Vitality

Breast Implant Illness

breast implant illness

OK. This is about to get really awkward.

But, there is no way I can NOT share this with everything that I've learned. Even if my discomfort, or yours, saves just one person from suffering.

You see, I've recently had a huge breakthrough regarding my health. The final AHA moment. It's funny, I finally started writing my next book and then the floodgates opened. People and information and opportunities are coming to me. That's when I know I'm doing what I'm meant to.

Before I get weird, let me paint a brief picture. In my 20's I was tired. Exposure to Lyme, EBV, mold, HPV vaccine, divorce and ER/ICU nursing. But with all that, I was able to push through and ignore the fatigue.

In my 30's though, that's when I hit my wall and had some extreme ups and downs with my health. Here's where I'm about to get weird. Guess what the changed my life for the worse??

Breast implants.

Still with me? Good.

After a lifetime of insecurities of what God gave me, I surgically added toxic bags to my body like many other women do. What I didn't know at the time is about a thing called Breast Implant Illness. I didn't know that this was the final straw that sent my body into autoimmune crisis, inflammation, adrenal crash, postmenopausal hormones, debilitating pain, food intolerances, brain fog, extreme fatigue and more.

I'm in a group of over 42,000 women (yes, FORTY TWO THOUSAND and that is just who stumbled upon this one group) with similar (and even worse) consequences from implants. And thousands of women healing after getting them removed.

I had heard about BII, but didn't think it was me. I was fine. They were crazy. But more and more of my friends are getting theirs removed and healing and even reversing some of the long-term damage. I've seen some pretty amazing miracles after getting the implants removed.

So, now what?

I'm consulting with surgeons and planning on explanting as soon as I can (will have to be after my trip to Europe). I'm not sure how I ignored the fact I put bags of over 40 toxic chemicals near my heart, lungs, thymus gland. Like, it would be ok but yet my toothpaste must be fluoride free and I only use wooden spoons to cook. I have actively removed toxins from my life in order to heal but neglected to look at the obvious.

All you have to do is a little research about BII and the toxins in implants and you'll know, this isn't safe to put in your body. It's amazing to see all these women finally healing after years of progressive illnesses.

I do have underlying issues and also have 10 years of damage to repair but I cannot wait for this next step in healing.

And with that, is a whole other subject on self-love and confidence. There was nothing wrong with my a cup but yet I felt pressure to adhere to a certain aesthetic. I'm going to embrace and be very proud of my post explant, classy, natural body. I hear flat is the new black anyway <3

There is a distinct possibility that you or someone you know may be suffering from some mysterious illness, always tired or worse. If implants are in, BII should be addressed. I know it's a tough pill to swallow (and one I've avoided for a couple years) but there is NO WAY implants are good for you. And the gummy bears are the worst unfortunately.

Here are some resources to get you or somone you love started:

https://healingbreastimplantillness.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Healingbreastimplantillness/?ref=br_rs

Awkward moment over. I hope you know I only got publicly weird because I love you guys and hate to see so much suffering <3
Gretchen

Young, Sick And Full Of Dread

young, sick and full of dread

My curly haired daughter filled me with dread as she happily bounced over to my horizontal body on the couch. “Come see this mama”, she said as she pulled my limp arm. I mustered up every ounce of my willpower to smile back and start lifting my deadweight legs.

I had saved up 6 hours of energy to play with her after she came home from her little school. Determined to shield her from my pain and exhaustion, I went with her hand in hand.

At this point in my life, I survived on love and sheer determination alone.

Month after month, year after year I was getting worse. I partially succeeded in hiding my debilitating enervation from my friends and family but it was getting harder to hide from my daughter and husband.

2 year olds are perceptive.

My husband is my best friend.

I cried to him on many occasions, feeling terrible that I wasn’t a “good” mom and wife. Frustrated that my physical body couldn’t keep up with my mind. Pissed that conventional doctors were failing me. Saddened that I couldn’t do as much with my little girl as she deserved. Heartbroken after another miscarriage because we wanted to grow our family (which we eventually did!).

