I hope my story can inspire you, and encourage you to take a positive turning point in your health journey, whether you are struggling with a chronic condition, or you just want to enjoy better health and have more energy.
A part of me wishes I had come across the help I needed before my health crashed, so that I could have made small simple changes that may have prevented the chronic ill-health that I have been through. Although, without it, perhaps I would not be in this incredible position where I am now able to support others in not only reclaiming their health but living a better healthier life.
I used to say my health journey begun in 2010, but through studying Nutrition and looking back, I’ve learnt that my health journey truly begun the day I was conceived. My health and development was ultimately dictated by the health of my parents. For as long as I can remember I had ‘half eyebrows’, which meant nothing at the time, but I now understand it meant, I was born with a hypothyroid. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. The main role of the thyroid hormone in our body is to control our metabolism.
In 2010, I was living in Sydney, and well on my way to establishing my career in finance. I had landed my dream job as an accountant at one of the major investment banks. My goals were clear, progress and promotion. My days were long, I was studying, training for half marathons, and any spare time was spent socialising. I depended on coffee and sugar to support me. But before long, the ‘support’ I used to get from these became virtually void.
In 2012 I had my first health scare. One evening after work, I simply didn’t have the energy to stand up and cook myself dinner. Sitting on a chair trying to cook, I admitted to myself maybe something wasn’t right, so I went to my doctor a few days later. She diagnosed me with a hypothyroid and put me on medication, which suited me fine as all I wanted was a ‘pill’, so I could continue on with my highly pressured lifestyle. I also saw a practitioner who suggested I go on a gluten free diet, which I did. Removing gluten immediately helped reduce my severe PMS symptoms. However, while I removed gluten, I also increased my dependency on sugary foods. At the time I didn’t realise that my need to eat sugar every 1-2 hours, and the extreme weakness I would feel if a meal was delayed, was due to hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia is sign of blood sugar dysregulation in your body. Instead of my body maintaining normal blood glucose levels throughout the day, my blood sugar levels were maintained by constantly snacking on food.
In the lead up to my diagnosis of hypothyroidism, I had also been exposed to extreme mould toxicity while renting in Sydney. For me this exposure impacted my immune system and lead to chest infections, colds and general ill health. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realise at the time was the toxicity remained in my body and I needed a special protocol to remove the toxins from my body and repair the damage. I also had shingles multiple times and traces of the Epsom Bar virus was found in my blood tests. In spite of all of this, I simply tried to keep working through it. My work was now coming home with me and many hours were done on my laptop from bed. My immune system had grown very weak.
I adjusted to my new life of no gluten and taking a pill every day, something I didn’t necessarily want to do, but I didn’t think there was an alternative. Slowly the dose of my thyroid medication increased, but as long as I could work, I didn’t mind. In March 2014, I had a more severe health scare. I was diagnosed with influenzia and I just didn’t recover. I was forced to resign from my job, my doctor told me I was chronically ill and I needed full time care. With that, and a lot of help, I had no choice but to move home to my parent’s house in New Zealand, where for the next year I literally slept my life away. I didn’t have the energy to leave my bed, let alone have a shower or even get dressed. My cognitive function had significantly declined, and I could no longer remember simple things.
The practitioners and professionals who I saw for help, were concerned my future wasn’t promising. While all seemed to look glum, I was determined to somehow get myself better. I believed given the right information and support my body would be able to heal itself.
At the beginning of 2015 I had taught myself to sit up and slowly stagger up the stairs, where I then slept on the couch. (At least it was a change of scenery.) I decided that the one thing I could control was my diet, so I begun to study nutrition. I started applying everything I was learning. I soon realised that chronic fatigue syndrome (“CFS”) wasn’t the problem, but instead I needed to look deeper. I had to discover what the true underlying root causes were, what had caused “CFS” in the first place, and where the dysfunction was in my body. I first started with addressing my digestion, gut health and my adrenal function. I then realised my adrenals were worn out after years of both physical and emotional stress. As I went through all the systems in my body, slowly healing and repairing them, they regained their function. I gained more energy and my body begun to heal itself from the inside out. My body was restoring itself to its optimal function.
Fast forward to the present and I am now a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), and a Certified Gluten Practitioner trained by Dr Tom O’Byran. I am working towards becoming a Certified Restorative Wellness Practitioner, enabling me to specialise in functional laboratory testing to further enhance my functional testing skills. I am also doing further advanced study into the science and clinical application of nutritional intervention (food and nutrient choices) based on the biochemical needs of each unique client.
I now have my own successful practice in Wellington’s CBD, where I combine all of my training, knowledge and first hand experience to assist my clients to get to the underlying root causes of their health symptoms. I work with many corporate clients to transform their health, so they too, can live life to their full potential. I also support client’s with chronic illnesses in order to turn their lives around and help them reclaim their own health once again. As a result, I see clients in person and worldwide via Skype depending on their needs.
My days are now much more balanced, I now get to support others in many ways with their health and wellness, and I feel so blessed to be in such a wonderful position. Importantly I also make sure I always prioritise myself and bring joy into my life, so I continue to strengthen my well-being. You will often find me in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes or training with my functional exercise trainer or laughing with family and friends.
I thought getting through my day on only needing two coffees and gluten free treats was being healthy.
Health is an evolving journey. I've learnt that optimal health is essential for a rewarding life.