next breadcrumb gretal…

I refer to the story of Hansel and Gretal…it was a great idea to have a trail to follow, but not very well thought out…now there’s a familiar theme I think we can all relate to!!!  Perhaps Gretal was hormonally imbalanced too?

There’s a very popular GP/Naturopath in Ubud – Peggy Marienfeld.  Dr Peggy has been round the block a few times and knows how to treat all the common ailments round Bali.  The very cool practice she introduced me to is live blood analysis.  It’s pretty cool to see your blood under a microscope.  Who knows how accurate it is, but the pictures are pretty and its instantaneous.  It did show fungus, which looked like a beautiful scattering of bright orangeness over my squished up cells.  The bloods confirmed the candida, so I guess that’s pretty accurate.  She did think parasites, which my colonic therapist confirmed (I didn’t see them).  But my pathology showed up some things that the live blood test has yet to uncover.

They are:

  • UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)
  • Severely low progesterone (like post menopausal levels)
  • Slightly high B12 levels.

They couldn’t for some reason test for estrogen in Indonesia…its bali baby..if I go back tomorrow that rule will have changed!

Another thing that Lesley alerted to me, was she noticed heavy metal toxicity in my colonic.  This really got me thinking.  I don’t have any amalgam fillings, so any mercury poisoning would be from fish if anything, and I haven’t consumed a lot of fish since being in Ubud.  But after realising that a lot of my symptoms started after removing the Mirena, I started researching into some case studies on side affects and some incidents of copper toxicity emerged.  The reason for this?  Mirena is made from copper wire.

How Mirena works

It releases 20 mcg of levonorgesterel– a progestin birth control hormone into the uterus daily.  It’s a lower amount of hormone than the birth control pill.  Levonorgestrel is a progestin – a synthetic form of the female hormone, progesterone.

In reading the safety sheet, it’s advised that Mirena should not be used for any abnormalities in the uterus e.g fibroids.  Well guess what, I had the mirena put in as a preventative after I had fibroids to prevent further fibroids by increasing progesterone levels…eek….arrggghh…so annoying.

I’ve read a number of stories from women who have high levels of copper in their body after Mirena use….see section on copper toxicity below 😦

IUD poison

Its fair to say I’ve had ongoing hormone imbalances over the years.  I’ve taken various remedies like 30plus.  I even took anti depressants for a bit.  But it wasn’t until I had fibroids about 5 years ago that I realised that the hormones were really fking with me.  Both the doctor and the specialist had no good answer for my question of “Why do fibroids grow and what can I do to prevent them?”  The solution was to perform a D&C, a procedure to scrape out the fibroids.  In order to balance out the hormones an IUD was implanted – a Mirena.

In an effort to clean out anything unnatural in my body, I had this removed in January.  Since then, I’ve had a raft of annoying symptoms – culminating in the low progesterone reading.

It also turns out that is VERY common for acne is a common side effect – this I can attest to!  It wasn’t until I had the mirena implanted that I experienced acne flare ups on my back, which are still an issue 6 months after having the device removed.  It makes sense that this happens when you consider that the copper wire of the device blocks zinc.  This is important, because zinc deficiency can result in skin conditions like acne.

Low progesterone

Low progesterone is not good.

A LOT of women report severely low progesterone levels after removal of mirena.  Basically the body ‘forgets’ how to produce progesterone naturally.

Without adequate levels of progesterone, estrogen becomes the dominant hormone which leads to complaints like fibroids, endometriosis, gallbladder issues, thyroid dysfunction, fibrocystic breasts, weight gain, depression, anxiety, low sex drive.

