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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Harmon

My Inflammation Game Changer | Why I Stopped Consuming Caffeine + Gluten

I can’t say that this post is going to be engaging for most people, but for some, I hope I can provide you with answers to some of your own health struggles. Today I want to talk about Inflammation and how I have learned to listen to it.

Back in March of 2020, I rushed to my local ER out of fear that I had appendicitis. In the days following up to this moment, I had been experiencing a dull pain in my lower right abdomen. It got to the point that I couldn’t even bend over without feeling the pain. Of course I googled it and the result was: death.

No, I’m kidding. The result was you either have an ovarian cyst that is about to rupture or you have appendicitis. My father had an appendicitis scare a few years back and his face after emerging from surgery is still burned into my memory. I obviously feared the worst and decided to go seek medical attention.

That was the beginning of my long struggle with ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalance, and above all else, inflammation. To make a long story short, I frequented doctors for the next two years, constantly being prescribed birth control and pain killers, without much answer to why my body was creating cysts. The birth control did not go over well with my body and so I eventually just began refusing to take it. Disclaimer: I only ever took one pill and it gave me the worst migraine of my life and I don’t get migraines. If you are currently on birth control, do not quit cold turkey. That is always something to consult with your doctor and have monitored.

The ultrasound of my cyst in January 2021, where it had finally begun to be absorbed by my body.

I came to a grave realization in my search for answers.

Western Medicine doesn’t know jack shit about the biological female body.

They prescribe us birth control to stop ovulation, because ovulation = baby. Ovulation also can equal cyst. The doctors I saw often dismissed my words of concern and my tears as I described to them the physical and mental pain this was putting me through. The stress of my new job, the pandemic, and the pain in my pelvis caused the inflammation in my body to reach new levels and my immune system actually began to change under all the stress.

I pray that January 2021 is one of the darkest times of my life. I developed a Vitamin D deficiency because my cyst hurt so much that taking pills made me immediately nauseous, I could only eat very specific foods that I knew wouldn’t make me sick or exhausted, and my mental health was at an all time low. My body was in pain all the time and I spent most days near a toilet, as the cyst caused bowel irregularities.

This was around the time that I was my sickest. I feel like you can see it in my eyes how disconnected I had become to keep going.

I spent months scared, confused, and simply trying to survive. In May of 2021 I decided to leave my full-time job and focus on my health. I had been searching for answers on my own when I finally decided to join the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. It was the biggest investment I had ever put into myself besides college. I took out a personal loan and signed up to become a Holistic Health Coach. Not so much for others, but for myself.

There is no doubt now that IIN has helped save my life and continues to do so with every Module that I go through. Through IIN I had the strength to let go of caffeine and learn to listen to my body. I discovered I have a gluten sensitivity by listening to my body. I grew up as a gluten lover. If there was a bowl of dinner rolls at the table you could bet I would grab two or three.

However, I also would eat a piece of bread in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep because it mysteriously always would put me to sleep! (Hello?! That’s because I have a gluten intolerance!)

Through eliminating caffeine and Gluten I have found that my body is in much less pain and the change has been incredible. I know that personally, the next step for me will be to eliminate sugar, which is something I hope to gently begin.

Inflammation is a good thing, until it’s a bad thing, which is something I’ve learned the hard way.

This was not an easy feat, and of course sometimes I have tea or soup with gluten in it. The difference is that I now have control and I have a “why” to the pain. I still struggle with cystic pain every now and then but the overall result of eliminating these two things have been incredible. I also do not consume nearly as much meat as I once did and that has made a huge difference in my digestive health. In college I had daily heartburn. That’s a story for another time.

You are NOT supposed to feel sick all the time. You should not experience pain all the time, mental or physical. In America we normalize illness and even feed off of it. Our healthcare system overcharges and manipulates its “customers”. Treat the symptom, not the sickness. I won’t even start getting on that soap box today, but if you know, then you know.

If you have struggled with your health or with cultivating a life that you love, I would absolutely love to set up a consultation with you.

While I do not intend on being a Health Coach once I finish my certification, I still must do mock sessions with family and friends. If you have been looking into a health coach, but the price scares you, feel free to reach out to me. I need Six Health Histories to graduate and would love to work with you! If you have any questions about IIN feel free to ask as well.

Fear is the mask that freedom wears and the only way to freedom is through self discovery.

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