But natural medicine transformed her into a happy, energetic mother.
This is a story about one couple who were given one of the greatest gifts of all: the child they wanted but were told they could not have. (Note: names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family involved.)
This month, Tom and Jessica will have been married for twelve years. Since her late twenties, Jessica had bouts with psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the joints, resulting in inflammation that triggers pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Jessica believes that her autoimmune issues were triggered by a vaccine she received. She had cut her finger badly and went to the hospital. Having reacted poorly to vaccines in previous years, Jessica was apprehensive when the doctor wanted to give her a tetanus shot. The doctor dismissed her misgivings and strong-armed her into getting the vaccine despite her concerns. A week later, her symptoms began.
Conventional medicine treats psoriatic arthritis with two kinds of drugs: immunosuppressants and anti-inflammatories. The underlying thinking is simple: the body’s immune system is attacking healthy tissue, so conventional medicine’s answer is to dial down—i.e., suppress—the immune system itself and then treat the painful symptoms, while doing nothing to address the source of the disease.
Jessica’s doctor put her on Enbrel, an anti-inflammatory, and methotrexate, an immunosuppressant. Some of Enbrel’s side effects include dizziness, extreme fatigue, hair loss, severe headache, mood changes, unsteadiness, and vision changes. Methotrexate is used in chemotherapy and is a commonly used drug in medical abortions. Side effects include mouth sores, diarrhea, signs of liver failure, easy bruising or bleeding, enlarged glands or lymph nodes, and bone pain. As an immunosuppressant, the drug also leaves patients extremely susceptible to infection.
While taking these medications, Jessica described herself as a “walking zombie.” She could use her joints, but her life was “completely shot,” consisting of little more than waking up, going to work, coming home, and going to bed. The drugs completely sapped her of energy. Looking back, Jessica remembered being sick and on antibiotics for almost the entire time she was on these drugs, dealing with upper respiratory infection after upper respiratory infection since the drugs had basically shut down her immune system. She was constantly going to the doctor so he could monitor her progress, since the long-term side effects of the drugs she was on were cancer and liver failure. The doctor, she said, was checking to see if her organs had failed yet.
To make matters even worse, Tom and Jessica wanted to have a child, a desire made impossible by the fact that Jessica was regularly ingesting an abortifacient drug.
At this point, Tom made a suggestion to Jessica. Tom is an employee of Parker Hannifin, a Fortune 500 company that specializes in motion control technologies like aerospace, climate control, hydraulics, and more. Parker Hannifin distinguishes itself by offering its employees access to natural medicine through the company’s health insurance. The benefit program covers 80% of the costs of various integrative health remedies.
Tom encouraged Jessica to take advantage of the program and see the Parker Medical Director, Dr. Todd Pesek.
Dr. Pesek ordered a full workup including blood, urine, and hair tests to see if Jessica’s nutrient levels were where they should be. He gave her vitamin D and B12 injections, recommended food-based supplements like curcumin, and in addition put her on a complete multivitamin, DHA, iodine, probiotics, boswellia, maca, matcha, and a daily green smoothie. Dr. Pesek’s health coaches at the VitalHealth Partners clinic advised Jessica on which foods she should eat and which she should avoid. They recommended a plant-based diet of whole vegetables and fruits, fermented foods to bolster gut health, lots of sun, and plenty of exercise.
At first, Jessica was skeptical. With conventional medicine, doctors tell us to take this pill and that one, and wait to get better. But Dr. Pesek is instead telling her to revamp her diet and get plenty of sun and exercise. How was that going to cure a disease?
One of the first things Jessica noticed was the responsibility that this treatment placed on her. No longer was treatment a passive procedure of taking a pill and waiting—it was making a complete change in lifestyle. She remembers complaining as she went through the exercise regimen and forced herself to go outside despite her fatigue. After a while, she undertook a twenty-one-day cleanse to clear her blood of toxins, where she ate little else but smoothies and plants.
But it paid off. She didn’t experience immediate results, and the recovery was slow—but it eventually worked. And it was a complete cure.
After adhering to the recommended treatments, Jessica fully recovered and no longer had symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. She was healthy and full of energy. Now her and her husband’s attention could turn to having a child. Even though Jessica was no longer taking methotrexate, she was still worried—women in her family had a history of fertility issues. But one month after her last visit to Dr. Pesek, Jessica was pregnant with a baby girl, who is now just about a year old.
Where conventional medicine prescribed Jessica drugs that relieved the pain in her joints but destroyed her quality of life and prevented her from having a child, natural medicine led to a full recovery and helped her get healthy enough to have a baby.
In our Pulse of Natural Health newsletter, we often cover pressing issues related to natural health, whether it’s pending federal legislation, the latest FDA malfeasance, or the scientific evidence in support of natural health alternatives to conventional remedies. But as crucial as facts and figures are, they can also be abstract and impersonal. To experience firsthand the transformative power of natural medicine is something else entirely.
Please visit our “Tell Your Story” page to read other people’s stories of the power of natural healthcare, and submit your own!