Every one has a story to tell and today I will share mine.
My story does not end in with me saying…….”and that is why I became a naturopath”…….I was already studying while my story was unfolding. I think I could say that my story is the reason why I treat only certain ailments; because in all of the conditions I treat, I have experienced every one of them. I believe that is why naturopaths end up specialising in a particular area, because they either have had it themselves, a family member has suffered from the experience or their children have experienced problems with their health- that is why they are so passionate!
Looking back to my childhood I ate mostly carbohydrates. What kid didn’t?
If I wasn’t so skinny, I probably would not have got away with it. I guess I didn’t once I hit the ‘teenage years’. From the age of 15 I experienced acne. It was never bad enough to be medicated and I always thought that it would go away after a certain age- but it never did.
Until of course, I went on that wonderful pill that stopped conception AND stopped acne. How great was that??! For nearly 10 years I was technically- medicated. Masking my problem that seemed to solve 2 problems. My skin issues seemed to be a distant memory until my husband and I wanted to start a family. I remember thinking in the back of my mind that my acne woes would resurface, and then shrugging it off with a ‘that was 10 years ago- surely my skin has matured since then!’
As soon as I came off the ‘medication’ within 4 weeks my skin was already oilier than ever before. My husband and I did a 6 month mini detox before conception ( as all good naturopaths do) and fortunately became pregnant straight away. Everything was rosy and I mean EVERYTHING!!!
I was a beacon!
That natural ‘glow’ that women get when they are pregnant? Well I think I took more than 1 for the team that’s for sure! Angry, red, pussy, scar potential acne!!
At the time I thought it was just the hormones, every one thought it was JUST the hormones and I would have the reassuring conversations that it will all go away once I gave birth. Once I did give birth, they were right, it did go away- a little bit….but then it was the breastfeeding, the hypoglycaemia, the sleepless nights. When I finally did stop breastfeeding I was pregnant again after 3 months and it all started over again- BUT ANGRIER AND EVEN MORE RED!!!
It did get worse with each pregnancy and yep…I became pregnant for the third time. Don’t get me wrong; all of these pregnancies were planned and appreciated in some many ways. I am grateful that I never had to experience any other health complications along the way and I delivered healthy babies three times.
By the time I was pregnant with baby number 3 I did find out that I had acne rosacea, because I was still attending naturopathic seminars and conferences. It was at one of the seminars that I learnt that the main cause of acne rosacea was small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). I remember clearly looking at that particular slide and thinking “I think I must have that”. I will talk about SIBO in another post. Coz’ it will be a big one too!
I knew what needed to be done, but I couldn’t implement anything yet since I was pregnant at the time and I needed to wait until I had stopped breastfeeding. The initial phase of treating SIBO is killing of the bacteria that shouldn’t be in your small intestine, and there is no way you can do this while you are pregnant or even breastfeeding. So I had to wait………….
It has been 18 months since I took the Hydrogen breath test to find out if I had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and I was correct. I did have SIBO. So what is SIBO? It’s when you have unbalanced GUT bacteria in the wrong place, and when this occurs it can create all sorts of problems because inflammation is occurring in your GUT and nutrients are not being absorbed and therefore you feel tired, have a foggy brain and can lead to a leaky gut.
When I had the Hydrogen breath test, I also had a urine test for pyrolles (which I was also positive for- and another post will come for this topic too). But I thought I would treat the GUT first and then hopefully the pyrolles may just sort itself out or it will need to wait in line for a little longer.
To eliminate SIBO I was on a extremely strict diet for 3 months while I was taking high doses of anti-bacterial herbs. The main points were to break through their biofilm (a hard shell that is around the bacteria) and ensure that I was not feeding them with carbohydrates. My skin is now clear of acne, but I still get the redness which can flare up depending on my environment and what I eat. I am definitely not as strict with my food as I was 12 months ago and I am back eating bread/gluten. I do feel if my breakfast is grain free, I am not giving my stomach a morning dump of inflammation and it is easier to eat well for the rest of the day.
Just because I am a naturopath does not mean I walk around munching on carrots all day. I have my moments like any one else.
I have included 3 photos of me when I had either just given birth, and you will notice the increase of severity after each pregnancy. I have often felt guilty about me complaining about my skin woes, when there are people in this world that have experienced more horrific things that a little bit a facial redness and that I am a middle class mother with a first world problem. But, over time I have thought that it’s okay to recognise those feelings and it has been because of these feelings that I have become the mum/wife/naturopath/friend/neighbour that I am today.
I look forward to sharing more with you!