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Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! I hope that you’re having a great week so far! Today, I wanted to share with you exactly why I choose to use holistic medicine to treat and manage my chronic illnesses. I’m not going to go into a hugely detailed, scientific explanation. But, I will tell you about my experience, which is really the most relevant thing because if a certain kind of treatment works best, why wouldn’t I choose it anyway? We should all be doing what works best for us. So, I’m sharing with you today in case you haven’t considered alternative routes but haven’t had success in following conventional medicine either.

My Autoimmune Story…

Ten years ago now I was at work and my boss noticed that I was jaundiced. This was quite a shock to me at the time, but looking back, it probably shouldn’t have been. I had been sick already for many years with horrible IBS. I was chronically fatigued, and I suffered a lot with depression and anxiety. I thought at the time that it was all my fault. I figured the anxiety was causing the chronic diarrhea. I thought that the depression was what was making me tired and that I was just a lazy person because I couldn’t get myself to do everything everyone else my age was doing. I kind of accepted the fact that I just wasn’t a go-getter and that I was internally flawed. Turns out, I had been sicker than I could ever have imagined the entire time. You don’t just get an autoimmune disease out of the blue. It takes years and years to get to the point where your body is screaming at you and you’re severely inflamed. But, the diagnosis happens pretty quickly. So, sometimes people don’t understand or realize that they were actually sick for many years prior. We tend to just keep pushing forward and trying to ignore signs and symptoms. We brush them off in hopes they go away soon. But, all of those little signs are actually big red flags that our bodies are not functioning properly. We go to the doctor, get a pill, and then maybe our symptoms get better for a little bit, or maybe they don’t and we just learn to deal with it. That was me. I was just dealing with it. I had been to my primary care doctor a million times for my chronic IBS. She’d given me things to try, but nothing ever worked. So, I just lived with it. But, I have no doubt that was a sign that my body was under duress.

I went to the doctor the next day and he ran some tests for my liver functionality. I received a pretty frantic phone call from him as soon as he got the results. He wanted me admitted to the hospital immediately! He said that my liver enzyme levels were around 1,000 and the normal range was 21-30. I was so panicked. I had just been in the hospital a couple of months prior with a severe kidney infection (another red flag!). The last place I wanted to go was back to the hospital. But, I went anyway. I was in there for days as they ran test after test on me. They’d come stick me for blood every few hours, all hours of the day and night, until I had no spots left to draw from on my arms. I finally got to go home, but still didn’t have any answers. Eventually my doctor scheduled a liver biopsy for me. This was an awful experience, too! I hate to sound like a negative Nancy, but honestly this whole experience was a horrifying nightmare. The liver biopsy is performed while you are awake. They numb the skin where they make the incision, but everything from there you feel 100%! They go in through your rib cage with the longest, largest needle you will ever see, and snip a piece of your liver. Not only can you feel it but you can even hear it! It’s so awful. They say it won’t hurt at all, but mine definitely did. They also said that it would heal quickly and I would not feel any pain in the liver because the liver can’t possibly feel pain. Well, that’s not true either. I felt the whooole thing. Beginning to end, and I was in pain for six months afterward.

My doctor sent all of my results to a local specialist who then called and requested that I come in for an appointment. I went in to the appointment by myself and listened as he told me that I had Autoimmune Hepatitis. He said that it’s not a viral form of hepatitis. It’s an inflammatory response in the liver to my own immune system attacking it. Essentially, he was saying, my body was attacking itself. He went on to try to reassure me that this wasn’t the end of the world. I may have a shorter life than others, but I could live a totally normal life and manage this relatively easily. He said I would be on steroids for a few weeks probably and then the inflammation would calm down. I would just have to take another drug called an immunosuppressant (I took Azathioprine for anyone who knows this road) for the rest of my life. That immunosuppressant would lower my immune system so that it wouldn’t attack my liver. So, that sounded pretty manageable to me at the time. I left with a smile on my face and confidence that this would just be a minor bump in the road.

So, I started on the Prednisone and Azathioprine protocol. Weeks and weeks went by with little to no improvement. They told me that I could continue eating and drinking as I usually do. I ate what I thought at the time was a healthy diet and exercised frequently. Sadly, I was still eating healthier than most typical Americans do, but it wasn’t clean enough. I still ate frozen dinners and canned foods. I had processed lunch meats like Subway and sauces with hidden ingredients I didn’t know about. I also still continued to drink alcohol. So dumb. They told me I could! I was in my early twenties and I liked to have fun. So, I still drank alcohol. They said it had nothing to do with why I was sick. I know that it wasn’t the reason why I was sick at all, but I know now that it wasn’t helping the inflammation. I was extremely fatigued. It hurt to get out of bed and I felt like it took everything I had in my body to just get ready to go work, let alone actually drive there and put in a day’s worth.

I had no idea what to expect. Everyone else (with the exception of my husband and I think sometimes even my boss) expected that I should still be able to function just the same. You couldn’t see my illness other than the bloating, acne, and weight gain. I could still walk and talk. I wasn’t screaming in pain, so I should be able to carry-on, right? WRONG. I also know now that when you’re so sick that your liver is making you jaundice, you absolutely will feel like complete garbage. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t depression or laziness causing me to feel this way. I was severely ill! It’s so frustrating to look back now and realize how I let other people make me feel like I was lazy and unmotivated. I felt so horribly about myself. I had no self-esteem, and I felt like I had inflicted all of this upon myself. I even had people questioning if it was partying that caused my illness. Everywhere around me I felt like there were fingers pointed in my direction and I was extremely overwhelmed, frightened for my life, sad, anxious, and exhausted. That only made me feel worse and just go deeper into my depression.

I continued to have the IBS, but now with the Prednisone added in, I was having terrible insomnia, extreme mood swings, increased anxiety, insatiable hunger, acne, moon face (when your face bloats up particularly round), painful abdominal bloating, and weight gain. I was newly engaged at the time. Only a couple of weeks in. Not exactly how I wanted to be feeling at that time or EVER!

I went to get my liver enzymes checked every two weeks. I was so hopeful and sure every time that it would be better, but it never was. I eventually sought out a new specialist. I spent years with her, did so many kinds of testing, and still saw no improvement. In fact, things were getting progressively worse. I did try some supplements around this time. My pharmacist suggested I try things for my gut and inflammation. When I read about it online, it seemed like this was a great idea! So, I bought a whole big bag worth of supplements which totally broke my bank at the time, but I was hopeful I’d see some improvement. When I told my specialist about them, she immediately told me to stop taking all of them right away! She said they were toxic and that pharmacists don’t know enough about this to be giving me supplements. In hindsight, I wish I taken them anyway!

I eventually made a trip to Cleveland Clinic with Ryan and my mom. I went in super hopeful that they would have something different to say than the others I had already seen. But, that doctor took one look at me and said, “You need to be on Prednisone and an immunosuppressant. And, I don’t think your face is bloated from steroids, I think it’s just fat.” I’m not kidding you. He seriously said that! Crushed is an understatement. I left there and was so upset and extremely hopeless.

