Dear IBS sufferer,
It’s important for me to be able to relay my story to you because if I could have read this story in the height of my struggle with IBS, it would have saved me years of searching, struggle and pain.
My intention for sharing this story with you is to relay that you are not alone. You are not destined to live forever with symptoms. My story is meant to share hope and to hopefully inspire.
I really didn’t realize how stressful my childhood was until my 30’s, when I had the awareness and maturity to objectively look at my life growing up and piece together the events that may have lead to my poor gut health. I’ve known for many years that stress was a major trigger for IBS but I was in such denial that mine was bad enough to cause things like intolerances to gluten and diary at the age of 8 or 9. I continued to eat gluten and diary throughout my life, not knowing what to do to aid in the situation. I knew I had a problem because I could go 4-7 days, regularly, without having a bowel movement. I was chronically fatigued, unmotivated, and became desperate to find answers by the time I turned 20.
This is where I began my pursuit of finding true wellness and relief by learning about nutrition, stress management and physical movement.
As the years went by, I developed more and more symptoms, such as cystic acne, depression, severe distension and bloating, pain and cramping, alternating loose stool and severe constipation – the list kept growing. It seemed that the 7-day juice cleanses, high fibre supplements and colonics were not only taking me in circles, but was making things worse.
For many years, I thought this was the norm. I began to think those symptoms were inevitable and people who didn’t complain of the same gut issues or food intolerances were only in denial, or didn’t have enough body awareness to recognize the problem their bodies were having.
Nothing was making sense to me and by the time I turned 30, I had been to several meditation camps, been trained in mindfulness, taken many personal development courses and spent countless hours in therapy to try to get to the bottom of my chronic suffering with IBS. The notion I had that “it’s all in my head” was becoming less and less credible.
I stopped eating all dairy and gluten, all processed sugars, all alcohol and over the counter medicines. Nothing helped. If anything, things were progressively getting worse. Foods that I had thought to be healthy for the gut such as apple cider vinegar, Kimchi and kombucha were wreaking havoc on my intestines and I began to feel trapped in my own body.
At this point it had been over 10 years of searching for answers, and I knew that my efforts of managing stress, eating clean and working out regularly weren’t leading me to healing. I knew
that the liver fully regenerated itself within 6 weeks. I also knew the gut cells were replaced with new ones every 4 days.
I have to say that there was a point where I surrendered to my gut issues. I did the best I could. I had earned a designation as an RHN, had studied countless hours on the topic of gut health and recovery, and had put so many years into my efforts to heal and still, no change. I felt defeated, damaged, and incompetent.
Regardless of those feelings, the curiosity in me never stopped peeking it’s head up from time to time to discuss the topic with practitioners who I thought might be able to shed some light on the topic. Although I was educated and well researched on the topic, I never felt too proud to ask for help if the situation presented itself. Often I left those conversations exactly where I stared, but one day, something else happened…
The day I met my friend and business partner here at The IBS Academy, Dr. Robyn Murphy, everything changed.
Dr. Murphy spoke of things I had heard of before, but in a way that hadn’t been pieced together yet. The terms “SIBO”, and low FODMAP were words that had been dropped in conversations in the past, but this time, it was all making sense. Maybe it was divine timing, maybe it was that Dr. Murphy was the first practitioner I had met that could piece it all together and deliver it in a way that gave me hope. But that’s exactly what it did. It gave me hope. I got excited, and was 100% committed to do whatever it was I had to do to see this program through. I immediately began to feel better when eating a low FODMAP diet.
Although I was eating an organic and whole foods diet for years previously, they were foods high in specific sugars that are often poorly absorbed in the gut. These undigested sugars provide nutrients for bacteria to feed on in the small intestine. The bacteria produce waste products and gases (methane and/or hydrogen gas), which lead to many of the symptoms common with IBS.
I was sold. FINALLY I was feeling relief. But the work wasn’t done. I had to complete Dr. Murphy’s supplement protocol to restore balance in my microbiome. During nutrition school, I was learning about herbs and nutritional protocols to help those with IBS, but they only touched on the anti-microbial benefits. I didn’t have access to a structured protocol to help my gut until I did the 5R program with Dr. Murphy
It took me 1 year. 1 year almost to the day, for me to heal my gut and no longer suffer from debilitating and socially (murderous) digestive symptoms, pain, chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety. It took me 1 year, after suffering for almost 30 years, to be able to eat out at restaurants again, be in a relationship without feeling ostracized and to practice with confidence as a nutritionist.
I was given my freedom back after completing this program. And from the bottom of my heart, I hope you do too.
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