Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Life

A healthy gut leads to a healthy life!

Today, in the Scheer Madness Podcast, we take a look into some of my favorite podcast clips pulled from different conversations focused on gut health, changing and adapting into a healthier diet, and how the food we eat affects our overall health. 

For more information about working with our team at Rachel Scheer Nutrition, book a free 30-minute call at www.rachelscheer.com/application  


  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:18 Epicaloric Control with Shawn Stevenson
  • 09:53 The Functional Medicine Movement with Dr. Ken Brown
  • 14:21 Positive for SIBO with Angela Beasley
  • 21:13 The 7 gut destroyers with Ben Azadi (Keto Kamp Podcast)
  • 36:52 The gut microbiome with Amberly Lago
  • 46:17 How the gut communicates with the brain with Dr. Amy Shah
  • 54:06 Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis with Hana Schlang 
  • 01:00:25 The biggest reason we struggle with stress with Erica Lippy (Passion Love Pursuit Podcast) 

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Podcast Transcript:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But if you are ready to level up your life and get results that truly matter in your health, business, mindset, and relationships, then this is the podcast for you. Welcome to Shared Madness, where we have unscripted real conversations with the world’s top athletes, entrepreneurs, and coaches discover real world and tactical advice from the best in the business.

Let’s go. Your gut plays such an essential role in your overall health because it is connected to literally every system in your entire body, which means when your gut becomes off, when it becomes dysbiotic with bacteria imbalances, or you develop sibo. Or you have chronic inflammation or even intestinal permeability.

This leads to a whole host of symptoms to chronic bloating where you look six months pregnant every single day. That is exactly what happened to me. Two, constipation, diarrhea, but not even just gut issues. This affects your skin. Acne, rosacea, psoriasis are all symptoms of gut issues to thyroid issues like autoimmune conditions, Hashimotos to hormonal imbalances, estrogen dominance, high cholesterol, and even weight loss resistance too.

So it makes sense when we heal our gut, everything starts to improve, and when I finally was able to heal my gut, my bloating went away, my skin cleared up, my mental health improved, and it was so much easier to maintain my body composition, to lose weight and build muscle. Which is why I always say heal your gut, literally heal your entire life.

In today’s episode of Sheer Madness, I have compiled some of my favorite clips from some of the previous Sheer Madness episodes, talking about the importance of gut health and steps you can take to begin to heal your own gut. My first day of nutritional science class, the very first conversation, the first thing we talked about was calories.

Mm-hmm. , my teacher said, he said that if you can control calories, if you can manage calories, you can manage your weight. If you can manage calories, you can manage your body composition. Keep in mind, again, he’s not the picture of health, he’s, he’s far from it actually, but he’s telling us about this principle that should guide our decisions with our food.

Now what we know today, and what I’m really working to impress upon culture is this term called epi caloric control. All right? There’s seven things that I’ve identified in the research that actually control what calories do in our bodies. Mm-hmm. . All right. So these are things above caloric control, and one of those things is our brain.

All right? And specifically, this radical increase in this epidemic that hardly anybody’s talking about of neuroinflammation, okay? Brain inflammation and researchers. And this was published in Anals of the New York Academy of Sciences. They uncovered that hypothalamic inflammation is one of the biggest drivers of obesity.

And obesity is one of the biggest drivers of hypothalamic inflammation. Alright, now, why does this matter? Well, your hypothalamus is determining whether or not you’re absorbing calories from your food in the first place. . Mm-hmm. , this is not accounted for on a product label. All right? You’re hy your hypothalamus.

To give an analogy, it’s sort of like your body’s internal thermostat. All right? It’s setting the, it’s setting the, the place at which your body’s going to be burning calories, right? Your metabolic rate. All right? It’s setting the temperature of your metabolism. All right? It’s a master gland, but it’s also because I call it a, it’s a master gland.

Considering that it kind of interconnects your endocrine system, your hormone system with your nervous system, all right? Now when the hypothalamus gets outta whack, lots of things can go. Terribly wrong. And again, this is one of the biggest issues and hardly anyone’s talking about it. And part of it is because of the brain is so mysterious, right?

