There are times in life that you go through something so traumatic that it physically takes a toll on your body.It could be the stress of worrying about your sick child, the stress of an unhappy marriage, the stress of a divorce... Well, you get the idea.
This is my story and how my body was affected by stress. In 2012, my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I had NO idea what that was, or that there were even different types of Diabetes. I soon learned. What I found out was, my daughters body isn’t producing insulin. According to the JDRF website “Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that controls blood-sugar levels. T1D develops when the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. The cause of this attack is still being researched, however scientists believe the cause may have genetic and environmental components. There is nothing anyone can do to prevent T1D. Presently, there is no known cure.” It was a rough road to learn about, but we managed to get it semi-figured out. The only way to know what your glucose levels are, is to test them. Needless to say, I spent many nights worrying. I would get up in the middle of the night to test her sugars, which usually ended up in a battle. No fault of her own, she didn’t feel like getting her finger pricked when she was asleep. I can’t really blame her. This worrying went on for quite some time, which took its toll on MY health. I started gaining weight and I didn’t know why. I was going to the gym 3-4 days a week and I just could NOT lose the weight. It got to the point where I saw my doctor and asked for blood work to be done. Come to find out, I had hypothyroidism. According to WebMD, “Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. "Thyroiditis" is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder. With Hashimoto’s, your body produces antibodies that attack and destroy the thyroid gland.” With that, I also was also fighting Adrenal Fatigue. The term "adrenal fatigue" was coined in 1998 by James Wilson, PhD, a naturopath and expert in alternative medicine. He describes it as a "group of related signs and symptoms (a syndrome) that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level." He says it’s usually associated with intense stress and often follows chronic infections like bronchitis, flu or pnemonia.” With that being said, I have had bronchitis more times in my life than I care to count.I was EXHAUSTED all the time. Looking back, I can definitely say that it was brought on by stress. Not only the stress of worrying about my daughter, but my marriage of 25 years was falling apart. To be honest, it was never really that GREAT of a marriage. In April of 2015, my then husband, told me he wanted a divorce. He was not happy and wanted “to find happiness before he died”. I was in shock and I was TERRIFIED. My life had been going in one direction and BOOM... life changed directions. My son, David, moved home to be there for me, and my daughter still lived at home. I was such an emotional wreck that my doctor had prescribed a higher dosage of Zoloft (150mg) and gave me Xanax (as needed). I felt like a failure because I was being blamed for my ex husbands unhappiness. (by HIM and by MYSELF) However, life DOES move on. It took me about a year before I met a wonderful man that helped to heal my wounded heart. I now know what it is like to love and BE LOVED in return. The damage that all that stress did to my body was already done, though. I have weaned myself off of the Zoloft (I had to slowly wean myself off, after 20+ years of taking antidepressants, or I would become an emotional wreck until my body got used to not having to rely on the medications to be happy). I am happy to say that I am now 100% OFF of the Zoloft and I haven’t taken the Xanax in about 2 years!!!As a result of the damage done to my body by stress, I also have Celiac Disease. “Celiac Disease is a problem some people have with foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a type of protein. It is found in the grains wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a wheat-rye cross). When you have this disease and you eat food with gluten in it, the gluten triggers an immune response that is not normal. This damages the inside of your small intestine so that it can't do a good job of absorbing nutrients from your food.” Like I said before, the damage has been done, and I now have to live with the results. Its fairly common to have more than 1 autoimmune disorder, and Hashimoto’s and Celiac seem to go hand in hand, unfortunately.My boyfriend Sean and I bought the local health food store in our town and re-branded it into Central Valley Nutrition. Our doors opened in April of 2017. During this first year in business, I was also attending classes at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I absolutely LOVE the school and have learned sooo much more than I previously thought I knew. I would have never pictured myself in this current role when my ex husband first walked out. But here I am, proving every day that life does indeed move on!!!
Amy Evans -- Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach
.Sean: a dedicated health professional with more than 20 years of health and nutrition education, industry background, and personal experiences. Sean’s journey began at National Holistic Institute where he studied health and nutrition and he later became a certified trainer and weight loss specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Though his education has positioned Sean as an expert in the health and nutrition industry, it is his own diagnosis of heart disease that has enabled Sean to open up and assist others with their own unique health and nutrition needs.