It’s hard to say when I started to have gut issues— it was pretty much from the day I was born. I was a colic baby and had some tummy woes as a child. Once I was at an age where I could logically analyze what was going on in my body, I realized I had a pretty sensitive stomach. Some foods digested well, some foods didn’t digest well, and sometimes my reactions would vary day to day with the exact same food.
Throughout high school I spoke to a few doctors about my stomach issues, but nothing really came of it. I basically pushed by stomach issues aside during college and grad school until one day I woke up and decided enough was enough. My digestive symptoms would come and go, but one of my constant symptoms was bloating after eating. I could eat anything and bloat- an apple, oatmeal, toast, a full steak dinner, etc. The first step I took toward solving my gut issues was doing an elimination diet. I wanted it to be fairly simple so that I could stick to it for the whole month so I followed a plan that eliminates the main allergen groups- gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and eggs- and I also decided to eliminate all processed sugars during that time for general health purposes. I eliminated those food groups for 30 days and then reintroduced each one by one, waiting 72 hours between introducing food groups. The one allergen/intolerance I discovered through this elimination diet was corn, and the main symptom related to eating corn was migraines and brain fog.
After the diet I cut out corn thinking that would be the cure all for all of my digestive woes. Six months later my symptoms were still the same and that’s when I decided to seek out a Functional Medicine doctor. I had read several articles on leaky gut and they all talked about this branch of medicine called functional medicine and I did my research and found a doctor near me. He had one look at my symptom sheets and said he was sure I had leaky gut, but that we would do all of the testing to see the severity and also test for other things such as parasites and the state of my gut bacteria. The tests came back confirming the leaky gut diagnosis, as well as poor gut bacteria diversity and severe food intolerances. Finally getting the leaky gut diagnosis was my “aha” moment- everything I had been explaining to doctors for years suddenly made sense. I now had not only an explanation for my digestive issues, but a possible explanation to a host of other issues I had been experiencing including, eczema, hair loss, anxiety, migraines, and brain fog. I decided to dedicate the next year or two of my life to healing my gut and the journey so far has been bumpy, but transformational.