I finally went to see THE GUY at my insurance-approved hospital in my city. He was the top gastroenterologist and came highly recommended. He said that I had one other option. I could try a different type of steroid called Budesonide. It apparently works slightly differently and does not have as severe of side effects as Prednisone, particularly the weight gain part. Since I was always concerned about the weight gain (55 pounds worth on my 5’3 frame) I desperately wanted to try this drug. It was supposed to also not make it so difficult to sleep and I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in four years at that point. So, we tried to get this drug but quickly realized that it was not covered by my insurance. It was going to cost $1,000 a month and we did not have the funds at that time to afford that. Far from it. So, we had to give up hope on that option. I was crushed. It’s such a shame that better medications aren’t covered by insurance companies. It really upsets me. I know so many people who just can’t afford the better options and have to settle for cheaper, more damaging treatments because they can’t afford it. So much of our current medical system is tied up in insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Money is the driving factor for everything. People aren’t getting the care they need because people are being so greedy about the money.

This was me at my cousin’s wedding. It’s the only picture that I have of me at this time in my life because I would not agree to be in any photos otherwise. I’m glad I didn’t sneak out of this one so that I can share this transformation with you. It’s so hard to share, but I think it’s important. I love how Ryan is still placing his hand on my back. He loved me anyway.

So, I continued on the same protocol. They would just keep increasing and increasing my dosages of the steroids and immunosuppressants. I was taking 60 mg of Prednisone a day and 120 mg of Azathioprine. That’s an absurd amount! Regular doses of Prednisone are 5-10 mg. I was a horrible, miserable, mess! For years I wouldn’t go out of my apartment much at all. I hated being seen in public because I looked unrecognizable. I couldn’t sleep at night, but I slept all day. I barely got out of bed. I ballooned up to 175 pounds. I am naturally very petite. My face looked totally distorted. My upper body was so much bigger than my lower body, too. I gained it all in my chest and belly. It was all anyone would talk about. I felt so ashamed. Most of the time I just wanted to die. I couldn’t see a way out of this and it was just so hard to keep going day after day. I felt so badly for my husband because I was not the person I was when we first met. But, he stayed by my side and kept supporting me.

One day, I was researching online about treatments for autoimmune disease, I came across the autoimmune paleo diet also known as the autoimmune protocol, or AIP. It was an elimination diet that took out any inflammatory foods such as processed foods and oils, gluten, dairy, grains, soy, nightshades, eggs, and sugar. The success stories sounded really great! So, I printed out the information and took it with me to my next appointment with my specialist. He looked it over, handed it back to me, and said, “this is a bunch of horse****! If you want to go buy the most expensive cuts of meat, go knock yourself out, but this is not going to solve your problem.” I accepted that and was let down that he didn’t think it was a viable option, but I didn’t consider giving it a try regardless. There’s that hindsight again!

Eventually my specialist told me that this protocol was clearly not working (you think?). We were five years in. Five years on this same exact protocol and they were now just telling me that it wasn’t going to work? He suggested I try second-tier drugs, one of which was Methotrexate, before he would put me on the liver transplant list. Yikes. My jaw dropped when he said “liver transplant list”. He started to explain about this option to try Methotrexate. Methotrexate is a drug that is used for transplant and cancer patients. It has horrible side effects including hair loss, extreme nausea, vomitting, diarrhea, dizziness, tiredness, headaches, chills, and not to mention lymphoma! He wanted to make sure that I understood all of these side effects before I started. I also had to stop drinking all alcohol or else I would likely die from the combination! I was so disappointed that a drug this terrible was my only option other than a transplant. But, I figured I had no other choice. So, I committed to no alcohol and started the drug. I was on it for a couple of weeks. It made me violently ill! I would throw up constantly. All afternoon and evening. I was so dizzy, my stomach ached like never before, and the nausea was terrible. At the two week mark, we tested my liver enzymes. With no alcohol and the addition of the Methotrexate, my liver enzymes had gone UP 800 points! That’s a HUGE amount in two weeks time.

When they called to tell me this news, it was a very somber phone call. I was alone in my apartment, and it was the doctor calling me, not the nurse. He said that he was out of options. I had tried all of the drugs that would have any impact. He told me that I would need to go on the liver transplant list. As he explained to me what this would be like and what the rest of my life would look like, my heart sunk. I felt like this was the beginning of the end. He told me that I would live a short life. Generally, 75% of people who have a liver transplant live for at least five years. Meaning, for every 100 people who undergo a liver transplant, approximately 70 will live for five years and 30 will die within five years. My specialist said given my case and the fact that my disease was chronic and would come back, I could expect about ten years. I was 30 years old. As I’m writing this, I tear up because I could possibly be dead right now if I had gone along with this as I had the rest of the conventional medicine protocols. I hung up the phone and broke down in tears. I wondered how I would tell my husband about this when he got home. How do you break this news to your family? I barely remember telling Ryan about it. I don’t really recall even what I did in the few days following that phone call. I know that I chose not to tell my family about it. I just couldn’t even talk about it. (Anyone else just go silent when they’re going through something incredibly difficult?) The doctor told me to go back on the high dose of Prednisone and Azathioprine. He thought it was better than nothing. So, I did.

I couldn’t fathom going through with a liver transplant. I didn’t want to die in less than ten years. I had barely gotten to live yet! I had been sick my entire teen and adult life. I started to revisit that autoimmune paleo diet online. I delved in deep. I researched the heck out of it and I decided that I would give it everything that I had. I set a start date for when I would first go completely gluten free. Then a week after that I would go dairy free, and a week after that I would go full-on autoimmune paleo. I had a plan and I was determined to execute it!

I was still having horrible insomnia. At night I would scroll through a Facebook support group for Autoimmune Hepatitis. One night, I noticed an unusual post. It was a photo of a woman smiling and the caption said that she reversed her autoimmune disease with an all-natural protocol using Alpha Lipoic Acid. No one posts pics of themselves smiling in that group, and certainly no one has ever said that reversing their autoimmune disease is even possible! She said she had found out about this protocol from a book called “Curing Courtney”. It was the story of how a mother reversed her child’s autoimmune hepatitis this way after years of struggling with the same conventional medicine protocol that I had been on. I immediately ordered the book and when it came I read it in one night. It was like reading my own story but through a mother’s perspective. I was so touched by it. The name of the woman who wrote the book is Denise Gabay Otten. She would soon become my hero. She too had been from specialist to specialist desperately seeking answers to save her daughter’s life. Finally, she came upon Dr. Bert Berkson who was a medical doctor of the liver himself. He had seen how liver patients were treated by the medical system and he knew that there were better options. He was working with Alpha Lipoic Acid and found that it was regenerating people’s livers who had been sick for years! People who were on their death beds were making full comebacks. However, the medical system did not approve of using this natural substance because it did not profit them at all. They told him, “we are in the business of transplants”. The business of transplants. It was all coming together. I don’t think that my doctors necessarily were just in it for my money. I don’t think that they wanted me to live a short life. But, I do believe that our medical system is severely flawed and is driven by money. They teach doctors in school to practice in ways that profit. They don’t teach them to truly heal people. So, doctors like mine, when presented with alternative options see no “scientific evidence” that anything other than their treatments would help. Why? Because no studies show that they help. Well, the problem is, no scientific studies are done on alternative treatments. Why? Because pharmaceutical companies are funding the studies. Why would they study the effectiveness of natural treatments? There’s no money in that.

