I’m dealing with some MAJOR gut issues.
I knew something was up but I didn’t know where (in my body.)
For years I have had a problem with major exhaustion. Oversleeping. Brain fog.
Depression. That is a big one.
For years I had done everything I could to combat these issues: regular exercise, insane healthy eating, proper supplements and adaptogens, always got enough sleep, got outside, etc etc.
So why was I still feeling this way? Depression on and off has been a huge debilitator in my life but the in between- even when I wasn’t depressed, I still felt lethargic. Boosts of energy here and there but so short lived.
It didn’t add up. Doing everything right and yet still struggling.
It wasn’t until about 6 weeks in living in Texas that I KNEW I had to do something.
Western Medicine doctors had provided me no help, no insight. They’d want to prescribe me medication for depression. They’d “run tests” that didn’t cover much and always came back normal.
I finally invested in seeing a functional/holistic medicine Doctor. What a shining light she turned out to be!
We spent a long time talking about my lifestyle and history. There was one main warning sign that was going off: The fact that I had been on antibiotics for long periods of time throughout my life.
The backstory, and this is kind of TMI but…. what the hell. I’ll set a clear picture.
The backstory on my antibiotics: From 9 months old to 7 years old I was kept on a low-level antibiotic because I kept getting reoccurring UTIs. (I have written about this here.) Right away- I’m starting life with very depleted levels of good bacteria in my life.
I had strep throat 6-7 times when I was younger and took antibiotics for that.
In my adult life- I was told that I’d get a UTI every single time after sex unless I took an antibiotic. (I’ve had bladder and kidney issues since I was a baby.)
All these antibiotics were killing off all my good bacteria and not once did my traditional Doctors raise a red flag and say, “You know what? This is going to impact your gut greatly if we keep going the way you’re going.”
So it makes sense that I went from long distance to living with Dan (taking more antibiotics obviously) and felt myself slowly declining every day.
My functional medicine Doctor was horrified at how much antibiotics I had taken in a lifetime. Even multiple rounds of antibiotics as a kid or in our adult life is enough to impact your gut.
What we discovered through extensive blood tests:
1. I am having SEVERE malabsorption issues. Basically a light on why I eat so healthy and still feel so unenergized: I’m not absorbing many nutrients.
2. The lack of good bacteria (I have VERY little) in my gut has taxed out my adrenals and thyroid. Also why I am so tired all the time. All of my adaptogens and my lifestyle are most likely what has kept me as baseline.
3. We can most likely attribute much my depression to my gut health as mental health STARTS in the gut.
4. My consistent bloating and feelings of “sluggishness” is directly related to my gut issues.
Y’all. I wanted to cry when I heard this. Cry because I didn’t realize it would be this severe but also cry because finally, I had answers. Finally, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel (once I learned we could fix this.)
The protocol for fixing my gut issues:
My Doctor believes that we can fix my gut but it’s going to be a long road ahead and will take a LOT of discipline and dedication on my part.
It will take 6 months to a year.
I have to take a massive amount of supplements and powders every day. Twice a day, to be exact. This is expensive but I’ve chosen to prioritize this over other things I would normally spend my money on.
(I would tell you what supplements but everyone is different and I don’t want anyone going out and getting exactly what I am on as it might not help you and could potentially be dangerous. One day I will do an IG story if you are really interested.)
This– twice a day. (Not including the complex powder I take in a smoothie every day.)
Kidney & Liver Detox
Para 1 & Para 2 (we suspect parasitic activity in my gut)
Thyroxal for my thyroid
HM-ET Binder (pulls toxins during detox)
Adrenal Desiccated for my adrenals
D3 + K (My body is having a hard time absorbing Vitamin D right now)
Methylation Complete (B-12, Folate and P5P)
AC-Gluthathione- critical for immune function and controls inflammation
K Kidney- for UTI prevention
3 Bactrex- for UTI prevention
It will start out a LOT at first, supplement wise, and then slowly decrease as I get better and results are achieved.
The goal is to first do a major detox and get all the biofilm out surrounding my gut– this will take a good three months before we start actual gut repair.
MY DIET IS INSANE. And I have to be incredibly strict– 7 days a week. Thank God I already eliminate a lot of these things in my normal diet but… it’s still drastic as to how strict it is.
As I am repairing, I am not allowed: Meat. Dairy. Gluten/Wheat. Soy. Corn. Sugar. Caffeine. Alcohol. Processed oils.
Basically, I can only eat organic fruits and vegetables, quinoa, wild rice, lentils, ground flax meal, collagen powder, bone broth, adaptogens, and plant-based milk. Sparingly — and this is my saving grace as I have a BIG sweet tooth– I can have nut butters (but no peanut butter.)
The first two weeks are done and I am already feeling better. WAY less bloated, a little more energy. This will only continue to get better as time goes on. I should expect to be feeling like a completely different person in 6 months.
One of the hardest parts has been cutting out the caffeine and sugar!! I LOVE MY COFFEE. Now I’m one of those decaf people…. *le sigh.*
I am so committed. I want to be healthy and my best self. I want to do this right. Time is going to pass anyway and I want to have myself the most energetic summer come next year. I want a healthy gut. Healthy adrenals. A functioning thyroid.
We all deserve to feel our very best. I wanted to write this because I know a lot of people have taken antibiotics probably too much in their lives and this day are suffering from always feeling like crap. Depression, lethargy, brain fog– all of these are tied to gut health. I urge you to get some extensive blood tests done if you have taken too many antibiotics over your life. Get back to feeling good again!!
Antibiotics are terrible for gut health. Please remember this!
(This is why so many people have stomach problems after antibiotics. Even one round can effect you!)
I’ll keep Violet’s posted on the journey. Start talking about gut health more– my research has been out of this world insane since discovering this. I’ve always advocated for good gut health but I will do so even more now. Even if you’re not as severe as me– protect that gut!
In the future expect updates, recipes and insights! Here to share my nuggets of knowledge I pick up. I can do this, Violets! We can do anything we set our minds to. Anything.
BTW my Doctor is virtual (she is the BEST) if you want her information, DM me! I will always be sharing my journey as I go along: @TheVioletFog