I’m going to be completely honest with you: earlier this year, my health went completely haywire out of the blue (or so I thought) and this is the first time I’m opening up about it. I want to share my story because I want to give hope to those who may be dealing with unexplained, complex health issues, show you my process for getting to the bottom of it, and share what I did to address it.
A few months after my big ulcerative colitis remission news and getting rid of h.pylori and SIBO, my good health fell flat. My stomach blew up and I was in incredible pain. I was having allergic reactions to food every day (it was so bad I was putting ice packs on my face!). And my UC symptoms came roaring back.
I thought I was past this.
I had done all the work.
Why was I getting handed these cards?
Turns out, it had nothing to do with my super clean diet or my awesome supplements or all the incredible testing I had done.
It was two other factors that, until earlier this year, I kept setting aside to work on another day:
Stress and severe tendonitis in my left leg from long-distance running.
What the heck did these have to do with my gut health? Turns out a LOT.
Just like my ulcerative colitis, I believe this crazy health episode was brought to me for a reason — so I could learn at an even deeper level just how interconnected our body is and the stress-mind-gut connection.
From this health episode, I learned the in’s and out’s of histamine intolerance, mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), low dose naltrexone, the role of prayer and meditation for a health crisis, and first the first time in my life, embracing the feeling of being completely out of control.
Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for my clients, I now know what it’s like to go through all of these health issues and all the tools to overcome them. This happened with my ulcerative colitis, acid reflux, bacterial and parasite infections, and now this.
To say I feel I’ve been put here to heal others from a place of deep understanding would be pretty darn spot on.
So, as soon as I realized how severe this issue was getting for me, I spent weeks diving into the research to make sense of all that was going on. I met multiple times with my amazing functional doctor. I consulted with the compounding pharmacist I partner with and I chatted with my FDN community.
Here’s what I learned:
- Tendinitis (a strain of the IT band in the leg) is directly tied to gut health, as explained by a Neurokinetic Therapy and Amino Neurofrequency Therapy specialist. (Sources: Here, here, here & here). Interestingly, I had severely injured my IT band back in grade school when my gut health issues began, and again just recently when this latest flare up occurred…hmm!
- What I originally thought was histamine intolerance (which also didn’t make sense out of the blue) ended up not being the case because even after following a low histamine diet, I was still reacting severely. It ended up being mast cell activation (mast cells do release histamine, but it’s a bigger issue than just histamine intolerance). When a big stressor (like a physical injury) occurs, the immune system acts as your front-line defense and in particular, our mast cells can go haywire in response. These mast cells were reacting to everything I was putting in my body…even the healthiest low histamine foods!
- My stress was pretty high at about the same time all of this was going on, as I was doing a ton of business building and making some other big life decisions, which only made issues worse.
- Meditation became an incredibly powerful way to help calm down mast cell activation, but I was too go-go-go and high-strung that I didn’t allow myself to do this, which let the issue go on for 3 weeks longer than they should have
- Just as fast as these issues came on, they then went away. Whewf!
My Action Plan
So how did I finally fix this madness? Once I pinpointed that it was mast cell activation, I put all my best anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting tools in place.
- Quercetin (to stabilize mast cells that release histamine and reduce inflammation) ** This supplement was KEY for me**
- Liposomal vitamin C (to support my immune system)
- Zinc (to support my immune system)
- Colostrum (to support my immune and digestive system)
- Curcumin with resveratrol (to calm inflammation)
- Megasporebiotic (to help balance my microbiome)
- L-glutamine (to help heal and seal the gut from damage)
- Low dose naltrexone (LDN) (a safe compounded pharmaceutical that helps with immune and digestive health)
- And a whole lotta acupuncture, meditation, gratitude journaling and deep breathing!
Within three days of being on the above protocol, my issues were GONE. It was crazy just how fast it subsided, and hasn’t showed its ugly head since.
