Ozone Therapy – Midway Check In

I finally decided that today was the day that I needed to sit down and catch people up on my ozone therapy!  👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 There’s been several things over the last week or so that I definitely could have blogged about but I was busy with clients, preparing to camp Labor Day weekend….and then I promised myself that I wasn’t going to get my laptop out while camping 🤷🏼‍♀️….so here I am, a week and a half after my last blog.  😊 All you moms totally understand where I’m coming from!

The first thing I want to catch you up on is where I am with my ozone treatments. I had my fifth treatment today so I’m already half way done!  🙌🏼 Woo-hoo!!  It really is going EXTREMELY fast!!  However, it doesn’t mean that I won’t have more.  I will have labs done after my 10th treatment (not looking forward to that 🙅🏼‍♀️) and Dr. Logan will be able to determine whether he wants me to continue with more.  I did have my thyroid labs ran last week and they came back normal.  There wasn’t any real reason as to why I had them done other than it was time to.  About a month ago I was due for a new prescription, so I had to get my levels tested.  But anyway, they came back normal, so I’m all good in the ozone and thyroid level departments! 👊🏼

Probably the biggest thing that I’ve wanted to share is some of the side affects that I have noticed throughout the weeks. Below is a list of some things I’ve experienced and I will go into more detail on some of them as well.

  • Frustration 😩
  • Irritability 😒
  • Anger 😡
  • ANNOYANCE 🙄
  • Fatigue (especially right after) 😴
  • Sore Throat (Strep is my highest infection) 😷
  • Increased Anxiety 😰
  • Late Cycle 🔴
  • Acne around mouth 👄
  • CRAVINGS 🍪🍿🎂🍟🍫
  • Never Satiated 🍎🍉🍓🍇🥑🥥🥦🥒🍠🥕🥓🍗

IRRITABILITY

First, probably the worst side affect has been how easily irritated I’ve been.  Weeks one through four, my poor girls took the brunt of my bad mood 😞… I was easily frustrated, impatient, and irritated and no matter what I did to try and help, it just was what it was.  I prayed about it, went to yoga three to four times a week, meditated, did some cardio at the gym, tried breathing when I got angry, etc…it just didn’t work.  I tried several times to let them know what I was going through and that mommy had a short fuse, but at eight and seven, I know they didn’t fully understand.  I’m very happy to say that last week was much better!  🙌🏼 I’m hoping that the pattern will continue and that this week will be even better! 🙏🏼

I talked to Dr. Logan’s office about how I was experiencing irritability and they told me that I was essentially detoxing in two different ways.  Not only was the “die-off” of the infections causing me to detox, but eating an AIP diet was also putting me through a kind of detox.  As “clean” as I thought I was eating prior to these treatments, I wasn’t nearly as “clean” as I should have been.  So between my diet and the infection die-off, I was detoxing pretty good!

MENSTRUAL CYCLE AND ACNE

I also talked to them about (close your ears boys 👂 ) how late I was on my cycle.  For several years now, I’ve been on a very short cycle of about 25-26 days.  It started around the time that my training increased for the competitive CrossFit that I was doing.  Prior to that, I was a healthy, 28-29 day girl.  But I went beyond the 25-26 days, and beyond the 28-29 days, and I ended up at a 37 day cycle 😳.  Now I realize that for some people, this is actually a normal cycle for them, but for me, that’s about 11-12 days past my normal start time.  After talking to Dr. Logan’s office, I was reassured that this also is probably due to the detoxing and the affect it’s having on my hormones.

I’m going to continue to pay close attention to my hormones.  I’m trying to sit tight and be patient to see if my AIP diet helps to balance them out, as well as wait to finish the ozone treatments and see if that helps too.  If, after my treatments are over and I give AIP a good 12 weeks or more, I don’t see the acne disappear, my period doesn’t stay around 28 days, and I don’t see a change in my cravings (they’ve been SO bad), then I will probably ask to have labs done to see what my hormone levels look like.  I will also have labs to check for candida overgrowth but that’s another story.  Obviously my cycle is a pretty good indicator that some things are off but I also have a fair amount of acne around my mouth that is typically not there 😞. I’d like for that to go away as well! Deep down, I think if I’m patient and wait until I’m done with the ozone treatments and I give AIP time to work, I will see them pretty well balance out on their own.

