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The whirlwind of 2020

#2020 #Journeytohealth

Before COVID ruined everyone's year, my year was already off to a rocky start! If you've read my About Me page, you would have read that I am currently struggling with a health journey this post is about that exact journey.

Back in January, I was in the worst health I had ever been in which is embarrassing when you think about the fact that I am studying health and how to help other people. Whilst my health issues haven't been ideal, I've been able to learn a lot and I feel this will help me become a better practitioner and help others!

As I mentioned, back in January I was in the worst health I had ever been. I had started losing my hair, to begin with, I was just noticing more hair falling out when I washed my hair and in my hairbrush. Eventually, a bald spot appeared at the back of my head and then a second bald patch appeared on the right side of my head. These bald patches were manageable as I could cover them with my hair. The worst part was that my hair continued to fall out in a manner that resulted in overall hair thinning, which could not be covered up. As a woman, it is very disheartening to lose your hair, as it's considered such a feminine aspect. The ironic part is that I have always hated my hair, it's never sat right and I've had issues with oily hair. Now that my hair is nothing like it ever was, I have come to appreciate what my hair was and can't wait to have it back!

Prior to this year I had never experienced hair loss, 2019 was stressful for me and I had just commenced summer school, so I thought that maybe the loss was to do with stress. I also knew that hair loss could be due to various other factors such as nutrient deficiencies or thyroid dysfunction, so I went to the doctors to investigate the issue further. My blood test results showed that I was deficient in Zinc and Vitamin D and I had high liver enzyme, consistent with fatty liver disease. Based on the high liver enzymes I had to get an ultrasound, which determined I had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The diagnosis of NAFLD really shocked me, as whilst I knew I was a little overweight I definitely didn't eat a lot of fatty food, or have a history of type 2 diabetes which are the predisposing factors for the disease.

My theory was that my Vitamin D deficiency wasn't just due to not being exposed to enough sun but my compromised liver wasn't processing the Vitamin D sufficiently for my body to absorb it. I assumed the zinc deficiency was contributing to my hair loss. Regardless this scare was enough to get me to change my diet and lifestyle.

Through improving my diet and lifestyle and implementing supplements as recommended by a naturopath I have managed to stop my hair from falling out and get regrowth (I was close to needing a wig), lose 8kgs, Improve my liver enzyme level and zinc and vitamin D status. My bloods aren't perfect but they are getting better.

But here's the killer! At the start of the year when my health started to take a turn, I had noticed my blood pressure was quite high, the doctor didn't seem concerned but it worried me. I have improved my diet and made more of a conscious effort to exercise yet, despite all of this, I have been diagnosed with mild hypertension. So I feel like I've almost concurred one health issue and now I have another one to deal with. Given that I am healthier than what I was at the start of the year, but my blood pressure is higher I am putting it down to stress/anxiety. I will continue to try and lose weight by following a low carb diet and exercising, in the hope that this improves my blood pressure.

Health is an ever-evolving process and it's important to never become complacent. Prevention is the best cure. Whilst I am still young I will continue to improve my health to avoid having to deal with major health conditions when I am older.

Whilst I've explained my journey and symptoms, there is more to this story which I will share in another post.