For over the past 20 years i have experience life changing vertigo, fatigue, silent and painful migraines, neck and back pain, tinnitus, brain fog, sickness and nausea to name just a few symptoms. Understandably this is incredibly difficult to carry out normal like, plus its a minefield to get medical help as sadly I have found that the medical community seem to scratch their heads as either it seems this condition is misunderstood, awareness is poor and there is limited options which only deals with symptoms not the cure, which for me this never really helped. I know many people have found the condition generally increases or gets more sever over time or other symptoms pop up too.
I have seen many doctors, consultants, physiotherapists, osteopaths, balance exercises, eply maneuver to name a few, and of course many medications. I even paid privately to go to Harley Street out of desperation only to come out with a very large bill. I have been diagnosed with Menieres (but never believed this diagnoses as my hearing was over average and didn’t quite fit the box), and later Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV), and the ultimately i have spent days and months in bed at a time and the rest of the time struggling by – with great frustration, which lead me to keep trying!
I have always been a advocate of natural and complimentary therapies and although being a reflexologist myself i had never found a long term solution in my efforts to find a cure to this stage. I then turned to functional medicine and consulted a Functional Doctor and Nutritionist team and finally all the pieces fell in place.
Functional Medicine aims to find the root cause of the condition which has lead to your symptoms and aim to restore balance and homeostasis. This is done by consultation, fact finding, testing and lots of detective work. My first appointment was an eventful experience as just getting there was so tough due to the vertigo and feeling so awful and they got to see my vertigo in full force and spent some of the appointment on the floor! After running some tests we wasted no time and started on an elimination diet and a range of supplements to support my system. I was used to excluding things from my diet as i already excluded gluten and a few things like cheese, chocolate and alcohol as i knew these made me worse however this was on a whole other level but thankfully i love to cook so i was going to have to creative! The aim was to heal my gut and take down the inflammation on my body as well as to balance my hormones which were very off balance as well as detox and support my system and give it the vital missing peices it needed in order to function. I also had a bacteria in my gut which needed to be cleared. I have to be honest the first 5 weeks i felt more dreadful than normal however, I stuck with it and then like magic i woke up one day and felt a big positive change – I felt much more like my old self and from then on things started to change quite rapidly.
Over the next few months we continued our work in balancing out my body and continued on balancing hormones naturally and the gut health work. I found alot of answers along the way with weird and wonderful symptoms or things i thought that were in my head. Guess what they were not! There is many things you can do to support your system too whilst on the journey and allow your body support and healing and ultimately with knowledge you become in power of your own health. Things like taking epsom salt baths, drinking plenty of water, rest, good quality sleep, good nutrition, eating plant based (and colours of the rainbow), removing processed foods and identifying areas of deficiency, allowing the body to repair. Magnesium, Zinc, B12 and B vitamins, probotics, for example can be very helpful but everybody is different and will have different needs. The body is complex but in these instances neuro toxins and hormone distributors from your environment and that are put on and in our bodies like plastics, heavy metals, chemical load are big hormone interrupters and can be responsible to changes in neurological pathways. Understanding the effect on everyday habits and products can have a big effect in these areas. Look at what you are putting on and in your bodies folks as it really is quite a big eye opener. I am now a Tropic Ambassador and feel very passionately that we need to be looking after our family and ourselves. You can find out more here if you are interested…http://www.tropicskincare.com/clairejarvis
Within months i was now on a plane and off ski-ing with friends – this was a big deal as not flown in over 20 years due to this condition. I was now off my cocktail of medication and feeling much better, i was no longer in bed in the dark, or depleted of energy and feeling dreadful. I had more work to do but i was now in control. During the summer and the rest of the year i took many flights, enjoyed many holidays (i was making up for lost time now) and enjoyed day trips, breaks and the smaller things in life with my children too which i struggled with. I felt like i had my life back.
It has now been almost 2 years and I am back working and driving and doing all the normal things most people do. The best news is that all this knowledge has inspired me to help others who also cant find the answers and put peoples health and well-being back into their hands. I am a student studying Nutritional Therapy in the field of functional medicine and cant wait to help others on their journeys.
What about you?
This has been life changing for me and i appreciate more than many how life changing these chronic illnesses can be, and not only that but how lonely and isolating your life can become. Being the master of your own health in our crazy world is a gift and bodies are very clever beings and ultimately need the right fuel to keep them optimal. Our environment and modern worlds challenge this and understanding how to support your own health is key. To get to the root of the problem we need to deal with the body as a whole as all these systems work together.
I am not medically trained, and this is my own experience, and since researching i have found others who have had similar experiences and result. I would highly recommend a Functional Doctor or nutritional therapy and also taking charge of your own health especially if you would like to improve your own health or anyone who is struggling with this or the countless other mystery and everyday conditions and symptoms.
Please have a look around my page for healthy recipe, gluten free, dairy free and vegan recipes and i have added an elimination diet section on this page (go to menu) to give you some inspiration and help! Finding things to eat whilst being on elimination can be hard so i have written a section here with help and inspiration. so please take a look around. https://plantbasedme.co.uk/category/elimination-diet/
If this has inspired you to find out more and how you can learn more I have created this reading list which I intend to update with new information as i come across it so do check back.
There is many ways in which you can support your journey – please see my lifestyle page for more information.
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