• Courtney McLane Mize

Gut Check

You asked, so you shall receive! Well, you voted actually. If you follow me on Instagram you know I recently put out a poll asking if you wanted to see a blog post about gut health and what is helping to heal my body from the inside out, and the majority of you were interested in hearing more! So that is what we are talking about today. If you ever struggle with allergies, acne, stubborn weight, hormone imbalance, GI upset, inflammation, acid reflux, trouble sleeping, anxiety/depression, the list just goes on, then this post is for you!

Let’s start by answering the biggest question,

What is gut health and why does it matter?

Gut health is the balance of microbiomes that live in your gastrointestinal tract (GI). Each person holds approximately 300-500 different species of bacteria in their gut! And if there is an imbalance in bacteria, or too much bad bacteria, our bodies will react in any number of ways. Here are just some of the symptoms that are indicative of gut health disruption…

  • Allergies and/or food sensitivities

  • Acne/recurring skin issues

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Chronic inflammation

  • Auto-immune conditions

  • GI Problems (bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS)

  • Brain fog

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Acid reflux

  • Poor sleep/trouble sleeping

  • Difficulty losing weight

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Hormone imbalance

It’s true, everything starts with our gut, so it would make sense that we want to keep it balanced, healthy, and functioning at an optimal level, right? I think the second biggest question surrounding gut health is what can throw our GI system off track? Well, let me ask you this…

  • Have you ever taken antibiotics?

  • Have you ever been stressed?

  • Have you ever eaten sugar or processed foods?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, which we ALL should have answered yes to, then your gut is most likely off balance! These are the three biggest culprits of gut dysbiosis. Each one of those questions could be its’ own blog post honestly, but for the sake of time, just know that our culture has pretty much thrown our bodies completely out of whack, and what we might learn to live with as “normal” is definitely not normal!

I have personally suffered from GI imbalance and am still on a journey towards healing and learning about gut health. I have always had asthma and struggled with me weight. Literally always. But it wasn’t until I was about 15 that I started having some other symptoms. I started suffering from chronic inflammation (bursitis and tendonitis) my freshman year of high school and would you believe me if I told you that I still deal with it today? I do friends. I have actually been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia as of 2016 and have somehow gotten used to my body being sore pretty much all the time.

I also started noticing some weird food reactions when I was in high school, like an itchy mouth after I ate bananas, and an upset stomach after eating breakfast before school. I totally dismissed these symptoms as “just weird things I’ve noticed” but they continued to develop and progressively get worse. By the time I was a junior in college, I was extremely sick. I was doubled over with stomach pain on a regular basis. I would try and force myself to vomit in hopes of feeling better but could never get sick, and eventually reached a point where I was constantly sick and couldn’t keep anything down. I would wake up with anxiety every night between 1:00 am and 3:00 am but could barely keep my eyes open in the afternoon. I was swollen and puffy everywhere. My hair was shedding obscene amounts. I was in rough shape. After an upper GI scope and bloodwork, my doctor suggested I try going gluten free. I tested negative for Celiac’s Disease, but some of my symptoms seemed to line up with gluten intolerance, so I went down that road. Thankfully I am not suffering from those symptoms anymore (well, most of the time I am not) after six years of being gluten free!

Sadly, my symptoms don’t end there. Since college, I have dealt with acne, particularly cystic acne along my jawline, on-and-off. I still have inflammation basically everywhere. I noticed that I’ve had little raised bumps on the back of my arms, commonly known as keratosis pilaris. My T4 thyroid hormone recently tested high. I’ve had candida overgrowth causing extreme redness under my arms and on my chest. I’ve had trouble sleeping through the night and have relied, literally relied, on sleep-aid supplements to sleep. I started developing acid reflux and GI discomfort pretty frequently. All of these seemingly unrelated issues and things that I thought I would just have to deal with in my adult life all tie back to one thing…gut health. It would make sense that after all the years of taking antibiotics, eating processed and genetically modified foods, and undergoing lots of mental stress (hello that is basically all of life) that my body would not be super happy. All of these symptoms are kind of like my body’s way of saying, “Hey, I need some TLC! How about bringing me back to normal?”