Take a look at the long list of symptoms of low progesterone:

  • menstrual irregularities
  • infertility
  • acne
  • depression, anxiety, mood swings
  • low libido, fatigue, foggy thinking
  • slow metabolism, weight gain around middle, sugar cravings
  • migraines, headaches, allergy symptoms

Copper toxicity

Many IUD devices, including Mirena use copper wire.  Copper toxicity can really upset the body’s natural flow. On reading into it, here are the bits that have rung true for me, that I’ve experienced and make sense to me:

  • Liver toxicity with copper prevents the excretion of estrogen.  This is not particularly good if you are estrogen dominant as so many ladies are.
  • Copper competes with Zinc.  Zinc is required for the removal of heavy metals
  • Glutathione – the body’s natural  detoxify and antioxidant declines when too much copper is stored in the liver
  • Copper is overstimulating to the nervous system
  • Copper levels rise in response to stress, magnesium levels are depleted
  • Copper can accumulate in the thyroid

Copper and food

Foods that are high in copper are listed below.  It’s probably doesn’t sound like the best idea to eat food high in copper when you have copper overload.  Perhaps the best idea is to get copper levels tested.  What I can say is that if digestion is not so good, cutting out dairy, wheat, soy, kale and nuts and seeds that aren’t activated is a good idea.  They’re reasonably hard on the digestion.  The only foods that have an adequate amount of zinc to balance out copper toxicity are red meat, chicken, eggs and pumpkin seeds.

  • shellfish
  • nuts and seeds (except pumpkin)
  • soybeans
  • legumes
  • wheat
  • coconut
  • avocado
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • leafy greens

The role of zinc

Zinc is a trace element, which means only small amount are required in the body.  Zinc plays a key role in the immune system.  Moderate zinc deficiency can be associated with disorders of the intestine resulting in malabsorption of food (common in Crohns & Coeliac patients) and kidney issues.

MMMM Mirena madness

I want to write more but I’m so bored with this post.  The end result is that I’ve been in contact with this little place in Tauranga called Natural Hormone therapy and a Saliva testing kit will be waiting for me when I arrive home.  Will keep you posted.  And when I feel inspired again, I’ll write some more on this topic…theres a lot to say.

..oh and in my opinion – DON’T Mirena.  Mirena-ing is just not cricket.

Irrigating shit; Discovering equanimity

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It’d be fair to say that shit is a hot topic for me.  I blog about shit.  I talk shit and now it turns out I’m also full of shit.  Alas, while the coffee enema’s have been keeping the shit at bay and all those green juices have topped up the reservoirs of nourishment that my cells has been dying for, it appears that the shit has literally hit the fan…the candida’s won this battle and  I have surrendered.

7 months ago I gave up my appointment to someone else to see Lesley (the Ubud queen of colonics), because I’m generous like that.  In the words of Julia Roberts, Big mistake, Big, Huge!  Maybe there was a more devine reason for this major oversight…?

I’d like to think that over that period of time, I’ve paid some serious attention to my emotional growth.  Soothing my inner child, paying homage to my linneage and ancestral lines, appeasing god and my soul, being aware of my thoughts, words and actions, all those super cool hippie things that come with the rich tapestry of everyday life in Ubud.  Retention of shit in Ubudian/Chinese/Ayurvedic terms is holding onto past emotions.

So maybe it was just time that was required after all of that emotional anguish and processing, to finally let go.

Who knows?  But after I left my kaya toast addiction behind in Singapore, then rebounded into green juice and chia/flaxseed revitalisation on Cenningan Island, I heard an incessant and disconcerting voice pulling me back to Ubud … I needed to get rid of some shit.

So I rocked up to Smiling Buddha colonics…and I was not disappointed.

Little did I know just how much shit can be contained in such a petite person  …On first examination, Putu was a little perturbed … citing gas pockets and burgeoning fullness … Lesley was beckoned over to which she exclaimed, I can’t believe you’re not seriously sick…what the heck is going on with your transverse colon?  I see heavy metal toxicity… and a lot of old crap…and signs of malabsorption…gross.

Malabsorption?  Malnutrition?  Well I am in a third world…but really?  Well I guess digesting the huge papaya I had for breakfast is challenging through a wall of fecal debris … This explains why I feel like my lungs have been rolled up to my chin – my transverse was loaded up like an over filled sausage roll… this is ever so slightly embarrassing.  What of all those colonics I’ve had before?  Clearly they’ve been SHIT!

