First of all, a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Garrett Smith and his relentless search for what’s making us all so unhealthy. He kept on until he found the truth.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Writing this blog and rethinking my past 20 years… gosh this is long… I am finally at the end of my journey. Life is good again and I can keep on living my life.
I had been to so many doctors, alternative practitioners, healers and nutritionists worldwide. I had been on so many supplements and medications and still had difficulty’s on a daily basis to function properly. In between I became very spiritual. I have been trying to figure things out and looking for answers.
Why me? Do other people suffer like this?
I decided to write down my story so maybe it will help someone else out there.
My gosh, where do I even begin? Without going through my whole life story, I will say I have suffered since my teens. That is a bit more than twenty years by now.
At the time, I had no idea what was to come.
One and a half years ago, I didn’t even believe any longer I’d ever get well again.
But now I stand here with my head up and scream, write and blog it out to the world. I made it. I’m all right now. Don’t give up. There is the light at the end of the tunnel.
I wish I could reach out to every person who is struggling with life and get them to understand that there is a way to get out of almost every health condition people are struggling with.
Even when it seemed hopeless and strange symptoms and diagnoses accumulated, I didn’t stop asking for the “Why”.
A diagnosis was never the reason for me to rest. I always went a little further and questioned each of them. There had to be a trigger for all my symptoms.
The body does nothing without a reason. The body is intelligent. His reaction to the environment is intelligent.
However, no one could or wanted to answer my question. Diagnosing was the only thing that mattered. So one could place me in one of these fancy boxes that existed for all kinds of symptoms.
In between, I seriously wanted to give up. Life became too hard to endure. But I realized that life could go one of two ways, either continue the downward trend or pick myself up and believe that life had wonderful things in stock for me.
And that’s exactly what happened in the end.
Five months ago, the cards turned. I learned that I’ve been suffering from a poisoning all the time.
But let me go back in time and tell you about how it all began.
I remember when I was a teenager I had my first course of extreme fatigue. It was more than just an ordinary tiredness. I could never pinpoint the specific cause. It was just there.
At the end of my training I began to suffer from various symptoms. Severe headaches, digestive issues and recurrent fungal infections. Something seemed to be putting such a strain on my immune system that I kept having these outbreaks.
Today I know that these infections and all my subsequent health problems had one common trigger.
I was 18 years young and like many other young girls all over the world I took a birth control pill thinking it will be safe to take.
That naughty little pill.
It’s a crippling byproduct of birth control to cause severe side effects to which many women can relate.
I was young and naive. I wasn’t thinking about contraceptives triggering those things.
I talked to my gynecologist about it. She recommended that I do a test to verify if I was suffering from Human Papillomavirus (HPV). She told me many young girls with fungal infections are infected with this virus.
The result came in by mail. I had been tested positive. In a subordinate clause cervical cancer was mentioned, but not discussed in detail. This scared the hell out of me. I was now holding this letter and did not understand what it said. Do I have cancer? Later it became clear that it is not, but there is a risk. Couldn’t it have been written like that?
In my opinion, it is grossly negligent how doctors deliver diagnoses. One should never underestimate the power of thought.
My dad died of a heart attack after a doctor told him he was okay, but he had to take care of his heart. As soon as the doctor was out the door, he collapsed with a heart attack.
Time passed and after a few years I took the birth control pill again. I only took it for a very short time. Since the relationship didn’t last, there was no reason for me to take it any further.
From that point on, things just went downhill.
I developed problems in my left ear. The feeling was as if, after bathing, water came loose from the ear. Of course, the ear specialist couldn’t find anything.
The doctors idea was it maybe had something to do with my teeth and jaw.
So, I went to the dentist, but he couldn’t find anything suspicious either. His only guess was a Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ). Symptoms could indicate it.
Meanwhile, I had gotten severe pain in my neck. Sometimes I could hardly move my head.
Add to that migraine-like headaches. Pulling pain in the left arm to the fingertips and chest pain. You can imagine at one point you start to believe there’s something wrong with your heart. One time it was so bad a friend took me to the hospital for a check.
