Endometriosis is a very serious and painful illness impacting women’s lives, but it’s still underdiagnosed and largely under-researched by doctors. Misty Williams joins me to talk about her own health journey with endometriosis, what she’s learned navigating this illness, and how she became a persistent advocate for her own health. Misty also helps other women become persistent advocates for themselves!
Listen to the Episode
Symptoms of Endometriosis
- Prolonged, Heavy Periods
- Extremely Painful Cramps
- Weight Gain
- Brain Fog
- Epstein-Barr Virus
- Sleep Issues
About Misty Williams
Misty Williams spent years struggling to reclaim her health and vitality after a brain fog and fatigue tailspin from life-threatening complications from surgery to remove an ovarian cyst.
Afterward, her doctor told her she had endometriosis. The only remedies were drugs and surgery, her labs were “normal,” and she could “google” to learn more about what was happening to her body.
At 35 years old, Misty started fighting for her quality of life, enduring many more challenges on her road to healing, including an unexplained 45-lb weight gain, debilitating brain fog, fatigue, hypothyroidism, and premature ovarian failure.
She founded HealingRosie.com to provide high-performing women with the resources and community to successfully confront the unexpected chronic health issues that women often experienced as they age.
Endometriosis is a Painful, Debilitating Condition
Misty Williams’ story is, sadly, not uncommon. So many women’s health concerns are not taken seriously by their doctors, but that’s one of the reasons why Misty encourages women to learn how to advocate for their own health! Persistence and your own research is absolutely vital for taking control of your own health.
It’s been almost ingrained in us that prolonged, heavy periods and extremely painful cramps are just a normal part of being a woman. Misty wants you to know that this isn’t true… and that it could be a sign that you have a more serious health concern, such as endometriosis.
While endometriosis is a painful and debilitating condition, as Misty explains, it also could be a symptom of something else. Misty shares how her toxic burden contributed to her developing endometriosis and premature ovarian failure. She says part of her toxic load came from mold exposure and dental work!
Take Control of Your Health
One of Misty’s biggest frustrations with her hormonal health is her sleep schedule. She says that poor sleep contributes to her endometriosis symptoms and that it’s an essential part of her health to get a good, healthy night’s sleep.
We also talk about why it’s easier for some women to heal than others. A lot of this comes down to your environment, personal toxic load, and genetics. This is why it’s so important for you to get your personal toxic load and exposure reduced so that you can have more opportunities to heal.
Misty also encourages you to take control of your own life. When you don’t have a support system, take on more responsibility than you can manage, and don’t advocate for yourself, you’re giving away your power. Your health comes down to you – how are you taking control?
Are you concerned about your hormones and menstrual cycle? Do you experience painful, prolonged periods? Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“I’ve since learned that conventional thought is that we don’t know what causes endometriosis, you can Google it. But also, my experience a decade later is that we actually do know a lot about how to manage endometriosis if you care about knowing. If you look in the right places, you can absolutely find a lot of information.” [7:35]
“Finally, my doctor said, ‘Misty, even if I did run labs, I wouldn’t know what they meant.’ As a patient, I am shocked and sitting in doctors’ offices’ mind blown. I can’t even believe I’m hearing this from people. My perception was that, as a doctor, I’m going to go to you and you’re going to help me heal my body and know what’s going on my body. The reality was something very different.” [10:14]
“It was very uncomfortable to consider asking other people for help. I felt vulnerable and exposed. I felt weak in a way that was very disempowering because of how I saw things. It’s been a big part of my journey over the last decade to shift how I saw that and to learn how to live in a way that I’m being supported.” [29:57]
“[Women] don’t often see where we need support in order to fulfill our responsibilities. We will take responsibility on without the support we need to be successful and then we will run ourselves into the ground.” [31:16]
“We are conditioned to believe them and trust them and not have to think and worry about it. I think this is a part of our society that is toxic and evil. It’s something that we all have to be more present to. At the end of the day, we are accountable for ourselves. At the end of the day, nobody else, whatever you feel about judgment and life beyond here, no one else is answering for you.” [37:02]
“What I want for our community is for women to have permission. And then I want them to have the tools, know the labs, what are your optimal values? I want you to know about the things that really could be making you sick and this is what you need to be looking at with your doctor. I want you to know how to find a doctor and how to talk to your doctor. I want you to advocate for yourself with the health insurance that tries to tell you things aren’t covered. There are strategies for all of this stuff but until you decide that you’re going to sit in the driver’s seat and figure this stuff out, you’re going to spin in sick.” [39:20]
“We don’t get a do-over on giving our power away and letting other people tell us, ‘this is the path you should go down,’ even though something inside of us says, ‘that isn’t right.’ I want everyone to know their own power and know what they can do.” [40:55]
In This Episode
- The importance of advocating for yourself [9:00]
- What you need to know about prolonged heavy periods and extremely painful cramps [12:00]
- What can possibly lead to endometriosis [14:30]
- How toxin overload can lead to premature ovarian failure [18:00]
- Why you need to improve your sleep schedule if you have hormone issues [24:00]
- Why it’s easier for some women to heal [25:45]
- Why more and more people are getting sick and the importance of reducing our toxic burden [35:00]
- How chronic illness connects to not being in control of your life [37:30]
- The importance of your own persistence [44:00]
Links & Resources
Misty Williams 0:02
Things are fine and it's okay and your body just needs to recover. Everything's going to be fine. And finally she said Misty, even if I did run labs, I wouldn't know what they meant.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Misty Williams today she'll share why it's hard to diagnose deep stressors, the types of stress that break our bodies down and talk about testing and healing for deep often overlook stressors. Let's get started.
Thanks for joining me for another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast. today. My guest is misty Williams, who spent years struggling to reclaim her health and vitality after brain fog and fatigue Tailspin from life threatening complications from surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. Afterward, her doctor told her she had endometriosis. The only remedies were drugs and surgery, her labs were normal and she could Google to learn more about what was happening to her body. At 35 years old, Misty started fighting for her quality of life, and during many more challenges on her road to healing, including an unexplained 45 pound weight gain debilitating brain fog, fatigue, hypothyroidism, and premature ovarian failure. She founded healing rose.com, to provide high performing women with the resources and community to successfully confront the unexpected chronic health issues that women often experienced as they age. Welcome to the show. Misty,
Misty Williams 1:34
I'm so excited to be here. Thank you.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:37
So let's start at the beginning. Is there even a beginning? So it sounds like you as I read your bio, it sounds like your journey started with a routine physical where you asked your doctor to do an ultrasound because you were 35. And you know, worried about your ability to have children. So what was found and where did that lead you?
