Who wants a happy and healthy gut?
I know I do! But unfortunately, my gut doesn’t always agree with me. We’re going to get real close and personal in a matter of seconds… If you aren’t interested in reading about my gut issues, click away. If you’re here for advice because you too struggle with gut issues, read on!
My “Gut Issues” History
I’ve struggled with gut issues since high school. It all started when I began running track and made it a point to clean up my diet. This resulted in bloating, gas, stomach cramps, exhaustion, and skin break outs. I didn’t understand why eating healthy was causing all these problems because I knew eating healthy was supposed to make a person feel better!.. But because I was naïve to the fact that gut issues can be healed, I decided to just live with it, as miserable as it was. Eating healthy was important to me so the gut issues were there to stay.
This continued all the way into my college years. It wasn’t every single day, but after certain meals, or for days at a time, I’d have a major flare up with horrible gut wrenching symptoms. My junior year of college, I had an extra bad flare up and decided to get to the bottom of these gut issues. I knew my sister also struggled with gut issues, and she’s a doctor, so I decided to ask her for some advice. She sent me heaps of information on the low-FODMAP diet because, based on my symptoms I shared with her, she was farely certain I had a FODMAP intolerance just like she did.
A Step In The Right Direction
I researched what FODMAPs are, researched the diet, (you can find my resources on fodmaps and the low-fodmap diet under Tip #1 below) and to be honest felt completely overwhelmed. BUT I knew I had to do something about my gut issues, so I decided to give this low fodmap diet a chance. I did the low-fodmap elimination diet and my life. was. changed. I went a month without having issues, I dropped 5 pounds, I no longer had a pregnant looking belly, and I felt like a new woman. I didn’t have to worry about embarrassing symptoms taking over my body at the most inconvenient times. As if its ever convenient to struggle with gut issues, ha! But you know what I mean.
I slowly incorporated high fodmap foods back into my diet, one at a time, and discovered what foods gave me issues. A few of my worst offenders are garlic, onion, wheat, and crucifus vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. If you notice after eating these foods you also have symptoms, there’s a good chance you could also be intolerant to high FODMAP foods.
A Happy Healthy Gut At Last!
The good news is, over time, I have begun to heal my gut, not just eliminate foods and deal with it. I’m now able to eat more of the foods that used to turn my stomach haywire. It has taken time, but it has been more than worth it. In fact, last night I ate a large amount of garlic in my thai shrimp soup AND I ate a large amount of garlic and onion in my salsa and had ZERO symptoms. I practically couldn’t believe it, but I was OVERJOYED at the same time. Guys, I haven’t been able to eat garlic and onion without having a horrible flare up since I was a freshman in high school.
Are you ready to heal your gut and start your journey to feeling better? I’ll share with you my top tips that have helped me to live a more normal, stomach happy, life. Now before we dive in, I am not a doctor by any means and don’t have medical research to back up what has helped me. What I’ve used to help heal my gut issues I’ve found through research on the internet and from reading accounts of others who struggle with gut issues. I can’t promise that you will also heal your gut or solve your symptoms, but I want to share with you what has helped me in hopes at least a few of these tips will help you on your journey to healing your gut. Okay, now that that’s been said, let’s dig in!
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How I Healed My Gut:
1. Do the Low Fodmap Diet
I know it seems overwhelming, but I promise you, once you can identify what is causing your gut issues, you will be well on your way to a happier and more comfortable life. It takes time to research and dedication to stick to the diet, but it will be worth it once you know what foods are important to avoid. And keep in mind, you may not have to avoid these foods for the rest of your life. I no longer have to eat a low fodmap diet 100% of the time. It’s important to clean out your system of the foods that are causing problems so you can give your gut time to heal. It needs to heal before it can ever get better. Below are resources that will help you better understand what FODMAPs are, what the low FODMAP diet consists of/how long you will be on it, and an app that will help you to be as successful as possible with the low FODMAP diet.
-What are FODMAPs?:
-List of high FODMAP foods to avoid and low FODMAP foods to eat:
-Information on the low FODMAP diet:
-Low FODMAP app that can help you with your low FODMAP diet:
2. Take Probiotics
Once your stomach is no longer battling you by flaring up at the foods it can’t tolerate, you can feed your gut healthy probiotics to build back up your good gut flora. You need to replace the good bacteria that have been compromised and eliminated over time. This made the BIGGEST difference in my gut issues. Every time I do a round of probiotics, my gut can handle high FODMAP foods so much better. Once again, I’m not sure that research can back up probiotics specific to helping people who are intolerant to FODMAPs, but it has dramatically helped me. I use these probiotics and get them for a great deal on Amazon. In stores, they are upwards of $40 per bottle. This deal is for 2 bottles.
3. Drink ACV
I don’t go overboard with Apple Cider Vinegar because it can damage the enamel of your teeth when consumed too often. I have noticed though that if I’m bloated or feel backed up, drinking 1 tbsp ACV with 8 oz water at night deflates the bloat by the morning and settles my uneasy stomach. I will also drink it in the morning on some days, but I never drink it back to back (night then morning). Just when I feel I need an extra kick of tummy help. Apple Cider Vinegar is also great for reducing gas when consumed before a meal. Simply mix 1 tbsp with 8 oz water and drink before your meal. You want to make sure you get the organic raw unfiltered kind with “The Mother” in it. Braggs has a great version of this.
4. Bean-Zyme is your new BFF
My sister, who also has an intolerance to FODMAPs, told me the other day that Bean-Zyme should sponsor her because she’s given thousands of dollars towards their company in the past decade. And she’s not kidding. My sister introduced me to Bean Zyme and it wasn’t until this year that I started using it. To be honest, I don’t use it often, but I do when I’m out at a restaurant or with a group of friends and don’t want to risk a stomach flare up. Bean-Zyme is the generic version of Beano and it’s much less expensive and works the exact same in my opinion. It’s made for people who have intolerances to food such as broccoli, beans, pasta, onion, cabbage, soy, and more. If this sounds like you, give it a try. You simply take it with the first bite of your meal and it helps your body to digest the food properly without fermenting the food in your gut. Lovely. 😉 It’s perfect for the reintroduction phase of your low FODMAP diet because you will definitely have some flare ups when reintroducing high FODMAP foods to your diet.
5. Use Heather’s Tummy Care Products
Heather’s Tummy Care Products were a life saver for me before I had healed my gut and was doing the low-FODMAP diet phase where you begin entering high FODMAP foods back in. I would definitely have issues with some of the foods I was incorporating back into my diet so Heather’s Tummy Care products were just what I needed. I used Heather’s Tummy Tamer’s peppermint oil capsules but she has many more products to choose from for your needs. The peppermint oil capsules were “late release” capsules so they were meant to not release until they reached your small intestine where the issues usually occur. The peppermint oil worked dramatically in calming my gut issues and reducing bloating/gas when I ate a food my stomach disagreed with.
And those, my friends, are the 5 tips I have for you for starting your journey to healing your gut issues. I sincerely hope you were able to find some valuable information that will fit your needs and help you on your road to recovery and a happier belly. If you have any suggestions that helped YOU heal your gut issues, please leave them in the comments below to help fellow readers find more valuable information. Like I said, reading other people’s accounts and stories of how they healed their gut issues is how I healed my own, so everything helps!
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