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AUTOIMMUNE

Overcoming PCOS, Insulin Resistance and Hypothyroidism

Megan began her health journey at age 19, with a diagnosis of PCOS. Desperate for help, she visited her GYN, and was given a Rx for oral contraceptives. She felt horrible on the pill so that didn't last too long. No relief to be found.  Fast forward a few years, Megan and her husband attempted to get pregnant—5 years, no baby and no birth control. She became depressed and had debilitating anxiety. At one point she was on 8 prescription medications. She cried out to God for relief. Soon after, she met a new physician at a Melaleuca meeting (a company that specializes in natural household and personal care products that she now works for) and started seeing her soon after. THIS CHANGED EVERYTHING. 

 

The physician helped her discover that in addition to the PCOS, she also had insulin resistance and hypothyroidism (specifically Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an Autoimmune disease). With the help of the doc, Megan began a detox program to jumpstart the recovery process from the stress her body had undergone previously. She began eating a nutrient-dense paleo diet, with a focus on eating 9-15 servings of veggies a day!!! Thats A LOT of veggies!! She has added in Brazil nuts and seaweed chips for an increase in selenium and naturally occurring iodine. She has switched her cleaning products and personal care products to more natural, less hormone disruptive products which she believes is a huge factor. Incredibly, she has been able to discharge from 7 of her 8 meds in a short period!

After 10 years with PCOS, she no longer has that diagnoses, nor insulin resistance!!! She has no symptoms of hypothyroidism at this time either. Megan and her husband are thrilled to be expecting their second baby girl without the help of ANY MEDICATION later this year. She continues to be under the care of her Functional Medicine Doc, Dr. Betsy Buchert, Naturopath, Robin Kirby and also a Chiropractor. 

Jenny is Healing from Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance)

Celiac disease is one of those autoimmune diseases that oftentimes goes undiagnosed due to mysterious symptoms or chalked up to: “Maybe you ate too many spicy foods?” “Did you drink to much beer (actually this one is legit)?” “Ahh, the Taco Bell did you in again?” Gotta be Giardia!” Even physicians will misdiagnose the disease as Irritable Bowl Syndrome or Ulcerative Colitis. Thankfully Jenny’s doctor recognized the warning signs early. 

 

 Jenny’s Celiac diagnosis began with a trip to the doctor, after complaints of IBS, gas and bloating. The doctor decided to investigate further and run some tests to see what the underlying issue was. When the blood work came back positive for Celiac disease, Jenny was sent to a GI specialist. With a scope down her throat and into her gut, the doctor knew quickly that it was Celiac due to the many lesions present in her small intestines. 

 

In a sense, Jenny mourned the loss of her dear friend gluten. JUST Imagine one day eating a sandwich and the next day receiving the tall order of NEVER AGAIN EAT: bread, pasta, soy sauce, cookies, DONUTS, and all of the other delicacies that contain gluten, the proteins found in wheat. Save my soul! But Jenny knew this was the only path to feeling decent again. She gave it a go. 

Unfortunately, the gluten free diet did not stop the pain, bloating and gas. She needed something different, something to heal the damage already done. She decided to not only prevent flares, but heal from the inside. Jenny explains it this way, “ If you’re stabbed in the gut with a knife, you can remove the offending irritant (the knife) but is is far from achieved. You still need to care for and nurse the wound, restoring your gut as best you can back to its original state. This is the same with celiac disease. Once you remove the irritant (gluten), you still need to care for and nurture the wound left behind.”

Giving up gluten was the obvious first step. Next, Jenny added in anti-inflammatory foods. She incorporated in lots of vegetables, fruits and began juicing daily. She consumed homemade bone broth to repair her gut lining and added in supplements (Vitamins B and D, fish oil and Protandim). She learned what the difference was between “gluten free” labeled foods and whole foods (oftentimes foods marketed as GF are filled with all sorts of other crap to muck up your gut). To her, real whole foods meant switching to ORGANIC when she could and eating clean, high quality meats (grass fed, pasture raised, organic). Jenny opted for a low sugar diet, limited in both “sweets” and white flours/grains. She began probiotics to restore those healthy gut bacteria (Jenny’s advice: Don’t get your probiotics from sugar-filled yogurts or drinks, people!) 