Misty Williams 1:54
Yeah, yeah, well, they found an ovarian cyst on my left ovary and told me I needed to have surgery to have it removed. We booked it for the next week. I remember the time just feeling like Oh, okay. And remember the CES, okay, it just, it seemed all very uneventful. The next week I went in it was an outpatient surgery, I didn't tell anybody that I was even having surgery except my mother. She literally nobody even knew at that time of my life, which is a theme that I eventually unpacked and really had to, you know, instigate a lot of healing around. But at that time of my life, I was Uber Uber independent, and I was the one that everyone could count on. And I didn't really have people I could count on not because people didn't want to be there for me, but because of just how I lived.
I am the oldest of four and have always been the person that is responsible for everybody else that I did not even know how to welcome support into my life. And that was a theme in this whole experience for me about yep, I had the surgery. It was a 20 minute outpatient surgery, I was supposed to go home and recover. And it was a Thursday and I was going to do a follow up call with the doctor on Monday, we were just going to debrief on everything. And I remember coming to in the recovery room, like I was coming out of a deep pit and come to find out the surgery went two and a half hours. Because they found a bunch of stuff when they opened me up, which was in retreat osis they found endometriosis in my abdomen and spent an extra two hours removing scar tissue and I went home.
And after about four or five hours I started vomiting, which was not on the list. By the way, they give you a list that says if these things happen, here's what you do. There was no vomiting, vomiting was not supposed to be a side effect of this surgery or a possibility. So I reached out to my doctor and left message after message at her clinic next day was a Friday. So they were still open technically, but I never got a call back to this day. My suspicion is that no one ever even told the doctor I was trying to call. That's what I suspect. So I went into the weekend not able to keep down food or water, kept vomiting kept vomiting. And by Monday, I was in a lot of pain. My abdomen was very swollen. And I just felt like there was pressure like someone to hook me up to, you know, an air pump and just
so, Monday afternoon, but 20 minutes after I was supposed to have heard from my doctor, I called the office because she didn't call me like she was supposed to find out that she'd gone home sick that day. And of course I was by that point just overwhelmed and infuriated. Like, like, I don't matter here, like no one. Nobody cares. That's really what it felt like. So the next morning was a Tuesday and I went up to the doctor's office and checked in with the receptionist. I'm here to see the doctor and she said, Well, the doctor is not coming in till 1230 Why don't you come back? Nope. I will wait. I will not leave until I see the doctor. And about an hour later. The doctor calls me and tells me that she wants me to go to Baptist Hospital to the emergency room. She was going to have doctors waiting for me. She was very sorry about this. And she didn't give me much information.
I had no idea why she wanted me to go over there. I just was like Well at least at least I'm talking to her six days later. And they did an MRI and found out that they stitched up part of my small intestine and that's why I was vomiting. So They wouldn't be back for another surgery. They admitted me to the hospital this time for observation and recovery to make sure that I recovered. Okay. And every night after the surgery they came in and they gave me a Ambien, which I remember at the time thinking, are you giving me a Ambien, I don't have trouble sleeping, I don't take anything to sleep. And they sent me home after I recovered three days later.
I remember calling a friend, I don't know why this is coming up in this interview, need to hear it. I remember calling a friend that I barely knew and asking her to pick me up from the airport because I felt really uncomfortable. asking my friends for help. And reflecting as my journey unfolded, I started to see that I had this pattern in my life of, of not being supported, not because people didn't love me, but because of how I kept choosing to show up in the world. And it was conditioning that went all the way back to childhood. You know, I have the story just like everybody else. But I went home and I didn't sleep for six days, I went 144 hours without sleep. It was awful. I was unraveling. It's not that I wasn't tired, I was utterly exhausted, I was losing my mind. Sure. Laying in bed, begging God for sleep. I remember the first night being awake all night laying there so exhausted, my body would not slip into sleep.
And the next day being like, gosh, and I would get up and try to function for the day. But you do that for a couple of days. And you're just a zombie. I mean, it was terrifying. And of course, I didn't call the doctor's office because what had happened to me previously, you know, now I'm just not able to sleep. And I've connected all the dots later, right? Talk to really smart people that helped me see Oh, well, when you have that much stress for a prolonged period of time you build up so much cortisol in your system, that your body can't make any of your sleep hormones, you're just you know, under so much duress, it was six days, by the way of me having my small intestine stitched up. And I also went six days without sleep.
And I'm sure there's some kind of you know, parallel there of like, there's things being connected together. But it was terrifying. And after I went in for a follow up with my doctor, two weeks later, I asked her what causes endometriosis. In my head, I was thinking, I will do anything, I will make whatever lifestyle changes I need to make to take care of my body and reverse this. And she said, we don't know what causes endometriosis. You can Google it, I can put you on birth control, or we can do surgery again. And immediately. Something inside of me was like, Mayday, mayday, like alarm bells. Were going off in my head like yeah, like, Whoa, you're an OBGYN. And you don't know anything about endometriosis, which has been, you know, part of the lexicon for at least 100 years.
I mean, we know this is a thing. How do you not know anything about endometriosis? And I've since learned that it's true that is conventional thought that we don't know what causes endometriosis. You can Google it, but also my experience is a decade later that we actually do know a lot about how to manage endometriosis, right? If you care about knowing if you look in the right places, you can absolutely find a lot of stuff. But you know, as a patient back in those days, I had no idea I just went home, terrified, like what am I going to do? My quality of life is slipping from my hands. I just had surgery, it was very traumatic, like the whole thing was so traumatic and it really started my journey which which was just getting my life back. I was 35 at the time running half marathons, I've been an entrepreneur, most of my career, you know, I I had a really vibrant life.
