Before you read my story, you should know two things: 1. I am not a medical professional, and 2. I am sharing my gut health story in the hopes that it might help someone, not because I’m looking to make any statement regarding medication.
That Time I Had an Anxiety Attack at PDX
I was sitting in a restaurant at the PDX airport with my five-year-old daughter, killing time before our flight. While looking at the menu, my vision suddenly went blurry. I blinked and then noticed my heart rate was speeding up. Within seconds, I was sweating and breathing fast. My chest ached and my heart continued racing. I started chugging water and tried to slow my breathing. By the time the waitress came to take our order, I was hardly able to get the words out. “Maybe if I get some food in me, I’ll feel better,” I lied to myself. I knew it wasn’t a food issue. I’d felt these kinds of episodes before, usually around 2 a.m. I just didn’t want to admit to myself that my anxiety had gotten out of control. I was a confident, capable person, doing the best I could with the tools I had, but it wasn’t enough. As we boarded our plane, I promised myself I’d see a doctor once we got home; I needed new tools.
A week or so after our trip, I found myself on the edge of an exam table, running through my symptoms with my doctor. I told her about the 2 a.m. anxiety attacks, the crazy heart palpitations, the horrible PMS cramping, the intense headaches, the restless legs at night, and even the trouble I had swallowing food. She ran blood work, ordered an ultrasound of my thyroid, and a 24-hour halter monitor of my heart. I felt hopeful after that appointment because I had finally told a medical professional about all the things I’d been suffering from. Surely, the test results would give me the answers I was looking for.
The Good/Bad News
Two weeks later, sitting on the edge of that same exam table, my doctor gave me the “good news.” My labs were fine, my thyroid looked great, and yes, my heart rhythms were very irregular, but nothing that indicated an issue with my heart itself. I wanted to cry as I began to wonder if it was all in my head. I knew something was off with my body but I had no solid evidence other than the way I was feeling. My doctor could obviously sense my frustration and quickly followed up my results with a recommendation that I try taking anti-anxiety medication for a while to help with my heart palpitations and anxiety attacks. I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. I was desperate for relief, and desperate to enjoy life again without feeling the way I’d been feeling.
I picked up the prescription, popped my first tablet, and didn’t look back. Those little, white magic pills became as necessary to me as water. They helped so much. As soon as my heart started to speed up, I’d take a pill and it would slow right down. Sure, I still dealt with the migraines, the PMS issues, and was choking on food, but I was way more relaxed. And that was enough.
Fast forward eight weeks and I couldn’t button my pants. Pulling the scale out of the closet, I found the number to be ten pounds higher then the last time I’d weighed myself, back at the doctor’s office. I looked at myself in the mirror and knew those little white pills were just a band-aid and were starting to cost me in ways I wasn’t willing to pay.
Geeking-Out Over My Gut Health
I went straight from standing on the scale in my bathroom to grabbing my laptop and googled, “What does anxiety do to your body?” After reading dozens of articles about stress and anxiety, I began to understand the havoc it wreaks on internal organs, especially the adrenal glands. I learned about serotonin and other chemicals that the brain uses to help enhance our moods, and found that about 90% of our serotonin is made and stored in our gut (check out this article from Cal Tech). This made me look up information on gut health. For weeks I read everything I could get my hands on, from clinical studies to “crunchy-mom” blog posts. I watched Ted Talks and You Tube videos and online lectures given by doctors and nutritionists. I become fascinated with the new research on the “gut-brain connection,” and began to look for ways to help my body heal.
One day, while perusing Facebook, a family member shared about a group of plant-based supplements she was taking to improve her gut health. The company was called Plexus Worldwide, and while I normally would have just scrolled right past anything that felt like a sales pitch, I was intrigued that she specifically mentioned a few of the things I had been researching. I googled every ingredient in each supplement and read the clinical studies associated with them. Much to my surprise as a skeptic, I was impressed, and placed an order a week later.
Throwing Away the Band-Aids
After six weeks on the products, I threw my anti-anxiety medication in the trash. By week eight, my heart palpitations were almost completely gone, and I no longer feared choking on food. After ten weeks, my husband commented that I hadn’t complained about a splitting headache in a long time, and I realized I hadn’t experienced one since starting on the products. My periods now sneak up on me because I no longer have any cramping to warn me they’re about to start. I’m sleeping better then I have in years, and even switched to decaf coffee because I no longer need the caffeine for energy. I feel good and happy and it’s all due to gut health. I still have a ways to go, but I can’t keep silent about Plexus products and how they’re changing my life.
If my story resonates with you and you’d like more info, I’d love to chat. You can message me on Facebook, or check out my You Tube channel (don’t laugh), Amber Talks Plexus, where I share more of my story.
Feel free to visit my store at www.shopmyplexus.com/AmberKanallakan
This article is the personal testimony of an Independent Plexus Ambassador and is not affiliated with Plexus Worldwide. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.