Everything was fine.
I eagerly wanted to know what was wreaking havoc with me.
I tried to find out what this TMJ was all about. There are actually experts for that.
I had everything a TMJ diagnosis needs. I got dental imprints, jaw measurements, X-rays and MRI from the jaw and my neck.
At the end I was not only with the TMJ, but also with osteoarthritis in the temporomandibular joints and a scoliosis in my neck.
I was prescribed special physiotherapy and a dental splint which was supposed to put the jaw in the right position. I got told to wear this splint for a lifetime. It’s like wearing glasses.
From this time on not only my health, but also my finances and a normal life fell apart.
I don’t remember how long that period of therapy lasted.
All I know is I was desperate. Every cent I earned, I spent on treatments.
Since I wasn’t feeling any better, I kept trying new experts. There was a new splint, new guesses, some new treatments, but basically nothing changed to the fact that I felt like shit.
I knew the way I was feeling wasn’t normal, but neither doctors nor Google could give me an answer why I felt this way.
Between migraine attacks, desperation and an empty account, however, things continued somehow.
Feeling sick was, I figured, my lot in life
I somehow got used to the situation and tried arranging myself with it. There was no other choice. I stopped therapies for a while. Just wanted to get back to normal.
But the fire inside me, grew again. I was always firmly convinced that there had to be an answer to all this.
So I started looking elsewhere. I tried various alternative practitioners and a gynecologist specialized in electroacupuncture.
I’ll summarize what we uncovered:
- Ebstein-Barr virus
- Candida load
- Parasitic load
- Food allergies
- Impaired intestinal flora
- Toxic exposure (aflatoxins, heavy metals…)
These diagnoses were followed by treatments with micro-immunotherapy, tinctures for the intestinal flora, parasite treatments and my first contact with a list of food restrictions.
Of course, I had to be sugar-free. Also carbohydrates were suddenly bad for me. I successfully underwent my first brainwash and forgot to listen to the needs of my body.
All these efforts, but no notable improvements in my health.
Little did I know it would soon hit me even harder.
Welcome to hell
As life goes on, paths separate and new ones open.
I was now in a new relationship and despite my concerns I took oral contraceptives again.
The birth control pill absolutely did its job because it was over with sexual pleasure. But that was the least evil of all.
My legs kept hurting, my skin became sensitive and I didn’t like being touched. My whole body felt odd. Besides, I barely bled during my period. The symptoms were extremely frightening and I immediately stopped taking the contraceptives and haven’t touched any since.
I transformed from a happy, lively upbeat and sweet women to someone gripped by demons.
By times, I was very depressed and didn’t want to get out of bed and my emotions were all over the place.
Every day, I tried to push through the “slump“. I often felt mentally foggy. Cake and coffee gave me a little energy to make it through the afternoon, but the exhaustion would come on strong.
I remember reacting insane to my boyfriend and friends about situations I can’t even remember. I smashed glasses to the wall and threw books out of the shelf.
In my head, I thought, “This is not an appropriate reaction,” but I couldn’t stop myself. I still remember the feeling — I felt desperate. It was so insane and it broke my heart.
Many times simple day to day situations or an easy task at my job would trigger feelings of being overwhelmed.
Sadly, the symptoms remained long after I stopped taking the birth control pill.
I was a hormonal mess. Birth control is turning women into a hormonal disaster.
I got extreme PMS. My breasts were swelling to more than double and hurted, I was crying a lot and was always in pain.
Most of the advice I got in the doctor’s or natural practitioners office or read about was the same old stuff: Get more sleep. Eat more vegetables. Cut out sugar. Exercise!
Nothing of this none sens helped at all!
I was 100% convinced there was something wrong with me. And it wasn’t a psychological problem.
Go Vegan – They Said
The next glimmer of hope now was to go on a vegan diet. We put so much hope in this diet, which, as I know today, had to fail.