 

After she began this gluten free HEALING protocol, things shifted. No bloating, no gas, no IBS! YES! Many will argue that Celiac disease can only be “treated” by following a strict gluten free diet, however, this does not repair the damage done to your gut lining. Jenny’s story proves there is another way… she is not only symptom free, but her blood tests show no traces of Celiac disease at all! Please note that she still stays away from gluten, as it would cause a reaction should she eat it again. The difference now is that she is pain free and thriving! 

 

Jenny now spends her time helping others achieve relief and healing from Celiac Disease on her website: www.goodforyouglutenfree.com. There are so so many resources on her site: recipes, dining help, coaching, workshops, ebook, blog, she's got you covered!

 

*Celiac disease is defined as an autoimmune disease where the small intestines are hypersensitive to gluten, the proteins found in wheat. 

Hannah Takes on Psoriasis and Changes Lives

Hanna has had her share of skin issues throughout her life. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, enough to make her self conscious (This former pizza face can relate), in pain and mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. At 15, she began seeing doctors for Psoriasis, an autoimmune disease characterized by itchy, red, scaly patches on the skin, to which she was told there was no cure. She tried anything the doctor offered: Steroid creams, emollients, creams that burned, coal tar solutions. When those offered no relief, she experimented with acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and “miracle cure” creams she researched online. NOTHING. At the time, Hanna survived on a diet high in carbs and sugar, (detrimentally delicious) which her doctors assured her had nothing to do with her worsening condition. 

Things eventually went from bad to worse when psoriasis covered Hanna’s entire body and eczema blanketed her eyelids. Desperate, Hanna went back to the doctor, where she was offered Methotrexate, a drug used for chemotherapy. She was scared to death of the side effects and decided something had to change (To those unaffected by autoimmune issues, THIS IS A COMMON PRACTICE! Crazy, right?).

 

To heal herself, Hanna focus on three aspects of daily life: FOOD, STRESS AND EXERCISE 

 

Hanna began a diet of plant based, alkaline foods. She eliminated meat, wheat, dairy, refined sugar, nightshade vegetables, caffeine  and alcohol. She incorporated in alkaline foods such as: healthy greens, vegetables (no nightshades-peppers, eggplant, white potatoes, tomatoes), fruit (she recommends excluding oranges and strawberries), beans, rice, oats, buckwheat, water, turmeric, herbs, nuts and seeds and fresh juices. She also touts the benefits of coconut oil (both ingested and on the skin) and dead sea salts (bathing and body brushing). She uses exfoliating mitts on her skin to remove dead skin cells and then proceeds with the oil and salts. 

 

Hanna focused on reducing stress in her life. She recommends: more sleep, making “you” time (Ahem, women! This one is for you!), therapy, friends and family support, among other things. 

 

Finally, she focused on the life changing benefits of exercise: better blood flow, reduced inflammation, stronger immune function and reducing stress. 

 

Hanna is now symptom free, beautiful as ever and runs a web business where she helps others achieve optimal health and healing. She is the author of an Amazon best seller, RADIANT, and offers meal programs and coaching through her site: mygoodnessrecipes.com. She offers a FREE GUIDE on her site to help you get started on your healing journey. She’s doing amazing things, yall! 

Chris's Recovery From Sjogren's and Acid Reflux

Chris was a healthy, active weightlifter in his mid 30s when his health began to change. Chris began experiencing mild to moderate acid reflux. In addition, he developed a hiatal hernia. Naturally he visited the doctor, who prescribed the very common medication, Nexium (a Proton Pump Inhibitor, PPI). He took it every day and it gave him much needed relief. 

 

Over time, he needed more and more of this stomach-acid reducing med and eventually, it provided no help at all. His stomach pain elevated to the level of “hellish”. Doctor after doctor prescribed him a new PPI, none of which lasted. His mouth turned white and he was downing Maalox like “an irishman drinks beer.” In addition, this once healthy athlete was diagnosed with osteopenia, hypothyroidism, and high cholesterol (to which his doctor assured him wasn't related to the Nexium.) He was a medical mystery. 

 

Next stop for Chris was a visit to the Naturopath, where she prescribed Hydrochloric Acid with Pepsin to help with his stomach acid issues. He was skeptical. Once he got a second opinion from a chiropractor, he decided he would give the HCL a go. It helped immediately for both his stomach pains and cholesterol. 

