How To Overcome Digestive Problems: My Story

by lydia on February 19, 2014

My life used to consist of serious digestive problems for many many years. I lived with so many awful symptoms of gut dysfunction but did not even realize how truly bad they were until they started to disappear. Symptoms such as;

  • extreme bloating quite regularly
  • raw irritated gut
  • foul gas pretty often
  • constipation to the point of not going for days on end and this pattern continued for years
  • belching
  • airborne allergies (horrible, I may add)
  • sinus congestion (all my life)
  • asthma
  • sinus infections (I always felt worse in a moldy or musty place)
  • dark circles under my eyes
  • occasional acid reflux
  • and probably many more that I just don’t even remember anymore

All of the symptoms I just mentioned are directly related to the health of the gut, or namely the small intestines. Are you wondering how to overcome digestive problems?

Today, I want to share my own story.

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Digestive Problems: My Story

In the early winter of 2008, I was the sickest I had been in my entire life. I was still nursing my youngest son, and at a very tumultuous point in my life.  I ended up on antibiotics and afterwards my gut health only grew worse.

My symptoms increased and new awful symptoms arrived as well. I lived in complete dysfunction for the next year and a half, utterly depressed about my health. I began to read and read and read some more. I read various places that it takes a year or more to recover from one round of antibiotics, well I believe it after the experience I had.

I knew there had to be answers for my poor health, I simply could not accept that my health was ‘normal’ no matter what any doctors said. I also knew I needed to recover from the antibiotics but I did not find any relief with most of the probiotics I tried.

The truth is, I had no direction as to what steps to take first or what recovering my health would truly entail.

One of my biggest complaints, bloating,  had more to do with my self-esteem really. I felt distended in my gut almost all the time and had a ‘muffin top’ that felt uncomfortable in buttoned pants or jeans. My abdomen not only looked distended it felt irritated inside to me. I often felt just downright ‘raw’ in my insides.

As I am 5’8″ and thin, my distended gut was very noticeable. Often people would ask me when I was ‘due’. That is the most mortifying thing to hear when you are not pregnant, but look it. I always felt like I wanted to hold my gut, or cover it in some way. I found when I was out in public I’d find a way to hide it, either by tying a sweat shirt around my waist, holding something in front of me or hugging myself essentially.

I felt shame along with my discomfort and I could never feel quite like myself in public. I didn’t feel comfortable or ‘free’ in my own body. In part, my distended ‘muffin-top-gut’ was due to having had so many babies and developing diastasis recti. However, for the most part my symptoms had to do with inflammation in my small intestines, including small intestine bacterial overgrowth and a leaky gut.

Close up of woman's hands on belly

How did I finally get rid of all these symptoms? 

It took a huge life transformation and some major effort, but it was so worth it. First off, I ditched processed foods (read more here, here, here, here and here). I started consuming more good fats, starting with coconut oil. I began to ditch problem foods, like gluten, dairy (and other cross-reactive foods to gluten). I also reduced my starch consumption to aid healing my gut lining. I added more healing foods like bone broth, fermented foods including low lactose dairy ferments as well as few short term supplements, and a couple long term ones (see one here, here and here).

As I made these changes I watched symptoms I dealt with for most of my life start to dissipate and some disappeared entirely. I couldn’t believe I had lived in such poor health for so long! I’m still not fully healed, but have come a LONG way.

Then, I studied at The Nutritional Therapy Association and became a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner because I wanted to help others reclaim their health, as well as help my family and continue to heal my own body (What Is Nutritional Therapy?).

What I learned was nothing short of profound. This then led me to want to teach others en masse to get a hold of some powerful information to implement in their own lives. Read more about my experience training with The Nutritional Therapy Association.

Heal Your Gut

In the late fall of 2012, I began to put together material to teach what was then my ‘Why Your Gut Is Making You Sick & What To Do About It‘ course. My first session I had 12 people sign up and we all learned a lot together. Since then, I went on to change the name of the course to ‘Heal Your Gut‘ and create a membership site folks could join to access all the material I had put together. I ran this course 3 times in 2013 and added additional material each time.

With now over 300 members, the course is quite a success and we are all still learning a lot together.

Many of the course members have actively participated in the private Facebook group, asking questions, sharing what they’ve learned and fostering like-minded community. I am amazed at how much people have learned and how it has impacted their lives for the better. I give on going support throughout the duration of the course and beyond. I believe that is a valuable part of the course simply because it takes time to implement changes and really heal the gut fully.

Read these testimonials of former (and ongoing) clients that registered for the course to help you see the value the course provides.

I share all this to say, that it was a long road in overcoming my digestive problems and I’m still working on them. It took a lot of research, training and support for me to not only know what to do, but how to do it and when, as well as how to manage on a day to day basis.

I’ve learned a lot of functional ways to test myself and use these practices regularly to assess my digestive health and what supplements to take as well as what foods my body tolerates.

The biggest thing to remember when working on gut health is that is takes time. I am so grateful to have the knowledge I do, but also the ability to continually trouble shoot with numerous other practitioners.

Since healing the gut takes time and dedication, support along the way is a welcome relief.

Do you want support on your own journey to overcome digestive problems?

Join  Heal Your Gut, a practical guide to healing the gut and, in turn, achieving better health!

Heal Your Gut

 

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