It was not only the diet that fascinated us, it was the way of life that was conveyed. Animal welfare and reducing a high carbon footprint. It seemed perfect. If people could heal themselves from serious diseases by eating a plant-based diet, it had to be my way back to health too.
At first, it seemed to work. I finally had more energy, my symptoms cleared up and after all these years of health problems it seemed as if I had found the root cause of all my health problems.
I believed veganism fit in perfectly with my determination to drastically reshape the world. Veganism seemed to be another way I could fight the injustices we are facing. But as the time wore on and my body began devouring itself for the sustenance that my vegan diet couldn’t provide, I began to lose all the health I thought I got back. I no longer had the mental clarity or the physical energy to live a normal life.
I was grinding to a screeching halt.
I struggled with more symptoms than before my vegan diet. I tried new things that seemed meaningful to me and promised healing. Among other things, the “raw vegan diet”, a lot of Smoothies and juicing. I thought I just didn’t try hard enough.
I sought help from a vegan living alternative practitioner couple.
More new diagnoses were made. They started giving me high-dose vitamin D supplements. My low vitamin D level now seemed to be the reason I wasn’t feeling well. That this was not the case should be clear to anyone who has read our Vitamin D article.
I was suggested psychological therapy, which of course would require a very long treatment time. At that point, I stopped treatment by them. I still was sane enough to not fall for their guesswork experiements.
It’s an awful lot of effort to write this whole story down again. Above all, it is sad to realize how many years of life have passed in search of the cause.
But one must always try to see the positive. I probably wouldn’t be the person I am now, without all these experiences.
On Being Crazy
I spent the majority of my life feeling different from others.
I’ve always felt slightly peculiar, not quite like my peers, friends, and family. At my best, I feel like I am tapped into a stream of reality and meaning of which others are not aware. At my worst, I feel isolated, too odd to be fully accepted by most people.Over the years I came to the place of being able to appreciate myself—the quirks, intuition, and mesmerizing array of feelings that make up Anika. But I still felt secretly strange.
I didn’t know anyone else who seemed like me.
These circumstances and the fact that I had become absolutely sensitive and reacted extremely to the smallest irritants (stress, noises, smells, crowds, interactions with all kinds of people) I started researching on it.
I read a book on the subject of highly sensitive persons (HSP). Highly sensitive persons often have a particularly high need and consumption of certain nutrients. Was I lacking nutrients just because I belonged to a group of people who processed things differently.
It seemed to make more sense than anything else I heard.
So I found me a doctor who seemed to be familiar with this topic.
Again innumerable and expensive blood analyses and tests for incompatibilities were made. Interestingly this doctor was the first to suggest that with given results it would be beneficial if I ate a few animal products.
But I didn’t like it, I still was a vegan. I got some supplements, because he had detected some deficiencys. Among other nutrients, I got a copper supplement. Not very helpful, as I was probably already suffering from copper to zinc disbalance at that time and giving me extra copper was worsening my mental condition.
Same goes for many women getting treated with iron. Many times they suffer from an overload but are given extra iron which will mess with them even more. Tests need to be interpreted right.
Did these treatments help? Well, nothing changed except the numbers on my account. And that was not in a good way.
From now on somehow all sorts of symptoms occured all over my body and did not seemed to ever vanish.
To give it at least a try I went to see an alternative practitioner for psychology. Maybe after all I was crazy just did not realized it.
Turned out I was not.
I always felt like I was too smart for it. There was nothing I was told that I didn’t already know. I was always one step ahead of the therapists.
At that time, however, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I could hardly do my job anymore. I found a doctor who agreed to take me sick. So I stopped workinfg for half a year. I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I had turned one more time into a tired, depressed, weepy mess. Of the myriad symptoms I’ve listed here already and the ones I will not be describing publicly, the absolute worst of all was my depression.
This awful, foe I’ve been battling on and off was sneaking back into my life, painting the edges of my world a sickening black and stealing the joy that I had fought so desperately to regain.
But giving up still wasn’t an option. So I kept on despite my daily leaden tiredness.
