You know what I see happening a lot?
We accept things that are common as “NORMAL”. We hear our friends and family talking about things they experience similar to us or someone else we know and begin to think these COMMON things are “NORMAL”.
In fact, I can’t tell you the number of times I have been asked on my health journey about some of the symptoms I have experienced and when I mention brain fog, I hear, “Oh I have that all the time too!” My response is, “THAT’S NOT NORMAL!”
Here is a list of COMMON health complaints
I often see accepted as NORMAL:
- Not having a daily bowel movement
- Having frequent loose bowel movements
- Heartburn/acid reflux
- Brain fog
- Feeling shaky, weak or hangry between meals
- Multiple food intolerances
- Digestive distress
- Sleep disturbances
- And more
- And, if your cholesterol, blood pressure, and/or blood sugar are being managed by medication – they are NOT “NORMAL”. I am shocked by the number of people who tell me these markers are good…..”well, on medication!”
Do you experience any of these on a regular basis?
None of this is “NORMAL”!
Common – YES! I don’t think there is anyone I speak to these days who doesn’t have more than one of these challenges. And unfortunately, they have often written them off for quite some time as “normal”. Sometimes they’ve reached a level of frustration with the symptoms that is forcing them to seek help. Other times they only come up because as their coach I’m asking questions that bring them to light. They often still don’t fully understand that they are a symptom of something deeper and provide important information about their health.
In fact, if we replace the word NORMAL with HEALTHY, it takes on a totally different feel. For instance, if I asked the people who told me that they experience brain fog all the time if they felt that was normal, they may think so because they’ve so commonly heard others talking about it. BUT if I asked whether they thought it was healthy, I doubt they would think so.
I’m sharing this with you first to bring light to the facts I’ve already stated. These experiences are not “NORMAL” or HEALTHY. They are COMMON signs and symptoms of something with a deeper root cause, which brings me to my next point…
Ask questions and seek answers!!
I cannot urge you enough to become your own advocate!
Let me share another example of why we must ask questions
and advocate for ourselves…
Those practicing conventional medicine are trained to treat symptoms and diseases. Their care is also broken up into specialties (e.g. cardiologists, dermatologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, etc., etc.) which leads to unnatural, segmented care. So if you have 2 problems, seemingly unrelated, say acid reflux and eczema, your general practitioner may treat your acid reflux symptoms and send you to a dermatologist for the eczema, when in fact, the two are likely related! For example, there’s a good chance there is some sort of gut dysbiosis going on which is preventing your body from creating enough stomach acid (yep- many cases of heart burn/acid reflux are actually caused by too little stomach acid versus too much!) and that same gut dysbiosis is likely at the root of the eczema too. Yet in our modern conventional system, this would not likely be identified. Instead, it would be treated with 2 or more different pharmaceuticals that have either no impact on the root cause of dysbiosis, or ACTUALLY make it even worse.
So, my suggestion is that if you want to get to the root cause of any of these types of symptoms that you seek help from someone who practices in a holistic manner – looking at your system as a WHOLE and not individual parts. Often this type of care can be found with naturopathic physicians, functional medicine practitioners, and other non-licensed practitioners such as certain therapists and coaches, like myself.
My entire health journey has been about peeling back the many layers – much like an onion. Each time along my journey when we uncovered something new, we could see how it related to all or many of the other parts.
I thoroughly enjoy assisting my clients on this journey of learning more about their layers as well. Just today I had a conversation with a client who couldn’t believe that regulation of her blood sugar had impacted so many things she had accepted as “normal” for her, including: her moods, shakiness and “terrifying hunger” between meals, and her need for naps and excessive sleep. Because she hadn’t been successful at impacting much change in these “symptoms” before, she felt they were normal for her. But I wonder if she had asked about whether they were HEALTHY if she still would have felt they were “NORMAL”. Perhaps instead this would have prompted her to continue to learn more about the information these symptoms were providing her.
The challenge is that when we seek help from practitioners who don’t necessarily see these symptoms holistically, we can be made to feel that they are common/“normal”, they may simply be patched with a medication, or that it’s all in our heads. This is exactly what happened for several years when I was suffering with severe digestive distress, bloating, gassiness, and constipation. When the doctors didn’t really know the answers, they would convince me it was rather common and normal. BUT I knew it couldn’t be! It certainly didn’t feel healthy! Eventually they felt they appeased me by giving it a name: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This wasn’t satisfactory for me for long. I was told there was basically nothing I could do about it, and that even diet probably didn’t matter much. But I knew enough that this couldn’t be true. So, I kept digging for answers and doing my own experimentation. Eventually I sought further help from practitioners who took a more holistic perspective. This is when we really started peeling back the layers and getting to the root causes of my symptoms.
So let’s be sure we stop to question what’s common. Let’s ask whether these symptoms feel healthy. Evaluate your gut instinct on them. When something doesn’t feel right, don’t let what is common be accepted as “normal”. Continue to ask questions and seek answers! Seek help from those who will keep asking questions with you!