In 2006, I was diagnosed with a blood clot, known as a deep vein thrombosis. During an extended business trip, I started experiencing a nagging ache in my calf and swelling in an ankle. I viewed the symptoms as annoyances rather than concerns because the ache felt like muscle soreness after a long run. Not unusual in my world at the time. Little did I know!
At the end of that 10-day trip, I called my doctor, who told me to go straight to the emergency room. That got my attention. Fear started to take hold sitting in the ER that night. A blood clot? Really? Running was my passion. I was active, busy, and I ate well…or so I thought.
Turns out the clot occurred for the typical reasons; travel, long periods of sitting, frequent meals out, processed ingredients, inconsistent exercise and poor hydration. An added discovery was a genetic predisposition to clotting called Factor V Leiden. Roll back the clock several decades…my father suffered two blood clots, one of which lodged in his lung, and his mother (my grandmother) died after suffering a stroke. It was history I didn’t wanted to repeat.
I agreed to follow the prescribed protocol…daily medication (an anticoagulant) to “thin the blood,” eating a limited and consistent amount of leafy green vegetables each day (to manage vitamin K), and blood tests every few weeks to monitor the medication dose. It was a necessary protocol to follow. However, I kept thinking there had to be a way to get my blood healthier through diet and lifestyle.
It took a while to find a doctor who could guide me. But once we got started, positive changes occurred. After six months of addressing my gut health (which was compromised) and my food sensitivities (gluten, dairy, eggs, tapioca…who knew?), my arterial inflammation started to decrease as did my nervousness, irritability and fatigue. Fibrinogen, a protein responsible for blood clotting, eventually moved into a normal range along with my myocardial function. With close monitoring, I was able to discontinue the anticoagulant.
Today, I eat plenty of green leafy vegetables (in addition to a wide variety of other vegetables). My daily hydration is more consistent. I sit less and move more, and my food choices are more deliberate. Dairy is still a strong trigger, so I continue to avoid it along with gluten. But eggs are back on my food list. Yay!
This experience taught me that a lot goes on “behind the scenes” with little awareness until a health event happens. Unfortunately, there were no blatant warning signs before the blood clot started to form. The subtle ones were there, but I wasn’t paying attention. Now, with the right care and a commitment to Eating 4 HealthTM, I’ve gained peace of mind that I am doing what it takes to remain healthy in the most natural ways possible.
Eating right is the most important step you can take to maintain your health. If you have questions about how to improve your health through nutrition, contact me by email or call 303-442-2492. You will be amazed at how the right nutrition can impact your life.
Here’s to your health and vitality!
I believe good health is as close as your kitchen. My nutrition practice is based on nutrient-dense, whole food and lifestyle choices that support health and wellness, especially during times of high stress and transitions. My role is to educate, guide and support individuals who want to break the stress-induced cycle of depletion and regain control of their health. As a Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate), I look forward to helping you create a vibrant life. To learn more, contact me at 303-442-2492 or by email.