And it was very scary to think about a future where now I'm struggling with disease. And you know, I started I started spinning out in other ways. After this experience, I started having crazy brain fog where I felt like my head was stuffed with cotton balls and my thoughts couldn't get through, you know, I just was I had such a hard time thinking and as someone who my whole career is my mind my mind, right? Like, what do you do when you can't think it was super terrifying and the fatigue was just crazy after that. And before this experience before I went in for that physical that routine physical that was, you know, supposed to be pretty nondescript, I never had fatigue or brain fog issues. Right.
So after this happened, suddenly it feels like my body just isn't the same. And I really started looking for answers. And this is I mean, we could probably talk for two hours about everything that happened in the journey. But suffice to say, what I had to do was wanted to advocate for myself, and it was hard and advocacy the first few years. I was in Nashville, Tennessee, it's not the same as Austin, Texas, where I live now we're advocating here is easy and great because we just have a different kind of community here different kind of health community here in Nashville at the time.
I don't know what it's like now, but back then there were very few functional medicine doctors I did find an integrative doctor immediately but I can't say that my experience with him was much different than anyone else except he would actually run my labs which was great because some doctors wouldn't even run my labs right I went back to my primary care doctor and was told her everything I'd been experiencing it's been six months at this time and I'm still dealing with the fog and the fatigue and, and these question marks in my head of like, what happened to me, you know, and She really pushed back on my energy of like, let's let's run tests and let's see what's going on in my body and, and she just pushed back and pushed back and you know, your labs are normal and everything is fine. Things are fine and it's okay and your body just needs to recover, everything's gonna be fine.
And finally she said, Misty, even if I did run labs, I wouldn't know what they meant. And it was another like I am as a patient, I am shocked. I'm sitting in doctor's offices, like mind blown emoji, right? Like, I can't even believe I'm hearing this from people like my perception was that as a doctor, I'm going to go to you and you're going to help me heal my body and you know, what's going on in our bodies and the reality was something very, very different. You know, and I have dozens of stories like this of things that I experienced with doctors and you know, eventually learned a better way of advocating better doctors and I started looking at different things. I started learning the things that really make us sick. You know, what really makes us sick isn't endometriosis. Endometriosis? Is the result of deeper things that are making us sick, right? But I want to go there to not know that
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:07
I want to go there. But can I go back in time because I also have had stage four endometriosis I've had multiple laparoscopy is and I have a whole story with infertility and whatnot. Way better now. I have no pain with my cycles and was able to conceive a child however. So there's, there's good news, but let me go back. Were you having painful cycles when you went in to see your doctor? Were you having any symptoms or or no symptoms?
Misty Williams 11:27
Major? Oh, yeah. But but it was very normalized in my worlds, like, my girlfriend's had painful cycles. And I would tell my doctors or GYN is about my painful cycles. And it's like, you know, women have painful cycles. So I didn't do a seven day period is a really long period. I mean, I would bleed so heavily the first four days and I would go through super plus tampons in an hour. Like I had really heavy my cramping was so bad, I would have to sleep with the heating pad. And, you know, I popped ibuprofen like it was candy. So I definitely had all the telltale signs of endometriosis.
But it didn't occur to me that something was wrong. It did not occur to me that something was wrong. And I can tell you that it didn't occur to my girlfriend's either. We all just thought, well, Aunt Flo comes once a month and she brings cramps and she brings bleeding and she brings, you know, long periods. You know, we need ibuprofen, we need heating pads pass the my doll, you know, it just it's so normalized, like women do not even know that something is wrong. And this is this is a deeper systemic issue in our entire culture, by the way, not just in medicine where
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:29
and not just for endometriosis. Yeah, but still, yeah, everything. Yes,
Misty Williams 12:33
the plight of women is overlooked and minimized. And you know, we have all these symptoms and what's happening in our body. And it's, you know, they put women in asylums 1000 years, 100 years ago, in the 1800s, women went into asylums when they, you know, were insistent that something was wrong, or they had, they were disturbed in a way that, you know, wasn't easily handled by their husbands. And by the way, they did not have to consent, their husband could just say, my, my wife needs to be committed, and she was committed, she had virtually no, right.
So you think about where we weren't where we were, and it wasn't really that long ago, you know, to where we are now. I mean, it's there's just a lot of systemic things that still need to be eradicated. And, you know, that's what we get to do we get to shine the light. That's, that's really what my mission is now is to shine the light and help people know, give them another narrative. You know, these are all narratives, right? So here's another narrative about what's happening. And you know, how can you really empower yourself?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:27
I love you talking about advocacy, and yes, and empowerment. And I think this is why functional medicine is so extremely important, because again, for we'll just use endometriosis as this example. But for endometriosis, it is entirely normalized, that it's fine to just take ibuprofen, right or take birth control for decades. Why No, I never took birth control. My parents never let me go that route. They were thankfully they were like absolutely no. But I popped lots of ibuprofen, which led to fructose intolerance, a lot of gut issues, I ended up you know, testing positive for celiac. You know, lo and behold, there is definitely an association between celiac and endometriosis. But taking all the medications just destroyed my gut and further led to food sensitivities and whatnot.
Again, none of my doctors Well, my chiropractor actually was the only one that could you know, maybe draw any sort of association back then when I was young before even knew about functional medicine, whatnot. So it is really sad, but that is why I think functional medicine exists, thankfully, and we do have to be an advocate. And I want to know so I already mentioned a little bit of my story, but I want to know what do you think and what did you discover you mentioned you know, you connected the dots with lifestyle and whatnot. What did you find? What do you think made you sick? What led to the endometriosis?
Misty Williams 14:36
Well, I'm surely surely there were genetic things at play, right? And things in my lifestyle. Were triggering those things genetically. So, you know, you look back it's hard to it's hard to say we can only like try to read the tea leaves, right and speculate about what really happened and what was going on. But certainly I was exposed to a lot of inflammation. And I think about my diet growing up like how we ate like, my mom's version of healthy was doing wheat bread instead of white bread. That was The world that I came from when we did a lot of macaroni and cheese and hamburger helper and got these, I mean, I'm sure everything I was putting in my mouth as a kid was creating inflammation in my body, you know, and then who knows what else I was exposed to.