Please note: The above protocol is NOT medical advice for you. Consult your healthcare practitioner or apply to work with me to determine if these are right for you, as what was going on for me may not be exactly what’s going on for you. This post is absolutely not intended to be used to diagnose or provide medical treatment.
Your Action Plan
- Get curious. What has changed in your life prior to these health episodes happening? Have you eaten something different? Experienced a trauma or stressor? Made a big change in life like moving or changing jobs or relationships?
- Nourish yourself. Write down all the things that you know make you feel good: foods, habits, routines, people, places, etc. and focus on doubling down on those
- Test, test, test! Find out if there are hidden imbalances in the body (hormone imbalances, a weak microbiome, infection, food sensitivities, histamine activation, etc.) with a practitioner like myself that are contributing to this so we can craft a custom protocol to begin healing your body
- Relax and fill yourself with love. Stress often plays a huge role in our health so evaluate how/where stress plays a role and commit to beginning to releasing it. Pick up a meditation practice, use affirmation cards, say “no” to things that don’t fill you with joy and schedule a fun date with a friend or significant other.
- Don’t give up. Even if you’ve already tried a LOT (diet changes, testing with doctors, yoga, etc.) there are always other areas to dig into. This is where the really juice work begins in my practice as we pinpoint other areas that would be really important for you to focus on, bring everything you’re doing into one easy plan, and find ways to do it all with more ease. There is ALWAYS an answer if you’re willing to see it and I LOVE guiding people to find their own light.
The body is truly incredible, and the complexity of how it works continues to fascinate me. Now that I’m on the other side of yet another crazy health issue, I can say I am truly grateful for it because I was able to learn even more about how my physical-mental-internal health influences each other and I am now very well studied on each of these topics so that if and when clients come to me with these concerns, I can help them from a place of understanding and experience. It’s what my clients with ulcerative colitis, dysbiosis, and acid reflux value so much about working with me, and while I wish these health issues on no one, being able to serve those from such a deep and personally meaningful level is truly so rewarding.
I want you to know that, no matter how complex your health issues may seem or how long they have been going on for, there is always an answer. That’s why I love being a functional nutrition practitioner, because we are trained to look at the whole body and we believe that nothing happens in isolation. By taking a 360-degree view of someone’s health, starting at childbirth and leading up to present day, we can truly understand how health issues can come about and ways we can bring the body back to health by supporting it, not fighting it. This functional approach works for me time and again, and has served nearly 100 clients in the past 3 years alone.
“This year I made it my focused goal to work on my gut health. I’ve put considerable effort into this for several years working with my integrative MD. But even so, starting last winter, my Ulcerative Colitis symptoms came back after being in remission for several years. When I got to know more about Kristin’s story and history with Ulcerative Colitis, I decided this is what I needed and this was an investment into my health I needed to make. Little did I know just how much I could use that connection with Kristin and what I gained from the program. We’re currently waiting on some functional labs to get to the bottom of why it’s taking so long for me to get better. I’ve been so grateful to have Kristin coming alongside of me, guiding me, making me feel less alone, and being another cheerleader believing I can and will get well and get back to a more vibrant life. If anyone reading this is struggling with their health, I highly recommend working with Kristin. Cheers to good health! – Carly I
“If were to pick one thing I liked best about working with you, it was your willingness to listen to me. There were times when I had ideas about where I felt I needed to go with my treatment and testing and you were really open to what I had to say instead of other practitioners who shut you down and make you feel ignorant about what you’re talking about. You were open to listening to my thoughts and ideas and what I needed financially and physically and I really felt like you always cared about whether I got better. I don’t know if I ever felt that way from another doctor or practitioner. I have been honored and blessed to do this work with you! – Jenn C.
Ready to get to the bottom of your health issues and experience functional nutrition at its best? I specialize in working with complex health issues involving autoimmunity, digestion, and hormone health and would be honored to guide you in your journey.
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