I sat on the floor with my little girl that day and resolved that enough was enough. I had to find my own answers and stop relying on weak doctors telling me my “TSH is fine, it’s just hormones, can’t find anything wrong.” I decided to claw my way out of this dark, damp pine box before the cover closed and the dirt hammered the top. This wasn’t living. Hell this was barely surviving.

So I researched. Studied. Read. And thus began my journey into finding answers to the question:

WHY THE HELL DO I WORK OUT, EAT RIGHT, TAKE CARE OF MYSELF, THINK POSITIVELY, AM A GO-GETTER BUT YET FEEL SO LIFE ALTERINGLY SICK AND TIRED?

I’ll condense my journey in this essay in order to potentially fast track helping you (or someone you know). At the end, I’ll share some resources that have helped me.

First, I read the book Stop The Thyroid Madness and discovered my hypothyroidism was grossly neglected and under-treated (criminal!). The thyroid is a complex gland that releases T4, T3, T2, T1, calcitonin and works in unison with other parts of the body. Many vitamins and minerals are often depleted when the thyroid is neglected. My adrenals were shot, my body was extremely stressed. I found a functional medicine doctor who at first listened and did understand the complexity of thyroid disease and adrenal crash/fatigue. We worked together to obtain labs and proper treatment of my chronic disease. In addition to that; I accelerated my quest to become toxic free with my food, products and household goods (more about that a little later).

Healing adrenal issues isn’t cut and dried and that took some time, diligence and patience. I’d take 2 steps forward and a few steps back despite following the protocol my doc gave me. I’d sit in her office and cry with frustration asking WHY? Why do I still have days, sometimes weeks or months where I could barely move or think?

She had the foresight to look into my genes and had me get my raw DNA from 23andme.com. But where she went wrong was taking my data and running it through a generic online app that spit out generic advice. I was prescribed bioidentical hormones (at age 38) and tons of supplements that actually did my body more harm than good. My ammonia levels were through the roof, I was given supplements my body could not “process” and many other things were left unaddressed.

[On a side note, it was sobering and difficult to sit in her office crying yet again over my fatigue and have her question if I was just “depressed” and “did I even like being a mother?” when I was just fed up with being tired for years on end.  On top of it all; I was having mood swings from the progesterone she prescribed me (but didn’t check my labs for). Even me, a medical professional and self advocate fell into the pitfalls that many others do with inadequate care. It saddens me that so many out there are feeling the way I did but dismissed by their docs. If nothing else comes from this article, I hope people stand up for their health and never give up until they find a doc that truly listens and digs deep]

So again, I had to start from scratch to find the right person to help me….and I did. I found (through a friend) a specialist that looked at my raw DNA, studied my labs and history to create a bio-individualized plan specifically for my needs.

I’ll attempt to simplify: we all have some genetic mutations that our ancestors developed for our continued survival. Those mutations combined with our lifestyles create our current state of health.

Some examples of the toxic load on our genes in this day and age (causing a sharp increase in autoimmune illnesses and cancers in children and adults):

  • Roundup (pesticides) in our food

  • GMO’s

  • Fake sugars, fake ingredients

  • Gluten (from low quality sources)

  • Our guts are lacking the proper intestinal flora and not absorbing vitamins & minerals

  • Toxic plastics...literally everywhere

  • Additives like folic acid in our foods (and those of us with MTHFR cannot process them)

  • Tons of toxic laden vaccines, often with fetal cells injected into us and our kids (I’m not sitting here saying I’m anti-vaccine but I have been educating myself on the quality and quantity of vaccines we are given in this day and age)

  • MSG and other crap disguised as “natural flavors” or “spices”

  • Cancerous toxins in our makeup, lotions, soaps and products

  • Drinking water with fluoride, pharmaceutical meds, arsenic, chlorine and other toxins

  • EMF’s

  • Lack of sleep (decrease in melatonin production which is an anti-cancer natural hormone), tons of stress (elevated cortisol and adrenal burnout) and a society that worships the hustler that never sleeps in order to pursue their dreams or the Pinterest mom that can do it “all”

I’m not saying all this to scare you but for you to realize what our genes are trying to endure.