Your brain, and this is from researchers, and I’ve outlined all this stuff and eat smarter by the way, but researchers from Yale University School of Medicine uncovered that just, well just use this one por, this one portion, the connectivity between your brain and your gut via the vagus nerve. And if there’s inflammation, chronic inflammation taking place in your gut and or in your brain, literally the signaling, your brain can tell your gut, even though you might be obese or overweight, it can send signals to your gut, telling your gut to increase the absorption of calories from your food because there can be an assumption or a mis skew.

representation, miscued data that you don’t have enough energy and you need to absorb more. Or your brain can also tell your gut to reduce the absorption of calories from the food that you’re eating. All right. And again, this isn’t accounted for. I’ve seen many patients over the years coming from seeing whoever, what quote weight loss doctor, and they’ve got them under a thousand calories a day, and yet they’re 200 pounds, you know, and they’re five three, and the weight is, they’re, it’s just stuck.

And they’re like, there’s some, I’m broken. There’s something wrong with me. These stories are so widespread, but yet we have this perception to blame the person. They’re just not cutting enough calories. They’re not doing it. Right. Yeah. Right. Therefore, but the reality is far different. Yes, exactly. And what happens is it creates a state of learned helplessness, you know, where people are trying so hard and trying so much, and they’re so ridiculed.

By this profession that pays no attention to the things that are controlling what calories do in your body. That’s one. I’m gonna share one more really quickly. Uh, one of these other epi chloric controllers. So one of them is your brain itself, because your brain literally is telling your body what to do.

All right? Supersedes caloric absorption, uh, in and of itself, and caloric expenditure. Your brain is controlling that process. Another one of these things, and we’ve been saying this for years in nutrition, but now we really know when we say it’s not just the calories, it’s the quality of the calories.

Mm-hmm. , right? It’s not just the calories, it’s the quality of the calories. No, this is no joke. We know this for certain now, you know, because there was this professor back in the day, he did the Twinky diet. He just got a caloric deficit, lost weight, and he is like, see, I told you, it’s just calories in, calories out.

But this muscle too, . Say again? Oh, I said, and he probably killed all of his muscle too in the process. So that Oh my God. Yeah. Right. Def the very definition of a Twinkie himself. Yes. You know, , so this is the thing is like asking, okay, what are you making your tissues out of? What are you making your, your pa, your, your beta cells and your pancreas?

What are they made of? What are your immune cells made of? What are your hormones made of? Right. What are you making your tissues out of? You’re making it out of Twinky, man. We’ve got a serious, serious problem here. And so one of the studies that I, again, I kind of mapped out so everybody can really, uh, just extrapolate the, the big takeaway point with this point, which is what the researchers did, and this was published in Food and Nutrition research.

They wanted to find out what would happen if folks eat a meal of processed food versus a meal of Whole Foods. All right? So they gave one group of test subjects what they deemed be a whole food sandwich, which was. Whole grain bread and cheddar cheese. All right. So that was the whole food meal. And that’s, of course, people can argue that and of itself.

But then they had another group eat what they deemed to be a processed food sandwich, which was white bread and cheese product. And cheese product is like craft singles. Yeah, , you know, so it’s not legally they can’t, there’s not enough cheese to call it craft cheese. Yeah, it’s Kraft singles. All right. So they had to test subjects to consume either sandwich.

And here’s the most important part. The sandwiches are the exact same amount of calories. They’re the same amount of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. So looking at it just through that lens, Tracking macros, checking calories, they should get the same results eating each sandwich. But this is what happened.

The folks who consumed the processed food sandwich had a 50% reduction in calorie burn after eating the processed food sandwich versus the people who ate the whole food sandwich. All right? What happened was this effectively created what I call hormonal clogs and made their system far more stingy at hanging onto the calories.

It just consumed it created a hormonal disruption that literally changed the landscape of their metabolism, making it so that they’re not expending calories at the same rate. So these are the things, again, whether we’re doing a point system caloric management, if we’re not accounting for these factors, this is gonna lead people to a lot of potentially long-term damage, and especially a lot of frustration because we’re not paying attention to the things that control what calories do in our bodies in the first place.

This whole movement that’s gone on. I think that the functional medicine movement, which was really spearheaded by, let’s just call it naturopathic doctors, but a group that has been very open to everything are nutritionists just like yourself. Mm-hmm. , because you’ve seen that when you can change a diet in somebody, that their health will actually improve.

Mm-hmm. . And when that happens, we know that you’re doing a fundamental thing. So when you change the diet, what’s going on? You’re improving their gut health. Mm-hmm. , you’re improving their overall health. This, um, over, well now we’re getting to 15 years ago, but uh, 15 years ago I was doing pharmaceutical research and really deep into that where drug companies would develop new drugs and they would come to me and I was doing research for them.

