Craptastic! One girl’s journey to health by way of stool testing.

So what’s a gal to call a blog post about a stool test?  Really?  For those of you not interested, I completely understand.  Feel free to move along, lol.  For the rest of you, hang on.  Some if it’s going to be shitty.

Female HazMat

That’s me preparing to actually root around in my poo before asking Mr. FedEx to carry it across the country and drop it at the lab.

My own personal journey to wellness continues to move forward…slowly but surely.  There has been a lot of transition in my life over the course of the last few months, and like everyone, finding the time, money and wear withal to take the finals steps towards wellness  has been difficult. The universe if finally putting what I need in front of me to succeed, and I’m moving forward.

Finding a doctor I believed in proved to be more difficult than I expected.  It has been almost a year since I was diagnosed with leaky gut, and 8 months since I stepped off of the gluten train.  Finally, I am entering a plan of treatment and hope to be close to finished with it come the first of the year.   As I always teach folks when trying to take on any large project in your life, you have to chunk it out into doable segments and keep forging forward.  Since I haven’t been so sick that I’m bed ridden, it’s been easy to push some of this stuff off.  No more.  I am finally ready and positioned to move forward.

I have been working with Dr. Amy Myers in Austin, Texas.  She is an up and coming functional medicine physician who walks the walk and talks the talk.  Like me, she has dealt with her own leaky gut and thyroid issues, and has an empathetic ear for those who suffer with similar problems.  And yes, leaky gut and the thyroid are connected.  Her website (blog especially) is a great resource for people wanting to educate themselves.  I strongly suggest some of her early podcasts about candida, thyroid, gluten and mycotoxins.  All very interesting and informative.  So the overall picture is that I suffer from hyposthyroidism and my stool tests revealed that I also have parasites, candida AND leaky gut.

Hypothyroidism means that my thyroid function is sluggish/slow.  Gluten greatly affects the thyroid’s function.  I have been on medication (armour) to treat this condition for two years.  My fantasy is to get off the medication, but based on what I have been told, it’s not likely.  I’m hopeful that maybe when my immune system regains its power that reducing/eliminating my meds is a possibility.  Send me some cyber love on that, please.  I’ll take all I can get.

Friend or foe?

Friend or foe?

You are going to be hearing more and more about the gut in general, but leaky gut awareness is on the rise, and education about this will NOT be ascertained from traditional medical doctors.  Do yourself a HUGE favor and find a FUNCTIONAL medicine doctor.  They are motivated to get to the ROOT cause of all your illnesses, rather than masking your problems with a prescription.  They also are focused on nutrition and how it affects our overall health, the other big area that traditional medicine seems to overlook.

So here’s the skinny….I have been having some long-term allergy-like symptoms and we believe that a major contributor to that is my leaky gut. The good news is it can be healed with diet and supplements.  What’s causes leaky gut?  There are a variety of potential answers to this but the general consensus is that our modern diet/processed foods play a big part in it.  Some of the major contributors are thought to be three particular things I consumed during my adult life — beer, wine, birth control pills.

I also have parasites.  Not surprising since I have done a LOT of international travel in my adult life, much of it to non-first world countries.  A recent conversation reminded me of a horrible food incident I had 10 years ago in Cuba that pretty much had me laying on the bathroom floor for a day and a half.  Could I have been dragging these bugs around THAT long? That’s a frightening though, huh?  Anyway, they  get treated first with an herbal concoction, rather than an antibiotic, for one solid month.

The next item uncovered was candida.  Since I have been diagnosed with leaky gut, I suspected that the candida I had and thought I treated 20 years ago, probably didn’t completely get eradicated at that time.  We know a lot more today than we did 20 years ago about this condition.   This time I’ll go on a very restrictive (and so not fun) candida starvation diet combined with a prescription for diflucan, an anti-fungal med to work on eliminating the candida as I try and basically starve it to death. Capryllic acid is also used to treat this condition, but I have a sensitivity to coconut products and it’s not a possibility for me. How do I starve the candida?  By NOT giving it foods it likes to eat(and grow) – sugars, fruit, carbs, fermented foods.  I’m not gonna lie.  This diet suuuuuuuuuuucks.  When I did it 20 years ago I lost 40lbs in 5 months!  I was in a much different place health/weight wise than I am now, and I don’t suspect I’ll lose much weight, but I tell you what my weight loss was so that you can wrap your brain around how truly restrictive it is.   In order to get enough nutrition I’m choosing to incorporate some animal proteins (likely fish) two or three days a week,  and I’m going to put my head down and just knock it out.  This “diet” will last about two months.   So when I start the parasite treatment I’ll also start this diet then slip right into finishing that up the following month when I start to take the diflucan.

Then while all this is going on I’ll be working on rebuilding my gut with herbs and supplements.

Good times.

When the two months or treatment for the above conditions is over, I’ll finally step up to the plate and do the two week elimination diet for the leaky gut.  It’s not very different from the candida diet other than I have to eliminate a few more items, notably ALL grains and night shade veggies.  Phew.  Exhausting.

But here’s the good news.  It’s all doable.  All of it.  Tough?  Absolutely.  But in a  few months I anticipate I’ll be like new money.  My goal is to be able to wrangle this all up by the end of the year.  That’s 4 months.  I CAN do this.  Once I get my gut healed, I’ll be able to ease back into some of my favorite fruits and veggies and eventually return to where I usually am at a 90%ish vegan lifestyle.

Knowledge is power.  Stay tuned.






6 Responses to Craptastic! One girl’s journey to health by way of stool testing.

  1. Go, Jodi! That sounds like the perfect Christmas gift for yourself. Good luck. You can totally do this.

  2. Way to go, girl! You CAN and WILL do this – the rewards are too good not to do it. I discovered your blog just as you were leaving Pensacola. I hope you someday find your way back to these parts. I started a nutritional revolution on my own following a more Paleo approach about 18 months ago. I’ve seen tremendous improvement since backing away from grains. I’ve learned my triggers for bad health are grains and sugars. The most difficult thing is not what I don’t get to eat – believe me – once you do without processed foods you realize it wasn’t that good to begin with but it’s the prep. It takes time and effort to prepare healthy meals and we (America) have become a nation of instant food. I wasn’t a great cook before but I’m learning – that’s why I need you back here – to show me some cooking tips. I wish you lots of success in your adventure to a healthier state.

    • You are absolutely correct, Teresa. I can and I will!!! It’s been a LONG seven (7) year journey and as I ease into the tail end of it, I’m certain that my trip will help others gather facts so that they can get going on their own health recovery. I had been living without a lot of processed foods for quite some time, but I’m human and I cheat occasionally but when I do, I always pay a high price for it. It’s becoming less and less desirable to cheat. My conundrum of recent has been I’ve been living without a kitchen of my own for four months! That changed today, making it much easier for me to take control what goes in my pie hole. My sometimes vagabond lifestyle LOOKS like fun, but usually there is something that suffers from the excitement. Onward ho! There is a possibility I’ll be back in the Gulf region over the winter. Stay tuned for updates. Thanks for the encouraging words and good luck to you as you forge forward and conquer.

  3. Pingback: Where y’at, Jodi? | Ultimate Kitchen Commando

    • GREAT idea, Jackie. Recipes are really just guidelines and I’m thrilled you shared your idea here. Thanks.

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