How I (Naturally) Healed My Gut + Took Back My Health
My story is long and I am not going to go into the depths of it here, but here is a brief summary of what my last few years have looked like..
After the suicide of a dear friend, running my own business, planning a wedding + getting married and being a full time college student - I was spent. My body was over it… and it let me know, in a BIG WAY. I ended up in the emergency room thinking I was FOR SURE dying - all to be told I was just having a panic attack.
Prescription after prescription, I ended up abusing + addicted to Ativan, on two to three antidepressants at a time, gaining one hundred pounds over five years, feeling sick all of the time, chronically fatigued and quite honestly - feeling hopeless. Every doctor I spoke with wanted to medicate - none asked me about supplementation or diet.
And so I decided to take my health into my own hands. I began advocating for myself, asking questions and getting down to the root of my horrible health (all at just 22-27 years old). And you know where I landed?
Simply put, it is the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body- that is our microbiome. We all have one, and the health of it is absolutely crucial to our wellness. Our gut has a microbiome of its own, and that is what we’re talking about here in this post.
Candida overgrowth happens when your bad bacteria (the bad dudes) outnumber your good bacteria (the good guys).
Candida, the most common fungus present in your mouth and gut, can be productive in small amounts, but when it is overgrown, it breaks through your intestinal wall and leaks into the bloodstream. Want to know something absolutely fascinating about candida? God put it in our bodies to help decompose them after death. So, knowing that alone should make you want to ENSURE you don’t have too much of it in your body! Holes in your gut lining allow all sorts of toxins your gut is supposed to eliminate to circle BACK into your system- NOT GOOD. This gross leakage of toxins into the blood is called leaky gut, and it can cause mass chaos in our bodies.
We’ve all taken them, and I am certainly not suggesting you should never use them - because, let’s be honest - they can save lives. HOWEVER, unless it is absolutely necessary, I would encourage you to resort to more holistic methods of healing before you pop these babies. Because they don’t JUST kill the bad bacteria, they kill ALL of the bacteria.
LACK OF NUTRIENTS + WATER
Good ol’ H2O helps to flush out all of the toxins that enter into our system. Supplementation + nourishment are KEY factors in healing + maintaining a healthy gut. Even an organic + plant based diet isn’t enough, in today’s culture, to ensure our gut + bod are getting all of the nutrients we need.
Birth control, hormone therapy, or use of toxic products (which are ALL around us!) - all of these mess with our hormone levels. With a yeast overgrowth, the candida actually attaches itself to estrogen, so any time you’re adding estrogen to your body (or messing with your levels) you’re increasing your risk of overgrowth.
STRESS + LACK OF SLEEP
Stress is constant in our culture today - and unfortunately, so it lack of sleep. Both of these weaken our immune systems + disrupt our ability to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria.
SUGAR + POOR DIET
A high sugar + high processed starch diet is like a breeding ground for candida. The candida in your gut feeds off of sugar (and starch because it becomes sugar almost immediately in your body). By consuming a lot of the foods that fuel it. you’re promoting its growth and it can easily start to overpopulate and throw off your microbiome flora balance.