymore. During my days of ill-health, I watched videos of my friends at uni and felt envious that I was not there. However, when I was healthy, I spent many days at university complaining that I wasn't good enough to perform and I didn't want to do it. This subconsciously manifested as disease and a change of path for me. It wasn't until this realisation and conscious effort to let go of performing that I majorly progressed with my health. Additionally, the loss of my beloved dog was a huge trigger for me and something that I had to work on in order to heal.

6. Doing everything at once and not listening to my body- I've always been someone with the mentality of all or nothing. If i'm eating clean, I wont cheat my diet, but if i'm not on a diet, ill eat all the worst foods possible with no restriction! During treatment, symptom appearance was always a good sign to me that the treatment was working. However, my all or nothing mentality got the better of me and meant that I pushed through warning symptoms, resulting in hospital visits and temporary kidney failure. Our detoxification organs and body can only handle so much toxin release and breakdown, so remember to listen to your body and take things slowly!

There was many points in my health journey where I was feeling much better so I pushed myself too hard, performing coffee enemas, saunas, epsom salt baths, ionic foot baths, taking buckets of supplements etc in the same day. Doing too much at ounce resulted in symptom flares and hardcore malaise- so frustrating! I soon learnt my lesson to go low and slow in order to effectively heal and support my body without setbacks.

7. Rely on testing for treatment- Most testing is extremely costly, time consuming and innacurate. Testing for microbes, Lyme Disease, h.pylori, viruses etc isn't accurate and you're better of treating based on symptoms and constitutional needs. It took me 5 rounds of blood tests to test positive for Borellia (Lyme Disease) and 4 stool tests to test positive for H.Pylori. If you have a sluggish detoxification system, you will not effectively be eliminating mycotoxins, therefore, your test results may show low levels of mycotoxins even when you have extremely high levels!

At the beginning of my illness I was obsessed with test results and finding out what was wrong with me. However, I soon learnt the inaccuracy of testing and realised I was better off saving money and trusting my naturopath. In doing so, I made significant progress.

These days we are so obsessed with testing for pathogens that we forget to treat our terrain. No matter what invader is residing in our gut, we must support and heal our bodies to make them inhabitable for pathogens and a healthy environment! Furthermore, do not let negative tests rule out potential life saving treatments. With my initial negative Lyme Disease and co-infection testing I ruled this out and stopped myself from taking life changing supplements and herbs. If i had only listened to my gut earlier on and treated based on symptoms I probably would have made improvement a lot quicker!

8. Continue drinking alcohol and socially smoking with my friends- I don't think I have much explaining to do here! Although I was severely ill and living off meat and vegetables, I was still an 18 year old who wanted to blend in with her friends and feel 5% normal. I continued drinking alcohol at weekends and socially smoking, which I soon learnt only made things worse. My poor liver was already overburdened with toxins and my immunity was putting up a good fight. It got to the point where a glass of alcohol would heavily increase my symptoms and make me projectile vomit and smoking made me feel sick. This was my bodies way of telling me to stay away from these things and focus on healing. Cutting out alcohol and cigarettes was the best decision I made!

9. Shutting out my family and the people who tried to support me - To feel lonely is an extremely low vibrational place to be in. I got so wrapped up in getting better and focusing on myself, that I shut out everyone around me. Even when I was beginning to feel better, I continued to isolate myself. Humans need physical interaction and contact to live a healthy life (something we all learnt during covid lockdown!). I was making myself more sick by cutting off that human connection and isolating myself and my mental health got increasingly worse. It was only when I began allowing that human-human interaction that my mental health improved. At first I had to force myself to be social for a couple of hours every other week, but I always came away from these situations with a more positive outlook and improved mental health.

If you are looking to heal and be the healthiest version of yourself, try and keep that physical connection with people who make you feel good about yourself, even if you only see them once every other week for an hour. I know its tough, but isolating yourself 24/7 is only making the disease worse!

10. Trying to go back to being who I was before I got ill - Disease is a lesson. Although it's hard to understand why we get ill when we are going through it, we must try and understand the lesson behind it. Something in our life wasn't aligning and that lead to us going down a new path. If you try and go back to the old you and the life you lived before you got sick, chances are you will get sick again. At first I didn't realise this and was aiming to get old my life back once healed; that includes going back to the job I used to do, eat the things I used to eat, hang out with the people I used to hang out with, reconnecting with previous partners etc. The sad reality and something I quickly learnt was that my old job didn't align with me anymore and created excessive stress daily, the foods I used to eat made me sick and the people I used to hang around with where toxic and didn't wish the best for me.

If you are trying to heal, you must cut out everything that contributed to you getting sick and focus on the new path ahead of you. I know it's scary, but change can be such an amazing thing! Focus on the exciting new healthy recipes you can create, the new friends you'll make who will support and love you, the job that aligns with you and makes you feel good etc. Trying to be the person you where before illness proves that no lessons have been learnt and no growth has taken place and unfortunately you may find yourself in the same cycle of disease for years. Now this doesn't mean you can't have glimpses of your old life. I like to treat myself to desserts every now and again, check up on my old friends occasionally and go to the places I used to go. But this is all on occasion, and I have focused all my energy into creating a new, wonderful, healthy life.

11. Over exercising- When you're suffering with chronic illness and chronic fatigue, the last thing your body wants to do is intensive exercise! All of your bodies energy is going into healing and fighting disease. Our bodies give us symptoms of fatigue to let us know that we need to reduce energy expenditure in order to direct that energy elsewhere. Over exercising also causes excessive stress to the body and can make inflammation and fatigue worse.

As someone who has always been very sporty and active, I tried to continue intensive exercise when going through my illness. However, each session left me utterly depleted and bed bound for days. I soon realised that my body needed that energy for healing and could not afford any more energy expenditure than was available! Now this doesn't rule out all types of exercise, 30 minute walks in nature and hatha yoga seemed to be ok, but any exercise that made me breathless and sweaty depleted my and increased all my symptoms. That being said, every illness and individual is different, so play about with what works for you and always listen to your body!

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