Leslie Martin has an incredible story of healing. In 2008, she contracted Lyme Disease. Many of us were taught to check for ticks after we spent time in a wooded area, but we might not even really know what Lyme Disease is or what it can do to our bodies. Lyme Disease is a bacteria that is transferred through the bite of a tick or possibly a mosquito.
Lyme Disease can cause a variety of symptoms. It usually causes headache, fever, and fatigue, all flu-like symptoms. Studies show that about 42% of people who are diagnosed with Lyme Disease develop a rash, often in the shape of a bulls-eye, but sometimes it’s better described as a butterfly rash. If Lyme Disease goes untreated, infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system.
Unfortunately, Lyme Disease can be very difficult to diagnose, which was Leslie’s experience. After three and a half years, she found a doctor who was able to correctly diagnose her. She began the standard treatment, which is a course of antibiotics. Even with the right diagnosis and a supportive doctor, Leslie did not get better. At one point, she was on three different antibiotics.
A New Approach
Leslie decided to change her approach to treating the Lyme Disease. She knew that the antibiotics were not healing her, so she began to consider her health from a Quadrants perspective. Instead of thinking only about one aspect–that she had Lyme Disease–she started considering her whole wellbeing and the changes she could make that would support her body.
Like Rachel Cooksey — who went from taking 60 pills a day to none! — Leslie decided to focus on the food she was eating. As she began to focus on the Chemical Quadrant, she discovered that she had food sensitivities. Leslie found she had “some sensitivities to some food that I was consuming on a regular basis. When we consume food that our immune system does not like, it weakens our immune system and we are not able to fight the illness that we need to be fighting.”
We might think about reactions to food on a continuum with food sensitivities sounding the least serious and food allergies as the most serious. But although food sensitivities or intolerances don’t cause a rash or anaphylaxis, they do have a huge impact on our bodies. Symptoms of food sensitivities can be issues with the digestive system, like constipation or diarrhea, but they can also range beyond that to mental symptoms, like anxiety, depression, or brain fog, and a range of many other symptoms such as joint pain, asthma, acne, bad breath, fatigue, hyperactivity, and difficulty losing weight.
As Leslie explains, these symptoms are not the only effects of food sensitivities. Because our bodies produce an immune system response to the food, our immune system is weakened. Constantly putting foods we are sensitive to into our bodies (sometimes three times per day!), strains our immune system and prevents it from being able to fight off the cold, flu, or more serious disease that we need to be fighting.
The best way to discover if you have a food sensitivity is through an elimination diet. With an elimination diet, you remove the top food culprits for at least two weeks. After the two week period, you can begin to reintroduce those foods one at a time to see if any cause a reaction. The top food sensitivity culprits are gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, shellfish, corn, and soy. As you work through the elimination diet and reintroducing the foods, it is important to listen to your body to get the messages it is sending.
Changing her Life
After learning her food sensitivities, Leslie changed her diet, healed her immune system, and was able to put the symptoms of Lyme Disease behind her. The Quadrants approach lead her to explore all aspects of her health, and lead her to full healing and a return to wellness. Because food had such a big impact on her wellbeing, Leslie became a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. Now she guides people facing health struggles through making the best food choices to heal their bodies.
You may think that Leslie made big difficult changes. But remember that Leslie had to make those changes over time, not all in one day. We can all begin to make small changes to the food we choose to eat, and over time, we will see big shifts in our health because of those changes.