Thursday, December 24, 2015

James and his crazy rash

Around August 31-September 2, James developed numerous itchy bumps around his ankles. Since we’d been in a park, we assumed it was bug or chigger bites and did not do much as a result.  After about 5 weeks with no improvement, we sought out a dermatologist at the recommendation of our doctor.


At it's worst, Halloween (ignore the silly screen shot "ringer" goof up)
Underside of right arm

Very long story short, the dermatologist misdiagnosed him twice and during that process, had him on 2 different antibiotics, various antihistamines, and both topical and oral steroids.   The rash completely took over his entire body.  No one had any answers though there were a few suggestive possibilities.  He sought out both traditional and alternative treatments to help but the only thing that could manage his symptoms was oral steroids.  We did not want him on those long term because of side effects and health concerns but unfortunately, every time he tried to wean off of them, the spots would return and spread with a vengeance.

He was finally able to get a second opinion from another dermatologist who quickly and confidently diagnosed him with Nummular Eczema.  This could have started with the bug bites as a trigger with his already weakened immune system.  He was given a different topical steroid to begin as he once again tries to wean off the oral steroid.  If/when he is able to get his back cleared up enough (hopefully over the next couple of weeks), they will they do a patch test to check for triggers.

The good news is that we finally have a diagnosis and are looking for triggers to help alleviate symptoms.  The bad news is that eczema (especially severe forms) is nearly always linked to gut issues which we already know he has... so we're still at square one working on gut healing.

Keep the prayers coming!  He's been in a constant state of crazy itching for four solid months now.  Relief would be wonderful though we know that ultimately, our faith can't be in healing... Our faith is in our God and his mysterious ways.

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Limiting Beliefs versus Liberating Truths

Michael Hyatt recently did a short webinar entitled "Get What You Want in 2016" on goal setting.  It was an excellent webinar and really made me think.  One of the action items was to write down three limiting beliefs and replace them with three liberating truths.  I followed through on that and felt really relieved just to unload my thoughts on paper.  As my husband says often, sometimes just being aware of things in our lives can be the first step toward change.  I often claim to be an "open book" and so I wanted to share these things with you.  It is my prayer that I encourage someone else who struggles as I do.

  • Limiting Belief #1:
    • I'm a failure.  If I don't succeed the first time, I never will.
  • Liberating Truth #1:
    • I will not give up that easily.  If I don't succeed the first time I will continue to try until I'm satisfied with the result OR I will attempt to be at peace that I've made a good faith effort.

  • Limiting Belief #2:
    • I'm not a present or patient mother.
  • Liberating Truth #2:

  • Limiting Belief #3:
    • If I can't do everything I want or need to do, I'm worthless.  Why even try?
  • Liberating Truth #3:
How about you?  What are your limiting beliefs and liberating truths?

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra

Monday, December 21, 2015

Santos Kids Christmas Recital 2015

Tonight we had the pleasure of doing ballet and piano recitals at a local nursing home.  Here are clips from the performances.  Abigail (14mo old) desperately wanted to play the piano and did not cooperate well.  As a result, our friend Cole (8yrs old) video taped Hannah's piano performance and it's a tad shaky/off. ;)  But we got it none-the-less.  Enjoy.








Take care!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Easy Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

I threw this together tonight and it got two thumbs up by everyone - even my pickiest hot chocolate drinker. I bet you didn't know those existed, did you?  If I had to guess, you could probably throw all of this in a Vitamix and blend until hot as well. :)

Serves 8

Ingredients:
4c water
4c canned coconut milk or cream
1 1/4 c Enjoy Life chocolate chips
2t vanilla

In a medium saucepan, warm water and coconut milk.  Once warmed, add chocolate chips and vanilla.  Stir until well mixed.  Enjoy!

Take care,
Terra

*BTW... this recipe was inspired by a similar concoction our friend Amanda B. came up with. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hannah's New Blog

Our oldest daughter Hannah decided to start her own blog telling the stories and news of our days.  Check it out! :)

hannahmsantos.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Terra's Health: The Big Picture

Wow!  This post has been a long time coming... literally, almost 21 years or so coming.  I've probably left some of you really confused now.  Let me explain.

