Mitch is my name and finding ways to reverse health issues is my game. After overcoming several health challenges in my life, I’ve learned to be a health investigator for both myself and my clients in order to learn what the issue is we’re facing and how to fix it, quick. Most of the time, I feel like Superman and when I’m not feeling my best, I notice it right away. Our bodies give us tons of signals each day and if you’re not listening and responding appropriately, we often perform suboptimal and wonder why we feel off.
This past holiday season I felt off. It all started a few days before Christmas. I woke up around 2am shivering uncontrollably with body aches and had a hard time falling back asleep. When I woke up the next day reality started to set it, do I have the flu? I didn’t want to believe it at first. My Oura ring was indicating that I had elevated body temperature that was affecting my readiness score for the day. (learn more about OURA) My entire body was so sore and achy I could barely get out of bed. After starting the day with an Epsom salt bath to both warm me up and relax my achy muscles, I landed on the couch for the remainder of the day and didn’t move for the next 10 days.
Over the course of the next 10 days, the body ache and fever continued along with fatigue that would not go away no matter how much I’d slept. My resting heart rate started climbing and I began having heart palpitations (see pic below). I was having 100 palpitations about every 5 minutes and this made it hard to get sleep at night which really hurt my best recovery efforts. I tried everything to bounce back: fasting, bone broth, colloidal silver, oregano oil, and elderberry syrup, but nothing was helping. I started getting concerned when my resting heart rate was double my norm. I went from a resting heart rate of 45 up to 85.
After consulting with my doctor, we decided I was likely dehydrated and needed to get a few blood tests done to be safe. The muscle soreness and fatigue made us suspect rhabdomyolysis because I had just added exercise back in after taking almost a year off to recover from a Traumatic Brain Injury following a car accident, I was involved in 10 months earlier. From Google,
“Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of damaged skeletal muscle. Muscle breakdown causes the release of myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin is the protein that stores oxygen in your muscles. If you have too much myoglobin in your blood, it can cause kidney damage.”
I’d heard of “Rhabdo” at CrossFit. It was seen as a badge of honor and a common mistake most amateur exercise enthusiasts make when they attempt to do more in the gym than their body can handle. I guess you could say I was excited to be back in the gym and had bit off a little more than I could chew.
I went to the Urgent Care and after running labs I was referred to see a Cardiologist right away to complete a stress test and echocardiogram to see what was going on with my heart. “Oh shit,” I thought, “this is getting serious.” I was right—the test results came in a few days later and there were several markers that were elevated. The ones that stood out the most were Creatine Kinase, AST, and ALT which indicted my liver and kidney were working overtime.
I was jacked up. My liver enzymes were through the roof showing that my liver was extremely stressed and so were my kidneys. My Creatine Kinase was 2591… anything over 200 is considered dangerous. My aspartate aminotransferase was 111…It’s considered risky if it’s above 40. My alanine aminotransferase was 67…Anything above 55 is considered risky. These numbers confirm extreme liver stress and my doctor was very concerned so I was sent to see a Cardiologist and more labs were ordered.
After passing the stress test with flying colors ( I felt much better after another week of rest) the Cardiologist and my Functional Medicine doctor agreed I had the flu virous. The strand of flu I contracted had settled in my heart and I had gotten dehydrated with a mild case of Rhabdo; yay lucky me. Rhabdo can leave permanent damage so I wanted to be sure I let my body rest and heal.
