My Headache Story
I briefly shared with my subscribers last week that I had been suffering from excruciating headaches. I’m not talking just an annoying headache here and there. I’m talking lay me flat on my back writhing in pain. Severe pain on the right side of my head feeling like I’m being stabbed in my temple. Tearing and red eye. Pretty much all day long for 15 days straight. I was miserable, unable to function, unable to properly care for my children and keep up with regular daily activities. My usual headache remedy of peppermint or lavender essential oils(affiliate link) on my temples, wasn’t even cutting it in the least. I threw some stuff in the crockpot for several dinners and we ate leftovers for a few days, but in between, I got my husband to pick up more carryout than we’ve probably had all year. What was I going to do? I’ve suffered from these types of headaches since I was a teenager. I’ve had tests run to rule out tumors and other serious conditions. I’ve been given steroids and pain medications. Nothing has completely helped. This time, I was in more pain for longer than I have ever been in, and I was in search for a root cause. Last Friday I was at my lowest. I was even to the point of nausea and couldn’t eat. I prayed that God would either take away the pain, direct me to some help, or to help me just completely rest in Him even if the pain never went away. I was trying to hope for the best, but prepare myself for the worst. Sometimes healing never comes.
I was desperate so I called every chiropractor in the area that I knew of or had previous connections with. No one could get me in. No one could take a new patient. My husband then remembered a chiropractor that his brother used to be friends with and looked him up online to see if he was still practicing. He was, so I quickly dialed his number, pleaded my case, and begged him to get me in. Thankfully he was able to see me. It was a total God thing that I was directed to him, because not only did he adjust my neck, but he also helped me discover some root causes to my problems. Hallelujah! Masking symptoms has never given me much help, so I was incredibly thankful for his knowledge and expertise in this area.
The Test Results
Over the next week, he pinpointed areas in my neck that were misaligned, and did a series of tests on me and we discovered that I have adrenal, thyroid, and hypothalamus issues. Really? Hormonal issues? I felt “fine”…oh except those excruciating headaches. I had been feeling very tired and moody, but I just attributed it to being a mother. I had been experiencing very long and painful periods, but I just attributed it to my genetic makeup. All of the women in my family suffer from long painful menstrual cycles. I had very dry skin, but I just attributed it to harsh winter weather. I had been noticing some weight gain and a few more breakouts than normal, but I just attributed it to not exercising like I should and not changing my pillowcase often enough. Oops. Looking at all of these symptoms now, along with my headaches, it’s pretty clear I have some hormonal issues going on. Adrenals, metabolism, thyroid, hypothalamus, hormones-they’re all connected in a complex web.
After we pinpointed my problems, he then did even more testing to try to figure out what was contributing to them. He explained that it’s different for everyone. It could be heavy metals, bacteria, food intolerance, and on and on. For me, my testing came back that it was related to weak digestion, bad bacteria, and intolerance to refined white sugar. This made total sense to me too because I had gotten completely lax in my probiotic intake of kefir, kombucha, homemade yogurt, and cultured vegetables, which promote good bacteria in the gut. I can’t say I had an excuse, just pure laziness. He said my diet was very solid, but if your digestion if not where it should be, it doesn’t matter how solid the diet is, the body doesn’t get what it’s supposed to.
Truthfully, I don’t eat much white sugar at all anymore except when we’re out of the house, but based upon my test, I think I will pass on it even at family functions and church potlucks from now on. I can’t say I will be perfect in this, because I do like to indulge in our local frozen custard in the warmer months, but I have a feeling we will be choosing homemade frozen custard at home more often than not this summer. At least then I can choose another sweetener other than the white stuff.
He is continuing to adjust my neck and perform a cranial release technique 1-2 times a week as needed. It was very much out of whack. It could be from too many neck rolls in my new intermediate dance class that I am currently taking or it could be from falling on my head too many times in gymnastics as a kid. Eh. I was never very good at that tumbling thing. I shudder when I think of it. For now, his orders were to stay away from my dance class until I get my headaches stabilized. Waaahh! And just when I found a form of exercise that I love! Oh well, that’s how it goes.
He also put me on digestive enzymes. One is Zypan from Standard Process. (No, I didn’t pay that much!) The other two supplements I don’t have yet. He is ordering them and I will get them Monday. So far the digestive enzymes are working WONDERFULLY! I have been headache free for the past three days! Praise God! How’s that for a series of exclamation points? Seriously, I have been able to tell a big difference. No bloating, gas, or anything after eating. My stomach is flatter too. I’m sure that once I get the other two supplements I will see even more results. I’m looking forward to seeing how my periods will be next month too. Did I just say I was looking forward to my period? I must be crazy!
My Continued Course of Action
While I am feeling much better, I’m not out of the woods yet. I have a lot of work ahead of me to stay on top of all of this. This is what I plan to do.
- Continue with my weekly and then hopefully monthly chiropractor adjustments.
- Continue taking digestive enzymes according to my doctor’s guidance.
- Avoid refined white sugar.
- Break back out my fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables, which promote good bacteria growth in the gut and aid in digestion.
- Increase my intake of iodine rich foods like seafood and sea vegetables to support the thryoid.
- Increase selenium by eating a Brazil nut a day.
- Take Maca(affiliate link) which helps regulate hormones.
- Gentle exercise. I plan to walk, do pilates, stretching, body weight exercises like push up, squats, etc.
- Plenty of sleep! When the adrenals are stressed, sleep is the best thing you can do heal them and get them functioning properly. I’m trying to go to bed by 10pm, which is difficult considering this is when I normally write and connect with my husband. I’m still working on this one.
I do encourage everyone to seek health care providers that look at the entire body when diagnosing and providing treatment. Pain killers and conventional drugs are very helpful for relieving acute conditions, but they won’t help promote wellness. My headaches just kept coming back. Who would have thought that my headaches and heavy periods could be related? Better treatment looks at the entire body for patterns instead of just the current ailment.
All in all, I’m so thankful that the Lord directed to me to a doctor that could help get to the root of my problems. I have been praising Him for the 3 pain-free days I have experienced. Also when my pain was at its highest, I was thankful. Not because of my pain, but because I was able to empathize with those who experience chronic pain. Yes, mine only lasted a little over two weeks, but I could feel the desperation welling up inside of me. It caused me to lean harder on the Lord, drove me to my knees and to His Word, praying for his grace and strength to carry on. God still heals, but not everyone receives healing. Some experience life long pain and won’t ever see healing until they are with the Lord in heaven. It helped me to remember that my body is not going to reach perfection in this life. It will give out. It will fail me. There will be an end to it and eventually we all die. There are things we can do to promote health, which I love talking about, but we can’t completely escape death. What I can be sure of and rest upon is where my soul will live eternally, and the condition of my heart is more important than the condition of my body.
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