I've been walking a long road toward wellness, since my body fell apart from chronic Lyme disease over 12 years ago. Since then, I've learned that becoming whole isn't just a matter of whacking some bugs with an antibiotic or eating organic salmon and salads. It's not just a matter of healing the daddy wounds or coming to grips with a lifelong story of rejection.

It's about finding a relationship of unconditional love with God, because it is love- not a doctor, herb or belief system- that ultimately heals the whole person. Yet God gives us answers to healing through holistic medicine, as well as by His supernatural hand.

Indeed, most of the focus of the books that I've written has been upon medicine, but I realize that it's time to share all that I have learned from God as I have walked through the dark valley of this past decade. This includes strategies that heal the heart and spirit, as well as the body.

My knowledge is based upon my belief that Jesus Christ still heals supernaturally today, and that spiritual healing is the highest level of healing that we can attain to. Spiritual health can make us completely well, but it is also noble and good to seek healing at the physical level.

The journey to wholeness is always a journey, as none of us ever completely arrives this side of Heaven, but we can enter into a place of relative health and peace, with joy as the centerpiece of our days. I'm not there, but I am not the same person I was a decade ago. May victory be upon your horizon as it has been upon mine...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Reflections on Turning 40

As I step into a new decade today, I realize that it was nine years and nine months ago, to the day, that my body crashed with an abundance of symptoms that, as I later learned, would literally snatch my 30s out from under me.

For nearly a decade, I wandered around in a Lyme disease-induced stupor, my days filled with tears, agony, prayers, treatments and many hours spent in bed. For a long time, time became surreal and one year blended into another as I sought God for answers to my healing.

I can't believe I'm 40 now. I know life passes like the wind but time takes on an even more surreal dimension when you're sick, and hours seem like minutes; days like hours, and years like months. My 30s were marked by some wonderful experiences, to be sure, but the days mostly passed like dark, somber shadows; and depression, pain and fatigue were, for many years, the hallmark of my existence.

That's just how it is with Lyme. And I would be lying if I didn't say that I'm still working through the regrets of all the things that I missed in my 30s and which I used to love to do- recreational events like camping, hiking, skiing and traveling. Not to mention all the "normal" things that people in their 30s often do, like get established in a career; date and get married, and have kids.

I have sometimes wondered why I had to get sick at age 30. Why couldn't it have happened at age 70? The 30s seem to be prime years of one's life, but I guess every decade has its benefits and if I were 70 I probably would have wished that it had happened in a different season- if it had to happen at all.

But regrets aside, I find myself stepping into 40 with a renewed optimism and faith that the next 10 years will be the best of my life, and that this coming decade will be light years better than the last. I already feel better physically at age 40 than I did at age 30- but emotionally and spiritually I feel better than I ever have in my life. And I see God starting to redeem the time that the locusts have stolen away.

As I celebrate going "over the hill" today, I can't help but feel that I'm actually climbing a new hill, and that there is a fantastic summit and sunrise awaiting me at the top.

I haven't come this far on my own.  God has heard my pleas and tears and over the past 10 years, has strategically placed people, opportunities and healing in my path, so that I could get to where I am now- to a place where I no longer cry daily and spend most of my days in isolation, but instead am able to work, travel, and enjoy outings and events with others.

I no longer have the body of a spring chicken but I have a powerful, more peaceful spirit; the inner strength of an ox and the wisdom of a woman who has lived through extreme adversity and not only survived, but learned and grown from it...and a knowledge about what really matters in life- which is love, God and relationships. I guess I could go on.

And I've learned a lot about what it means to be well- in body, mind and spirit- and somehow have managed to produce, during my long battle with infirmity- eight books on holistic wellness, including Lyme, cancer, environmental illness, spiritual healing and nutrition (the latter three to be released this summer!).

It wasn't easy, but when I'm tempted to view my 30s as a huge waste of life, I have to recall the books that God allowed me to write and bless others with, and the deep inner healing that God has worked in me and through me during these difficult years.  I don't believe God ordained the pain I went through- but He did indeed use the adversity for good.

God has sent so many people to hold up my arms throughout this journey, and to help me get to where I am today. If you are one of those people and are reading this, I want you to know- I would not be here without you! Foremost are my boyfriend Bill Gonseaux, several of my girlfriends, my family and my doctors. I love and appreciate every one of you, and know that God sent you to me because He knew I might drown in the sea of hell called Lyme disease if I didn't have great warriors to pray for me, provide for me, hold my hand, and care for my broken heart when I didn't think I'd make it another day.

