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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Light

Recently, I decided to open up about some of the trials I've faced with my health. Why? No to throw a pity party, but to inspire others to dig deep and figure out their health, and to treat their bodies right through nutrition and lifestyle.
It has been an ongoing process ever since I can remember, around age 11 or 12. These trials led me to right where I am now, loving learning about nutrition, and helping myself and my body through nutrition.

When I was 12, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. As my hormones started to develop, so did my anxiety. I experienced terrible night sweats and hot flashes at this young age, just like any  menopausal woman would. When I was 13, my hair started to fall out and I started to gain a lot of weight. My mom knew that something wasn't right. After visits to doctor after doctor, nothing was ever figured out, and all that was given to me was prescription medication. My mom not knowing any better, let me take them.

Nothing ever got better. At age 15, I developed pancreatitis. Following that, blood sugar lows and highs. I also got diagnosed pre-diabetic. What? When I was 15, I decided to take charge of my health and follow a low-carb eating plan. I quickly shed 80 pounds, and while I felt like I looked better, I certainly did not feel better. I developed pancreatitis 3 more times after that first incident. It was constantly hospital after hospital. Medication after medication. Blood test after blood test. Missed school and more missed school. Because of this, my high-school experience was cut-short, as I had no choice but to get my GED at age 16.

At age 18, the digestive symptoms started to appear. Off and on colitis, hair loss, weigh gain/loss, horrible acne, fatigue, anxiety and more. The list went on and on. I was always miserable on the outside, although I always put on a good front. Not many people know of these health issues. I've hid them quite well. After countless doctor visits to every "ologist" that you could imagine, still, nothing.

When I turned 20 and after going to college for a few years, I decided I wanted to focus on Nutrition. That is when I moved up to my favorite place, Toronto Canada, and studied Holistic Nutrition. I hoped that if I learned as much as I could, I could help myself and also help others, a strong passion of mine. I was still struggling with my health while living there, but I knew I had to take the chance and go. I couldn't stay trapped in a bubble forever.

The information I learned was amazing, yet overwhelming. It's certainly hard to piece your own issues together, so I took countless notes, and took in as much as I could.

After my mom passed away to breast cancer, I eventually moved back home and packed on 20 pounds. I felt even more miserable.

I ended up meeting my husband shortly after moving back home, then we had Tristan in July of 2013. I remember feeling less symptoms when I was pregnant, and while I thought it was strange, I wasn't complaining.. Much later, I pieced together why this happened.

It wasn't until very recently (about a month ago) that I developed kidney stones. These sent me to the good old emergency room. Boy, was I familiar with that place. The Emergency Room doctor ordered standard blood tests including inflammation tests and a CT. When my tests came back abnormal, part of me was relieved. I had a high white blood cell count, a high SED rate(inflammation rate) and my ANA was elevated(the classic marker for Lupus).

My whole life, I have been living with this autoimmune disease that I KNEW I had, although no one could ever figure it out. All due to a trip to the ER along with some painful kidney stones.

I started drinking Shakeology a few weeks ago and decided to become a BeachBody coach. I also adopted a special clean eating diet for autoimmune diseases. I have to say, hands down the best thing that's ever happened to me and my health. I haven't had a single symptom or flare up in 2 weeks. 2 weeks is INCREDIBLE for me. I haven't had any gas, bloating, hair loss, joint pain. I am in heaven.

The only other time I felt better in the past 12 years was when I was pregnant. When you're pregnant, your immune system function goes down. This means, my immune system wasn't attacking my body as bad as it had been. All of the pieces FINALLY fit together.

Again, I am not writing this to throw myself a pity party. Nor do I want anyone's pity. I'm writing this in hopes that my health challenges can be of some inspiration to others with health challenges. You CAN live the best life possible. You CAN control your health through diet, especially autoimmune diseases. My goal and desires in life are now to help as many people as I can. If you have a health challenge, I would strongly consider drinking Shakeology. I've seen the many changes it has made in many lives. As a Holistic Nutritionist and a real human being with real feelings, I recommend it with all of my heart. Please write to me if you would like a sample. I would love to hear from you and develop a plan that meets your specific needs. Your health is your biggest investment.

Elizah Ann Tashjian
Holistic Nutrition Consultant
Team BeachBody Coach

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