Health & Fitness
12 Entangled Health Conditions I Owned & Fixed By Myself
How I transformed my problematic health and fitness situations by methodical trials & errors
Introduction and Context
This story puts me in a full vulnerable position bringing all my physical and mental health conditions in one place. This is my honest and defenceless piece of sharing factual information from the past. It is a difficult story. Still, I see it necessary for my regular readers, hoping this story can add more value by giving them a better perspective.
This is not a story about whining or boasting but showing the reality of my complicated and imperfect world. Some of my novel and unusual solutions could help some of us who experience similar conditions.
None of us is perfect in this world. Everyone faces challenges. However, some of us suffer more than others. In my younger years, life was full of ups and downs. Experiencing several physical and mental health conditions, I paid a high price for suffering.
Life is all about setbacks. One setback stops, another starts. According to some stoics, gods always send setbacks to test us and strengthen us.
From my experience, we can be in two central states. They are miserable states caused by sufferings and a good state coming from joy and happiness. Even though these states are affected by myriad factors, it is our responsibility to choose a favourable state that we can dwell on at most times.
The transition to the good state took me longer than required due to personal mistakes. I thought that I could learn everything, help everyone, and save the world. This unrealistic expectation was one of the root causes of my stress. In addition, forgetting my fundamental needs like movement, nutrition, and sleep caused several other physical and mental health conditions.
Mistakes were the leading causes of my suffering. Most of my problems were caused by mistakes stemming from my traits. They can be summarized in seven categories: 1) misinformation, 2) unchallenged beliefs, 3) confusion, 4) hedonistic tendencies, 5) wrong priorities, 6) addictions, 7) unrealistic expectations.
Many of these items have psychological roots. For example, prioritising other people’s needs, I neglected my fundamental health and fitness requirements. However, there was a powerful mindset that empowered me in this complicated journey. This mindset included accepting responsibility for my conditions, keeping myself accountable, and not blaming anyone.
Solutions at a high level were high-quality sleep, effective workouts, bespoke diet, mindfulness, experimentation, open-mindedness, flexibility, and persistence.
I have written many articles and blog posts about my situations over a decade. I publicly shared them. These personal stories put me in a vulnerable state, but this vulnerability opened new communication channels and brought better solutions from unexpected sources.
Since I cover several large topics in this story, rather than going into details for each item, I only highlight the critical points. I link each item to specific articles detailing the condition.
My assumption is not every reader might be interested in all items in this piece. Thus, this article serves the purpose of encapsulating the points in a single place and mapping them to my previous posts detailing each condition.
This meta post brings several conditions and shows an integral view of my health and fitness approach. This article might serve as a mini e-book for those readers who missed my previous stories related to this significant transformation.
My purpose is not to recommend any of my approaches instead to give useful perspectives to inspire my readers to find solutions that suit their needs. None of the points serves as a piece of advice. They are for information purposes only. I always learn new things from other people. I take the relevant ones and discard irrelevant ones.
My bespoke approach to health conditions
These ten phrases can summarize my approach:
1) Awareness, 2) acceptance, 3) taking personal responsibility, 4) learning with an open mind, 5) optimistic mindset, 6) taking action, 7) Incremental progress, 8) habit building, 9) collaboration and 10) persistence.
Acceptance was the key. Then taking personal responsibility for my health conditions made a significant impact. If there was one thing gained from my postgraduate studies, it was the ability to research and find hidden knowledge from unconventional spaces.
Here are my conditions with a brief explanation for root causes, symptoms, outcomes, and links to relevant articles.
1 — Metabolic Syndrome
I start with metabolic syndrome as it was the root cause of several other ailments. The key indicators of metabolic syndrome are high blood glucose, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol leading to excessive abdominal fat.
Since I already created an article about metabolic syndrome covering symptoms, root causes, implications, and impact on our lives, I don’t go into details here. Instead, provide you with the takeaway points. Fix Metabolic Syndrome, Live a Longer and Healthier Life: Metabolic inflexibility underlies major health issues.
The culprit for my metabolic syndrome was consuming high carbohydrate foods too frequently. I used to have three main meals and three snacks. I explained why I stopped eating snacks in this article. Why I Don’t Snack Anymore: Snacks never worked for me. I found the reasons later, after suffering a lot.
When I cut the snacks, reduced carbs by following a ketogenic diet, later moving to intermittent fasting, and finally making OMAD (one meal a day) as a lifestyle, my metabolic syndrome naturally disappeared. My blood glucose was normalized, insulin resistance settled, and leptin resistance resolved. I lost substantial fat and gained lean muscle. Fat loss had nothing to do with calories. It was all about optimizing hormones.
In addition, after eliminating symptoms of metabolic syndrome, signs of several other conditions mentioned below significantly reduced. I introduced intermittent fasting, the ketogenic diet, and OMAD in this story. Why & How Eliza Lost 30 Pounds of Fat in Six Months?
In short, replacing carbs with high-quality fats and eating less frequently was the solution.
