Blog Post by Coach Julie
NCI Certified Nutrition Coach L1 • NCI Certified Mindset Coach
We are well into phase one of my gut health protocol. So far this has consisted of moving my diet to a gluten free, lactose free and low FODMAP diet. The purpose of this phase is to bulk up the gut, strengthen it and increase the gut immunity so that it is prepared to kill off bacteria and infection.
I am where I need to be for my diet. In the initial blog post, I was easing my way into it to clear out my pantry and finding substitutions that would still allow me to hit my ideal macros for the cycle I am in right now. I have been able to move entirely to gluten free, lactose free and the FODMAPs are kept to a minimum. Keep in mind the diet is not FODMAP free, but low FODMAP. This has been the biggest adjustment. I have previously completed this type of diet before but it has been quite awhile and there have recently been changes to the diet’s protocols. Learning where FODMAPS are hiding in foods has been quite a challenge. I was able to download a PDF of FODMAP foods and the appropriate serving sizes of select foods that can be consumed if kept to a smaller serving. I also found an app for my phone called, FIG, that allowed me to scan barcodes of products to obtain a detailed readout of what is in the product and which ingredients are not diet friendly. That has been a huge help for me in both adherence and education.
I did have to lower my protein goal now that the dietary changes have been made. I was aiming for 185g of protein per day, but without cottage cheese and Greek yogurt, it was very difficult for me to hit that number. We lowered it slightly to 170g and added 15g to my carbs. This has been much easier to adhere to my macros and the gut health dietary protocol. Lactose free cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are options, however, I have not been able to find them locally.
I did receive the colostrum supplement and I implemented it on March 26th. This was added to the current regimen of the S. Boulardii that I was taking. I am taking one capsule of each per day. So far I have not experienced any adverse effects. The colostrum is a supplement that helps repair the gut lining. This will strengthen it so that while we are fighting infection and the bacterial overgrowth, I don’t experience a leaky gut. Remember the S. Boulardii is to help increase the gut immunity to help head off the H. Pylori.
The implementation of the supplements and the diet has had a remarkable improvement on my situation. I am assuming the inflammation is dropping in my gut. There is really no hard and fast way to know this without lab testing, but judging by the way I feel, I am guessing that is a big component of the improvements. I have noticed that my scale weight does not fluctuate as much as it used to. Inflammation can cause scale fluctuations and even measurement fluctuations depending on severity. I am also experiencing more regular and less painful bowel movements. Previously I would frequently go 4 days without a bowel movement and then have super painful large bowel movements. As of now, this has been resolved. I am having bowel movements nearly daily and sometimes twice per day. Inflammation can cause constipation and vice versa. Inflammation/constipation can become cyclical for sufferers of gastrointestinal issues. I am slowly becoming more confident with my gut. Previously I would eat my lunch at work at a certain time so that I would know I would be able to leave for lunch if I got sick. Now I’ve been finding I’m more confident in eating at random times. This seems insignificant, but my life previously revolved around my stomach. Literally, the fear of being sick and not being confident with my gut determined everything. I am slowly finding freedom from my gut and we are only in phase one.
I am also completing the other necessary tasks to help with digestion. I am training at a reduced intensity, walking after meals, focusing on sleep and trying to manage stress. Because of the work I have put in and being able to be comfortable being uncomfortable, I have seen success with phase 1 of the program. We are now going to proceed with phase 2. Phase 2 will be moving on to kill the H.Pylori infection. I will be maintaining the habits of phase 1 and simply adding on 2 supplements that will kill the infection. I’ll be taking Mastic Gum twice per day with meals and DGL twice per day with meals. Mastic gum supports the gut and duodenal health as well as promoting healthy stomach acid production. DGL stands for deglycyrrhizinated licorice. See why we abbreviate? DGL is a combination of deglycyrrhizinated licorice, aloe vera, slippery elm, and marshmallow root. All of these elements are very protective of the GI tract. The combination helps support the defense mechanisms by stimulating the mass, quality and production of mucus which is a major component of the stomach’s protective lining. You will notice that a lot of the supplements I’m taking are for the gut lining. This is because H. Pylori attaches to your gut lining and can cause ulcers so we have to take care to protect the gut lining. This is why we have to kill the infection before we work on correcting my lack of stomach acid. Introducing acid into my stomach while I have an active infection can speed up the formation of ulcers. When the H. Pylori infection is gone, I will stop taking Nexium (finally) and we will work on improving my stomach acid levels. I will be ordering the supplements and as soon as I get them, phase 2 starts.
I will update you again in 2 weeks and let you know where we are. I don’t know how long phase 2 will last, but I will keep you updated as we go along.