A few months ago, I posted that I thought many of my health issues stemmed from something known as histamine intolerance.  With the help of a local functional medicine doctor, I've confirmed my hypothesis as well as learned a few other big things affecting my overall health.  How has this been 21 years in the making?  Well, many of my symptoms began around puberty, although I'm just now connecting the dots.  I'm sure my family members will recall that I was very prone to regular headaches, scent sensitivities, anxiety and very painful cycles.  It appears I was just in the beginning stages of some of these problems at that point.  As time went on and the integrity of my gut was further jeopardized, my symptoms became more intense and diverse.  So what exactly is going on with me?

First, I have a few genetic mutations that feed into the histamine issue in the first place.  I am heterozygous in all of my DAO genes.  That basically means that genetically, I don't break down histamine as efficiently as I should and excess histamine causes a world of symptoms.  DAO helps to break it down and I don't produce enough.  There are DAO supplements (that are not cheap) that help with this but do not totally "solve" the problem, they just address the symptoms.  My other gut issues are likely a bigger factor in causing my histamine intolerance as I'll explain further in this post.

For the nerds out there, other (notable) genetic issues include being highly estrogen dominant with a homozygous CYP1B1 as well as other blood markers and symptoms.  My PEMT was heterozygous which means I don't process choline well.  There were also issues with my COMT (rs4680(A)), VDR and FUT2.  I have mild mitochondrial defects. My BHMT is off so I'm also currently testing my sulfur metabolism to see if it needs to be addressed.

Now on to easier to understand things.  We primarily eat a "real food," often organic, local, low grain diet.  My B vitamins and magnesium were acceptable but several were on the low end.  My amino acids were phenomenal (yay!) and most of my other vitamins, antioxidants and such were excellent. I do have an elevated copper/low zinc ratio.

My cholesterol and heart stuff all looked very good over all - praise the Lord!  I had slightly elevated levels of Lp-PLA2 and Myeloperoxidase but combined with other blood work, I was told they were not of concern.

My food testing is consistent with intestinal permeability and showed high sensitivities to egg white, gluten, milk/casein and various other lower sensitivities.  As a result of these, I will be cutting all of these foods from my diet for a minimum of 2 (to 6 months).  We've already been gluten-free since around last November.   I've also been dairy-free since shortly after Abigail was born because I'm nursing and I learned very quickly she had troubles with dairy.  After several months, I will be allowed to try and add some of these foods back to my diet to see how I respond.  Gluten is gone for good because my numbers were still incredibly high being on a gluten-free diet already.  The question is "how high were my scores before cutting it?"  I was told I have non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (and for those who question the validity of that, read this).  My Omega-3/Omega-6 ratio was not superb but not terrible (probably thanks to my regular fish oil supplementation).

Fortunately I had zero bacterial overgrowths, SIBO, yeasts or parasites (yay!) but did have poor bacterial diversity in which we'll hit with particular probiotics and other methods.  Right now, because of the histamine intolerance, I do not currently tolerate fermented foods (as well as a long list of other foods) in any great quantity.  The catch-22 is that fermented foods can tremendously benefit gut healing and add to the diversity of the bacteria in there.  Ditto for bone broth.  I'm working to add these things in small quantities while upping my intake of antihistamine, anti-inflammatory foods to counteract the negative effects.  The doctor is going to add some prebiotics to the mix in hopes of helping my digestion in these areas over time as well.  Lastly, gut related, I'm not breaking down and properly absorbing fats and I have very low stomach acid (after years of thinking I had too much!).  The doctor is recommending some pancreatic enzymes instead of just the HCL/Betaine I already take to help while we work on gut healing.

My standard blood tests were pretty good overall.  To my surprise, my thyroid is totally functioning well and it seems most of my symptoms are caused by the high estrogen and low testosterone issues.  Adrenals were in a normal range from a basic view.  We may do further testing there later if symptoms persist.  My insulin was actually extremely low.  He told me that I should try not to lose any more weight (127 lbs at 5'6") and that I should actually increase my carb/fat consumption to address the insulin, estrogen and testosterone issues.  And we're talking high veggie carbs, not grains here.  I know some of my Paleo buddies are already freaking out a bit but this is coming from a Paleo-encouraging doc with similar opinions as this M.D who I trust as well.  My blood work showed a high presence of ketones which would be great IF I was trying to lose weight or follow a ketogenic diet long term.

