To be honest, last year was difficult for me. I knew something wasn’t right with my health about six months before I left for Sri Lanka. I was stressed out trying to sell our house and also wrapping my head around the fact that I was leaving everything I’ve ever known to move across the world.
During the six months before I left, I started having intense panic attacks, anxiety, and feelings of general tiredness. I knew a lot of this was stress, diet and nerves. I wasn’t eating the healthiest at that time and I know that was a major contributor.
Things slowly started to get a little better a few months after the holidays. I wasn’t having the panic attacks but I was still not feeling normal. I decided to get a food intolerance test done at one of the holistic colleges in Tempe. I received the results back in about two weeks and found out I had twenty-one food intolerances! I was shocked.
A friend of mine suggested that I might have something called “leaky gut”. I had read a lot about this before (I am a health and nutrition nerd lol). I talked to a doctor about my test results and I asked if I had leaky gut and she said most likely yes. I was devastated. I was also relieved because I finally knew what the heck was going on!
For those who don’t know, leaky gut is when you develop small openings in your small intestine where small particles of food and toxins can leak into your bloodstream causing major inflammation and a reaction from your body due to ‘foreign invaders’. Not a good thing. What’s crazy is that more and more people are finding out that they have this because of the typical ‘Western diet’ that we all grew up on.
My next plan of action was to avoid all the foods on the list that I had intolerances to. I did this for almost six months. The doctor told me that this would give my body a break from the foods that were triggering inflammation.
During this whole time I was also experimenting with my diet doing no carb, low carb, no fruit etc. I did this because I started having major digestive distress every time I would eat. I had pain in my stomach and lots and lots of bloating. I never had any issues like this before in my whole life. After doing a six week Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) cleanse I seemed to get a little better but then my symptoms returned.
It was also during this time that I developed eczema on my hands. I started learning a lot about the gut microbiome and how we need to have a balance of good bacteria in order to be healthy. I desperately wanted to get better and I remembered about the healing benefits of vegetable juices and greens in general. I started eating lots of salads, cucumbers, and was making one to two fresh vegetable juices a day. Things started to get better.
Around this time I was talking to a new friend and she told me she healed her digestive issues with Mastic Gum. I started taking this right away and started to feel so much relief. As soon as I started taking it I noticed that I didn’t have stomach pain and the bloating was going away. Mastic gum is the sap from the Mastic tree. In Greece they use this in many food items including candy, gum, and tooth paste. It helps to ward off any harmful pathogens in the stomach, intestines, and even the teeth. It’s amazing stuff!
I’m happy to say that after all the pain and suffering I am so much better! I am finally able to eat normally and I have no issues anymore. Dealing with something like this has helped me be much more in touch with my own body and to know what I need on a daily basis. It’s also helped me have compassion for people who are going through the same thing and might not know what’s wrong with them. I want to encourage people to keep going and to cleanse the body on a regular basis, as that is what can really keep your health in tip-top shape!