Hey I’m Kris,
I’m a clinical naturopath with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Naturopathy and am a professional member of the Australian Natural Therapies Association (ANTA).
I have hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), dysautonomia and endometriosis.
See my story below as to why and how I became a clinical naturopath.
I had always been unwell as a child and had low energy, chronic pain, digestive problems and was always covered in bruises. Over time these conditions would fluctuate and I could never pin point a specific cause. This roller-coaster of symptoms continued into my 20’s where my digestive symptoms became so frequent I started to try many elimination diets, and ended up creating further food intolerances.
It was at this point I started my path towards naturopathy and nutrition by beginning to study dietetics. It was great at first, however half way through I felt something was missing to achieve my health goals. My symptoms did not fit into the categories/boxes the course was presenting me with. So, I went in search of a more individualised approach.
I found the bachelor of naturopathy degree and began to feel like I had found my purpose/individualised approach. I wanted to treat individuals who had chronic conditions like mine and were not finding answers. I began pushing myself hard to find the answers and continued the cycle of symptom flares until I crashed.
I crashed hard and in my 30’s I started to experience some neurological problems and was told I most likely had coeliac disease. I completely cut out gluten and this cleared a lot of my neurological symptoms and assisted with reducing my bloating and fatigue.
This was a BIG wake up call, my body was screaming at me to slow down. So I started to listen (for a while) and overtime changed my diet and incorporated specific supplements and western herbal medicine. The naturopathy and nutritional changes made vast improvements, although the slowing down was brief and I was back to my busy schedule and frequent symptom flares.
A few years later, I developed debilitating back pain, which led to a quick decline in physical activity and eventual cease in all activity. My back was constantly taped to decrease movement throughout most of the last year of my degree and I could barely walk. My muscles were weak and in constant pain, so I decided to again think outside the box.
Eventually with the assistance of my GP I was officially diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), a little known genetic connective tissue disease, also known an invisible illness or a complex chronic illness. I discovered this contributed to my digestive symptoms and fast paced life (termed Dysautonomia) as well as my dizziness and excessive thirst, which was later diagnosed as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia syndrome (POTS). These diagnoses were a huge epiphany and brought my symptoms together.
My Ehlers-Danlos was not solely caused by genetics (like many chronic conditions), there were nutritional deficiencies/excesses, environmental factors and lifestyle factors impeding my recovery.
This is why I take a multifactorial approach to address conditions. I personally found nutrition, nutritional supplements, western herbal medicine, meditation, physiotherapy and structured exercise to be very beneficial.
I was very closed off about my chronic complex conditions and felt a lot of guilt and shame for years over it.
These days I am an open book when it comes to discussing my hEDS and other conditions.
It is my goal to raise awareness and educate those who cannot relate and assist those fighting the same battles.
You can see more of my story and life on my social media.