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UPDATE Sept. 2018 – While the info I share in today’s blog post (and all of my “Let’s Get Personal” blog posts) will be helpful to those who are starting out on their healing journeys, I felt it pertinent to post a quick update as to where I am now in my healing journey. It has been quite the adventure with all sorts of ups and downs, twists and turns. I got to a point where I no longer felt drawn to share so many intimate details so I stopped writing the Let’s Get Personal series in 2016. If you would like to get the most recent update on my health and healing journey, please read this post, 3 Reasons Why I No Longer Share About My Healing Journey Online. or watch the video below. You are always more than welcome to email me with any questions as well! Cheers! ~Jessica
Last week, I gathered my courage and got personal. I shared with all of you that I was simplifying my life, facing adrenal fatigue, and taking a stand for my thyroid. That post took some guts. I’m not one to talk about these types of personal issues with the public. Hell, I barely talk about them with my family and friends. For so long, I’ve just kept the fact that I feel somewhat run down and not “normal” hidden. I’m not sick enough to be debilitated, nor are my symptoms enough to make daily functioning difficult. For that, I am truly thankful. However, most days, I don’t feel like I am supposed to. Not that I know what a “normal” 31 year old woman should feel like, but I don’t think this is it.
DISCLAIMER: The content shared on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. Statements/products discussed have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult your own certified health care practitioner before making changes to your current diet or before beginning any herbal or vitamin supplement regimen or exercise program.
So, the question that I know some people are wondering is why start now? I’ve been dealing with this for awhile now, I’m not super sick, I can still hold down a job, I have energy to exercise, so surely it isn’t that bad?
Long story short?
Image Courtesy of sxc.hu and Ugaldew
Babies are the reason that I have finally decided to hop off the passiveness train and onto the proactiveness train. And by babies, I mean the baby (or babies) that I hope to have some day.
You see, I had a sobering realization about two weeks ago.
It finally sunk in that statistically, women who suffer from thyroid issues have a much more difficult time conceiving than those whose systems are functioning properly. I’ve known this for years. I’ve been told this by doctors for years.
But, it didn’t sink in until just recently.
And when it did, I started crying.
You see, my plan (because everyone knows that I love to make plans) was to start a family when we turned 30. Well, that didn’t happen for a multitude of reasons. Now, it has been pushed out another few years (for yet another multitude of reasons). So, not only am I going to have age to deal with when we get to the point where we’re ready to start trying, but I’m also going to have thyroid issues as well. What if we get to that point and we’re unable to conceive? What if my lack of proactiveness leads us to be unable to start a family. Both my husband and I really, really want kids and I can’t imagine how devastated we would be if that was not an option.
Now, I realize that I could get everything healed and functioning properly (or at least much better) and we could still have problems. I get that. I also know some women with thyroid issues who have been blessed with happy, healthy babies. I get that too.
But, I would absolutely not forgive myself if I’m in my late 30s and unable to conceive, and I realized that if I had been more proactive about my health, we might have had better luck.
Not going to let that happen.
We only have one life to live, so we better make the most of it.
So, that’s why I’m getting serious now.
Because I want to give sweet hubby and me the best chance possible to start a healthy family. And Lord knows, by the time that time rolls around, we’re really, really, really, really going to want kids!
The reasons are many for why I am finally to a place where I can start focusing on my health. But, if I had to prioritize my reasons, it would be (1) babies, (2) I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, and (3) I am in a place, mentally, where I can take this on without losing my mind.
So, let’s get this party started, shall we?
I’m already a few days into my nutritional therapist’s (Lydia from Divine Health) blood sugar control challenge. It’s definitely been a challenge. I have been going hardcore. And I’m feeling a little better. It’s amazing how making small changes can yield noticeable results. Gives us hope that true healing is possible!
Tell me, how are you feeling? What issues are you dealing with right now? Leave me a comment below and let’s discuss. I think we all have so much to learn from each other and each and every comment offers a learning opportunity for all women who are facing similar issues!
Health, happiness, and love.
Health Journey Update – 8/18/15
Here are a few videos of my current progress. To see even more up-to-date info on my personal health journey, check out my YouTube channel here.
Support Your Stress Response, Adrenals, Thyroid, and Whole Body Through Herbs
When it comes to supporting overall wellness, herbs are a great tool to have in your toolkit, especially those who may be dealing with chronic illness of some type. Since 2009, when I started this site, I have met thousands upon thousands of people through my work and by far, the #1 health complaints are:
- adrenal fatigue (or adrenal dysfunction of some sort) (click here to read all of my adrenal health articles)
- thyroid disorders (hypo-, hyper-, or autoimmune) (click here to read all of my thyroid health articles)
Because of this, I wanted to add in a section into this post about the benefit of using herbs with chronic illness. Adaptogens are by far one of the most used herbs when it comes to working with people who have low energy, fatigue, and overall imbalance in the endocrine system (thyroid, adrenals, and blood sugar).
While the benefits of adaptogenic herbs extend far beyond just supporting that one system, this tends to be one of the main reasons people turn to adaptogenic herbs in the first place. That said there are a lot of other herbs out there that offer amazing support for the body, especially those dealing with chronic illness which is why I wanted to share this section today.
