My personal healing plan – The Fitnessista

I share my strategy and how I decreased inflammation and resolved some health issues over the past year.

***Warning: This post contains images of red eyeballs. If that scares you, feel free to skip this post!

Hello friends! I hope you’re having a great week. We’ve spent ours slowly putting the house back together (I’ll share some photos of the new floors soon!) and getting ready for spring trips and adventures.

For today’s post, I wanted to share a little more about my health journey over the past year and my plan.

Please note that I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. If you are having problems with your health, contact your doctor and get the support you need. Also, don’t take “you’re going to have to live with this” as the answer. There have been several times in our family where I was told that was the case and it wasn’t true. Sometimes you need a third or fourth opinion, but there is someone who can help you. You can heal and you deserve to feel amazing.

Last year around this time, things went crazy with my eyes. It was a pretty stressful time: the pilot was traveling a lot, it was dance competition season, and I had to participate in some of the dance competitions and the big trip to Disney for the solo parenting parade. It was all fun, but it was a lot. We were getting ready for our holiday party, planning Liv’s first communion, and I was pushing myself harder than ever with strength and interval training.

I don’t want to recap the whole story with my eyes (I have a post here and a podcast episode here), but the short version is that they were neon red for many weeks and multiple ophthalmologists had different opinions on what caused it. At first they thought it was conjunctivitis; I took antibiotics and it didn’t resolve, and it kept coming back, and something had triggered it. The only thing that kept the inflammation down was the very intense steroid drops. One doctor wanted me to take them for three or four months!

I kept getting different answers, and after seeing several ophthalmologists and my PCP, who helped me do some research, we learned a few things:

– I had blepharitis, which was inflammation of my eyelids, MGD (Meibmoian gland dysfunction), and dry eye.

– Two Lupus markers were positive (ANA and DS-DNA)

– Something was causing inflammation in my body.

The lupus thing made sense to me. I had had random stress rashes over the years and my hands hurt sometimes. I thought it was because I spent a lot of time on my phone and writing. I felt low on energy, like all the sleep in the world wasn’t making me feel rested, and I was having a hard time recovering from my workouts. I would workout very hard and couldn’t work out again for 3 or 4 days afterwards. I started getting sick more frequently… and when I got the flu I was in bed for 9 days. I knew something was causing my immune system to be on high alert.

My hair was unpredictable. She wouldn’t lose hair for a while and then suddenly lose a handful in the shower.

I was referred to rheumatology, but decided to wait until I could do some functional testing and see if I could find some answers. While I knew this was happening in my body, no one could tell me WHY. Why did it happen so suddenly? What caused my eyes to shine so frequently? Why was I a host of blepharitis? Since I was not in any desperate situation, I decided to create an action plan to see if I could reduce the inflammation.

I am 100% symptom free and have been since the end of December. When I had my blood work done again with my PCP in December, both lupus markers were negative. (A little note: I was not *cured* of lupus. I was never diagnosed because I didn’t go to rheumatology.) Honestly, every day I hold my breath a little when I wake up and check my eyes. When I wake up, they are bright, clear, I can wear contact lenses again, I no longer have joint pain, and I wake up energized.

While I’m still working on healing and finding balance with my body, I’m really grateful that things have gotten so much better. When working to heal yourself, it’s important to remember that it’s not a quick fix! Repair may take years, but your body wants to heal. <3

My personal healing plan

This is what I did and what I’m currently doing:

Gluten and dairy free:

– I started reading and researching as much as possible about autoimmune diseases and lupus. ALL the books I read had one theme in common: getting rid of gluten and dairy. I removed them both last July (I’ve only had them a handful of times since then) and noticed an immediate improvement. Honestly, I don’t even miss them that much because there are so many amazing dairy-free and girlfriend-free recipes and options in restaurants, and because I feel so much better without them. (I’m working on a gluten-free sourdough and will post the recipe when it’s perfect!)

