Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Health & Hope

This post is a kinda-sorta follow up to my last. At the risk of sounding like an 80 year old lady,  I’m going into detail on a lot of the health issues that I’ve been dealing with. I do this in the hopes of encouraging others in their journey to a healthier lifestyle and to simply say that you are not alone. As you can see in my previous post, the road to diagnosis can be a scary one. I am thankful for the opportunity to share my story and to turn fear into hope.

I have had chronic back pain since the age of 9. I can remember sitting in my 3rd grade classroom rubbing my upper back to ease the pain that resulted from (I'm assuming) the unusually small chairs we had to use. We were using a preschool room at this point because my very small school had to utilize the space it had. I can remember going to the pediatrician but not receiving an answer other than growing pains. The pain continued and got worse and worse as time went by. I still have it today. The only way I can describe it is this: Imagine an intense aching and tightness throughout your upper back and shoulders and neck. You go to rub it to ease the pain but you can’t. The skin and muscle that surrounds this area is numb. You have to pinch until your fingers shake to feel and relief and that is short lived because your hands ache from trying. And there it is. Over the years I have identified what makes it flare up or worsen and have adjusted accordingly. It’s still there but I can control it to an extent. What I’ve been describing is fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed when I was 19 although I knew from around age 14 I’d say. Both my mom and grandma have it so it was pretty easy to diagnose. I’ve noticed it had worsened this year. I now have what feels like a tooth ache on both my hips if I sit for more than 10 minutes.

The other health issue I’ve been struggling with has been a Candida overgrowth. It started about 3 years ago. A Candida overgrowth occurs when the good bacteria in your body loses to the bad. This can be the result of too many antibiotics which wipe out the good bacteria along with the bad as well as just an imbalance in your gut due to diet. Candida feeds on sugar and I have definitely not been abstaining from it. When Candida takes over your gut It’s not pretty. I’ve dealt with psoriasis, chronic yeast infections, and an overall feeling of lethargy on a regular basis for quite a while now.

The way this ties in to my previous post is the diagnosis I was given. PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), Insulin resistance, and Hidradenitis Suppurativa (infected lymph nodes). A lot of the symptoms that I was experiencing from these conditions were what pointed me to breast cancer. Now that I know that this is not the case I am both relieved and determined. I found out from my doctor that the sugar levels in my body were messing with my hormones, causing the PCOS. My sugar levels were obviously causing my insulin resistance as well, which causes its own round of symptoms. High sugar levels can also contribute to the frequency of hidradenitis suppurativa because of the havoc it reeks with the hormones.

Since finding out about the PCOS I’ve been on two prescriptions. The first cause so much damage to my stomach that I am no won medications for acid reflux disease. YA THINK I SHOULD QUIT THE SUGAR?!?!?!Doesn’t take much to figure out huh? But it’s hard. Like HARD. At least for me it is. I eat and love a lot of healthy foods but I’ve always had a sweet tooth. But…so what? SO WHAT?! I mean look at the damage I’ve allowed to happen to my body in the name of satiating a sweet tooth! I’m 26 and have more wrong with me than some people twice my age. Enough is enough!

I know what I need to do, honestly I’ve known for a while. My grandma and mom have practically begged me to clean up my diet, both having experienced firsthand the terrible results. Whole foods, no sugar. That’s what I need to do. But saying and doing are two very different things. Prayers would be appreciated as I start this journey to better health. Honestly, I don’t know everything about my health issues and I suppose some things could be out of my control but I want to take control of what I can and not be run by my emotions. My body is a temple of the Holy Ghost and I need to start treating it as such. I know this is something that God wants me to do and that He will give me the strength to accomplish. I will be documenting my progress on Instagram  @brittainytanner using the hashtag #brittainygetsfit if you want to follow along. And please don’t hesitate to ask questions, share your story, etc.! Do you have any of the same health hang ups as me? Are you on a health journey of your own? I’d love to hear about it!

Love & Prayers,


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