I'm also deeply grateful for every one of my friends who has also suffered from Lyme disease. Your prayers, comfort, and compassion, along with your praise reports and encouraging words about my work have enabled me to keep going, and keep writing- even while my back ached, brain fog raged and endless insomnia and fatigue tortured me for years.  It is because of you that I continue to write and help people through what I have learned about healing.

But in the end, it is God and the Lord Jesus Christ who have brought me to where I am today. Ironically, ten years ago, in September, 2004, I went to Colombia to share the love of God with others, and three weeks following that trip, my body broke down and I could no longer work, travel or do much of anything. Now, ten years later, I am returning to Colombia this August/September- still not a perfect vessel, but a much more healed one than I was when I first went there.

I believe it is strategic, and I feel as if God is saying to me, "The years in the wilderness are over." And it's time to go back to Colombia to serve God. Only this time, I'm going back with a more powerful healing anointing, and greater wisdom and compassion (not to mention better health!) than when I went there 10 years ago.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you God. May this next decade be blessed!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lyme Disease: Don't Bother with the Bugs Unless You Attack the Biofilm

Treating chronic Lyme disease is a quagmire for even the most brilliant of minds. The multiple systemic infections involved in Lyme disease makes it incredibly difficult to create antimicrobial protocols that will effectively target all of the infections.

To make matters worse, the bugs congregate into communities and cloak themselves in polysaccharide blankets of sorts- basically, a thick, slimy self-generated protein and sugar "goo," which effectively shield them from detection by the immune system and render them invincible to anti-microbial remedies.

It's funny, because I have found that at times, I will test negative for active Lyme infections via muscle testing and through Zyto and other electrodermal screening devices, but I have found that if I look at my blood through a microscope, I still have some bugs playing in and around my blood cells.

And I can swallow massive amounts of herbal remedies and take all kinds of antibiotics, and will not experience any kind of detoxification, or Herxheimer reaction whatsoever. Which would lead any doctor who uses ART or other forms of muscle testing, or a Zyto device, to conclude that I don't have infections in my body, or that the infections are so low-grade that they shouldn't be bothered with.

Well...I used to think this was the case- but I'm not so sure anymore. First of all, no testing method is perfect and I surmise that most types of testing- muscle testing, Zyto and even traditional blood tests- are inadequate for always determining the presence of microbes that are cloaked in biofilm.

Which would also explain why I don't react strongly to antimicrobials, since biofilm-protected bugs can become invincible against antimicrobials, unless you take a biofilm-busting agent along with the antimicrobials. Plus, some tests only measure the presence of infections that are a problem for the body at the present time, -but it doesn't mean that there aren't others hiding from the immune system somewhere in a protective biofilm blanket.

I don't know how else to explain why some of the best doctors who have muscle tested and Zyto-ed me have proclaimed the Lyme infections to not be an issue for my body, since, if I take a drop of my blood and look at it under a dark field microscope, I can still see critters swimming around. Unless of course, they are different bugs that my doctors neglected to test me for-  rare parasites or some strain of bacteria that no blood test is yet available for.

When you get Lyme disease, you never get rid of all the microbes, short of a divine healing miracle from God- which is why I find it hard to tell people that you're never really "cured" of Lyme. In the absence of a perfect healing from our Creator, the best you can hope for is to knock the infections back enough to where they are no longer a problem for your immune system and you become symptom free.

Although that said, I know truly few people who are completely symptom-free from Lyme disease.  Don't be dismayed, though. Lots of folks with Lyme are functional and feel well, and few people in our society- Lyme disease or not- walk around with no symptoms, and neither are they bug-free.  Life without bugs isn't a realistic expectation in the society we live in, anyway. Life brings on a variety of aches and pains and even people who don't have Lyme disease aren't exempt from feeling badly from an undiagnosed bug, environmental toxin or hormonal imbalance.

But back to the biofilms....I've been researching Lyme disease for a long time, and I don't think you can truly have success at treating this disease unless you also attack the fortresses that the bugs build to protect themselves from antimicrobial remedies. Taking routine doses of enzymes such as boluoke, serrapeptase, nakkotinase, and others is good, but sometimes it's not enough, especially when the blood is really viscous, or thick, and the enzymes, antibiotics, herbs, and the like can't reach the deeply entrenched bugs.

