This is the third in my on-going “Root of the Problem” series. You can find all of them here where I would love for you to leave your questions or comments.
The Irritable Bowel Story:
Maria came to me for help with her nagging digestive disturbances. While the symptoms, to varying degree, had been present for years, a recent upsurge in their intensity pushed her to seek help. Cramping, bloating and acid reflux had just become a part of her daily life. While Maria had begun to see erratic bowel movements as “normal,” she was alarmed by the fact that recently she was faced with an extreme urination urgency and experienced explosive loose stools 2 to 3 times weekly.
On top of these challenges Maria had also started having difficulty falling asleep in recent months, usually needing well over an hour to settle into what would still be a restless night. Due to her compromised sleep and the dominant symptoms in her bowels, Maria felt increasingly irritable and was more than ready for a change.
While Maria saw each of these symptoms as problems to be addressed individually, I could see clear connections. The fact that she needed to relieve herself on such an urgent basis was a clear indicator to me that her body was having a difficult time with the overflow of acid. To flush it out of her system the bowels emptied rapidly because the kidneys had hit their limit. You can read about supporting those overtaxed kidneys here. Maria’s difficulty falling asleep was an additional sign of this problem, as maintaining a highly acidic pH can cause restlessness. I knew that if we first directed our attention to her pH levels and reduced the state of acidosis overall that her bowels were required to eliminate, we would see improvement in her mood and sleep. So how would we shift her pH levels?
Expecting a complicated protocol for what felt like several disconnected symptoms, Maria was quite surprised by the protocol I laid out for her. Here are the two steps we took:
- To calm, support and clean Maria’s digestive system I suggested we begin with three gemmotherapy extracts. Two together each morning would calm her nervous system and support both her kidneys and bowels on the most gentle level. Then each evening she would take one that is most helpful for soothing and cleaning the digestive tract.
- In order to support the shift in pH, I asked Maria stop her morning coffee and begin her day instead with a fresh fruit breakfast. Pouring coffee first thing each morning into a digestive tract that is already hyper-acidic is only counterproductive if we are trying to make a shift. Replacing that coffee with a big dose of fresh fruit actually provides a welcome alkaline flush helping to engage the lymphatic system after a long night which helps release the acidic wastes through her bowels and urinary tract.
Maria and I met two weeks into her gemmotherapy protocol and switch to all-fruit breakfasts. She admitted during our meeting that while she had been hopeful when leaving my office, she honestly was a bit skeptical. She did, however, comply and happily reported in the interim she had not had one urgent episode, her daily elimination normalized to two formed bowel movements and the cramping and bloating was completely gone.
While Maria was rightfully ecstatic, I knew that our work had just begun. We had moved Maria out of the acute state, but now we needed to do the tedious work of shifting her body’s learned compensations and deeper chronic problem. Restoring a healthy elimination pattern allowed us to move on to the next steps in healing.
I asked Maria to share a bit of her experience and here is what she had to say:
Constant stomach discomfort, bloating and diarrhea for about 7 to 8 years impacted my quality of life. Living with constant discomfort also affected my mood and diet. The protocols with the drops and fruit were easy to start and stay with. My only challenge was retraining myself to eat breakfast every morning as I had stopped a long time ago.
Maria’s struggle with her bowels is not uncommon. I see variations of this weekly in my practice. Sadly, many who deal with these symptoms come to believe they must live with them. Not only is that not true, it is risky. Allowing problems with the elimination organs to continue puts strain on the other organs and can also lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
The holiday season can be a tricky time to keep a regular and healthy diet, so be looking for this Friday’s post for some practical tips on how to navigate it all.