I can’t remember the last time I felt ‘awesome’. In all conventional respects, I am healthy. I have always been conscious of eating well, exercising regularly and trying to be positive and grateful in all aspects of life. What a lot of you won’t know (or probably don’t expect) is that I have had depression for 10 years. Doctors have often prescribed me medications, as there doesn’t appear to be anything else ‘wrong’ with me. To be fair, my symptoms appear to be textbook signs of depression & anxiety: based mainly around feeling tired and sad with no motivation. Many times I have insisted the doctor check my bloods to ensure everything was clinically ‘ok’. I always felt there must be something else going on…yet each time my results would come back normal.
I then began seeking advice from naturopaths and have since spent many years working on my gut health, hormones and general vitamin/mineral levels. Still, I feel tired, sick and emotionally flat. Just to clarify, I have a great life! A wonderful husband, amazing friends & family and a creative job I love…basically in all aspects of life, I am extremely lucky! Frustration is an understatement for how I was feeling.
Then something happened to my body that I couldn’t ignore. All of a sudden I gained 12kg in 3 months with no explanation. So what the hell was going on? Luckily the next person to cross my path was Claire Grullemans. You can read a bit more about her below.
Supporting your body with whole foods nutrition and herbal medicine is something Naturopath and Nutritionist Claire Grullemans is passionate about. She has been working with thousands of Australian’s for the last ten years to optimise fertility, support healthy weight management, and help increase that sense of wellbeing we are all searching for.
Bringing healthy babies into the world, and supporting men and women to really feel good from the inside out are the results of her dedication to her patients.
Claire has worked with a variety of medical specialists, and is the preferred Naturopath of many specialist doctors and GP’s in Sydney.
Her warm and honest consultation process is what helps her patients feel at ease, and her years of clinical experience and knowledge are what helps support her patients in getting the results they need.
* Naturopathic Advisor for Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Program,
* Writer for Eastern Suburbs Mum’s Site,
* Writer for Australian Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine.
On walking into Claire’s clinic in Double Bay, you are instantly met with a warm, soothing energy and it’s abundantly clear that you are in a space designed for healing and wellness. On my first meeting with Claire, we discussed my symptoms and concerns.
- Depressed & anxious
- Muscle pain
- Thinning hair & weak nails
- Weight gain
- Tired & lethargic
Claire suggested my thyroid could be at fault and urged me to get further blood tests to check. I assured her that I had previously tested this many times, as I too thought I may have a problem in this area (good old self diagnosis and Google). What I didn’t know is that the typical Thyroid tests doctors run do not include the comprehensive thyroid levels required for a correct diagnosis. I would also like to note here that Medicare doesn’t cover these tests and it can also be difficult to get your doctor to agree to these tests.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF THYROID DISEASE
- Nervousness & tremor
- Mental fogginess and poor concentration
- Menstrual changes
- Feeling bloated
- Racing heartbeat
- Aches and pains
- Weight gain
- High cholesterol levels
- Heat intolerance
- Feeling cold
- Hair loss
Fast forward to my results – my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels came back in the healthy range. This is the aforementioned level doctors typically use to diagnose Thyroid Dysfunction. Unfortunately TSH doesn’t provide a complete picture of Thyroid health. Luckily I had requested the additional tests, which then showed that my antibodies were extremely high and I indeed had thyroid disease. This might sound ridiculous but I was so happy by this diagnosis – over the moon in fact! Someone finally worked out what was wrong with my body. Claire, you are amazing!
The full thyroid tests consist of:
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
The Thyroid is responsible for many functions in the body. Hypothyroidism refers to any state in which a person’s thyroid hormone production is below normal. There are many disorders that result in hypothyroidism, for example, autoimmune disorders, thyroid removal, prescription medications, pituitary disease, and iodine deficiency. My Father & Grandmother died of Motor-neurone Disease, which is also an autoimmune disease. With autoimmune disease already firmly in my family history, it was more imperative than ever I get this under control.