Many people with Lyme disease, if not most, suffer from hyper coagulation, and must also take substances that will seriously thin the blood. Enzymes can do this to a degree, but sometimes heparin, or stronger combination enzyme products such as Biopure's Rechts Regulat or Neprinol: http://www.neprinol.com may be more helpful.

Or taking traditional enzymes such as bolouke and lumbrokinase in higher amounts, and rotating the enzymes, may bring breakthroughs when other strategies fail to do so. Unfortunately, some doctors believe that a lot of people are allergic to heparin (I was), so high doses of combination enzyme products such as Rechts Regulat, may be a better choice.

Also, at a recent ACIM conference this weekend, I spoke with a sales representative for Hydrosol Silver (Natural Immunogenices) who claimed that Hydrosol Silver can break through most biofilms. Silver is a potent antimicrobial that apparently also has biofilm-busting properties. If this is in fact true, it would be great news for those of you who have plateaued in your healing journey.

Regardless, biofilm renders bugs tough to get at, so it's important, whatever antimicrobial protocol you are doing, to include generous amounts of biofilm-busting substances into your treatment regimen, to ensure that the most deeply-entrenced bugs go to where they are supposed to go- and that is out of your body!

Monday, June 16, 2014

How Blessing Your Kidneys and Adrenal Glands Can Give You Energy

Most of us think of adrenal fatigue as purely a physical problem- the result of an accumulation of life's stressors, or chronic illness. But adrenal fatigue can be a spiritual problem, as well. According to minister Arthur Burke, founder of Sapphire Leadership Group, in his 7-CD series, Fractal of Two: Adrenals and Kidneys the adrenals and kidneys store thoughts and emotions, and even think and judge, like our minds.

On his product description site, Arthur writes:

"The concept of the heart as a spiritual organ is quite well established in Western theology. The Bible, however, includes the adrenals and kidneys as playing a strategic role in the spiritual climate of a person.

The kidneys think, and the thoughts of the adrenals and kidneys are so significant that God specifically judges them for how righteously or unrighteously they think. Their contribution to the spiritual condition of the spirit and body is immense.

They are also the seat of a wide range of emotions, from fear to sorrow to joy. And those emotions seem to be more spiritual than merely soulish."

He also contends that they seem to play a large role in attaching covenants- or negative agreements that result from our unhealthy affiliations with others- to our body and soul.

Arthur has discovered that speaking specific blessings over the kidneys and adrenals can cause them to release negative thoughts, judgments and emotions, in ways that aren't fully understood. This results in a strengthening of these organs, and with that, the immune system. As this happens, the body detoxifies both physical and emotional toxins.

I purchased this CD set, and was struck by Arthur's warning at the beginning that just listening to the blessings could cause a detoxification reaction in my body. I was equally struck by his contention that many people had experienced significant shifts in their energy and sleep as a result of listening to, and receiving, the blessings.

When I emailed him to ask for specifics, he said that of approximately 24 people that had underwent a pilot test of listening to these blessings for six weeks, 10 had experienced radical improvements in their symptoms, and 12 had moderate improvements. Only 2 had no change in their symptoms.

So I decided to listen to the blessings- six weeks' worth- and I admit that over the past month, I have been more emotional, tired and irritable, and haven't slept all that well. Detox? Well, maybe...

I consulted with a friend of mine who is also a spiritual deliverance minister and very attuned to the voice of God, and asked her whether she thought that the blessings were causing my body to detoxify. Her reply was, "Yes, there's no doubt in my mind that this is what's happening to you."

I don't fully understand how Arthur has made these correlations with the adrenals and kidneys, and how he has substantiated their basis in Scripture, or the Bible, but he has apparently seen people's energy, sleep, emotions and other issues improve when specific blessings are spoken over these body parts. He also has a remarkable ministry based on blessing the spirit (which is significant, since the spirit controls the soul and body).

What I do know is that since I've been listening to the blessings, I'm not quite as functional and emotionally stable as usual, so it's possible that my body is dumping toxins as these organs are getting stronger. Medically, it has been proven that the body stores emotions in the organs, and that the adrenals and kidneys are typically associated with fear. Fear and being stuck in "fight or flight" mode are a main trigger for immune suppression and illness, so releasing the emotions, beliefs, covenants- or whatever happens to be "stuck" in these organs, I believe can open a lot of doors to wellness.

