Have you ever heard of the term “symptom chasing”??
It refers to the act of trying to resolve several health issues independently, believing one symptom is unrelated to the other. It’s a very frustrating place to be, but fortunately more and more people are becoming aware and realize this behavior isn’t working.
Looking back, I was doing this very thing as I tried to find separate solutions to my grueling fatigue, severe diarrhea, and unwelcomed weight loss. But as soon as I focused on taking control of my digestive issues, everything started to fall into place and I felt alive again.
Truth is, the research shows our gut plays a role in nearly every condition known to man and we must start there if we want to achieve better health.
And this is exactly how my friend Debbie regained her health, despite suffering from over 15 symptoms every single day.
Debbie’s story is a perfect example of what can happen when we turn our attention to gut health. Not only did she lose the weight she so desperately tried to lose, but she recovered from eczema, endometriosis, thyroid issues, pancreatitis, GERD, and depression to name a few.
Debbie is an inspiration to me and I hope that if you’re sick and tired of chasing symptoms, her story inspires you to take a different approach.
I Started to Develop Allergies When We Moved to a Farm
And my love for sugar/dairy/white flour grew from there. I was taught to cook very young, so by ten I could bake cookies. The move traumatized me so carbs became my friend. My old friends weren’t around me anymore, I was shy and scared.
Developing allergies, constipation, rashes, ear infections and looking like a round-faced Cabbage Patch Kid, I was already living with a leaky gut when I look back. I had a lot of ENT infections, a kid who was always sniffling and had dark circles under my eyes, I was also chubby from an early age.
This doesn’t have to be mentioned but my mother fed me a horrible mix of watered-down canned milk and corn syrup as a baby. I feel she set up a landscape for future addictive eating through a very rich formula. “Only poor women breast fed in the 1960s.” Much of my poor diet choices were generational and situational. My family ate its way through dysfunction and we ate like horses.
By My Mid-Teens, I Decided I Didn’t Want to Be Fat Anymore
Funny thing, looking back I wasn’t big – I was solid from physical labor. Kids at that age are hurtful, the words sunk in. I stopped eating carbs first off. I was already versed in why I needed to diet by my mother, she had me on an early form of the South Beach Diet when I was eight. I was on the edge of anorexia nervosa by age 18. My eating was all over the map, I lost 40 pounds in less than a year.
I had a ton of energy, but I don’t know if that was the result of losing weight or the early stages of bipolar disorder. I developed many yeast infections over my late teens and into my late twenties. My moods were erratic and I was drinking a lot of Diet Coke, eating holes in my guts, creating a lot of gas, burping and making me feel very spacey and revved up. My university diet was a horror show, midnight diet runs and street food…noodle packs and instant coffee. You get the picture.
I Was on a Diet/Exercise Seesaw from My Twenties On
After my first and only child, I developed thyroid issues, was getting more rashes and eczema that covered most of my body, suffered from water retention, bloating, gas and continued constipation. Allergies were a given, and environmental issues were only compounded by increasingly poor dietary choices. Eczema was now part of me, usually on my face, around my eyes, forehead and nose.
I was diagnosed bipolar in my early 30s, put on medication that saw my weight increase even more. I would exercise with full intention of keeping my weight down. The problem was, mania seemed to be the only way to keep my weight off.
My hair was starting to thin, the dark circles under my eyes got worse, and my face was either puffy or gaunt looking.
The times I decided to lose weight, it would be quick weight loss. I would look like a million bucks but feel like two cents. My adrenals were flatlined and I was drinking coffee at work like it was water. Surrounded by rich desserts at a high-pressure job in a high-end restaurant was a bad combination. I loved alcohol like I did a pastry or a plate of creamy pasta.
I was able to hold my weight steady because I was working like a dog but completely exhausted. Grabbing a jumbo cinnamon roll and drinking java was considered a good breakfast.
My sleep patterns, from my 20s on, were broken up. I would never fall into a deep sleep. I was wired on caffeine. I developed tinnitus and vertigo around this time. More meds and head scratching by doctors. I was starting to visit naturopaths, they would get me stabilized through supplements. It never stuck. I attracted chaos.
In My Late Thirties, I Was Developing Endometriosis
It would take me 10 years to realize I was sick with the condition. Cortisone drugs were a constant for my face, the eczema spread to my hands, eyelids and earlobes. I was taking bronchial dilators for asthma that had developed over the previous 20 years, allergy meds were a given as sinus infections were constant. My nose was full of polyps.
My legs looked like tree trunks in the summer with water retention, a carryover from pregnancy. But I kept going, I had no choice. Living with mental health issues and raising my intellectually challenged daughter as a single mom, I didn’t take the time to consider my digestive system could be slowly killing me. My lifestyle encouraged poor dietary choices; I was always going a million miles an hour. I didn’t taste food, I inhaled it.
