I was a picture of health… or was I?
I was a sickly child, on numerous antibiotics for recurrent upper respiratory tract infections, which persisted into my adult years. I learnt antibiotics raise the risk of cancer with each subsequent administration.
I had deep hormonal imbalance and benign breast disease since my teenage years. I learnt hormonal cancers can take up to 20 years to develop and the terrain on which cancer lands can make all the difference.
I had mercury toxicity from childhood fillings that were unsafely removed. I learnt heavy metals are linked with hormonal imbalance.
I had low weight/ height ratio, but a distended, painful stomach after certain meals. I learnt that I carry a genetic lack of lactase enzyme which helps digest dairy and this blocked the absorption of vitamins and minerals from food, and leading to microbiome and digestive disturbances, in itself a cancer risk. I learnt that you can influence the expression of certain genes (known as epigenetics) and that personalising diet can be a powerful tool in regaining health.
I had mid-afternoon energy crashes and ate every chocolate in sight. I thought the way I felt was normal, but with the right meal plan I was able to balance my blood sugar and energy throughout the day.
I had difficult births, which left me in a deep state of depletion and debilitating PMS. I thought this was normal for a young mother; it is not.
I am healthier after cancer!
Looking at it now, I see the medical history leading up to my breast cancer diagnosis at age 37 as clearly as words on the page of a book: mitochondrial dysfunction, hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, gut dysbiosis, oestrogen dominance, dysmenorrhea, benign breast disease. The signs were there all along – I simply didn’t have the tools to recognize what was happening.
Unfortunately the current healthcare system doesn’t emphasize proactive care and doesn’t recognize a medical history like mine as a perfect storm for cancer. So I sleep-walked through the many stages of ill health, not knowing what the future might hold.
I am deeply grateful for the excellent medical care I received. But it was only once I took ownership of my health post-diagnosis and learnt to combine the best of modern medicine with nutrition, functional testing, and self-care, that I was finally able to heal.
The future of healthcare is integrative
I believe the future of healthcare is integrative and it starts now.
Simona Sand, MA BA(Hons) DipNT
Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioner mBANT rCNHC