CRAVINGS

I’ve also been experiencing some definite cravings, swinging from wanting something sweet one minute to something really salty the next.  Again, this could be hormone related and possibly due to the restriction of following AIP.  I’m honestly just trying to let my cravings lead the way and I’m ok with giving in to them right now…sorta 😬.  If I need something sweet, I might have an apple or some berries.  Sometimes I will have a piece of chocolate, 70% cacao or greater.  If I am looking for salt, I’ve been going with salted plantain chips.  And out of the two, sweet and salty, the salty plantain chips are the hardest to put down.  I know I’m not supposed to have chocolate on AIP so I try to really limit that and when I do have it, I only have one square.  It’s usually enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

HUNGER

But it’s not even really the cravings that are the hardest part.  I find myself hungry ALL. THE. TIME.  I’m trying to stay open to what’s causing this and not really blame it on any one particular thing.  However, I am wondering if doing IF (intermittent fasting) has played a factor.  I’ve been doing that for awhile and at first, I definitely noticed a difference in how satisfied I felt throughout the day and I didn’t feel the need to eat as much.  Now, I’m to a point where once I put food in my mouth, I can’t seem to stop!  I’ve done some reading about autoimmune conditions and IF and it sounds like, in plain English for those of us “not-so-sciencey” people, that possibly my “I’m hungry” and “I’m full” (leptin and grehlin) hormones have been desensitized some.  I don’t know that for sure, of course, but it’s a possibility that I’m keeping in the back of my mind.  So, I’m trying to get back to starting my day with a decent breakfast to see if that changes some things.  I’m about six days into having breakfast and I can’t say I’ve noticed anything just yet.  But I’m not sure I should expect to see a change yet anyway.

ANXIETY

Anxiety – so this is one of those things that I never dealt with until the same time period that I found out I was hypothyroid.  And it’s also one of the things that I want to go away….like 10 years ago! 😩  I usually am pretty good with anxiety.  It doesn’t creep up on me all too often.  But over the last week, it seems like the irritability and frustration have been replaced with a little more anxiety than normal.  The good thing is, I am able to acknowledge that it’s probably another side affect of the ozone treatments, breathe deeply, and get through it.  It’s probably more of an annoyance than anything and luckily none of the instances have turned into a panic attack.  If you are someone that struggles with anxiety, I can’t encourage you enough to research different breathing exercises and find a yoga class that you like.  It’s SO important.  Deep breathing is definitely the NUMBER ONE TOOL that has helped me to cope with anxious situations when my mind is playing tricks on me.

SORE THROAT

The last thing that I’ve been experiencing is a sore throat.  About two to three days after each of my treatments, I have had a sore throat.  It typically starts to come on in the afternoon, gets bad at bedtime, is sore all of the next day and then is gone by that night.  Luckily, just like the irritability and frustration, I didn’t notice this last week so I’m hoping this is gone as well.

So that’s a lot of stuff!! 😬 I know there is a lot here but I have to say, the only thing that has really been almost too much to handle has been the irritability. Thankfully it’s gone!  I just tried to remember that my body was getting rid of the bad stuff and doing what it is supposed to be doing.  I will continue to keep you all updated on how the treatments are going and definitely the end result!  Until next time….

My First Ozone Therapy Treatment…NAILED IT!

I’m so stoked to share with you all that my first Ozone Therapy Treatment has came and went and I did great!!!