So at present, while I can't yet endorse adrenal and kidney blessings as a means to heal from chronic illness or adrenal fatigue, I am tentatively optimistic that they could be a powerful spiritual tool for healing. Because when our body, soul or spirit receive a spoken blessing, God's power is literally released through those words, into our being.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Problem with Lyme Disease and God's Provision Through It

I've experienced, and witnessed, few illnesses that suck the life and joy out of people more than chronic Lyme disease. Like a tornado, it is insidious, powerful, all-encompassing and destroys every thing in your path- from your home, to your job, relationships, and ability to function. It ruins your health, your hope and your happiness.

You get my point. And it's not one of those things that any amount of positive thinking or self-effort can pull you though.  If you are fortunate and have the funds, friends and emotional support- and a great doctor who can work with your not-so-great biochemistry, then you might improve 50-80% after 2-5 years of therapy. I know a few folks who claim to be nearly symptom-free, but nobody ever fully gets rid of the infections, short of a miracle from God, and I don't know many who have come out of this storm feeling better in their bodies than before they went into it. It ravages everything within you, outside of you, and all around you.

Which is why, I suppose, in 2009, God impressed it upon me that he had a better way. I had been attending an ILADS Lyme disease conference with 400 doctors. And as I sat there, listening to the doctors explain about insanely complicated and expensive antibiotic healing protocols,  I thought, "This is a disease for the rich. This is a disease for the blessed few who have the mental wherewithal, emotional support, and stable enough biochemistry to overcome...not to mention one of the best doctors in the country."

I left feeling incredibly depressed, for myself and the other people that I knew with Lyme. At that time, I'd been treating Lyme disease for five years (much of that time on my own, mind you, which was a bad thing to do) and had improved significantly, but was yet nowhere near well.

Then God impressed it upon me that He had another way, and that healing wasn't just for the genetically-privileged, or the rich, or those with emotional support or the best Lyme doctor on the planet. He told me that people with Lyme disease could be healed through His Son Jesus Christ, and that by seeking His face, He would show them the way.  He told me that the same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead 2000 years ago was still present to heal today, and that when Jesus died on the Cross, He became an atoning sacrifice not only for our sins, but also for sickness.

I began to devour books that talked about healing and the Atonement. One of my favorites was Christ the Healer by FF Bosworth, because it explained, convincingly and by using Scripture to back up its contentions, why in fact Jesus promised that "the prayer of faith would heal the sick."

The problem is, God told me, is that we have allowed our theology and beliefs about Him to be dictated by our experiences, and not by what His Word, the Bible, says. Logically so, since quite often we pray and nothing seems to happen in the physical realm.

But then I learned about spiritual laws and that while God's promises to heal are true, there are sometimes spiritual strongholds that have to be broken in order for people to heal- but that God would show me those strongholds, so that I could break them off my life and others.'

I was so inspired that I began to pray more for people, and even saw one man miraculously healed of all symptoms of chronic Lyme disease. Another was healed of cancer, and God began to use me to bring people into a higher place of wellness, either emotionally or physically. I began to attend Christian healing conferences, and saw God heal hundreds upon hundreds of people.

I prayed, and wrote my own book on spiritual healing, entitled, Healing Chronic Illness. Since that time, I have learned more about healing, but had hoped to see more people completely healed of Lyme disease.

Recently, I went to God about this and told Him I was discouraged, and asked Him what I needed to do to see His promises in Scripture fulfilled.

Sometimes, God speaks to me in the first person through my boyfriend Bill, and He responded (in a voice of great authority), "You must see what you have in your hand now, and you must be thankful for that which you have now. Your power and anointing have grown (over the past several years)...." And then He said, "Do not belittle the anointing I have given you! This is not about you. You make yourself far greater than Me if you think it is your prayers that make them well, when it is My power going through you that makes them well."

Well. I was duly humbled. But He still hadn't addressed my greatest concern, which was why I wasn't seeing more instantaneous healing miracles from Lyme- which is what I wanted to see.

Ever patient, God responded, "How badly do you want to see people healed? Do you not think that I want to see them healed, as well? Do you think I put it upon your heart to see them well? That there would not be a way for you to pray so that they would get well? If I did, then don't you think I'd let you see it through? That I would not give you the visions to see it accomplished; that anointing, talent, power, ability and fulfillment to make it happen? Rest in that, and embrace that..."

