I finally decided to share my gut health story and where I am right now.
My childhood – first signs
I’ve been struggling with health issues since being a little child. As far as I can remember, I always had skin problems in form of neurodermatitis und acne even in primary school. Apart from this, headaches and throwing up after eating fried food like fries and chips were a normal thing.
When I was six, a homeopath diagnosed dairy intolerance and a chlorine and an antibiotics allergy.
As cheese was still considered okay, I cut out milk and yoghurt and my neurodermatitis got slightly better. During puberty my acne got even worse and I suffered from regular migraine attacks, although I tried to eat less sugar and fat and ate quite healthy and fresh foods. At the age of 16, I suddenly lost a lot of weight, had stomach pain and diarrhoea and was bloated all the time.
From the diagnosis to where I’m at right now
My gut was inflamed and a Chinese practitioner diagnosed gut dysbiosis as well as a gluten and histamine intolerance. Taking medication and figuring exactly out what to eat helped me to get better. My body finally seemed to use the food I was providing him again and I managed to gain some weight (5 kilos) back. Nevertheless, I still had problems with diarrhoea and acne.
Attempting to gain more weight and starting to work out I increased my carbohydrate intake to up my calories even more last year and since then my diarrhoea has been worse.
Listening to my body – going paleo
About two months ago, I started to do some research about this whole topic encouraged by Sarah’s Day and Cultivate Beauty on You Tube which got me into trying some days on a paleo-based diet (still ate oats and millet flakes). The reduction of carbs caused my diarrhoea to disappear. A new problem I had to face now was how to get my calories in and I started to up carbs again… hello gut issues (bloating and diarrhoea).
Okay, I got it. Less carbs. I started playing around with my protein intake and well, too much protein left me bloated so I started to up my fat intake (I doubled it from 40-45g to 80g).
Over the time, I found myself unintentionally eating (almost) completely paleo and after having a couple low energy days (from the transition from very high carb to a moderate intake), I feel amazing. I totally lost that common fear of fat making you fat and after hitting my carb intake (150g), I fill my calories up with fat. I don’t watch my protein intake because I get more than enough on a paleo diet and my body doesn’t really care about it. When talking about macros, I’m about 30% carbs, 40% fat and 30% protein and feel good with it. My daily caloric intake as an active person is about 2500 calories – to gain I even need to go above that.
What DO I eat?
That’s a question I get ask quite often and I can’t just simply describe my diet in a few words. I went through the process of an elimination diet and completely cut out processed foods, gluten and sugar. These foods make feel like dying and I don’t even tolerate small amounts. I also feel a lot of benefit without diary and legumes like chickpeas, lentils and soy (when eating I get stomach pain and diarrhoea). There are also veggies and some sorts of fruit my body doesn’t respond very well. I’m still working on finding out which food exactly causes which problems and I’m going to share my personal DO’S and DON’Ts list soon to give you an idea what could cause your problems.
What my body is giving me back
Paying attention and giving my body what it wants pays off! I’ve never had better skin, I’m not bloated or feeling like I have to run to the restroom any minute, there are even some abs showing I didn’t know existed and I don’t get tired in the afternoon anymore.
That’s where I am standing right now, trying to learn to understand my body and its needs better. I’m still in the process of finding out what works best for myself and I want to encourage everyone who is suffering from IBS or such symptoms to listen closely to his or her body and consulting a good doctor to make sure that there are no deficiencies (vitamins, minerals and so on). If you want to find out more about gut health causing health issues, check out this article from Cultivate Beauty.
There are a lot of good resources that helped me to understand gut health, nutrition and a paleo-based diet/lifestyle better. I can do a separate blog post recommending books, blogs, websites and podcasts if you want me to.
Please also note that there is not the one solution – everyone is different and has to find out on his or her own what works best. For some this might be a plantbased diet, for others going lower carb and trying a paleo lifestyle.
Don’t hesitate to share your experiences down below and ask any questions you have!
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