I haven't visited a GP for at least 10 years, which I am truly grateful for. - not just because I am grateful for my good health, but also because of what I hear, almost on a daily basis - that it is nigh on impossible to get an appointment.
The last time I saw a GP, I was at the end of my tether, I was putting on weight, I was bloated, fatigued, constipated, I had IBS, sleep issues, hot flushes (at the most inappropriate times) was chronically stressed and I was struggling to regulate my blood sugar levels. To his credit, he ordered some blood tests, they came back normal (great) and so there was nothing they could do (not great) after all I was 46 and so the answer was simple - my symptoms were down to my age (WTF??)
From that day forward I decided that it was time to take my health into my own hands and to stop relying on the NHS to give me a magic pill for my every ill.
Thanks to 'Dr Google' I was able to do some extensive research that led me to thinking about my health in a different way as I came across Functional Medicine (FM).
What I didnt know was that I was in Perimenopause and the symptoms I was suffering were attributed to hormonal chaos, chronic stress, a dysbiotic gut biome & several food intolerances, due to afforementioned gut biome dysbiosis.
I tried HRT, but it didnt work for me and I knew deep down I needed to do more work other than this - I needed to look at my diet, lifestyle and my stress levels
My increasing knowledge & research into FM (otherwise known as root cause medicine) helped me to look at healthcare in a different way. Instead of medicating the symptom, otherwise known as the sticking plaster approach, I was starting to identify the root cause and once I had worked that out, I was able to treat the cause and remove my symptoms.
So this is what I did:
I cut out refined carbohydrates from my diet - all flours, grains and simple sugars - and dairy too. Tough huh? Yes, but this is what happened:
Within 2 weeks my bloated belly (think 4 months pregnant size) had reduced
Bowel movements were much more regular
I had more energy and no longer wanted to go to bed at 5pm in the afternoon.
I was able to halt the weight gain
Having cut the carbs, I had more room on my plate for protein and healthy fats which not only taste good but they really keep you full for a long time, no more snacking or afternoom crashes.
Now, there were quite a few other things that I did, which included working with a FM practitioner to guide me. Over the following few months, this happened:
IBS symptoms very much reduced and way less frequent
Blood sugar levels stable
I came to terms with my past Trauma and reduced my stress levels
I began to feel vibrant and healthy again, something I hadnt felt for a very long time!
I came to realise that good health is not something that we either have or dont have, it is a work in progress and to this day - as a functional medicine health coach - I continue to work on my own health needs, as well as my clients.
If you would like to take control of your health, stop the worry of getting something that needs a Drs visit, or worse, please do reach out and lets have a virtual coffee and chat about how we might work together.
Oh by the way, I work in accordance with the 80:20 rule, I love chocolate and the occasional glass of wine (ok may be a little more than the occasional glass!!) After all, I am only human.