Brain Fog to Vibrant Energy: Valerie’s Amazing Journey

March 19, 2019

Brain fog isn’t a normal sign of aging, especially when it begins at an early age. On this podcast, Dr. Hotze visits with long-time guest of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Valerie Sarrazola Diaz, to discuss her journey from down and forgetful to sharp and successful! Valerie discusses her symptoms of forgetfulness, depression, fatigue, and low body temperature and Dr. Hotze explains the underlying causes.  Watch or read on to learn about Valerie’s amazing journey back to good health.

Podcast Transcription:

Stacey: Welcome to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I’m Stacey Bandfield here with Dr. Steven Hotze. If you haven’t downloaded our podcasts, you can do so at That’s H-O-T-Z-E

We have such a great guest story for you today, Valerie Diaz. She’s been a long time guest here at the center, and it really is amazing at what a dark place she came from and where she is today. I know you will enjoy the show. Valerie, welcome.

Dr. Hotze: Thank you so much, Stacey. Thank each one of you for joining us today on Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. Now, I believe that you need a doctor and a staff of professionals who have the wherewithal, and the ability, and the know-how to coach you on a path to health and wellness naturally so as you mature, you have energy, you have vibrancy, you have vitality, and you’re enthusiastic about life, and you’re down to an ideal body weight, and you feel great.

I don’t care if you’re 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, you ought to be brimming with energy. That’s what we want to help you do, and that’s why you’re listening to the program because we’re going to visit with you today and give you some encouragement.

We have as our guest, Valerie Diaz. Valerie is a realtor here in the Katy area of Harris County in the western side. That means she goes into Fort Bend and all over the county, but she’s primarily out here on the west side of Harris County. She has a real estate management company, for rental properties, as well as selling real estate. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Valerie. Tell me where you grew up.

Valerie Diaz: I actually grew up here in the Houston area.

Dr. Hotze: Where’d you go to high school?

Valerie Diaz: It was a private school. It was a very small. It was called Disciple Life Christian School, on the east side of town.

Dr.  Hotze: Right, okay.

Valerie Diaz: In the Houston area.

Dr. Hotze: Good. And so you finished high school and then how did you end up out here? Did you go off to college after that?

Valerie Diaz: I did. I went to The University of Houston.

Dr. Hotze: Right.

Valerie Diaz: I graduated from there.

Dr. Hotze: What did you take your degree in?

Valerie Diaz: Business administration.

Dr. Hotze: Great!

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: Okay. How did you end up in real estate?

Valerie Diaz: I mean, I started whenever I was 18-years old, so I’ve been in the business for quite some time. But even at the beginning stages, I put myself through college. That’s when I started.

Dr. Hotze: That’s tremendous.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: So, you’re industrious, and you take personal initiative, and that’s what we need in this country is more people like you that are willing to take personal initiative, and get the job done instead of having their handout. I admire you for that. Tell us what was going on. You’ve been a guest of ours for the last 10 years at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center.

Valerie Diaz: Correct.

Dr. Hotze: Tell our listening audience a little about some of the problems that you’ve had.

Valerie Diaz: I’m here to share my story, and I’m hoping that it can help other people with issues that they’ve had. I’m so grateful that I came across Hotze – thankful to my aunt that told me about Hotze. Probably in my teenage years, I had a lot of issues with different things. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I would have issues with heavy depression, brain fog, not being able to process certain information. Even at one point, I just couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. I would go to traditional doctors and then they would normally prescribe medication to you. It would mask a lot of issues. They wouldn’t really get the root cause of it.

Dr. Hotze: What kind of medications were they prescribing you – antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, sleep medication, what was it?

Valerie Diaz: A lot of it was antidepressants because I had a lot of depression.

Dr.  Hotze: Antidepressants. Right.

Valerie Diaz: And so, that would be one of the things that they would mostly prescribe for me.

Dr. Hotze: And so, you started taking those antidepressants in high school, or in college, or when?

Valerie Diaz: In high school.

Dr. Hotze: Okay.

Valerie Diaz: I remember it in high school. Yeah, definitely.