I don’t know if any of you can relate to this, but if you can, don’t be discouraged. Don’t lose hope, and don’t accept the lie that you’ll just have to suck it up and deal with discomfort for the rest of your life. Healing our bodies from the inside out takes time, it’s a true journey. I can tell you that even though I have cut out gluten and turned towards a healthier lifestyle, I am still in the early stages of a healing lifestyle. I started incorporating some new supplements into my daily regimen and I am telling you, they are working! You know I would never share anything with you that I didn’t personally use, trust, and see value in. I have been using a few different forms of both pre and probiotics and am happy to report that I am seeing some changes!

Did you know that prebiotics and probiotics can prevent antigens and pathogens (aka: bad guys) from entering our bodies? And that probiotics help to strengthen, protect, and balance our bodies immune system? Probiotics have actually been used to treat diseases like IBS, encephalopathy, skin conditions like eczema, and even cancer?

Every morning I take a pre-biotic and blood sugar stabilizing drink called Slim. You pour one packet of Slim into a glass of water just like you would with Crystal Light. I take this before breakfast in the morning to start my day. I usually drink mine while I am doing my makeup or checking morning emails. It tastes like watermelon and I can definitely tell if I don’t take it! I feel more sluggish and get hungry much earlier in the day.

After breakfast and lunch I take Bio Cleanse. This is a true detox support supplement that helps to kill-off the harmful microbiomes and bacteria living in our gut giving us all the symptoms that we hate! When I don’t take Bio Cleanse I notice that I feel bloated and usually get a headache, but when I do take it I can tell my digestion is much more regulated, I am usually headache free, and I have much more sustained energy throughout the day! No afternoon slump, thank the lord!

Before bed I take Probio5 and this is a full-fledged probiotic and enzyme blend that helps improve your body’s natural response to gut imbalance. It balances the bacteria and pH levels in your gut, balances yeast (candida), and helps to clear out all the gunk that the Bio Cleanse kills.

I gave you a very brief, top-level overview of these supplements so that you wouldn’t fall asleep reading through the detailed science of each product, but these three products are definitely changing how I feel for the better. In the past four weeks, I have noticed…

  • The bumps on the back of my arm (keratosis pilaris) are almost completely gone.

  • My candida/yeast overgrowth has started to die off. I was getting extreme redness and irritation under my arms and on my chest (straight up in the cleavage honestly) that would flare up from time to time. I could never figure out the root cause, but it was an angry, fiery red, not like a little bit of irritation. Allll of that, gone.

  • My inflammation is improving! I have noticed that I am hurting less on a regular basis, especially at the chiropractor. Adjustments used to leave me hurting for several minutes wherever the doctor would push on my back or neck, and now, that 100% does not happen.

  • I am sleeping through the night without any sleep aids.

  • No more daily headaches.

  • Most days I have pretty sustained energy throughout the day.

I am so thankful to have found something that is not just treating one of my symptoms, but is helping heal my body in a way that I am experiencing overall improvement. I never would have thought that supplements that heal my gut would help heal me in so many other ways, but they have!

I know this post was lengthy, but I wanted to share this reality that so many people don’t talk about. If you are not feeling 100% or are dealing with what seems like “a weird, random symptom” don’t overlook it. Listen to your body. Don’t feel like you have to suffer in silence because you do not friend, you absolutely do not.

If you have any questions about gut health, what I take, or want to get more information on trying these supplements that are helping me, I would love to talk with you! Leave a comment on this post, send me an email via the contact tab at the top of this page, or shoot me a message on Facebook or Instagram. I have SIX codes right now that total $250.00 worth of savings on orders for these supplements, but they are only available through March 31st. I would love to help you get to feeling better, healing your body, and saving some money while doing it, for real. The heart behind Doing Twenty Something is for us to do life together, so seriously don’t be afraid to ask my any and all questions!

Of course, if you aren’t taking gut-balancing supplements, make sure you are showing your body some love by drinking enough water and eating enough mineral-rich fruits and veggies. Let’s make 2019 our year to truly take care of ourselves and fuel our bodies with what it needs the most!