Functional testing:

– Since I finished my IHP2 certification last year, I have had some tests done. I did a mineral analysis of the hair tissue, Candida, Metabolic and Vitamin Testand a IgG food sensitivity test. From here, I could see how stress had depleted my body, so I could work to rebuild my mineral levels.

I learned that I had high levels of bacteria, candida, and yeast markers, as well as multiple nutritional deficiencies that I could work to repair. I also had to avoid some food sensitivities while I began to heal my gut.

Trend Diary:

– I kept notes of everything on my phone. When I had a flare-up (my eyes started to itch, became very red and watery), I took note of my food intake that day. I began to become aware of a common theme: histamines.

Histamine load:

– Histamine was a big lightbulb moment for me. It wasn’t just high histamine foods that triggered my eyes, but it was a compound effect of histamines and allergens. The worst flares, in April and August, were the result of multiple things. In April, I was gardening all day and didn’t wear sunglasses. It was windy and dirt and pollen were flying into my eyes. We went to the cinema, where I had a huge black tea; I have now learned that black and green tea are HUGE triggers for me. Once I eliminated them, my life changed. The good news is that I can still drink coffee 😉

That’s why I may consume some high histamine foods here and there, but I’m only aware of my histamine load throughout the day.

Intestinal repair and healing protocols:

– Intestinal repair. I’m doing the CBO protocol right now to heal my gut. It’s 12 weeks and although it was a little challenging at first, I feel amazing. I can definitely share a summary of my experience with CBO.

– I have been eating lots of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats (like avocado or fatty fish most days of the week), and I have eaten more beans than I have in my entire life. I’m also eating a lot more potatoes (very good with Kerrygold butter and Redmond salt) and root vegetables.

– I have done the parasite protocol – Parasites live in a biofilm, just like the bacteria in my gut and the demodex that was in my eyes! – So I wanted to delete it. This protocol is simple.

Exercise:

– Since last year I only do strength training and low impact workouts. I finally feel like I can lift weights again and do more intense cardio. I think cardio is great for us, but when you’re in a high-stress state, it can be helpful to cut back.

– This is what my routine currently looks like:

F45 twice a week (strength or hybrid days only)

Sweep once or twice a week.

Hot yoga once a week.

Platoon or sculpture society for cardio once a week

Daily walks or a walk.

Detoxification:

– I have followed my rhythm quarterly functional detoxes, and we have worked hard to reduce toxins in our home. We got these amazing shower filters, continued to filter our drinking water, and also got rid of our couch and rug because they tested positive for mold. I continue with me sauna blanketdry brushing and castor oil packs too.

Regulation of the nervous system:

– This can have a huge impact on healing. When my eyes first glowed, I was incredibly stressed. I didn’t sleep for many weeks because I was up all night googling my symptoms and crying. This was 100% what I shouldn’t have done, but I couldn’t help it. I had to start telling myself that I was going to get better, that my eyes were going to heal and that I was going to be okay.

I started spending more time being still and stopped trying to fill every moment of every day. I’ve made sleep an even bigger priority and aim to sleep 8 hours a night, 9 to 10 hours on the weekends. I pray every day and meditate on PEMF Go Mat while I put on the mask; It is such a relaxing pleasure.

While regulating the nervous system has been the most challenging aspect of all of this, and I still have a LONG way to go, I am proud of myself for making progress this year.

It seems like a lot when I write it all down, but this has been building and evolving over the past year. All of this is just a part of life now and it is inherent; I really don’t have to think about it anymore. As I learned more and continued to heal, I made adjustments to the plan. I’m looking forward to our next trip to Europe when I’m not worried about my eyes all the time 😉

Thank you for coming this far and for staying with me here. While I was in the depths of this, I was at a low point. You all were a bright spot in my time.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them!

If you are curious about functional testing, email me at gina@fitnessista.com subject: TESTING

Have a great day and see you soon!

hugs and kisses

gina

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