Trust Your Gut!
In October 2015, I went out to lunch with a bunch of sweet friends for my birthday and came down with a nasty case of bacteriosis. I didn't have the typical food poisoning..no vomiting all night..but had the most intense abdominal pain that lasted for two days and ended up completely destroying my digestive tract.
What followed this event was 4 months of utter hell!
I had the worst case of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease ) Basically, it was the worst reflux and heartburn that never went away. This caused unbelievable pain, it wasn't just burning it was like I had rocks in my stomach and intestines. I couldn't eat anything, and was losing weight rapidly.
I was also completely constipated- I have never had this problem before in my life! My abdomen was so distended it was truly unbearable.
I went to my regular doctor because the pain over the next 6 weeks just kept increasing. and guess what he did...he prescribed me the most OVER PRESCRIBED medication in the U.S. right now- (read this)YEP you guessed it....the purple pill- omeprazole ( better known as prylosec or nexium)
Now, I don't even take Advil...I really don't take any medication what so ever, but I was desperate!!!
So.....out of desperation, I took one pill and something mysterious happened. My pain immediately went away! That magic purple pill- WOW, could this really be so easy?
WHY? Because about an hour later something else started to happen. I can only describe it like this...I was having a full blown anxiety attack -in my stomach!!!!! - That was the only and LAST pill I took!
For those of you who are not that clear about digestion let me give you a short lesson. (hang in there it's worth it!)
The digestive system ( enteric nervous system) is like a another brain..but it's in your tummy.
The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract—also called the digestive tract—and the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. The hollow organs that make up the GI tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine—which includes the rectum—and anus. Food enters the mouth and passes to the anus through the hollow organs of the GI tract. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are the solid organs of the digestive system. The digestive system helps the body digest food.
****Bacteria in the GI tract, also called gut flora or microbiome, help with digestion. Parts of the nervous and circulatory systems also play roles in the digestive process. Together, a combination of nerves, hormones, bacteria, blood, and the organs of the digestive system completes the complex task of digesting the foods and liquids a person consumes each day.
Ok- GOT IT? So basically digestion works by moving food through the GI tract. Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and ends in the small intestine. As food passes through the GI tract, it mixes with digestive juices, causing large molecules of food to break down into smaller molecules. The body then absorbs these smaller molecules through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream, which delivers them to the rest of the body. Waste products of digestion pass through the large intestine and out of the body as a solid matter called stool.
There are 5 digestive juices you NEED in order to turn food into fuel.
Saliva - to break down starches
Stomach acid- to break down protein
Small intestine juices- to break down starch and protein
Pancreatic juices- to break down starches, proteins and FAT
Liver (bile) - to break down FAT.
How is digestion regulated? by HORMONES
The cells in the lining of the stomach and small intestine produce and release hormones that control the functions of the digestive system. These hormones stimulate production of digestive juices and regulate appetite. This HAS TO HAPPEN....
OK are you still with me?
So..back to the story.
I was having a full blown 'stomach seizure' because this pill I took
( also know as a PPI or proton pump INHIBITOR) was not allowing my body to create the normal acids to break down my food. So I am eating but my stomach and small intestines are being given a message to NOT CREATE ACID..do you all get how INSANE this is? If you don’t have stomach acid, you can not feed your cells, you cn't break anything down so you just get rid of stuff and your pancreas and other organs have to work 10 times harder to do the job the whole system needs to do.
ASIDE: sometimes a short( I mean VERY SHORT) time of turning off the acid is important if there is tissue damage from over excess of acid….BUT it isn’t the ACID that causes the problem- there are many factors responsible and the biggest are food choices, stress, and the LACK OF BACTERIA needed to digest food. This can eventually turn into a leaky valve problem between your tummy and your throat so acid backs up and sometimes cause erosion or in serious case Barret's disease. ( I have had clients misdiagnosed with Barret's and also told they could never heal from it, but they did- Hmmmmm.
This can all be addressed by a combination of changing the diet, mindfulness, and good gut bugs, until the tissues heal and repopulating your gut with healthy bacteria.
When this all started, I KNEW it was from bacteria..bad bacteria killing off my good bacteria but..do you know what? I asked for some H-pylori cultures and was denied?
Do you also know that I went to the TOP gastroenterologist practice ( and waited 4 months to get in for an appointment) only to be told to I should take the purple pill, and get a a bunch of invasive test that I had to wait another 4 months for.
I walked out of there and said OK…I have 4 months to heal my gut!
I healed my gut. I began researching everything I could get my hands on about GERD, about digestion, about the evil purple pill ( no one should be on this for more than a few weeks tops, but many have been on it for years and this means a whole string of other chronic issues.), and ya know what I found out?
I needed to MAKE MY OWN PROBIOTICS ( good bacteria.)
Back in the day..my parents used to can veggies- sake sauerkraut etc. little did I know I would be doing the same.
I started with Kefir. It’s like watery yogurt, and is filled with truck loads of good bacteria and unlike yogurt, it doesn’t just last one day, it literally repopulates your guts with healthy bugs.
I got raw milk from a farm and started on my merry way and found out there is a whole network of people making this. It only take a few days and I was on my way.
It took about 2 weeks and I saw 50% improvement. in 2 more weeks it was 100% better.
Then I started fermenting vegetables ( krauts) and tea ( kombucha)
and I never turned back.
I was able to cancel the endoscopy AND….when I went in for my colonoscopy, they said my insides were so healthy I didn’t need to come again for 10 years!
There is hope…. let's talk!