Leah McCullough was in pain, discouraged, and exhausted. She had spent the last six years of her illness in bed for 12-16 hours a day. She had tried over 50 medications with no positive results. Fibromyalgia seemed like a life sentence for Leah. She is one of 5 million sufferers in the U.S. (It is the most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis).
Through her journey, Leah learned that susceptibility to disease comes from a variety of factors: toxins in our environment, damaged digestive systems, vaccinations, antibiotics, poor nutrition, our genetic makeup and even our outlook and attitudes.
Leah was determined to turn things around. Healing began with meditation and prayer. It continued through adopting the Wise Traditions diet, addressing her leaky gut, and assisting her body with detoxification. She now reaches out to help others diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases. The story of how she regained her health will inspire you to make changes of your own!
Fibromyalgia is the most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis. Often misdiagnosed and misunderstood,,its characteristics include widespread muscle and joint pain and overwhelming fatigue. Leah spent 20 years getting worse and worse. She was actually relieved when after six years she finally received her fibromyalgia diagnosis, but traditional medicine failed her. She tried over 50 different medications to treat her pain and the depression and anxiety which developed from the pain and isolation she suffered, and all to no avail. Now, eight years later, she has fully recovered, became pregnant at age 40 and is now the proud mother of a seven year-old boy.
Leah’s journey began with spiritual inspiration from many sources that led to her first step—changing her thinking. That, in turn, led to her work with alternative health experts who recommended treatments including detoxification minerals, probiotic supplements, and a new way of eating.
Below are highlights from our conversation:
- Most people don’t know it is possible to recover from fibromyalgia, but Leah was healed nearly 20 years after first contracting the disease.
- Leah’s diagnosis took seven years, and she was told by a succession of doctors that she had a variety of diagnoses. She was also told that it was “all in her head.”
- She spent tens of thousands of dollars on nearly 50 different medications, until finally her physician, who she describes as a “maverick” encouraged her to try alternative healing.
- For the last six years of her illness, she spent 12 to 16 hours of every day in bed. Leah drew upon her faith and the example of her German grandmother who, although house-bound, was a woman of deep faith who spent her time praying for people all over the world. This encouraged Leah to pray and to work on changing her outlook through meditation and positive thinking.
- Inspired by a dream that she had returned to work, she began to meditate on her goal of “optimal health” and a short time later attended a lecture by Victoria Smith, an alternative health practitioner from Florence, Kentucky. This led to a regime that restored her health within a year, even to the point of allowing her to achieve a healthy pregnancy that resulted in the birth of her now 7 year-old son.
- Leah’s work explains her belief that a variety of factors, including toxins, a damaged digestive system, vaccines, antibiotics and bad nutrition, along with a person’s genetic makeup can result in different illnesses. In her case, the result was fibromyalgia.
- She characterized her actual detoxification treatment regimen as “easy.” She used a specific type of micronized zeolites, a very gentle form of a mineral which absorbs toxins in the body. She supplemented the treatment with a therapeutic grade antibiotic which jump-started the long slow process of healing her digestive system.
- She explains that if your digestive system or “gut” isn’t working properly, food, or its components such as proteins, begins to leach out of the gut and actually starts to poison you. While it is estimated that somewhere between 2 to 6 percent of the population suffers from fibromyalgia, the basic symptoms of chronic pain, fatigue, mild depression, and anxiety characterizes 75% of the population. Leah believes that many of these people can be benefit from her regime of detoxification and gut healing.
- Fibromyalgia is generally not a simple diagnosis, but is often linked to one of two or more coexisting conditions, which often include depression and anxiety. The isolation caused by the pain can lead to despair and in some cases to suicide.
- Frustrated and angry that she had suffered for so long, Leah has chosen to reach out and help others who struggle with fibromyalgia hoping to shorten their path to health. In addition to her two books, her website, and the online coaching sessions she provides on the website, she travels widely to tell her story and offer hope and information to others.
- In her first book Freedom From Fibromyalgia, Seven Steps to Complete Recovery her goal is to take everything she learned about fibromyalgia and systematize it so people could easily follow it.
- On her path to healing, Leah explored nutrition, and came to embrace many of the tenets of the Weston Price diet. She describes the health benefits she experienced from switching to full fats and broth, and in fact includes a recipe for “Raise the Dead” chicken broth on her website, crediting the inspiration for the name to Sally Fallon Morell.
- She also explores the benefits of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s “Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS)” diet and describes her three years of work developing palatable recipes for liver, a food she believes in for its health benefits, but did not initially enjoy eating.
Freedom From Fibromyalgia: Seven Steps to Complete Recovery by Leah McCullough
GAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D.