Another random tidbit.  My family has a genetic issue known as Lynch Syndrome.  My father died of brain cancer at 39 years of age, two of my sisters have tested positive for the gene and multiple aunts have it as well.  It basically increases the odds of getting colon and other types of aggressive cancers.  I have a 50/50 chance of having this gene but I have not yet been tested (it's a totally separate and expensive process).  As a result, the doctor does want me to have a routine colonoscopy in the upcoming months as a preventative measure.  Otherwise, I'm addressing the Lynch Syndrome preventatively with diet and lifestyle measures.

After ALL that... what's the overall big picture?  I'm going to adjust my dietary intake as mentioned above for the next six months to see if it addresses some of these issues, continuing a mostly paleo/real food protocol.  We're adding supplements to cover the nutrient deficiencies and genetic defects that can be addressed.  We're also adding a prebiotic and probiotic rotation, Omega 3, and continued Vitamin D3 regularly.  There will be the addition of pancreatic enzymes to help my digestion/absorption.  When I'm done nursing and/or when my cycle begins again, I'll add a small amount of lyposomal progesterone for a few days a months as instructed.  Some of these markers will be retested in six months.  I'm continuing to add more antihistamine, anti-inflammatory foods to my diet to combat the histamine issues specifically.  I may not be able to remove all of my issues in that realm since I have some genetic issues at play but there are good odds that I can seriously minimize them.  I was also told to continue my current exercise routine (a combination of light cardio and yoga) and to add some additional resistance training.  I'm supposed to keep working on getting adequate sleep (which I honestly think I do pretty decent at to have 5 small children) and keep the stress levels down as much as possible (now THAT'S the challenge!).

In the end, that good Lord has numbered my days in spite of it all.  I'll do what I can to live a healthy life with the information I have and go from there. ;)

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra

Friday, September 11, 2015

Daniel's Health: The Big Picture

Daniel being silly
For those of you that follow me on Facebook or interact often with us in real life, you know that for about one and a half years now, we've had an extremely difficult time with our fourth child Daniel.  Somewhere around his first birthday, he started getting sick a great deal (mostly colds and ear infections) which led to a few rounds of antibiotics.  As time went on, I (Terra) noticed more and more things that seemed out of place with him.  He was struggling with severe bouts of anger, head-banging, being overwhelmed very easily by certain noises/situations, having a very difficult time falling asleep, was behind in his speech, cried a great portion of the day and was not interacting well with his siblings.  I describe him as a two year old times ten.  On the more obvious health front, I learned when he was around six months old (thanks to a rash that refused to go away), he was not tolerating dairy products and we promptly removed those from his diet.  To this day, he's never had a solid stool.  Because of his digestive issues, we also preventatively took him off gluten as both James and I, as well as the three oldest kids have known gluten-sensitivity.  He recently began occupational therapy to particularly deal with symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder.  In addition, we sought out the help of a local functional medicine practitioner for more answers.  And that is what this post will address.

The first and most obvious things that stood out to me in his lab work were regarding his stool test.
Not cool.
There were two markers of inflammation and then a note that he is not properly digesting fats.  The good news is that there are no infections, parasites, overgrowths of bacteria, etc.  He also has very low diversity of gut bacteria (the higher the better).  His IgA numbers on this test and two others show that he is definitely fighting some sort of allergic reaction.  We've already delved into many different allergen testings (including IgA, IgG and minimal IgE) but we're going to have one more (the traditional skin prick/scratch test) to add environmental allergens to the list.  His food sensitivity test showed that he has developed a reaction to eggs now and considering he had those 3-4 days per week, removing those from he diet may help some as well.  So he's currently avoiding gluten, dairy and eggs.

The second glaring problem was with his nutrient profile.  Let me start by saying that we eat a pretty clean, good quality, real food diet the majority of the time.  Daniel tends to eat fairly well and we do supplement with specific nutrients.  We had to stop supplementation for one week prior to these tests.  He was severely deficient in many vitamins/antioxidants/etc (see images for some of those details).  His tests show a lot of oxidative stress.  Apparently he also has a need for pancreatic enzymes, at least temporarily.  He's not detoxing well so that doesn't help.  On the positive side, we've found that some minor supplementing with melatonin has really helped him to be able to fall asleep in the evenings.
Look at all that terrible red and quite a bit of yellow too!



*THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT PRETTY!

