Read time 7 minutes
Q-1) Could you briefly describe your story from getting diagnosed to having been cured?
A-1) After having my daughter, I was put on birth control. I had tried the pill and the Depo shot, both of which made my hormones go all over the place. After dealing with weight gain, mood swings, and other negative side effects, I was given an IUD, the Mirena. Initially, everything was fine. It was after the second year, that I started to get recurring bacterial vaginosis. I was prescribed many rounds of antibiotics.
Due to chronic antibiotic use, my gut health began to suffer. I struggled with IBS symptoms, inflammation, and mental health issues. Also, horrible cystic acne on my face. This also led to many food sensitivities.
During this time, I was a single mom working and going to school full-time. So, I wasn’t taking the best care of my health, eating enough, or exercising. I was prescribed more antibiotics. It was for the acne, harsh topicals for my face, and antianxiety. They even wanted to put me on Accutane, a very dangerous acne medication. I was miserable and didn’t like the way my body looked. I decided to take a nutrition course as an elective and it changed my life.
I had been asking doctors questions about my diet and antibiotics. Also, the IUD and if it was related to my issues. I was always said no and given another medication and told how they help.
I began eating healthy and exercising and felt so much better. I got my IUD removed and was able to get off the anxiety and depression meds. My skin started to get better as I began to use a more natural approach. I felt so much better, I dropped out of the radiology program at school and changed my major to nutrition.
While I was feeling so much better, things were still not 100%. I assumed I had some food sensitivities and some gut health issues. Unfortunately, my nutrition program was based more on Western medicine. My gut health was not a big topic.
After graduating, I was still eating healthy and exercising. But I knew something still wasn’t right. During COVID-19, my stress levels hit their max. I began reacting to pretty much everything I ate. My frequent sprints to the bathroom were not uncommon. While my skin was better than it used to be, I was still dealing with some cystic acne.
I knew I had to find a solution and heal my body. I began researching functional medicine. I came across the 5R Protocol for gut healing. I ordered some functional lab testing for myself. I discovered a leaky gut and many food sensitivities. I started the protocol by eliminating the foods. It included gluten, dairy, sugar, and inflammatory and processed foods. I helped support my digestion with digestive enzymes at meals. I began to reinoculate my microbiome with probiotics and fermented foods. Then I focused on healing my gut lining with glutamine, bone broth, and collagen. I was feeling so much better, even though the diet was strict, and the process was not always easy. After that, I knew that I had to change my lifestyle so that I did not get back to the place where I was before.
I had already started my nutrition coaching business. My focus was on fitness and weight loss. But after my journey of healing my gut and how that changed my life, I shifted my focus to helping others heal their gut as well.
Though my experience wasn’t fun however it brought me my purpose in life. The idea was to help others heal their digestive issues and prevent disease in the body. I am happy to say that I no longer struggle with IBS symptoms. My leaky gut has been repaired, my mood is better, I have more energy and better focus and my cystic acne is gone! And I’ve been able to help others dealing with many of the same issues.
My focus in my business now is on gut health and autoimmune disease. I use functional lab testing to get to the root of the issue. Followed by a holistic approach including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health to allow the body to truly heal.
Q-2) How did the disease change your life, in terms of diet, work, and other activities?
A-2) While I was struggling with my gut health symptoms, it affected my life. I had no energy to play with my daughter or do other things I enjoyed. I was rarely in a good mood and struggled with brain fog. I had low self-confidence. Due to my acne and the extra weight, I was carrying around due to all the inflammation in my body. I feared traveling or being adventurous with food because I knew I would need a bathroom nearby.
Q-3) How did you keep yourself updated about your disease? Please specify if you were a member of an advocacy group. Also, depending on government initiatives, or reading about your disease.
A-3) I followed functional medicine doctors like Jefrey Bland and Mark Hyman. Also, Chris Kresser, Dr. Jockers, Josh Axe, and Michael Ruscio. I listened to their podcasts, read their books, and followed their blogs. I looked into different certifications. I could get to continue my education and help myself and others.
Q-4) How did the treatment affect your family’s financial situation? Did you have to take loans or borrow money from friends and family?
A-4) Luckily, I did have a solid nutrition foundation and also understand the human body.
I did have to pay out of pocket for the types of tests I used to get to the root cause of my gut issues.
Q-5) Did you try out any alternate healing techniques?
A-5) I used food as medicine. I supported my body with the proper nutrients it needed to heal. My focus was not on taking harsh medications. I used a natural approach to improving my physical and mental health.
I also began doing energy work. It includes theta healing, hypnotherapy, and biofeedback frequency balancing with several practitioners to heal past traumas.
I followed a holistic approach to healing my physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Q-6) How did you and your family deal with your changed circumstances?
A-6) The diet changes were difficult at first. My knowledge of nutrition was limited but over time it got easier and is now a part of life.
Q-7) Please share one aspect of your journey that touched you most.
A-7) During this process, I learned so much about myself and the purpose I am supposed to have in life. Now, I get to help others heal their bodies as well and change their lives.
During the last couple of years of my schooling, my dad became very ill. He had gut health issues, and I tried my best to help him but did not have the knowledge that I do now. Doctors let him down. After many tests and tons of different medications, they could not figure out what was wrong with him. He threw up every day for 2 years. He couldn’t even go to my graduation because he couldn’t sit for that long without getting sick. A month after I graduated, he could not take the pain anymore and he took his own life. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, but it helped me with my purpose.
I had to go through my gut-healing process as well to understand what it was like living like this. No one should have to suffer as my dad did, and no one should feel hopeless about their health. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal when we give them the right environment.
Q-8) Do you have a secret to staying strong? What inspires you to keep fighting?
A-8) I keep fighting because I know that so many people are suffering. They are not living the life they should because they are sick. I know that I can help them improve their health and change their lives so that inspires me to keep going.
Q-9) What would be your message or advice to patients diagnosed with IBS? How does it feel to be on the other side of the table now?
A-9) IBS is a set of symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. The doctors diagnose you with when they can’t figure out what is wrong with you. There is always a root cause to this issue.
When you find the root cause, whether that be food sensitivities, leaky gut, dysbiosis, parasites, gut infections, autoimmune issues, a multitude of those, or whatever else might be causing your symptoms, you can then create a plan to allow your gut and body to heal. There is hope. You can live the happy healthy life that you deserve.
You can have more energy, better focus, and improved digestion. Also, healthier weight, a stronger immune system and so much more when you heal the gut.
Hippocrates said over 2,500 years ago, “All disease begins in the gut.” And while that is not entirely true because there are other factors. It is pretty accurate, especially with many of the chronic diseases we are facing today. Once you heal the gut, many other conditions improve.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.