My Family’s Gut Health Story + Resources

Two sections of this post

  • A Snapshot of the Centers’ Gut-Health Journey
  • Gut Health Education and Resources

A SNAPSHOT OF THE CENTERS’ GUT HEALTH JOURNEY

A year ago if you had asked me
What are probiotics and what are they good for?
Are they safe? Can I give them to my kids/babies?
What’s the role of gut-health in every day wellness?
What is candida? Leaky Gut? Micro biome? Gut flora imbalance?
What causes gut-health problems, and more importantly,
how do you fix them?

Well, you would have gotten a blank stare along with an honest “no clue, but I’ve heard probiotics are good for you.”

In November 2014 my son got on antibiotics for one of those coughs that just wouldn’t go away. I had heard it was good to give probiotics at the same time, so I went to the local CVS, picked out some kid-safe stuff, made sure he ate yogurt every day, and thought we were good to go. Little did I know that the ONE round of antibiotics put my little guy (7 months old) on a gut-health downward spiral along with horrible consequences. By his 1 year well visit, (after several previous doctor visits for rashes) my son had digressed so much that he:

  • stopped wanting to play
  • was demanding to be held or worn in my Ergo ALL DAY LONG
  • wasn’t napping more than 45 minutes a day
  • had trouble falling asleep at naps/bedtime
  • stopped passing normal bowel movements. A sticky, nasty, massive, horrible explosion woke him (and me) up every morning…and that was it for him every day. I quit using cloth diapers at night.
  • went back and forth between yeast and bacterial rashes
  • started waking up at random early morning hours instead of his consistent 7am… and he stopped waking up happy. His quality of sleep was obviously poor.

I was told he was teething (though no teeth came), it was a phase, growing pains, his personality. During these horrible months I started to hate motherhood, so I researched his symptoms like crazy and started analyzing his timeline starting with the antibiotics…

and I realized that everyone in my family had gut-health issues to address (along with up to 80% of Americans)…we all needed some level of healing (including both of my children). We now daily take the probiotic/enzyme supplement that changed everything for us for every-day maintenance. I actually believe taking a high-quality probiotic is more important for every day wellness than taking multivitamins for this 1 simple reason: an unhealthy gut cannot properly digest and absorb nutrients from food and other supplements. 

Now, I have some amazing stories relating to gut health for me, my husband, and my children. Through small dietary changes and gut-health supplements (full disclosure here: we now only use Plexus products, and after what it’s done for us I decided to become a distributor), our family has overcome, in just a few short months, a host of every day “nuisances” and some serious wellness issues (including healing my son!)–some that had been plaguing us for years. Here’s just a synopsis…

Mark:
*Seasonal allergies and asthma are practically gone. THIS IS HUGE. He rarely takes Claritin, rarely uses his inhaler, and doesn’t use essential oils for symptom relief anymore. No more 10-minute nose-blowing sessions first thing in the morning. No more super dry, itchy eyes.
*He sleeps way better, and just pointed out to me the other night that he’s not needing melatonin anymore.

Me (Sarah): So much has improved, but here are the 3 biggest blessings
*Insomnia. I’m asleep within 20-30 minutes instead of taking 1-2 hrs for my brain to shut down (which I’ve done since childhood). And my sleep is DEEP.
*Pregnancy ickies don’t exist this time. (as of this writing, 6.28.2015, I’m just over 26 wks along). ZERO heartburn, constipation, bloating, brain fog, intense sugar cravings, dull headaches, fatigue, no skin breakouts (my face has never been clearer), and my mood is steady throughout the day. And gluten doesn’t give me migraines anymore. I can eat a piece of pizza without suffering for 4-8 hours afterward.
*Hair and skin. My hair stopped falling out, and is starting to thicken again. My random eczema patches are gone and not coming back. The “chicken skin” on my arms is slowly, but surely, going away.

My Children:
*Raymond. Everything I mentioned he was going through was completely gone within 3 days of switching exclusively to the Plexus ProBio5. I had him and Kinah on a good probiotic (Garden of Life RAW Organic Probiotics for Kids) for 2 months before switching, and saw great improvement (mainly in the rashes and bowel movements changed from 1 massive explosion to several mini explosions), but the moodiness, sleeping issues, and complete healing of his rashes were not resolved until we switched. His BM’s also normalized within 2 days—so much so we’re back to plunking them in the toilet after a diaper change (remember we use cloth) instead of relying on the diaper sprayer. Within 2 days he went from napping 45 minutes to 2.5-3.5 hours. And he’s back to PLAYING! He sleeps until 6:30-7am again. His mood and behavior are back to normal. I got my son back. 🙂

*Kinah. She was a c-section baby and was put on steroids at 9 months during a bout of croup. These two factors set her up for a GI disaster if something put her over the edge (though I didn’t know it at the time). That something happened when she was 18 months old (her 1st vaccine, and a GI reaction that culminated in a trip to the ER). She didn’t have a completely, totally, 100% normal bowel movement until just a few weeks ago (she’s 3!) when we switched to ProBio5. When it happened, I literally screamed and danced through the house! She’s been normal and regular ever since.

I plan to write more stories, but for now, here’s a starting-point list of resources that I read through when I wanted to understand the role of gut health in everyday wellness. This is just the tip of the iceberg. So, for those of you wanting to learn more about gut health, here’s a great place to start!


GUT HEALTH EDUCATION AND RESOURCES
LEAKY GUT, INFLAMMATION, AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

Selections from David Perlmutter’s (M. D., Neurology) blog regarding gut microbiome. Short and easy to read. The last link is a learning page filled with topics (I took special interest in reading up on the categories: Leaky Gut, Prebiotics, Microbiome, and Neurologic Disorders).

CANDIDA ARTICLES & RESOURCES

OTHER GUT HEALTH ARTICLES, BLOG POSTS (well resourced)

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