Disclosure: Every body is different. Literally. What works for one may not for another. I learned this the hard way!
I was an official vegetarian for 10 years, but in actuality more like my entire life. I never had the taste for meat (in retrospect I probably couldn’t digest it), my gut had been destroyed from nutrient deficiencies from an early age with chronic use of antibiotics, frequent infections and immunity issues. I had chronic insomnia and anxiety from lack of neurotransmitters from empty nutrition and a serious sweet-tooth from the get-go.
I can’t emphasize enough that each of us on this earth are unique with our own individual biochemistry, and will respond and react differently to food, drugs, stimulus, people, and experiences. There are a wide variety of genetic polymorphisms that one may have that can have a profound impact on how one responds to a particular nutrient or chemical. I wholeheartedly support anyone’s road towards achieving and maintaining health and happiness in this wild world, no matter what tools you use to reach your goals.
I’ll be the first to tell you that when I became very sick with an infection I couldn’t recover from, the perfectionist in me wanted to be the best patient and adhere to every guideline I was given, to fault. As more genetic testing unraveled underlying abnormalities, congenital defects, and autoimmunity it became increasingly complex with drugs, regimens, restrictions, confusion and hopelessness. If I could give one piece of advice for anyone riding the medical system merry go round, it would be to not listen to anyone too much. Regardless of your prognosis, advice is great, take it all in, but if you let it consume you, you may lose sight of your gut instinct (oh, the irony)… in the words of Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut.” Practitioners, family, even friends may judge or blame you for not being able to take the prescribed drugs, supplements or nutrition plan, making you feel powerless and in even less control of your body and life.
In my lifetime, I have been vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, keto, low fodmap, paleo, body ecology, low histamine, low oxalate… and the list could still grow longer. I have seen two people with the same degenerative disease make leaps and bounds by following steps A, B, and C, while the other deteriorates under the same regimen. Something can produce dramatic improvements in one person and cause significant impairment in another person due to genetic mutations.
I now don’t follow any plan exactly, I have realized it is more of a lifestyle change (with the exception of being gluten free, thank you late onset celiac). I am however, the most functional sticking to a paleo approach with an emphasis on meat and hydrating fruit to combat POTS. I also incorporate some gluten free grains and full fat dairy as tolerated because hello I’m human and can’t deprive myself anymore. My organs are beginning to be cooperative (most of the time), and are hopefully starting to regenerate from the damage that was done from [so many] drugs, misdiagnosis and lost time.
I am figuring it out everyday as I go, along with so many other people out there. My progress is up and down, but healing is not linear.
From someone who’s truly been there, I believe it is essential to let go of what everyone thinks is the answer, take people off their pedestal, and take back your power. Do your own research and trust yourself to allow your own body to tell you what it needs. Sure, sounds a little psychic to me, but I’ve always been a little witchy 😉
Check out my original artwork, nutrition and lifestyle sections of this site for tools I’m using to recover from Dysautonomia, POTS, Lyme Disease, Autoimmune Thyroid and late onset Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.