Daniel's Fight with Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) and Food Intolerance
Daniel began suffering from Irritable Bowl Syndrome (*IBS, a disorder of the large intestines characterized by abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation) back in 2015. After a night’s sleep, he would wake up in pain and feel an urgency to use the bathroom. At the time, he was in High School. The pain was unpleasant but bearable; symptoms were managed by waking up earlier to go the bathroom and fighting through the discomfort as it occurred.
Inevitably, things got worse. After about 10 months, the pain and urgency was occurring ALL day. Desperate, Daniel visited multiple doctors and made a few trips to the hospital, only to be told that there is nothing that could be done about IBS. They advised him to take painkillers and figure out what triggered the attacks.
As time passed, the pain became more constant. Daniel was under the stress of taking his High School final exams. He became depressed as the pain worsened. When Daniel had had enough, his mom ordered **The York Test, a food intolerance and allergy test, in an effort to get answers. The test consists of taking a blood sample and sending it back to the company for analysis. The test results returned after only 10 days, showing an intolerance to gluten, wheat, milk, coconut and almonds. Daniel now had a list of foods to avoid and within one week of eliminating these items, he felt better than he had in quite some time! WOW! He was able to attend college without the fear of constant pain or the uncertainty of bathroom urges.
Daniel has maintained his results by sticking to this elimination diet. He sometimes suffers from ingestion, and takes Omeprazole. On the rare day he feels an IBS flare, he takes Buscopant and Paracetamols.
*IBS is believed to affect anywhere from 25-45 million Americans, and 10-15% of the population worldwide! It is not uncommon. Most suffers are under the age of 50 and about 2/3 are female.
**The York Test is a food intolerance and allergy test that is a product of Yorktest Laboratories in the United Kingdom. Some of the tests offered by this lab are available internationally.
***Daniel is a fictitious name chosen by the webowner to protect the submitter's identity.
Chris's Recovery From Sjogren's and Acid Reflux
Chris was a healthy, active weightlifter in his mid 30s when his health began to change. Chris began experiencing mild to moderate acid reflux. In addition, he developed a hiatal hernia. Naturally he visited the doctor, who prescribed the very common medication, Nexium (a Proton Pump Inhibitor, PPI). He took it every day and it gave him much needed relief.
Over time, he needed more and more of this stomach-acid reducing med and eventually, it provided no help at all. His stomach pain elevated to the level of “hellish”. Doctor after doctor prescribed him a new PPI, none of which lasted. His mouth turned white and he was downing Maalox like “an irishman drinks beer.” In addition, this once healthy athlete was diagnosed with osteopenia, hypothyroidism, and high cholesterol (to which his doctor assured him wasn't related to the Nexium.) He was a medical mystery.
Next stop for Chris was a visit to the Naturopath, where she prescribed Hydrochloric Acid with Pepsin to help with his stomach acid issues. He was skeptical. Once he got a second opinion from a chiropractor, he decided he would give the HCL a go. It helped immediately for both his stomach pains and cholesterol.
After about 6 months however, he noticed that his mouth was dry, his extremities would become cold and he developed pain in his prostate. WHAT NOW?? After a visit to the doctor again, he was prescribed a 3 month dose of Bactim (an antiboitic) for a Prostasis. He eventually went to a specialist who insisted he get off the Bactrim IMMEDIATELY, as it was destroying his gut even more. Too late. His mouth became increasingly dry, causing fissures and a whitish-yellow coating on his tongue. Next, it hit his eyes- pain and dryness with no relief. The doctor suggested a possible Sjogren’s diagnosis, but blood work came back negative (not a rarity with *Sjogren’s Syndrome). With time, fatigue, depression and anxiety crept in. Chris’s hands went from burning to freezing and turning a scary shade of red. He developed pain in his bladder and an urge to urinate every 30 minutes.
After further testing, Chris finally got a positive diagnoses for Sjogren’s Syndrome from a parotid gland biopsy. This landed him in the office of a rheumatologist. He was prescribed Evoxac and Plaquenil for the autoimmune disease and Effexor and Ativan for his newfound depression and anxiety. Coupled with personal issues, Chris was in a very low spot.
He began to cope by use of: meds, eye drops, sleeping with a vaporizer and with Xylitol mints (a sugar free alternative) to combat mouth dryness. He would wear goggles at work to prevent excessive eye dryness. In his words, he was “just surviving.” He tried Restasis with no luck. Dry eye tests showed he had 0-2mm of eye moisture at any given time (10 mm or greater is considered normal). His doctor told him there would be no curing this disease, only managing it. But Chris remembered back to when he was able to find relief from this stomach acid issues with the regimen his ND prescribed and knew there had to be a better way.
