Many of us have experienced digestive complications at some point in our lives. I have for years, and it has long ruled much of my health struggles. In many cases, food intolerances/allergies and leaky gut are the culprits.
Today we are featuring a guest post from a friend, and a fellow digestion warrior. Melissa has a family, works full time, and also runs a photography business on the side. She knows a thing or two about juggling priorities and managing schedules, so she had to quickly learn how to prevent her health issues from getting in the way.
These issues were affecting her life so much, that she had to make a massive change. Not only for her own sake but for the sake of her family.
It is personal stories such as these that remind us our bodies are delicate and need to be cared for. And it also helps to know there are others out there with issues just like yours (and ours).
Guest Post: When Digestion Interferes With Daily Life
History of Food Intolerances
Ever since I can remember I’ve had issues with my stomach. Getting a nervous stomach when something “big” was coming up, or I was excited to do something and had lots of anticipation. Little did I know my body was telling me something wasn’t right, and food sensitivities were the main cause of this distress.
In high school, I noticed I was getting sick in the mornings often. Typically I’d have a bowl of cereal with milk before going to school. My issues with dairy grew and exposed its ugly head in college when it was clear I could no longer tolerate dairy. I totally cut it out of my diet as the repercussions weren’t worth it. Digestive life was “normal” again, or was it?
It never occurred to me that it was normal or healthy to have a bowel movement every day. I was lucky to have one every 2-3 days. I’d try over the counter remedies or eating healthier for a while, but nothing seemed to work.
Several years after graduation, getting married, and having a few kids, my digestion went into revolt once again. I work full time, pursue a part time business, and raise two kids. Stress was at an all-time high.
When I Took Action
I recall one particular experience that was a turning point. I was off to meet a client when I started to not feel well. Out in the middle of nowhere, in an unfamiliar setting, suddenly my stomach had what I call a “flip of the switch” moment. I HAD to pull over. Completely caught off guard, I took notice that something I ate wasn’t agreeing with me.
I noted this abrupt experience, but couldn’t pinpoint what was actually causing the distress. Then two weeks later it happened again. Then it happened two more times the next month. Something clearly wasn’t right. That was the last straw, I had to take action. I went to go see my primary doctor to discuss what was going on. She mentioned recently attending a seminar about IBS and told me I could take a pill whenever I felt an episode coming on. This basically froze your intestines to stop them from overreacting. Seeing as I was having a problem with bowel movements and that there were dangerous side effects, this didn’t seem like a wise choice.
This wasn’t the answer I was looking for. A Band-Aid to a gaping wound was not the solution, I wanted it to go away.
It was embarrassing talking about my bodily functions, having extremely untimely episodes, and feeling like I couldn’t leave the house without having a mini panic attack. I was worried about putting myself in danger as it typically happened when I was out.
Something had to give.
A Long Awaited Solution
Thankfully my husband is in the fitness profession and does lots of networking. He put me in contact with a naturopathic doctor he met. I scheduled an appointment as soon as possible. After my first meeting, I felt confident we’d find a solution, and it was like a weight had been lifted as I felt understood.
I could talk about all my symptoms and knew they’d helped several people in my same situation. Their knowledge compared to my primary doctor was night and day. My new doctor recommended a blood test that looked at food sensitives/allergies as the first step.
At this point, I had eliminated just about every trigger food I thought could be possible. No coffee, beans, greasy foods, dairy, and peanuts. When we reviewed the blood test results it showed that I was highly sensitive to dairy, gluten, eggs, cranberries, and mushrooms. I had to go on a 6 week cleanse and cut all those foods out of my diet. It was tough as I love bread, and baked goods, and ate eggs almost every day, but it was a PLAN. Thankfully there are so many gluten free options, and I love to cook so finding alternatives was a new adventure.
I was feeling great and didn’t have any other episodes. Due to my new food choices and lack of absorption for the past few months, I lost a lot of weight. This had to be watched carefully to make sure I was eating enough, and restore the nutrients that were lost over the past few months. It was life changing, and I am gratefully it only took a change in my diet, and a few supplements, to get me back on track.
A Positive Future
It has been nearly a year since my body was screaming at me to do something, and I am now a new person. I still have a nervous stomach and have to find better ways to deal with stress as those are triggers. It was such a relief to finally have an answer and a natural solution.
Yes, I have a sensitive digestion system, but not having to be on prescription drugs is important to me.
A few of the supplements that really helped me are a really good probiotic, a fish oil pill, dissolvable magnesium, iberogast (this is a drop with natural ingredients that helps all sorts of digestive distress), and slippery elm.
If your gut and body are telling you something isn’t right I would 100% recommend a naturopathic doctor. Leaky gut and food sensitives are real. If your body is talking it is in your best interest to listen.
Learn More About The Author
Melissa Belter has been loving photography ever since she was a little girl. The love started at family gatherings and blossomed into a strong self-taught hobby, then into a business 9 years ago. Have you ever wished you could relive those moments that touched your heart? Melissa Belter Photography is able to help capture those moments so you can hold onto them for a lifetime.
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