Updated: Feb 18, 2021
In 2015 I was in my twenties and in terrible health when I decided to completely transform my life. I had hyperthyroidism, heart problems, diet problems, was constantly tired and frequently sick. I was on medication for my thyroid as well as betablockers to help control my blood pressure. I was on a restricted diet in an attempt to help manage my symptoms. I was worried about if I could ever have children without a lot of intervention and medication. Something I did not want to be part of my future story. After a failed attempt of weaning off of my medication, the outlook I was given by the specialist didn't give me any more hope - I was told that I should consider radiotherapy or to have part of my thyroid removed which could mean a life of medication and health complications.
This is when I decided that I needed a different approach and the beginning of my healing journey involved seeing an integrative medical doctor at the recommendation of a friend. You might ask why not any other doctor? The benefit is an integrative medical doctor looks at a person holistically and incorporates both traditional and modern medicine in their practice. They don't just focus on symptom management which I had experienced to date, but instead investigate the underlying cause of your problems. In my case hyperthyroidism (Graves’ Disease).
The Real Problem
As per the advice of the doctor I had a hair tissue mineral analysis completed. It is used to measure mineral imbalances, deficiencies, and excesses of many essential and toxic elements such as mercury, lead, aluminium, uranium, arsenic and much more. The most painful process of this test, if you want to call it ‘painful’, was having to cut a large chunk of hair right at the scalp which was a little distressing for any lady who loves her locks.
However this test provided information that all my previous blood tests hadn't and this turned out to be the key to solving my health issues. I discovered I had high mercury levels and a number of mineral deficiencies. I also found out I was an extremely slow oxidiser meaning I am more prone to fatigue and low energy levels due to a reduced ability to convert glucose to energy. I am also more prone to disrupted adrenal and thyroid function. Slow oxidisers also tend to hide away toxins due to the inability to effectively detox and lower cellular energy levels.
It is unclear how I had come to have high levels of mercury as I did not have fillings which is one of the common sources of mercury for some people. But, there are many other sources where I could have accumulated it such as eating certain large fish, seeds and vegetables treated with mercurial fungicides, contaminated drinking water, some diuretics, congenital exposure, vaccinations, or some make ups. Some symptoms of high mercury levels can include fatigue, neurological degeneration and disorders, endocrine dysfunction, depression, poor immunity, vision loss, muscle weakness and digestive tract dysbiosis. These lists of symptoms summed up a number of things I was experiencing.
My treatment involved undergoing a 3-stage detox.
Step 1 involved strengthen my body nutritionally to improve energy production, calm the nervous system and repair the digestive system.
Step 2 was to strengthen and prepare the organs for detoxification: liver, kidneys, digestive system. This also included clearing any hidden infection from the body.
Step 3. Undertaking -the Toxic Metal -Detoxification. This entire process took me about 8 months as I was also slowly weaning myself off of my medication during this. Some days I felt great and other days I felt terrible. I was taking an array of natural supplements which to be honest was not the cheapest undertaking, but was worth every penny as it was only temporary.
I also had to have a reasonably specific diet to help aid my detox. It consisted of:
Large portions of raw (40%) to cooked vegetables (60%) 2-3 times daily.
A protein at every meal such as organic meats, lentils, eggs, small cold water fish such as such as sardines, or mackerel.
Eating fermented foods sauerkraut, kefir, organic yoghurt, kimchi, natto, miso, tempeh, and sourdough bread.
Good quality fats such as cold-pressed, extra virgin olive, coconut, flaxseed and avocado oils, nut butters etc.
No gluten and dairy due to their inflammatory nature.
No processed foods such as margarine.
No iodised salts or Himalayan salts as these contain aluminium and create sodium imbalances in the body.
Avoiding refined sugar, sweets, and excessive amounts of fresh and dried fruits, and natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, and molasses. As all sugar depletes magnesium, chromium, B vitamins, zinc and copper which would have been super counterproductive.
With this also limiting my fruit intake to 2-3 a day.
Ever since undertaking the detox I have had normal thyroid levels and have birthed two healthy baby boys with no interventions. I feel great and have been off all of medication since completing my detox. I achieved my object through looking at my health through a different lens and it has changed my health habits for the better. It has helped me have a passion to minimize the amount of toxins my family are exposed to as I have grown to learn about their negative impacts on our health. I hope what I have shared can help inspire you to take hold of your health and think about how the world around us may be impacting the health of you and your family without you even realising it xx
If you want to know more about the hair tissue mineral analysis you can read more here https://biotrace.co.nz/services/hair-tissue-mineral-analysis/?v=8e3eb2c69a18