*Stick around till the end. This has a point! Other than just keeping you updated with everything “Krisstina” ;)*
About a year ago I started getting recurrent UTIs. At first, they were about 3 months apart. Towards the end, they recurred about every 30 days. And, finally – it felt as though they never went away.
For the men reading this, you don’t know how horrible these are. You might even need to Google UTI to know what I’m talking about. For the women – you know how excruciating a UTI can be.
Since this seemed like this was a “western medicine” fix, I went to the doctor to get help with a solution. It ended up each time that I would find myself on the next round of antibiotics.
Which I gladly took due to the pain I was in, despite my knowledge of how bad they were for my gut.
At first, I would share my symptoms with the doc and I would get the antibiotic, which worked for a while. I was prescribed the next “type” of antibiotic with a treatment cycle lasting anywhere from 5-14 days.
Until the next one presented itself.
On the 4th occurrence, I set an appointment to meet with a doctor to try to find a root cause because I knew it wasn’t normal to be getting so many infections.
6 doctors later (well, if truth be told, an MD wouldn’t even see me. It was only the PA, at best) I would ask the PA to ask the Doc to try to diagnose the “why”… why was I getting these over and over?” In other words, instead of treating the symptoms, can we try to diagnose the cause?
Each time I asked I was looked down at … it was as though I was insulting them simply by asking. At the end of the 15 minutes that were allotted for my appointment, I was given nothing but another round of antibiotics.
This was reminiscent of years back when I was really ill – same thing – I went from doctor to doctor to hear them say, “we can’t find anything wrong with you, but hey, here’s a prescription”.
That time, it was a ‘functional medicine’ doc that finally discovered the source (root cause) of my illness.
This time. Same.
I finally went to a functional medicine practitioner and voila, after a blood and urine test, he was able to discover the “why” I was having chronic UTIs. And, after only two weeks of following his protocol, I started to feel better.
It felt like a Godsend.
Just prior to my diagnosis, I was getting to a place of despair. I mean here is a woman who takes exceptional care of her health. Everyone who knows me knows this to be true.
And, I know a bit about health and wellness. After my 2013/2014 health crisis, I became a very educated laywoman when it comes to the body as a means to heal myself (with the help of functional and integrative medicine doctors).
Yet, this time, I couldn’t get to the bottom of it. Nothing made sense. I started to think maybe something was seriously wrong. Which, as you can imagine, was scary.
What I came to find out is that I had a number of things wrong with me. And, it became a domino effect of one thing breaking down the next thing, and so on.
Until finally, my body was simply broken down, systemically. The lead domino? I’m not sure. But, the multiple rounds of antibiotics certainly became the “cause” of the negative chain reaction.
Here is the list of things I couldn’t see and I couldn’t feel. The only thing I could “feel” was the horrible pain from the UTIs.
So, when the conventional doctors asked how I was “feeling” and “what hurt” all I could say was my bladder. Yet, it was my entire body that was breaking down. My pain was isolated to one area. Yet, my problem was systemic.
Here is a list of some of the (serious) issues my functional practitioner, Regan, discovered – which, oh by the way, took more than a routine 15-30 minute appointment:
- Interstitial Cystitis: Aka as a seriously inflamed bladder
This is continual inflammation of the bladder caused by the chronic UTIS. Antibiotics don’t treat this. The antibiotics at some point had killed the bad bacteria. But since my “symptoms” sounded like a UTI but was this instead, I was prescribed antibiotics when I didn’t need them.
- Candidiasis: Aka as yeast overgrowth
It’s normal to have yeast in the gut. However, when it begins to grow uncontrollably, it creates a fungal infection that can spread throughout the body. Also, it weakens the walls of the intestines causing leaky gut and poor digestion. The out-of-balance yeast causes vaginal infections and UTIs. Without treating the overgrowth, it develops into an infected gut and potentially can infect the entire body.
- Hypochondriasis: Aka Leaky Gut:
The antibiotics wreaked havoc on my gut causing intestinal permeability. A healthy gut has a tight barrier that controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream. My unhealthy gut lining developed large cracks and holes, allowing partially digested food, toxins, and bugs to penetrate the tissues beneath it and leak into the bloodstream. In other words, a leaky gut allows bad bacteria and other toxins to enter the body. Which puts the immune system on high alert until it becomes too tired to continue the fight.
