As I’ve mentioned several times on my Instagram page, I’ve been working on healing some gut issues that have been plaguing me for the past few years. My symptoms were underlying – they weren’t super obvious and in your face but more like continual background noise. Things like lack of energy, feeling bloated, feeling sluggish, really long and heavy periods, unexplained weight gain (not a ton, but for someone who has sat at around the same weight for about 10 years…it gave me pause), constipation, brain fog, intense cravings, lots of anxiety, and just generally feeling off. All of these things could be things any regular person could be experiencing at any given time that could be caused by lack of sleep, stress, the current situation of the world, hormonal changes during your cycle, etc. But, these symptoms persisted a majority of the time and after a while I started wondering if they were inner connected, and, spoiler alert, they were.
So early last year I got some bloodwork done at the doctor to just double check that everything was normal – they told me it was, but the symptoms continued. About 6 months later I ventured to a new chiropractor who did a thorough look through my bloodwork (there actually were a few things on there that the doctor did miss, like a slightly sluggish thyroid), did some muscle testing, told me that a few of my symptoms sounded like Candida, and put me on a few new supplements to try.
After hearing that there was a possibility of Candida I got in touch with my friend, Lauren. Lauren was in my NTP graduating class and went on to get certified in Restorative Wellness Solutions to be able to offer GI Map testing (this is something I’d love to do for my own NTP practice but haven’t gotten around to doing yet. One day!) As we waited for my GI Map results she started me on a line of detox and digestion supplements to help get things moving in the large intestine – before attempting to detox and heal it is crucial to work on your digestion and elimination first. If you’re attempting to heal and detox but can’t regularly empty what you’re detoxing then those toxins end up recirculating back through your body wreaking more havoc. We all should be going #2 at least once a day, ideally twice.
We got my GI Map test results back and turns out there were quite a few things going on in my gut. The most notable and critical ones that needed to be addressed first were high levels of Candida, high levels of h. Pylori, and general gut dysbiosis. While I was alarmed to find out that my gut was pretty much a giant mess, I was also relieved to confirm that I wasn’t crazy for thinking something was wrong in my body. I just had a feeling in my gut (figuratively and literally), increasingly so over the past year, that something was off and it was nice to know that those feelings were real and not just conjured up by anxiety and stress.
So, here’s what Lauren and I decided to do in order to begin healing all of these gut issues:
**Note – Each person has bio individual needs and the protocol that I am on may not be the one you need to be on. It’s important to work with your healthcare practitioners to come up with a healing protocol specific to you. For this reason, I am not going to share too many details about the exact supplements I am taking.
Supplements – I am on So. Many. Supplements. Some are for detoxing and eradicating, some are for digestion, some are for regular elimination, some are for added minerals, the list goes on. Here’s the thing with supplements though, how do you know they’re the right ones for you and work well with your body? Muscle testing can help figure this out (many chiropractors do this or anyone that has been trained in muscle testing) and so can getting a Functional Evaluation through an NTP (like me!). A Functional Evaluation is an ‘exam’ of the body pressing different pressure points that correlate with the body systems to find out areas of inflammation. Once you have identified areas of inflammation you can LNT, or test, certain supplements with those areas and see if the supplements trigger more inflammation or decrease it. It really is so neat to experience and it was one of my favorite things to learn when I became an NTP. Most of my clients are virtual but I am able to do this with local clients. Anyway, I wanted to see how some of these supplements were doing with my body so I got one of my NTP friends, Allison at Nourishing Kitchens, to do a very basic FE on me. Some of the supplements worked great and some of them not so much, so I tweaked the supplements based on the results. I will continue to do regular FE’s every so often as I heal to make sure everything continues to work well together.
Detoxing – Detoxing is a crucial part of healing…you need to get all of those toxins out! Regular elimination is a big part of this which is why it’s so important to tackle that aspect before beginning a big protocol. I am also trying to do these things daily:
- Rebounding – jumping on a small trampoline to improve lymphatic drainage, boost immune function, improve digestion, circulate oxygen through the body, increase bone mass, boost energy levels, and, bonus, it also helps with cellulite!
- Dry brushing – Before showering, take 3 to 5 minutes to brush your skin to improve lymphatic drainage, increase circulation, and remove dead skin cells. Start at the feet and work your way up the body, always brushing towards the heart. Lots of dry brushes out there but I like this one from Primally Pure.
- Movement – Any kind of movement! Walking, running, pilates, yoga, etc. If I’m not running or walking I like to use Obe Fitness for live or on demand classes. I love being able to pick the type of class, how long I want to workout, and being able to workout whenever I want.
Nutrition – In my opinion, this is the most important part of healing. You can take all of the supplements and do all of the detoxing but if you’re filling your body with processed and refined foods, you just simply won’t heal. I eat very well already, but just like any normal person I have times of indulgence where I can veer off path for a meal or sometimes a day or two (frozen margaritas and chips and queso are my weakness!). But continuing to allow these types of foods into my body while I’m trying to repair my gut won’t do me any favors and will delay the healing process so I’ve hunkered down during this healing process and eliminated:
- Sugar (although I’m still eating some fruit)
I’ve started incorporating much more bone broth and meat stock into my diet along with healing soups and veggies. I’m aiming for fattier cuts of meat verses lean cuts (more nutrient dense!), continuing to drink lots of water (I use these drops for added trace minerals), and also have added in some intermittent fasting. I won’t be perfect during this protocol, nor have I been during the past several months, but I’m trying my best to do the best I can.
I’m planning on going into what exactly Candida, h. Pylori, and gut dysbiosis are in part 2 of this healing blog series so if you have any questions about any of them, let me know in the comments or on Instagram!