We explore healing protocols and healing experiences with people from around the globe, with a new episode each month.
Kaye van der Straten
Kaye is a scientist who healed herself and turned her harrowing experience with disability into a thriving home business in New Zealand.
Episode 13: Pregnancy-induced disability and recovery with Kaye van der Straten
Within months, Kaye went from being an active scientist and ocean researcher to a new mum who was unable to walk or care for her baby. Previously she had managed hypermobility due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome by keeping her fitness level high and her weight low, but when she became pregnant her pelvis started collapsing and she developed Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
0.00 Introduction to the Healing Protocols: the global edition
1.30 Jo: Welcome to Episode 13: Interview with Kaye van der Straten
2.30 Rory: Let’s learn more about you and your history. When did you first start using nutrition, lifestyle and mindset to heal and what was the catalyst?
- 2.44: I had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome all my life. I didn’t know what it was until I was an adult. I was fit and healthy and as long as I kept my weigh low and my fitness high. I had a high-pressure job, working off-shore on international research vessels. When I became pregnant I got very sick almost overnight. When my body started generating relaxin, the hormone that relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis, my pelvis started collapsing, my hips started misaligning and I couldn’t move without pain. I couldn’t sit at all. I could only walk with crutches. Because I was in so much pain I didn’t catch the onset of autoimmune disease. After my son was born, I was gaining weight, my hair was coming out and I was deathly tired. My doctors dismissed the symptoms I was experiencing or just told me that this was my life now. I had no quality of life. I stopped seeing the doctors and started seeing naturopaths and took a lot of very expensive supplements that did nothing because they were looking at symptoms individually, and not looking at the whole picture.
- 8.00 After a couple of years I discovered the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), but at first I thought it was too intense. After six months of feeling like rubbish, I came back to it and learned about the program SAD to AIP in SIX, which helps with the transition to the AIP. I enrolled in the program. For the first couple of months my discomfort increased and then one day I just felt better. It’s been over 2 years and I can now run a business, keep up with my kid, and do everything I need to do.
10.15 Jo: I have read that there is a predisposition to hypermobility among autoimmune sufferers…
- 10.38: I haven’t heard of that. What I eat affects my autoimmune symptoms and my Ehlers-Danlos symptoms. I ate some things I shouldn’t have eaten three weeks ago and had a serious flare of Ehlers-Danlos symptoms, but not autoimmune symptoms. I have some injuries from Ehlers-Danlos when I was pregnant that I will have for life.
11.23 Jo: Isn’t it amazing how in tune with your body you can get?
- 11.32: It is imperative to learn what you feel and why you feel it. We give up our intuition or self-management of our body to doctors and medicine.
12.02 Rory: Prior to the Autoimmune Protocol, what did eating well look like for you?
- 12.17: I was vegetarian for the first eight years of my life and then my mum married a beef farmer. There have always been foods I didn’t do well with. White bread and white flours. Tomatoes. Dairy. I’ve always eaten lots of vegetables. I think I was coping because my nutrients were quite.
13.26 Petra: I had a chance to read your story. You fell in love, because pregnant and suddenly had a devastating health condition. Do have a sense of why your health issues occurred?
- 15.31: It was a perfect storm. A lot of stress. I thrive on it but my body does not. I followed the adrenal rush for years. Exposure to chemicals living in a kiwi orchard in my childhood. The difficult pregnancy and all of the drugs I took at that time tipped the balance. There is a genetic predisposition to hypermobility in my family.
17.27 Rory: On a scale of 1-10 what was it like when it were at its worst and what is it like now?
- 17.44: At its worst it was a 1. I couldn’t change my baby’s nappy. From when I was three months pregnant until my baby was 9 months. When I’m doing what I know I should do I’m at an 8 or 9.
18.40 Jo: There is often a spiritual component to healing. Has that been true for you?
- 19.07: Yes. I’m a scientist, so I wouldn’t say that I subscribe to any religion. When I take the time to meditate, sit outside in the sunshine and get onto the ocean and get salt water on my skin. It changes my inner fabric. I would call that spirituality.
20.21 Petra: I need to be near the ocean, too.
20.45 Jo: Me too.
- 21.24: The ocean was necessary for survival for our ancestors.
22.19 Jo: Can you tell us how you started K4 Kombucha?
- 22.50: It happened by accident. I started the AIP. I learned that I have to eat fermented foods to be well. Kombucha is the perfect thing for me, because I’m a scientist. My friends started getting interested in what I was doing in my kitchen. I started taking it to the local market. Everything we do is based on functional food. Brew from a green tea base because of the antioxidant levels. We flavor with herbal teas to keep the fructose levels low. I sold out at the market. And next minute we had a fully-fledged microbrewery in the yard. We also make lacto-fermented foods like turmeric paste, ginger and garlic paste. They are base ingredients for cooking.
27.53 Rory: You are in the far north of New Zealand. You are a bit more remote than some of our listeners, do you have any difficulty accessing food?
- 28.30: We have less processed food. I try to do a bulk cook every week.
29.34 Petra: What would be your best advice to someone who is just starting a healing protocol?
- 29.50: Support. Not just the people around you but people like yourselves who have gone before you. The AIP is a radical change.
30.57 Jo: Who has been the most inspirational to you in your healing protocol lifestyle?
- 31.31: I’m a massive fan of Dr Sarah Ballantyne because of her science background. There are stacks of research findings that just get buried. We need people like Dr Ballantyne to help people understand that science. She’s my hero.
33.48 Rory: We had her on the show recently: check out episode 10.
33.55 Petra: Where to find Kaye online.
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