Chris tried many things. Here are some of the things that provided him relief:
-Paleo Diet- He experienced excellent results- pain in joints GONE for a time.
-Fermented Foods- this worked for about four months, then the pain returned.
-The Hannah Yoseph Protocol- drink healthy water, void of chlorine and fluoride and not filtered. Eat an Alkalizing diet. Make Collagen, Support nerve/muscle health. Support hormone function. Eat real foods that support brain function. Eat foods that rev up ATP production (think 10th grade biology). Avoid processed foods. Avoid PPG/PEG, sugar substitutes, preservatives. Eat fruit. With this came only minimal improvement. Moving on…
-Anti- Candida Diet- in addition to low carb and coconut oil, Chris was put on antifungals by his functional medicine doc (Nystatin and Fluconazole) due to link between long term antibiotic/ PPI use and fungal overgrowth. He experienced little results with this until WEEK 8 of the protocol. Then out of nowhere came a rash covering his torso (his doctor warned him about the possibility of this, called Herxheimer). Then hives. He continued on and added in Pao De Arco tea, raw garlic and grapefruit seed extract, all antifungals. The rash still hung around but he began feeling better so he persisted.
**Chris added back in fermented foods and symptoms returned. He started experiencing pain that felt like “fire” or “lava” in his joints and decided to throw in the towel.
-Hannah Yoseph Protocol again- Abbreviated- Chris drank only spring water. He began a protocol of supplements: chelated magnesium, calcium citrate (alkalinizing agent), zinc carnosine and a probiotic. Stayed on Paleo but limited acidic foods. He incorporated in the “collagen cocktail” of L-Lysine, L-Proline, Glycine and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). He also added L-Glutamine for gut repair. (See research by Linus Pauling for why this combination is effective.)
Chris saw no improvement after month one. Then little by month 2. A little more by month 3. At 4 months, he was able to discharge Evoxac and Plaquenil with no flares! Each month that passed, more and more improvement.
Today, Chris is living basically symptom free and continues to live a full and happy life! It is unclear exactly what led to Chris’s healing from this “incurable” disease. He believes it may have been a combination of the “collagen cocktail” and the anti-Candida protocol. You can find him back in the gym and looks healthier than ever. Hats off to Chris for his determination and diligence through this LONG and trying journey.
*Sjogrens Syndrome is an autoimmune disease affecting mucous membrane and moisture secreting glands-often affecting the eyes and mouth first. The AI condition came into the spotlight when Venus Williams was diagnosed.
Jenny is Healing from Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance)
Celiac disease is one of those autoimmune diseases that oftentimes goes undiagnosed due to mysterious symptoms or chalked up to: “Maybe you ate too many spicy foods?” “Did you drink to much beer (actually this one is legit)?” “Ahh, the Taco Bell did you in again?” Gotta be Giardia!” Even physicians will misdiagnose the disease as Irritable Bowl Syndrome or Ulcerative Colitis. Thankfully Jenny’s doctor recognized the warning signs early.
Jenny’s Celiac diagnosis began with a trip to the doctor, after complaints of IBS, gas and bloating. The doctor decided to investigate further and run some tests to see what the underlying issue was. When the blood work came back positive for Celiac disease, Jenny was sent to a GI specialist. With a scope down her throat and into her gut, the doctor knew quickly that it was Celiac due to the many lesions present in her small intestines.
In a sense, Jenny mourned the loss of her dear friend gluten. JUST Imagine one day eating a sandwich and the next day receiving the tall order of NEVER AGAIN EAT: bread, pasta, soy sauce, cookies, DONUTS, and all of the other delicacies that contain gluten, the proteins found in wheat. Save my soul! But Jenny knew this was the only path to feeling decent again. She gave it a go.
Unfortunately, the gluten free diet did not stop the pain, bloating and gas. She needed something different, something to heal the damage already done. She decided to not only prevent flares, but heal from the inside. Jenny explains it this way, “ If you’re stabbed in the gut with a knife, you can remove the offending irritant (the knife) but is is far from achieved. You still need to care for and nurse the wound, restoring your gut as best you can back to its original state. This is the same with celiac disease. Once you remove the irritant (gluten), you still need to care for and nurture the wound left behind.”