That’s when I met a guy named Dr. Mark Pimentel, who was a pioneer in this field where he had animal models where he showed that if you put an animal under stress or gave it antibiotics, Then bacteria would start to grow where it shouldn’t. And he’s the one that came up with the whole idea of SIBO or bacterial overgrowth as the root cause of irritable bowel syndrome.

So when everybody else is saying you have IBS and move on, and then eventually you get frustrated, you, you go to a different doctor, you get more procedures done, you spend a lot of money to do this. He had animal models showing that no, it comes down to bacteria. And what we’re learning in the functional medicine side is that it probably all is bacteria, both bacteria growing where it shouldn’t be or your own microbiome affecting everything.

And there’s tons of data coming out with that. So it was then that I realized, oh my gosh, we have this process that’s going on and I was doing clinical research for a drug called Xifaxan. Mm-hmm. . And they, um, eventually got approval for irritable bowel with diarrhea. Dr. Pimentel said, unfortunately, we’ll never be able to help the people with irritable bowel with constipation because the type of bacteria that is creating the constipation, none of our antibiotics work on, is it?

It’s not even a bacteria, is it? It’s an archaic actor if you wanna get all sciencey about it. Yeah. So it’s in its own class. There’s fungi, aaia, and then bacteria or ucar. It’s over here. So then you start getting into old school science, you’re like, man, I remember reading about this in med school. I should probably dust off some of those books.

And I went to the University of Nebraska in this particular case is relevant because in Nebraska that is a, uh, large farming and livestock area of the country, Nebraska, Iowa. And they were trying to mandate that farmers put certain food products in to decrease methane production in these cattle for the greenhouse effect.

So I had this aha moment where I was like, oh my goodness, look at this. If we can stop methane. in humans, we can help with ibs, with constipation, cuz as it turns out, when we produce methane gas, it slows everything down and then that creates constipation, bloating, and constipation. And that’s what send me down this whole path where I’m like, well if modern day antibiotics don’t work, then what if something natural?

Old school. Mm-hmm. works, and that’s when we discovered that if you combine three polyphenols, and I say polyphenols because those are the molecules that are the good molecules in the Mediterranean diet, those are the things that make vegetables colorful. They’re the ones that actually help get rid of this.

So not only are you changing so polyphenols, which is essentially what gives vegetables and fruit or just vegetables. Vegetables and fruit. Vegetables and fruit, the bright colors that they have. Yeah. Those have been shown to have positive effects on the gut bacteria. Yes. In a really cool way because as it turns out, these polyphenols not only understand to get rid of the bacteria, these polyphenols have certain mechanisms in them to protect them in nature.

Well, we’re taking the advantage of that, and it can actually get rid of the bacteria that’s growing in the wrong place, but then it can feed your bacteria. Mm-hmm. And then the bacteria in your microbiome, in your colon, where it should be actually converts it to beneficial things. So it’s a, it’s a win-win.

And that’s when we discovered this, and I realized in our initial studies, we were really doing well with the I B S constipation group. But then everybody came back said, I wanna keep taking it. I just feel better. And then that’s when we started realizing, oh my goodness. We really discovered something really cool here with the polyphenols, with aran being a combination of polyphenols that we developed strictly for irritable bowel.

Okay. And now we’re getting this benefit that we see long term. I was training Brazilian jiujitsu two, three nights a week at night, and I was just gaining weight. And my husband’s like, well, it’s, it’s gotta be muscle as much as you’re working out. It’s like, yeah, okay, but I don’t feel good at this weight that something doesn’t, isn’t right.

And I would wake up just flat as a fretter, you know, with my stomach. And I’m not a vain person. I wasn’t after the six pack abs, but I spent a lot of time in the gym, you know, for, I should have something for the effort. So I’d wake up just completely flat in the mornings and by lunch I looked six months pregnant and I was hurting and I was just tended.

And so I had been, I have, uh, ulcerative colitis, so I have a gastroenterologist here in Tulsa. And so I went to him and said, I just, something’s not right, I don’t feel good. And he goes, well, you probably have a small intestine bacterial overgrowth. So we tested and sure enough I was positive for it. and I, I went on a, like two weeks worth of xifaxin and it, it helped a little bit, you know, the symptoms subsided but not quite.

So I went on another round of Xifaxin and so now I’ve been on an antibiotic for a month and things were okay after that. And then it was probably the Christmas day of 2016. Had big breakfast that morning with the kids, with the family, and by lunch I hurt. I hurt so bad and I was huge. And so we consulted Dr.

