My Health Story

 

Food contains information that speaks to our genes, not just calories for energy. We are learning from research in the field of nutrigenomics, that good “talks” to our DNA, switching on or off genes that lead to health or disease. Every bite of food regulates your gene expression, hormones, immune system, brain chemistry and even your microbiome. What you eat programs your body with messages of health or illness. This is what I mean by food is medicine.- Dr.Mark Hyman

 

Hey everyone thanks for joining me

My name is Georgina Kate, I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for women’s health. This love of health education came from dealing with my own health struggles as well as from helping my Dad fight through; heart disease, kidney disease and liver cirrhosis. One day while sitting with him in dialysis he said to me, “If there was any good that came out of this, it’s the love you have grown for helping others”. My dad, though not a woman is one of my biggest inspirations. 

Anyway, back to about me. 

From a young age I suffered from heavy, long, and painful periods. I would have them for weeks at a time then go months without one. Being a woman did not seem like a blessing. Looking back my first symptom that should have been a sign to my doctor was early breast development. At twelve I was a B cup, and by the time I was fifteen I was wearing DD bras. At this age as some of you may know having large breasts is such an inconvenience; knocking things over, clothes fit horribly, I got attention from boys and men that was very unwanted. My doctor at the time and nurses at the teen’s sexual health clinic had me taking birth control to balance my period. It seemed to get “under control” for a short while then I would start suffering with symptoms again. I was put on all sorts of medication; progesterone only pills, low dose estrogen pills, high dose estrogen pills, the Depo Provera shot, the Nuva ring. Sometimes changing birth control methods within a month of starting, the goal was to live a normal symptom-free teenage life. 

Throughout my teenage years I was also inundated with chronic sinusitis and tonsillitis, consistently being prescribed antibiotics every few months. At this time in my life I was ignorant to how things affected my body and I didn’t know the harsh reality that came along with regular use of antibiotics and medications. I was eighteen when I was first put on anti-depressant medication to reduce stress and negative thoughts. I remember my doctor telling me that he had known from a young age that I would end up on antidepressants. The use of antibiotics was killing any decent microflora I had in my gut which has now been proven to create neurotransmitters which are directly connected in how you feel.  I had the idea that it was because I was coming out of a longterm relationship and recently graduated from high school so maybe all this was happening due to my high stress lifestyle, but maybe it was all due to an imbalanced system?

I slept most of my days away and when I wasn’t sleeping I was driving two hours to and from work.. This was me at my worst, I was living a nightmare; always sad, tired, and sick.  Doctors had me taking prescription anti-acids and anti-nausea medications, the nausea and vomiting had started and gotten quite bad. I was always taking sick time from work and missing out on events with my friends.

 I was not taking care of myself, just trying to have all the fun I could have and forget about the stress at home , so moved to a new city for a new start with a friend. We were two broke girls that loved to party so as you can imagine our diet consisted of vodka, rice, mushroom soup and occasionally pizza or poutine after the bar closed. This was the year I met my husband. At twenty-one my party days quickly ended as things got bad, upset I was still unwell with little to no improvements I changed family doctors. Six months and some invasive testing later I was diagnosed with chronic gastritis, gastric ulcers and adrenal fatigue. At this point my period wasn’t even the worst of it and its importance fell to the back burner. My health was focused on my digestion and stress management.

I had about two years of extremely poor health; losing lots of weight, seeing all sorts of specialists and taking all sorts of medication, before a gastric surgeon suggested I see a dietitian for recovery after a procedure. The dietitian quickly had me on a brat diet, which consists of bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. I was’t eating much anyway but it was some sort of guidance. He then had me fill out a food journal and I can honestly say it changed my life. I started making changes to my diet and noticing how what I ate was making a difference in how I was feeling. The more research I did while implementing changes in my lifestyle I over time started feeling better, more myself; with energy, and more excitement for the day. 

What happened next was the start to a new life for me.

I quit my long-term desk job! This was a huge stressor for me and it was also my only income so the decision did not come lightly. I started going back to school and had my boyfriend supporting me. At first I had no idea what I wanted to do so I started exploratory courses for Psychology and Physical Education. While in the second year of the Psychology program I took an nutrition elective, it opened my mind and gave me inspiration, it gave me a new goal. During that next semester my VIU Adviser showed me in the direction of The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, that same day spoke with the Dean of the Psychology department to request a leave and I applied to the program. June 2018, I was awarded my Registered Holistic Nutrition diploma with a holistic culinary certificate. 

During my studies I was awoken to what I had been fighting my whole life, an undiagnosed imbalance of hormones. You may not know this but hormones control almost every process in the body not just your reproduction). I realized as a twenty-six year old I had been on birth control since I was twelve…THATS HALF MY LIFE. To me this didn’t sit right, so I booked an appointment to speak with my family doctor about what my options looked like. My family doctor reminded me of my period troubles prior to the birth control therapy and suggested against going off it. I made the personal decision to stop, being married, happy and much healthier than I was when I was younger, I wanted to see how my body would react. It was two weeks before my period came back with a vengeance and just as I remembered; bad cramps, bad acne, greasy hair, dry skin, mood swings, a downright heavy painful period. I listened to my body and started a journal about this new me, I started with changes to my diet, then physical activity and self-care all to be supportive of what my body needed during each phase of my cycle. Every month things started to balance out more than the last. The more I read of other women who fight with the many symptoms, the more I wanted to create change.  I have now been off artificial hormones for 8 months, it has not been an easy change but every day is a bit better than the last.  

So here I am pushing through my anxiety, with my heart on my sleeve inviting you on this journey of health and empowerment.