All posts tagged: chronic illness

Cancer saved me… really.

One of my fellow health coaches posted a TED video today called “What Almost Dying Taught Me About Living” and it got me thinking about the road between perfectly healthy and gravely ill. If you think about it, ALL of us are on that continuum, and some days are much closer to the ill end than others. For me it wasn’t days, it was decades. In 2005 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. (I’m not sure why I capitalized that, but for me it was a pivotal event in my life). It was a game changer. It stopped me and my family in our tracks. We rallied, but my view of life as I knew it was over. You look at everything differently from that moment forward, and sometimes that is a good thing. And you are never that same Pre-Diagnosis person again. You simply cannot be. Your view on mortality shifts. I was lucky, it had not spread to my lymph nodes, but I still opted to go through both chemo and radiation treatments. …

Illness and Childhood Trauma

Make sure you tell your physician if you’ve had childhood trauma. Ongoing adversity in childhood leads to a chronic state of “fight, flight or freeze.” Researchers at Yale recently demonstrated that when inflammatory stress hormones flood a child’s body and brain, they alter the genes that oversee our stress reactivity, re-setting the stress response to “high” for life. This increases the risk of inflammation, which manifests later in cancer, heart disease, and other autoimmune diseases, and often death decades earlier than our non-traumatized counterparts. Donna Jackson Nakazawa has studied autoimmune illness and chronic illness extensively, partly because of her own history.  She also wrote the book “The Auto-Immune Epidemic” which helped me understand my mercury toxicity much better. This new study on traumatic childhood experiences is groundbreaking and every doctor should add the questions about childhood trauma to their initial intake/history. This blog post I’m linking to below shows the power of functional medicine and intelligent questioning.  Instead of writing more of a post, I am choosing to share it in it’s entirety.  Please take …

The Essence of Functional Medicine

Because I am a nurse, I know a lot of people in the medical community and as they learn my story and I get healthier, I’ve often been asked what functional medicine is. This image below sums up completely what a patient’s experience with functional medicine is like: Patients have evolved since the 1950s and they’re much more informed and want to participate in their care compared to decades ago. They often want to know why they have whatever illness it is they have. Unfortunately  during those same decades, conventional medicine became more specialized, and, at least where primary care is concerned, it took a turn away from what was important: seeing the entire person and trying to figure out how the symptoms come together and solve a puzzle. Don’t misunderstand me — patients are being treated more efficiently and quicker than ever before, the problem is that chronic illness is exploding in a way that we’ve never seen in history.  So, despite having better drugs and more efficient technology, we are getting sicker faster …