As far as genetics are concerned, he inherited his dad's MTHFR C677T which affects the way his body processes certain vitamins and such (especially those B vitamins you saw above).  That may be a piece of this puzzle.  He has many heterozygous methylation SNPs.  There are a few SNPs that affect the type of B12 he can process as well as a lessened ability to keep healthy gut bacteria thanks to mutations within FUT2.  He also has mild histamine findings (like my own struggles) that we may need to monitor over time.  He may have issues with sulfur but we're following through with some urine testing to decide if he's actually expressing those genetics yet or not.

Fortunately most of his other tests were perfectly normal (things like thyroid and such).  There were no excess heavy metals or lead issues.  The is a little bit of an elevated copper to zinc ratio and a mild anemia.  The good news is that the doctor thinks that many of these things can certainly addressed and hopefully corrected.  He said that the glaring nutrient deficiencies can definitely cause neurotransmitter imbalances.  He made recommendations for very specific supplementation to help with the big deficiencies and genetic details.  He's hopeful that adding the digestive enzymes will help him better break down the fats and absorb what he needs to as well.  We're continuing to work on the probiotic supplementation, adding prebiotics, and getting good fermented foods in him as we're able.  Once our new insurance kicks in for James' job change, he'll have the additional allergen testing and see where we're at there.  The doctor feels confident that addressing these issues will get us on the path to healing.  He says it could take as long as six months to see bigger results.  With a combination of these things and help from our awesome Occupational Therapist - Lord, I pray we see results!

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra

P.S.  My health updates are coming soon as well. ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I'm always right. No really, I am.

"You couldn't ever argue with her because she was always right.  Always.  And the sad thing is that most of the time she was."

These are the words my mom used to describe me growing up just a few years ago.  And they are spot on, just ask my siblings.  Ever since I was a small child (the oldest of three), I've had a passion and knowledge for the truth.  I'm a true research nerd in just about every sense of the word.  Books and the internet are some of my closest friends.  I LOVE to read and yet 99% of my reading is non-fiction.  It's almost like I have a personal quest in life to have all the answers - the right ones.  When there is a flaw in something, I'm quick to notice and point it out.  I would've made an amazing copy-editor with a little education in the area.  With age and maturity, I've often learned to keep silent on such issues but definitely not all of the time.  After all, if something is truth, shouldn't the truth be made known?  That's a rhetorical question by the way.  If you're familiar with the enneagram, I'm a die-hard 1 with a lot of 6 and 3 mixed in.  It doesn't get any more black and white than that.

This has affected my life in countless ways, both good and bad.

Relationships: I have a tendency to place "rightness" over the relationship itself with family, friends, children and even my spouse. 
Education: Science, Logic and Math were my favorite subjects.  After all, there is generally one right answer. 
Budgeting: Though there isn't always one right way to come establish a budget, once it's established, I'm golden. 
Health/Exercise/Wellness/Dietary Restrictions: This is a tricky one as there are always two sides of the pendulum and then the happy medium.  Our family has been plagued with health issues and so I've been on that quest for the specific reasons why.  One resource will blame a food/habit while another praises it's benefits. 
Religion: I'm a Christian who has certainly struggled at times with thinking my ways of doing things or beliefs about non-essential topics are without flaw. I do think there is ultimate, unarguable truth here but not over every. single. last. open-handed issue.
Parenting/Schooling: I've run the gamut of parenting philosophies and homeschooling methods.  It's always been tempting to think that whichever method I'm using at the time is the only right one.  Yet God chose to bless me with five very different children who've crushed many of those assumptions.  I've learned that some things work well in certain seasons, with certain personalities and even then, not always consistently. Oh how I've been judgmental in these areas!
Decision-making: I can become absolutely paralyzed if I don't have "all the information" first.  And the difficult thing is there is always more information and always a limited amount of time and resources.

So.  Where does all of this land me?  Increasingly dependent on the grace of God alone.  Am I always right?  Absolutely not!  What happens to my spirit and my soul when I'm not?  I've learned that life is FULL of gray and things are not always as black and white as I wish they were.  Do I get crushed and fall under the weight of my supposed failure?  Should I trample on my relationships to have the last, right word?  When I am right, can I be so without gloating, having to prove a point, or pushing people away?

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before the fall." - Proverbs 16:18, ESV

My hope...
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.'" - Lamentations 3:23, ESV
Until next time...

