For months, I was affected my the following symptoms:
- Weight Gain (15 lbs in 9 months - while actively working to drop that gained weight)
- Severe Fatigue (like "hurts to keep your eyes open" fatigue)
- Night Sweats
- Irregular Cycles
The whole time, I assumed that once I cut my training back all of the symptoms would alleviate themselves. But, that didn't happen. In fact, they got worse.
Having had enough, I went to the doctor thinking that they would find that my hormone levels were completely out of whack or that I had some crazy illness that could explain all my symptoms. On the surface I seemed fine. I was the picture of health, but I knew that something was going on.
Unfortunately, the first doctor didn't think so. All of my blood work came back completely normal. Sure, I had low Iron stores and had been unable to build up my Vitamin D levels (even with supplementation), but those two thing shouldn't be causing all the issues I was having. Stumped, the doctor suggested I try a cycle of hormone supplements.
I thought this was insane. First of all, she wasn't an endocrinologist and she didn't seem too sure of what she was suggesting. And second, I have Leiden V Factor, which increases my risk of blood clots. And do you know what else increases your risk of blood clots? That's right. Hormone supplementation. It just didn't seem like a smart move.
So, I went for a second opinion with my OB (because I truly value her opinion and she is the doctor I see on the most regular basis), who immediately shot down the idea of putting me on hormones. She reviewed the bajillion tests I had already had done and she came to a similar conclusion:
I am perfectly healthy. Except that I am not. Something else is going on, but she felt it was outside her area of expertise.
She suggested that I go see an endocrinologist and a rheumatologist. And before I left, she noted one last thing.
From the looks of my blood work, it seemed that I was fighting off a low level infection or had an increased level of inflammation in my system, but she couldn't pinpoint from where it was coming.
I left both satisfied and disheartened. I was so over visiting doctors and being told that I was healthy. I didn't want to spend any more money having tests that wouldn't tell me a thing. So, I decided to ask a few people I trust and love how they overcame their health woes without a firm medical diagnosis.
And everyone said the same thing: "I eliminated certain foods from my diet."
Feeling like I had no other options, I decided to do the same. I figured that it couldn't make me feel any worse than I had been, so I really had nothing to lose.
I did some research and found that both gluten and dairy can lead to the symptoms that I had been experiencing. And although I don't have the typical symptoms of Celiac disease or a dairy allergy, there was still a chance I could benefit from removing them from my diet.
So, that's what I did. I went completely cold turkey. And do you know what happened?
Within a matter of a few days (like 2-3 days), my symptoms were gone.
No more fatigue.
No more night sweats.
More frequent bowel movements.
And a 4 pound weight loss in the last two weeks.
I feel like a new person.
Eventually, I will probably try to reintroduce a small amount of dairy and/or gluten into my diet, but I am not sure when or how much. Truth be told, I would never let it cross my lips again if it means I can feel this good all the time. But, I am human. And I am sure I'll make mistakes, but hopefully I can find the balance that works for me.
Have you ever tried an "alternative" method to curing your ailments? How did it turn out?