Monday, February 23, 2015

My journey to recovery (from Candida, Adrenal Fatigue, Hormonal imbalances, leaky gut and under active thyroid)

It's taken me awhile to post this because I wasn't really sure where to start. I cannot really pinpoint WHEN I started noticing all my symptoms but I can say that most of the issues I was experiencing started to occur September 2013, right after breaking my right wrist in a severe car accident. 

For those of you that don't know me, I own my own fitness business, work one on one and with clients in a group setting to help them see results as well as run a team of coaches and help them do the same. When I broke my wrist in August 2013, I had to make the decision that I wouldn't let that injury set me back on my own fitness journey as well as my career. I knew there were people depending on me. So I worked around my injury by buying a program called "Dragon Dictate" to type my messages and check ins with my team and clients and took my work outs down to walking, lifting with just my left arm and leg work outs. I also followed the modifier in T25.  

About 2 months in to my recovery, I started to notice a a rash (eczema) on my eyelids and elbows. I wasn't alarmed at first by this because as a kid and young adult I would have random outbreaks of eczema but never thought much about it. Just put cream on it and it went away. These rashes weren't going away and they were getting more and severe and painful. I had a trip to Texas I was going to (November 2013) and these rashes appeared a week before I had to go. I went to Urgent Care-- they gave me a shot of Solumedrol and Prednisone RX for two weeks. I took it like prescribed and it went away! The day my prescription was done, it came back. I was furious. I had no idea where it was coming from and never tied it to the stressors going on in my life. I went to my primary care physician and got another shot and another prescription of Prednisone. Once again. It didn't help. I finally decided to just try and relax, use the cream my physician had recommend and see what happened. It went away. 

Two months later, my husband and I decided to start really focusing on our own weight loss. While I was the lightest I had been in awhile, since I was losing muscle mass in my right arm, I felt fluffy. 

Two weeks in to our routine, he lost 15 lbs, I gained 5. I was once again, FURIOUS but never tied it to what was going on in my life around me. I finally decided to reach out to a Holistic practitioner and quickly found out all the symptoms-- the eczema, the stomach aches, the fatigue after working out, the irritability, the bloating, the digestion problems, craving sugary/carb foods etc., were all tied to CANDIDA.  For those of you that don't know what Candida is, it's a yeast/fungal infection that causes all of the above symptoms. For me, it was caused by the traumatic experience I went through with my wrist, my Type A personality and not knowing WHEN to let myself relax(my business, wedding coming up etc,), my birth control that I had been on for several years to help with PMS and cramps and all the sweets and carb loaded foods I had consumed over the last couple months because of the holiday season. 

It took me two months to clear my Candida up. I was diagnosed by doing a stool test from my Holistic practioner. I was advised to stay away from all processed carbs, starchy veggies and to follow more of a Paleo type diet. 

For a list of foods I ate click here. For a list of foods I avoided click here

I really thought that by doing the Candida diet, because I really couldn't eat many things, I would be able to lose weight. The scale didn't budge, but I did see changes in my body composition which I was happy with. 

After tackling that, we started focusing on the fact that my hormones were all out of whack as well as my thyroid. I had been on Synthroid since I was 13 years old (diagnosed with hypothyroidism) and every couple years my Dr. would just up my dose a bit. I was switched over my by holistic practioner to Armour because my t4 was extremely high and my t3 was extremely low. What I was told is that the t4 was not being converted to t3 while on Synthroid. Within days of switch to Armour, my brain fog and fatigue went away. I felt like a NORMAL person finally. 

With my hormones-- I had stopped taking the pill at the end of February 2014 and my DHEA, progesterone and testosterone were nonexistent. I was put on daily progesterone and DHEA (prescribed by my holistic partitioner) and took these pills from April 2014 until August 2014. I still hadn't gotten my period and decided to stop the pills, from advice from my Mother, and go see my gynecologist. A week after seeing her, my period came back and has been pretty consistent since with my hormones returning to normal levels, which is good because I want to be a mom within the next year :)

We then focused our attention to the fact that I was still bloating, have digestion problems and stomach aches. We realized I had leaky gut and several food intolerances. Foods that I had been eating, while on the Candida diet I had to remove-- eggs & almonds were the biggest ones. At the point I felt completely overwhelmed and had no where to turn. I struggled with this issues for 6 months between the traveling, wedding planning etc., I finally gave it up to God and let him take over the reigns which led me to a new holistic practitioner in my area as well as the Thyroid Fix in 6 programs which taught me so many tools I could add in to my life easily like dry brushing, tracking my temperature, and relaxation techniques. I will be forever grateful to Jen for creating that program because that, along with God and the help of my new practitioner helped me turn that corner. 

On top of that, I added in some supplements to help, including  THER-BIOTIC COMPLETE POWDER as a probiotic, on top of my daily vegan shakeology ,  GI- Revive  and glutamine powder.  I put all 3 of these things in my chocolate vegan shakeology and within a week or so I noticed my digestion problems, bloating and stomach aches going away. I cannot 100% contribute my gut being healed to just these 3 things, but I do believe they definitely aided in my healing. Along with this, I added in the recommendations for the Auto Immune Paleo Protocol, for 4 weeks. I pulled out foods such as nuts, eggs, gluten, dairy, nightshade vegetables, corn,soy and caffeine because those are the main food intolerances in most individuals. 

To receive a copy of the foods I ate and avoided as well as the lifestyle changes I made, CLICK HERE

The last thing I tackled, which started to heal along with all of the above as well as the things I added in specifically for it was my adrenal fatigue and coritsol levels. I was able to know they were out of whack by doing a saliva test, done by my holistic practitioner.  With the results, I was advised to start taking a Adrenal Health supplement and cutting down my work outs to just low intensity. I chose to do PIYO and I picked up the book The Adrenal Reset Diet, and started to add in his tips on focusing on eating more carbohydrates at night, instead of the morning along with protein and fats. 

A whole year later, I am able to say that I am feeling 100% better. I still have days where I don't feel as good as I wish I did, or get frustrated with all the changes I've had to make to my lifestyle and to not teeter from there, but I have been able to embrace this new lifestyle and know that by going through everything I went through last year, I am able to help more and more people overcome these obstacles. While they're definitely not fun to go through, they do make you a stronger person and to learn how to really focus in on what makes YOU feel your best. 

I was given the chance to be in the Test group of a new program for my company called, the 21 Day Fix Extreme  which I would have NEVER been able to complete and get good results from if I wouldn't have taken the time, the year before, to really heal myself from all of the issues I had been having. 

Because I know there are so  many people who experience the problems I had, I had monthly groups devoted to helping you get through your issues. While I am not a Dr. and cannot prescribe, mediate or 100% assure you that my plan, and the above information will work for you, I will be someone there for you supporting you through this tough time. Sometimes we just need someone there. 

If you want to be a part of my next group, apply by CLICKING HERE

If you want to just connect with me you can follow me on Facebook or email me at 

Look forward to hearing from you! If what has helped me, can help at least ONE person, then I have done my job :)