Many of my readers have found me while searching for IBS success stories. Of all the things I’ve shared with you, I think my healing success story is the most powerful. It shows that doctors are wrong and that healing is possible.
My story is not just a freak outlier. I’ve heard from many who’ve found relief from IBS. Many with the Paleo diet, but that was never the full story. There’s more to healing than changing your diet.
Today I’m sharing Jennifer’s story. She became a digestive health coach, just like me, after healing herself from debilitating IBS symptoms. Our stories are both similar (our experience with bad diet and medications) and different (our symptoms). And she, like the rest of us, shares the trait of being a highly sensitive and anxious perfectionist.
Accepting and taking care of your sensitivity, grounding your anxiety and forgiving your imperfections are all part of the healing journey. Along with diet, lifestyle change, emotional healing and attitude transformation played a role in Jennifer’s recovery.
Healing IBS is a spiritual journey that requires transformation. It is a chance to look at ourselves and let go of what’ s making us unhappy.
And even though the healing process can be uncomfortable and scary, Superhealers are unwilling to give up and abandon themselves when it gets tough.
It’s a journey worth taking and believing in….and I hope Jennifer’s story fills you with hope. Healing is very, very possible. It just requires commitment and the willingness to make change.
Jennifer’s Healing Story
For me, IBS started in college. My digestion is was never normal, but until then it did not impact my life.
During my sophomore year, I started to experience a little acne. I had always had perfect skin, so this was alarming. Looking back, I’m certain that I can attribute this to the processed food diet I was living on in college.
My dermatologist put me on antibiotics to control the breakouts. At that time, I wasn’t aware of the harmful side effects of antibiotics, so I didn’t think anything of it.
Upon starting the medication, I noticed a change in my digestion. I became extremely constipated and bloated. I did consider that the medication could be causing this, but my skin was clearing up, so I kept popping the pills.
I never said anything about my digestive issues to anyone because I was too embarrassed. I just thought they would eventually go away. Instead, it got worse. I couldn’t eat. I felt miserable. I was losing weight I didn’t need to lose.
After a year, I went off the medication and thought I would start feeling better. Things only mildly improved. I lived this way for years and I figured I could just deal with it.
As I went on, things got worse, so I finally went to a doctor. After a couple of blood tests, my diagnosis was IBS. I was so excited because I thought I’d now be treated and healed. That wasn’t the case.
I was given a couple of medications to help with symptoms but they didn’t do much. What I didn’t realize at the time is that IBS was a diagnosis of exclusion. That means doctors didn’t know what was causing the problem, so they couldn’t treat it.
I began doing my own research and became really interested in the role food play in digestion. I then started working with functional medicine practitioners, and I went back to school for my nutrition certification.
Over the course of a few years, I learned that I had multiple food sensitivities, a parasite and a mild case of SIBO. I even spent a week at the Mayo Clinic because I had become so sick. Everything I ate made me ill, and I had dropped to 87 pounds. I had tried everything. Gluten free, dairy free, supplements, medications.
Every day was an uphill battle. I had lost of hope that I would ever get better. I began to think that the world would be better without me. My husband and my family wouldn’t have to worry, and I wouldn’t have to be in pain anymore.
What finally helped
the It wasn’t until I switched to a Paleo-style diet, quit my high stress job in corporate wellness, and drastically changed my mindset, I began to feel better.
I realized that consuming healing foods and specific gut-healing supplements were absolutely necessary to improve my health. However, diet alone was not enough for me.
I had to manage and reduce the stress in my life. While quitting my full-time job was a very drastic measure, it was a must. I also had to maintain a positive attitude. I had to believe that I could heal.
I began implementing self-care practices such as prayer, devotionals, journaling, epsom salt baths, long walks, and yoga. Learning to relax, find peace, and be thankful was transformational to my healing.
Additionally, I was able to prepare my own food since I was spending more time at home.
I now have significantly more energy, feel much better, and I’ve put weight back on. I still stick to a paleo diet, but I’m able to consume a wider variety of foods. Healing is a journey, and I’ve learned to appreciate the roads I’ve traveled.
I believe we are given challenges and struggles to make us stronger. It teaches us to have faith. Then, we will be able to help others in similar situations.
My digestive problems have led me to the career I was meant for, and I am so blessed for that.
Angela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.
Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.