In my environment. I mean, we've since I've since learned, and if you've been around the space for a while, you know that, that toxicity in some form is what's causing the inflammation for all of us, you know, and it could be it's, it's a toxin, you can kind of wrap your head around, but we also have like toxic emotions, toxic lifestyles, I mean, I went through some big T, and some little T traumas as a kid. And so all of these things really add up, I remember, I'm sure one of the homes we lived in at least had some kind of mold problem. So, you know, there's just there's a lot of things that were probably stacking on top of each other. And you know, when you're exposed to a lot of inflammation, this is when your genes start expressing. And so whatever you're genetically predisposed to tends to, you know, reveal itself. But when I look back, I remember for my second period, on my first period, I don't remember being super heavy. But for my second period on, it was a really heavy, seven day period. I mean, it was the entire time that I've been menstruating. It's been really heavy. It's not now, right, but before the surgery pre 35. So yeah, I'm sure there's a whole lot of things that were contributing.
And now I know like a little bit more of what I should be looking for if I really want to heal my body. And it's, it's really all those upstream stressors. And, you know, what are the things that the mold, heavy metals after this experience with the surgery, about a year later, I had another experience of them improperly drilling Mercury for my teeth, but at the time, I had no idea it was done improperly. And I didn't connect the dots between this experience and my mouth. And my body in the next few months gaining 45 pounds I had
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:47
were you having fillings placed or fillings removed, fillings were replaced,
Misty Williams 16:51
mercury fillings in my mouth actually had to go in two different times. Because at one time they did this side and one side one time, they did this. But they basically drilled out all my mercury fillings, I think I had four, and they replaced them with the white composite. And they no one use protection, including the dentist and the hygienist like, nobody was doing anything special. I was opening my mouth just as if I was having my teeth cleaned, right. I know now that that's why I gained 45 pounds, right. And then I was also living in a home that was built in 1892. This beautiful restored Victorian in East Nashville.
That was stunning. But I was living there when this happened with the mercury. And it's likely that I was also picking up mold in that house. And all these things together were contributing to what happened with my body. But it was that happened to me around 2013. And I didn't connect the dots until 2018 that the mercury was connected to the weight gain, you know what the solutions that I began to find were, oh, Mr. Your hormones are really low, you have premature ovarian failure. I was 38 years old, you're going to show Varian failure. I'm like, is this connected to the surgery that I had?
And it was like, Oh, we don't know. But we're just going to put you on hormones, which which helped I lost half the way with hormones and the other half of dieting. And that was helpful, right? But nobody figured out like what happened to church? Sure, you know, that was really my own sleuthing over the years. And as a patient I didn't even know I didn't even know what to look for what are the possible things that could have happened to me? You know, I had no idea at the time, I just eventually pieced it all together.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:24
Yeah, I see that in my patients that have premature ovarian failure. And then you have to really think back and just be asking the history questions. And many times it is a toxin insult on the body, and then they stop cycling through hormone levels crash. And so I do see that a lot, unfortunately. So your main symptom was weight gain, but all the while were you still having the fatigue and the brain fog and whatnot.
Misty Williams 18:47
Yeah, and it would come and go, it definitely got better. But it would come and go I moved to Nashville or to Austin from Nashville in 2014. So this was a couple years after the surgery and the mouth stuff and everything and i i my fatigue what seemed to get better, but then around 2018 or 19, I started having bouts of fatigue again, think it was 2018 2017 2018 I found out that I had Epstein Barr Virus that was reflecting, right. So Epstein Barr was one of the things for me and the brain fog would dissipate at times, but then I would go through a phase where the brain fog would kind of come back. So even through that period, though, I lost the weight which which to be totally honest, is like my number one. I do not want to be inflamed.
First of all, it's just psychologically is really jarring as a woman but second of all, like like I'm in the science all the time. And I know what like when your body is inflamed and you're carrying extra weight like it triggers every bad thing. It's like it's a terrifying thing when you really start you know, studying this, but even my symptoms never were they've never been explained fully by a doctor. I've connected the dots and then had it verified like oh yeah So I can see that happening. And then someone will ask a few questions. And oh, that's probably what happened for you. But I had another experience of gaining weight. About three years ago, I gained about 15 pounds, and I just couldn't lose it. It wasn't 15 pounds all at once. It was the creeping it did the creeping and it got, and then I would kind of go up and down in this three or four pound range, you know, but I couldn't lose it again.
And last summer, I went to my doctor and was like, we have not gotten to the root, we've figured a lot of things out, I've done gut work, my Epstein Barr doesn't reflect anymore. You know, I've a lot of quality of life. Markers are really good for me. But you know, I'm dealing with this and I started feeling a little bit of brain fog. So that's when we found the mold. We found the mold last year, I'm currently detoxing mold as we speak, I've been able to lose 10 of the pounds, which as you can imagine, I'm pretty elated by but I have mold toxicity and it's like where to it's not in my head, I've had my whole home tested, it's not my current environment, which doesn't surprise me because my symptoms precede us living in this house.
So it could have been in my last place there could have been mold there. But it's more likely that I've had mold at least since Nashville, but even I could have had it in my system from even growing up and it was just never, never tested, never diagnosed. You know, we never saw it, I was not the ideal mold candidate, meaning I wasn't exhibiting a lot of the symptoms except for some brain fog and weight gain. But a lot like I know people that have mold toxicity and its major neurological symptoms, right and I'm not exhibiting any of those so if without my advocacy going to my doctor whom I love and saying, Hey, we've got to find out what's happening here and why this is happening. We never would have even tested you know, so thank God we did and we discovered it but like I can tell you here's the different diagnoses that I've had but I actually don't think that's that important other than people relate to it or like oh my god Misty I'm dealing with the same thing.
