Have you ever read a blog post or personal story of someone who was very ill who seemed to mirror your illness? You could relate to their suffering in a very personal way. They have the same symptoms, they’ve been ill about the same amount of time, they have the same diet and lifestyle habits, they’re even about the same age…
They do an incredible job of sharing how they implemented certain diet and lifestyle changes which completely alleviated the excruciating symptoms they were experiencing.
Hopeful of getting the same results, you quickly decide to implement the same diet and lifestyle plan that resulted in restoration of health for this other person.
However, you do not get the same results. As a matter of fact, you actually feel worse! This happened to me over and over again.
I love reading healing stories. When I was completely bed bound, all I wanted to do was to seek out stories of people who had been as ill as I, and who had made complete recoveries, or at least enough to function in daily life. You can read about my health journey here.
I read many recovery stories that involved a complete change in diet and lifestyle that led to a sudden, if not miraculous, remission of symptoms. Needless to say, I was incredibly motivated to completely change my diet and lifestyle as well in order to get my health back.
I had been taking double handfuls of supplements for months with no visible improvement. I just knew that changing my diet was the missing piece of the puzzle for me. Lifestyle changes would have to come later since I was completely bed bound.
I did the GAPS diet, the AIP diet, Paleo diet, and a modified Ketogenic Diet. These were all good options, but why did I not see a dramatic improvement like the many very ill people that I had read about??
I’ve discovered 5 possible reasons why diet and lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to make a dramatic improvement in your health.
1. Consider Your Individuality
We are all so incredibly unique! Our genetic blueprint belongs to us and no one else. We’ve inherited traits from not only mom and dad, but many generations before them. Getting your genetics tested can be quite scary!
What if you find out that you have the gene for breast cancer? Should you have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure?
The good news is that our genetics are just a blueprint like an architectural blueprint of a house. The architect can change things if he decides that he would like larger windows over the kitchen sink or a larger master bedroom closet.
He would have to remeasure, reconfigure and order new materials, but it can be done.
It’s the same with our genetic blueprint! We may have a genetic mutation that makes us more susceptible to certain diseases. We may even see it affect other members of our family. But, I have GOOD news!!! Your genetics are NOT your destiny!
In recent years, a new science called epigenetics has emerged. Epi means “above” and genetics means “the genes”, so epigenetics means “above the genes”. Scientists have discovered that genes can be turned on and off just like a light switch.
That means that if you have the gene that makes you more likely to have heart disease, then you can switch those genes off with diet and lifestyle changes.
You may be saying, “But, I thought the title of this post was ‘When Diet and Lifestyle Changes Aren’t Enough?’” Yes, indeed! However, knowing your genetics is a great place to start.
They can tell you… What type of fats you can consume, if nuts and dairy are good for you, whether or not you should be on a low-carb diet, as well as information about detoxification, sleep, fitness, etc!
How do I get my genetics tested?
I used 23andMe for my genetic testing. I found that they had the most bang for the buck. You can get over 600,000 pieces of genetic information for about $200.
All you have to do is go to 23andMe.com and order a test kit. Once you receive the test follow the instructions and provide enough saliva for the test and send it back to the company. You will be notified via email when the results are in. So, genetics is a good place to start when diet and lifestyle changes aren’t enough.
2. Consider Your Immediate External Environment
What do I mean? I’m talking about where you spend the majority of your time… your home, your office, a school building, etc. Sometimes, we can be exposed to something on a daily basis that is blocking our healing from progressing.
It’s usually something invisible, so we have no idea that it’s affecting us. It could be toxic mold behind walls. It could be powerful EMRs (electro-magnetic radiation) from all of your wireless and electronic devices.
It could also be toxic chemicals that we take in through our food, water, air, and skin. Endocrine disrupting chemicals are in many of the personal care products that we use everyday and can interfere with hormone production and make us more susceptible to certain cancers.
According to Dr. Jill Carnahan, about 24% of the population has a genetic susceptibility to having an immune response to biotoxins. Biotoxins are the poisons produced by pathogens (bacterias, molds, fungi, and viruses) that wreak havoc in our bodies.