2 — Leaky Gut, Bloating & Fluid Retention
I suffered from digestive issues for a long time. Initially, I thought it was my stomach but later found out that it was my entire digestive system, mainly related to the gut. Bloating with fluid retention was unbearable.
In this story, I shared my experienced in detail by giving examples from my healing journey. How I Naturally & Easily Fixed My Leaky Gut: After severely suffering from digestive discomfort, allergies, inflammation, and autoimmune disorders over a decade
The solution was increasing stomach acid, stopping anti-acid, using collagen from homemade gelatin, removing all plant foods and fiber. I also used charcoal to detoxify my gut from heavy metals, as mentioned in this story. Why Is Activated Charcoal in My Emergency Bag? Is It Hype or Hope?
My main gut problems were caused by plants and fiber, which I was intolerant of. In addition, since I was stopping the stomach’s natural acidity, the food was not digested and caused other digestive issues.
When I fixed my gut, several symptoms of digestive discomfort, bloating, fluid retention, food intolerance, and autoimmune conditions significantly dropped. As a bonus, inflammation, causing unbearable pain in many body parts, gradually disappeared.
3 — Arthritis
This item is mainly related to digestive health.
Since I was intolerant to many plants and fiber, my body saw them as foreign materials. As a result, after each meal, these food intolerance were creating autoimmune signals.
This was a remarkable achievement because my healthcare consultants believed it would not cure, and I had to use anti-inflammatory medication for a lifetime. Those medications were beneficial during that time, but they were creating lots of side effects.
Once my inflammation significantly dropped and the blood markers got optimized, I felt tremendous relief. How I Defeated Arthritis: My journey to overcoming inflammation and freeing from pain
The key contributors to overcoming arthritis were using an elimination diet, removing offending foods, staying in deep ketosis, which is related to the solution of item #1: eliminating metabolic syndrome. This story details Fixing Allergies And Autoimmune Conditions With Elimination Diet: My personal experience on eliminating offensive food from my diet.
4 — Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation caused by insomnia made my life miserable. It affected both physical and mental health. My work performance and vitality suffered. Lack of sleep is one of the root causes of chronic stress.
After getting advice from qualified sleep specialists and learning from the experiences of others, I managed to fix my sleep issues. I shared the details in this article: Powerful Life-Changing Hacks That Truly Transformed My Life: Smart Sleep Habits.
The key points which contributed to my sleep quality were supplementing with magnesium, cancelling noise, having a dark and cool room, cleaning the air in the bedroom, blocking blue lights before and during the sleep period, and constantly monitoring my sleep.
5 — Anxiety
I studied anxiety during my postgraduate studies. I knew the root causes of it but had difficulty in applying the known solution to my life. I was myopic about my problems.
After awareness and deliberate observation of my thoughts, feelings, and behaviour, I managed to resolve my anxiety issues. This post reflects the natural and practical solutions that I used. Dealing With Anxiety in Difficult Times: How to understand anxiety symptoms, root causes, distinguish anxiety from fear, take practical & effective measures to cope.
The critical solution for my anxiety was taming my amygdala, reducing hormones such as excessive adrenaline, epinephrine, and cortisol. The spike of these hormones in the bloodstream was the leading cause of my anxiety, as these hormones kept me alert at all times for a fight and flight mode.
As a high achiever, my ambitious thoughts and behavior also caused anxiety. I was digressing quickly to learn too much in the shortest time. Fortunately, a mentor during the postgraduate studies identified this problem and became a catalyst for its solution. Here is an exciting story reflecting the situation: Do Less Achieve More: Secret to success.
6 — Sadness and loneliness
When I was undertaking my first degree away from the family, I felt very lonely in my younger years. Loneliness brought me sadness. I was diagnosed with mild depression.
I shared how I fixed my condition naturally in this story: Healing Mild Depression By Scheduling And Prioritizing Fun: We need to trick the mind by planning pleasure. Getting rid of depressive thoughts and feelings gave me great relief and helped me enjoy life better.
In later years, I learned that loneliness was in my mind. I was creating it without being aware of my thoughts and instincts. Here is my story of how I defeated loneliness naturally: Loneliness Is In The Mind:
I Used To Feel Lonely; It Was Unbearable. In addition to the cognitive approach, emotional maturity and spirituality helped.
7 — Chronic Inflammation and Pain
Chronic inflammation and pain is related to item three ( arthritis), but I want to cover it separately. Even though autoimmune conditions were causing the inflammation, excessive blood sugar and insulin resistance created root causes of inflammation. I consumed inflammatory fats such as vegetables and seed oils.
In addition to the points in item three, I replaced unhealthy fats with healthy ones such as saturated and mono-saturated fats. Besides, I significantly reduced inflammation by increasing omega three fats such as EPA and DHA, especially from high-quality krill and fish oils.
Reducing inflammation and pain helped me cope with my stress as I touch on it in the next one. As you can see. all conditions are related in some intricate ways; therefore, a holistic approach to health looks essential for solving entangled problems.
8 — Chronic Stress
I knew about stress mechanisms but had no awareness of them on my health during my youth. As a result, I was taking it for granted. In addition to work stress, I was stressing myself with the passion for achieving ambitious and unrealistic goals to complete my studies faster than usual and go ahead of my peers.
