Thanks to Going Primal I’m a Pretty Normal Person – a guest post by Peggy of The Primal Parent
This hasn’t always been the case, though. Let’s rewind 33 years.
I was the last of five kids. My mom was 38 when she had me, still trying to nurse my brother. She passed her low stores of brain chemicals, her nutritional deficiencies, her insulin resistance, and hormonal imbalances right down to me. Despite that, I had a fun childhood, right up until I started growing breasts at age 10 – that was not fun at all. And then I started my period at age 11 – also not fun. And I was introverted, paranoid, depressed, and suicidal by the time I was 12. All of this was so far from fun I had to go to some pretty extreme measures to experience fun as others do and to feel even brief moments of happiness.
I teamed up with the bad crowd and got into drugs and sex and all sorts of wild behavior, some of which hurt me physically and some emotionally, both of which exacerbated my already fragile state. I had bad relationships, bad job history, bad grades, and made lots of bad choices. I got into trouble with the law and spent time in rehab facilities.
But that kind of life was tiring, so by the time I was 17 I chilled out and went to college. It’s not that I felt any better I just changed my method of distraction from acting wild and getting into trouble to pouring over text books.
I was even more depressed than ever, actually, the older I got. In college, the PCOS that I had been unknowingly living with all of my life was now raging. I tried birth control pills to balance my hormones but my acne and depression hit me with a vengeance, making me even more introverted than ever.
I was just another number among the millions of Americans taking drugs for their many ills. In my teenage years I had taken anti-depressants which I found useless for anyone not lining their pockets with profits. I took many years of anti-biotics for acne, bronchitis, and sinus infections. I took birth control pills and pain killers for my headaches and incapacitating menstrual cramps.
My mind was out of control and my body was in constant pain from one ailment or another. There really didn’t seem to be any hope for my ever being normal.
Until I stumbled upon the Paleo diet.
A friend told me about celiac disease because of the diarrhea I’d been living with since I was a child. The thirty or so doctors I saw about my countless ills never figured it out but thanks to that friend I requested blood tests and got the diagnosis. I started feeling a little better – but just a little.
Since my doctor didn’t know anything I decided to read up on it myself. One book led to another until I eventually eliminated all modern foods. I started the Paleo diet in February of 2005 and was pregnant by May. I devoured even more information about wellness and illness for my new baby’s sake.
Over the next couple of years things got gradually better for me. I learned all I could about Paleo nutrition, disease, and healing and all my old symptoms were lessening in severity. I didn’t feel great, though, until just a few years ago.
By the time my daughter was 1 ½ and I had been Primal for almost 3 years already, I still had joint pain, fatigue, blood sugar and digestive problems. I discovered that I couldn’t eat many foods that most people can tolerate just fine.
Most of the women that I’ve talked to who switch to Paleo recover from their maladies quickly and fully, but some of us don’t. Some of us have more to recover from and more obstacles standing in the way. For me, it took relieving my digestive problems and pinpointing allergies before I could finally absorb the nutrients I needed to stop assaulting my adrenals, pancreas, thyroid, and everything else.
Once I finally discovered the key to a calm digestive system everything miraculously changed. I was a new person in every way. My diet is on the extreme end of Primal, but the stress my body and mind endured over the years weakened me and necessitated more stringent compliance.
While I am still very thinky, I am now extroverted and confident and can converse with the best of them without anxiety. My depression lifted completely, my energy is nearly boundless, my back and neck pain disappeared 100%, my skin cleared up, my PCOS symptoms all retreated, my digestion is peaceful and quiet, and all of the other hundred symptoms of a body gone awry (yes I actually wrote them all down) have left and rendered me a pretty normal person.
Peggy Emch has a B.S. in mathematics and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Colorado. She has spent the last 10 years since researching nutrition, writing blogs, articles, a novel, and is currently working on her first in a series of books about the Primal lifestyle, starting with pregnancy.
Read More: 10 Natural Treatments for PCOS