I wish I could say that my health has been perfect since I started this blog. That I was healed since removing the toxins, ate a clean organic diet and took my supplements for PCOS. But remember, I said health is a journey (See part 1 of My Story HERE)? It continues…
When my twins were one to two, I was doing pretty amazing. My weight was at its lowest ever, 134, I was loving up my very active boys, training three days a week, running, cooking, blogging, brewing kombucha, making deodorant, lotion, etc.! It was a time when I felt my best! Then life happened. I had a major falling out with some of my best friends. It totally wrecked me emotionally. I also completed a 21 day cleanse around the same time… I never got my energy back. Instead of losing weight, I started gaining. I felt depressed, exhausted and emotional. Everything I did left me drained.
I found a natural doctor that said I was struggling with adrenal fatigue and low ferritin (depleted iron stores), a measly level 17. Being a stay at home momma to TWO two-year old boys was hard enough, but on top of having adrenal fatigue and low iron, I just couldn’t do it all any more! I’m not sure what put me over the edge, the falling out with my so-called girlfriends, the 21 day cleanse, PCOS complications, or was it the low iron that started when I was pregnant with two babies? I couldn’t say, but after a year of seeing my new doctor, I was beginning to feel better, good enough to think about trying for a third baby.
I just knew God laid this baby on my heart. I was meant to be a mommy to more! My boys are the light of my life, they were finally getting easier since they were able to communicate! They also started asking for a sister! So, of course I would love to give them one!
It wasn’t easy for us to conceive our twins. It took two and a half long years of praying and pleading with God. Going to this doctor and that one. Test after test. Multiple surgeries on my uterus. Finally, I knew the Lord led us down the rocky path of IVF. Long story short, we were given a 1% chance of conceiving our first cycle and we got our two miracles! We finally knew what our “problem” was. We received a call that our cycle was almost a failure, our sperm and eggs couldn’t connect on their own and they rescued our cycle with ICSI (injecting the sperm into the egg) 24 hours after my egg retrieval. Our twins were the first in TWENTY years to be born from rescue ICSI at our clinic… only by Gods miraculous grace.
We took a leap of faith to try again, this time knowing we would need ICSI right away. We believed that God would bless us. Sadly over two years later, we are left with huge holes in our hearts after enduring FOUR miscarriages (including multiples) and many failed cycles. To say that my faith was shaken would be an understatement, but to say that God has been faithful through this journey would be nothing short the truth. This has been the trial of my life thus far. So much pain, so much heartache, but through it all He has been with me and our family and we have all grown so much closer to the Lord. I know his plan will be so much greater, then the desires of my heart.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
This last miscarriage in October 2016 was the hardest. We crossed every “t” and dotted every “i” with my doctor. I still lost my babies. Each miscarriage was getting earlier and earlier… 6 weeks, 5 weeks, 4.5 weeks, 4.5 weeks… I felt like my body was attacking the embryos and killing them. My doctor also let us know that we were one of five cases he has seen like this in all his years at his practice. He was at a loss on what to do and suggested a surrogate. We left heartbroken, but also realizing more what miracles we were given! But, I couldn’t help to question why this was happening?
I finally surrendered. I gave up. God is God, I am not. We decided we would not more forward in any area trying to grow our family (adoption, surrogate, stopping all together or trying again on our own), until we hear clearly from the Lord. I don’t know why it took me so long, but I do feel the Lord needed me to reach this whole new level of surrendering my life to him, fully and completely, by trusting my fertility and my great desire to be a Mommy to more babies, to Him. I laid it down.
In Search of Answers
Even though I know a baby may or may not be in the Lords plan for us, I wanted to get to the bottom of why this was happening. Something in my body wasn’t right regardless. In October 2016, I found a new doctor who is a Naturopath. She started looking for the root cause of my losses.
She began a series of tests. She tested me and found that my Ferritin levels were still low, now up to 33 from 17, but needed to be 90-110 ng/ml optimally. She explained “Your hair stops falling out at a level of 50 ml, and can start growing back at a level of 70ml.” No wonder my hair would never grow and looking back, I would lose tons of hair when brushing! I thought it was normal because I had been like this for so long! I started ferritin injections right away in conjunction with Floradix, a liquid iron supplement, which is easily absorbed in the body. She also explained that low ferritin is not good for fertility.
Symptoms of Low Ferritin (Depleted Iron Stores)
- Body aches
- Hair loss or thinning hair
- Low libido
- Long heavy menstrual cycles
- Hypothyroid (Iron deficiency slows your body’s thyroid function and blocks its metabolism-boosting effects, according to the National Academy of Hypothyroidism.)
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Tingling or numbness in fingers or toes
- Muscle weakness
She also checked my Thyroid, while the standard TSH levels (the standard tests most doctors check) were NORMAL, my FREE T3 was low, but my Free T4 was normal. This test is easily missed by many doctors, and apparently was missed by mine! I have Hypothyroidism!
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain
- Infertility – Frequent miscarriage
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slower heart rate
- Depressed mood
- Impaired memory
Check, check, check! Some of these also over lap with low ferritin.