What has helped me move the needle the most is figuring out what the deeper What is this stuff way under the surface that's creeping up and creating all the symptoms. And that's the conversation that I think is really really important for us to have. It's where I've been able to move the needle the most in my own life it was never finding the perfect endometriosis protocol that that didn't do I mean manage the symptoms. Yes, but true healing didn't come from that you know, and even Epstein Barr you know how I eventually my Epstein Barr quit repairing not excited something special for Epstein Barr but because I did a lot of gut work, and a lot of gut rebalancing and my Epstein Barr just quit re flaring, you know, obviously, your immune system lives in your gut. And when that's supported better, right, it just has kept the Epstein Barr at bay. So you know, it's it's fascinating getting in into our space and learning from amazing people like you like what's really going on in our bodies and what we should look for and my experience has been the things we need to heal are not the things on the surface. Tell me
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:37
to so all the while when you were getting on this weight head you already committed to very clean eating like, we're just talking about Paleo effects. Are you already just for
Misty Williams 22:46
the listeners? Oh, yeah, I found the Paleo movement early by late 2011. I had heard about Paleo effects, which is an event but obviously the movement that was attached to that. So I had cleaned up my diet. I was fully paleo. I had been gluten free since 2011. I had removed all of the synthetic drugs in my home and got natural fiber ones I've cleaned out under the sink, and all the chemicals in my house got rid of all of it. And my house was hardwired with no Wi Fi in my house, I'd gone through and gotten meters and tested and like, shut down Bluetooth everywhere. I mean, I really was doing all the things. So it was shocking. I was working out with a trainer, it was shocking that I was gaining weight, like how could this even be possible with all the things I'm doing like I am doing?
Like what else can I possibly do, which is actually a very demoralizing, defeating feeling like I'm doing all the things and it's not enough and my body still isn't responding. And with the weight gain came a lot of sleep issues. In 2011. After the surgery, I reached out to a chiropractor friend of mine, because I was just like, well, conventional medicines not going to help. Right I reached out to him. And one of the first things he asked me was misty, how's your sleep? Well, not great. I guess I don't go to bed until but not bad. It was very normalized, just like my periods, right? I go to bed at 2am. And I sleep about seven hours a night.
And I wake up feeling like I've been hit by a Mack truck just exhausted. I'm not a morning person. That was always my story. I'm not a morning person. He immediately like stopped me and he's like, You have hormone issues. And your body makes hormones between 10 and two, and you're not going to bed until two. And if you don't get your sleep fixed, we can't fix you. Like nothing else is going to work. And it was confronting to hear and at that point I was I was desperate and would do anything. This was even before I found paleo and clean up my diet and all the things like the first thing I did was start working on my sleep. So to this day sleep is something that I'm acutely aware of I was very impressed upon during that initial conversation.
And I really noticed when my sleep is off, I've had every kind of sleep issue you can imagine. Right and all different treatments for them. It just depends on where I'm at in my journey. So yeah, sleep is sleep is a good barometer of what's actually happening in your body. And if you're not sleeping, you're not healing, and I did a whole event on this And we've relaunched it, I've done it twice. I'll probably do another one because I don't think we talked about sleep enough. It's hugely, hugely important for the healing process. You know, you're we've spent all this money on these therapies and biohacking stuff and supplements and and then our bodies can't heal because we're not sleeping well. So sleep is massively, massively important. And when things start to affect my sleep, it really gets my attention.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:24
Me too. Absolutely. So obviously, you struggled with some weight gain, some sleep issues, some hormone imbalances. So you kind of shared a little bit about your journey. But why do you think it's easier for some women to get well as compared to others? Like you obviously ran into a lot of variables? A lot of hurdles there. So why do you feel like it's easier for some women versus others?
Misty Williams 25:45
Yeah, well, I think it depends on how much toxicity that you're exposed to. And then I think it also depends on how well your body can deal with said toxicity, right? Like some people genetically are able to deal with toxicity and toxic exposure a lot better than others. Some people have stronger methylation systems, and you know, they're just able to process that stuff through. So, you know, I think a lot of its genetics, it's kind of frustrating to hear that because you want to, you want to have a little more control than that, but there definitely is a genetic component. And then, you know, what are you exposed to? What is your lifestyle like? So, if we were all out in nature not exposed to toxicity at all, I doubt we would be seeing much chronic disease period, you know, yeah, so So yeah, that's the root of it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:27
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I love using this in the afternoon if I've had a stressful workday or before public speaking, it can also be taken on a daily basis as many of us have more daily stress now than ever before. If you're interested in learning more about adaptogenic herbs, read chapter six of my book, Your longevity blueprint, and check out our product guide info sheet at your longevity blueprint.com forward slash product, ord slash adrenal hyphen calm to get 10% off adrenal calm or L theanine US Code calm at your longevity blueprint.com. Now, let's get back to the show. Can we go back? Yeah, so we've talked a lot about in your case, the environmental stressors, but I know you've also mentioned the emotional stressors. So I want to get into this a little bit like how we diagnose and find deep stressors and that like, especially the emotional piece of that, can you go there?
Misty Williams 27:45
Yeah. Well, I kind of touched on it a little bit in this interview, just talking about some of the early mindset stuff that had me dealing with all of this alone, you know, I I had a little T trauma that might be midway between little and big. I don't know if it depends on who you ask. But growing up, I was the oldest of four. My parents had a really toxic relationship. And my dad was very patriarchal believed that housework was woman's work kind of thing. So I had a mom who was working full time and coming home and doing all the cooking all the cleaning, taking care of the kids, she was responsible for everything in order to be responsible for everything. She relied on me as the firstborn to help her with the household.
So I was very responsible from a young age. I remember being seven years old, and my mom leaving me with my sisters while they wait to run errands. And I look back and like I look at other seven year olds, and I'm thinking what was my mother thinking? Like, I just that is just insane to me, but it was very normal at the time. I didn't think, Mom You know, can you watch her sisters? Well, there we go. Sure, you know, so I grew up being mother's helper, I was wired for responsibility very young. And this made it so normal for me was being Uber responsible, I didn't have a sense of like, in my home, I couldn't really have needs because if I had needs the person that was going to provide for my needs was my mother.
And she was taxed to the max so having a need that I needed my mother to fill for me when my mother was already so spread then and she I could see that she was giving everything she possibly could conditioned me to not have like I have to meet my own needs, right. And in some ways, there's certainly good I'm I'm very resourceful. I'm very responsible for myself, I don't tend to project and blame a lot, right? I'm a very take responsibility person, but we all need support. And when you're going to be super responsible, you especially need support so that you can be accountable, you know, so it wasn't a pattern that I started getting present to until until this journey started for me because I remember the the lonely overwhelmed feeling of I'm going through something that I can't be everything for myself that I would like to be because I'm compromised.
