I’ve always struggled with skin related issues such as eczema and psoriasis. Now, some of it is genetics because my dad also struggles with these issues; however, some of it is also related to my environment. We can’t blame our genes for everything. The way we choose to live our lives, the stress we allow to enter into our days, and the food we decide to put in our bodies is ultimately our decision.
It wasn’t until last year where I really started to think about the way food was making me feel or how it affected my skin. I’ve known for quite some time now that most grains don’t necessarily agree me so I work towards maintaining a low intake of those and choosing substitutions if possible. Although last year I started to notice a lot of other things starting to bother me that never did before: dairy, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, etc. Many of the podcasts I was listening to at the time were talking about the “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. I started reading more about it and thinking “oh no, this might be me”.
What is it? Well, a leaky gut occurs when the lining of your intestines breaks apart. Thus allowing small particles of undigested food and toxins to escape from the intestines and travel into the bloodstream. Your immune system then goes into attack mode to try and rid your body of these foreign invaders. Some of the main culprits that contribute to a leaky gut are not only food and toxins but also infections, alcohol, stress, medications, and bacteria overgrowth.
Read more here on signs you may have a leaky gut and how to potentially heal it if so.
I started to think I may have this syndrome because I was struggling with the following:
hormonal imbalances which affected my menstrual cycle
inability to get pregnant after a year of trying
chronically feeling tired or fatigue
skin issues worsening: psoriasis
developing new food sensitivities
My issues started when we moved to California after living overseas. I began blaming everything BUT stress. When in reality, after a year of personal research and experimentation on myself I found stress to my answer…even though I didn’t want to admit that life had gotten me down. With my husbands deployment last year and the adjustment of living back in the states my body literally panicked. I wasn’t having a period, couldn’t ovulate, and was developing severe depression. I saw an allergy specialist who conducted tests on me only to determine I had no allergies to food. I began seeing a fertility specialist who labeled me as an “un-described case”. I saw a Gastroenterologist who performed an Upper GI Endoscopy only to determine again I had no issues that needed to be dealt with. Talk about frustrating! I wanted an answer to why my healthy was declining but no one could give me an answer. It was time to take matters into my own hand.
I knew my stress wouldn’t completely go away until my husband was home safe but I knew there were things I could do to help improve my situation slowly. I started incorporating a prebiotic and probiotic into my diet as well as fermented foods/drinks (sauerkraut, kombucha, etc). I began using a digestive enzyme at mealtimes to help breakdown my food. I worked hard at consciously not drinking as much water with meals so more saliva was produced to digest my food. I began backing away from heavy lifting/exercise and I tried to eliminate grains/dairy as much as possible.
It may sound like a lot but I’m here to tell you today that whatever it was, it worked! Once my husband returned home safely from his deployment everything started to fall back into place. My symptoms started to disappear and guess what…I was able to get pregnant (shhh it’s not Facebook official yet, still waiting for the right moment to announce). I not only changed my habits but I also incorporated prayer and positive thinking into my daily routine. It was both a physical and mental struggle but my reason for this post is to let you know that IT IS POSSIBLE to take control of your health if you’ve lost your path along the years. Everyone’s story is different but we all have one. We all struggle, have temptations, and go through periods of good times and bad. It’s how you react to those events that defines you…not the issue itself. My dad has had cancer for over 8 years now and he continues to fight each and every single day. He is my hero and he may have cancer, yes, but more importantly he’s a fighter! Cancer doesn’t define him. Don’t let whatever issue you have going on in your life take away from who you are!!
If you, like me, struggle with digestive issues I encourage you to take the time to listen to the podcasts below. It’s an easy to understand, light-hearted group of episodes that could be extremely helpful to you. Especially if you have never heard of gut issues before. There is a ton of new research out there now about how if you heal your gut, you heal your brain. Think about it, treat the cause not the symptoms.
Everything takes time but it’s always worth the wait in the end!
(photo by: wellnessmama.com)
Podcast Episode #1: Understanding the Microbiome
Podcast Episode #2: Overcoming Gut Infections
Podcast Episode #3: Does Leaky Gut Cause Autoimmunity?