Then He reminded me of the healing miracles He had already done through me- emotional and physical healing miracles; miracles that I had disregarded or not appreciated because they weren't the whole kit n' caboodle.

He reminded me about the responsibility that we all play in our healing- to seek His face, to trust Him, and to believe Him to heal us- either through a supernatural, divine miracle, or through medicine.

The impressions He's given me over the years are that medicine isn't His preferred way of healing, because it's harder, more expensive, and painful, and not everyone will be healed through medicine, especially those with chronic Lyme.  We might be restored to 70-80% health or even become symptom-free, (if we are blessed and believe Him for a full recovery) but He made full provision for our healing when Jesus went to the Cross at Calvary, and that this provision was sufficient.

And Jesus doesn't just heal people from Lyme- He still raises them from the dead, both metaphorically and literally, and His power is sufficient to heal broken limbs, bodies and souls.

Yet, He uses and blesses medicine, especially because, for most of us, our faith is in medicine more than in God's supernatural power-  but if you don't have access to medicine, I just want to encourage you that there is another, better way! And the healing is for everyone- as God is no respecter of persons.

I haven't received an instantaneous healing miracle from Lyme, either, perhaps because of mental strongholds in my own life, or simply because God chose another way with me-- but I know people who have, and God has used me to heal others.

As I continued in my conversation with God, He told me to keep pressing in to Him; to keep praying, no matter the perceived outcome, and that as I continued to pray, I would see more people healed of Lyme.

Way back in 2004, I started out my Lyme disease battle in a bad place. I was very sick, and I quickly exhausted my savings, and had to sell my home, and move back in with my parents for a couple of years, until I won a Disability case, at which time I moved to Costa Rica for a couple of years while I wrote my first two Lyme disease books.

My suffering has been great, as, in addition to Lyme, I am a survivor of ritual abuse, which I endured for many years as a child. When I got Lyme, like so many others, I didn't have all the support that I needed-either emotionally or financially-, but I had a relationship with God, and daily I sought His face for wisdom and help.

Today, when I look back, I realize that while I've not "arrived,"and while I've not had an instantaneous healing miracle, God's divine power has been working in me, to heal and restore me, because I chose to believe (most of the time!) that He would.

Considering the circumstances that I was in 10 years ago, had I not sought God, I might have still been living with my parents, on Disability, or even dead, as there was a time in 2006 when I lost so much weight that I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I was 120 pounds at 5'10" (I'm now 160, on the high end of normal) and at that time, I surrendered to Him, believing that if it was His will, I would live. Many times in the years that followed, I had to remind myself of His promises in Scripture to heal me.

I'm still not fully healed today- but the infections are no longer a major problem, and emotionally and spiritually, I'm healthier than I've ever been. As I've stated many times in my articles, I can work and travel. I have my own home again, and God has used the most hideous trial I've ever endured and enabled me to help thousands through the eight books that I've now published (three on their way this summer!), along with the anointing that He's given me to see other people healed through prayer.

So even though I still grumble today about the challenges that I still have; financially, with my health and otherwise- if I look back to where I was 10 years ago, I must be a walking miracle, because there is no way I would have gotten to where I am today without God. Not with the kind of background, history, financial and physical challenges that I've had.

Still, the temptation is always to look at what God still hasn't done in our lives, instead of what He has, and complain that He's not moving in our lives, or healing us. I've been guilty of that, a thousand times over, and I admit that envy likes to worm its way into my life, and show me what other people have that I don't.

Although that said, whenever I look at the newsfeed on Facebook and read the posts from people that have Lyme disease, the messages reflect lives that are far more difficult and devastating than the people I know that haven't suffered this terrible illness. We all suffer, to be sure, but meter of suffering in those with chronic Lyme is right up on the high end of red.

Which is why God continues to urge me to contend for healing miracles, for myself and others.
I'm pretty sure it's He who put that desire in me, too, because had it been me, I probably would have given up a long time ago. The pain of seeing what others go through is just too great, but now, my determination is fiercer than ever.  I am determined to see Jesus' promises to set the captives free, the sick healed, and the eyes of the blind- fulfilled- I will, no matter where I have to go, or what I have to do.