I really resonated with Denise’s story. Her daughter was also able to come completely off of the steroids and immunosuppressants. She was able to live a normal, healthy life! The woman that posted in the group was also off of her medications and her autoimmune hepatitis remained in remission. I finally had a piece of hope!

I found Denise on Facebook and I sent her a private message. She texted me the next day and we set up an appointment to talk. She wanted to video chat! I was mortified because I looked so terrible and I didn’t want anyone to see me like this, not even a total stranger who completely understand why my face would be so blown up. But, I did it and we talked for a while about the protocol and what to expect. We agreed that she would coach me through it. I told her I was doing the autoimmune paleo diet and she agreed that it was a great thing to do! So, I borrowed some money from my parents to pay for her coaching fee and supplements, and I started the protocol!

Within weeks I already had more energy from the diet and supplements. I was even starting to do some exercise! I had my first blood test done at the two week mark, and sure enough, my liver enzymes had dropped! It was the first time they had dropped that much! I was ecstatic and it gave me so much hope to keep going with the protocol. I did not tell my liver specialist about it at all. I knew he would not support it. I simply told him that I would continue on the Prednisone and think about the liver transplant. So, for the meantime, I would take those drugs in conjunction with the supplements. More weeks went by and the numbers just kept dropping. Eventually, I started to decrease my Prednisone amount. Every two weeks we tested my enzymes. Sometimes they would remain the same or slightly go up a few points. This would completely freak me out! I would start to get slightly discouraged. But, Denise assured me this was normal and to keep going.

Meanwhile, my specialist who was ordering the tests was thrilled that the numbers were going down at all. They had no idea why the numbers were truly dropping, though. They thought it was because I was taking the Prednisone by itself, not because of the diet and Alpha Lipoic Acid protocol. Hilarious.

I continued to wean off of the Prednisone and was doing great on the diet. I lost 60 pounds in 5 months! My levels were so close to being in remission but for a couple of months it seemed like I couldn’t get them to budge. I had an appointment coming up with my specialist and I had to get them checked before I went. I was so excited to go see him because I was 60 pounds lighter and down to 5 mg of Prednisone. He had no idea that I wasn’t still on the large dose.

Ok, so I know this is super blurry, but this was me on the right just 6 months after I started the AIP diet. I slowly added exercise into my routine and in a few months I not only had lost the weight, weaned off the prednisone, but also was more fit than I’d ever been in my life! I was a Beachbody coach and I did the 21-Day Fix eating plan while still being AIP compliant, the 21-Day Fix Workouts both regular and Xtreme, T25, and Insanity Max30 (which honestly broke me down, I probably should not have done that one!). My face still looks a little puffy, but so much better! Hence, why my doctor didn’t recognize me!

When we got there, the nurse took us back. She didn’t recognize me at first. When I told her what I had done, she just looked at me and said “Good for you!” in a very non-excited way. Haha. This was the same nurse who prayed over me for my vanity because I was concerned about the weight gain. Yeah. How rude is that?! Pretty sure a 55 pound weight gain is not just a vanity concern. It’s also a serious health concern! They’re also the same ones who always informed me that my BMI was too high. (Huge eye roll…)

When the doctor first opened the door, he looked up from his chart, saw me, looked back down at the chart and started to back away. Then, he looked back up at me with a very puzzled look and said, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t even recognize you! What’s happened?!” I filled him in. Every last detail. I wanted him to know that there are other options out there besides damaging steroids and immunosuppressants. There are things that we can do naturally to support our bodies and begin to heal on a deeper level. He was shocked. He admitted that he couldn’t take credit for it! He even asked me if he could borrow my copy of the book “Curing Courtney”! I was like, dude, you’re a top level gastroenterologist at the best hospital in Pittsburgh. Pretty sure you can buy your own copy! Haha!

He was so impressed with what I had done. But, before I left, I wanted to know if he had my last blood test results. He went back to check. When he came back in, he had a shocked look on his face. He told me that I was in remission! I was finally in remission! My liver enzymes had come down into the normal range! Six years of battling this awful disease and I had finally made it. I’d avoided a liver transplant that would have taken my life at such a young age, and I had done it with my own will power, drive, determination, and the help of an incredible woman, not to mention the patience and support of my husband and help from my parents. I wasn’t a lazy loser afterall! Haha. I felt like I could take on the world! It was the most amazing moment of my life.

Sadly, just eight months after, my body crashed from the usage of the high doses of steroids and immunosuppressants for so many years. In a way, this was a blessing because it lead me to find the true cause behind the autoimmune disease, but it has been another extremely long and painful process. I was eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease in a very chronic, late stage. I also found that I have heavy loads of mold, metals, viruses, and other pathogens. I’m still on my healing journey, but I know that I will get there eventually. Healing from years and years of being sick doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process in itself just to find the treatments that work without completely wiping my body out. Killing pathogens is an entirely different kind of healing than reducing inflammation. It’s so much harder on the body. But, I continue to stay on the holistic path, and have no doubts that I can heal. It’s just a matter of the right plan and timing.

My Conclusions…

So, this is why I choose holistic medicine. This is why it makes so much more sense to me to find the root cause of the problem and go after that instead of band-aiding the symptoms with drugs that only harm our bodies more. The Prednisone steroid and immunosuppressants only made my infections worse. They weakened my immune system and allowed the infections to take an even deeper hold. They destroyed my adrenal glands. I now struggle with horrible adrenal fatigue. I couldn’t watch a suspenseful or stressful TV show because I couldn’t recover from the rush of adrenaline for so long. If something startled me I felt like I was stuck at the top of a roller-coaster and couldn’t come down. Having a difficult conversation was unbelievably physically painful because I had no adrenal support to help me handle the stress. Try telling that to someone as an excuse for why you don’t want to talk to them! Haha. Nobody understood because it didn’t show on the outside. But, what those drugs did to me was brutal on the inside. The steroids also caused the mold and candida to grow rampantly in my body which taxes the liver and other organs even more. My kidneys have not been the same since. I have a horrific bladder condition, my other organs have been affected… things just aren’t the same as they used to be before I spent years on those medications. Yet, I’m not angry with the people who prescribed them to me. I’m angry with the medical system for allowing and encouraging it. No one should ever be on that high of a dose of steroids or immunosuppressants for that matter, for that long! It’s absolutely insane. Those are meant for short term use. The fact that we have no better options when there clearly are natural, safe options is absolutely ridiculous! We have been conditioned to believe that our medical system is going to take care of us. We believe that they are doing the best that they can and have the most amount of knowledge of anyone out there. We practically worship doctors because they go to school longer than any of us. But, the fact is, this system is broken and it is not helping us. It’s hurting us. It is not health care. Health care is preventing and healing conditions, not making them worse or ending one’s life too soon for no reason. And can we talk about the domino effect of medications?! Once you start taking a pill you get a bunch of side effects. So, what do they do? They prescribe you another pill to deal with the side effects of that one. And then another for the side effects of the other one, and so on. I was on so many medications I couldn’t even keep them straight! How’s that for healing an inflamed liver?