 

After about 6 months however, he noticed that his mouth was dry, his extremities would become cold and he developed pain in his prostate. WHAT NOW?? After a visit to the doctor again, he was prescribed a 3 month dose of Bactim (an antiboitic) for a Prostasis. He eventually went to a specialist who insisted he get off the Bactrim IMMEDIATELY, as it was destroying his gut even more. Too late. His mouth became increasingly dry, causing fissures and a whitish-yellow coating on his tongue. Next, it hit his eyes- pain and dryness with no relief. The doctor suggested a possible Sjogren’s diagnosis, but blood work came back negative (not a rarity with *Sjogren’s Syndrome). With time, fatigue, depression and anxiety crept in. Chris’s hands went from burning to freezing and turning a scary shade of red. He developed pain in his bladder and an urge to urinate every 30 minutes.

 

After further testing, Chris finally got a positive diagnoses for Sjogren’s Syndrome from a parotid gland biopsy. This landed him in the office of a rheumatologist. He was prescribed Evoxac and Plaquenil for the autoimmune disease and Effexor and Ativan for his newfound depression and anxiety. Coupled with personal issues, Chris was in a very low spot. 

 

He began to cope by use of: meds, eye drops, sleeping with a vaporizer and with Xylitol mints  (a sugar free alternative) to combat mouth dryness. He would wear goggles at work to prevent excessive eye dryness. In his words, he was “just surviving.” He tried Restasis with no luck. Dry eye tests showed he had 0-2mm of eye moisture at any given time (10 mm or greater is considered normal). His doctor told him there would be no curing this disease, only managing it. But Chris remembered back to when he was able to find relief from this stomach acid issues with the regimen his ND prescribed and knew there had to be a better way. 

 

Chris tried many things. Here are some of the things that provided him relief: 

 

-Paleo Diet- He experienced excellent results- pain in joints GONE for a time.

 

-Fermented Foods- this worked for about four months, then the pain returned. 

 

-The Hannah Yoseph Protocol- drink healthy water, void of chlorine and fluoride and not filtered. Eat an Alkalizing diet. Make Collagen, Support nerve/muscle health. Support hormone function. Eat real foods that support brain function. Eat foods that rev up ATP production (think 10th grade biology). Avoid processed foods. Avoid PPG/PEG, sugar substitutes, preservatives. Eat fruit. With this came only minimal improvement. Moving on…

 

-Anti- Candida Diet- in addition to low carb and coconut oil, Chris was put on antifungals by his functional medicine doc (Nystatin and Fluconazole) due to link between long term antibiotic/ PPI use and fungal overgrowth. He experienced little results with this until WEEK 8 of the protocol. Then out of nowhere came a rash covering his torso (his doctor warned him about the possibility of this, called Herxheimer). Then hives. He continued on and added in Pao De Arco tea, raw garlic and grapefruit seed extract, all antifungals. The rash still hung around but he began feeling better so he persisted.

 

**Chris added back in fermented foods and symptoms returned. He started experiencing pain that felt like “fire” or “lava” in his joints and decided to throw in the towel. 

 

-Hannah Yoseph Protocol again- Abbreviated- Chris drank only spring water. He began a protocol of supplements: chelated magnesium, calcium citrate (alkalinizing agent), zinc carnosine and a probiotic. Stayed on Paleo but limited acidic foods. He incorporated in the “collagen cocktail” of L-Lysine, L-Proline, Glycine and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). He also added L-Glutamine for gut repair. (See research by Linus Pauling for why this combination is effective.) 

 

Chris saw no improvement after month one. Then little by month 2. A little more by month 3. At 4 months, he was able to discharge Evoxac and Plaquenil with no flares! Each month that passed, more and more improvement. 

 

Today, Chris is living basically symptom free and continues to live a full and happy life! It is unclear exactly what led to Chris’s healing from this “incurable” disease. He believes it may have been a combination of the “collagen cocktail” and the anti-Candida protocol. You can find him back in the gym and looks healthier than ever. Hats off to Chris for his determination and diligence through this LONG and trying journey. 

 

Read Chris’s full story here: http://www.whatyousjo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/My-Sjogren%E2%80%99s-Recovery-Journey-_-My-Recovery-from-Sjogrens-Syndrome.pdf

 

 

*Sjogrens Syndrome is an autoimmune disease affecting mucous membrane and moisture secreting glands-often affecting the eyes and mouth first. The AI condition came into the spotlight when Venus Williams was diagnosed.