Just tuning in? Read Parts 1-3 of My Health Journey.
I took my chubby chipmunk face into the doctor’s office that Friday afternoon in January 2014 and once again was surprised to find a doctor who would sit with me for over an hour, talking about my medical history and all of my symptoms. (I forgot to mention in Part 3 the heart palpitations, muscle cramps, and dizziness that were plaguing me in addition to the swelling, stomach pains, and dysmenorrhea) When I went back on Monday for my follow up appointment and treatment plan, I was very surprised to hear that my vitamin and mineral count was the lowest she had EVER seen in her practice, and these severe deficiencies were definitely not helping with my full body inflammation, or my immune system’s ability to fight off invaders.
She put me on a ton of natural, whole food supplements (I believe I was taking 17 with each meal), and we started acupuncture 3x a week. I also sat with the nutritionist and quickly realized that what I thought was a normal, healthy diet, was anything but! I knew I would have to make some big life changes, but I was ready and willing to give it a try! Thankfully my roommates and man-friend were very supportive and helped me learn how to cook and make healthy choices.
It did not take long at all on this new treatment plan to start feeling better—the stomach pains vanished as soon as I removed sugar, alcohol, and processed foods from my diet. My hormones regulated themselves naturally, meaning my husband no longer finds me on the bathroom floor each month; the heart palpitations, dizziness, and muscle cramps disappeared as soon as I balanced my diet and got the adequate amount of proteins, carbs, healthy fats, and nutrients that my body was longing for. And my swelling improved significantly! My severe, daily flare-ups faded to minor, occasional (a couple times a month at the most) flare-ups that were mostly contained to my hands and feet, and would fade within 24 hours, as opposed to the 3-5 days they used to take to disappear. But I still wasn’t 100%. So I started to evaluate other factors in my life and decided to try to eliminate as much stress as possible. I left my full-time job, started focusing on what my body was trying to tell me, and spent a lot of time researching this condition, along with other autoimmune disorders.
In June 2015 I started the Paleo Auto Immune Protocol (AIP), and instantly noticed a difference. I have also been visiting a chiropractor to make sure my body is fully aligned and able to heal itself properly. I am excited to be at a point where I feel I am managing this condition naturally, especially when I look around the Internet and see that so far the only recommended treatment for angioedema is a serious course of steroids and drugs. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be fully cured, but I am very happy with how much improvement I have seen in my symptoms and my overall health. I hope to be able to share more of my journey here as I continue to learn and figure out what works for me and what may work for others.