There has always seemed to be a rivalry between “modern medicine” and “healthy eating”, or as I like to call them both, “medicine”!😋
It looked to me for a long time as if the doctors said one thing but disregarded it’s whole other meaning. For example, being told to Avoid certain foods if you have particular ailments such as Crohn’s disease/colitis yet when asked what foods would Improve these symptoms being then told that foods won’t improve it, even though foods can aggravate it.
And vice versa! The natural health side saying “Food can help improve functions, medicine will only solve the surface of the issue and cause damage to other organs that need to flush that medicine out”
Now, I’m hugely aware that everything in life is not as straightforward as that! Things are not as clean cut in to their own little boxes! Everything affects everything!!
So, if food has the properties to aggravate an ailment and worsen it’s symptoms, surely there’s a food that can do the opposite, and if medicines fix one thing but damage another surely there’s foods that can replenish that too, that’s the nature of life, of naturally occurring things,every dysfunction has and equally occurring function, yin & yang, light & dark, up & down, ebb & flow, nettles & dock leaves for heaven’s sake!!!!
I am finally seeing the medicine side closing this gap. The new generation of doctors have a Huge understanding of nutrition, of how the properties of certain foods can promote healing and correct function of specific organs. I witnessed this when my brother had open heart surgery. Heart disease runs in my family. My mother also had open heart surgery even though she literally never smoke or drank a day in her life, still doesn’t. All her siblings, bar one, had heart disease. So there is a genetic predisposition there. How that manifests is individual, and food intake can definitely have effects on How medication functions in your body! Like if you’re taking blood thinners you should limit garlic as this has blood thinning qualities, which just shows how important it is to understand how the food we eat interacts with our bodies. When my mother had her surgery, she was given a list of foods to avoid. When my brother had his surgery several years later, his surgeon explained to him what to avoid and why, and what foods to eat and why, in great detail.
My own gp falls in the middle. He has old school training but is very open-minded and willing to learn. He has been my gp all my life and we have a great repore, I can be completely honest with him. Apart from pregnancy, I’ve only needed to visit him for 4 things in the last ten years, early Menopause (also hereditary. Dr visits are just to keep record of progression & hormonal changes, no treatment. Raspberry leaf tea can help though!), back issues caused by hypermobility, to get stitches and for a chest infection.
Let’s start with the chest infection. All throughout my teenage years, right up until I got pregnant with my daughter when I was 21, I had persistent, recurrent respiratory tract infections, either in my chest, tonsils, sinus…One time I got strep throat so bad it went down into my lungs, I was out of school for weeks, went to 5&a half stone because I couldn’t eat with all the blisters in my mouth and throat.
“But wait, weren’t you already a vegetarian in your teenage years? Doesn’t all the health gurus say vegetarianism is hella healthy?!”
Yes, yes they do folks. But not if you vegetarian the way teenage me vegetarianed 😂😂 Frozen pizza, packets of dried “just add water” pastas & soups, chippers, lots of junk & more junk, sweets, minerals, crisps, chocolate, too much coffee for a teen, and so on and so forth… I became anemic at few points and Dr gave me iron tablets which made me have the hardest blackest shits you’ve ever seen in your life. I didn’t enjoy that, so went to my pal’s health shop as an older teen , like 18 and he suggested adding Quorn foods to my food intake because they have good levels of protein and iron, almost all of a woman’s protein needs in some of the servings, and I did. Fruit being the only real, from nature, food that I ate regularly. And while even world renowned gold medalist athletes will also bought for the helpful qualities of these products, the issue is the if you’renot eating fresh food with the right nutrients to help you absorb the protein etc from the Quorn then you may as well be eating cardboard, you’re not getting all the benefits.
Once I fell pregnant, I couldn’t run to the Dr for an antibiotic Everytime I felt unwell, I knew it wasn’t good for the baby. So I started researching all sorts of alternative medicines, some of which I still find useful, but it really hit me then that I didn’t really eat food, I ate stuff processed in a factory that masquerades as food 😮 Could that be providing enough nutrition to grow a baby? Oh shit!!!
I began cooking from fresh, alongside my partner and together we’ve grown into really competent chefs,Everyone loves our food. Even the ones who don’t like textures can tell you my food is beautiful because they adore my soups. Better than some restaurants 😋
And guess what? The multiple chest infections a year went away. Over the years I’ve gotten colds and flus like anyone does, but they have passed with lots of water and rest and raw crushed garlic. Only once in the ten years have I had to run to the Dr for an antibiotic, and the reason is I forgot to look after myself. I got lethargic and ate shit food for a while and then when the dose came I didn’t up the water, rest & garlic. And then I suffered the consequences, I taster of my past, that awful illness induced weakness where you can literally not get to the loo without someone helping you up off the couch/bed where you have been comatose! I experienced that so much in my youth.
