To catch you up to speed, I decided to seek Naturopathic treatments after enduring a terrible year of allergies and chronic sinusitis. You can read more about why I’m seeing a Naturopath here. It’s been six weeks since my first visit to the naturopath, so I figured it was time to check in and give you an update! For the past few weeks I’ve been following a treatment plan prescribed to me by my Naturopath, including:
- Herbal and natural supplements (up to 4 times a day)
- Rinsing with a neti pot every evening for two weeks, then three times per week thereafter (with a few drops of colloidal silver and probiotics)
- Following a primarily paleo diet (abstaining from grains, legumes, sugar, dairy, processed foods and alcohol)
How am I feeling? Overall, I’d say about 50% better.
“50% better!? No kidding! That’s amazing” says every single person to whom I offer this information. “50% improvement of absolute misery is still feeling miserable about 50% of the time” says my glass-is-half-empty pessimistic self. I should be encouraged and optimistic about the improvement, but I’ve had a few set backs that have kept me weary and hesitant to stand on the rooftops and praise my new doctor and naturopathic treatments.
- I’ve spent over $2,500 so far out-of-pocket (between the initial visit and lab tests, followup food allergy tests, and the cost of supplements. Oyyyy the cost of supplements has added up quickly!) Because of this, I damn well better be seeing improvement, and if I wasn’t I’d probably really be making a fuss over things. Even though my husband and I are both in entry-level jobs and full time graduate students, we decided that my health was worth any price, so this was a decision we were comfortable making in spite of the costs. But I’ll be honest, this is a lot of money for us, so it’s definitely worth mentioning as part of “the bad”
- I’m still taking over-the-counter pharmaceutical allergy medication; but I’ll admit, not nearly as much
- I’m still having allergy attacks; but I’ll admit, not nearly as many
- I got a serious sinus infection five weeks into treatment. (Disclosure: I think I wasn’t cleaning my neti pot properly. Yes, I realized this is a HUGE fail on my part).
- I’m still experiencing fatigue, however I’ve noticed a mild improvement
- I really really miss my grains and legumes (more on the dietary changes later)
- I’m taking less over-the-counter pharmaceutical medication than before. (I mean, MUCH less). I went from taking about 2-3 antihistamine/decongestants per day to taking about 3-4 per week.
- I’m having less frequent allergy attacks, and I’ve started to be able to pinpoint exactly what is causing each attack. Before I was miserable ALL.THE.TIME. so if you asked me what caused my allergies I would have said “breathing”, ha! Now however, since the attacks are much less frequent, I have a better sense of what is causing them. Examples: being in our master bathroom (I have a feeling we have mold issues in the walls and/or ceiling); kitty cats sleeping on the bed pillows (trying to curb that!); being outside right after it rains (I think it has to do with pollen being spread in the air)
- Stress levels are improved and I’ve noticed this helps with overall anxiety
- Food allergy tests helped me pinpoint specific foods that were giving me problems. More on this later! Food allergy elimination techniques are very similar to the applied kinesiology testing I discussed in my last post.
- My body has responded really well to the paleo diet, and I’ve noticed multiple improvements in my skin, bathroom habits, and energy levels. I haven’t been perfect (used the 80/20 guidelines for the most part), but my body has responded very positively to the changes.
- My PVNS swelling and inflammation has significantly decreased. After my second knee surgery in January 2012, I noticed swelling and inflammation returned in early 2013, and it’s been an ongoing problem ever since. Just this past summer my husband and I started discussing the possibly of a third surgery, but I’ve put it to the back of my mind telling myself that I will endure the pain until it’s completely unbearable. (PVNS patients often have surgery every couple of years to offer relief, since the tissue growth is often reoccurring).
Writing this list of “the good” and “the bad” is helpful for me, because now that I see things written down I realize the good definitely outweighs the bad, and feeling 50% better should be looked at with optimism and hope, and a sign of encourgagemnt for continual improvement. Naturopathic treatment has been an interesting journey so far. My Naturopath, Dr. Springer, made me promise to give this treatment plan a full 12 weeks before passing judgement. So here’s to my halfway point!