“I could barely pick up my daughter, let alone grip a dumbbell.”
Gut health, chronic illness, and inflammation. How are they all related? We all know gut health is super important, BUT do we actually know how important it is? Did you know that an unhealthy gut can cause a multitude of issues within our body including these three things people consider “normal”:
- Low energy, lethargy.
- Seasonal Allergies
There are three things right off the bat that most people blame on genetics, lack of sleep, busyness, the seasons, and the weather. In many cases it can be our gut not having the correct PH along with our microbiome being off.
Here are some triggers for why gut issues happen:
- Processed foods
- NSAIDs overuse
- Eating too often
- Too much caffeine
My gut journey and how I stopped chronic illness…
When I was 33 I started getting horrible pain in my right hand and wrist to the point where I couldn’t grip objects. Picking my daughter up, cooking, and especially working as a hairstylist was VERY difficult and painful. My doctor told me it was inflammation and carpal tunnel. Before surgery (!), I would need to go to physical therapy. Knowing carpal tunnel was common in the hair industry it made sense. I went to PT once a week. The therapist told me to reduce the inflammation I would need to take ibuprofen every 4-6 hours! This went on for months with no change. The ibuprofen helped but it was a bandaid on a deeper issue, and in the meantime the NSAID was destroying my gut bacteria.
Getting extremely desperate I went to a Chinese medicine acupuncturist. As she performed my acupuncture she told me; “no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine.”. My doctor had never said anything about my diet! I would have tried anything at that point, so from that day on I cut it all.
Two weeks later my inflammation was under control and almost completely gone!!! I had no idea my chronic illness was a GUT ISSUE!!
My journey doesn’t end there. Remember my NSAID overuse and my already disordered gut? Yup, that caught up with me by age 36. The damage I caused to my gut while taking the medicine came back to bite by chronic acid reflux. My reflux felt like knives stabbing my stomach, burps that would get stuck in my lungs and esophagus and cause horrible pain. My body was also overworking against itself making me feel exhausted all of the time. Doctors told me that this was “normal” for a 36 year old to have chronic reflux and that I would just have to take medication for the rest of my life.
This was not ok with me. I know many of you are struggling with these same issues out there today. Don’t always accept answers, look deeper. Read your body. What is it telling you?
Here is what really helped me with my gut health.
- I stopped taking all medications. This might not mean the same for you, I stopped taking over the counter antacids and allergy medications. Other meds please talk to your doctor.
2. I checked my diet. Remember processed foods, sugar, dairy, and gluten are all gut disruptors. Sign up for my FREE nutrition challenge that will get you started!
3. These books were amazing knowledge for my journey.
5. Find out the root problem. Viome tests your stool and customizes a probiotic and prebiotic regimen just for you. No more wasted money on millions of supplements.
This system immensely helped my gut. 9 months later my bloodwork came back completely different!!
6. Stop snacking. Eat three nutritious meals each day. Giving yourself a 4-5 hour window or more between each meal gives your body time to actually digest the food. If you are constantly bombarding your body with snacks it is working way too hard to digest it all and it messes your gut up. Use a tracker to make sure you are still getting adequate macros and calories in all three of your meals.
7. Breathing. Breathing is our number one source of energy. Learning how to breathe properly will change your whole entire body. Head over my youtube channel to find your belly breath with me.
8. Listen to your body! I spent months being mad at my body for “turning against me”, when all it was trying to do was tell me something wasn’t right. I needed to notice and take charge. When I understood this, and realized my body would never do something to purposely harm me, I was open to heal it and show it so much compassion and love.
Be on the lookout for poor gut health symptoms!
Inflammation: the early signs something is REALLY wrong with your diet.
Joint pain: Part of inflammation and again an early sign you need to make a life change.
Poppy joints: Inflammation
Acid reflux: Gut health, leaky gut, bad diet.
Irritable bowel syndrome: Microbiome and gut are not healthy
Allergies and eczema: Early signs of poor gut health
Migraines and headaches: Poor gut health
Good thing is we can easily reverse these! Well maybe not easily but they can be reversed with some life changes, work and consistency.
Even bigger news!! These signs from your body are there to tell you that if you don’t make changes now, they will get worse, and over time could cause illnesses such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, alzheimers, dementia, osteoporosis, parkinson’s, and many more.
Truth: I am going to be honest with you.
My inflammation and unhealthy gut journey took me about a year each to fully overcome. You have to put in the work. You have to make changes in your life. If you make the changes and put in the practice to regain gut health, you don’t just magically get to go back to your old habits and expect your gut to cooperate. Sure you can have the occasional gluten, glass of wine, but you will feel it, BIG time. You are going to be uber aware of what your body is telling you, and this is a gift not deprivation.
“I think of it as my body got to a point where it could not take it anymore and I’m so happy it told me before I got even more sick later down the road.”Megan
Use the resources above, ask for help, hire a coach, I would love to help you!
Three things to take with you today as you start your gut health repair.
- The human body is incredible, listen carefully, treat it well.
- Start a food journal or track on myfitnesspal. You need to know what you are putting into your body.
- As you change your diet through trial and error (there will be a lot of this) focus on what foods make you feel good and what makes you feel not so good. Write them down. Sometimes you need a reminder that the ice cream had you up all night. Or the pizza made your joints sore for a week after eating it.
You can do this. Living your life in pain and discomfort is not living. Coming from someone who recovered from two chronic illnesses, I feel you. Change is never fun but coming out healthier and happier on the other side will truly change your life and you will learn so much along the way. Please reach out with any questions, comment below on your journey, and shoot me an email if you want to start coaching with me today! Find more resources here.