Since teeth are also regarded as truble maker, I had my wisdom teeth and inflammations in the jaws removed. Doctors made big promises. These inflammations were advertised to be a root cause of diseases.
Guess what… It did not help! But I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t given this a chance.
I got a hint to try a protocol developed to restore the body’s “inner ecology”. Just another fancy desciption for another protocol with the same potential to fail as everything else. Body Ecology Diet was the name of it. In short, extreme restrictions on what you eat and rules on what to combine.
And above all hardly any carbohydrates, thus eliminating all vegetable proteins.
Sugar again was a no go and I had to eat a ton of fermented foods. Candida once again was the villain responsible for everything.
The only positive thing about this diet was that I started eating meat again.
I needed a new source of energy and animal protein was the only food left that could provide it. I desperately needed protein.
The End Of Veganism
The impulse to order chicken instead of greens and some veggies at my favorite restaurant was overwhelming. And, for me as a vegan, it was confusing, too.
I wasn’t a vegan any longer, but it was the best choice that I’ve made since my health declined.
My face felt warm, my mind peaceful, and my stomach full but … I’m searching for a word to describe how it felt … comfortable. I realized that for the first time in years, I felt satiated but not full.
I had only eaten a small piece of chicken, and yet I felt totally full, but light and refreshed all at once.
It saved my sanity.
I’ve been coming across too many testimonials from people who’ve felt literally driven by their own bodies to go back to a more natural omnivore diet that they cannot all be dismissed as just being bad or failed vegans.
After all, if a vegan diet were natural for homo sapiens, it ought to be really difficult to mess it up, even in the long term!
I stayed for three weeks at a detox clinic in Tucson Arizona. Kind of ironic, because a few blocks further Dr. Garrett Smith has his office. But I didn’t knew him back then.
I don’t want to say everything that had been done in that clinic was bad. There were many aspects that helped me a lot. But most of all probably just the time out and the relaxation I experienced. And the nice contacts I made. I’m not going to elaborate on the treatments there. That would be a blog article on its own. But the focus was on detoxification of candida, parasites and heavy metals along with a special diet.
The candida phase. Probably everybody has to go through it. When you are still on that phase. Just stop.
The paradox of the Candida Diet is that symptoms greatly diminish. However, the patient doesn’t actually heal from the root cause of the problem. Even if the Candida Diet is used in conjunction with a gluten free, casein free diet, it fails in the majority of instances.
However, the whole approach at this clinic wasn’t right.
They simply treated symptoms. It wasn’t right to take supplements that I didn’t know I needed . I never got tested. And it wasn’t right to “detox” me without knowing my mineral status.
Many things were certainly going in the wrong direction again just because I took minerals I didn’t needed or in super high amounts.
Both is wrong.
I got introduced to intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet. It was easy to stick with it at the clinic. Days had been easy and my greatest effort was to take a walk in the evening sun of Arizona.
At home, I was absolutely failing on this concept. The fasting and the ketogenic diet in my normal everyday life and my physical work deprived me of any reserves.
I was sick of being hungry! I was exhausted, depressed, and foggy-brained. I wanted to feel strong and grounded again. I suffered soon from insane anxiety and increased panic, as well as sensory sensitivity and insomnia.
This wasn’t right. The guy from the clinic always told me it has to feel like this to become healthy. I have to go through years of suffering.
No. Nobody has to do that.
Healing is not a piece of shit over years. It can get rough over times, but it will happen in cycles. Afterwards you will feel better than before. Not worse again!
The Final Spurt
My condition after the clinic scared me. I got cramps in my legs at night, and I was so weak that I could hardly walk stairs without being out of breath. The Ketogenic diet had grabbed my last reserves.
The hair test seemed to uncover my sufferings. There was a huge imbalance between my copper and zinc status explaining my mental problems. My calcium levels had been sky rocketing and my magnesium was way to low to protect me against. Potassium and Sodium were both low and so was my energy level.
I started with a bunch of supplements that had been chosen for my personal condition.
It was the very first time in all these years I finally felt better.