I was admittedly nervous 😟 going in, I won’t lie. Even sitting in the comfy recliner chairs, surrounded by a couple of nurses and a few other ladies doing treatments, I was still a bit shaky. But, God knows me very well. 😊

The Big Man Upstairs knows that I’m just a little bit of a talker….seriously, just a little, tiny bit. 😊 So what did He do?? He planted those two ladies right across from me, one of which enjoyed talking, like me. 😉 Oh and then, He had two nurses in there, one of which was extremely willing to chat with me. And the other?? Well, she’s a trainer at a local gym (I might work out a little), buff girl (like me 😂), who models LuLu Lemon (which I love ❤️ ), and is pregnant. So I might of carried in headphones, my phone, a laptop, and my work bag….NONE of which I used. (Don’t let the note pad on my lap fool you….I didn’t touch it other than to get it out!) 😬 I may have talked the ENTIRE time. 😂 But that was perfect because it kept me from thinking about what was going on!

So, anywho, got through it, easy peasy. I had one IV with a combination of saline and ozone. The second IV had three main ingredients, of which I only remember Glutathione. But the second IV was to help boost my immune system. I will figure that combo out and let you know later. (Maybe if I hadn’t talked so much, I’d remember 😬) My nurse, Dana, forewarned me that some people will feel drowsy after having their IV, others have noticed that they have more energy. Since I’ve been sick lately, I was praying I was one of the lucky ones to have more energy….and I was one of the lucky ones. 😊 We had a lot going on last night so it would have been much more stressful had I been tired! And today, I definitely have more of my energy back that has been zapped from this nasty cold. 🙌🏼 Still not 100%, but definitely better! I feel like I have control of my day again!! 💪🏼👊🏼

So overall, it was a great experience! I wish I could give you all the conclusion right now and say, “hey it worked – my strep and other infections are all gone!” But I guess you’ll have to put up with my cheesy, third rate blog for awhile if you wanna know the answer to that. 🙃 I will continue to keep you all posted! Thanks for following along!!

*If you are interested in macros or integrative nutrition health coaching, contact me here.

Ten Week Journey of Healing

Hi all!! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here!!  I had NO IDEA how much my kiddos being home from school was going to affect my work and blog over the summer! But man…note to self for next summer….someone say, “day camps”? Lol, I’m kidding…sorta…

Anywho…I hope you are having a wonderful Monday and a great start to your week!!
I’m back to blogging today and for a very GOOD reason!  I’m getting ready to embark on a little journey that may be of interest to you or someone you know!
As most of you know, I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease.  I’ve been battling it since 2003, at the young age of 24.  For a long time I just dealt with it, taking several medications to not only help my thyroid but to also help deal with the symptoms of Hashimoto’s…mainly anxiety, allergies, and my blood pressure dropping unexpectedly.  The last 6-7 years, I’ve slowly been learning more and more about nutrition, supplementation, essential oils, meditation and breathing exercises, finding the right doctor, holistic health, possible root causes, etc., etc.
A few months back, I had labs ran to test for possible infections.  If you aren’t aware, there are many infections that can trigger Hashimoto’s (and other autoimmune conditions).  I was aware of a few that I had contracted in the past (H. Pylori – ulcers, Epstein Barr – mono and Herpes Simplex – cold sores, and a few others), so I thought it would be good to see how active they were.  As expected, those that I just mentioned all came back as positive for having had them, with Herpes being a little higher as that is still active every once in a while.  But the one that I didn’t know they were testing for, and one that I wasn’t even aware was a possibility, was the one that came back so high, it was off the charts.  And it was one of the most common infections people, especially children, can get… and that’s Strep.  And this REALLY surprised me because I’ve only had strep once, maybe twice, ever.  So that leads me to the little journey I’m about to take.
There is something called Ozone.  Don’t ask me to describe it or really explain it because I’m not sure that I even know how to.  But, it’s known to be magical! 🙂 Ozone can kill infections in the body without harming the body. So, I’m about to go through 10 ozone treatments, one per week, at The Logan Institue for Health and Wellness.  There, Dr. Logan and crew will give me an IV with Ozone and Saline.  The hope is that these infections, mainly the strep, are/were the trigger for the onset of my Hashimoto’s, that this will kill the multiple infections that are both dormant and active, in bigger hopes that this will drop my thyroid antibodies and reverse my autoimmune condition.  Don’t be confused though, because there is no cure for Hashimoto’s.  So you’re probably asking why am I doing this then?  Well, because while there is no cure, reversing Hashimoto’s will allow me the relief of the multitude of symptoms that come along with any autoimmune condition.
So, why am I telling you all this??
I’m going to blog over the next 10 weeks about my experiences with the Ozone Treatment, my diet (AIP) during this time, what I’m doing for exercise, how I’m feeling, and of course, the end results.  So, if you have a thyroid condition, Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition, OR know someone who does, feel free to follow my blog or share with those who may be interested. (Warning – I don’t claim to be good at blogging, blog consistently, or make myself all pretty for my pictures and videos, as you may have noticed if you’ve already been following my blog! LOL) My hope, as always, is to empower people with knowledge about health and nutrition.
If you are willing, I would love some prayers of healing over the next 10 weeks!
Talk to you all soon!