Dr. Hotze: Did you notice any change at all? Did you have problems with your menstrual cycles and your premenstrual symptoms? Do you remember mood swings, fluid retention, weight gain, headaches, breast tenderness, anything like that?

Valerie Diaz: No. I didn’t have any issues with that. I just know that I would have…one of the examples would be, I would have a conversation with somebody, and I forget what I supposed to say next. I would avoid having conversations with people because I would be very forgetful, just more than the normal. At one point…and this is just going even more personal. Even at one point, you start thinking, “Why am I forgetting so many different things?” I didn’t know what the term was, but now here at Hotze, you refer to it as brain fog. I asked my mom at the time, I’m like, “Mom, can you take me to check my IQ? Get my IQ tested.” Because I felt like I was mentally unable to process information.

And so, obviously, I went to get the IQ test, and I was perfectly fine. I was like, “Oh, what a relief. Thanks for giving me at least some positive information there.” At 21, because I had been suffering with everything since I was probably 11 or 12, so ever since I could remember, I’ve been suffering with it. At 21 I was done. I actually attempted to remove myself from this world. Thankfully, I was unsuccessful. I was that bad, that I couldn’t resolve my issues, so I got to that point in my life that…

Dr. Hotze: Wasn’t worth living.

Valerie Diaz: Yeah. I wasn’t worth living in this world. Thankfully, that resulted in not having to go through that. But a few years later, I got married to a great guy. His name is Ernest. Ernest Diaz. Within two years I had a child, and then I started having even more issues after that, just kind of more aggressive. At that point, I’m like, “I have to do something. I can’t just bear living day-to-day.” That’s whenever my aunt told me about Hotze.

Dr. Hotze: That would have been what year? That would have been back in ’18 or…

Valerie Diaz: That was…

Dr. Hotze: ’08 or ’09.

Valerie Diaz: 2008. At the end of 2008. It was October 2008.

Dr. Hotze: And you would have been how old at that time?

Valerie Diaz: I was 28.

Dr. Hotze: Okay. So, you were a very young woman. You ought to be in the prime of life at 28, and feel like a million dollars, and you didn’t.

Valerie Diaz: Yeah.

Dr. Hotze: Energy was down, weren’t thinking clearly, moods were obviously down and depressed. Did you have any problem with weight at that time? Not really, no?

Valerie Diaz: Not an issue with weight. Maybe I could lose a couple pounds, but not…

Dr. Hotze: Let me ask you, just curious, what was your eating profile like then?

Valerie Diaz: Everything that I wanted to eat, I would eat.

Dr. Hotze: Which was primarily what? Was it wheat based products?

Valerie Diaz: Yeah. Just carbohydrates and different things. But yeah, I would eat whatever I wanted to eat.

Dr. Hotze: Okay. You came in 2008. You had seen how many physicians prior to that?

Valerie Diaz: I can’t even remember. Many. I mean, I would say six to eight different physicians.

Dr. Hotze: And for the most part, their recommendation was take antidepressants?

Valerie Diaz: Yes. Take antidepressants. Anytime I would get sick, they would also prescribe antibiotics. I would take them all the time because whenever I was a teenager I smoked, and so I would always get sick. Antibiotics was just kind of a normal routine throughout the year, so that didn’t help.

Dr. Hotze: Okay. So you came in. What was different? What did you find different when you came here to the Hotze Health & Wellness Center from other physician’s offices?

Valerie Diaz: Oh, well I mean your center just takes care of getting to the root cause of the issue, and you address symptoms instead of just going based on blood tests.

Dr. Hotze: Blood tests.

Valerie Diaz: Blood tests, yeah.