Unfortunately it was very difficult and expensive to work with this person. She just didn’t suit me and I needed more care than she could or would give.
Fortunately she once told me about her trainings with Dr. Garrett Smith. He was the one teaching her how to use the Hair Mineral Analysis. So I switched to Dr. Garrett Smith.
The End Of My Suffering
I had arrived. I had found my place.
My consultations via Skype with Dr. Smith had been more useful then any other consultation I ever had. I got detailed treatment plans and a whole folder full of useful information.
No significant restrictions on eating. I was actually supposed to eat a lot more then I used to.
I got nutrients that matched my situation based on my Hair Mineral Analysis and additional blood tests. My list of supplements had never been so small and also quiet different from my practitioner before.
Costs fell drastically. I had more support from America with Skype and email as with any of my therapists from Germany.
I started to get stronger, both mentally and physically and began to believe in my abilities and continued my strong faith to be healthy again.
We achieved so much together. He was the first treating my Copper and Zinc imbalance successfully and we minimized my psychological symptoms in a very short time. I always knew something was wrong with my me, but nobody wanted to believe my intuition.
After some time, progress came to a standstill. It was at this point that Dr. Smith understood that vitamin A can lead to extreme symptoms throughout the body and thus affect all nutrients.
He immediately set me on a low to zero Vitamin A diet.
Every possible source has been eliminated since. Food sources, supplement sources that are high in Vitamin A and Carotenoids and essential oils in personal care products.
The changes that I experienced were manifold and occurred so quickly and decisively I almost couldn’t believe it. Within one week I was able to stand up without seeing black spots in my eyes, and I was sleeping peacefully through the night. To my relief, my constant feeling of discomfort and fullness disappeared completely.
I noticed my food allergies were diminishing, rashes after meals were diminishing, headaches and pain all over my body diminished and the most amazing thing after just a few weeks… my depression was diminishing.
Days would go by when I wouldn’t succumb to hours of sobbing or listlessness.
I know for sure, in the way that only a person with the battle scars of depression can know, that my feelings of sadness are going for good. I may still need a little more time, but I am almost there.
Joy and the most indescribable sense of relief and tranquility are showing up now more often. I used to feel like this. I remember it. One day, I know that for sure this will be just a given when I wake up in the morning.
The list goes on. My mysterious leg pain that had been bothering me for nearly a year vanished.
When brushing or washing my hair almost no hair is falling out anymore. It is thicker, shinier, and much fuller than it had been in years, even though I hadn’t changed anything about my hair care routine. I rarely find any grey hair now in between my strong, healthy brown hair.
The skin on my face was pale and the fine lines that I had figured were just a sign of life faded so much they were barely discernible.
My face structure seems to reshape itself into a well nourished, soft skinned, healthy beauty.
Even my eyesight is getting better. I feel as everything is appears very crisp and sharp.
I don’t have any brain fog any longer. This was a constant condition. My mind is getting so clear and focused. I can’t remember ever been like this.
Over the last six month before the Vitamin A free diet I had a lot of inflammation at my gums. It disappeared within days. I lost a crown that covered an open tooth neck and to all my surprise the gum tissue starts to cover that part again. I did not need a new filling.
Now and then I noticed a steady, permanent buzz of energy that is carrying me throughout the day. I started being able to run errands, went for long walks, and did my writing, all in the same day without needing frequent rest stops. I kept waiting for exhaustion to sneak up on me… but it is not showing up as it used to do.
The most stunning experience I do have lately is that my TMJ disorder seems to diminish. I had not even thought about it will ever leave.It still seems to take some time before the body can completely repair this disorder. But I feel less stiff and my jaw relaxes. This also makes my neck and lower back less painful. It’s all connected.
I am sure I am missing out symptoms that have been improved as well. It’s just so much going on.
I can even feel improvement in my organs, although that is a strange thing to say. My stiffness around my liver is gone. Massaging my gallbladder does not give me pain anymore. Same goes for my spleen.
