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The Not So Obvious Link Between Cause & Effect

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cause-and-effectHello, everyone.  I hope you’re having a great week.  As for me, I’ve been feeling a little bit down.  I guess you could say I’m having a little pity party after the surgery.  Maybe it’s no wonder with the constant pain from the golf ball size lump on my neck (that is, frankly, rather gross…I’m feeling very attractive, not!).

Yesterday, on my Facebook page, I posted that I’m feeling blah.  Today, I decided to follow that up with a wee bit of an explanation.

I have these darn aneurysms, and I don’t know why.  I’d like to believe it’s just a coincidence but even I, not the smartest cookie in the barrel, know that there IS an underlying cause.   As far back as high school, I learned the concept of cause and effect.  In my case, we know the effect (weak arterial walls), so let’s find the cause.   Well, wouldn’t you know this is right up my alley.  As the inquisitive type, I love asking questions and have been asking many about what could be going on in my body to cause these aneurysms.

The doctors seem happy to pump me full of drugs (Plavix, Asprin and Levoxthyrine).  I say this because not once in any of my visits with endocrinologists, cardiologists, neurologists, ear nose and throat specialists nor the vascular surgeon did anyone mention that my diet might be the root cause.  When I asked about this, they shrugged their shoulders and unanimously said, “I don’t think so.”

I guess this is understandable given that my blood work is all within normal ranges, I have no atherosclerosis (plaque deposits in my arteries), my blood pressure is low normal and I am a healthy weight at 174 cm and 59 kg….the same weight I’ve been since high school.  So, on the surface, it seems that my diet is fine.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that doesn’t stop us from doing our own research.  This is especially true when it comes to our lives and our health.  So, I’ve been doing research and have reached out to other nutritionists and dietitians for answers related to causation and prevention.

You might ask, “Why would a nutritionist reach out to other professionals in the same arena?” Answer: Expansion.  I’ve learned so much as a nutritionist, and over the past 8 months I’ve brushed up my on my knowledge through study related to becoming a certified health coach.  But I know, without a doubt, that I need someone to hold my hand, back my corner and actually guide me in my nutrition-minded search for answers.

I have an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) that causes my body to attack itself.  All research points to genetics, chronic stress, gluten intolerance and the body’s chronic inflammatory response.

The obvious conclusion: Inflammation is a problem for my body.  I won’t rehash all of the stressful experiences of the last four or five years….we all have stress.  The answer is that I need correction.  We all need to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

So, if an anti-inflammatory lifestyle will prevent or repair the weakening of my arteries, I say, “bring it on!”

However, it’s not as easy as it may seem.  This lifestyle requires eating that is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, corn free and eliminates anything else that is a known irritant to my system.  This is coupled with the usual suspects like stress management, relaxation, exercise, positive relationships, etc..

Here’s the thing:

I’m a type A individual, and I’m an intense individual.  That’s who I am.  I always have a million things going on, and I have a zillion interests.  I love to strive and achieve, and I’m competitive by nature.  So, how do I change these things when that’s just how I’m wired?  Can I really take all those circuits, rearrange them and suddenly become a Zen-i-fied happy go lucky individual?

A bigger issue is the recommendation to cut out gluten, dairy, sugar, etc. I’m a healthy eater.  I don’t scarf down cakes, cookies or chocolate and sugary drinks.  I only have them on rare occasions.  Tell me to stop eating meat, and I wouldn’t blink an eye.  But take away my comfort foods, and that stresses me out!  Do you see my conundrum?

The truth is, we all need guidance and support when starting down a new path.  I can cook gluten free, but I need support on this journey. I’ve been graced with a wake-up call, and I need some support to help me find comfort in a new zone.  Ultimately, I’m seeking a new comfort zone.  This is no small task.  I have to be honest, put my hand up and say, “I’m here! I’m ready to change, but I need some guidance.”

My exciting news is, I’m investing in myself, in my life and in my future.

I hope you have a healthy and happy day.  Before you go, leave a comment and join our mailing list to receive updates direct to your inbox.

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4 thoughts on “The Not So Obvious Link Between Cause & Effect

  1. I am with you, Allie, as you begin a new chapter in your life journey. It is difficult to accept the sudden changes thrust upon you so unexpectedly, however, because you are the person you are, you will succeed. You are not afraid to reach out, to ask for the help you need in learning what has been put ‘on your plate’. It is ‘normal’ to feel what you are feeling because the ‘reality’ of your situation is taking hold. Be strong, my child, for you are not ‘alone’ with this, we love you and God loves you and there is a ‘reason for all this happening. Time will let you know what those reasons are…..in the meantime, accept where you are, including all your feelings, knowing you are loved and are helping others thru the passing down of what you are experiencing and learning. Love you, Mom

  2. Hi Allison,
    I’m Glad to here that you are starting a new chapter in your life. Situation like yours force people to take a good hard look at their life. Where you’ve been and where you want to be. Gluten Free life is hard, but it’s becoming more accepted and recognized in the food industry. You can now buy gluten free foods everywhere. It has been shown very good health benefits in many articles I’ve read. ( I’m Not ready to take the jump Yet).
    As you recuperate let yourself still enjoy some of those comfort foods until you back on you feet. Enjoy the love and comfort of your family.
    Love Laura

    • Excellent suggestion Laura, easing into it makes it so much more likely it will be a sustainable change. You’re right about more gluten free products coming into the market everyday, too bad the wave hasn’t hit Lebanon yet, Lol!

      Do you need to go gluten free? Its a tough lifestyle and if one doesn’t gluten sensitivity, Celiac disease or auto immune diseases it may lots of effort for little benefit. Then again if you have one of the above then gluten free is recommended:)

      Enjoy your weekend and thanks for the kind words!

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