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 daughter's 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 body's immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. 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 check 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 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 could NOT lose 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 was also fighting Adrenal Fatigue. The term "adrenal fatigue" was coined in 1998 by James Wilson, Ph.D., 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 pneumonia."
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 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. 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 the scapegoat for my ex-husband's 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 LOVED in return. I no longer feel like my world is falling apart.
As a result of the damage done to my body caused 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 eat gluten in it, it 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 was done, and I now have to live with the results. It's relatively common to have more than one autoimmune disorder, and unfortunately, Hashimoto's and Celiac seem to go hand in hand.
My new husband 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 LOVE the school and have learned so much more than I previously thought I knew. We relocated our store in November of 2019 to a bigger town. We decided that it is important to set ourselves apart from my ex-husband's circle of influence. Sean and I are both focused on educating the public on nutrition. We are currently studying Sport and Exercise Nutrition with Precision Nutrition's Level 1 Course.
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!!!