For those who don’t know, I am a reformed addict. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol, yes, but also to coffee. Some of my OG followers may remember my weekly if not daily posts of my beloved cashew milk latte in the morning and afternoon, and some funny coffee quotes to boot. All was well and good for years until last fall when my body started to quit on me.
The exact timeline is a bit blurry but sometime last summer I began experiencing terrible bouts of nausea and fatigue, in addition to some alarming bloating. I also noticed that I generally felt ok first thing in the morning but as soon as I had coffee, I was jolted with energy but felt like I was buzzing in an uncomfortable way; I was physically agitated, anxious, and debilitating nausea came on very suddenly. This would last for about an hour and then I crashed feeling completely awful. Not the best way to start the day.
I DECIDED TO BE MY OWN SPECIALIST
Every doctor I saw told me I was perfectly healthy (based on vitals and blood work) so I figured since I knew my body best, and was armed with feelings and facts, I could diagnose and treat myself. I attributed all of my symptoms to my PCOS (Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome) so I decided the cure to my ailments was to balance my hormones. I followed a blogger who healed her PCOS naturally so her journey became my treatment plan. I want to put a disclaimer here that I like her and any blogger who is vulnerable, educates, and tries to help people so this is in no way supposed to be bashing her! It’s just to show how doing exactly what someone we admire does won’t necessarily produce the same results.
Said blogger didn’t drink coffee and it seemed obvious that it was distressing to my body so that was the first thing to go. I substituted my morning coffee with matcha (still caffeinated but less so than coffee) which I love anyway so it was an easy transition. My mornings weren’t as bad but the other symptoms crept in early in the day. I felt horrible. Next I eliminated corn, soy, dairy and gluten because those can be endocrine disrupters and irritants. I still felt awful. I took random supplements and drank adaptogen tea and read books about hormones and stopped using hairspray and bought natural everything. Still felt like shit. The narrative in my head by this point was that there was something terribly broken in my body, and that I was different from her and everyone else. It was a pretty bleak time if I’m being honest.
A LAST DITCH ATTEMPT TO GET HELP
Finally in late November, completely defeated and so fatigued I couldn’t work or drive some days, I went to the Cedars Sinai Fertility and Reproductive Medicine Center. I’ll spare you all of the details but basically it was reconfirmed that I have PCOS and suggested that I simply go on birth control. I had a horrific experience with BC in the past and knew I never wanted to take a synthetic hormone again so that is when I turned to Rob Yang. After taking a thorough history he knew instantly to start with my gut and sure enough, therein lay my problem. Within a few weeks of treatment my nausea, fatigue and bloat went away. That said my hormones are still very much out of whack but they will not become balanced with a gut in dysbiosis, a parasite, or yeast – all of which I have. Lovely. We are taking it one function at a time.
A LIFE WITHOUT COFFEE
Since last fall I haven’t had a sip of coffee for no other reason than that it was making me feel awful. Maybe Rob would’ve told me to give it up anyway so as not to overload my adrenals and nervous system but that’s a whole other blog post. (Side note: do you guys want him to talk about caffeine?) My morning matcha energizes me without making me feel unnaturally wired and I feel so much more consistent and clear throughout the day. It makes me cringe to write this, and if I read this a year ago I would’ve rolled my eyes, but if I need an afternoon pick me up I just have fruit! I know, who am I?
OUR BODIES ARE DIFFERENT
My hormones aren’t the other blogger’s hormones. My gut issues aren’t your gut issues. My food sensitivities are unique to my body. That gut healing protocol that I posted last week isn’t even my protocol anymore because things in my body changed so we might have to go back to the first phase of treatment or try something else. The internet is so saturated with a lot of courageous people sharing their experiences and information – and we can certainly learn from them and use their knowledge to improve our lives – but we have to work to identify the root of whatever we are trying to change in ourselves and find what works for us. Coffee or no coffee. xo