Take care,
Terra

Sunday, August 9, 2015

James' Health: The Big Picture

I couldn't think of a creative title for this blog post, so hence the simplicity.  This entire post will be pretty nerdy/sciency so proceed with caution/interest level as far as reading goes. ;)

First, James has several genetic mutations that play a part in his current health status.  I won't go into explanation of them but for those of you medical types: he is compound heterozygous for MTHFR C677T and A1298C and hetero for all the other MTHFR genes; homozygous for both MAO A and B; hetero for COMT, homo for at least one of the BHMT and CBS; homo for 2 of the NOS; and has significant issues with both DAO and HNMT.

Now on to easier to understand things.  We primarily eat a "real food," often organic, local, low grain diet already.  However, he has Thiamine, Vitamin D3, Chromium, and Omega 3 deficiencies.  He's borderline deficient in B2, B12, Folate, Pantothene, Oleic, Calcium, and Vitamin C as well as having an elevated copper/low zinc ratio.

We know he has previously diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis and he's struggled with his cholesterol for years.  It was not exciting to hear that he does have an elevated amount of endothelial endovascular plaque present for his age.  His cholesterol was very high, and not in a good way.  His CRP (a marker of inflammation) is elevated, which is to be expected with the RA and cholesterol issues.  Unfortunately, his high cholesterol is mostly genetic and his lipid profile suggests he also has a hyper-absorption of dietary cholesterol.  Bye bye steaks...

His food testing is consistent with intestinal permeability and showed high sensitivities to egg white, gluten, beef, and milk/casein.   (And we're surprised that our kids have many of these same sensitivities?!)  As a result of these and the cholesterol results, James will be cutting all of these foods from his diet for a minimum of 6 months.  We've already been gluten-free since around November though he has had a few known exposures.  After that point, he will be allowed to try and add some of these foods back to his diet to see how he responds.  Gluten is gone for good and dairy may be as well based on the test scores.  He was also asked to add a significant amount of seafood to his diet both to replace the beef consumption and because of his Omega 3 deficiency.  It was recommended that he follow a mostly autoimmune and seafood based paleo protocol with some exceptions.

Fortunately he has no bacterial overgrowths, yeasts or parasites (yay!) but does have poor bacterial diversity in which we'll hit hard with particular probiotics and added fermented foods.

He also has borderline hypothyroid numbers.  His rT3 was elevated but still in an acceptable range so we'll try to treat with the above recommended diet/lifestyle changes first and proceed with medication if need be in the future.

Hormones were excellent.  Adrenals were in a normal range.  High levels of homocysteine (which come with many of the genetic issues above, so no surprise).  Fortunately, James is active and enjoys exercise so that's not something that he has to force.  Actually, he has another one of what I call his "crazy races" in just a few weeks called the BattleFrog. ;)

What's the overall big picture?  We're going to adjust his dietary intake for the next six months to see if it addresses many of these issues.  The inflammation from the food sensitivities could be further irritating his RA and cholesterol issues.  We're adding a specific multivitamin to cover the nutrient deficiencies and genetic defects that can be addressed.  We're also adding a probiotic rotation, Omega 3, and Vitamin D 3 regularly.  There were two other supplements recommended as needed for genetic stuff.  We're still waiting for results on any potential glucose issues but for now, this is where we stand!  Some of these issues will be retested in six months.  If we cannot get his cholesterol down, he will have to go on some type of medication.  Praying for grace in the healing process! Ultimately, we believe God is in control of it all.

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Testing, testing and more testing...

Many of you have followed our family's health issues over the years.  For those that haven't, just know there are many. ;)  I got to thinking that it might be helpful to just write posts on them to keep those of you interested in the loop.

A few weeks ago, James went to our local functional medicine doctor at the Medical Transformation Center.  James struggles with Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as some other issues so we started with him first.  We have his follow-up visit next Friday so I'll give updates later.