The big question was, why was all this happening? Again, searching for the root cause, we did a food Antibody Assessment, known as a IgG test looking for food intolerances. You all know I am a firm believer in eating all natural foods as long as you don’t have an allergy or intolerance. IgG looks at how your body reacts to food in the long term. It shows what you are intolerant of not necessarily allergic to. I was shocked to find that I was SEVERELY, intolerant of chicken eggs, whites and yolks, as well as duck eggs and moderately intolerant of milk and whey. At this point, I have removed all eggs and egg ingredients in my diet and whey protein, I had already eliminated milk years ago. Eating foods we are intolerant of can lead to leaky gut, which then can lead to an array of other health problems including autoimmune, and what I’ve fear my body has been doing to my babies, destroying them.
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut syndrome, a condition that occurs when the gut lining becomes abnormally permeable, or when undigested food particles and toxins leaks through your intestinal walls and into your blood stream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Seasonal allergies or asthma
- Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS
- Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease
- Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD
- Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema
- Diagnosis of candida overgrowth
- Food allergies or food intolerances
I tested my Zonulin Levels (aka Leaky gut test), to check for Leaky Gut. Thankfully, my levels came back very low, but it did show I had a mild form of it. My Doctor started me on selenium supplements to help with my intestinal permeability and get my health back in check. That in conjunction with removing my food intolerances from my diet will help heal leaky gut.
Now, I’m not sharing all of this to scare you, but this is my journey. Natural health and healing is what I am about. I wish with all my red flags… early miscarriages, low energy, thinning hair, dry skin, fatigue, heavy menstrual cycles, severe allergies, weight gain, foggy head, only brought me to my new doctor sooner! I wish I had this knowledge before we started trying for another baby, but doctor after doctor missed it all… and I ignored my symptoms! They missed my thyroid! They did the wrong tests!
Again, I say you always need to be your own health advocate. If you are having any of these symptoms, make sure to ask your doctor specifically for these tests…
Simple Blood tests Your Doctor Might be Missing
Request these at your next check up!
- Reverse T3, TSH, FREE T3, FREE T4, Thyroglobulin Antibody, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody, not just the standard TSH (which showed normal for me).
- An Amenia Profile… Including Ferritin! The reference range is big, 5-148 ng/ml. Remember, even if your doctor says in normal, it needs to be above 50 to stop losing your hair, 70 to start growing again and optimally 100!
See a Naturopath or integrative medicine Doctor for these
- Food Intolerance test, IgG.
- Leaky gut test, Check Zonulin Levels.
- Adrenal fatigue saliva test
As for my Adrenals, I did complete the saliva test. The results showed I was in adrenal fatigue during morning and afternoon. When your adrenals are shot, it can also lead to array of health problems, also effecting the Thyroid. Because they usually do go hand in hand she had me start an adrenal supplement. I’m now down to once a day of taking them. My body is healing.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Mild depression or anxiety
- Multiple food and or inhalant allergies
- Lethargy and lack of energy
- Increased effort to perform daily tasks
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- Dry and thin skin
- Low blood sugar
- Low body temperature
- Unexplained hair loss
- Alternating diarrhea or constipation
Now, which came first? Was it eating the eggs, Adrenal Fatigue, the Low Ferritin levels, the PCOS or the Low Thyroid that put my body into this mess? I’m not sure, but the good thing is that we are getting to the bottom of it… finally. I have hope again, that I can actually feel better, that I AM beginning to feel better, that I can keep up with my mother and my VERY pregnant friends!
Now, I don’t know if doing all this will help us grow our family, I have officially left that up to God. I have faith that he will see us through, no matter what it is, to bring glory to His name. Once again, I am excited to see what the future brings and that I am finally on the path to health and natural healing! My energy is slowly returning and my hair is already feeling thicker! I know I have a long way to go. Its a journey, but I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!
Have you struggled in any of these area’s? Did you get the help you need to heal? Let me know and leave a comment!
***FOUR MONTH UPDATE***
I have a miracle to share! No, no baby, but I have had a HUGE answer to prayer since I removed eggs from my diet, including eggs baked in food.
The passed four years I have suffered from what I thought was seasonal allergies, but they happened to me year round. I would wake up sneezing and blowing my nose, itchy eyes and ears. I was tested by an allergist only to be told I was allergic to dust mites. I spent thousands of dollars, replacing air ducts, adding a whole home air purifier, encasing mattresses, then getting an organic mattress. I told my husband, our home was “killing me” and we hired a mold inspector, only to come up with nothing. I thought about moving out of the house for 30 days to see if it was the house. I thought it was our cat and almost got rid of our cat! Nothing helped me. I continued to suffer.
A miracle happened.
I removed eggs the best I could December 2016, and then got serious January 2017. I noticed my allergies were better but I thought it was the weather. On January 21, we celebrated my mother-in-laws birthday and I indulged in dessert that I know had eggs in it. Within an hour, my eyes started itching, my ears started itching. But I just thought my allergies were acting up again. The next day I had my moms cobbler, again with eggs in it. My eyes went blood shot. I was having to use allergy eye drops to control the itching. That is when it hit me… EGGS! I am severly allergic to eggs. No allergy test detected it. A simple food INTOLLERANCE test did!
Since then, I have been 100% egg free, with one or two accidentals. With those accidentals, my eyes would go bloodshot.
I believe eggs were the cause of SO MANY of my problems, including the autoimmune issues I was having. I suffered for years and now I feel the BEST I have, in probably my entire life. My head is clear, my energy is high, my hair is growing, and my skin is glowing. Thank you GOD for answering this HUGE prayer. I highly reccomend everyone get this IgG intollerance test, your health can depend on it.