At just 33 years old, Christy Qubrossi has already faced a frustrating battle that is not over. Her journey is her own. There are no scientific breakthroughs or a clear cut diagnosis by the multitude of doctors she has seen. She has no answers for herself but rather a lifestyle learned by trial and error. Her mission is helping others with allopathic medicine. She has learned to shine without finding answers. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. This is her story.
No one can pin point why her health began to deteriorate, but Qubrossi believes that her health issues may have begun as early as conception. Her mother was a registered nurse living in the middle east at the time of conception, continuing to work throughout the pregnancy. She wonders if her mother’s ongoing exposure to sick children and particularly to one child with rubella was the catalyst. Within two weeks of her birth, Qubrossi was vomiting continuously. Born in Ontario, meant frequent trips to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Kids. It is here, doctors discovered Christy was allergic to her mother’s breast milk. According to doctors, her Ig-E response to breast milk is rare. Nevertheless, Doctors agreed something may have been triggered in the first two weeks of life. Christy was given a corn-based baby formula. Given that genetically modified foods, pesticides and herbicides weren’t a hot topic, Qubrossi ponders the correlation between corn-based formulas and the onset of her health issues.
Asthma followed, bringing an endless cycle of antibiotics. It wasn’t long beforehand Christy was diagnosed with idiopathic eczema. Isolating Qubrossi until the age of five seemed the only viable option to help minimize her reactions. Even childhood outdoor play was impossible. She endured itchy painful rashes in unexplainable patterns. Following a standard medical protocol, erythromycin was administered intravenously, causing more harm than good, she says. Leading up to elementary school, she had been battling chronic eye infections. She soon developed cataracts. Eczema was ever-present but it wasn’t long before her painful cracking skin soon began to weep. Hydrocortisone creams offered little comfort.
In a time when food sensitivities were almost non-existent, she headed off to elementary school with lunches free of dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, corn and all nuts except almonds.
She spent her adult years taking an in-depth look at all the medications she was given. She is quick to point out, “medications are full of fillers and I’m sensitive to most if not all of them. Antibiotics were over prescribed. I was constantly ingesting all the wrong things.”
Qubrossi’s parents followed the medical community’s recommendations for years. Eventually they realized nothing had changed and began seeking alternatives. They took it to the next level, opening a health food store in Kitchener, ON. Despite ongoing health issues she moved to Toronto, to become a registered holistic nutritionist, secretly hoping school would reveal ways to take back control of her health. She pushed ahead, and graduated in the Biotechnology program and at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in 2013.
In the last five years since graduation, she has been reading, researching and reminding herself that everyone has a story. It hasn’t been easy but she is dedicated to finding answers, trying to minimize risks and avoid flare ups, she says.
“I have a very positive and optimistic personality and outlook,” Qubrossi says. “I use dance as a force in order to channel any pain I’m experiencing; one could say I’m releasing endorphins through dance. I’m very attentive and careful with what I eat and I make sure to take all of my supplements.”
Her meals are simple. It’s a healthy holistic meal plan but rather dull, but it seems to be working for the moment she says. Breakfast consists of a gluten-free cereal with honey and strawberries. Snacking is frequent and filled with fresh fruit. Lunch and dinner consist of a meat protein and fresh steamed vegetables. Variety may be the spice of life but simplicity in Qubrossi’s case equals prevention. Lots of water soothes sore skin from the inside out. Sleeping is a huge issue as skin flare-ups are itchy and terribly painful she says. Melatonin is always on hand. She addresses the roller coaster of monthly hormonal flare-ups by supplementing with evening primrose oil. Cold sores are kept at bay by using lysine, an important immune building amino acid. Anemia is still a concern, making iron supplementation necessary. Biotin and silica help support her weak skin, nails and hair. Lightening the toxic load helps with hormone regulation. She chooses organic beauty care products and natural home cleaning products.
“Address intolerances,”Qubrossi says. “Be consistent and always inspect all ingredients whether it’s in food, supplements, medications or health and beauty products. So many ingredients have more than one name. Look at lecithin for example….it’s soy. I remember being shocked the birth control pill contains lactose.”
“If you are blessed to be healthy today, my best advice is to live a life of prevention,” she says.
Follow Christy’s journey on Instagram @Chloe.s_ nutri.noms
Mercedes Kay Gold is Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer living in Toronto. She has been published in various publications. When not in the gym, she can be found blogging all things holistic and spending time with her sons.