Ever since I can remember, I've had a sweet tooth. The romantic part of me has liked to think it's some innocent, kismet attraction that was cute and made me quirky, however, the holistic nutritionist in me has come to terms with reality and connected the dots between my early signs of digestive issues (intolerance to diary, constipation and chronic fatigue) and blood sugar irregularity with a
dash of dysbiosis.
As a fellow IBS warrior (and victor) I like to share parts of my healing process with you guys so that you, too, may use some of these strategies to overcome your illness.
A big part of my healing journey was going back to my childhood and piecing together the events and environments I dwelled in that helped to create the scenario that led me to debilitating gut issues for over 30 years. Although I was born vaginally, and breast fed, my mother developed cervical cancer shortly after I was born. What we are exposed to in utero are the first contributors to our health issues as children.
I believe I was born with a fairly high amount of predisposed toxicity and that this, partnered with a high stress environment, and a genetic predisposition to poor gut health (celiac disease and bowel and pancreatic cancer run in my family), helped to create the perfect storm for IBS.
We ate very well in our home as I grew up because my mother wanted us to be healthy and for her to stay in remission from her cancer. So how could a 6 or 7 year old crave sugar to the point
that she would secretly eat the whole backside of her grandmother's birthday cake, bit by bit, until she was found out at cake cutting time? (#savage)
The fear of my mother's wrath took a backseat when I knew there was a homemade triple layer chocolate cake just sitting on the
kitchen counter. No guard, no witnesses. No one will ever know it was little me! Yet, somehow they noticed.
I'll tell you how I could take such risks: it wasn't that my nickname was Sassy Cassy, or that any child at 7 years old would do that (you'd have to know my mother to understand the risk I was taking!) ...
Blood. Sugar. Issues.
I was ravenous. I would devour whole boxes of Joe Louis. Sleepovers at friends houses would be a hunt for boxed, processed and high-sugar goodies. I would skip dinner and ask "what's for dessert?"
This (among other factors like chronic high stress, etc.) set the stage for mounting blood sugar irregularity, energy crashes, candida overgrowth, IBS and dysbiosis.
I believe that information and insight is freedom. There has been an immense amount of maturity, acceptance and healing that has come once I pieced together the contributing factors to
my life-long battle with gut issues.
I urge our students to do the same, piece together the events and factors that led to illness, then evaluate where change/action needs to come into play in your current life to break free from the negative cyclical patterns.
A big part of the change in habits for me was to:
Now when I eat sugar I feel no guilt. No fear. I choose sugars that are minimally processed, rich in nutrients, and paired with healthy fats, protein and fibre to keep me feeling full, satiated, and to prevent cravings in the first place.
Reach out to us at [email protected] so we can help guide you on how to overcome your blood sugar issues, too! We're here to help.
Cassandra Hope, RHN
Founder of The IBS Academy
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