I’d like to bring you into my world for a few moments here and see if what I’m describing sounds like you.
Below I’ll give you a summary of a client consultation I recently had because stories like hers are sadly becoming the norm in our society. Not that everyone I see has exactly the same concerns and illnesses, but there is a definite pattern of not one but several conditions, multiple medications and lack of improvement in both symptomology and the quality of life.
Here is Lisa’s (not her real name) story:
Summary of case:
Lisa is a 49 year-old female who is 5’4” tall and weighs 168 pounds. She reports a medical history including a childhood tonsillectomy, having 2 children and 1 miscarriage, and a hysterectomy in 2007 due to cysts and uterine prolapse.
She also had an appendectomy in 2012 due to appendicitis, a cholecystectomy in 2014 after stool was found in her gallbladder, and in November 2016 a fecal transplant following 4 episodes of C. diff infection.
Lisa’s present complaints include repeated episodes of bloating and abdominal pain, a persistent feeling of fullness and frequent heartburn. She also reports joint aches in her fingers, knees and elbows, and fatigue and low energy. She states that she would like to lose about 30 pounds.
Lisa has had various tests in the past and has received diagnoses including colitis, gastritis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Tests have also revealed she is low in vitamins B12 and D.
Lisa also reports that she is entering menopause and believes she has hormonal imbalances. She has amalgam fillings in her mouth.
Her current medications include the following:
- Dicyclomine as needed for bloating and abdominal pain
- Ranitidine daily for heartburn
- Zoloft daily for IBS
It appears that Lisa has significant gut microbiome issues. These are both caused by C. diff and are the cause of the same.
An imbalanced microbiome would most assuredly contribute to her IBS symptoms, in addition to possible autoimmunity (colitis or Crohn’s), as 70 percent of the immune system is housed in the gut.
Apparently, Lisa’s gastroenterologist did not take the microbiome into account in his treatment protocol and opted instead to prescribe an antidepressant and acid reducers, both of which will further disrupt the microbiome.
Lacking her gallbladder is affecting her digestion, especially fats, and this may be contributing to her bloating as well. It is curious that her physician apparently did not explore the underlying reason why feces was found in her gallbladder to begin with, and merely opted to remove the organ.
Being low in vitamin D also increases the risk of autoimmunity as well as makes her more susceptible to inflammation and joint pain, and lacking B12 can cause fatigue. The mercury in her amalgam fillings can also trigger autoimmunity.
As far as her medications go, Dicyclomine can cause bloating and fatigue, Ranitidine can cause bloating and arthralgias (joint pain), and Zoloft can cause abdominal pain and heartburn, weight gain, fatigue and joint pain. Hence, it appears that her complaints are caused and/or worsened by her medications.
Am I talking to you?
Sadly, I see cases like Lisa’s repeatedly, so I would have to guess that I’m telling some of your story too.
And if you see yourself in what I’ve said, know this: A vicious cycle of surgeries, medications and never feeling better does NOT have to be your destiny!
Here were my recommendations for Lisa, many of which you can probably apply to yourself:
1- Have a whole foods diet and make your meals easier on your system
Both my Great Taste No Pain plan (addresses overall health) and my specific weight loss book Want To Lose Weight? Stop Dieting! show you how to enjoy delicious, nutrient-rich whole foods and put together meals that are MUCH easier for your system to break down.
This will very likely reduce your IBS symptoms, bloating, full feelings and heartburn tremendously. As such you may be able to eventually reduce or eliminate your Dicyclomine, Ranitidine and Zoloft with your doctor’s agreement.
2- Take a multi-strain probiotic formula.
This will help repopulate your gut microbiome, encourage better immune function and support smooth digestion and better nutrient absorption. Our full-spectrum Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula includes both Lactobacillus species and Bifidobacterium strains to address the needs of both the small intestine and the colon.
3- Take a digestive enzyme supplement.
Without the assistance of the gallbladder to concentrate bile from the liver, fat digestion will always be a challenge for you. As such, you could benefit tremendously from a complete enzyme supplement that includes lipases (for fat digestion) like our Digestizol Max.
4- Consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for menopause.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are created to be the same as your body made before menopause. They are synthesized from plant substances and are made to be like your body's natural hormones; as such, they are far safer than synthetic hormone replacement.
5- Take Vitamin D, B12 and fish oil supplements.
Vitamin D is a very common deficiency, especially in the northern hemisphere where sunlight is limited, plus there are very few foods sources of vitamin D. It is crucial that you have healthy vitamin D levels for joint health and to counteract autoimmunity. Our Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B can provide a therapeutic 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D3, plus vitamins K1 and K2 and the mineral boron.
B12 deficiency is very common in people that use acid reducers like you, and that is most assuredly contributing to your fatigue. This is easily corrected with a B12 spray formula like Hydroxaden 2.5. Its sublingual delivery also helps prevent any issues with absorbency in the GI tract.
Lastly, Omega-3 essential fatty acids are essential to controlling inflammation, which you are suffering from in the form of joint aches. The occasional fish that most people eat will not provide enough for your body’s needs; therefore, you should consider a fish oil supplement like VitalMega-3.
6- Get regular exercise.
You should strive to get regular exercise at least 3-4 days per week. You can start with brisk walking or whatever activity you prefer. Want To Lose Weight? Stop Dieting! can give you helpful tips on incorporating the right exercise activity for you. This will help your weight loss efforts and improve your digestion too.
7- Consider requesting heavy metals testing and having amalgam fillings replaced.
Heavy metals such as aluminum and mercury are deadly to the body. Aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s, and mercury is toxic to the brain, depresses immune function and triggers autoimmunity. If levels are found to be elevated, detoxification measures may be taken (I can help in that regard). Also replacing amalgam fillings will help reduce exposure to mercury.
To Lisa and to you too: Please keep me posted and let me know how you are doing!
To your health,