Right and what do I do about that? It was very uncomfortable to come Consider asking other people for help, I felt vulnerable and exposed, I felt weak in a way that was very disempowering because of how I saw things. So it's been a big part of my journey over the last decade to shift a lot of that and to learn how to live in a way where I'm being supported. Allison's Armstrong, Armstrong's work was really life changing for me in this area, because she has a an audio program that you can get on Audible, called Celebrate partnership, where she talks about the dynamic present in partnership, so you could think of partnership is romantic partnership, but she really speaks about partnership as something that exists everywhere in our life.
And when someone is in the Accountable role of partnership in the I am responsible, they must be supported in order to fulfill that goal of responsibility. So in a very traditional sense, men are accountable, you know, and they get the support of their wives, right. So it's very easy in normal for a man to expect support, look how my father expected it from my mother, it was conditioned in him from a very young age that he was worthy of the support that he could expect, even demand the support, right. But that isn't something that's conditioned into us as women at all. And we don't often see where we need support in order to fulfill on a given responsibility, we will take responsibility on without the support, we need to be successful, and then we will run ourselves into the ground. And so I just saw this pattern playing, there's so many faces to this in my life. It's why I was single for so long.
I didn't meet my partner until I was 42. I dated a ton. But the way that I showed up really didn't create the space that another person needs to be in relationship in the way that I wanted to create relationships. So I I've had a deep spiritual journey that has tacked right along with this physical one. Yeah, we've got to get rid of all these stressors, but I've had to change my whole way of being in the world. And I wish I could tell you that it was a journey brought on by awareness. And then I just started doing things differently. It was great, but it was it was actually terrible and painful going through it because I had built a lot of structures and relationships and a way of being in the world that suddenly didn't work for me anymore.
And the people that I was in relationship with, did not like the rule change, right. And so there was a lot of loss, I experienced an implosion in my business with my team. Suddenly, I wanted to expect more from my team, and they didn't sign up to have more X expected from them. Like I, I was wanting to renegotiate the terms of a relationship that they were fine with. They were fine with how it was going. And now I want it to be different. Well, then there's a fallout from that, right. So it was very challenging, 2016 2017, brutal, brutal years for me, but man, I look back and I wouldn't change a thing because I was able to change so many dynamics in my life that have set me up to be so much happier and more supported. And you know, it's made a massive difference in my level of stress, which ultimately, is the thing that's breaking all this down and stress and inflammation. So
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:07
it's hard to sum up your story in just you know, 30 minutes or whatnot. But yeah, but it sounds like you found the importance of clean eating and reducing inflammation. And then you you found somehow the toxins that were in your life, whether they were environmental or emotional whatnot. And so is that
Misty Williams 33:24
what say, I'm finding, you're still finding? Yeah, good. I mean, I That's how I feel, I definitely don't feel like my journey is complete. And I've arrived, right. I mean, I just discovered mold last year. So I've been on this journey for a really long time. I've gotten a lot of great victory, I'm helping a lot of women in our community. And I can't say that I'm perfect, right? So I'm still definitely on the journey. And there's a part of me that feels like this journey might be ongoing for the rest of my life, not from the perspective of I'll never, you know, be to a place where I really had victory, but just toxic exposure is everywhere. And it's insidious.
I mean, we have women in our community who have breast implant illness, and they've been sick for a read. There's one girl that comes to mind that has had SIBO. I've known her for years. And she went on hormone therapy, and that really helped her SIBO actually, she quit having a lot of the SIBO issues. But then things started coming back up. And she eventually discovered that it was all from her breast implants, right. So she had her breast implants removed, and she's gotten way, way better. But you know, she got some wins on the journey, applying a lot of the things that we know really helps increase your quality of life, but until she discovered the deeper stressor, which was her breast implants, and then have those removed, she was never going to be totally well.
And you know, I think I didn't know that my fillings are being improperly drilled from my mouth at the time, there could definitely be a time in the future where I don't realize I'm experiencing a toxic exposure that, you know, derails my life in some way and then I have to eradicate it again. So, I mean, I'm way way, way healthier than I was at 35 when all of this happened, right, but, but we live in a toxic world and that's just the reality of what we're doing and we can do all this lifestyle stuff to take care of it. We could do the testing or whatever. And it really helps us to manage our health really well. But, I mean, they dump some 250 pounds per person of chemicals and roundup on our shores every day. I mean, it's like, it's unreal the amount of chemicals that are in our environment and the exposure that we're under.
So, you know, this is, I think, a lifelong journey for all of us. And those of us that don't have that genetic blessing of my body can just like my partner, his body just processes all of it out. He doesn't have not. Yeah, I totally feel is not fair sometimes. But whatever it is what it is, right? So he and his daughter, their bodies just can handle it. Right. But not not everyone's bodies like that. And that's why we have so many people that are getting sick.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:43
So is this how you have through your story? Have you created a community than to help women determine where the stressors are? Yeah,
Misty Williams 35:51
I really what I want healing Rosie to be about is to teach women to advocate for themselves, right? Because it's really been my relentless, you're not going to tell me that everything's fine. And my labs are normal, right? It's my belief in first of all my own reason and my like, I know that what you're telling me isn't true. And because of that, I'm going to continue to pursue the truth for myself, you know, like, I think that's really what we all need to be doing as women, but we live culturally, women are taught to suppress their own inner wisdom and inner guidance. It is insidious, some of this is changing.
But we all grew up in times where it wasn't necessarily like this, but we are accountable and responsible, like we we defer authority to our dads, and moms, our husbands or partners, the police officer, the teacher at school, the headmaster, the governing board, the government, the you know, insert who is ultimately the authority here, right? So we get so disconnected from our own inner authority that's telling us, hey, something is wrong, something isn't right. What they're telling you isn't true, we just, we are conditioned to believe them and trust them and not have to think and worry about it, right.