Infections in English

The word “infection” can seem like a dirty word.  And it’s such a broad word… infection.  What exactly does it mean?  Infection.  I’ve heard of an ear infection or people saying “It smells like an infection”, which is so gross, btw, but other than that, I have no clue what it really means.

When the words “possible infection” have been mentioned at previous doctor appointments, I’ve really had no clue what they meant.  I don’t have an infection.  There’s nothing going on with me, except the obvious Hashimotos.  So I have always just, kind of, ignored those words and moved on.  My doctor has never pushed the subject and has never really elaborated by what he meant.  But let’s be real, he has about 30 minutes with me at each visit and I always come loaded with tons of questions!  (And I’m usually good for being about five minutes late.) So it’s not like I give him a whole lot of time to speak on any given subject. (Note to self: maybe I should work on this…)  But back to the word infection, I’ve always brushed it aside when it’s been brought up.  But that is no longer.

“Low white blood cell count”, more words that have been uttered throughout the last seven years.  Again, not something that was talked about more than the quick mention.  And not something that I have worried much about.  The first time I heard them I was either pregnant or it was postpartum, I can’t remember honestly.  Either way, there was a lot going on with my body at the time so I didn’t think it was a big deal.  However, at my last appointment, he said those same words again, “your white blood cell count is low” (aka “wbc” in white coat terms). He decided that we need to look further into it.  So a couple of days ago (about 2-3 months after my last appointment) I had my blood drawn again to see if my count was still low.  What comes back from the test will determine where we go from here.

So the reason that I want to talk about infections is because it wasn’t until recently that I even understood what the heck he was talking about, which means a lot of other autoimmune sufferers probably don’t either. Not only that, but I didn’t realize how much having any one of these infections could affect flare ups of my symptoms. And, even more importantly, that one of these infections could be the root cause of my Hashimoto’s.  THAT right there is priceless information, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m not charging you, so read on to see if any one of these could be affecting you!  (Cause upon further investigation, I know that I for sure have some of these and some of the others are possibilities.)

So why did I not ever understand what infections are?  Or even more specifically, what ones my doctor was referring to?  Well, that’s because, a lot of times when they are talked about, they are referred to in their “white coat” terms.  So most of us who are “plain-clothed patients” don’t have one iota (that word is for you dad!) what the doctor is talking about.  We also tend to not ask enough questions and that’s a whole other blog in itself!  So, I’m going to give you some of the most common infections, in easy “plain-clothed” terms of course, that could be causing your symptom flare-ups or be the root cause of your Hashimoto’s.

First, Herpes, more specifically herpes simplex type 1 and type 2.  In easier terms, think cold sores or fever blisters that you can get on your mouth or sores that you can get on your genital area.  If you have either of these, or think you might, blood testing can be done to determine if you have an active herpes virus.  Because any of the different herpes viruses (there’s more than just these two) can impact Hashimoto’s, to be safe, I would test for them all.

Second, Helicobacter pylori.  You know what this one is?  Cause I sure the heck didn’t. I was even affected by this one when I was in high school and then possibly again in college. Instead of doing testing the later time, they just assumed and gave me medication.  Regardless, I’ve dealt with it and didn’t even know it.  So, Helicobacter pylori, aka H. pylori, is the cause of ulcers.  If you’ve ever had an ulcer, you want to address this.  But here’s the crazy thing, you can have had an ulcer and not know it… so you want to test for this even if you think you’ve never had one.  If you have both an autoimmune condition AND you have problems with your thyroid, then there’s a high probability that you would test positive for this.  Testing for this can be done with a breath, stool, or blood test.

