Rachel’s Health Journey

Health is a journey…

…not a destination. So many factors contribute to whether we feel healthy or sick at any one given time. We go back and forth feeling well or not so well for days, months, years. I believe that the state of my health is my responsibility and that all of my life I have made choices that have brought me to the health outcomes I experience today.

Searching for Answers

My own encounter with functional medicine started over 15 years ago. The best that conventional medicine could do for me was to tell me I did not have celiac disease, prescribe medication for irritable bowel and send me on my way.

I was sick and I was tired of not getting any answers from those I looked to as experts.

Getting to the Root Cause

In 2006, I used my investigative skills to get to the root of my lifelong digestive and allergy symptoms which were making my life miserable. I didn’t know it at the time, but getting to the root of health problems is the specialty practice of functional medicine.

Celiac Disease? No. Gluten Sensitivity? Yes!

I spent hours doing online research about my digestive symptoms and found a reputable lab that served the celiac and gluten sensitive community. The results of the gluten sensitivity lab tests showed that I have two gluten sensitive genes and digestive issues very similar to those diagnosed with celiac disease. One of the tests showed I was sensitive to dairy.

Finally I had a plan for how to improve my health by working with my body and addressing the root cause of my symptoms. I eliminated the confirmed food triggers from my diet. The result was amazing!

A New Person!

Within one week, I could tell the change was transforming my health. Gone was the brain fog, fatigue, and abdominal pain. My allergies were no longer out of control.

Even though it was hard to avoid my food triggers, especially at a time when gluten free eating wasn’t popular, I was motivated to stick to it by how much the quality of my life had improved.

I found my own substitutions to make gluten and dairy free foods that my body could use to create health in place of sickness.

Over time my gut and immune function normalized. It isn’t exaggerating for me to say I felt like a new person!

Life Happens

Fast forward six years to 2012. I learned that food wasn’t the only trigger of sickness. I returned to college to become a registered nurse and eventually earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. During this time I experienced a great deal of stress. I was wearing too many hats!

My Many Hats

  • caregiver for a family member
  • parent of teenagers
  • non-traditional student
  • living in menopausal transition

The good health I experienced by eliminating trigger foods from my diet in 2006 was negatively affected by stress six years later. I stuck to my diet, but I didn’t know how to effectively deal with stress. Avoiding food triggers was not my only challenge.

Mindset Matters

In 2016 I took my first positive psychology and health psychology courses. I learned how important relaxation and stress reduction are to overall health and wellbeing.

Breathing and stress reduction techniques helped me get control of:

  • asthmatic symptoms
  • allergies
  • anxiety
  • self-doubts

Creating Health

Through my life experiences, I have gained valuable insight into health creation: that maintaining health is a continual journey, not a destination, and that positive dietary and lifestyle changes are the most effective tools in my healthy journey toolkit!


The information provided by Upstream Wellness Coaching is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional in the event something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.

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