And I really think this is a part of our society that is toxic and evil. And it's something that we all have to get more present to. Because at the end of the day, we are accountable for ourselves. At the end of the day, nobody else, whatever you feel about judgment and life beyond here, no one's answering for you, you don't, you're not going to stand at the pearly gates, and give an accounting for your life and be able to blame your husband, or the police officer or, you know, the governor, like we are all ultimately accountable.
So what does that mean? And how do we take our power back in a, in a culture in a society that constantly takes our power from us and normalizes it so much. And I really believe this is a reason why a lot of people, a lot of women, especially but men to get sick and stay sick, and don't ever move beyond it, because even though something inside of them is that Big Ben that I was hearing, you know, sitting in the doctor's office over a decade ago, they suppress it, shut it down, silence it push it away. That's not what they said. And the doctor said this, and I'm gonna do what the doctor said, and, and they lose their life. Because of it. I watched my cousin Jan at 55, die a terrible sad death after maybe six years of struggling with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. They had her on opiates.
She was on diabetes medication. She I mean, she was on, she was a shell of herself. And when I would talk to her about it, she's like, well, I've got to do what my doctor says, If I don't do what my doctor says, he could drop me from his practice or my insurance company, there's this desire to please and I want to be a good patient, I want to do what you say. And we derive pleasure out of doing what other people say and tell us to do. And she died. My cousin, it's been over two years, and he is so devastated to this day, they've been together since they were 15. He's lost his life partner. It's like, terrible.
It was all driven by this, taking of our power and giving it to other people and not feeling permission to own it for ourselves and find solutions so that we get our lives back. So that's really what I want for our community. I want these women to have permission. And then I want them to have the tools like I want you to know, what are the labs you should run? And what are those optimal values I want you to know. Like, here's the things that could really be making you sick. And this is what you need to be looking at with your doctor.
I want you to know how to find a doctor, I want you to know how to talk to your doctor. I want you to know how to advocate for yourself with the health insurance company that tries to tell you things aren't covered. Because there are strategies for all of this stuff. But until you decide that you're going to sit in the driver's seat, figure this stuff out. You're going to spin in sick I had a man after my first event send me an email I'll try not to cry Talking about his wife who he lost, and telling me that when she was diagnosed, that the doctor basically told her that she needed to take, you know, certain drugs and imply it insinuated that she was overreacting and making things up in her head and her husband would go to the appointments with her when he would hear the doctor say this at home, he would minimize and dismiss her experience.
And eventually she died. Right. And to this day, he is direct, because he sees what happened to his wife that she got caught up in the system. He sees how he was listening to the doctors and what they had to say about his wife situation, and then turning around and essentially blaming her and telling her she was making things up. You know, the doctors, the doctor has a different version of what her reality is, and he lost her, and he can't get her back. We can't get jammed back. You know, we don't, we don't get a do over on giving our power away and letting other people tell us, this is the path you should go down even though something inside of us says that isn't right. And I want to get my life back and I want to be healed. So I want everyone to know their own power and know what they can do. And that's that's why we have healing Rosie.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:19
Our bodies are naturally designed to handle stress, detoxify chemicals and preserve cell function. But when the burden increases, those naturally built in systems can't keep up with demand and we start to experience physiological changes in our bodies. What causes that burden to increase unfortunately, a whole list of things including common modern lifestyle habits like poor dietary choices, lack of sleep, abundance of stress, exposure to chemicals and exercise extremes just to name a few. To protect ourselves from this oxidative stress our bodies are forced to use up stores have the master antioxidant glutathione.
And this works for a while. But when those stores become used up, however, our body doesn't have enough antioxidant capacity to protect itself allowing the stress to our body systems to cause lasting damage. That's why I recommend many of my patients take glutathione daily to help protect their natural reserves, support full detoxification capacity and help keep their immune systems functioning at full strength. Use code glutathione for 10% off at your longevity blueprint.com. Now back to the show. Awesome, beautiful will tell us tell us more about that site where listeners can find you and about the upcoming masterclass you
Misty Williams 42:26
have. Yeah, yeah, well, healing rosie.com is our website. We have lots and lots of resources on the website, lots of free downloads, including that lab tracker that I just mentioned, where you can see what the optimizing labs are and what their optimal values are. I remember finally getting a doctor to run my labs. I mean, I went Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, doctor, read my labs, and then I got my labs back. I had no idea what anything meant. I'm like looking at it like it's Greek like, Okay, well, now I have this but if the doctor just tells me all this is normal, I don't have any choice but to believe him, right? So I want people to actually know what optimal values look like from a functional lens. Right?
This is what it looks like when things are fairly healthy. We have a masterclass is starting in a couple of weeks a week from the time this is airing called Radical healing, detox your stress and stressors that is really inspired by the most recent, like Orbot of my journey of going back to my doctor and saying something is still wrong. And what I have found is that focusing on Epstein Barr Virus and endometriosis and premature ovarian failure actually has not been healing. For me, I have not been able to eradicate those diseases by focusing on them, I have been able to get my life back and reverse symptoms. By going after deep stressors. I wish I would have known in the beginning what they were and how to test for them.
And you know, my, I probably would have shaved years off of you know, what is now an 11 year journey. But I didn't know I had no idea what to test for what to look for what could possibly be wrong in my system. And so I spent years playing whack a mole and going to different doctors hoping a doctor would know. And what I actually now 11 years in have realized is that actually not one time did I go to a doctor practitioner, and they shone a light on what was really happening. It was only through my own inquiry and my own persistence, did we start uncovering things, it was never a doctor taking leave it out. Now that doesn't mean that's true for everyone. Because I certainly have people in our community that go to doctors and doctors are very helpful, right?
But what I'm committed to for all of us is holding a container as best I can where you are not at the mercy of hopefully you have an amazing doctor, right? I want you to be empowered with here's what you need to look for, and find a doctor that can help you and I will say incidentally, because he made a comment about functional medicine, which I'm very grateful for functional medicine. And I think there's a lot not all functional medicine doctors and practitioners are the same just because someone says functional medicine I agree does not mean that they know how to test for lab and metals and how to eradicate them. We had a girl in our community who was going back and forth between a conventional doctor and a functional doctor. She was super sick like we were watching her deteriorate she was posting weekly almost daily at times With all the symptoms she was dealing with around her gut.