After all of James' tests, we reached our deductible for our insurance.  As a result, we decided to go ahead and pursue further care for myself and our 2yr old Daniel (who has many sensory processing issues) at the same location.  He and I went yesterday... Here's what we're testing for and/or checking:


Daniel:
Lots of things could be at stake.
  1. He has some genetic stuff that's definitely at play and may require specific supplementation (MTFHR C677T, MTRR, COMT).  Some of them are specific to neurotransmitter issues and the over/under-stimulation he has.  He's also not converting certain things properly (technical brain stuff).
  2. I was asked to schedule a specific vision and a hearing test for him because if either of these are off, they could be affecting his neurological/overstimulation issues.  The vision test is in a few weeks and he passed his hearing test with flying colors today.
  3. I learned he has a heart murmur that's never been noticed.  I was told there was a 90% chance it is no big deal but at his 3yr checkup to ask my doc to request an echo to be sure.  Said it was probably a Still's Murmur.
  4. Doc said his stools were definitely not normal and need to be addressed.  He ordered a stool test and further food sensitivity testing.  He ordered a celiac panel test because his foods do not even appear to be digesting well (I showed him pictures).
  5. He requested a urine test to check for metals (from being in utero and my issues).  Many sensory issues can be attributed to that.
  6. Going to assess whether he has decreased GABA function or excess glutamate.
  7. He's checking all the more common issues as well on bloodwork.  
Myself:
  1. Doc agrees that it sounds like I may have Histamine Intolerance based on symptoms as well as some of my specific genetic mutations.  Gut dysbiosis is likely a contributing factor.
  2. Testing for SIBO based on symptoms.  Basically an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the wrong part of the gut.  Would be not so fun/easy to correct if positive.
  3. Thinks my thyroid is likely off, again, based on symptoms.  Running a full panel to check.  Said that my TSH scores were actually high although they don't "appear" that way on a standard scale.
  4. Running food sensitivity tests.  Running a celiac panel to rule that out because of digestive issues/genetic stuff/histamine stuff.
  5. Checking lipids and such.
Fun times!!!

And now you know where my interest in function medicine began!  Speaking of which... I'm still a LONG way from reaching my goal for my tuition... please consider donating. ;)

Until next time,
Terra Santos

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What I'm Learning about Headaches and Vertigo: Part 4

Almost one and a half years ago, I wrote a three part series of blog posts regarding my history with migraines and vertigo.  In the third post, I said:
"It has sent me headlong into a process of learning more about health and wellness, particularly in the area of diet. I'm so excited about what I'm learning and the dietary changes we've begun to instill have already been encouraging. But that journey is a newer one so I'll come back and write about that one when I have more under my belt."
It's time my friends.

Since that third post was written, I stepped into a journey where there would be no turning back.  We began evaluating not only the foods that were clearly causing my issues but also the quality and types of foods we were consuming.  We became convinced that our food, lifestyle, environment, exercise, toxins, and stressors were all affecting our health - either for better or for worse.  We began to transition to a "real food" diet first.  After a while, it became obvious that our family was dealing with several food intolerances as well.  For example, two of our children had regular nose bleeds and another one had periodic eczema.  They all had dry, scaly scalps.  For years we could not pinpoint any reasons why.  After a trial period on a gluten-free diet, the nose bleeds almost completely ceased.  We later learned that corn was also one of their cross-reactive foods (and hence a trigger as well).  Without the gluten and corn, the nosebleeds do not happen and the eczema and scaly scalp is completely non-existent.  I was personally able to finally make the connection of my migraine/vertigo issues with something known as histamine intolerance.  This has continued to rock my world!

As I continued to research, I began learning about something called Functional Medicine.  If you're not familiar with FM, watch the short video below for a great explanation.


I'm not in the current stage of life to go to med school and then be trained as a practitioner (I would do it in a heartbeat if I were).  However, I wanted to learn more and seek a way to help others do the same.  In January, I'm going to begin that journey as I start a year long program to become a Functional Medicine Health Coach through the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy.  I'm extremely excited!

If you have seemingly disconnected health issues that are affecting your life, don't be satisfied with a "there's nothing that can be done so just take this medicine approach."  Do your research!  Let's live our lives with the fullest potential that we can.  I understand that we may not be able to "fix" all of our problems but we do have the potential to make a significant impact on our quality of life.

In regards to the "Heal Your Headache" book that started my journey.... I still think there are many valuable things to take from the book.  I do think it misses a great deal about the body as a whole, including our overall gut and body health.  One thing to note is that dairy and gluten are not even mentioned as potential food triggers when they most certainly can be.  However, the book was still a helpful piece of my journey.

It's been a crazy few years but much has come out of it.  We continue to learn more about our family's health issues and are pushing forward in getting the help we need.  I hope that you may be motivated to do the same!

Until next time...

Take care,
Terra

***For updates and even more details about where these issues were stemming from, click here.