I had known about the practice of Nature Cure for a number of years. My mother was a convert and, now in her late sixties, puts her fabulous youthful looks and never-ending energy down to following the principles of Nature Cure. My father has made a remarkable, post operative, recovery from Colon Cancer, mainly due to my mother’s instance he fully embraces the Nature Cure way.
I had never really put it into practise. I had adopted an almost organic vegetarian diet but, as any convert will know, this is not enough. My excuse was that I was always too busy. It takes time to adopt the lifestyle. It’s not just a diet and I just didn’t have the time, or so I thought.
I had been visiting Atul Shah regularly for treatment to a reoccurring back problem when I started to develop a serious health problem. The problem was a malfunctioning pituitary gland. This gland controls the secretion of a number of key hormones into the body and because of its function, or rather its malfunction, I quickly became aware all was not well. I can only describe it as feeling out-of-sync and my periods had stopped.
I visited the doctor who took a number of blood tests and then subsequently telephoned me whilst I was driving along the M62, to advise me that the test results indicate I may have a pituitary tumour and that I should re-visit the surgery immediately. The doctor did say that people rarely die from pituitary tumours, as the majority are benign – but you never know! So with this reassuring news, I duly returned to the surgery.
I was whisked off to a hospital to visit a Consultant Endocrinologist who took more blood and advised I should have a brain scan. I was given an MRI scan for my brain and a different type of scan to test the density of my bones, as a side-effect of a poor functioning pituitary is the increased possibility of Osteoporosis. I felt I was suddenly being sucked into a medical melodrama.
With the results of the scans, they were not able to prove I had a tumour but I definitely had a malfunctioning pituitary, however my bone density was good.
The consultant’s advise to me was to undertake a course of tablets which would not cure any possible tumour or make my pituitary function properly. They would replace the hormones. However there were a number of side effects I would suffer; I would feel ill for a number of weeks while my body adjusted to the tablets; I would not be able to drive during this time, as I might faint; and others, which I cannot now recall.
So the time had come, if I was going to make myself well I had try an alternative. I decided to fully embrace the Nature Cure lifestyle. However, I had to tell the Consultant that I did not want his tablets and that I was going to try an alternative method. He was not convinced that if I ceased to drink tea and coffee I would cure myself, I did try to explain there was more to it than that. I must admit the Consultant was very accommodating and at no time did he make me feel as if I was making a big mistake. He agreed to monitor my progress and I was to return to his surgery on a 3 monthly basis, after a period of time this would probably be extended to 6 monthly visits. My next appointment was booked for 3 months hence.
I was lucky, I already knew a lot about the principles of Nature Cure, I had practising parents who were able to offer advise and support and of course I was fully supported, and not pressured, by Atul.
Unfortunately at this time I also developed asthma. I had always believed asthma was a children’s disease and that they grew up with it – wrong. It can arrive at any time. Looking back I know the asthma was probably a reaction to the stress, not only from the pituitary issue but I also had a very demanding job in which I often worked in excess of 50 hours a week.
I was prescribed two inhalers for my asthma, a steroid based one to reduce inflammation and a relief one to ensure I was able to breathe. This frustrated me as taking these drugs counteracted the good work of Nature Cure. The doctor advised me I had no choice – that was a challenge!
Jean Tilley advised me of exercises I could do to help relax and breathe more easily and Atul ensured my back was properly aligned to help my breathing. I also discovered two books, Freedom from Asthma and Breathing Free. Both taught me to relax and undertake breathing exercises. They put the asthma into perspective. I, personally, was not going to die from the asthma. I quickly took myself off the asthma drugs undertook the breathing exercises and continued with my Nature Cure lifestyle. I re-visited the doctor for tests who said, my drugs must be helping as my lung capacity had improved and my breathing was much better. I told him I hadn’t been taking the drugs.
I returned to the Consultant Endocrinologist for my 3 monthly visit and was advised I had not made much of an improvement and I was also loosing weight quite quickly, which was a concern. The loss of weight, as far as I was concerned, was a compound effect of the pituitary, the asthma and stress, and I hoped it would right itself once I had managed to find my platform. The consultant enquired if I had had any tea or coffee!!
Another three months passed: During these three months I began to feel improvements. My mood lifted, the texture of my skin improved, my nails stopped breaking and I seemed to have more energy. I returned to the consultant and this time there was a remarkable change to the pituitary, so
much so that the Consultant wanted to know more about Nature Cure. He advised that I did not need to visit for another 6 months.
I continued with my Nature Cure lifestyle and began to have improvements in my ability to manage difficult situations. I felt stronger, my energy levels continued to rise and everyone started to comment on how young I was looking. Fantastic, an alternative to plastic surgery!
I returned to the Consultant who advised there had not been such a remarkable change this time, but I was still heading in the right direction. During this session he asked two of his juniors to join us and asked me to tell them why I had stopped drinking tea and coffee. I was to return in six months’ time.
For another six months I continued on Nature Cure. However because I was feeling so good, and felt encouraged by the Consultant’s comments, I must admit that during this next six months I did occasionally have something to eat or drink which was not quite ‘Nature Cure’, although I always tried to ensure it was the best quality and if possible organic, and I did not drink tea or coffee!!
Although I did not know it at the time, the next appointment was to be my final one with the Consultant. The results from the final tests were not perfect, but very good. The Consultant said he was convinced that I did not have a tumour and that my pituitary was almost functioning correctly, although I had not had a period. He said there was no longer any need to see him and he would refer me back to my surgery where my progress would be checked in 6 months’ time.
By now I had regained some of the weight I had lost and was stable at a healthy weight for by height (5’3” 8 St 7llbs/10llbs), but still no periods, which really is the ultimate test of a properly functioning pituitary. I was feeling good about life and began to question the long and demanding hours I was giving to the large multi-national company for whom I was working.
Just prior to my 6 monthly check-up at my local surgery I had a period. I visited the surgery and advised them of this momentous happening, they didn’t share my joy but seem satisfied that I was functioning normally and only if the periods stopped for a long time was I to revisit.
This all took place during 1999/2000. It is now March 2002. My pituitary is functioning correctly, although it was only towards the end of 2001 that I felt fully in-sync and began to have frequent, although irregular, periods.
Looking at the dates, it now seems a long time since I decided to take the Nature Cure path. However it has not been difficult nor unpleasant it has been a life-improving experience.
I continue to follow the principles of Nature Cure, although I’m not perfect and am tempted occasionally by things which are too sweet, too colourful and sometimes too drinkable to be good for me. I still do not drink coffee, nor do I miss it. I very occasionally have a cup of tea, usually when there is no alternative available.
I gave up my very demanding life-consuming job during 2001 to run my own business and am reaping the benefits of an improved quality of life. I’ve never felt better. Atul even says the health of my back has also improved – long may it last.
CR (N Yorks)