Next, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, aka SIBO.  This is when your gut bacteria is out of balance.  To test for this, your doctor would order a breath test.

Toxoplasmosis, this parasite is one of the infections that I could totally see me having but don’t know for sure.  So if you’ve ever been pregnant and your OB told you not to change your cat liter, this parasite is why.  This can be a risk to your fetus.  I’ve been around cats since the day I was born, living with 13 different cats in my 38 years.  So to me, the likelihood that one of them carried this parasite is probably pretty good.  However, it not only can be found in cat feces, but also in undercooked pork.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had undercooked pork, but I guess it’s a possibility.  This one also can be tested through a blood test.

Hepatitis C – this one is pretty tricky, just like the H. pylori (ulcer) because a high percentage of people have it and  don’t know it.  Another one that I suggest you test for even if you think you are in the clear.  It’s another one that can be found through a blood test.

Another one, blastocystis hominis…. ever heard of this one?  Me either.  So if you have traveled to a developing country, then this one is something that you want to test for.  Again, you can have it and not know it as some people don’t experience any symptoms at all and many people clear up on their own.  The symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, bloating, hives, abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, and excessive gas.  If you’ve been to a developing country and came home and experienced any of these, it’s possible that you may have it.  Again, just be tested to know for sure and you can do that with a stool test.

Borrelia burgdorferi – this is associated with Lyme’s disease and can be discovered with a blood test.

Epstein-Barr… this one probably makes me the most mad.  I’ve heard the name Epstein-Barr numerous times but never realized it’s the same thing as mononucleosis, aka mono, aka the kissing disease.  I know for a fact that I had this in college and had I known that there was any possibility that this could be the root cause or the reason for my symptoms, I definitely would have told someone.  Why the heck these all can’t just be called something that we are familiar with, like mono, is beyond me.  Per Dr. Amy Myers in her book The Thyroid Connection, “a whopping 95% of U.S. adults have picked it up by age forty, and it can present without any symptoms.”  Whaaaatttt?!?!  How did I not know this? (insert eye roll here)  This one can be detected with a blood test as well and since there seems to be a 95% chance that you have it if you’re over the age 40, I say get tested.

The last one is yersinia enterocolitica.  This one can feel like food poisoning…rightly so since you can get it from undercooked pork, or water, meat, or milk that has been contaminated.  You might see symptoms like diarrhea (can be bloody in sever cases), low-grade fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting.  Again with this one, you typically clear up on your own and don’t require medical treatment.  If you’ve ever experienced food poisoning, or food poisoning type symptoms, I would suggest testing for this.  It can be done with a stool test.  But from what I’ve read, you will need a functional medicine doctor for this.

So, these are the main infections that you want to be aware of.  I’m sure there are more and I will definitely add them to my blog as I run across them.  But for now, know that if you have any of these, or THINK you could have any of these, I would highly recommend being tested.  These absolutely could not only be causing your symptom flare-ups, but could be the root cause of your Hashimoto’s (or other autoimmune condition).

For more information on any of these infections, if they could pertain to you, and testing for definitive answers, speak to your FUNCTIONAL MED doctor.  If you would like support with your autoimmune journey, feel free to reach out to me at StacyRawlings@mac.com!  Together we can free you from your symptoms so you can lead a beautiful, healthy life!

**Although these are my own thoughts and takes on infections, there are several books, doctors, and websites that I go to for all my autoimmune, digestion, and gut information.  Among those are my own doctor, Dr. Kevin Logan at The Logan Institute for Health and Wellness, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, The Thyroid Connection and The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers, Dr. Izabella Wentz, Pharm D, Mickey & Angie at Autoimmune Wellness, The Immune System Recovery Plan by Dr. Susan Blum, and Medical Medium Thyroid Healing by Anthony William.  These are just the start of some amazing resources for people with autoimmune conditions.  I highly recommend them all.