I decided that I needed to re-write “My Story” of how I was able to heal myself from autoimmune symptoms through real food & food based supplements. After a few years of research and educating myself, I’ve realized many underlying factors that contributed to me getting “sick” a few years ago, and I wanted to follow up my original story with what I think really caused my illness. I’m thankful that God has given me an inner drive to figure out things for myself & be the researcher that I am. If I hadn’t researched, then I would be living on prescription medicine to treat symptoms that were masking the true underlying problem. If I hadn’t done all the research, then I wouldn’t have truly understood just how powerful a role that real food plays in the body; that food truly is medicine. Also, if I hadn’t researched so much, then who knows, I may not have been able to conceive my now 9 month old baby boy. (Infertility can sometimes be a problem for those with autoimmune issues). I believe with all of my heart that the Lord allowed me to become very ill in 2010 so that I could be a source of hope for others. I wouldn’t wish the pain I went through on anyone, but looking back I’m thankful for that time of trials because since then I’ve been able to see other people find hope and healing in their own lives.
If you’ve read my original story, you know that I struggled with autoimmune type symptoms (severe joint pain/swelling), as well as nerve problems, muscle twitching, tingling in my hands, and much more. After months of visiting doctor after doctor in Nashville who had no idea what was wrong with me and whose only solution was to give more prescription drugs to treat the symptoms, I took matters into my own hands. I decided to go gluten free and pasteurized dairy free as well. That same week, my chiropractor referred me to a naturopathic doctor who was also a BBRE practitioner (Body Balance by Reflex Evaluation aka Applied Kinesiology). She was able to identify imbalances in my body and heal those through food based Standard Process supplements (the brand I now sale). I am now a certified BBRE practitioner myself as I’ve seen first hand the amazing results from it. My N.D. also confirmed that I was sensitive to gluten and pasteurized dairy. Many studies show that these two foods should be eliminated in people dealing with autoimmune issues. During that same time I saw a medical doctor who is more natural minded who did a lot of blood work and even stool sampling to identify potential problems. I’m not going to be extremely detailed here because you can read that in my original story. To make a long story short, all of my symptoms were resolved through my diet changes; removing foods that were causing inflammation and adding important chelating foods to rid my body of toxins (mercury in particular).
The Cause: My Silent Downward Spiral:
Now, after several years of my own research and helping my own clients get healthy, I’ve learned the toxic path that lead to my “illness.” I never got an actual diagnosis because the blood work was inconclusive on everything the doctors tested, but all my symptoms were autoimmune in nature. Even though going gluten free helped me to find relief in some of my symptoms, I’ve learned that gluten wasn’t the main cause of it all.
Food: Growing up, I ate my mother’s home cooked meals, but that changed a little when I got to the age where I was eating on the run because of sporting events, practices, and my busy schedule as a high school student and later college student. I started eating the SAD diet (Standard American diet), which included processed foods, sodas, and eating out frequently. In college I loved diet Mt. Dew’s to keep me awake while cramming for the next organic chemistry test. I wasn’t eating enough of the good stuff that God created for us to enjoy.
Vaccines: Some of you may know that my sister is severely mentally handicapped due to a vaccine reaction she had as an infant. (DTaP vaccine) These reactions aren’t as rare as people think-the government does its best to not tell you about them because the vaccine industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. I’m not going to talk in depth on this issue. All I recommend is do your own research on the safety of vaccines. See the CDC’s Vaccine Ingredients. The Weston A. Price Foundation states, whether or not you decide to vaccinate your child, vaccinations should not be given before the age of two as the child’s immune system is still developing after birth and that’s a lot of chemicals/toxins going into a tiny baby. Back to my story, I was fully vaccinated because my mother didn’t know she had a choice on vaccinations. The doctors acted as if they were mandatory. She did delay letting them give me the DTap shot by a few months-you can imagine how scared she must have been after what happened to my sister. Unfortunately, I have had more vaccines than the average person due to all of the mission trips I have been on to third world countries. My vaccine card would get lost, and I would get a whole new cocktail of shots that I was already up to date on. The repetitive injections of vaccines that are full of heavy metals, neurotoxins, and other toxic substances contributed to my body’s toxic overload. One very dangerous heavy metal that is in vaccines is mercury, which was silenty building up in my body without me even knowing.
Dental Fillings: You may remember reading my post, “Could Those Silver Fillings In Your Mouth Be Dangerous?” Two weeks before the severe joint pain, autoimmune type symptoms started in my body, I had my silver fillings removed at my dentist’s office. She had recommended that they be removed and replaced with a safer substance since mercury was toxic. Unfortunately for me, she did not follow the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology protocol on the safe removal of amalgam fillings, so my body was exposed to toxic amounts of mercury during the process. Months later after suffering through debilitating joint pain, muscle tremors, twitching, infections, and the list goes on, I asked my doctor if all my symptoms could be related to mercury toxicity. My doctor confirmed through a stool sample that my body had elevated amounts of several heavy metals, especially mercury. Did you know that mercury induces autoimmune diseases in rats? It’s extremely toxic. I then started myself on oral chelation therapy and other regimens to detoxify my body of the mercury.
Toxicity–>Disease: When we fill our bodies with toxic things, it’s inevitable that eventually disease will appear. It’s only a matter of when it will appear. While I don’t believe it was just one thing that caused my illness in 2010, I do think that the build up of mercury in my body was the main culprit. I believe my gut health was compromised over the years with processed foods, sugar, heavy metals & other dangerous chemicals in vaccines. And what finally caused my body to say, “I’ve had enough” was the mercury exposure at the dentist. I’ve been working on healing my gut ever since, and I’m so passionate to help others do the same. While you may not be able to do everything “perfectly” in regards to your health/nutrition because we are constantly surrounded by toxic things, I still believe it’s important to do our best to keep our bodies healthy.
As 2013 is here, maybe you want to make positive changes for your health. I hear of people everyday complaining about headaches, joint pain, sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, stomach problems, infertility, bloating, and the list goes on. I just want to tell everyone that, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE THAT WAY.” I believe that most health issues can be changed, even reversed by the foods we eat. I am looking forward to a healthy rejuvenating 2013 and I want you to be right along side with me living the pain free life you deserve. As you make the decision to invest in your family’s health, I’ll leave you with this quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, CLC