Recently, I have gone through some pretty dramatic life changes. I have been more or less forced to do something totally different than what I had been doing for years– the vast majority of my adult life. This dramatic change had to happen because, well, my body gave me no other choice.
For about 5-6 years, I haven’t felt as well as I should have considering my diet, lifestyle and serious passion for nutrition. I have gotten sick more and more progressively over this span of time than I ever had before. As you might guess, considering the existence of this blog, I am mindful when it comes to things I ingest. Theoretically, I should be feeling better now than ever before. However, I failed to notice one important factor. Once I realized what this important factor was, it made a world of difference for my health.
As it turns out, I was being repeatedly exposed to a substance that I’ve grown extremely sensitive to. Now, in retrospect, I’m surprised I didn’t realize it sooner. But sometimes you just need to have another healer to help you in order to identify a pattern and get to the root of whatever it might be that ails you. So here is my story:
In recent years, I’ve developed a persistent rash and have taken drastic measures to remove any and all possible stressors I could think of from my diet and life overall; as I know this is a sign of some kind of overall weakness in the body. In an effort to uncover this underlying issue, my practitioner and I have treated every inherent weakness we could find. One was my liver– because the rash was located on the liver meridian (ring finger) and my liver was testing very weak. Despite an almost purist diet and top notch nutritional supplementation for liver, I developed a liver stone, and I am not a drinker currently, though I have been in the past. This was one of the first major red flags that something more was going on. I also added more essential fatty acids to my diet, as I know how important fats are for our cell membranes, which collectively make up the skin. Additionally, I cut out gluten for about a year (and continue to do so). Even with all these steps to foundationally improve my overall health, I faced health challenges left and right, from an infection that went all the way into my lymphatic system, to my spleen being impaired as a result of this. While it helped to address these inherent weaknesses, none of them eradicated the problem; this indicated something big was still going on that I was unaware of.
So I continued working my healthcare practitioner to find the cause of this bothersome rash, which was initially isolated but spread over time. Finally, we found an allergy as the culprit. Once we found this, we also discovered that I was beginning to develop auto- immunity as a result of whatever this stressor was. The constant inflammation from this unknown allergen was was causing an imbalance of my Th1 (emergency) and Th2 (chronic) immune responses. Basically, this constant stressor, whatever it was, was causing my immune system to go all cattywampus. It began responding as if there were an immune “emergency”, all the time. Now, this is emergency response is helpful for a short duration in the case of a cold or flu for instance, but this kind of prolonged response can be highly detrimental and cause all sorts of issues. No wonder I’d been feeling so progressively bad!
So we had to find what substance was causing this reaction in me. My doctor tested all the common allergen samples she had. This was done to no avail. After potential food allergies were ruled out, she did some investigative work and asked at what point the rash started. This was when I realized that I’d actually had this problem for almost exactly as long as I had been waiting tables for. While I hoped that this were not the case, it made complete sense because we use some very harsh chemicals at work. I don’t use any chemicals otherwise internally or externally. How could I have missed something so obvious? Maybe I was subconsciously in denial.
This discovery was bittersweet because I finally found the reason my immune system was performing so poorly, but also disappointing because I loved my coworkers and had grown very comfortable in the restaurant industry. This was all I knew how to make money doing! At the time of this revelation, I had been working in the pub where I was constantly washing dishes. So initially I tried moving into the restaurant where I didn’t have to be so constantly exposed to the soapy dishwater. But even after multiple weeks of not washing dishes, my reaction was still getting more and more severe each time I came into work just from having to grab the rags from the bucket of quaternary rinse.
Even after weeks of no exposure whatsoever, it took long to heal and came right back as soon as I was exposed. So finally I realized that it had to have been the chemicals we have to use to clean our tables. After discovering this I knew I had to make a drastic life change, I just didn’t know what that would be. I had my NTP certification but it takes time and money to get ones’ own personal business up and running.
Serendipitously, a close family friend and mentor randomly happened to approach me, noting an opportunity to work for the company she’d recently discovered called Norwex. It is a chemical- free, eco- friendly cleaning company. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe in coincidences. And it’s worth noting that Ashley had no idea that I was going through all this with the auto-immunity and having to quit my job. She just happened to tell me about this at exactly the right time.
I wanted to share this story in hopes of sparing someone from a struggle similar to the one that I went through to get back to health. This situation is a clear demonstration of the fact that what goes on your skin, matters! While I’m so not a salesperson, I feel the need to share this information after experiencing what I have. Since switching to Norwex my acne has also improved dramatically. Also worth noting, making the switch and getting off of toxic chemicals has completely eradicated Ashley’s son’s eczema, too. This was all possible because Norwex allows you to throw away ALL of the toxic and harmful chemicals in your home and replace them with a handful of well-priced products which can be used for years to come. How, you ask? Simply by adding water! Norwex cleaning products are spun with silver so they are naturally disinfectant! Isn’t that incredible? Their cloths, mops and sponges self- sanitize each time they dry! This makes sense when you consider that silver is used in hospitals to disinfect tools, and also to dress wounds.
I have known about silver’s amazing properties for years, but I was absolutely thrilled to find that it exists in the form of a cloth and other cleaning products to create a safe, effective and nontoxic way to clean! These products are truly incredible and life changing; and it makes cleaning SO much easier and faster. I was totally blown away the first time I used mine. I would love for you all to learn more about it, as it can save everyone an immense amount of time and money in addition to helping the environment! I’m sure some of you are skeptical of these claims, rightly so. So here is some proof to back it up.
Needless to say, I did have to quit my job in the restaurant industry and am taking somewhat of a risk. But I’ve learned that when a solution to one of the biggest recurring challenges you face, is revealed, you should listen and have faith. And thank goodness I did! After weeks of getting away from the harsh chemicals, the troublesome rash and the other symptoms that went with it are almost completely gone. I already feel so much more energetic and full of life, so that I can have the energy and vitality for the things that matter most to me, mainly my passion as a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
Now that I’m no longer exposing myself to who knows what toxins repeatedly, my immune system is finally getting back into balance.
I have been forced, in a way, to dedicate myself fully to what my ultimate purpose is here– to help people with what ails them and how to support the body to correct them. I think this choice to listen to our body is something we can all do in one form or another in our lives. Furthermore, I speculate that by doing this together as a collective, we can absolutely change the world for the better.