As He continues to encourage me in this, I pray He will encourage you also in your healing journey. Seek His face, thank Him for the healing, and then trust Him to guide your path. He will do it, even though at times the progress may seem slow. Continue to believe, and you will see Him change your life for the better! Because believing is seeing in God's world...not the other way around. God bless you :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Most Important Hour of My Day

I'm prone to feeling overwhelmed by the stimulus-galore lifestyle that seems to have wormed its way into my existence and which is society's new drug. The constant beep of text messages, hordes of emails, phone calls, social media, and a half-dozen daily tasks- from my work writing books, articles and blogs; to washing dishes, preparing food, paying bills and doing things to maintain my health- can really bring my stress meter into the red at times.

As a single, self-employed entrepreneur with some health challenges, a demanding career, and many friends, it's not easy, and I've found that the only way I can stay balanced and take it all in stride is if I spend the first hour or two of my day in prayer.

This time is sacred for me, and I viciously guard it- ignoring my phone, text messages, email, and the other dozens of obligations and distractions that come at me like wild horses every morning. In fact, I often unplug my land line, and squelch the urge to pick up my iphone and check email and text messages while I make my organic coffee. Because I find that if I cave in to that temptation- the devil stealthily sucks my quiet time away from me and before I know it, my mind is occupied with a dozen other things besides God, and the window for my quiet time is over....

So my goal when I emerge from bed, somewhere between 8 and 10 AM, is to make a beeline for the coffee maker, and then sit quietly on my sofa, bed or living room carpet for a one-on-one chat, or some praise and worship time with God.

I'm sure some of my work associates don't understand why I'm not available to take their calls at 8 AM in like the rest of the so-called "normal" world. I schedule my engagements for the afternoon whenever possible, because sometimes, I don't start my workday until noon. It often means that I have to work at night, but the most important hour of my day is the hour that I spend with God.

No matter how much I have to do in the day- this time is more vital for my wellbeing than anything else I could do. And I find that God often makes me more productive when I honor Him by taking time out of my day to listen to His voice, thank Him, praise Him and petition Him on behalf of my friends and family.

When I don't, my perceptions of the world become distorted. I get crabby and fret over the small, and not-so-small stuff. I become inefficient in my work. I focus on my aching back or tired limbs; the lack of food in the fridge, the ten thousand emails I have to answer, or the loneliness of my profession as a writer. Instead of embracing hope, positivity and what's right with my world, I embrace all that is wrong, and I forget who God is for me- my provider, my joy, and my peace.

Besides, I'm a person who needs to ease into the day. I don't do well trying to work and talk to people before I've had a chance to wipe the sand from my eyes, or fuel up with a cup of joe. God prepares me for the day, and He helps me to quell the negative thoughts that quite often come at me first thing in the morning.

The world in which we live is awash with distractions. A thousand things clamor for our attention daily and it's easy to put off the one thing we most need- time with our Creator. Probably the most insidious are those we find on the Internet- Facebook, You Tube, the news, etc. While they are great ways to connect with the world, I've found them temptations that also take me away from my life with God.

God created us for communion with Him, but when we are so distracted by our phones, Facebook, email, TV, family, friends and the constant demands of life, it's easy to lose touch with the One who gives us wisdom, perspective, and peace, and who refuels us for the day ahead.

He wants us to hear His voice, soak in His presence, and be transformed by our time with Him. Our spirits don't get fed unless we do this, and our minds are prone to being conformed to the ways of the world, instead of His ways, if we don't seek His face or His wisdom.

At least, that's how it is for me. And as much as I know this, there are yet times when I allow myself to believe that there are more pressing, or urgent things to do in the day, and so I step away from my opportunity for conversation with Him. When I do this for more than a few days, one of my best friends notices, because my spirit of peace becomes replaced by a spirit of anxiety, and she'll say to me, "When was the last time you prayed or spent time with the Lord?"

And then I recall that it's been too long...and that I need Him, once again. He is my sustenance, my friend, my provider, my peace...and my reason for being.

Monday, June 2, 2014

PMS- It's Not a Normal Part of Being a Woman!

Many women accept PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, as a normal, although irritating, part of being a woman. We'll go to a doctor for other ailments, but when it comes to PMS, a lot of us just think we have to suck it up and take some ibuprofen or ride out the symptoms for 3-10 days a month.

