Shauna’s Journey to Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor: A Story of Healing and Joy

NATUROPATHIC BLOG

Future Doctor As Teacher

Written May 2023 (Testing in November 2021)

After 7 years of competitive bodybuilding and ignoring my gut instinct, my body finally said no more. Traditional blood work had shown all my sex hormones were tanked, my waking cortisol was through the roof, my thyroid levels were almost nonexistent, and it seemed the only option to help me regain normal functioning of my life would be hormone replacement therapy (HRT). From what I knew at this time, once you start this process, your body stops making the hormones it needs because why would it work double time when you are supplying the hormones through an injection, right? At age 31, I couldn’t imagine this being the rest of my life.

I sat with much regret about the decisions I had made up until this point until I realized there had to be a better way. Shaming myself for my discipline and dedication to a sport I loved would not heal me. Healing starts in the mind, and until I believed that I could and would get better, I knew I wouldn’t. I made small but attainable goals as I shifted out of lifting every day and began taking more walks outside and attending vinyasa or recovery yoga classes.

The truth is, I cried more tears than I had in a long time. I had difficulty getting out of bed, the insomnia was debilitating, and for the first time in my life, I had experienced true anxiety and depression all at once. The worst part was feeling like no one understood what this felt like. All the people I had turned towards in the past didn’t have answers for me, so I knew it was up to me to pull myself together and figure it out.

Fast forward 6 months after retiring from the bodybuilding stage, I moved to Colorado and started researching local naturopathic physicians. The woman I resonated with most was Dr. Francesca Quinn, who studied in Arizona at SCNM. Her Vitality Natural Medicine practice is in Denver, Colorado, about 45 minutes from my home. At this point, I couldn’t put a price tag on feeling better. I was unsure as to how expensive this healing journey would be since these doctors do not take insurance, but whatever it was, I would find a way to manage it.

After a 90-minute consultation, blood work, a urine sample, and even a stool sample, we had a starting point. The test results showed I had:

GENETIC MUTATION FOR CELIAC DISEASE

SEVERE LEAKY GUT (Zonulin Level at 790)

HYDROGEN SULFIDE SIBO

ADRENAL FATIGUE borderline Exhaustion

GIARDIA

H PYLORI

GLUTEN SENSITIVITY- Antigliadin IgA

NO DOPAMINE

NO SEROTONIN

NO VITAMIN C

LOW VITAMIN D

NO MENSTRUAL CYCLE for 2 years

SEVERE MERCURY POISONING (Found 1 year later) Levels at 220

Significant MOLD Exposure

It has been two years of appointments, herbs, brain rewiring, acupuncture, chiropractic, hydrotherapy, and Reiki. Throughout this journey, I felt that I had reached a plateau as a nutrition and training coach. I learned an exuberant amount about healing that I never knew before, and this was scratching the surface. I decided to launch myself into a very uncomfortable position and deep dive into what it would take for me to become the doctor that took me so long to find.

Here we are, starting school in 5 weeks. For the next 4-5 years of my life, I will learn all I can to help others get to the root cause of their illness instead of covering it up with a band-aid and pills.

𝒾𝓁𝓁𝓃𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝒾𝓈 𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝑔𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓉𝑒𝓈𝓉 𝓉𝑒𝒶𝒸𝒽𝑒𝓇

ℒ𝑜𝓋𝑒, 𝒮𝒽𝒶𝓊𝓃𝒶

About

Shauna Dittl

Hey! I’m Shauna! Your daily dose of joy and sunshine. With over 10 years in the medical field as a Diagnostic Sonographer, 5 years as the CEO of my own certified personal training and nutrition coaching business, motivational podcaster, best selling author and future Naturopathic Physician, I’ve got what it takes to help you develop your own superhero muscles.