I’m a Holistic Nutritionist and for the last year, I’ve been struggling with debilitating digestive issues. I’ve been focusing every ounce of my energy on overcoming candida, an H. pylori infection and a peptic ulcer. Thankfully, I’ve now overcome them.
Whenever dealing with a health problem, it’s imperative that you seek proper guidance. As tempting as it is to check Dr. Google, it doesn’t replace going to see your primary care physician. If they don’t have an answer, find another one.
With that said, I hope this blog offers you some insight and gives you a jumping off point so you can finally get to the bottom of your health problems.
“All disease begins in the gut.” -Hippocrates
H. Pylori disruptors the digestive system and can cause inflammation in the gut and lead to intestinal permeability, aka leaky gut. Other things that increase intestinal permeability to occur are:
When these irritants get into the gut, they cause the tight junctions between the cells lining your digestive system to pull apart. This allows tiny undigested food particles and toxins to enter into your bloodstream and lymphatic system.
Since the majority of your immune system lies within your gut, this causes autoimmune reactions and acute inflammation throughout the body. Leaky gut has been linked to a number of health issues, including:
There are four parts to addressing a leaky gut:
As I mentioned, candida can be a contributor to leaky gut. It’s at the root of many diseases and can cause a whole slew of symptoms.
Candida is a type of fungus that lives in the human body. Usually, it’s kept in check, but when the right environment appears, the yeast will rapidly multiply. When this happens, a fungal infection known as Candidiasis occurs.
It often first starts to spread in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. As the candida feeds and multiplies it creates toxic waste and begins to interfere with digestion. It becomes systemic when the candida enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout your entire body. Other symptoms (as noted below) may start to occur or worsen.
Candida infections also show up as a white coating called “thrush” on the tongue, inside the gastrointestinal tract, or in the vagina as a yeast infection. Topically, candida can appear as a nail fungus or a rash across the skin. It can affect both men and women of any age.
Causes of Candidiasis
Symptoms of Candidiasis
In order to effectively rid your body of a candida infection, it’s important that you get the help of a Naturopathic Doctor and/or Holistic Nutritionist. Candida is a tricky yeast that requires a specific diet and rotation of antifungals.
In a nutshell, the candida diet is very similar the one you’d eat for a leaky gut. It removes all refined foods, grains, dairy, alcohol, high carbohydrate vegetables, and sweets (including healthy ones like fruit, honey, and maple syrup). You stick to a diet of lean proteins, low starch organic vegetables, bone broths, and probiotic-rich foods.
The time required to follow this protocol depends on the severity of your candida infection and how long it’s been going in.
Stomach ulcers, also known as a gastric ulcer, are a type of peptic ulcer. They are painful sores that occur in the lining of the stomach. They happen when the thick mucus coating your stomach diminishes, allowing digestive acid to eat away at the tissues.
While most people think stress causes ulcers, they are almost always caused by one or both of the following:
If H. pylori is the cause of your ulcer, it’s important to seek guidance from a medical doctor for proper treatment to clear the infection. Aside from the ulcer getting worse, not treating an H. pylori infection puts you at a higher risk for stomach cancer.
It’s still unclear as to how H. pylori spreads but it’s commonly believed to be spread from person to person, via food, water and close physical contact.
The most common symptom with a gastric ulcer is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. The pain is usually more intense when your stomach is empty.
Other common signs include:
Avoid the use of NSAIDs and eat a nutrient dense diet similar to the one outlined for the leaky gut protocol. You’ll also want to avoid these foods that can aggravate ulcers:
Stress, anxiety, and emotional trauma.
There’s a strong connection between your mind and your gut – think butterflies in your stomach or not being able to eat when you’re nervous. The digestive system is extremely sensitive to our emotions. The gut is often called our “second brain” and is home to the enteric nervous system (ENC).
Different from our central nervous system, the ENS is located in the lining of the digestive tract. It helps control blood flow and secretions that help the body digest food. This second brain of ours isn’t involved in thought process, but it does “talk” to the brain in our head.
This is why chronic stress, anxiety, and emotional trauma can play a big role in your digestive health.
One of the things my mentor Julie Daniluk suggested to me was Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.
I used a combination of these supplements and essential oils over the last year to help me with my gut, stress, and anxiety. Whenever you’re considering a new supplement, please check with your naturopath or holistic doctor first to make sure it’s safe for your condition and medical history.
Supplements I used
When it comes to using essential oils for health protocols, make sure to check with a naturopathic doctor who is family with them or a Certified Essential Oil Practioner.
No matter what brand of essential oils you use, make sure they are of the highest quality, contain no contaminants, and allow you to view third-party testing — especially when dealing with your health. So I’m sorry, but the 4-pack of oils you picked up for $9.99 at Winners won’t cut it. Learn more about the oils I use here.
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Be careful not to make the hot water bottle too hot or you can cause Erythema ab igne aka hot water bottle rash. Do not use castor oil packs while pregnant.