Dr. Hotze: This is really an important differentiation that we have. Nobody is depressed, has brain fog, doesn’t think clearly, has low energy because they have low levels of antidepressants in their body. Antidepressants aren’t a solution to that. That is simply trying to mask the symptoms.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: Okay? It’s like a Band-aid. Frankly, in most people, it worsens the problems. If you don’t address the problems…remember, all these drugs, the antidepressants, and all these drugs that pharmaceutical companies produce and doctors prescribe are toxins. They make you toxic, so you get sicker quicker. They don’t resolve the problem. Frankly, they make the problem a lot worse. If you don’t get to the underlying cause of your fatigue, your inability to think clearly, your depression, and any other symptoms you have, we don’t address that, we haven’t made a diagnosis, we’ve simply labeled your symptoms as the diagnosis and treated your symptoms rather than treating the underlying problem.  When you came in, you saw Dr….

Valerie Diaz: Ellsworth.

Dr. Hotze: Ellsworth.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: How was the visit? Was there any difference in your visit with him then you’d have with any other physician?

Valerie Diaz: Oh, yes! I mean, of course. It’s an incredible experience coming to the center. You still have your doubts.

Dr. Hotze: Because you’d seen six or eight doctors.

Valerie Diaz: Of course.

Dr. Hotze: You go, “Just another doctor.”

Valerie Diaz: As a patient, kind of going through different regimens, you have your doubts that this is actually going to be effective, and if it’s actually going to work because you’re very hopeless whenever you’re at that point where you’ve already gone through different routes, and it just doesn’t work. At the same time, I was very hopeful that I had finally come to a place that could actually help me. I was in between, and I had heard about different testimonials from different people, and I could identify with other people. So, I was like, “Okay. Well, maybe this could actually work.” I’m like, “It’s definitely worth a try.”

Dr. Hotze: And your aunt had done well.

Valerie Diaz: Well, actually, my aunt had told me about Hotze, but she hadn’t been a patient yet.

Dr. Hotze: She hadn’t been yet.

Valerie Diaz: She knew somebody that had come to the center, so that’s how I got introduced here. I remember whenever I came to the center, they tested my body temperature, and I was at a 95-degree temperature. So it was very-

Dr. Hotze: 95-degrees. You should be 98.6. That’s a classical feature of hypothyroidism, low thyroid. Thyroid enables your cells to produce and use energy, and the excess energy is given off as heat. That’s what gives your body temperature. If your body temperature is running low, you’re just not producing enough energy, enough electrical energy in your body to produce heat. And so, you don’t run well, and when you don’t run well, you don’t feel well.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: Okay. So, Dr. Ellsworth spent an hour or so with you, listened to you, made some recommendations. I know that he said, “Clinically you have symptoms of hypothyroidism. We’re going to check your blood.” But despite whatever the blood test may come back, and by the way, 95% of the time the blood test will come back normal. The blood test is as wide as the Grand Canyon, as tall as the Empire State Building. You can’t hardly fall out of it. But if your thyroid level had been up here when you were younger and now is down here, it can still be within the range, if you’re going to be 50% declined, and you’re going to have 50% less production of energy. We look at the classical symptoms of hypothyroidism, which you had.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: I know we started you on some thyroid preparation.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: And put you on some natural female hormones.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: Got you on a good eating program.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: And then put you on some vitamins and minerals.

Valerie Diaz: Correct.

Dr. Hotze: Okay. So, what happened? How long until you started feeling better? You’ve been on the program 10 years now, so I’ve have to believe it’s made a difference. So tell me, how long did it take before you started feeling improvement?

Valerie Diaz: It’s funny because…and I was very dedicated. I really wanted it to work. And so, I was very strict with my diet. Within the first week, maybe two weeks, you start receiving some die-off symptoms where you have headaches. Your body is just not used to eating so healthy. And then after I went through that curve, probably within two and a half, three weeks, I started noticing that I was thinking much clearer than I was before. I was like, “Huh.” I was like, “Wow! I’m starting to feel much better.”

Then within a month, two months, I mean it was life-changing, completely life-changing. I would always describe myself before like, “I’m not content. I’m not happy.” Whenever I’m referring to happiness, it’s like you’re not satisfied within yourself. It’s like something is blocking yourself from being 100% you.  And so, within a month or two, I started feeling happy, in reference to being content with myself. I had never experienced that before. To get to that point, I was so excited to feel that way. I started feeling like I’m supposed to feel. Other than that, I don’t know how to describe it. Until you get to that point, you just don’t know.