Instead of freaking out over the results, I decided to take action and be proactive. Over the next 2 weeks I decided to do a liver gallbladder detox to help clean out my body and recover from all the excess stress I had placed on it. I decided to do a modified version of John Douillard’s Colorado Cleanse which is an ancient Ayurvedic process consisting of a monotropic diet of Kitchari Stew (recipe below) and targeted supplements to detox the liver/gallbladder. I finished the week with a Liver Gallbladder Flush (link below) to remove gallstones, clean the bile, lymphatic system and remove liver sludge. From John’s website,
Ayurveda, being a system of medicine that places a great central importance on the digestive process, is especially interested in the role of the liver in the digestive process. The most important aspect of this role is the production of bile, the substance responsible for:
- Breaking Down Fats
- Regulating the consistency of stool
- Neutralizing Stomach Acid
- Taking toxic cholesterol from the liver to the intestines for removal
- Along with pancreas, regulating blood sugar
- Diet, toxicity levels, and stress all make or break optimal liver function. A regular detox program like the Colorado Cleanse can ease the strain on the liver
Since I was refraining from eating animal meat, I kept my workouts to a minimum and let my body rest so that it could prioritize healing instead of repairing muscle from exercise. I focused on yoga 1-2x per day, sauna, long walks in nature, meditation, and finished each day with an Epsom salt bath. The protocol also recommends 3 coffee enemas spread throughout the week, 3 castor oil packs at night time over the liver with a heating pad for 60 minutes, along with Epsom Salt and Triphala before bed each night to flush the colon. I finished all of this off with a Liver Gallbladder Flush on day 14.
What I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner during my liver cleanse…
- Homemade Kitchari (recipe below)
- 16 oz. glass of celery juice with each meal.
- 20 Essential Amino 2x per day before meals
- 1 tsp Organic malic acid powder before meals
Practices I incorporated throughout the cleanse…
- Every night before bed, I used Triphala for GI cleansing.
- 2 tsp Epsom Salts, 1 heaping tsp of Triphala
- Coffee Enemas (3x throughout the cleanse)
- 3x per week, used a Castor Oil pack on wool pad.
After 2 weeks, I was amazed at the results. My Creatinine Kinase went from 2591 to 160. My aspartate aminotransferase went from 111 to 26. My alanine aminotransferase went from 67 to 27. I felt so much better and the results showed a drastic improvement in liver/kidney function. I had plenty of energy, was sleeping better, my skin health improved dramatically from the Ayurvedic diet, and I had drastically improved the health of my liver, gallbladder and kidneys.
After reviewing the results with my doctor, she was very satisfied with the results and commented that when “most people” get these types of results they tend to slowly get worse and eventually end on of some type of pharmaceutical to improve symptoms. I hate hearing that.
Kitchari recipe for 3-4 servings:
½ cup split yellow mung beans
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1-inch stick of kombu (optional – I used organic, non-GMO miso instead)
4 cups homemade Kettle & Fire bone broth
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
1½ teaspoons fennel seeds
1½ teaspoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon ginger root freshly minced
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
2 cups of any mixed vegetables. I used bok choy, cilantro and dinosaur kale.
A dollop of GT’s Living Foods coconut yogurt
Sea salt to taste
-The night before (24 hours earlier), soak the mung beans in ample filtered water.
-When you’re ready to cook, drain the mung beans and rinse under running water. Prepare vegetables by peeling and chopping them up, then set all of this aside.
-Heat coconut oil over medium heat, in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add cumin, fennel, fenugreek and black mustard seeds and cook for a few minutes to release aromatics, and until the mustard seeds have popped. Add the rest of the spices and stir to combine.
-Add a cup of vegetable stock, followed by mung beans, kombu or miso, coconut cream, and vegetables, then add the rest of the stock (or water).
-Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Add more water if you want a soupier consistency, and simmer longer to get a thicker stew.
-Serve with fresh coriander chopped and folded through, a drizzle of fresh lime juice, spoon of coconut yogurt and sea salt to taste.
Recipe and Cleanse idea found at (https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/self-quantification-podcasts/7-day-liver-cleanse/)
Often when we get bad news we tend to give up and assume we have no other options other than to medicate. I get it, it’s scary but I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN HEAL YOURSELF and to NEVER GIVE UP when faced with adversity. Keep looking, keep trying and you’ll find the root cause of the problem.
Need help getting to the bottom of your current health situation? I can help! Shoot me an email at [email protected] to schedule your FREE consultation call. We’ll discuss your goals, I’ll create a personalized plan of action, and we will execute that plan together so that you’re back to looking, feeling, and performing your best.