As you may or may not know, depending if you have been following me for some time or not, I suffer from some digestive issues!
There are some things that just a standard vegan, plant based diet cannot fix entirely and efficiently on it’s own. I often feel like a failure and a bad example when I promote that a vegan lifestyle is super healthy & the best for everyone, the animals & the environment when I feel like s*** everyday.
Over my years since childhood I have experienced an array of symptoms like bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, cramping, pain ect. As a toddler, my diet was immaculate, my mother made the effort to feed me homemade veggie purees ect. As I got older my taste for processed junk became a thing. I remember saying to my Mum “how is it even possible to have two servings of fruit & five servings of veggies in a day?!” (how times have changed for me, now right?). In my early teens I saw a gastroenterologist and had an endoscopy to look into my stomach and nothing was wrong. I did another food test where I had to eat cornflakes at the hospital & they had to watch it digest to which they then discovered that food took a bit longer for me to digest and would sit in my stomach – hence the nausea every time I ate something (this has since improved immensely!). By the end of it, by gastroenterologist said that I have IBS and I need to clean up my diet and have more fibre. It took me a long time to realise what I had to do to help myself, but it still never got much better, I just learnt what made it a lot worse – oil, dairy, red meat & processed food.
The symptoms got worse as the years have gone on and now I’ve been a vegan for about 7 months. I was constantly looking for possible diagnoses hoping to find a solution and a way to fix myself. I tried the FODMAP diet, I tried cutting out fruit thinking I had fructose malabsorption. Then I thought I had SIBO. My doctors weren’t helpful at all and I was on the public health system for a gastroenterologist for a year, which is when I decided I’d see a Naturopath. It was time. I didn’t like doctors anyway, I had just been putting it off for so long because I didn’t want to fork out all the money.
But on Monday the 1st of February, I finally did.
My Naturopath, Stuart Main – who is also vegan, pricked my finger for a blood sample and looked at it through a microscope. He said that I have some inflammation and an overgrowth of yeast and bad bacteria. This was more information than I had ever received from a doctor. It’s suggested that this would be from my past of taking antibiotics (a 6 week course a few months prior for my Perioral dermatitis & I annually experience tonsillitis or something similar as well) as well as past diet choices.
He instructed me to never have a dosage of antibiotics again, and knowing what they have done to me, I will certainly be steering clear of those! I also have to have 4 servings of powdered probiotics per day as well as fermented foods, more greens, fruits & a larger variety of food to heal my gut.
It’s going to take some time & effort, but I hope I will be able to heal myself with the instructions I’ve been given. I will be keeping regular updates on my Youtube channel & Instagram accounts if you wish to follow my journey.
I hope to heal myself and share the story with others who are experiencing digestive issues as I now know how common it is! Listen to a Naturopath first over a GP. There is a reason why your body does what it does, you just have to listen to it, not take a ton of drugs.