Dr. Hotze: Right. Now, prior to this, you were in real estate, right?

Valerie Diaz: Yes.

Dr. Hotze: Okay. How are you doing in your real estate?

Valerie Diaz: Well, I had been in real estate for probably eight or nine years by then. I was okay, average. I had my struggles. Within probably about four months, maybe five months from visiting Hotze, my business…the fact that I was able to think clearly. I set up our property management side of our business in March of 2009. Just the business just increased dramatically. Now, we have over 200 active management properties that we manage. That’s after selling properties and things like that over the last 10 years. Last year, we sold 13 million in real estate. So, I mean we stay really busy. We have a team of either seven or eight members at the moment. Our business is called Sugarland Property Management, and we’re the Diaz team, so it’s, and we’re with Keller Williams. We’ve been there for many years.

We wouldn’t be where we are now if it wasn’t for coming to Hotze. I mean, I truly believe that. Within a few months of coming here, that’s whenever all these plans started to come about. Obviously, I had been praying, just to make sure that I was going the right path. God just answered my prayer, and lead me that way, and lead me to you.

Dr. Hotze: You had one child prior to coming in and had been going downhill not feeling well. How many children do you have now?

Valerie Diaz: We have three now.

Dr. Hotze: You havethree children.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: Over the last 10 years, on a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being brimming with energy, 0 no energy, how would you rate your overall energy level?

Valerie Diaz: I mean, I am always out and about. If it’s not business related, it’s with my three kids, and running around with sports. All my kids are in baseball at the moment. It’s the spring season.

Dr. Hotze: Yeah. I know. We had three sons in little league baseball, as well. I coached, so it was busy.

Valerie Diaz: Yeah, Ernest coaches, so he stays busy too.

Dr. Hotze: It’s fun. I know.

Valerie Diaz: But I have tons of energy. I mean, I’m able to keep up with everything that I’m supposed to get done. I have plenty of energy in the evening.

Dr. Hotze: On a scale of 0 to 10. 10 being just enthusiastic about life, happy, joyful, and zero being depressed. How would you rate your overall moods?

Valerie Diaz: I would say I’m like 9, 9.5. I mean, I’m pretty up there. And the thing is, is that for the last 10 years, obviously, life takes its toll on different things that can take place.

Dr. Hotze: Sure.

Valerie Diaz: It’s not all nice and rosy. Even whenever things come about that are negative, I’m still fine. It’s not like I get into a depression or I get into a cycle where I need…I mean, for the last 10 years, I’ve never even thought about antidepressants because there’s no need for it. Just the fact that I can take care of the issues that come about and still be fine, it’s just amazing. I don’t know how to describe that.

Dr. Hotze: This is commonly what we see. And the credit, first I’m going to say Valerie goes to you. You decided to do a 180 and take charge of your health. You knew that you were going down a path. You tried six to eight conventional docs. It wasn’t going anywhere it was just more antidepressants, and you took some advice, and decided to make a change.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: Then you came in, and you got up on our recommended program, which is a healthy eating lifestyle.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: We don’t recommend any diets. We just recommend you learn how to eat healthy, and learn how to eat to live rather than live to eat. That’s cutting out the wheat, corn, potatoes, and rice as much as possible. Initially, we do that for three months, but that’s a big part of the program. Second thing is, replenish your hormones. Put the hormones back in your body that are declining, replenishing those with bioidentical hormones. Get on some good vitamins, minerals, and an exercise program. You’ve done that, and it’s made a difference in your life. Let me ask you, prior to this, your work was average, right?

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: You were performing at an average level. How would you say you’re performing now? It sounds like you’re superior. I mean, it sounds like you are growing and really doing well. Right?

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Oh, yeah. Definitely.

Dr. Hotze: Now, how was your relationship back with your child when you weren’t feeling well? How did that go?

Valerie Diaz: Oh. Back then I wasn’t functioning to the point…I mean, I wouldn’t have conversations with him. You know, things that you’re supposed to do as a mom, and just everyday activity. I would stay at home. It was different because I couldn’t really function too well. I felt like I had to make a drastic change because how am I going to be a great mother if I’m not feeling well myself?