And my doc completely recognises the connection between me eating better and living better. He knows that now I’ve seen there’s other options besides medications like anti biotics or pain killers, that they are not what I rely on, but will not deny them when my body just can’t recover alone right now!! This is what irks me about ” health gurus “. They boast that if you do this that and the other Everything will always be perfect. It won’t Always be, life don’t work that way. Yes, there will be less suffering but life will still happen, things will still arise, you just cope differently. Eating better allowed my body to get sick less often, when it lost that support it got sick and didn’t have the fuel to repair so I got help, which allowed me the energy to build back up my good eating habits. And I didn’t relapse and need antibiotics a few weeks later like I did in my teens!
Then there’s the back example… I’ve had all sorts of back pain since I had the children, but I used pilates during my second pregnancy and it helped so much. Will it help everyone? No. Nothing helps everyone, even penicillin causes allergic reaction in 10% of the population. Every body functions slightly different, fitting with your genetic make up and your lifestyle. When I went to Dr because at this moment pilates was not working, chiropractor was giving immediate relief only with the pain lapsing back after treatment, and my doc explained that with hypermobility, ligaments are loose, so things will fall out of line easily, but also pop back in easily on their own or sometimes with help, but that the main help to this is exercises. “But I do Pilates!” Certain exercises are good for everyone else but not for hypermobility!!! Wowser, hear was I thinking any exercise is good, but some were loosening me too much. He also explained that specific exercises Will help, and Will decrease pain and incidents of injury, but that it’s a life long thing, the muscles need to be trained in a certain way to help them compensate for the loose ligaments, and that the main problem with all back problems is that patients do not do the exercises but that he knew I would because I don’t want to be dependent on pain meds! He did give me pain meds, which I used in the immediate to alleviate pain, but am very sporadic in my use of. The reason being, I feel like if the pain is masked I’ll move too freely and damage more rather than being aware of the pain and moving within comfortable limits and rebuilding strength safely. Also the anti inflammatory I am the same with, I eat a lot of curcumin based spices which are natural anti inflammatorys, so I’m sketchy about the tablets in case they make me too loose. But if I’m in agony and the physio suggested exercise is not working then on occasion, maybe once in 5 or 6 months I take a pain killer.
I know it sounds like I’m digressing, but I’m not. The whole point of this is to show that everything is relative, different combinations work for different people at different points of their life. And doctors&medicine are not the devil if you work with them honestly. And if you’ve an argumentative Dr that doesn’t work with You then change doctors.
When I sliced my finger open on glass, it cut through a little vein, I grabbed it& ran inside and when I relieved the pressure it was oozing blood on a way I’ve never seen, like a long thick ribbon spilling out of a magicians finger. I got my partner to pour tumeric spice into the cut. It took an entire one of those little packets to make it stop bleeding, but it did. It’s like it cauterized the wound. I went around my gp, the nurse rinsed the finger off, and it didn’t begin to bleed. She couldn’t believe it, she just kept holding my hand and looking at it, baffled that it wasn’t spilling blood. Dr came in to stitch it up, and the nurse held my hand up to his face with both her hands saying ” Look at, it’s not bleeding! How is that possible, I’ve never seen it. Know what she did, out TUMERIC in it,have you ever heard the likes!”. Dr took my hand & studied my finger, then chuckled and said “Well now, I’ve heard tumeric is great for heart functions but I’ve never heard of putting it in wounds! We might make a fortune out of you and your tumeric idea,hahaha”. My neighbor was with me in the doctors, she witnessed all of this, took the pics of my little carrot finger 😂
My point in all these examples is that everything is relative. Holistic means all inclusive. It does not mean you must be one side or the other, “modern medicine” or “natural medicine”, I feel it means you should just be on the side of health!
Take note of your body, how it functions after indulging in different foods, and take notice of how stress affects you, how relaxation affects you.
If you’re “into natural health” that doesn’t mean you’ve failed if at any stage you’re out of balance and need the help of medicine to get back level, and in the same breath being into “modern medicine” doesn’t mean denying the affects food, activity and mental health has on your physical health!!
Food is good, medicine is also good, both have their place. It doesn’t have to be perceived as “either/or”, it is simply “what works best for your body right now”.
Til next time,
Mai. Xxxxx 😘
If you want more info on how to deal with women’s health or general health with food, order my book The Natural Wellness Book now!
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