In this success story, Suzanne shares how she was finally able to ease a lifetime of intestinal distress, acne, and other discomfort with the help of Paleo.
One of the most powerful things benefits of going Paleo is its ability to heal the body from years of pain and disease. Here’s Suzanne’s story:
1. Tell us your Paleo story.
So I lived for several years gluten free, but I was still eating dairy and other things, such as rice and corn, that were still causing destruction in my intestinal track, leading to a return of many of my issues that had temporarily disappeared. No one really got concerned until I had a massive unexplained loss of blood the same month I had a fertility treatment. I was sent to a GI specialist and nutritionist after some food allergy testing, but even the nutritionist did not recommend that I cut out all grains. Finally, one integrative medicine doctor, after listening to my story for four hours and evaluating every test I have ever had, suggested I follow the paleo diet, specifically a life free from grain, believing it would heal my body from the inside out. And thus I began my paleo journey to healing my gut issues.
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2. How long have you been Paleo?
I started following the Paleo diet in May 2012, but it was not without setbacks. I have been going hard core Paleo without any cheats (see more on this below) for several months now and feel 100% better.
3. Why did you start? What did you want to change?
All my health issues surround my autoimmune disorder which is my body refusing to digest foods properly and reacting adversely to certain foods. I have intolerance to gluten, corn and dairy and am randomly allergic to bananas. I also have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) which will haunt me the rest of my life. My doctors believe that my excessive use of antibiotics as a child, and then again as an adult for acne (I took tetracycline for five years in high school/college), reacted badly with my autoimmune issues to create recurring bacterial overgrowth in my small intestine that causes all sorts of stomach and digestion issues.
This is also all in conjunction with my hiatal hernia (which is why sometimes it feels like my food is stuck in my esophagus). So as you can see, I was in a constant state of intestinal distress which filters to many parts of the body causing excessive fatigue, unexplained blood and hormone imbalances among other things. Additionally, my GI doctors believe that if I carefully follow the right diet, I will keep crohn’s disease at bay. Therefore, I have been searching for a way to return my body to full health and to prevent additional future long term illness. Paleo has done just that!
4. Was it hard to incorporate into your lifestyle?
Yes, and no. When I went gluten free, I relied heavily on corn and rice as a substitute for the sugar carbs that my body craved due to the SIBO. I didn’t have issues removing dairy from my diet because I like almond and coconut milk. Yes, I miss cheese, but I’m ok without it. But when I went paleo, I struggled for several months leaving all grain behind. Then, we learned that I actually am allergic to corn, so ok, I cut that out, but I still craved sugar carbs so I started allowing myself to eat rice on occasion and copious amounts of processed sugar which I justified as being gluten free and dairy free still. My SIBO symptoms returned, I realized immediately what I had done and that my doctor was right in recommending no cheats paleo! Rice and excessive amounts of high glycemic sugars wreck in havoc in my system. I had done the 21 Day Sugar Detox several times, and upon doing it one more time, I have since been successfully following paleo and finally officially feel 100% amazing!!!
5. Give us an example of a typical day.
I eat eggs and bacon typically for breakfast cooked in various ways. My lunch usually consists of leftovers from the night before or salad with chicken. Dinner is always some form of meat with an assortment of yummy veggies. I do indulge from time to time with some of the amazing paleo dessert recipes that are so readily available to us now and am thankful for the hard of work of so many of the great paleo websites out there like this one!
As a Pilates instructor, it is my goal to practice Pilates three times a week, and I also work out with weights two times a week. I need a little inspiration for my cardio so I take Zumba classes.
6. What are the biggest changes you’ve experienced?
The biggest change I’ve experience is that I am free of the intestinal distress that has plagued me my whole life. Additionally, I have noticed a lovely change in my skin and weight loss in areas that previous had eluded me like the hips.
7. How has this changed your outlook on life?
I cannot tell you how good it feels to finally be free of intestinal distress. I feel like a cloud that hung over my life has been lifted and I am no longer wondering how I will feel after I eat.
9. What words of encouragement do you have for the Paleo community?
As you can see, it was a long hard path to come to a complete understanding of what was going on in my body, and I am extremely thankful for the integrative medicine doctors who worked so diligently to uncover what was going on and for the many paleo resources available today. I hope that my story will help others find intestinal healing more quickly and also demonstrate the importance of following paleo properly. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my journey at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my blog, www.surpassinggreatness.com.
Thank you, Paleohacks, for letting me share my story!