- Poor Digestion
My blood work showed that, despite all my supplementation, I was highly deficient in Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin D, HCI, and other digestive enzymes, B12, and other B vitamins. Also, I was seriously protein deficient. This is from someone who eats a clean and healthy, protein-rich diet and who supplements with all of the above. But, because my good gut bacteria were weak and the bad bacteria and overgrowth of fungus strong, my body wasn’t able to digest my food (and supplements). This means my body didn’t have the nutrients (vitamins and minerals) it needed to fuel what was needed to fight the infections!
- Compromised Immune System
This is where things really go array. The chronic infections in my bladder and my gut, combined with toxins leaking through my gut lining into my bloodstream … Well, let’s say my Immune System was on overdrive doing its job to attack the bad agents. But at some point, they became overtaxed and tired. Meaning everything above caused my immune system to fight hard. But when it became exhausted, it didn’t have what it needed to fight the continued inflammation, infections, bad bacteria, fungus, and toxins. This meant that the bad guys didn’t have a defense holding them back allowing them to exacerbate and start to take over.
- Metabolic Acidosis
This occurs when your body generates excess acid causing it to build up in the bloodstream – causing the blood to become acidic. This is a domino effect from not having enough stomach acid to properly keep the gut pH in balance. This affected my kidneys causing a loss of kidney function. Which, in turn, became another root cause of my chronic UTIs and inflamed/infected bladder.
Needless to say, if this was left untreated, I would have found myself in (another) serious health crisis with serious consequences that may have not been reversible.
Why am I sharing this with you?
One. I think I needed a forum to express my anger with the conventional medical system. So, thank you for listening.
Two. There is so much more than meets the eye when we are experiencing health issues. And, once we reach a certain state where we know something is wrong, it is rarely “one thing” that’s the issue and therefore it’s not something that can be remedied quickly and easily.
Here is what’s most important – usually symptoms don’t match up to the root cause of the dis-ease. Therefore, by the time we start feeling really bad and seek relief, the body is sick. So, treating a symptom isn’t going to work.
What I’ve found is that it’s crucial to get regular blood and lab work and have health experts to assist in a diagnosis. Our bodies need to be continually checked and serviced, just like our expensive car!
Remember, our body is our number one asset.
Keeping it optimally running and healthy is a job and an investment.
I recently did a podcast with Regan Archibald, my functional medicine practitioner. He went over my labs on air and gave a full diagnostic of my issues. If you want to hear about my health crisis, it’s in full disclosure in the podcast interview.
But, beyond hearing about my personal situation, you will learn about the body, health, and illness. I think you will learn a lot for yourself. It’s my longest interview to date. There was so much to unpack about health and wellness we just kept talking. I found it riveting!
In addition, he shares the protocol he put me on which includes peptides, supplements, herbal remedies, ozone therapy, and some other goodies. Peptides are fascinating! He talks a lot about them in the episode.
He also recommended that I exercise less and eat more! I must admit, that was a difficult one to process, but, I’m following his recommendations as prescribed and as I said above, now, not quite 30 days later, I feel like a new human.
I can feel that my body is finally healing and although I have a journey ahead, I know I am moving in the right direction. I expect to be optimally healthy this time next year.
Finally, as a result of this latest experience, I am going to be hosting a Wealthy WELLthy Live Mastermind Event in February in Salt Lake City. I want everyone in my Tribe to have access to Regan and start on their own healing and health journey in the new year. I’m going to make it easy to get started. More details here.
Here’s to Health, Wealth, and Happiness,
PS: For the “skip straight to the PS.” clan – long story short I found myself in another health crisis this year. Not NEARLY as critical as 2013, but if left untreated could’ve been. It was Regan Archibald, a leading functional medicine doctor, that discovered the root causes and whose protocol has made me feel like a new human. He’s brilliant and I’m bringing him to you in February. Join me for our first Wealthy Wellthy Live event since COVID!