In My Mid-Forties, I Finally Settled Down
This is when my dietary issues came home to roost, in a negative way. I was cooking up a storm, baking regularly, vegging on the sofa with a bag of licorice or potato chips at night. Hiding bags of candy and eating chocolate bars daily, my weight ballooned. I was developing headaches, my moods were bouncing all over the map, coffee was the only thing to get me moving in the morning.
Though no longer drinking much, a couple glasses of wine would knock me off my feet. I developed full body hives, and suffered from back to back colds/flu for five winters straight. I would actually mark off dates on the calendar seeing a trend. My joints were beginning to ache and swell. I thought, oh well, arthritis runs in the family, guess it’s time. My swollen legs were embarrassing and my feet weren’t fitting in my sandals anymore. I was placed on strong diuretics, which I decided not to take, because in my mind I already knew what the problem was.
I had a hysterectomy in the summer of 2014, I was full of cysts and had uterine endometriosis. My uterus had prolapsed. I was feeling completely worn down and had next to no energy. My weight continued to increase and I couldn’t get enough garbage food into my system, I was feeling less of a woman, my youth was fleeting, I just wanted to eat.
Last Summer, I Was Hospitalized for Three Days with Pancreatitis
And my lipid levels were off the chart after a weekend of rich food and drink. Why am I falling apart? I asked myself. (Though I knew my diet and lifestyle had everything to do with what had been going on to this point.)
This past winter, I was sick again. This time for three months, a barrage of antibiotics, puffers and sinus medication followed, I spiraled into a deep depression. Chronic fatigue, cancer, lupus, what is wrong with me? I knew the answer, my gut was angry at me, and was sending me very clear messages. Your quality of life is only getting worse. I felt like dying.
My cravings were off the chart and I would eat until I was sick. Another prescription was written out for GERD, acid reflux and heartburn were a regular thing. My family doctor didn’t offer up anything but prescriptions and some blood work to be done to check my glucose and lipid levels, which incredibly showed normal levels, even after my pancreatitis.
I Decided to Take Matters Into My Own Hands
It was time to look toward a more holistic, proactive approach to healing. I was so disappointed and frustrated at this point. I needed a natural means to heal. Mainstream medicine failed me, now I had to take matters into my own hands and reclaim a sense of self. Who was I anymore? A series of symptoms, my identity was connected to feeling sick.
How symptoms have changed. It’s all changed. The crazy part of this, I have only been on the Leaky Gut Program for a month. All of my symptoms have lessened or disappeared.
Yes, you heard me. Gone.
The other interesting dynamic is I went about tackling leaky gut from the perspective of I am going to lose a lot of weight. Now, my focus is how good I feel eating a balanced, leaky gut/candida focused eating plan.
This is no diet, this is a sane approach to health and nutrition. I started tracking my progress and every day the changes were coming in leaps and bounds. Energy is back, but it is not the insane frenetic hyper I would normally feel. The places I was feeling heavy and weighed down were the first to show progress. I don’t get bloated anymore, things move along nicely. Hives are gone, eczema almost gone. I have also discovered my allergies were made worse by refined foods. Now, I am dealing with airborne allergens holistically.
The weight loss is a positive byproduct and not the means to an end. Think about that statement. Equilibrium in the body means your physiology is going to find its sweet spot. Getting to the point that I did I was faced with no choice. I have bucked mainstream medicine my entire life, given I would never finish a course of anything. The “healing” would make me feel worse. My body was a toxic sludge pond. Making numerous attempts to “diet” ended in failure. I was not meant to diet. None of us are.
I cringe at the thought of the thousands spent on diet programs. Also, I look back at my past and recognize I was setting myself up to fail. I was going the “low fat” routine for years… mistake. Joining weight loss programs, I would start in a place of shame and disgust at myself, sitting in a room of equally overweight and unhappy women. Within a month or two, I would slide off the wagon, go on a binge, experience a crisis, have a major mental health set back.
I feel the leaky gut program is imperative to anyone who has a history of mental health issues. Sugar, unhealthy fats, flour, dairy, I see all of these “foods” as chemicals potentially intensifying manic states or dragging one deeper into a depressive/anxious abyss. In my case I know it to be true. No doubts.
I Came Across Solving Leaky Gut Last Month
I came across Jordan and Steve’s program last month. After taking their quiz regarding leaky gut syndrome, I had a chuckle. I was close to 100 percent on the symptoms. I had been handed an anti-inflammatory diet years ago and realized this is where Jordan and Steve are coming from.
The webinar reinforced the groundwork for moving forward on what I consider the most important thing you can do for your health, wellbeing and longevity.
Are you ready for change?
This program will transform you, as it brings all of the ingredients for success right to you. Investing in yourself will bring vigor, energy and yes, a sense of inner peace.
It’s time. Do it.
But you have to be where I was, having exhausted all avenues.
You will know its time. I did.
We’re so grateful Debbie was able to resolve her issues and that she is a part of our Solving Leaky Gut Community. Her determination and strength through the entire process is a great example of what it means to fight for health.
If you’re stuck chasing your symptoms and you don’t know which way to turn, I hope Debbie’s story can shed some light on gut health and just how powerful it is.