My last update on my health & functional medicine journey was in May, 2016! What?! I mean, crazy. A lot has happened since then.
To keep it short and sweet between then and now… I took all of those supplements, found quite a bit of balance, and then found myself in a rut again come January of this year. My hormones were still out of whack, I was feeling tired and fatigued all the time, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out which foods exactly were still triggering my system like crazy and causing tons of gut issues.
Insert Dr. Lekkos. He is my amazing Functional Medicine Doctor here in LA, and I would recommend him highly to anyone / everyone! Also, if you’re interested in learning about Functional Medicine & Nutrition yourself… check out the mindbodygreen Advanced Functional Nutrition program and do it with me — it starts 11/1 and you have until 10/31 to sign up.
Anyway, Dr. Lekkos and I have been working on getting my health back into balance for the last few years. This time around, we started investigating what was going on back in February, learned a lot more via a bunch of blood tests this summer, and two days ago uncovered a ton of what the real culprits have been all along.
My Imbalances & Allergies //
I want to preface this by saying, in the grand scheme of things… I am a healthy person. I want to send the universe so much gratitude for that, because things could be a LOT worse.
Functional Medicine is all about living optimally — finding the tweaks and taking the necessary steps to go from feeling “good” to feeling absolutely amazing. Since I am a wellness junkie and want to feel AMAZING all of the time and kick all of the little things going on with me that keep me from feeling that way… I am a huge proponent of functional medicine.
Through extensive blood work Dr. Lekkos and I found out that I have an estrogen dominance, which means that my estrogen levels are high compared to my progesterone levels. This causes a painful menstrual cycle with migraines, cramps, heavy bleeding, and fatigue. It also causes hormonal breakouts on my skin, retention of water weight, etc. It’s not fun, and is the root a lot of the issues I experience overall.
I also have a low amount of testosterone, which could mean a whole host of things internally but mainly it means that I get tired easily, it is hard to put on muscle, and it can even cause a bit of depression.
Also my T3 levels in my thyroid were also a little low, so we decided to treat that with supplements to make sure it doesn’t slow down even more which would cause more of an issue.
Beyond those hormonal imbalances, I am also extremely low in Vitamin D, Ferritin, and generally a few other vitamins and minerals that could be functioning at a higher level. Being low in those two vitamins can cause fatigue, breakouts, immunity issues, and gut problems.
Finding out my latest allergies this week was a doozy. Not only am I allergic to literally my favorite things in the world… but having those things and surrounding myself with them has been compromising my immune system like crazy — causing exhaustion, gut health issues, water retention, skin problems, RASHES, stomach pain, and more.
As far as non-food-related allergies, I am off the charts allergic to every type of grass and almost every type of tree. I have known this my whole life but judging off of these tests it seems to be even worst now. When I say “off the charts” I mean that there are levels of red blocks that show you whether your allergy is High, Very High, or Very, Very High and mine for grass go BEYOND Very, Very High.
I am also allergic to… CAT DANDER. :((((!! You guys all know I have my cat, Hudson in my life who is the most important being to me on the entire planet. I had no idea that I was allergic to cat dander because it doesn’t show up for me in the usual ways like sneezing, itching and runny nose. For me, the allergy is more internal and it has been breaking down my immune system over time.
And then there’s food.
I knew gluten would light up off the charts red, but I didn’t realize that EVERY type of gluten-free grain would do the same. Quinoa, rice, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, gluten-free oats, corn, sesame… you name it, I am allergic to it. I was actually relieved to find this out because I KNOW I feel so much better when I stay off of grains entirely — but I didn’t realize it was because I had a full-blown allergy. #tbbgoesgrainfree is all too real!
Mushrooms are always off the charts for me, which is weird because I don’t really think I eat them that much but because of that I will make a conscious effort to avoid them!
And then there was COFFEE. OFF THE CHARTS RED. Really, really far off the charts. This was obviously devastating because I don’t think anyone is more obsessed with all things Bulletproof coffee, almond milk lattes, adaptogenic coffee, etc. than me. But it also makes sense because I have noticed that drinking coffee every day as I have for the last few years feels like it does inflame my gut and make me jittery/off so… the inkling I had about it was correct.