To make matters worse, society has been known to shames and poke fun at women with PMS. Jokes about the disorder abound, especially among men (no offense, guys!). I suppose men kid about their wives and girlfriends as a way to relieve the tension of having to live with women who are prone to biting their heads off and becoming despondent during that time of the month- well, I do sympathize with you, Guys.

But really, PMS is no laughing matter. If you're going to laugh about PMS, you might as well laugh at people who have heart disease, or chronic fatigue, or cancer, or any other illness. Because for many women, PMS feels like an illness, with symptoms akin to chronic fatigue syndrome, including migraines, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog and depression, among others.

And as the amount of environmental toxins in our environment increases, and as a variety of stressors burn out our adrenal glands, women are experiencing increasingly difficult and challenging symptoms of PMS. By some estimates, up to 75% of women have PMS, especially those who are 35 and older, and it can last anywhere from 3-10 days per month. Which means that some women are in misery a third of their lives from PMS alone- never mind the other health challenges that they might be facing!

Sometimes, I want to ask God why He made the female body so sensitive and susceptible to the effects of toxins and stress, but then I remind myself that God didn't create PMS- we did, because of how we've polluted the earth and lived out of alignment with God's design for humanity.

Many of our industrial chemicals, especially phthalates and other chemicals from plastic- have xenoestrogenic effects upon the body- meaning, they mimic the effects of estrogen upon the body, causing an imbalance in the hormones, and consequently, PMS. Most of us are estrogen-dominant because of these chemicals and it's severely disrupting our lives.

Fortunately, PMS can be managed or mitigated, although it's not always a simple process.

Following I share some strategies that I have found to be helpful.

1) First, many women who suffer from PMS also have adrenal fatigue. The closer a woman gets to menopause, the more the adrenals begin to take over the production of the body's sex hormones as the ovaries produce fewer of these hormones. If your adrenals are taxed or overtired, your body will struggle to produce balanced amounts of estrogen and progesterone.

So the first thing you want to do is- support your adrenals! I highly recommend reading more about how to do this in Dr. Lam's book, Adrenal Fatigue. My 2012 book, Beyond Lyme Disease also contains a chapter on adrenal fatigue.

2) Get your progesterone and estrogen levels tested. If you have a progesterone deficiency, you can supplement with compounded or over-the-counter natural progesterone cream (Do not take synthetic progestin drugs, which only make the problem worse).

If you have high levels of both progesterone and estrogen (this can occur if you have already been taking supplemental progesterone for several years and some of the residue of the cream has built up in your skin), don't take more progesterone! I learned the hard way that this is a bad idea and can exacerbate symptoms of PMS. What most doctors don't know is that symptoms of progesterone excess are often similar to symptoms of progesterone deficiency, but when they see high levels of estrogen relative to progesterone in their patients, they will often prescribe their patients even more progesterone, even if the progesterone levels are in the high-normal range. This is a very bad idea!

3) If you have high levels of both estrogen and progesterone, you might fare better by focusing on lowering your estrogen levels, rather than increasing progesterone. You can do this by avoiding sources of plastic toxins, such as plastic food wrapping, plastic water bottles and non-organic food, and doing saunas, which remove plastic toxins from the body.

Also, you can help your liver to metabolize estrogens by doing a liver cleanse periodically, which, over time, will also lower your body's estrogen levels. (In my previous blog post I provide a link on how to do a liver cleanse).

Take a supplement called Di-indole-methane (DIM), which helps your body to eliminate excess estrogen. I recommend BioResponse Nutrients' Bioresponse DIM 150. Other vitamins and minerals, especially B-vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and selenium, assist with estrogen metabolism, so make sure you also have adequate amounts of all of these vitamins and minerals in your diet. Drinking green tea and eating cruciferous vegetables can also be helpful.

4) Get your other hormones balanced. Sabre Sciences tests for hormonal imbalances, and then recommends compounded bioidentical hormone products, such as pregnenolone, DHEA, thyroid hormone- among others, to balance the body (as needed). Bioidentical hormone replacement is an art and requires a lot of skill to do properly, so I recommend working with a holistic doctor that specializes in this, for best results.

5) Avoid stress, food allergens, and high amounts of protein, especially during the two weeks before the start of your monthly cycle. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, animal protein and stress can all seriously exacerbate PMS. If you have adrenal fatigue, protein avoidance isn't a good idea, but eating more veggies and low glycemic fruits in the week or two before the start of your cycle can help to mitigate symptoms.