A number of years ago, I started feeling very much not like myself. I had a lot of mystery symptoms: I was really dizzy, I developed vertigo, and there was a weird ringing in my ears. I was very fatigued, and I became depressed and anxious, something I had never experienced before. I kept getting chronic infections that would land me at the ob-gyn all the time. I wasn't sure what was going on.
In the beginning, my doctors treated my symptoms, but there was no understanding as to why this was all happening. I felt like there was more to what was going on with me than just a change in the way that I was feeling emotionally. I felt physically off. I knew in my bones – literally – that there was more to the story than had been figured out. Finally, after an 18-month journey, my general practitioner ordered a more in-depth blood panel. We were both surprised to see that my vitamin B12 and vitamin D levels were severely deficient — deficient to the degree that she wouldn't let me leave her office without getting a vitamin B injection!
I was so frustrated that it took well over a year to find answers, but once I got the lab results, it was like a light bulb turned on. I realized that I had been approaching my health problems from the wrong perspective. Just like my doctors, I was focused on treating my symptoms instead of finding and solving the underlying issue. My perspective completely changed. I thought, “Oh my gosh. I need to be my own advocate. I need to be requesting tests. I need to be doing research. I need to be asking hard questions.” I realized I had to take my health into my own hands.
I am naturally very curious about the human body. Biohacking, health and wellness, the way the body works — it all fascinates me. So, I became a student again. During my process of discovery, I learned that in addition to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, I was also having a lot of gut health issues that presented as depression and anxiety because there is a gut-brain axis. It can also present as intimate health issues, like recurring vaginal infections and UTIs, because there is also a gut-vagina axis and a gut-skin axis! The microbiome in your gut is kind of your master microbiome and when you are struggling with your gut microbiome, there’s a pretty high chance that some of your other microbiomes are going to be challenged as well. It's identified as inflammation throughout the body.
I am a firm believer that living as a human in our modern times is the biggest culprit for everybody's gut health issues because their microbiomes get thrown out of whack from antibiotics, over-the-counter medication, alcohol, food preservatives, and chemicals that are getting into our bodies by way of beauty products. Even the air that we're breathing can contain harmful substances. So, in 2021, it's really hard to not have a gut health issue of some kind. What I learned is that these problems can be addressed with the use of different types of probiotics and supplements.
I had never really been a person that bought into the benefits of vitamins and minerals before. My perspective was more, “I don't really need supplements. I get everything I need from food.” But I learned that that's really not the case. I started feeling better about a year and a half after I started taking supplements, but really, I felt so much relief from just knowing that I had a new path to follow. That I didn’t have to keep grasping at straws.
I soon realized there was whitespace when it came to total body care products for women that were made with clean, biologically effective ingredients — without toxins, without fillers — packaged beautifully, and paired with really important education. This led me to start Love Wellness. That and also because, at the time, I kept thinking, ‘Is there something wrong with me? Am I the only person on this earth that is dealing with this?’ Very broadly, the answer is no. We have a fantastic Medical Advisory Board of different doctors, nutritionists, and practitioners that have served as my guides and tutors.
What's interesting about the position I sit in is that I have always been a huge fan of beauty, health, and wellness. I had Kevyn Aucoin’s books when I was in, like, elementary school! In middle school, I started consuming beauty products because I had such a passion for them. So, by virtue of being a consumer, I have been able to identify a lot of white spaces in the market. Like, ‘I wish product XYZ existed.’ Combining my skill sets has allowed me to leap into entrepreneurship in a really unique way and create life-changing products.
Being out of balance, which is what was happening, really affects my basic functionality day-to-day. It affects my emotions, how I'm thinking about relationships. It causes you to be in this constant fight or flight mode and so your responses to things are atypical to what they would be if you were healthier. It's really hard to dig yourself out of a hole when you are unwell because it's hard to gain perspective on what you're dealing with.
For me, it comes down to a very healthy amount of sleep every single night, drinking enough water, eating as healthy as I possibly can, moving my body, and keeping my life full of friends and family. Isolation and loneliness have been a huge issue for people over the past two years with Covid, and I’m making a huge effort to be a part of my community.
In my experience, people either struggle with this stuff, or they don't. It's similar to acne. If you've never had acne, you're like, “Whatever.” But if you have acne, you understand how deeply it can upset your life. Getting the immediate responses from people who I’ve been able to help has been life-changing for me. It’s what inspires me more than anything to keep going.
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