While gently lavaging my inside with a stream of water, hydrating the 5 feet of this apparently ineffective organ, I felt distinctly full.  The accompanying feeling of discomfort dispersed once peristalsis kicked in and my colon magically decided to wake the fk up and start doing its damn job.  An hour and a half later, my lungs seem to have unfurled into their rightful place.  My sternum seemed to have sunk into my chest instead of poking out.  And I could BREATHE.  Oh that’s what it feels like to breathe from my diaphragm…this feels good

Today, after my second visit 48 hours later, I jumped on the scales to find I was over 2 kgs lighter…mmm…interesting…

I was a huge advocate for colonic irrigation.  Now I’m just a huge advocate for Lesley’s colonic irrigation…which just goes to show that its not about just taking action, its all about getting the right team on board to take said action…

It’s not your heart that rules your emotions, its your gut

In all the reading that I’ve done, its clear to me that the connection between the mind and the gut is pretty strong.  Its been rallied about that up to 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut.  The gut is known as the ‘second brain’.  The two way highway connection is represented by the Vagas nerve.  It uncannily and eerily dispels the myth that emotions are dictated only by the brain and instead puts forward the theory that our gut, the qualities of the microbic bacteria and overall health of our colon could actually be affecting our brains…our feelings of wellbeing or overall fked-upness.

This connection is one I’ve been rabbiting on about to all and sundry that would listen…anxiety, stress…while y’all might be familiar with depression being linked to serotonin levels, would you consider that all those negative thoughts might be causing a little bacterial overgrowth in the gut that was then depleting serotonin and then creating depression?  It’s back to front, ass about face and just as you thought, all at once.

Why?

How can a tee totalling, non coffee partaking, fit girl literally be full of shit?

Stress.

In instances where the sympathetic nervous system has experienced a strong response to stress, the vagas nerve swings into excessive action, with a compensatory parasympathetic nervous system reaction.

Fear.

When our bodies are in post traumatic stress, they respond to anything as a threat, including food. When we eat under stress, we interrupt all the phases of digestion.  Institute for the psychology of eating

The dominoes really start to fall once the digestive system fails for a prolonged period of time.  All of a sudden other maladies start to appear, bacterial overgrowth, hypothyroidism, liver congestion, arrythmia, diabetes…

Symptoms your digestion is off

I think most of you know me well enough by now to realise I think most illnesses start with the gut.  In my experience, I’ve had more than a 2 way street going, its more like a perpetual race track.  Here’s a few symptoms I’ve experienced that while some would accept as just part of daily existence, I don’t.

Difficulty breathing through the diaphragm.

Any protrusion from the sternum down to the lower abdomen.

Water retention, gas, bloating, puffiness

Lethargy

Apathy

Anxiety, depression, stress, hypertension, brain fog

Constipation, indigestion, acid reflux

Rashes

Tension or tightness in the belly

High cholesterol

Candida

Constant illness

IBS, Crohns, Leaky bowel, any chronic GI issue

Body aches, stiff muscles and joints

How to keep your agni firing

Theres everything to be said for a healthy diet, but I’m afraid that from experience, this doesn’t cut it once the body has been mistreated for long periods of time.  Detoxification really needs to address whatever imbalances have resulted before returning to the usual ‘food as medicine’ protocol.

Colonics – Literally get the old shit cleared out.

Relax – Activate the parasympathetic nervous system with yoga, meditation, qi gong, rest, alone time.

Movement – stimulate the lymphatic system

High Fibre diet – High in fruit and vegetables and easily digestible foods

Probiotics – replacing flora in the gut with a multi strain probiotic

Colon cleansing with herbs –  Colonics will only clear out the large intestine.  Herbal remedies will clean the small intestine.  Herbs in my current formula include :

Colon formula – black walnut hull, wormwood, cats claw, aloe vera, senna, pineapple, papaya, cloves, neem, triphala, turkey rhubarb

Lymph formula – echinacea, goldenseal, cleaver, astragalus, fenugreek, mullein, red clover, ashwaghanda

End result

I can literally feel tension and anxiety draining away when I’m having a colonic…it feels pretty amazing.  The funny thing is that I barely realise how its impacting on my overall wellbeing – just like weight gain – small decisions add up until 6 kgs later you look at a photo and despise what looks back- in my case – I forgot what it felt like to feel vital, calm and empty.  I literally had the shits.

Equanimity def:  Mental calmness, composure and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation

References

Huffington Post

Institute for the psychology of eating