My personal IBS journey
I’m sharing my story because, if yours is anything like mine, you’re in the right place and I’m here to help.
How it all began
Digestively speaking, I was pretty crappy (pardon the pun) from childhood. I was chronically constipated basically from birth, taking stimulant laxatives from around 5 years of age and pooping about once or twice per week. This was my normal and continued on into my late teens as the laxatives became less and less effective. After a series of antibiotics for recurrent UTI infections and a serious case of food poisoning in Africa, over a decade ago now, things got worse. To the point where I struggled to go to work, out to dinner with friends, or even leave the house some days.
My gut was now controlling my life.
I’d started seeing different professionals from both conventional medicine and the holistic health space and while some gave me good tools to help with my symptoms, no-one was able to help me figure out the root cause while others gave me an ‘IBS’ label and suggested antidepressants.
Not satisfied with an IBS label or where my health was heading, I started to do my own research and experimented with every diet and exercise option under the sun. I had tried low calorie, eliminating allergens, vegan, paleo, high calorie, keto, different macro splits, low-FODMAP, SCD, fasting, juice detoxes – everything! I tried cardio, intervals, heavy lifting, HIIT and more. I still felt horrible and I was getting more and more symptomatic. Fun fact: I actually gained almost 10kg’s in three months on a restrictive diet while going to the gym six times per week.
This was the turning point where I realized diet and exercise were NOT working or fixing my unexplained weight gain, bad skin, bloating, stomach pains, gas, constipation, debilitating fatigue and brain fog to the point where I struggled to string together sentences.
The 'Energizer Bunny' version of myself who was unstoppable had finally lost her charge.
I had become the healthiest ‘sick’ person I knew. I needed solutions and I needed them yesterday! A little dramatic but I’m sure you understand – when you are the healthiest person you know, in terms of diet and exercise, and one of the most symptomatic people you know, it messes with your head. I’m not sure if I met a clinical diagnosis, but I was starting to feel deeply sad.
After waking at 2am with gut pains, I was on google again and came across a webinar that mentioned this new condition called ‘SIBO’. My symptoms fit the bill so I found the only practitioner in London (at the time) who knew anything about it and booked myself an appointment ASAP.
This practitioner was from the functional health space and had me complete a range of functional lab tests which finally revealed the actual root cause of my issues. Yes, I had SIBO, but I also had multiple parasites in my gut, C.Diff and other bad bacteria, Candida, damaged gut lining and sensitivities to nearly every food I was putting close to my mouth – my body was on the bullet train to an autoimmune disease and shutting down.
After six months on various protocols I felt less symptomatic and was finally on the right path. I had taken back control of my gut and was a happier, reenergized, clear-thinking version of myself.
It was also a relief to know I wasn’t crazy. Especially after I had seen so many health professionals who said there was nothing wrong with me, recommended antidepressants or tried to help with one symptom, never looking for the root cause of my problems. And all it took was someone to blend advanced lab testing and science-based natural therapies to change my whole world.
I found my calling
Throughout my own healing journey I realized that I wasn’t the only one suffering and that there were many others who had fallen through the cracks and needed the help I had received. It’s the worst feeling to know you are running out of options for help; that you feel horrible and nobody seems to believe you or know what to do.
So with my science background and personal experience driving my passion for gut health, I completed further study to take my knowledge to the next level. I become a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner.
Because I knew this was a global issue, and inspired by my own practitioner, I chose to take my practice online and work with clients from the comfort of their own home. When you have ‘IBS’/gut symptoms healing is a lot easier from the home environment. Fast forward five years and through education and my amazing clients spreading the word far and wide, we’ve been able to build a team of practitioners, helping thousands of those struggling with ‘IBS’ finally find their root causes and take back control of their gut (and their life).
I hope my story gives you the courage to share yours and reach out for the help you need. If this sounds like you, then I am all kinds of excited for you and the healing journey you are about to begin.