The specialist I found spent hours pouring over my SNP’s (DNA) and created a phased plan to heal certain methylation pathways and my gut and eventually lead my body back into homeostasis with just a few supplements that my particular body needs.

Just a few of my concerns: autoimmunity, mutations like; MTHFR, PON1, COMT, CYP1B1, BHMT/PEMT, FUT2, GAD enzyme SNPs, high cortisol, low melatonin, high oxalates, low GABA and more.

Some labs I had drawn in addition to the basics: Nutreval, Spectracell, Cyrex Array 5, three day Comprehensive Stool test, Rhythm Plus from Genova Diagnostics (30 day hormone test). Next I’ll be checking my food sensitivities via the Cyrex Array 10.

I’ve been working with my new specialist since October, 2016 addressing my sleep issues (I use the Oura Ring out of Finland), hormones, history, biochemical pathways and genetic mutations.  Each month the shroud has been lifted more and more with just a few minor self induced setbacks (like that month I thought unlimited gluten and processed food would be ok). I can also say that I no longer live in DREAD of letting my family down....which is everything.

Since I’ve shared just snippets of my story to friends and on social media I’ve had countless women and men reach out to me with similar issues. I'm not the only one, there are many of us secretly suffering:

Fatigue

Autoimmune issues

No answers from doctors

Can’t sleep

Achy

Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired

I will share more and more of my story as time goes on (as well as resources that have helped me). Feel free to comment your insight, questions or concerns below. I may or may not be able to answer but I can always help direct you to someone who can. Do your due diligence and learn as much as you can and never take NO for an answer on your own quest for health. I truly feel most Functional Medicine doctors have an extensive knowledge of the whole body and if you still don’t get to the bottom of your issues then finding someone who truly understands SNP analysis.

{I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet. This is purely my experience and not intended to replace medical advice. Please see your doctor that you trust for expert medical care}

Resources to get you started: (I'm not affiliated with any of these and do not make money by sharing this info with you)

23andme.com

MTHFRSupport.com

Documentaries:

Fed Up, Food Inc, Vaxxed, Consumed (on Netflix: movie about GMO's and glyphosates)

Thyroid:

Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?

RF

Exposure: http://www.naturalnews.com/054165_cell_phone_radiation_brain_tumors_government_study.html

6 Step Morning Ritual

6 step morning ritual

We must do it all.

Build our careers, make more money, take care of our family, make our homes Pinterest-worthy, meetings, deadlines, playdates, make sure our kids lunches are cut up in pretty designs and of course, organic.

Meanwhile, all of this pressure and burning the candle at both ends is driving us into the ground. We need a huge Starbucks to get going in the morning and wine & melatonin to shut down our racing minds at night.

Can't think.

      Can't sleep.

              Can't get it ALL done.

                       Pressure. Fatigue. Stress.

Doesn't sound fun does it? Why do we do this to ourselves? Have we lost sight of taking care of ourselves? When was the last time you took care of YOU? Felt relaxed? Content?

ARE YOU ENJOYING THE JOURNEY OR IN A DAZE FOCUSING ON THAT ELUSIVE "SOMEDAY"?

Someday is actually today. Cliche I know...but I've been there too! The pressure, self imposed deadlines, competition against myself and my perceived societal expectations burned me out. I had an adrenal crash that practically had me bedridden. 

It took me a couple years but I slowly learned how to:

  • FIND JOY EVERY DAY

  • OVERCOME COMPARISON

  • FOLLOW MY PASSION

  • ENJOY THE JOURNEY

  • SAY F@#$ WHAT OTHERS THINK AND HONORED MY PRIORITIES

  • GET MY MOJO BACK EVEN WITH TWO YOUNG KIDS

  • FIND BALANCE.

I'm here to share with you what I've learned the hard way. Simple steps can make a huge impact in your health, energy and relationships. 

I created a simple free guide to get you started on beating the burnout and starting your JOY journey. 6 simple steps that I do each morning that has made a huge impact on my energy and mood. Enjoy!