If you are dealing with any type of chronic illness, I’m sorry to break it to you, but caffeine may not be your best friend. 🙁 While you can find lots of info online in both the pro- and the anti-coffee camps, the fact of the matter comes down to the fact that are a lot of people dealing with chronic illness, especially thyroid and adrenal problems, that simply cannot tolerate coffee and caffeine.
While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to and can further exacerbate the toxic load on the body.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. In addition to dealing with these issues, we suspected that I was having some detox pathway sluggishness so we wanted to also focus on supporting the liver and lymph systems. Most people who are dealing with chronic illness are also going to have issues with detoxification of the body, which is why herbs can play such an important role.
To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.
But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.
And it sucked.
I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.
Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs.
Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. All of the herbs used in my “coffee” blends have been used for thousands of years to support the body’s normal functions and help everything work a little better — something we all need in today’s toxic world! (psst, dandelion is one of the herbs!)
When it came to creating these blends, if I could get something to not only tasted amazing (and helped me recreate my dearly loved ritual), but also did amazingly supportive things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!
I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.
After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home.
That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief.
Now in its second edition, this ebook features:
- All of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.
- A ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.
- Information about all of the herbs used, why I selected them, how to source them, how to prepare and store you “coffees”, and much more.
- Access to your own personal coffee shop where I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here. Only real food.
This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.
I have been going to a naturopath for a skin condition.
I had been to 4 different dermatologists plue the famous Mayo Clinic 6 times. No one could tell me what was wrong. Then I went to a chiropractor who does applied kineseology. He diagnosed the fact that I had H PYLORIC. My naturopath treated me with an herbal remedy and I am fine. I got a workable diagnosis after 11 months!!!!! Please look at this website:
Facsinating information!!! Download his book: Help! My Body is Killing Me.
Good luck! Corey
Hi Corey – I’ve never had kineseology done, but I know many people who swear by it. I would like to have to done sometime. I am so happy to hear about your recovery. It really is sad where our medical community is nowadays. It seems like for all they advanced education they receive, the less smart they are. It really is sad that more of them don’t take diet and nutrition into consideration when treating their patients. And, most of the ones that do tow the party line of low-fat, etc. NDs are great! If I was able to, I would go to an ND over an MD, but that is just not an option at this time. I am, however, hopeful that the new MD I’m seeing is going to be great! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Jessica, So excited for you that you are taking control of your health. More incentive for you is that the changes you are making now will also make you less likely to have ovarian cysts which would also make it difficult to concieve. Who knew ovarian custs would be diet related? So true though and I can testifly because I got rid of mine by improving my diet. YAY! (no more pelvic and back pain) Plus you will be all the more ready to raise a healthy family on nourishing foods. LOVE that you are working with a health coach. Great way to go. Congrats and best wishes.
Hi Mary – Thank you for your kind words! I think every illness comes down to diet, huh? Funny, I have been eating a real/traditional foods diet for a really long time. Actually, for most of my life, if you don’t count the hiatus during my college years. 🙂 But, sometimes you just need a little extra help. Just eating real food is not often enough to address specific issues. Especially, when you’re dealing with food allergies, which I think is part of my problem. I’ve never addressed my food allergies, because I’ve never wanted to admit that I need to give some of my favorite foods up! 🙁 But, we must do what we must do! Thanks again for stopping by!
I can relate to the thyroid problems and PCOS, it can make concieving a child difficult. After 13 years of treatments and procedures we were finally blessed with a little girl. I wish you and your husband the best as you start this journey.
Thank you, Rosalind, for your nice words! I am happy to hear that you finally received your bundle of joy! 🙂
I am trying my best to deal with diabetes. I stopped being diligent about it about 1.5 years ago, and am starting to try to get back to controlling it better. Its a constant struggle. every day. I know that getting my health under control is possible, as I am sure yours is too. Best of luck!
Jessica – Thank you for stopping by and commenting! It is a struggle and can be very challenging, but I know we can do it. I read so many stories of healing online that it really seems like anything is possible! Best of luck to you on your journey as well! 🙂
Yes, definitely get your health under control before trying to conceive! We tried for a couple years before I realized that I had a thyroid problem. I just didn’t know that it was Hashi’s. So, when I did conceive, we were sooooo excited, and I begged the Lord to let me keep it (her). Well, we had a beautiful, bright, full-of-personality baby girl! She was everything that I wanted in a daughter. But, she was born with a heart defect. We celebrated her first birthday before her repair surgery. That surgery was a fail, and eight months later she passed to Heaven at 20 months of age. Although I wouldn’t trade having had her for the world, it was still devastating. All the stress compounded my health issues, which I now know more about and have been working on. Although we are older, I still believe that it’s possible to have a healthy baby in our 40’s, Lord willing. So, keep working on your health!
Hi Stephanie – Thank you for sharing your story and I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. Good luck on your continued health journey and I pray that there is a happy, healthy baby waiting for you in the future! The best gift we can give ourselves is the gift of health! 🙂
My gut issues are driving me crazy these days! Started GAPS intro but was feeling super super weird. I’ve been learning to listen to my body and it was saying something’s missing… It was intense. I think it might be thyroid again maybe breastfeeding… lol I feel like a hot mess!
Good for you for taking control of your health or had inspired me!
Hi Candace! Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you are able to get things sorted out. GAPS can be so tough, but you’re smart and know how to listen to your body, so I know you’ll be able to figure it out. Happy that I can help inspire you a tad. 🙂