I was excited to wake up today to see a friend of mine had posted on FB that she was having breakfast with me. I didn’t know what she was talking about at first – then I saw this picture. With my beady eyes staring at her the whole time she was eating, I’m surprised I didn’t actually put her OFF her breakfast!
Anyway, the article is basically about my daughter’s ill health, and how it led to me eventually taking the leap to become a nutritional therapist. If you’re interested, I’ll post the story below.
“Just eating healthily didn’t seem to be working for me or my daughter Lucy. She’d been born with a rare genetic condition – Pallister-Killian Syndrome – and health that deteriorated with her age (nervous tics, behavioural issues, anxiety, restless legs, stomach pain, throat swelling, and a chronic condition called Hidradenitis Suppurativa, which presents as large, recurrent abscesses). Dealing with an unwell, unhappy child, who was often in pain, also took it’s toll on me. I tried finding answers for years, and the doctors, though sympathetic, couldn’t always help. The tests they took, on the whole, came up clear. It was frustrating and I felt fatigued, anxious, and developed my own escalating set of symptoms (allergies, mood swings, bloating, joint pain, and weight gain), which were the negative effects of chronic stress on my immune, nervous and digestive systems.
For years, I suspected the answer might be dietary. As a baby, Lucy became fractious after feeding, so I tried improving our eating habits, and I saw benefits, but it wasn’t enough. By her teens, Lucy was on large doses of antibiotics, which led to further health decline.
Trying to find answers through scientific research wasn’t as helpful as I hoped. I found myself in a rabbit warren of information that was difficult for the inexperienced eye to fathom. I learned that, what worked for one group didn’t work for another, and what worked for others didn’t always work for us.
In 2014, I started a nutritional therapy diploma with the College of Naturopathic Medicine. I was certain there was a role for nutrition in improving health, but I needed the tools to do it. A few months in, now understanding I couldn’t be objective about my daughter’s or my own health, I employed a registered nutritional therapist, and finally, we made headway. At this time, Lucy’s abscesses were so unrelenting, the only option seemed to be drastic surgery to cut away areas of her skin and replace them with skin from other parts of her body. I didn’t want surgery, I wanted answers. Our nutritional therapist advised private functional testing – a stool test to check gut health for Lucy, urine tests to check my nutrient and neurotransmitter levels, and a finger-prick food intolerance test for both of us.
Nutritional therapy is an individual approach that investigates potential root causes of people’s symptoms to improve them. Dietary change is always comes first, but as this wasn’t effective in this instance, testing now highlighted imbalances in our bodies, as well as foods that contributed to our symptoms. The results guided which supplements and lifestyle changes were required. Since then, I’ve watched Lucy’s health blossom. Her issues are entirely eliminated or under better control. She’s calmer and happier. The same for me. The quality of our lives has improved exponentially. I can’t recommend the benefits of nutritional therapy enough, and love having the skills to make a huge difference to people’s lives. Nutritional therapy works on so many levels, and there’s nothing to lose, apart from a whole raft of negative symptoms.”