Dr. Hotze: Right.

Valerie Diaz: I really feel like I didn’t help him with the developmental stages early on that I should have.

Dr. Hotze: Right. With your husband, how was prior to getting yourself up and healthy again, how did that affect your relationship with your husband?

Valerie Diaz: I mean, he’s always been very supportive. But, of course, our relationship has increased.  I mean, it has helped a lot since coming here.

Dr. Hotze: Sure.

Valerie Diaz: But he was always very supportive.

Dr. Hotze: When you weren’t feeling well, how did that make you feel about yourself?

Valerie Diaz: Horrible whenever I wasn’t feeling well. I mean, you have very low self-esteem, you don’t feel like you’re capable of doing a lot of things. You start going inward, avoid conversations. I would go multiple days without talking to people. I mean, just so many different things of how you live life from back then to how you live life afterward, after coming here. It’s like night and day. You’re a completely different person, even though I’m who I am. You’re a completely different person because of the transformational change, and you just process things differently, you react to people differently. It’s something where, once you go through a program like this, you start realizing how you could have been living for the last 15-20 years. It’s like I wish I would have known about this back in high school, early on.

Dr. Hotze: Right. Well, thank God you found out when you found out. I mean, literally, I’ve heard your story from women at all different ages, at 38, at 48, at 58, at 68. They’ve lived a life that just has not been a fulfilling, rich, rewarding life because they didn’t feel well, and they were put on a host of drugs by various conventional doctors, psychotropic drugs, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, sleep medication, anti-inflammatory medication, antidiabetic medication, antihypertensive medication. You name it. All these drugs, and they made them more toxic, and they didn’t do well. I congratulate you. I want you all to consider following Valerie’s path. Take charge of your health. Do a 180 and take charge of your health. That’s so very important because it will make all the difference in your life. Now, it was an investment, right?

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Oh, huge.

Dr. Hotze: But think about it, how do you think that investment…some people have said, “Well, you don’t take insurance, and it’s expensive to come in.” Well, amortize that, what you paid coming in over the last 10 years, you know? Whatever the price was, price point at that point, whether it was several thousand dollars. Let’s say it was $5,000. Amortize that over 10 years. That’s $500 a year. That’s $1.25 a day.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: Has it been worth the investment?

Valerie Diaz: Oh! Yes!

Dr. Hotze: It’s like investment in rental property that keeps going up in price, and you’ve done well. Of course, it’s when you make an investment in the health, that’s the most important investment you can make because it won’t only help you in your work, in your business, it helps you in your social life with your family, with your spouse, and the way you think about yourself. Now when you think about yourself, how do you think about yourself? Is it down, poor me, I’m not bright, I can’t do things well? How do you feel about yourself?

Valerie Diaz: I mean, I’m very confident. I mean…

Dr. Hotze: It makes a big difference, doesn’t it?

Valerie Diaz: It makes a huge difference, in reference to actually getting in line with how you’re supposed to be feeling.

Dr. Hotze: What we do here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center is partner with you, so that you can have a life-changing health experience, get your life back, be brimming with energy full of vitality, and have enthusiasm for life. Isn’t that what you want? If you do want that, I want to encourage you to contact us here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Let’s see what we can do to partner with you to get you in that point in life where you’re brimming with energy and enthusiastic about your life, just like Valerie.

Valerie, I want to thank you so much for joining us today. That’s just a wonderful story. I’m so happy for you, and I’m proud of you, and thank you for sharing this with others because I know there’s literally thousands out in the listening audience that want to have hope that things can change and get better. Thank you for sharing with them how it can.

Valerie Diaz: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Hotze: Thanks so much for joining us today on Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.




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Since 1989, Hotze Health & Wellness Center has helped over 33,000 patients get their lives back using bioidentical hormones that restore hormones to optimal levels, strengthen immune systems, and increase energy levels. Our treatment regimen addresses the root cause of hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, menopause, perimenopause, low testosterone, allergies, and candida.

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