And social situations such as making my family and friends happy increased my stress level. I always gave importance to the needs of others and neglected my own needs. As an empath, the pain of other people was hurting me deeply.
I was also addicted to some behaviours, food, and even smoking. I was told to give up cigarette smoking firmly. Advisors’ points made sense to me, and I managed to give it up: Tricking Brain To Stop Smoking: My personal story on how I quitted smoking 40 years ago and never smoked again.
After years, this continuous stress accumulation turned to chronic stress. Fortunately, a family physician sensed my chronic stress and ordered blood and urine tests. The results depicted very high cortisol (stress hormone). He referred me to an endocrinologist for closer care.
Removing unnecessary stressors made me feel great. My sleep problems were resolved. Inflammation decreased even more. The main culprit was emotional stress. Therefore, I called it the larger part of the iceberg in this story: Emotional Stress As Larger Part Of The Iceberg In Energy Deficiency: Emotional stress and drained energy can prevent us from living a satisfying life.
9 — Brain Fog
The previous conditions such as metabolic stress, leaky gut, autoimmune situation, inflammation, mild depressions, and chronic stress caused the brain fog. Experiencing brain fog as a person studying cognitive science gave me to shame. I was able to see in others but not in myself.
Nevertheless, with the help of a psychiatrist, who was a friend and a mentor at the time, I saw the symptoms better. The typical sign was my brain shutting off after 3 PM even I had breakfast and lunch on those days. But the food was not helping. Instead, eating frequently was hindering my progress as frequent meals conflicted with my dietary needs.
In a nutshell, seven habits helped me to get rid of my conditions. They were quality sleep, proper nutrition, fasting leading to ketosis, removing toxins and heavy metals, joyful workouts, sauna, cold showers, and supplements.
Here is the story covering all these items: I Fixed My Brain Fog With 7 Simple Hacks: After a decade of trial and error, I found some practical ways to overcome brain fog and prevent it from happening again.
10 — Gum Disease
Gum disease was unexpected and preventable from hindsight. I accept my fault. Even though my dentist recommended I had to brush my teeth twice a day, I kept forgetting this critical daily task due to my busy schedule for work, study, and social occasions.
Since I used to eat many sugary foods and have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, some of my teeth decayed at a very young age. Finally, the dentist identified gum disease. I used anti-biotic and other treatments, but symptoms came back.
I decided to fix the problem myself. The most significant contributor was cutting carbs totally from my diet, eating nutrient-dense food, brushing three times a day with charcoal toothpaste, and using inter-dental brushing fixed the problem rapidly. Here is my story: Preventing Gum Disease With A Simple Hack: No more debris, plaque, and bacterial colonization in my mouth.
11 — Allergies and Food Intolerance
Since my early adulthood, I always experienced food intolerance but never obtained medical advice. So I thought it was a normal situation. Besides, everyone around me was allergic to something.
However, after a while, some food gave me terrible discomfort. When I decided to become a vegetarian and later a vegan, the condition got worse. I wrongly believed a plant-based diet was the healthiest one. Many people in my social circles touted their benefits. So did the textbooks, health magazines, even some poorly written scientific papers. I figured them out later. Those resources never considered different genetic dispositions such as carbs intolerant people.
With the help of an experienced functional medicine doctor, I used an elimination diet that was based on animal sources. It was like a miracle. All allergies and intolerance to food magically disappeared. However, as pointed out by the specialist, I was intolerant to many plant foods, especially those with oxalate and high fiber. In addition, he found out that I was carbs-intolerant.
Finding a community that helped me change my wrong perceptions about animal-based diet and convinced me that meat healed many conditions was serendipitous. The testimonials were overwhelming to ignore.
Here is the lifestyle diet I finally embraced. My Unusual Diet Revealed: How a carnivore lifestyle transformed my health and fitness. Here is the link to my story about the elimination diet approach: Fixing Allergies And Autoimmune Conditions With Elimination Diet: My personal experience on eliminating offensive food from my diet.
12 — Loose Skin
This is a less severe condition compared to previous ones. However, eliminating loose skin after losing significant belly fat caused loose hanging skin. Initially, it did not bother me, but later it became a matter of self-confidence.
Using a very stringent regime, I managed to get rid of substantial loose skins after several years. It was challenging but worth the effort, as mentioned in previous stories. The critical contributor was autophagy initiating factors such as long-term fasting.
I also explained my approach in detail. The previous version of this story created substantial interest and went viral on a platform. Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Loose Skin?: And how can we speed up the elimination process
After eliminating saggy skin, my body got defined better. After a while, first time in my life, I witnessed six-pack abs. I was over 50. This paradoxical situation gave me a lot of pleasure.
The pleasure was not because of aesthetic reasons but seeing concrete evidence of my health and fitness transformation worked as desired. How To Get Six-Pack Abs Without Destroying Our Health: The desire for six-pack abs may create trauma. What if I tell you there are easier, more effective ways to get it?
Original copy of the article can be read on Medium