I will be replacing coffee with matcha in the mornings but I can safely say so far it’s NOT THE SAME. Any recommendations for what else you might do (besides Four Sigmatic because I already love their stuff to death) to replace would be much appreciated.
Another huge allergy that shocked and saddened me was ALMONDS. That one will be hard for me because not only do I love almonds, but I drink almond milk, eat almond butter, have all sorts of yummy deserts made with almonds / almond butter / almond flour / etc. all the time! I will have to make a conscious effort to notice when almonds are in something because I am so, so used to eating them! But I will happily replace with cashews, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts… mac nut milk, etc. There are a lot of other options thankfully!
Dairy didn’t even show up as an allergy because I haven’t eaten it in so long. When something is no longer in your system, it doesn’t show up on an allergy test. So that means gluten-free foods and even gluten snuck their way into my body sometime before this test.
Also random things like cranberries and all sorts of fruit were on the list but I already knew about those from previous testing. I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details of apricots, plums, and beyond. 😉 hehe
So because of all of the allergies compromising my immune system and my gut, I have developed massive amounts of leaky gut. My stomach lining is not happy. And guess what? I ALSO HAVE A PARASITE.
Between eating all of these foods that have been breaking down my immune system, plus surrounding myself with things like the outdoors and cat dander (impossible not to on both accounts for me) — my gut has been a total mess.
So when I feel like crap a lot of the time and tell my family and friends that my stomach HURTS terribly… I’m not making that shit up. Leaky gut and food allergies + compromised immune system + mineral deficiencies + chronic fatigue = a lot of discomfort and exhaustion and pain.
What I’m Trying //
You might be surprised to hear that even though a lot of the things that showed up on my test were shocking and a bummer to me (cat dander, COFFEE, almonds…) I was thrilled to learn that I am feeling this way for a reason.
Anyone who deals with chronic stomach problems or chronic fatigue knows that when you get tests done and everything comes back normal AF, it’s sort of devastating. Because although yes you don’t have a serious disease which would be awful, there are also zero answers to the problems you’re dealing with which means you have to keep living with them.
So for me, if I can start making the necessary changes in my diet and lifestyle — taking my new supplements, cutting the foods I’m allergic to out of my diet, taking homeopathic tinctures to help me with the outdoor + cat dander allergies, replacing coffee with matcha and some other awesome options my doctor shared with me… then I think and hope I will start feeling a LOT better.
Today when the meds arrive I will start taking Tindamax to kill my parasite (#thankg0d), LDN to help with the allergies and immune system function, and progesterone to balance out my estrogen dominance. I am already on about 10 other supplements to keep my hormones and vitamin levels in balance, and so far I’ve noticed the supplements have been helping and doing their job.
Send Healing Vibes //
I hope that sharing all of these details with you might inspire you to look deeper into your own health, because it’s so true that knowledge is power when it comes to how we are feeling in our own bodies.
If you live in LA I would highly recommend seeing Dr. Lekkos, tell him I sent you! I get a lot of questions from people in other cities asking whether I can recommend a Functional Medicine Doctor in their area and the answer is… I don’t know of any outside of Los Angeles because this is where I live, but they are everywhere and you should be able to find someone near you with ease. Otherwise, my doctor does do Skype sessions!
If you are interested in learning about Functional Nutrition & Medicine yourself in order to get a wider knowledge of your own health and help others in your life, from the microbiome in your gut to what the deal really is with intermittent fasting and more… check out MBG’S Advanced Functional Nutrition Program and do it with me! It starts in a few days!
Send healing vibes my way — as this week I have not only been hit HARD by my chronic fatigue but also by an insane bout of insomnia…. plus I am getting sick from having way too many commitments and traveling too much. AHHH.
When I get to this level of pure exhaustion and rundown-ness I am truly a mess on the verge of 1984398 mental breakdowns.
So sharing this post today was exactly what I needed. <3
I am hopeful and I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out!
Love you guys! Would love to hear about your health + wellness journeys or journeys with Functional Medicine, share with them with me in the comments so I can hear! xx