Hypothyroidism can be treated both medically by your doctor and also naturally with the assistance of a skilled Naturopath. I am opting for the natural therapy in the first instance.
In conjunction with supplements, my diet & lifestyle needed to change.
- Eliminate raw kale, broccoli and cruciferous vegetables
- Incorporate protein with every meal
- Eat as much organic as possible & avoid foods/drinks which contain preservatives
- Add iodine containing foods
- Drink dandelion root tea and liquorice tea
- Reduce chemical exposure ie. Switch skincare, makeup, toothpaste, shampoo, personal products etc. to natural based products. (This process will need a dedicated blog post so I can share all my favourite natural discoveries)
- Purified drinking water using a specialised filter to remove not only chlorine but also fluoride
- Remove all dairy and gluten
- Use iodised salt – Celtic salt is the preference
- Incorporate more fermented foods
- Start taking kefir daily – a shot a day to boost natural lactobacillus strains
- Reduce high intensity exercise – continue to exercise 3 times a week but non strenuous as this will dys-regulate cortical and adrenal function
- Relax and rest.
This is a small snapshot of natural products I will be testing and discussing in future blog posts. First of which is Apotheca. Yes, it is beautiful packaging but also a powerhouse product that does wha it says it will. Their ethos is simple, natural, unisex & cruelty free. My husband swears by their beard oil and I have been using their hair serum & lip balms – might I add the flavours are delish! You can buy Apotheca HERE.
Next is Chalmers Dale – Natural health, beauty and well-being products. Again, cruelty free and can be used for the whole family. Basically, these work and can seamlessly be integrated into your usual routine. I have been using their soaps and Jojoba oil – highly recommend. You can buy Chalmers Dale HERE.
ALL THINGS WELLNESS
With my newfound desire to heal my body and armed with some key areas to work on, I have also begun trialing some additional therapies.
I recently visited Collecting Consciousness for an energy healing session consisting of Reiki and Acupuncture.
Energy Medicine is based on accessing and rebalancing the bodies energy system and is effective for assisting with the healing process for many conditions and diseases, but the idea is to tune into what your body needs and to restore before pain or illness take hold. Awareness is the key to preventing physical imbalance.
I visited Gina Yallamas (Acupuncturist, Chinese Medicine Herbalist, Reiki practitioner) for my first visit. She suggests a package of 5 treatments initially and then maintenance treatments there after. Gina is very calming and she succeeded in creating a very relaxing and calming space. My treatment lasted about 45mins and left me feeling extremely peaceful. I was pretty amazed by the areas of energy healing she suggested, pinpointing areas that were a concern without me mentioning any of my health and wellness concerns. I will be returning for more treatments and I will update the blog with my experience.
IV Vitamin treatment
Now this is a topic that has had much discussion of late. What are the health benefits of Vitamin IV treatments? Vitamin C – for shortening the duration of illness, Vitamin B – for energy & Glutathion – for anti-aging and lightening and brightening your skin. Me being me, I am always curious to investigate lofty claims when it comes to health treatments. What I can tell you is that I not only felt full of energy but was almost glowing on leaving Duquessa Clinic.
SO FAR SO GOOD
I have now been on my health and wellness journey for 9 weeks and I’m very happy to report I have lost 3kgs and my energy levels are substantially on the up. I am feeling lighter and happier already.
I will continue to share my health results and natural product reviews over coming blog posts. I felt the need to share this experience when I discovered that this disease is constantly misdiagnosed and treated as depression. How many other people may be out there who have no idea whats really going on with their bodies? Stay tuned….
*The information I have provided has been specifically designed for me and my views are directly from my experience. Always seek professional advice (not Dr Google) with your own health queries. As part of my blog I do recieve goods and services for free from time to time. If it has been mentioned in this post, my reviews have been my honest opinion based on my expereince – none of my views have been in any way influenced by brands/companies mentioned.