Now, some of you might be saying, well what would you do if you got into a car accident? Well, of course I would use conventional medicine. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing treatments, surgeries, and doctors out there! (I truly don’t think that the majority of doctors mean us any harm.) I think modern medicine is fantastic for trauma, injury, and other necessary things. But, for chronic illness, I do not find it remotely helpful. And, I’ve had A LOT of chronic illnesses over the years and I often give western medicine a shot, because when we are in pain or some kind of discomfort, we will do just about anything to get out of it. But, conventional (western) medicine for me has never had long-term solutions for chronic issues.

Also, I’d love to tell you my opinion about autoimmune disease. I do not believe that an autoimmune disease is the result of the body attacking itself. Our bodies are extremely intelligent. They know how to heal themselves. They also know how to create tiny humans, give birth to them, know that they need food from us, and they supply it. They do not just randomly go about attacking themselves. I know this now because I eventually found the root causes of my autoimmune disease: Lyme, mold, viruses, heavy metals, parasites, and other toxins. The problem is, for some reason, the medical community does not look for the root causes of chronic illnesses anymore. I don’t know if there ever was a time that they did. I haven’t been alive to see it. They just slap a name on your condition (for which there could be many individual causes, no one chronic condition is caused by the same exact thing, so I don’t know why they treat it as such) and send you home with a drug to band-aid your symptoms. You never get medication to address the root cause of chronic illness. There is a never a cure, because they don’t know why it truly happens. (I can’t tell you how many times I requested to be tested for Lyme Disease and was denied!) You can’t cure something without finding out why it’s happening at all. Did anyone ever ask their doctor why their immune system is attacking itself? What makes it do that? I would guess they would blame it on our faulty genes. It’s always those dang genes. Well, sure, maybe genes have something to do with it because when you’re in the womb you do get toxins and pathogens passed on to you. Plus, if you inherit your parents eating habits and lifestyle, that affects your health, too. But, in my opinion and experience, there is always a pathogen and toxic load involved in chronic, mystery illnesses. It’s not always just passed on from your parents. That is not to say that there aren’t illnesses that are genetic, such as Down’s Syndrome and Friedreich ataxia. But, those are in a totally different category.

Our bodies aren’t made to handle the chemicals in modern day drugs. They bring so much toxicity. That’s why there are side effects. Toxins are one of the major reasons we get sick in the first place, not to mention the fact that they feed the pathogens that also make us sick. So, pumping our bodies full of more toxins doesn’t make any sense to me or others with my same beliefs. I’m not alone here. We have to look at the facts and the truth about how what we put in our bodies effects our health. That includes drugs to treat illness. It also includes our daily diets. No pill is going to counteract a terrible diet forever. Your body will start to break down in other ways. Clearly, coming off of those drugs and removing the inflammatory foods I was eating changed my body so much! I went from dying to having a new chance at life. So, my point here is, please don’t fall victim to believing everything that medical doctors tell you to be true. It’s very dangerous. You have to be your own health advocate and inform yourself! You have the power to change your health right in your own hands. It starts with you and your choices. It is not your fault that you have pathogens and toxins. It’s not your fault that you are sick. You didn’t do it to yourself. No one in their right mind would do that to themselves. But, you can change it yourself.

My Advice To You…

If you’re wondering where to start on your holistic journey, I would highly recommend seeking out an experienced naturopath or functional medicine doctor. You can often find certified ones that are also chiropractors. There is a lot of talk about chiropractors being total quacks. I think that is unfortunate because the majority of them aren’t. Most chiropractors generally want to help you on your wellness journey. I will admit, there are some out there that don’t always know what they’re doing and follow the trends in hopes of growing their businesses. But, if you do your research, ask for referrals, and find someone who has been practicing successfully for years, you can find great ones who can really help and support you. You will find that they are more attentive to your concerns, will do more in depth testing to find out why you are sick, and they will treat your body as a whole – not as separate compartments like conventional medicine does. The human body is all interconnected. Why we treat it like separate computer parts is very puzzling. But, holistic medicine will look at the entire picture. I can’t promise you success overnight or immediate relief. But, I can guarantee that it will help you become healthier! You have to be patient and believe in it. Your attitude towards it is just as important as what you are putting inside of your body. It’s so true that health is all about the mind, body, spirit connection. So, don’t forget those aspects either.

Obviously, I’m not totally healed yet. But, I know that when I put all of these things into place, I see improvement. It’s slow sometimes and so frustrating to get through, but eventually it gets better. I know I can heal and I’m determined to do so.

I do not always have support from friends and family regarding my choices of treatment. In fact, I’d say most people don’t agree with it. It’s disappointing to me. I would hope that they would listen to my concerns, value my opinions, see what I’ve been through, and understand why I would make the choices that I do. But, a lot of them just think I’m crazy and avoiding the help that the western medicine world could offer me. Funny though, most of those people don’t have any chronic health conditions of their own to actually understand firsthand that the medical system does not offer true help for chronic illness. They don’t understand the toxicity of drugs or how they can make conditions worse. They don’t feel the pain of the side-effects. So, I have to stand firm in my beliefs and often keep them to myself. It protects my energy and my sanity! I know what I’ve experienced and I’ve put in the countless hours of research. My body is the one who has been through all of this, and it knows what’s best for me. I listen to my gut and I have absolutely zero doubts that the path I have chosen is the best one. Don’t let other people persuade you. You have to make your own decisions. If you don’t have support around you, find it elsewhere. It’s there! I promise you. There are countless support groups online and in person. You can choose your path and find others who are on it, too.

I am not a medical professional. Please do not take this as advice on how to heal your condition. Rather, let it be inspiration to help you find answers on your own health journey. The AIP Diet helped me a lot. It may or may not be what’s best for you, though. If you want to learn more about my experience doing it and the itself, see my previous post here. I’ve done a lot of trial and error with diets over the years for different kinds of conditions. Each one is unique. So, if one thing doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to get back out there, do some more research, and try another! You will find what works best for you. Follow your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, like getting a serious, life-altering surgery, postpone it and take the time you need to figure out the best path – if you have the time. It’s your body. No one is in control of it but you. You can say no to doctors. They aren’t God. They’re human and they make mistakes just like you and me. Remember that. And if I can ever be of any help to you, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out. I’m here for you! Thank you to anyone who actually read this post all the way to the end! It was kind of therapeutic to write this story and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. I hope that it helps you in some way.

Be well, friends!

XOXO,

Kelly

This is me now, healthier, happier, and still in remission from autoimmune disease! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy #WellnessWednesday friends! I hope that you are having a great week. It feels so good to be feeling well enough to come and type my heart out to you! If you haven’t been following along on social media, I have been having a really bad flare-up of Interstitial Cystitis. It’s also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome. Yes, it is as awful as it sounds. It’s a very similar feeling to a UTI, but in many cases much worse. It doesn’t respond to antibiotics and traditional western medicine testing cannot detect any source of infection at all. It feels like someone is stabbing you in the bladder, like you have to go to the bathroom so badly, but there’s barely a drop inside of you, your bladder feels sore and full, and even the outside parts of you can hurt, too – 24/7. Some women live their entire lives in this pain. No pain medication will touch it. There are no cures and only one drug on the market that only works for 30% of people and then usually stops working after a few months. Not trying to sound negative here peeps, just giving you the straight talk. Plus, the side-effects are hair loss, liver damage, and possibly cancer. So, no thanks. That’s not for me. I did get so desperate that I tried it a couple of years ago when this first happened, but I lasted about two weeks on it and saw absolutely no improvement, so I stopped. I didn’t want to do any further damage to my body.

