By: Joni Cox from Homegrown Health
Two years ago, if you would have told me I may have a brain tumor, I would have likely believed you. The pain from the frequent migraines was so intense, that I would often have no choice but to surrender to them, hoping that my head wouldn’t explode. I usually have a high pain tolerance and could work through any migraine, as long as it was only on one side of my head. But when both sides were affected and throbbing, my ability to cope, resist or do anything other than sob, was completely gone. “Why is this happening to me?” was the only question I could ask during the “off” times.
According to all the voices in natural health, I was doing everything I should be and then some. And the “then some” was down-right sacrificial, brutal and even gross at times. I would ingest nearly anything considered “healthy and good for you” no matter how gross it sounded or how much it made me gag. I insisted on doing whatever it took to get my health back. After all, a homeschooling mother of four children with a demanding part-time job didn’t have time to get sick or be incapacitated with pesky, painful, persistent migraines.
I hit an all-time low when episodes of vertigo began plaguing me for up to six hours at a time. I couldn’t walk. I had to crawl. I feared seizures were next because of my symptoms. The cold hands, feet and tip of my nose were so bone-chilling that I had to get into a bath no cooler than 110-115 degrees! Little did I know, what I really needed was 180degrees….health, that is. ;)
I began praying and seeking for what my body truly needed. Spiritual guidance was where my health journey began and I felt I had no other choice but to turn to an intuitive place to get the answers my body needed. Within a couple of weeks, Matt Stone articles, blog posts and people raving about him began to pop up everywhere in my life. I had previously snubbed the opportunity to meet him and hear him speak at a friend’s invite because “that crazy guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about!” Funny how that works, isn’t it? When I couldn’t ignore the Matt-Stone-awesomeness any longer and bright flashing “lights” seemed to “light up the sky like a flame” (name that tune), I finally broke down and contacted him.
After a series of brain-melts and fetal positions from all the nutritional dogma Matt was able to dispel, for example, “all carbs are the devil,” I decided to try his approach. It seemed way too easy to be true and all my friends thought I had lost it for sure. But what I did find was an unlikely solution to my most challenging and painful health issue.
After eating little to no carbs for almost a year (and very restricted years prior), I added dry foods, like pancakes and oatmeal for breakfast, instead of the “usual” 20-30 oz raw milk, 2 raw egg yolks, cocoa, stevia milkshake I had been drinking for breakfast for nearly three years. I was also drinking three to four quarts of water daily to keep hydrated, along with several ounces of kombucha, herbal teas or coffee. Being as on–the-go as I was, I didn’t make time to eat food, I just drank it instead! Who needs to chew, anyway, right?!
I began to learn, by symptoms, to pay attention to the warning signs my body was giving that indicated I was in serious metabolic trouble. The clear urine and frequent urination (every half hour for several hours) were key signs that my body was diluted…and here I thought I was turning into one of those “female incontinence” types who would be in Depends by the time I was 40! I really ramped up on those kegel exercises only to find out there was something else causing my urgent and sudden potty dances to the bathroom. Little did I know, I was ingesting too many fluids, flushing my electrolytes and causing the very problems I was trying to fix! Learning the importance of balance with salt, sugar, and fluids has been an amazing help to me.
Body temperatures were always low. I was very sick if my temperature ever reached 99.0. In my early 20s, 97.0-97.5 was my norm. I even thought it was cute I worked for an FM radio station that was also 97.5. My doctor never acted concerned over my low body temps or low blood pressure. He was, however, concerned with the 10 extra pounds I was carrying (thank you, birth control).
As I metabolically got worse and became more hormonally imbalanced, I began taking my temps again, realizing they were 95.8-96.1. At one point, I recall wondering when people die from a low body temperature when mine reached an all-time low of 94.8! I knew my thyroid was sluggish and I was also dealing with adrenal issues. Little do most people know, these symptoms are all related and it really does matter whether or not your body temp is 98.6.
Finding out I spent several years being completely counter-productive was hard for me to swallow but I’m thankful I found out when I did. For some reason, there seems to be a group of us that the miracle diets don’t work for. Like those on the “island of misfit toys,” all fruit, no-carbs, paleo-only, low-fat, high-protein or any other fad diet of the decade, doesn’t work with our bodies and we end up “the rejects” among our peers, for whom these fad diets did give results. It’s still a mystery to me why some of the things I tried didn’t work. I still don’t have all the answers.
What I’ve gained from not having migraines and vertigo is priceless. I have a higher quality of life without the guilt over carb consumption. Currently, I’m eating lower on the food chain and more plant-based than in the past, but I definitely get my carbs in. I have lost 37 pounds…something I wasn’t able to accomplish in years while working out and eating organic (which I still do). My menstrual cycles are greatly improving and PMS is all but gone. It took two days for my migraines and vertigo to go away after talking with Matt roughly a year ago and making minor changes to my diet. My cold hands and feet also went away within days. Good riddance to both! I don’t miss them at all.
I have also gained a keener sense of what is going on with my body and have learned how I can eat to prevent and intercept symptoms early, before a headache or illness occur. “Mom! My pee is looking clear!” is not an uncommon shout-out in my household since I’ve taught my children how to pay attention to their bodies. Simple steps, a few changes in fluid consumption and what types of food I eat and when – making sure I’m “eating for heat” that is, are all practical changes I’ve made to my diet and it has made a world of difference. Getting really in-tune with my body again has helped me in so many ways. Learning to trust the signals that are being given and intuitively responding goes far beyond food. If you let it, it can help change your life.