What's really making you sick?
Do you feel like you've tried everything and still not feeling better? Yeah? That was me too!
Statistically, a person with an autoimmune disease or chronic fatigue will go through at least 7 doctors and 5 years before they receive a diagnosis. And once they do, the conversation might go something like this: Doctor "the tests came back and you have x,y,z, this is an autoimmune disorder where your body is attacking itself. There is no cure, but we can manage the symptoms so you can have a half as go for the rest of your life." (ok that last part was me, but it's pretty much what they're guaranteeing you). It's not exactly the positive encouragement one would hope to get and gives you absolutely no direction to go. You might be prescribed one medication and another to treat the side effects of that medication and so on. It also leaves a lasting imprint "your body is attacking itself" just think what is this doing to your relationship with your body? I know personally that when something is attacking me I do my best to get away, but you can't get away from your body!
"Do not let a medical professional convince you that your liver inflammation, your fibromyalgia, your rheumatoid arthritis, or any other health problem is because your body is attacking itself. This is never ever the case!"
The Medical Medium
The truth is that what is causing your symptoms is inflammation, what's causing the inflammation is to be determined! (more about that here!) I recommend finding a quality functional medicine doctor that will go the distance with you. Ideally you want a doctor who will listen to your ideas and will work with you as a team.
I've put together a list of possible underlying causes, they are not all, but most common and a starting point. If eliminating gluten hasn't helped, it's time to get more testing!
But- before we get to what might seem like a daunting list of possible causes and things to get tested for let me start by saying- I personally have had all of these underlying causes and it took one by one, testing and addressing to get well. It can be a long road (took me about a year and a half to address everything-and I'm still working on it). Do what you can, with each thing you are able to tackle one at a time you will begin to feel better.
I encourage you to take a moment- close your eyes and place your hands on your body and thank your body for doing exactly what it's supposed to do- your illness is only a message to let you know you need to do a little house keeping ... I hope this will give you a direction to go in!
Let's dive in:
Gut Dysbiosis: is the imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your micro-biome (eco-system in the intestines) symptoms can be white coating on the back of the tongue, bloating, acne, constipation, hard stools or diarrhea.
SIBO: Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, say that three times fast! This is where bad bacteria is in the small intestine, either by an issue in the valve (responsible for pumping food through in digestion) or weak stomach acid. Symptoms can be (but don't have to be all) burping, difficulty drinking water, bloating, difficulty digesting, acne.
Leaky Gut: AKA Intestinal Permeability: Symptoms include autoimmune disease, acne, food sensitivities, hives, skin disorders, dizziness.
Heavy Metal Toxicity: Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Aluminum, can store in the organs and the brain. These are highly toxic and create leaky gut as well as things like brain fog, dizziness, chronic fatigue. Heavy metals also cause hormonal imbalances as well as vitamin B deficiencies.
Viral Infections: EBV, Herpes, Step - all the illnesses we get when we are younger like Mono (the kissing disease) and Strep throat can stay dormant in the system- you may not even known that you contracted it, all it takes is a low immune system and the touch of say a gas pump! Symptoms really are broad and they contribute to auto-immune, thyroid, anxiety and chronic fatigue.
Fungal/Yeast/Parasitic Infection: Candida, Yeast or parasite infections are very common but yet often misdiagnosed. Parasites are not easy to spot in a stool test because they tend to hide out!
EMF Exposure: This isn't exactly an underlying cause, but it's worth mentioning here because we are exposed to EMF's on a daily basis, electro magnetic frequency, from wifi, cell phones etc, it takes a toll on our sensitive nervous system. It can feel like anxiety, anxiousness, gitters, nerves and feeling draining. The best medicine for this is to take a break in the day away from electronics and spend time in nature or relaxing on a patch of grass, spend time in nature and disconnect wifi in your home at night while you're sleeping.
Lastly- It's important to look at Chronic stress from unhealthy relationships, job, money, unresolved trauma and shame, lack of self-acceptance/love etc. If you're feeling drained- journal on this a little and explore if maybe there's an area you need to explore.
Talk to your doctor (preferably a functional medicine doctor) about your possible underlying causes, ask to get tested for them and begin healing one by one. I recommend reading both Medical Medium & Izabella Wentz these books are life savers!