You all know by now that I don’t use western medicine for my chronic illness healing protocols or symptom relief. There are times when pain is so bad that I will have to temporarily take something, but I never do that more than a couple times a year. So, when I first had this Interstitial Cystitis come about, I was on the hunt for ways to heal it FAST. Unfortunately, it took a really long time for me to find what helped. I tried EVERYTHING under the sun! I was in severe pain for nine months. I pretty much just wanted to either get a permanent epidural to knock out all feeling in my lower half, or have someone take me to Dr. Kevorkian and sign me out of this life. This was after the autoimmune disease, the Lyme Disease, the parasites, hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, endometriosis, gastritis, IBS, migraines, and so much more that I’m not going to stay here all day typing out. I felt like “what on earth have I done to deserve all of this?!?!” I was beyond frustrated, devastated, and sad. No one had answers and I felt so alone in my quest to find them. But, once again, I dedicated my entire life to researching and putting myself out there to find the help I needed. Thankfully, it showed up!

I was in a support group for IC and several ladies mentioned that a raw, fruit and vegetable liquid diet got them out of pain and into full remission. (By the way, if you are searching for answers for your chronic illness problems, I highly recommend joining a FB support group for your conditions. Just don’t get sucked in – they can be very depressing because people are suffering. You have to always remember that you are not a statistic and you are not that person who is living with the pain. You are searching for and WILL FIND answers, and you HAVE to keep a positive mindset!) So, I googled raw diets and there was the Medical Medium. I’d heard about this guy from friends and Goop but I’d never looked into his protocols. I was too busy following what my practitioners were telling me to do. But, when I researched his approach more it started to really click with me. He posed a lot of good questions like, “how long have you been following that high fat, high protein diet and what has it done for you lately?” and “Did it help you at first but now you’re stuck in a rut again and nothing is changing?” I was like, “Ummmm… YES. Exactly. It did help me at first a lot! But in the last several years, I have been feeling pretty much the same on it.” Which is totally true.

I started out doing the Autoimmune Paleo Diet five years ago. I went from a standard American diet of what I thought was “healthy” to the Paleo diet. So, of course I saw improvements and of course my inflammation went down after cutting out gluten, dairy, grains, sugar, soy, and processed foods. But then, I plateaued. Doing the Paleo diet kept my autoimmune disease in remission, but it never healed my underlying causes. The Medical Medium’s protocol on the other hand, was a completely different approach and he was claiming it would heal these underlying conditions. So, in a desperate attempt, I started the 28 Day Cleanse and within a couple of months I was out of pain! So, when this flared up again on New Year’s Day this year, I returned to the protocol.

So, you might be wondering, why did I stop? I stopped drinking it because someone told me that I should, haha. They said that I wasn’t getting enough protein and that the celery juice was making me less alkaline. I don’t think that was true now at all. Here’s the thing about other people’s opinions… they’re just that. They’re not always true, not always right, and not always the best for YOU personally. You have to find and discover what works best for you. What helps you feel good? What gets you out of pain? What brings you energy and well-being? No one else can decide that for you. You have to get in tune with your body and figure this out for yourself. There are so many opinions and schools of thought out there about what is the “right” way to eat. Is it Paleo, lectin-free, carnivore diet, vegan diet, plant-based diet, etc, etc? Most practitioners in the western medicine world couldn’t care less about what diet you do. They don’t even think diet helps with inflammation, autoimmune disease, Lyme, or any kind of chronic illness or even cancer! Now that, I can tell you from experience is absolutely absurd. I have a whole other post coming on that. But, then there are the holistic practitioners who all want to tell us that high fat, high protein diets are the way to go. I followed this for years and years and my health didn’t improve at all. In fact, my liver got more sluggish, I had a harder time detoxing from protocols killing Lyme, parasites, and mold, and I couldn’t shed pockets of fat in areas, mainly around my liver. But, when I do a lower fat, plant-based diet, I detox better and I lose that fat faster. I can always tell because one alcoholic drink doesn’t give me a headache or make me feel like death the next day, and I thin out in areas where I usually can’t. Anyway, my point is this… keep an open mind about avenues for healing. Just because your doctor said that you have to eat high protein, low carb, high fat and that’s the only way you’ll heal, does not mean that they are right. They’re human, too. They have biases because they are taught in school that that’s the best way to heal from certain conditions. That’s what all their peers are doing. That’s what is trending in functional and holistic medicine. I see so many patients getting brainwashed that this is the only way that they can eat. Someone asked me once how I healed my IC the first time, and when I told them that I did an all fruit and vegetable cleanse for a few months, they looked horrified! They said, “I can’t do that! I can’t eat fruit!” It wasn’t part of their high protein, high-fat diet. Also, when we stop eating those things our systems don’t handle them so well when they get reintroduced. As I said earlier, my system was unhappy for a long while when I first started the Medical Medium Protocol. But, after a bit, I was able to eat whatever fruits and starches I wanted without any of the discomforts.

We limit our options for healing when we buy into ideas that there is only one diet to help us. That’s why I urge you to stay open to new, seemingly impossible ways to get better. It’s in these leaps of faith where I’ve found the most healing. When I go so far outside of the box that we’ve been conditioned to stay inside, I find the greatest ways to heal. Keep this in mind on your journey, friends.

So here’s a bit more about the Medical Medium, the cleanse, and how it’s helped me…

The Medical Medium

If you haven’t heard about Anthony William, let me be the first to tell you that he is a very interesting guy! He is not a doctor as you might suspect. He is just a regular guy with an extraordinary gift if you so choose to believe. I’ve been on the fence about this for years, but here’s what he says. He claims that he has had a voice speaking to him since the age of four. He was at a family dinner when a very clear voice spoke to him in his head and it said: “Grandma has lung cancer.” So, he told his family this. She had no symptoms at the time, but she went to the doctor and sure enough, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Ever since then, Anthony has heard the voice telling him about everyone’s health problems that he is around. He can’t shut the voice off. He said this was a very difficult thing to accept for a long time. He didn’t want to have this voice speaking to him. But, he eventually realized that he could help so many people and he started to lean into his role. Since then, he has helped tens of thousands of people heal, including very famous celebrities who endorse him. If you pick up one of his books, you’ll find hundreds of testimonials from famous people of all backgrounds who say how much Anthony has helped them and their families.

Spirit tells Anthony all about the root causes of people’s chronic conditions. In a world where chronic illness is running rampant and mystery illness is more common than ever, people are latching on to Anthony’s advice from Spirit and are finding real healing! Spirit tells him not only what is wrong with people, but it tells him how to fix it, too! Anthony has answers to all kinds of chronic ailments from acne to Lyme Disease, Hashimotos, ALS, autoimmune disease, gallbladder disease, mold, viruses, thyroid dysfunction, liver disease, Lupus, endometriosis, UTIs, IC, you name it! Many of you would be shocked to hear what he claims are the root causes to these sicknesses. They’re often things you already know about and probably have already had multiple times in your life like the strep or mono virus!

