I used to sing the praises of healing diets as the way to fix gut dysbiosis (also called leaky gut). Now I can recommend a faster, easier, and less broth-filled approach to a happier gut. Here’s the story of how I didn’t have the energy to do a healing diet to heal my gut the second time around, and what saved the day.
So How Did My Gut Become Leaky, Anyway?
The hormonal acne I first got in college caused me to seek out the help of dermatologists. Their only advice was to take antibiotics, sometimes for years at a time. I’d enjoy clear skin for a little while, then break out again, then go back on antibiotics. Antibiotics aplenty does not a happy tummy make.
I also tried hormonal birth control to try to balance out my hormones, at my doctor’s suggestion. I now know that hormonal birth control has been shown to contribute to gut troubles.
Add to the mix a few decades of eating the Standard American Diet, and my guts were a mess.
Motivated by my desire to finally find a way to keep my face from breaking out, I figured out my acne was a sign pointing to gut dysbiosis. This simply means my gut was out of balance. Not enough of the helpful bacteria, too many of the unhelpful bacteria, irritated intestinal walls, that sort of thing. You can read more about gut dysbiosis/leaky gut here.
How Gut Dysbiosis Affects You
Chances are you are already well aware of it if you’re experiencing gut dysbiosis. More severe cases can lead to a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, or Crohn’s disease. Less severe cases might include constipation and diarrhea.
Other common symptoms of gut dysbiosis may be less obvious. Depression, anxiety, acne, allergies, eczema, asthma, headaches, autoimmune conditions, and hormonal imbalances are just a few.
I first tried to get help from my general practitioner, who obligingly ran a few tests, then referred me to a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist spent less than five minutes with me and handed me a prescription for Immodium. If you’re not already familiar with it, this is an antidiarrheal medicine I could have gotten over the counter at any drugstore. It was not the kind of root-cause solution I sought for the digestive problems I was having. I was on my own.
I Healed My Gut the First Time with a Healing Diet
I somehow stumbled upon a book/diet called Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, who helps people heal their leaky gut, thereby improving many mental health issues as well. This concept sounds less strange if you keep in mind that your gut is now considered by scientists to be the “second brain,” with more seratonin receptors than your actual brain.
I decided to give her GAPS diet a go. This particular healing diet involves copious amounts of broth, meat cooked in broth, veggies cooked in broth. Have I mentioned that there is a lot of broth involved?
Slowly you begin to reintroduce foods, while your gut walls, finally able to catch a break, can begin to patch themselves up properly. The intro phase is most restrictive, while the Full GAPS diet allows for a little more variety and can be continued indefinitely. There are now quite a few great blogs out there providing recipes that are “GAPS legal.”
In addition to the GAPS healing diet, I also saw an acupuncturist and specialist in Chinese Medicine who helped me tremendously. I even did some colon hydrotherapy, which also seemed to help.
The Healing Diet Worked, But…
My bowels finally began to behave as I wanted them to. Food was digesting properly. Waste was exiting in a timely and and non-miserable manner.
For a couple of years, my guts remained happy. I think this healing diet was part of the reason I was able to get pregnant with my son. I had an easy pregnancy, with minimal digestive upset.
But after my son was born, my vigilant dietary rules relaxed. I tried to stay gluten free, but that was about all I could manage.
Then, I had the unfortunate experience of getting food poisoning at what was my favorite Indian restaurant. This involved tummy troubles that rivaled my pre-GAPS days, and they didn’t go away.
When a couple of months had gone by and my guts had still not returned to normal, I decided it was time to do something about it.
I Healed My Gut the Second Time with Homeopathy
By this time I’d learned about homeopathy, and had been hearing about constitutional care as a way to heal chronic health concerns. It still sounded a little wild to me, but my tummy troubles were making me miserable. And as the mom of a busy toddler, I knew I didn’t have the energy to tackle another round of a healing diet like GAPS. So I decided to give homeopathy a shot.
There was a little bit of trial and error involved. The first remedy the homeopath gave me worked amazingly well for a few days, then abruptly stopped working.
It took a few different remedies to clear things up. But when it finally clicked, the results were just as wonderful as my original healing diet + acupuncture + Chinese medicine + colon hydrotherapy combo. Only this time, it was a whole lot cheaper, and a whole lot easier.
Plus, I got to learn more about homeopathy. It’s a subject I am now so excited about, I am planning to study it formally!
Constitutional Care For the Win
If you’ve been thinking about doing a healing diet, you might save yourself the trouble of cooking and eating vast quantities of broth, and just see a homeopath instead.
For any chronic health complaint, I can’t recommend constitutional care with a classical homeopath highly enough. Homeopathic remedies have no side effects and no interactions with conventional medications, so there’s little risk of harm. Occasionally you might experience a temporary flare-up or “aggravation” of your symptoms before things get better, but that’s regarded as a sign that your body is working things out.
I should note, homeopathy can’t “fix” your gut if you’re treating your body as a garbage dump. Eliminating processed foods, adding more fruits and veggies, and figuring out which foods work or don’t work for your body is always a good idea. I consider Empowered Sustenance to be a fantastic resource for learning about this.
If you’d like to learn more about homeopathy, check out a book called Impossible Cure by Amy Lansky. Or read the exciting true story of how homeopathy once saved my vacation here. And finally, you can find out how to find a homeopath here.
A Recommended Supplement
For gut health I also recommend a supplement called Advanced Toxin Removal System, or TRS by Coseva. Candida overgrowth often plays a major role in gut dysbiosis, and heavy metal toxicity creates favorable conditions for candida overgrowth in the gut. Getting those toxins out of your body is an important part of healing. Find out more about TRS here.