And finally I said to her, your doctors aren't helping you. She would say one doctor said this one doctor and I tried this, and I stopped this. And then this new thing came up, she needed to find another doctor, she reached out to 10 functional medicine doctors, only two of the 10 knew how to test for deep stressors, two of the 10 so we still have to be vigilant, right, we still have to make sure that we are asking the right questions, and we know how to steer our ship. So that's healing Rosie. And the masterclass radical healing detox, your stress and stressors is meant to empower you with information that I wish I would have had in the beginning of what are the stressors that are making us sick, stress, creates inflammation, inflammation creates all the disease.
So if we can identify what the stressors are, and remove them, the body knows what to do, and the body will heal itself. But we need to know each one of us needs to know what those stressors are, and then what that healing path looks like. So we can align ourselves the right way with experts that can help us so yeah, master classes next week.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:58
Awesome. We'll post a link to that in the show notes, I have to ask you a few more things and echo kind of what you just said. So I think in every field, there are I don't want to say good and bad. There are providers who are way more experienced. And I think I I'm young, but I've been in my field a long time. And I know there are other providers, you know, even in the community that have started to offer functional medicine, and they test the adrenals. And they do food sensitivity testing, right. They're just they're dabbling, they're learning. Absolutely. That's, I think a lot of patients get excited that oh, there's a new functional medicine provider, but literally, who has zero experience with mold toxicity, right, or Lyme disease or heavy metal, you know, testing whatnot.
And so, all this being said, pretty much this whole interview boils down to being an advocate for yourself. It's not that those providers can't help those providers provide an amazing foundation for patients. But that's where I gotta plug my book here real quick. So in my book, Your longevity blueprint, I really help patients know what all tests are available for every single organ system in their body, because Chapter One is all about gut health. And yeah, a lot of functional medicine providers are great working with gut health, but that's one organ system. That's one step of building a healthy body. So if you haven't read my book, I highly advise that you check that out. Link as always in the show notes there as well. But I want to go back to healing Rosie. So where did that name come from? Does it have anything to do with the picture behind you?
Misty Williams 47:16
Well, it's it was inspired by Rosie the Riveter, for sure, but it actually, it actually comes from a story in my own family I actually come from my great grandmother was an entrepreneur and not by not because she wanted to be actually born in 1933, I believe it was my great grandfather who died of double pneumonia. He was a furrier in downtown Columbus, Ohio. He they had six children. And when he died, my great grandmother was left with six kids and people in the community started coming up to orphan the children because that's what you did back in those days, there was no like Child Services, and you know, everything else that like help families, there was no government assistance. It was like, Oh, mom can't provide mom is not a provider.
So we need to get these kids in homes where they can be provided and work on farms and whatever. And she had already lost her husband. She was devastated at the idea of also losing her family. So she went to the man who had been helping her husband, run the family business, and she asked him to stay on. And she took it over in the 1930s headed right into the Great Depression, which of course you wouldn't have known that at the time. And she ran that business raised her kids as a single mom when there was no such thing and really kind of laid the foundation for what what really feels to me as the culture in my family even today, my mom is a very hard worker. Her and her siblings are really empowered.
My aunt which was her daughter, so my grandmother's sister, super, super spunky. She told me a story of World War Two, her husband was in Germany, in the Air Force fighting the Nazis in World War Two and Rosie the Riveter called the women to work in the factories. And of course, her mother was an entrepreneur, she witnessed her mother providing for the family pretty much her whole life. So she was one of the first women to go to the factories and work for it to support the war effort. And she got a letter from her husband that took three weeks to reach her, by the way from Germany, because that's how it was back then, telling her that she was bringing shame on the family. How dare she work?
What was she thinking she must quit immediately, when she tells me this story with a sparkle in her eye, you know, and I actually think she ended up quitting because that's what you did back then when your husband told you to do something, but I just love that she was one of the first women that participated and I feel I feel like I stand on her shoulders. I identify with my aunt Florence more than any other woman in my family outside of my mother and I have been conditioned to be a woman who takes responsibility.
And while I've had to work on that, the yang of that, you know, I've had to work on allowing support to come in. It really is this legacy I have of, of taking responsibility that kind of sets the tone for what healing Rosie is because that's what I want for all the women in our community. I want you to feel empowered to take responsibility and and I also want you to understand the nuance and insights of getting all of the support you need in order to heal so you out that's the Rosie connection. Love it, love
Dr. Stephanie Gray 50:02
it. Tell us your top longevity tip.
Misty Williams 50:05
Sleep. By far sleep. When you sleep, you heal. And when you get enough sleep, your body's able to completely restore, rejuvenate. And if you're not sleeping, you're not healing, it's, it is the most important dimension of healing for all of us to get right and figure out and if you're having trouble sleeping, I would say, just like we don't focus on the disease itself to get our lives back into heal.
I would say if you're not sleeping, you should really start going you know, under under the surface and figuring out what is keeping you from being able to sleep well. And I will say that for a lot of women, it's hormones. If you have low progesterone, you might have trouble falling asleep. If you have low estrogen, you might have trouble staying asleep. There's a whole lot of sleep tips, you know, that can help with sleep optimization, you could definitely dive into my work more for it. I'm sure that you have some stuff to Stephanie that can really help people but sleep is my number one longevity tip. For sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 50:55
It's the most popular, most common that's the most common answer I get. Although everyone expands a little differently, but I agree so it must be important. Well thank you so much for coming on the show today and really just sharing your story and dedicating your life to helping women with healing Rosie so I hope all the listeners check you out. Thanks so much.
Misty Williams 51:10
Awesome. Thank you so much for having me. It's been awesome
Dr. Stephanie Gray 51:16
She definitely had some great advice I remember her saying something like that we don't get a do over for giving our power away and that is so true. She definitely brought a strong message of advocating for yourself and that you are worth it. So find a provider who can help you your only option isn't what your first doctor told you or didn't tell you. If you want to connect with Misty more please consider registering for her upcoming masterclass starting next week link of which we'll post in the show notes.
Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative as always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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