The exciting part about Anthony’s gift of Spirit is that he can share what Spirit tells him about how to heal with us. Spirit always has natural, safe, and holistic ways of clearing out pathogens that are causing disease. You can find most of the protocol at your health food store and grocery store! It’s accessible and for me and so many others, it’s helped immensely.

The first time I tried this protocol, I was open to believing in Spirit, but I wasn’t fully there yet. I don’t know that I’m 100% there now, but I have a really good gut feeling about it this time around. I get that it is totally out there and it would make so much sense that this guy was making all of this up to be famous and sell books. But, my intuition is telling me otherwise. The more I listen to him and read his work, the more I feel a connection to it and it resonates with me on so many levels. I’ve seen people with spiritual gifts firsthand and that’s also helped me to have more faith in what Anthony is telling us. I once worked with a woman who does energy healing and it was undeniable that she had a gift of connecting with the spiritual realm. She knew things about me that I’d never told a soul. They were incredibly detailed and exact and it was honestly shocking. She did the same for my husband and it was so different, but also spot on. For those that are fearful of people connecting to another realm, I don’t think that you should be if you are working with the right kind of person. It’s not about Satan, it’s not about idolizing anything or playing God. In fact, the woman I worked with is a very devout Christian and she tells me every time that I speak to her that her gift is from God. I don’t doubt her because she was so incredibly accurate. So, since that experience, I have been much more inclined to believe people who claim to have gifts like this. But, even more than that, the protocol has helped me every time that I’ve done it. Additionally, I’ve had testing done that’s revealed that I have these things he claims to be root causes. Is it possible that it’s a scam? Sure. It is. But, when you’re in pain and desperately seeking answers, you’ll try anything! So, I did. I’m glad I did. It helped me. That’s why I’m sharing it with you today. I realize it may be outside of a lot of people’s comfort zones, but, I challenge you to push through that and give this a shot, especially if you’re suffering. If you disagree, that’s totally fine. I completely understand. I’m not here to argue or start a debate. It just simply helped me and I want to do what I can to help others through my experience, so that’s what I’m going to do today! ๐Ÿ™‚

The 28-Day Cleanse:

So, how does it work? Well, Anthony has a bunch of books out and I would highly recommend starting there. I can’t possibly give you all of the information you need in this blog post. But, if you grab a copy of a book and listen to his podcast here on SoundCloud, you’ll quickly learn a lot of what you need to know.

I started out reading the book “Medical Medium” which I think is a great place to start if you’re unsure of which book to read first. It clearly lays out where and how he gets his info and it has the details for the 28 Day Cleanse as well. If you have a liver or thyroid condition, I would recommend getting one or both of the books on those specific topics (I linked all of the books below for you) depending upon what you’re dealing with. I am also pre-ordering the “Cleanse To Heal” book that’s coming out soon because I’m sure there will be a lot of great information in there as well. All of his books are so interesting and packed with great knowledge and tips!

So, on the 28 Day Cleanse, Anthony tells us that we have to bring the fats and proteins way down (to next to nothing) in order for the liver to have a break from processing those and to focus on cleansing out all of the pathogens and toxins that are making us sick. But, this cleanse is just as much about what you SHOULD eat as it is what you shouldn’t. He says that you must focus on fruits mainly because they have such incredible healing powers, followed by vegetables. There are certain fruits and vegetables that are best for treating specific conditions. So, you’ll want to listen to the podcasts and read the books to find out exactly which fruits and veggies are best for you, and which supplements and herbs to bring in as well.

Many of you reading this are probably thinking, HECK NO, I’m not eating fruits! I hear you, I felt the same way at first! I was like, “no way, I have candida and mold, I can’t possibly be eating fruit! I might as well poison myself!” But, trust me… I did it and it didn’t kill me. My mold levels didn’t get worse and neither did the candida. Also, he makes really good points about why fruits aren’t to be feared. He has an entire episode on “Fruit Fear” and how we have been conditioned to believe it’s bad for us when in reality he says it’s what is going to help us heal. I highly recommend listening to that episode here. You should also listen to the “Healing from Mold Exposure” episode and “The Truth About Candida”. Fascinating!

During the 28 Day Cleanse, you will eat raw fruits and vegetables every day for 28 days. He does not recommend eating any grains, gluten, dairy, soy, processed foods or oils, and very limited beans or legumes if at all. He says that you should minimize any fats and proteins. He does give you some options for fats such as a little bit of avocado and some different recipes for cashew sauces that can be used for dressings and dips to flavor your food! But, to get the most benefit from the cleanse, he recommends that you eat raw fruits and veggies for 28 days. For many people, this can be too intense. If you are really sick, as I was the first time I did this cleanse, it can be too much for your liver and body to handle at once. I knew this because I was completely wiped out and couldn’t do much of anything. So, in this case, he recommends that you slow it down by adding in some cooked vegetables and a little bit of fat. In this case, he says that eating potatoes (yes, even WHITE POTATOES! Say what?!?!) for dinner is a good idea. Spirit has told Anthony that potatoes are actually a very healing food. They draw out viruses and help the body to heal, contrary to what we have been told in modern culture about potatoes, right?! I was pretty excited to finally eat a potato again, haha! You can eat white potatoes or sweet potatoes. Both have great healing benefits.

Here are the foods that are on the NO LIST:

  • MSG – can be disguised as saying “Natural Flavor”
  • Dairy
  • Canola Oil
  • Artificial Flavors
  • Gluten
  • Pork
  • Citric Acid
  • Soy
  • Processed Sugar
  • Processed Beet Sugar
  • Farmed Fish
  • Natural Flavors
  • Eggs
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Corn
  • Most Grains
  • Vinegar

While you are on the cleanse, there are a couple of key foods that play a huge role. The first is celery juice. If you haven’t yet, check out my post all about celery juice and its benefits here. Celery juice is to be drunk on an empty stomach. It’s best first thing in the morning, but if you absolutely can’t do that, later is better than never. Celery juice is so beneficial because it increases your natural stomach acid which is critical to your health, and helps fight pathogens. It is great for the liver and detoxing the body. There are so many more benefits to it, so check out that blog post for more, and definitely pick up one of his books to find even more info as well!

Another key to the cleanse is the Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie. This smoothie helps to draw out heavy metals that are inside of your body. These metals are extremely toxic! They feed pathogens and damage your organs. They are often behind so many of our chronic conditions! This smoothie consists of:

  • 2 cups of Organic Wild Blueberries – Incredible healing food!
  • 2 Bananas (I like mine frozen for extra creaminess!)
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed OJ
  • 1 cup of organic Cilantro or Parsely (I use parsley because cilantro tastes like soap to me!)
  • A tsp of Vimergy Barley Grass Juice Powder
  • A TBS of Atlantic Dulse Flakes
  • Hawaiin Spirulina

This magical little blend will slowly, and safely draw out the metals from your body. You can assist in this process by using a sauna, doing Epsom salt baths, and dry brushing!