The strength of our immune system and the strength of our drainage pathways determines the level of effectiveness our body has in dealing with these biotoxins. This explains why some people are sensitive to mold and others are not.
This is not the same thing as a mold allergy. CIRS or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome causes one to feel extremely ill.
The best thing to do is to test your environment. Dr. Carnahan recommends the ERMI test from Mycometrics.com. If you do find mold and you have a sensitivity to it. There is no easy answer.
The solution can seem very drastic, but you have to decide how important it is to get your health back. If it’s a small amount, it may be able to be remediated professionally. Do not attempt to do this yourself.
Many people put bleach on mold in order to kill it, but it only feeds the mold and the spores are distributed throughout the entire home through the air ducts.
If there is a large amount of mold you may have to leave the environment, meaning you may need to change jobs or actually sell your house. This is definitely something that you want to consider if diet and lifestyle changes aren’t enough.
The bottom line is that if you are very ill, then you will not get well unless you remove the source of these toxins.
Another thing to consider if diet and lifestyle changes haven’t made a difference is EMFs/EMRs. These are invisible frequencies that are given off by all electronics, cell phone towers, transformers, etc.
These frequencies interrupt the natural frequencies of the earth called the Schumann Resonance which heals our body and causes a certain chaos at the cellular level.
They’ve even been shown to change our DNA (not for the better). They can interrupt sleep, cause fatigue, headaches, and other issues.
Some people are extremely sensitive to them (like me). However, even if one doesn’t feel any ill effects from EMFs/EMRs, they are still causing damage, especially in children.
Dr.David Carpenter, Dean at the School of Public Health State University of New York says 30% of all childhood cancers are associated with EMF exposure.
Doctors from the United Kingdom have issued warnings urging children under 16 not to use cell phones.
It’s important to use shielding devices for laptops and cell phones. I use this disc from Hedron Life Source on my cell phone. It is the only shield that harmonizes the EMRs with the Schumann Resonance AND reduces heat without interfering with the performance of your device.
This is another red flag if diet and lifestyle changes aren’t enough.
The last thing I wanted to mention is all of the environmental toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. We get them in our food, water, air, personal care products, clothing, furniture, etc. etc. etc. As you can see, they are everywhere, and we can’t escape them.
There are over 80,000 man-made chemicals in our environment of which only about 10% have ever been tested for safety. Agencies like the FDA claim that they are in such small amounts that they aren’t causing any harm.
However, there have been NO studies on the cumulative effect that these chemicals have in the human body.
Women, especially, are exposed to hundreds of chemicals a day just in their personal care products. The beauty industry is the least regulated industry in the U.S. meaning it’s actually legal to sell skincare and cosmetics that contain harmful chemicals linked to cancer, fertility issues, and other serious health issues.
3. Consider Your Internal Environment
Here, I’m talking about your toxic load or total body burden of harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus, mold, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, etc.
Our body is amazing at handling all of these assaults; but, at some point, there is a tipping point where the body burden of toxins is too great for the body to manage and that is when we succomb to some sort of dis-ease or chronic illness.
Depending on your genetics, what you inherited from mom, how well your drainage pathways are functioning, etc. will determine at what point your body will struggle.
It’s crucial to start detoxing and limiting your exposure to toxic chemicals before you hit the tipping point. It’s much more difficult to gain your health back after you’ve already tipped rather than lower your toxic burden before falling into chronic illness.
It’s important to listen to your body. This is something I didn’t do until it was too late. My body was trying to tell me something was wrong for decades, but I just pushed through and ignored the signals my body was giving me.
I did see doctors over the years, but their only answer was to put me on some type of medication that only made me feel worse (and added to my toxic load). I had never heard of functional medicine or holistic doctors.
It wasn’t until I was completely bed bound, and I realized that no one could help me that I was going to have to figure it out myself. That’s when I started looking into the alternative world and have found many answers that traditional medical doctors just didn’t have.
Find a good functional medical doctor now. They will have an entire arsenal of tests, remedies, and therapies that conventional doctors don’t have. I would also say that it’s important to educate yourself as much as possible. Don’t give away your power to anyone… conventional or not.
