From GFG: How Angela healed her digestive issues with Paleo diet – I received this story from a reader who is passionate about helping others after healing herself. I thought many of you may identify with her story.
How Angela healed her digestive issues with Paleo diet
My life changed at the age of 28 when I got an Irritable Bowel Syndrome diagnosis. I went from a driven career woman in New York City to a San Francisco transplant on a healing mission. The constant bloating, painful gas, constipation and sluggishness took the pleasure out of life. My doctors in New York told me there was no cure for IBS, but I hoped that moving to San Francisco would be promising mecca of alternative healing possibilities.
In New York I dabbled with alternative healing with no success. I tried homeopathy and gave up acidic foods like orange juice, coffee and tomato sauce. I started my day with Metamucil and ended it with yoga. No improvement.
In San Francisco I started unraveling my medical mystery with the help of Dr. Google. I tried a Candida cleanse first.
Candida is a yeast-like, parasitic bacteria that lives in our guts. When it grows out of control it crowds out the beneficial bacteria in our gut and causes digestive issues and other symptoms. Stress, a high sugar/carb diet, antibiotics use and other pharmaceuticals can cause Candida overgrowth.
The Candida cleanse was very, very strict. I couldn’t eat anything with sugar, including fruit. Strangely some of my symptoms got better (the bloating) while some got worse (the constipation). I stopped after 6 weeks.
I then spent the next 6 years, testing different diets and treatments using myself as a guinea pig.
I saw a naturopath who put me on a very high protein diet, requiring me to eat large servings of meat, fish or chicken at every meal, even breakfast. I also ate a lot of beans, nuts and soy. I stopped that after 8 months because there was only minimal improvement.
Then I discovered Ayurveda, the ancient medicine of India. I took lots of Ayurvedic herbs and did some intense Ayurvedic cleanses called Pancha Karma, which included daily massage with lots of oil.
I attacked the problem from all angles. I saw a therapist (in case it was in my head) and an energy healer (in case it was somewhere else). I tried a bodywork method called Bowen Technique.
I did juice cleanses and weekly colonics.
Then I decided to follow a raw food diet because the idea of creating an alkaline body sounded so promising. Anything that strict and intense had to work, right?
In retrospect I learned that raw food, while healing for some, can tax weak digestive systems. It takes a lot of work to digest raw veggies and nuts. Not only was the raw food diet socially isolating, it made me feel worse instead of better. I had such high hopes for the raw diet that I rationalized the adverse effects as a long cleansing detox reaction.
While on vacation at a raw food retreat center I met a nutritionist who was there to research raw food for her practice. Ironically, she was the one who helped me heal my gut with a Paleo diet.A grain-free approach was the answer for me but I also had to avoid nuts (a staple of my raw food diet). I discovered I had a nut intolerance and the other problem with the raw food diet was it’s generous use of raw sweeteners like agave or raw honey.
After only two weeks on the nut-free, Paleo diet my symptoms improved by 70 percent. I followed the diet for a year, and the results were miraculous. And it made sense to eat this way. It felt natural.
I went from a tired, depressed, sickly person with weak digestion and food allergies to a happy bundle of energy, with a strong immune system and the ability to eat EVERYTHING without any reactions!
These days I want to share my story to help other people with digestive struggles how to fix their gut. Diet is the foundation but I also use supplements, relaxation techniques and lifestyle tweaks.
Meat gets bad press and many people think a vegan diet is healthiest. It wasn’t for me and it’s not for many people. I see many vegans suffering with digestive problems because they eat too many carbs and soy and are deficient in essential nutrients like B12 and zinc, which are tough to get on a vegan diet.
Animal protein balances blood sugar, is grounding, keeps you full longer, warms you up, helps manufacture feel-good chemicals, builds muscles and repairs organ lining. I teach people that grains are often worse for digestion than red meat because they are highly allergenic, can ferment to cause gas and may lead to a leaky gut.
I am living proof that one year on a nut-free, Paleo diet can repair the gut and give people their lives back.
Follow Angela Privin’s Journey: at www.diyhealthblog.com where she teaches people how to heal their digestive issues.
Also read her great article about the emotional connections with IBS
Are you looking for more help?
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