Anthony also recommends that you add in snacks for your adrenals. It’s important to support them throughout the cleanse. He suggests eating red apples, celery, and dates to keep your adrenal glands functioning well.

A typical day on the cleanse for me looks like this:

AM:

Warm water with the juice of 1 lemon squeezed into it on an empty stomach

16-24 oz of Celery Juice – wait 20 minutes to eat

The Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie – mentioned above

Take supplements and herbs

PM:

Snack – Apples, celery, dates

Lunch – Spinach salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, carrots, red onion and squeezed lemon juice. Can add a bit of avocado if you need to slow the detox down.

Snack – Berries – raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries

Dinner – Cooked vegetables such as sweet potatoes or russet potatoes. There are lots of delicious recipes with potatoes that are on the Medical Medium Website. You can find packets for all kinds of approved recipes here (scroll down on this page to get to the recipe packets). I also make salsa, curry, sweet potato nachos, spinach potato cups, potato crust pizza, and more! You won’t starve on this cleanse, I PROMISE you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Take supplements and herbs

Supplements and Herbs:

Anthony also recommends a lot of herbs and supplements to help you heal while you’re on the cleanse. I would recommend going slowly with the herbs that kill pathogens because it can be a lot for someone who is very ill to add these in. I had to first start the cleanse and get my body used to that and then I carefully added these to my regimen. He goes over all of the appropriate herbs and supplements for each condition on his podcast and in his books. So, you’ll want to check those out to find out what is best for you at this time. There is a webpage for the best brands of supplements to use which you can find here.

Speaking of herbs, teas are a great thing that Anthony recommends on this cleanse. Be sure you use pure herbal tea. No additives! Sometimes companies add in eggs or rice, which are a big NO on this cleanse (eggs and rice are foods that feed pathogens)! They also can contain “natural flavors” which are code for MSG, which is also a big no-no food. I like the Traditional Medicinals brand of tea. Simple and pure! You can also add raw honey to your tea. Raw honey has a lot of healing properties such as being anti-viral, anti-fungal, helps promote digestive health, heal skin conditions, and is full of vitamins and antioxidants. Anthony recommends using wildflower honey and let me tell you, it is SO delish!

For my IC which he says is caused by Strep, I am taking Lemon Balm, Propolis, Goldenseal, Elderberry Syrup, Vit D3, Vit B12, Ester-C, Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium, Oregon Grape, Eyebright, L-lysine, Burdock Tea, Nettle Leaf Tea, Ginger Tea, Lemon Balm Tea, and some other things that have helped me that are not a part of the protocol. I am going to do a post for just IC and I’ll have that info in there. But, in case you’re struggling badly right now and reading this, I also use Desert Harvest products like their freeze dried Aloe, Buffered Vit C, Quercetin and Glucosamine & Chondroitin which you can find here. These supplements combined with the mostly raw, very low fat and protein diet have helped me get out of pain in a fairly quick manner. As I said earlier, last time this IC flared, I was in excruciating pain for nine months. This time around after I started the cleanse I was out of the pain for the most part within ten days. Much faster than anything western medicine has ever offered me! Nothing they gave me ever helped, unfortunately. So, do keep an open mind about what might be helpful to your healing process.

Take It At Your Own Pace:

I do want to mention that you have to take this at your own pace. If you can’t go fully fat-free and raw right off the bat, that’s okay! Ease yourself into it. But, be purposeful about it. Don’t just say, “I’m going to lower my fat today” and then not have a plan. Make a plan for how you’re going to transition into it and stick to it! Then, each day or two, slowly start to take out more fat and protein until you are compliant with the cleanse. Or, you can be like me and just go in cold turkey! Lol. That works, too! It might be a bit of a shock to the body, but it’ll come around.

That being said, not everyone can eat all of the foods he lists as healing foods upon starting this cleanse. When I first started, citrus was difficult for me because of my bladder symptoms. But, eventually, I was able to reintroduce it and had no problems at all. This time around, cashews are not going down well for me. So, I’m staying away from those and using avocado as my fat source. It’s okay if you can’t do everything he mentions. Just take it out or substitute it with something that your body can handle.

Also, do join the Facebook support group if you decide to do this. There are so many helpful people there who are such a great source of knowledge and encouragement. You can find that group here.

My Experience on the Cleanse:

As I have mentioned above, this cleanse has helped me get out of severe pain twice now. But, it did not come without some discomfort along the way. Detoxes typically never do. I will say though that this one is much more gentle on my body than others I have done in the past by a longshot.

When I first did this cleanse, I was very sick. I was struggling with very heavy fatigue, IC pain in the bladder, and chronic pain all over my body. I had been doing the Paleo Diet for years and years and was more on the side of keto because I thought it was helping with my candida. However, this high protein, high-fat diet was actually making my liver very sluggish and adding to my fatigue and pain. My stomach acid was low, allowing for infections to easily enter into my gut, and my body was not detoxing well on its own at all. Anthony says to think of it like this… If you were to get showered, do your hair, put on your makeup and a nice outfit and then go outside and someone threw a bucket of oil on you, you’d have to go home, shower, and get ready all over again. What if you went back outside and it happened again? Eventually, over time you would get very worn down and tired from this routine. This is basically what you are doing to your liver when you are eating a high-fat diet. Even if you think you aren’t eating a high-fat diet, if you’re eating a lot of animal protein, you are eating a high-fat diet. Chicken breast has a lot more fat than what the label says. Anyway, back to the liver… this analogy demonstrates how your liver feels when you feed yourself a large amount of fat. It’s doing well, feeling fine, and then BAM! You hit it with a lot of fat and it has to stop everything it’s doing and working on and address breaking down that fat instead. So while it might have been killing off pathogens and cleansing your body of toxins, it had to pull away to deal with the influx of fat you just served it. Over time, this makes your liver sluggish and built up with toxic waste that also makes you feel rundown. Make sense? So, I decided that I was going to try this completely different approach because the Paleo Diet wasn’t helping me to heal and the proof was in the pudding. I hadn’t healed on it and it had been so many years. Do I think it helps bring down inflammation? Absolutely. Can we do even better than that and actually heal? I think so!

So, when I started this totally different regime the first time around, my body was in a pretty crazy state of shock. Taking out the protein and fat was a big change. I was detoxing so rapidly. I was completely exhausted, my head hurt, and I felt bloated. My skin also started to break out badly. When we detox, sometimes it starts to come out through our skin. Don’t be alarmed, this happens to most people and it will eventually pass. It’s my least favorite part about this cleanse, but I keep telling myself it’s for the greater good of my body and I shouldn’t be so concerned about my appearance. My health is much more important! Still very hard not to freak out over, I get it.

My experience this time around has been very similar. However, I’m not as wiped out, I can handle the herbs and supplements more easily, and I can function on a day to day basis much better. The cleanse has helped me get out of terrible pain in my bladder and I’m detoxing a lot. I know this because I go to the bathroom a lot more than I normally do. I am still experiencing bloating after meals. This is a very common complaint on this cleanse. When you eat a lot of raw, fresh produce, I think it’s par for the course that you’re going to feel bloated. Especially when it’s not your usual fare. As I remember from the first time I did this, the bloating is something that never completely went away for me. I did the protocol for a few months the first time, and then I transitioned into a vegan, plant-based diet. But, I don’t remember ever feeling like the bloating was totally gone while fully on the cleanse. This time around it’s still here at the end of the 28 days. I’m curious to see if it sticks around the longer I continue. I’ll keep you posted.