It’s time to dig a little deeper if diet and lifestyle changes aren’t enough!
4. Consider Your Oral Health
This one gets overlooked a lot! We go to the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and hope that we don’t have any cavities. Our gums may bleed a little bit and the dental assistant tells us to floss every day.
On the way out, we get a goody bag with a new toothbrush, some dental floss, and a coupon for some expensive toothpaste. And, that’s it! Most traditional dentists are never trained how to look below the surface to see what’s really going on below the gums.
The American Dental Association still says that putting silver fillings (which are 50% mercury) in your mouth is safe!
Today, researchers are beginning to see that many systemic diseases in humans are related to infections below the gums and teeth.
Sometimes, commonly performed dental procedures can actually cause problems with oral health – leading to infection, sometimes with dire consequences.
For example, improperly pulled wisdom teeth can be a source of cavitations or jawbone infections. Root canals and amalgam fillings are other procedures that can cause serious chronic health issues.
You may be thinking, “Oh, no! My mouth is full of silver fillings. I had my wisdom teeth pulled when I was a teenager, and I’ve had a couple of root canals.” Not to worry. All of those things can be checked out by a biological dentist.
Many people are choosing to have their mercury fillings removed which is a great idea, but a word of caution, if they are not removed correctly then your health issues may get worse, not better. I’ve heard many horror stories of people ending up more ill because their fillings were not removed correctly.
Most traditionally trained dentists do not remove these fillings correctly. It’s important to find someone who has been specifically trained to remove amalgam fillings safely.
So, where do we go to find someone who can perform procedures like removing mercury fillings safely? There is an organization called the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine which has a directory of biological dentists.
You can enter your zip code and locate biological dentists in your area. In my case, the nearest biological dentist is three hours away. However, just because someone is listed in the directory doesn’t automatically mean that they are the best fit for you.
It’s important to have a phone conversation and ask them some questions. I am planning to write another post on just this topic where I will include a detailed list of questions to ask a biological dentist in order to determine if he/she is a good fit for you.
This is another area that may have been overlooked if diet and lifestyle changes haven’t made a huge difference.
5. Consider Trapped Emotions
Ok, so I saved this one for last. I didn’t want you to stop reading the other 4 points. When I first heard the notion that emotions could have an impact on our health, I thought it was absolutely ridiculous.
That was several years ago, and since that time, I have listened to 100’s if not 1000’s of hours of health summits, podcasts, and interviews of health professionals speaking about anything and everything relating to recovering from chronic illness.
Over the years, I have come to trust certain health professionals, and what I’ve noticed is that they all agree that emotions play an important role in health and healing and some argue that emotions could actually be the root cause of disease.
I read two books that really opened my mind to this possibility 1) The Molecules of Emotion by Candace B. Pert and 2) The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. Both of these books demonstrated how the mind and body are connected through chemistry.
For example, fear can make our spine tingle and our hair stand on end. We can feel “butterflies” in our gut when we’re nervous. Emotions and thoughts set off a chemical chain reaction in the body that can change our biology for the good and the not so good.
If you made it this far, then congratulations! I bet you thought you’d never get to the end of this post. I know that was a lot of information. However, I barely scratched the surface on each point.
I plan to write a separate article on each point, so that I can dive deeper into each topic and give some practical applications that I have found helpful. When you’ve cleaned up your diet and are exercising as much as you can and still aren’t seeing an improvement in your health, then it’s time to consider some other things.
Find out what your genetic makeup is by taking a simple saliva test from 23andME. Take a close look at your external environment including indoor air quality, possible mold, and EMFs.
Examine your internal environment with a functional medical doctor who can do some in depth testing to determine your toxic load. Look into seeing a biological dentist in order to determine if your oral health is contributing to your issues.
Finally, open your mind to the possibility that trapped emotions could be knocking your body out of balance. If you don’t have the answers you need then it’s time to dig deeper.
Also, we have a lively Facebook Community where we discuss the latest health information, recipes, safe skincare options and more. We’d love to have you! To protect your privacy, it’s a closed group, so just request to join, and I’ll approve you asap!
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Thanks for taking the time to read my post! What would you add to this list?