I’ve been through a number of highs and lows over the last few weeks, however I have persevered in the firm belief that I have been doing my best to repair my gut wall by sticking to the specific carbohydrate diet/GAPS diet and by consuming large quantities of bone broth. Not only was I using it to make soups for lunch, I have been poaching my eggs in it for breakfast, which is actually very tasty. I have also been experimenting with different fermented foods, including sauerkraut, kimchi, cream kefir & coconut kefir infused with turmeric.
I have not been too fussy about avoiding FODMAP foods and seem to be absolutely fine consuming these in small amounts. I have had no bloating whatsoever!
I have been taking lots of vitamin C and zinc and also a few different types of probiotics.
I had one issue, which made me suspect I had done something damaging to my health. My skin broke out worse than it had in years on either side of my chin. This usually represents a hormonal imbalance, which made sense to me, as I had an extremely short cycle last month.
After a lot of thought, I came to two conclusions. One was that I had over-consumed the strong anti-bacterial essential oils (oil of oregano, clove, basil) on my remove stage, and that this had completely wiped out my gut bacteria and had a negative effect on my liver. Our livers are responsible for breaking down oestrogen and I was sure my body was struggling with this. The other possibility was that I was mistaken in excluding cruciferous vegetables (which are vital for supporting the liver’s detoxification system), because they made me bloated. After doing some research on this topic I started taking two supplements:
DIM – supports oestrogen metabolism
Calcium D-Glucarate – helps support the body’s detoxification system and helps to balance hormones
Taking DIM did not result in much improvement, but when I took it along with the calcium d-glucarate my skin cleared up within a week and my hormones now feel as if they are balancing out. I am also eating cruciferous veg again.
All these side effects caused me so much anxiety that I became quite obsessed with researching, and felt it was taking over my life more than it should. However, I found it all very interesting and learned a lot. My yoga and meditation helped to calm my mind and diminish the worry. I knew I needed to keep going and see what my test results would show in order to get a better picture about what was going on.
So, last week I decided it was time to get retested. I was very nervous opening my email during the week as I knew the results would arrive swiftly. Sure enough I received the email yesterday and I have to say I am overjoyed with the news it brought.
I have managed to heal my leaky gut!!
My candida levels are normal!
My immune system is functioning perfectly!
However I am quite low in certain strains of beneficial bacteria ( wiped out by the essential oils ).
Because my gut bacteria is low I am still being careful about what I eat, as there is potential for the bad bacteria to grow back if I start consuming sugary/refined foods, and do not repopulate with beneficial bacteria. I am loading myself up with more fermented foods and different types of probiotics and I believe I will have the ultimate healthy gut in a very short time.
I am happy to say the 4 months on my unsociable, restrictive diet has been totally worth it! To have used food, supplements and lifestyle to achieve the results I was aiming for is a superb accomplishment for me as a nutritional therapist. Just to be able to consume a bowl of soup with onions & garlic without feeling bloated afterwards feels almost miraculous. It just goes to show what passion, willpower and determination can achieve when teamed up with the knowledge and skills I have accumulated during my studies and the research I have done for this project.
I have learned so much about myself, my body, the gut, the microbiome, hormones, supplements, and detoxification, and I can say with confidence that I feel I have gained hugely valuable expertise in this area.