I did have to slow the cleanse down again this time. I was feeling rundown and the breakouts on my face were really bothering me. I added in fats and cooked potatoes in the evenings. Just a little bit of fat, though. About half of an avocado at most, or a tiny bit of olive oil. I also have made soups with coconut milk. Doing this helps with fatigue, exhaustion, and headaches caused by detoxing. So, if you’re feeling like it’s too intense, just add in some more potatoes and a little bit of fat.

As I mentioned above, I am also experiencing breakouts on my face. I know this is a detox symptom because it does not resemble my usual breakouts. I have tiny little blemishes coming up through my skin on my forehead, chin, and cheeks. Drinking lots of lemon water, Burdock tea, Nettle Leaf tea, and sauna sessions should help with this. I need to step up all of these things!

You may also experience diarrhea while doing this cleanse. It’s totally normal. You are eating a lot of fiber and probably drinking more liquids than usual. As a whole in my experience, eating a plant-based diet of any kind causes more bowel movements, which is a good thing. But, don’t be surprised if you have some diarrhea for a few days. Just try to stay hydrated! Anthony recommends drinking coconut water because it is filled with natural electrolytes! YUM.

The most noticeable benefits of being on this cleanse have been increased energy, increased liver function, decreased pain, and an overall improvement in well-being including my mood. In the past, I noticed that my periods eventually were not as painful either. I haven’t gotten to that point this time, but I would expect that they will get better again. I did a workout yesterday and I felt energized. The first time around it completely changed my energy levels! I felt a million times better. This time, I feel the energy, but not quite the same boost I did the first go-round. But, I haven’t been doing it as long yet, so that may come later as well. I also recall from the first time that I felt happier and more at ease. That might have had something to do with the fact that I was in less pain and had more energy, haha! That always makes people feel better overall.

What Do I Need to Do This Cleanse?

The good news is, you don’t need much to do this cleanse. The biggest thing you need is an open mind and a positive outlook. If you choose to believe that this is going to heal you, you will have a better chance of it working. If you spend your time doubting, second-guessing, focusing on all of the discomforts and how it’s not working quickly enough, you will fail. You will decide that it’s not for you or that it’s total crap and not worth your efforts. It’s not easy. I get it. But, it has helped me and so many of my friends and people that I follow along with. I’m in a Facebook support group for the Medical Medium 28 Day Cleanse, and there are hundreds of people in there who have healed this way. Listen to the successes and find inspiration and hope in them to keep going.

Secondly, you need a high-speed blender. This will help you to make your detox smoothie, other smoothies you might want to try, and your cashew sauce and dips. You can even make celery juice in a blender if you don’t have a juicer!

Lastly, I would recommend getting a juicer. You can find one online for pretty decent prices nowadays and in my opinion, it’s absolutely worth it. It’s more work to make celery juice in a blender. I like the ease of the juicer much more. Plus, you can make your own fresh juices that have more nutrients in them than bottled juice does. It’s best to drink juice that’s been freshly made minutes before than bottled juice. It contains higher levels of vitamins and minerals.

What’s Next?

Great question. I’m still kind of figuring this out, but I think that I will stay on this mostly plant-based diet with lots of raw fruits, the celery juice, and cooked vegetables (especially sweet potatoes for me because next I’m going to work on endometriosis and Anthony says those are best for endo!) in the evenings with some fats from avocado, coconut, and olive oil. I’m going to stay grain-free as he recommends. I will likely add in more black beans (pressure cooking them helps me digest them so much better!), some millet, and possibly quinoa, too. I’ll stick to a lot of spinach, apples, celery, cucumbers, wild blueberries, tomatoes, asparagus, raspberries, strawberries, lettuces, mango, garlic, papaya, and herbs like parsley, ginger, and turmeric. If you check out his book Life-Changing Foods, or the podcast, you can learn about all of the healing powers in these foods and why you want to include them in your diet.

I am sure that I will also add in some fish once in a while. Anthony says that wild-caught halibut and salmon are best, and that’s totally fine with me! I like to go out to eat, so if there are wild-caught options that’s an easy way to eat as clean as possible while dining at a restaurant.

As for other options while eating out, I would say stick to veggies. Ask the staff if they use olive oil to cook with or if it is canola or a blend of canola and olive oil. If it is anything but straight olive oil, ask for your veggies to be steamed or baked. An easy option would be a baked sweet or regular potato. I also ask for steamed vegetables with a side of lemon that I squeeze over everything to give it some flavor. It works well.

Remember, you don’t have to be on this cleanse forever. Anthony says that once you are healed, you can add your favorite NO foods back in once in a while. I wouldn’t make a total habit out of it, but every now and then won’t kill you if you have really done your healing work. He is not anti-animal protein or anti any kind of diet. He just says that to heal your body, you have to take out the fats and high amounts of protein. So, going forward, he recommends to keep your fats low, keep eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, and don’t overdo it with animal proteins. I think that’s a totally do-able diet and all-around healthy. I’ve done something similar before, and honestly, I was the leanest I ever was in my life! I personally find that when I lower my fat intake, I get leaner. When I do the keto stuff I ALWAYS gain weight. That diet isn’t for everyone. But, listen to your body, and do what’s best for your healing.

One thing that I will definitely do this time around is to continue using the herbs and supplements for maintenance. I did not do this previously, and I think it could have very well helped me to keep flares like this at bay. So, listen when he says which herbs and supplements are most critical for your condition, and stay on those for the long haul.

I realize that while this approach may be an uncomfortable change, it could be an option to bring you some relief and healing. I’m not trying to convince you to do this or that it’s definitely going to heal you. I just want you to keep an open mind about your options and not limit yourself to fads and trends that are out there.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking to yourself, this girl and the people who follow this are absolutely insane… I can see where you’re coming from. However, please don’t be judgemental about someone’s healing path. Dealing with chronic illness is extremely difficult, taxing on the body, the soul, the spirit, the mind, the heart, relationships, and so much more. It is a very hard road to travel. We aren’t given many options for healing. Most things don’t work or even make us worse. We are desperate for answers and help. If something brings someone even a bit of relief, try to be supportive. It may not make sense to you, but it doesn’t have to. It’s not your body, and it’s not your life. If someone you know chooses to do things differently than you would just do your best to be there for them and encourage them to keep fighting for their health. You never know what you would do until you’re faced with these circumstances. Trust me, I never thought in a million years that I would be here writing about a man who hears health problems and answers from a spirit. LOL.

As always, this is not medical advice. I am not a doctor or a trained practitioner. This is based solely upon my own experience. I simply want to share what has helped me in hopes of helping you.

I hope that this post has helped you get an understanding of how this cleanse works! Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of help in any way. I would love to hear your thoughts, too! So, if you’ve got any, leave a comment for us below!

Thanks so much for reading, friends! Have a fabulous day ๐Ÿ™‚

XOXO,

Kelly

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