Enjoy this guest post from Wahls Protocol® Health Practitioner Cassidy Kelly of Jackerbee Health:
Changing The Narrative
I write this as my two young children are peacefully sleeping, never having yet experienced frustration with their bodies. Sure, my baby might be frustrated by not being able to crawl yet, but how desperately I hope they will never feel disappointment, resentment, or hatred directed at themself, similar to what I felt for many years towards my own body.
If you asked me eight years ago to name something I was grateful for about my body, I wouldn’t have been able to name a single thing. I was facing severe chronic pain, weight gain, eczema, anxiety, and had been told I would never be able to have a child myself. Fighting both an invisible disease without a diagnosis, or an autoimmune disease, with a seemingly failing body was exhausting. I knew something had to change.
Given the rise of autoimmune disorders and the increase of mental health struggles, researchers have been diving deeper into the relationship between the two. It has been shown that there is a definite correlation, and even causation, between certain autoimmune diseases and the onset of mental illness (Siegmann et al., 2018). There are closely tied brain and peripheral immune responses which further support the intricate relationship between autoimmunity and psychiatric health. The pro-inflammatory cytokines at play with an autoimmune disease adversely effect synaptic plasticity, neurotrophic substances, as well as monoaminergic neurotransmission. This cellular level reaction to chronic elevated inflammation in the body can result in the onset of such mental health issues (Nerurkar et al., 2018). With this information, it is imperative to recognize that autoimmune dysfunction can propel the cycle of anxiety and depression, and thus one must prioritize healing the whole body.
I found the Wahls Protocol® in 2016 and it drastically changed the course of my life. I dove headfirst into this protocol as my last option before beginning a form of chemotherapy as treatment to suppress my “overactive immune system.” I have a vivid memory of grocery shopping in San Francisco with my Wahls book in hand, and my dad with me for emotional support. I gathered up the essentials — liver, coconut milk, and endless produce — and made my way back to my apartment to try and figure out how to implement this protocol.
Fast forward to the present day, and I am grateful for my body. I am grateful it gave me my two beautiful children. I am grateful for the battle scars it carries, as a reminder of how far I have come. I am grateful for what I learned through the years of suffering and confusion. I am grateful I healed myself utilizing the Wahls Protocol®.
Your body is all you know. It is your first and only home; but how counterintuitive, and necessary, it is to thank your body on your hardest days and find reason to celebrate it. Oftentimes, with a scary diagnosis is accompanied with distrust and anger for the body that is betraying you. But I urge you to fight to love your body. Daily gratitude practices, mindfulness, and nourishing your body in the best way possible can positively change the outcome of your disease progression. Regaining my health changed my relationship with my body and taught me the value of accepting and loving my body, despite its challenges.
I urge you take the leap and believe in the “what ifs”. What if you can walk without the scooter again? What if you can make it through the day without debilitating pain? What if you can take your life back? At Jackerbee Health, I support my clients through the complete process by encouraging, teaching, and holding them up as they navigate this new way of life. My one-on-one program allows clients to get the personalized care they deserve, and the emotional support that is crucial to anyone’s success.
- Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of the Western States
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco
- Registered Nurse with experience in the following fields: Gastrointestinal RN (Stanford Healthcare), Orthopedic perioperative RN, and Emergency Department RN
- Wahls Protocol® Certified Health Practitioner
- Certificate of Education in Celiac Disease from the University of Chicago
- Assisted with research at Stanford Healthcare studying virtual reality and the management of chronic abdominal pain, published in 2020
I am a nurse, a mother, and living proof that food can be tremendously healing when battling autoimmune disease and dysfunction. My own health crisis paired with navigating traditional western medicine ultimately led me to completing my Masters degree in Functional Medicine and Human Nutrition, and now it is my goal to share my knowledge and help you restore your health, wellness, and confidence.
When I learned of the possibility of becoming a Wahls Certified Health Professional, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only did I want to meet the woman who changed my life, but I also genuinely wanted to deepen my knowledge for a weekend in a room full of like-minded individuals.
By learning the protocol directly from Dr. Wahls herself and becoming certified to teach her methods, I have been able to share this knowledge with clients and guide them through their journey of implementing the Wahls Protocol. Additionally, many of us need accountability when implementing a big life change, especially surrounding diet and lifestyle. I have been through this myself, I have needed a lot of help, I have fallen off, I have gotten back on, all with the support of my team. I strive to be that support for all of my clients while teaching them the Wahls Protocol®.
Work with me: visit https://jackerbeehealth.com
Nerurkar L, Siebert S, McInnes IB, Cavanagh J. Rheumatoid arthritis and depression: an inflammatory perspective. Lancet Psychiatry. 2019 Feb;6(2):164-173. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30255-4. Epub 2018 Oct 23. PMID: 30366684.
Siegmann EM, Müller HHO, Luecke C, Philipsen A, Kornhuber J, Grömer TW. Association of Depression and Anxiety Disorders With Autoimmune Thyroiditis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 1;75(6):577-584. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0190. Erratum in: JAMA Psychiatry. 2019 Jun 19;: PMID: 29800939; PMCID: PMC6137529.