Eventually I turned to an endocrinologist, who literally laughed in my face and made me feel like my health history was both ludicrous and unsolvable. He then suggested progesterone (more hormones) to jump-start my cycle. He wasn’t interested in considering a relationship between my digestive, thyroid, and reproductive issues.
As an otherwise healthy 30-year-old woman, I refused to accept that all of my systems were suddenly failing independently of one another. I opted to keep searching.
During this time I had gotten into a serious relationship with an incredible man. And yet for reasons I couldn’t yet understand, I knew it wasn’t right. As I attempted to squash this “gut feeling” by internalizing stress and guilt daily, my physical gut issues went from uncomfortable to unbearable.
One by one, I watched as my favorite foods were placed in the “bad” pile until the only thing I could comfortably consume was chicken soup. As I reached my breaking point, I knew I needed a new kind of help. Probiotics and clean eating weren’t cutting it, and traditional practitioners refused to see my body as a whole.
On the recommendation of my brother who’s a doctor, I sought out a naturopath. With gusto, I forked over $400 and prepared to embrace the naturopath's routine—until I read what it would entail: I was to avoid salad and juice bars at all costs, wash all fruits and vegetables in a specific parasite cleanser, and suck on tiny, herb-filled metal balls around the clock.
Her prescription also included nearly $2,000 of blood and stool testing plus some very invasive procedures that I dare not speak of lest you lose your lunch. Terrified of her strict sentence, I opted for another route.
I tried countless books and DIY cleanses, spent weeks working with a different naturopath and acupuncturist, and visited a Chinese medicine doctor obsessed with parasite cleansing and stimulating my chi through ginger tea. One particularly miserable day, I called a “leading Candida specialist” in Florida who asked whether I’d ever had an extraterrestrial encounter. I hung up the phone. I felt like I was following a gluten-free breadcrumb trail to health.
I was desperate but refused to give up. The alternative was utter misery as I continued to lose weight and struggled to find anything edible. The emotional roller coaster of my physical illness plus the indecision of what to do about my relationship caused severe anxiety, amplifying everything. My friends were tired of hearing about it, and I was too.