For some people, the road to recovery includes taking the path of natural health care treatment.
Joanne Sutherland of Stilwell is one of those people. For the past 10 years, she has suffered from headaches, fatigue, indigestion and irritability. It wasn't until six months ago, when she sought advice from a local expert, that she really started seeing an improvement in her health.
"I was struggling with hormonal problems, and just couldn't get any answers from the regular medical community," Sutherland said. "I was at my chiropractor and he had mentioned Lynn, so I thought 'What the heck, I'll give it a try.'"
She consulted with Lynn Quiring, who owns the Medicine Shoppe, 1807 Mass., and Lawrence Natural Health Care, 1311 Wakarusa Drive.
Quiring is a homeopathic pharmacist and a certified clinical nutritionist. With Sutherland, Quiring focused on the digestive track. He suggested taking a few vitamins and minerals and making a few diet changes.
"There were some particular symptoms that she had that clued me into some particular areas that were of concern," Quiring said. "She has some gastrointestinal problems some indigestion, some reflux."
These symptoms are often a sign of immune system problems, he said.
"Sixty to 70 percent of our body's immune system function comes from the gastrointestinal track," Quiring said. "We often don't realize how important that is to our body's immunity."
Sutherland altered her diet by adding foods with protein and removing most sugars.
"We began to do some things nutritionally and supplementally to correct some of these problems," Quiring said.
Sutherland has also given birth to five children, which may have contributed to her hormonal imbalance.
"Pregnancies do affect the hormonal system," Quiring said. "Not everyone returns to normal after childbirth."
Many things can affect the body's hormones, including the liver.
"The liver is an organ that is responsible for neutralizing and removing the body's own hormones." he said. "When the liver is not working up to its capacity, sometimes hormones can accumulate in the system."
Quiring said chemicals in the environment also have a big effect on hormones.
"There are a lot of chemicals in our environment, including pesticides and herbicides, which in the female body will mimic the effects of hormones," he said. "Now we have an outside influence that is simulating those receptor sites as well and certainly you can see how a hormonal imbalance could develop very easily."
Sutherland said learning more about her body and the internal and external factors that affect it has helped her make healthier decisions.
"My energy level has increased 100 percent," she said. "Everything is just getting better."