Giving up gluten was the obvious first step. Next, Jenny added in anti-inflammatory foods. She incorporated in lots of vegetables, fruits and began juicing daily. She consumed homemade bone broth to repair her gut lining and added in supplements (Vitamins B and D, fish oil and Protandim). She learned what the difference was between “gluten free” labeled foods and whole foods (oftentimes foods marketed as GF are filled with all sorts of other crap to muck up your gut). To her, real whole foods meant switching to ORGANIC when she could and eating clean, high quality meats (grass fed, pasture raised, organic). Jenny opted for a low sugar diet, limited in both “sweets” and white flours/grains. She began probiotics to restore those healthy gut bacteria (Jenny’s advice: Don’t get your probiotics from sugar-filled yogurts or drinks, people!)
After she began this gluten free HEALING protocol, things shifted. No bloating, no gas, no IBS! YES! Many will argue that Celiac disease can only be “treated” by following a strict gluten free diet, however, this does not repair the damage done to your gut lining. Jenny’s story proves there is another way… she is not only symptom free, but her blood tests show no traces of Celiac disease at all! Please note that she still stays away from gluten, as it would cause a reaction should she eat it again. The difference now is that she is pain free and thriving!
Jenny now spends her time helping others achieve relief and healing from Celiac Disease on her website: www.goodforyouglutenfree.com. There are so so many resources on her site: recipes, dining help, coaching, workshops, ebook, blog, she's got you covered!
*Celiac disease is defined as an autoimmune disease where the small intestines are hypersensitive to gluten, the proteins found in wheat.
RJ Tackled Ulcerative Colitis and Won
RJ began experiencing symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis (UC) in his twenties. He would wake up in excruciating pain that he described as the feeling of “being shot in the gut by a shotgun.” Then an immediate urge for bathroom, which mostly resulted in bloody stool/diarrhea. In a given day, this sequence would take place 10-20 times! Yikes. You can imagine the fear that came from just having to leave the house.
RJ took many trips to doctors’ offices, all confirming a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. UC is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the colon (large intestine), developing ulcers, or open sores, that produce pus and mucous. After the diagnosis, came the prescription meds, expensive and never-ending, and with side effects like potential kidney damage. The doctors told him that he would now be at greater risk for colon cancer, or in need of surgery to remove part of the colon and use a colostomy bag. Go ahead and google “colostomy bag.”
Things continued on as usual after this, with RJ experiencing nausea, lethargy, anemia and irritability. He then decided he had had enough. Like others we have shared about, RJ took matters into his own hands. He started with research. He began taking probiotics, slippery elm, calcium, magnesium, Vit D and enemas. Still no answer. Next, he went extreme: he became a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. WOW! That’s motivation. With his newfound knowledge, he went on a journey to heal himself with: food, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and ZhiNeng QiGong.
Food-He tried it all, Paleo, Ketogenic, gluten/dairy/sugar/alcohol/nightshade free, vegetarian. After trial and error, he knew one thing: he needed to balance his gut bacteria. He ate ORGANIC (pesticides and herbicides destroy the good bacteria in your gut) plants and grass-fed animals. He believes that protein, especially animal protein, is crucial for cellular repair, but should be eaten in small quantities. He made sure all food was cooked, not raw, making the food easier to digest and causing less irritation of the gut. He states that when food is more easily digested, it can be better used for repair and healing. RJ cut out all vegetable oil and began cooking with healthy fats such as Coconut oil, Ghee and olive oil (He suggests using ORGANIC EVOO only when cooking on low temperatures or as a dressing). RJ emphasizes the importance of restoring your gut bacteria through fermented foods such as sauerkraut. He encourages to start small on this!
Acupuncture- According to RJ, acupuncture works by stimulating the Central Nervous System, sending nerve impulses to the effected area of the body, increasing blood flow and nutrition to the targeted area. This leads to healing and repair. Acupuncture helped RJ with pain and discomfort, as well as reducing the bathroom urgencies and frequency.
Chinese Herbs- Being a doctor of Chinese medicine, RJ concocted a particular formula to treat his own UC (It is advised that you see a specialist if you are interested in this treatment).
ZhiNeng QiGong- QiGong, a Chinese method of exercise and breathing, played a key role in helping RJ heal. From this, he was able to get off all prescription medication and go into remission. He would still have the occasional flare, signaling that there was another piece of the puzzle (the areas listed above).
RJ now runs his own practice in New South Wales, Australia. You can check out his work here: http://www.taoistacupuncture.com/