Then I noticed something else odd … my heart was beating slowly and steadily. Normally, after a typical meal of veggies or greens my heart would race and skip for an hour or so afterward.
Now, after I eat a piece of steak, rice or beans (something with low to no vitamin A), my heart is beating, steady, strong and slow.
Even today, just about a few hours before I started finishing this Blog something wonderful happened. I got my cycle back!
For the first time in over seven years I got my period exactly after 28 days.
This is one of my biggest breakthroughs.
I was a hormonal mess since seven years after I took oral contraceptives the last time. It is fixed. No more PMS with swollen breasts, emotional breakdowns and pain. It´s over.
It makes me wanna cry all over again, this time in joy.
I am not all the way trough. There are still several things that need to be fixed. But my body knows how to do it in it’s very own time.
I can honestly say that I start to feel reborn. Healed doesn’t even begin to describe it, because I have so surpassed even my most wild expectations. I am healthier and fitter and happier than I ever remember being. And I am not all the way there yet. Just imagine how it will be in the end.
My days are jam packed with hours of work, taking care of my family, hiking, meeting and laughing with friends, writing, and just plain living. I will start a boulder course soon and doing my long wanted barista workshop.
I feel healthier and stronger than I have in years, and it isn’t something I’m going to ever give up again.
Could trying to be perfectly “healthy” have made me sick?
Meat is bad! Chopped vegetables? Forget it – destroys their natural energy fields. Honey? Poison, pure and simple. Garlic and onions? Best avoided – unhealthy effect on the sex drive. Carbs, oh my god the worst of all foods. Fat, no way… or live from it. Smoothies? Are old news – grass juices are the only way…
I am almost ashamed of having been involved in all this non sene in the past.
Some people need to belong, so they can say: “I know I am a raw food vegan, so I know who I am”!
But that was never my intention. I felt good for a while being one of them, but as soon as you don’t share their religious believes anymore, you are out. You only belong as long as you share their faith.
Eating for pleasure is part of human life. Any move to give that up should be seen as a very dramatic and radical change. Caring more about the “virtue” of food than the pleasure you get from eating it should be a warning sign.
The past years have been humbling and painful. I started on this path in the depths of despair, my eyes almost permanently swollen shut by so much crying, wondering if I will ever be healthy again.
But I made it. I might have come along with some scars, but I am on my way to be completely healthy again.
I’ve freed myself from the stigma of being sick.
My health declined because of two major factors. Being a vegetarian/ vegan for almost my entire life and using oral contraceptives. There are some more factors poured gasoline on the fire (pesticides of all kinds, medication, vaccines…) but these two are my main culprits.
I might have gotten Vitamin A overload already as a child. Some things in the past point to it.
But let’s concentrate on the combination of eating a plant based diet and oral contraceptives. All my symptoms appeared and/or worsened after using oral contraceptives. It has been shown that women receiving birth control pills have increased levels of serum vitamin A. Meanwhile this nasty stuff was floating around in my blood causing all sorts of symptoms the so needed nutrients from animal protein and fat had been missing almost my entire life.
Its not just nutrients like zinc and taurin that I was missing from animal food sources to protect me against the damages of Vitamin A. Even worse is the dilemma that phytanic acid from grasfed ruminant animals is needed to fill up the spaces at the RXR receptors ( Retinoid X Receptors). Instead they get overstimulated and occupied by Vitamin A and will be non-functional over time. We will go into this in detail soon, I just wanted to lay out there there are real reasons for why so many vegans fail. You will not get these nutrients from a vegan diet. They have to come from ruminant animals. Only they are able to turn chlorophyll into phytanic acid.Instead, you stuff yourself with even more carotenoids from your so-called “healthy” diet, and at the same time miss out on the things that could protect you.
This combination sent me to hell.
I know the Vitamin A thing is real. I see it in myself, my boyfriend my mom. They are all recovering from lifelong health problems. But not just us. All the people that are on this Vitamin A free diet too. We will report about more success stories in the future.
Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your body. Just because a doctor says certain side effects can’t’ exist, doesn’t mean it isn’t very real.