Are These 3 ‘Limiting Factors’ Keeping You Sick?

Recently I was having a difficult conversation with a private 1-on-1 client about her diet… a conversation I hate to have, but many times it’s necessary.

She had started eating strict SCD, followed the meal plans to a “T”, and didn’t experience a reduction in her symptoms at all.  BUT… it almost drove her crazy when she passed on the same material to her 12-year old nephew with Crohn’s Disease who was bleeding during really bad flare.  Within three days the blood was gone and his Mom (her sister) was raving about the diet.

So why didn’t she see any benefit, but her nephew had a complete turnaround?

By the end of this article, you’re going to find out why (and get the entire difficult conversation we had that day).

While SCD seems to create incredible health improvements for certain types of people overnight, others find changing their diet doesn’t help at all, or maybe just a little.

So if you’re pouring time, energy, and money into this new way of eating and you’re not seeing results, I want to honor you for that.  While you’re not getting the results you hoped for, you’re also not making yourself sicker with food.  You’re laying the foundational support required to heal and the diet is working, just not how you expected.

Is Leaky Gut Making You Sicker?


So let’s go deeper into why you aren’t getting results and what’s holding you back.  Let’s answer the question: why does diet matter so much for some people and not so much for others?

It has everything to do with finding your ‘Limiting Factor’

The difficult conversation with my client started with the ‘Limiting Factor Analogy’ about cars.

It starts like this: your body needs many different systems to work well just like a car need many different systems to go down the road.

For example: You can think about the engine in your car like your digestive system because it takes in fuel and turns it into energy.  Then think about the steering system in your car like your hormonal system, giving input to different parts of your body about where to go.  You can also think about the wheels on your car like your detoxification system, where the rubber hits the road.

So imagine you’re driving to your favorite grocery store.

As you drive down the road in your car, imagine all the incredible systems involved in making the car go down the road.

Imagine the engine and drivetrain, with the gas, oil and transmission.

Feel the steering wheel in your hand and the entire steering system that helps the car turn and go around corners.

Picture the wheels spinning as the car goes down the road.

But then I want you to imagine one of these systems starts to have a problem.  All of a sudden you look in the rearview mirror and you notice black smoke pouring out behind you.   Something’s wrong.  You need to pull over and figure out what is causing this black smoke.

As you try to pull over, you realize you can’t turn anymore, the steering wheel is locked.  You can’t turn it at all.  So instead of pulling over, you’re stuck going straight down the road with black smoke pouring out behind you.

This is a much bigger problem.  You might hit something.  You have no control.

You should probably stop, but then one of the wheels falls off the car, causing you to veer right and smash into the railing, completely totaling your car.

What a bad day, right?

It all started with black smoke.  Something was going wrong with the engine system.  Then all of a sudden you lost your steering system, so who cares about the engine if you can’t steer the car.  That’s a much bigger problem.  But then the wheels feel off.  You can’t do anything without wheels.

If you don’t have wheels, who cares about the engine?  Why do you need a steering wheel?  You’re not going anywhere.  This is the way to think about your limiting factors.

“Limiting Factors” is the idea that if one system isn’t working right, it’s making everything not work right.

It’s the most important place to start working on getting ‘unstuck’.  If you don’t pay attention to the limiting factor, fixing other stuff isn’t going to get you very far.

In the analogy, the engine system, steering system, and wheel system were all broken… but in the end, the limiting factor was the wheel falling off.  No matter how much time and energy you put into fixing the engine you still wouldn’t be able to ‘go’ without the wheel.

So let’s go back to your body systems…

If you don’t have a good detoxification system you can’t have great hormones.  And if you don’t have great hormones you can’t have a great digestive system.  If you don’t have a great digestive system you won’t detox well… they’re all interconnected.

So if diet isn’t working for you, it doesn’t mean it’s not helping, it just means we need to look deeper to find the limiting factor in your body right now and work there.

Your limiting factor is where you’re stuck.

So you might have done everything to troubleshoot your diet, you might have the meal plans, you might be doing everything you can with your diet and yet there’s this bigger limiting factor that is causing you to be stuck.  The limiting factor is what you need to be focusing on right now.

Here are the 3 most common limiting factors that get you ‘stuck’

Years ago when I started SCD, my daily diarrhea stopped in seven days… just from changing my diet.  So at that time in my life, diet was my limiting factor and once I changed my diet, I got better, but I only improved so much.

I still had fatigue, trouble gaining weight, poor digestion, cyclical diarrhea, and more.

So I had a new limiting factor to work on (like the parasite I had).  Then once I got that handled, I had a new limiting factor like adrenal fatigue.  And so on and so on…

Sometimes, like with the car, there are many areas to be fixed.  But there is always ONLY one important area or the limiting factor to focus on at a time.

Changing your diet is the first big step that’s really important, but then it’s time to start looking for what’s next.  There’s three really common limiting factors in people that can keep them ‘stuck’ for what seems like forever.

1) Are hormones your limiting factor?

When we start talking about hormones, we’re talking about sex hormones, stress hormones and thyroid hormones.  But the most common limiting factor we see people struggling with is adrenal fatigue.

If you’re someone who has chronic fatigue, you’re tired all the time, you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you have a severe afternoon crash, or you have inflammation raging out-of-control, those are huge red flags that your limiting factor could be a hormonal problem like adrenal fatigue.

