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Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is health care. You may know that when we changed our diet in early 2009 from a diet of mainly processed foods to a diet of mainly traditional food we discovered changes in our health.

My husband and I both had a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a diagnosis given when there is ‘something’ wrong but everything that could be wrong is ruled out. Common symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain or cramping, feeling bloated, gas, diarrhea or constipation (or alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation) and mucus in the stool.  As you can imagine, these symptoms are not much fun!  In addition to the IBS I often had severe heartburn. Some days the pain was so bad I would hurt from my throat all the way down.   I was very upset to realize that one of my girls was also starting to show the same symptoms. I certainly didn’t want her to go down the path I’d been down.  To end up with a ‘diagnosis’ of IBS many tests are done to rule out other things. I could tell you about some of the tests I’d had over the years but you really do not want to read about them.  Before, during and after the diagnosis of IBS I had tried a plethora of different medications. Some were to help with the pain, some were to help with other symptoms, and then there were several courses of antibiotics to try to kill any ‘bugs’ that may be lurking. This process had been going on for decades since I had actually started having troubles when I was a child.  My husband had a similar history.  I certainly did not want this for my girl!

Thoughts on Health Care

Before we started changing from a Standard American Diet (SAD) to a real/whole/traditional style of eating I had read somewhere the a shot of whey could help calm an irritated stomach.  I bought some yogurt and dripped the whey out following the instructions. I had my girl try it. Soon she was having a shot of whey every morning and reporting that her stomach was feeling much better.  That shot of whey became her ‘medicine’. Around that same time, we had many personal changes that resulted in us being without insurance.  Joe was already controlling his symptoms with over-the-counter medication.  I still had a stash of prescription meds and began weaning off of them and using several different types of over-the-counter meds. Even with the prescription meds I had always need to take some kind of chewable anti-acid for the break through heartburn.

A few months later we began to change our way of eating. The idea of eating higher quality, nutrient dense foods made sense to us . However we were concerned with the cost aspect. We were on a tight budget. We decided to move forward with changing our diet toward a real/whole/traditional foods style of eating based on the Weston A. Price Foundation Dietary Guidelines without increasing our food budget. It took some time for us to make that transition but over the course of 18 months we found ourselves following the guidelines most of the time without increasing our food budget.

Thoughts on Health Care

What we were surprised to discover in this transition time was an overall improvement in our health. All of us noticed that our stomach issues were almost completely eliminated with the change in diet. I was surprised the day I realized that I hadn’t needed to take any kind of meds for several weeks.  We also found we had more energy, less overall illness and I even lost forty pounds!  The realization of this came several months into our food transition.  This realization began another transition for my family.  The transition to discovering how we can best take charge of our health.

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I used to work in the medical field as a medical assistant. I’d had positions with family doctors, working with the elderly, and also working in Pain Management. I was quite comfortable with health care practices.  I was okay with the idea of taking a pill to alleviate symptoms and truly didn’t know there were other options. You may notice I said alleviate symptoms. My experience has been that most pharmaceuticals are designed only to alleviate symptoms not eliminate them. Unfortunately many medications may alleviate one symptom and cause others. Then a new medication is needed for the new symptoms.  Is this really health care? Or is it only sick care? I had never considered something as simple as a dietary change could have such tremendous results.  I had changed my diet many times over the years trying interesting things such as low-fat, no-fat, the grapefruit diet, the cabbage diet, etc with no change to my stomach issues.  The concept that traditional foods could make such an impact was amazing to me.  I slowly began to explore and research other ways our new style of eating could truly improve our health. We found ourselves on a path that was no longer just sick care and we wanted to learn more.

About a year ago I got quite serious about learning more in the realm of natural health care. Not just food but herbs and alternative medicines such as acupuncture.  I find myself in the midst of a large life change (menopause) and am learning to find methods to help with the symptoms. I also have been hit hard recently with some physical symptoms from an auto accident I was in 18 years ago.  This is definitely a journey!  All this being said, I am not against physicians and pharmaceuticals. I believe they have their place.  Physicians are certainly needed to set broken bones, perform life saving operations, and much more.  For my family we are at a point where we prefer to learn other more natural options for our health care. We no longer want to just treat the symptoms, we want to eliminate the symptoms. We want to become truly healthy.  This does not mean we will never go to a doctor.  Death and disease are very real in this world and none of us know what the future holds.Thoughts on Health Care

Our plan is to continue to improve our diet as best we can in our location with our budget, learn more about herbs and herbal medicines, explore other ways to improve our health such as stress relief and alternative healing plus have a doctor available who can accept that these choices work for us.

Thoughts on Health Care

I’m not sure where this new journey to health will take us.  It has already been quite an adventure and in some ways challenges my thinking. The things I thought I ‘knew’ are changing. I’ve been learning to make tinctures and tonics and exploring methods for healing my body that I never knew existed. I’ve also discovered that not everything out there is an option for my family. Just like with our food journey our transition to natural health has monetary restrictions.  Thankfully many natural alternatives are very budget friendly!



Has a journey to real food led you to a journey to natural health? Or maybe your journey to natural health has led you to real food. What has been your greatest challenge? Please share in the comments. 

Ready to take control of your health? Get a free guide to make 2015 the best year ever from my affiliate partner, Ultimate Bundles. Go here.

Photo Credits: Pill Bottle, Surgery, all other photos are mine.

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