The other thing that’s a big red flag for is if you’re somebody who has to take prednisone when you get flares, but you have a hard time backing off of it, that’s another red flag for adrenal fatigue.

Hormones are extremely important and are needed for every cell to work.  At a high level they play a critical role in controlling inflammation and modulating the immune system.

Most people are having problems with cortisol, which influences over 2,000 epigenetic switches related to your immune system.  What that means is that cortisol plays an absolutely critical role in how well your immune system works.

It’s also the body’s main anti-inflammatory hormone.  So cortisol helps your body keep inflammation under control.

So if you have any of the red flags we just talked about, hormones could be your limiting factor right now.

2) Is sluggish detox or Toxicity your limiting factor?

What is a sluggish liver anyway?

Imagine your liver has 100 jobs per day and it’s only running at 70%… that means 30 jobs each day aren’t getting done and your body is suffering the consequences.

But there could be problems elsewhere the detoxification system encompasses a lot of things: your skin, GALT, your circulatory system, glutathione status, and your liver

There are 3 common ways you detox: poop, pee and sweat.

In today’s environment, there’s been 50,000 to 80,000 new chemicals released since the 1960s, so how do we know if we’re actually detoxifying them correctly?

Here’s some of the most common red flags sluggish detox could be a limiting factor for you:

  • If you are someone who’s been diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • You can’t tolerate supplements that most people can
  • You’re someone who knows that almost everything causes a reaction, like additives in supplements or introducing new foods
  • You struggle with frequent Skin breakouts
  • You have Migraines on a regular basis
  • And chronic constipation

If you have any of the red flags we just talked about, then your detoxification system might be your limiting factor.

3) Are Gut Infections your limiting factor?

If you’re someone who changed your diet and you still have any occasional GI complains, leaky gut, inflammation, brain fog, skin issues or fatigue… then gut infections can be your limiting factor.

There’s two types of infections we commonly see in people that get stuck.

1) Many people struggle with bacterial or parasitic infections.  If you’ve ever done a stool test that’s typically what you’re looking for.

Many of the people we worked with 1-on-1 had parasitic and bacterial infections, sometimes as many as two to three.  The common ones we’ve seen are: H. Pylori, Campylobacter, Pinworms, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Blastocystis Hominis.

2) The other common infection is an overgrowth of commensal flora.  That means things like Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or yeast overgrowth like Candida.  It’s very common for us to see these infections alongside a parasitic infection in section 1.

If you have the red flags in this section, it’s highly likely your limiting factor is a GI infection.  We’ve just seen so many people struggling with one or more gut infections over the years.  In addition to that, we recently interviewed Dr. Tom O’Bryan for our new Solving Leaky Gut product and he’s seeing 70-80% of his patients test positive for gut infections.

And if you have a GI infection and don’t get rid of it, forget about getting healthy.  It just won’t happen… regardless of what you eat. 

That’s why we’re hosting an all-new 2.5 hour live call about GI infections (including protocols)

The client in this story happened to have a parasite, which was causing her to stay sick despite her strict diet change.  That’s why it was a difficult conversation… because she needed to get rid of her current “limiting factor” (the infection) to make improvements.

In a perfect world, you’d work 1-on-1 with a functional medicine practitioner to get your GI infection fixed.  But there aren’t as many of those as the world needs.  And not all of them use the most current protocols.

We’re still working on hiring 2 for you right now… but with the consulting practice closed and the waiting list almost over 300 people, it could be a while before we can open it back up to the public and get you this info.

That’s unacceptable for us.

We want you to be 100% prepared with the latest GI protocols that are getting results.

That’s why we’re hosting this ‘GI Infections’ call with step-by-step protocols to:

  • Kill Bad Bugs in All the Wrong Places (SIBO)
  • The Real Candida Story (what’s really going on and what to do)
  • What to Do About Nasty Parasites
  • H. Pylori Programs that Work
  • Who SHOULDN’T try gut killing protocols
  • Risk Factors That Could Make a GI protocol FAIL
  • UPDATE: Our Newest Stool Testing Recommendations (they’ve changed)

We’ll also be asking you to submit your questions before the call and spend an extra 30 minutes on the call answering as many as we can.

This call is all about getting you the latest information you need if you suspect Gut Infections are one of your limiting factors right now.  Given 70-80% of the people reading this article right now are at risk, it could be one of the most important steps toward healing your gut.

Claim your spot here (seats are limited):

Hope to see you there,

– Jordan

P.S. – We’re hosting a 2.5 hour live event on GI Infections.  Seats are limited to 500.  If you think a gut infection is your limiting factor, claim your seat here:


Jordan Reasoner

About Jordan Reasoner

Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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One thought on “Are These 3 ‘Limiting Factors’ Keeping You Sick?

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    Hi Jordan! im almost certain that my limiting factor is hormones. I have Ulcerous Colitis and the diet has helped alot. But i still have big problems getting off predisolon/steoids without getting sick again. So what do I do?? Is it as simple as buying some adrenal response type supplements? Also, ive heard that Supplents with extracts from animal in the hornone supplements can actually cause auto-immune reactions and should be avoided my ppl with auto-immune diseases. Is this true?
    best Regards Alex

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