Google and found out, you know what diet to help. Prevent a small intestine bacterial overgrowth. So my husband finds the low FODMAP diet and I was like, okay, I’ll, you know, we’ll give it a shot in cold Turkey. I mean, just followed it to a tea, measured everything. I mean, I was counting out 20 blueberries because that was all the list that I could have.

I mean, when you talk discipline, I was there. Yeah. Okay. . So, uh, I went on down that path for probably three years, three and a half years. And every once in a while, something I would think I would get a cross contamination, something would sneak in or I’d have too much of something and I’d cut everything out of my diet.

I mean, reduced sounds are just a few little things that I would consistently eat and still have these, these reactions, you know, still not feel good. And um, so I was like, okay, well this is. , this is really just how, how life is gonna be. Um, and then that’s when, you know, I find you and you’re, you know, we start with the testing and, and I remember, I can tell you I was sitting in my car in the parking lot at my gym on our first 15 minute console mm-hmm.

And you asked me or said, we can do this two different ways. We can, we can go about it in testing, you know, along the way, or we can just pinch your nose and jump in headfirst and test everything from one end to the other and see what’s going on. And I’d done this for so long by myself and just struggled for answers.

I was like, no, I’m all in. Just, just figure it out, . And I mean, turns out everything that I had been trying to do on my own, I needed to be doing the exact opposite. The foods I was still eating, were still causing all the inflammation. I mean, I, I, my gastro, I ask him, you know, see if I’m allergic to something.

It turns out I’m not allergic to anything. But when you test, you find out that these certain foods are causing an enormous amount of inflammation in my body. And so, You know, the thing about it was everything that I thought I was doing white, I wasn’t. And you speak of, you know, quick fixes. My husband told me, you’re the most disciplined person I know.

You’ll be textbook client for, you’ll get in there, she’ll tell you to tweak your diet this way. You’ll probably take some supplements or whatever and things will be great. And so I didn’t, I mean, I had that attitude about it. I didn’t think I was gonna be a quick fix, but I kind of hope that I would be, you know what I mean?

Because I was in the gym all the time. I was eating what I thought was all the right stuff and I was still sick, you know? And not to mention how we find out even later on how the ulcerative colitis plays into this. I was diagnosed with colitis 17 years ago. I had no idea how much that would spring forward into where I was right now.

You know, I can remember going to the doctor, my um, General practitioner. She said, well, what’s new? And I said, well, I guess I have I B s. And she goes, oh, you are bound to get that cause of your colitis. But I never asked why, why do I have ulcerative colitis? Why do I have I b s and how come everything I eat makes me sick?

You know? And so that’s, that’s where I was. I was, I had food anxiety because I thought, I mean, there was nothing I could eat that I thought would be okay. And my kids and my, my husband, I had them completely stressed out because, you know, that’s mama’s food. You can’t eat that or you can’t touch mama’s food cuz you’ve already touched this that has gluten in it or dairy or anything else.

You know. And so my, my gut was messed up, but I was way more messed up mentally and emotionally than what I would like to admit when I first got to, you know, it was, it was an interesting place to be. Yeah. . Yeah. Yeah. And, um, one thing that I always, you know, try to tell my clients and for those who are listening is, you know, this is, is a whole body, whole person based approach.

And we’ll dive into a, a bit of that even with like Angela, but you know, the whole person must heal in order for the gut to function optimally. It does depend on where we’re starting. So she had an autoimmune condition, and I even kind of rank it like how long will it take to heal the gut? And this is like an estimate of course, that, you know, just general GI inflammation, which honestly probably most of the population has just cuz of our sad diet, the standard American diet, you know, just bringing down inflammation by pulling out those foods, um, can take anywhere between one to two months to bring that down.

A leaky gut. Which is actually sometimes part of the root issue for autoimmune conditions. Um, it actually causes there to be, uh, food bacteria, toxins leaking to that gut lining, actually contributing to an autoimmune condition. That’s about 70% of those are caused by leaky gut that can take, you know, anywhere between two to three months.

Um, CIBO, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, which what Angela has been talking about that she was also diagnosed with, um, in combination with the ulcerative colitis, um, autoimmune condition that can take anywhere between six months up to a year to heal. Um, in the big difference between all of these things are, is it’s trying to heal it versus just suppress the symptoms overall.

You had a, a, a little post on your Instagram, uh, actually a big post that did well, but what I’m saying is you had seven gut destroyers and you mentioned a couple sugar vegetable oils. And if you, but let’s go, let’s go a little bit deeper into each one of these and I’ll, and I’ll list them for you in case you forgot what you posted there.

Uh, the first one was sugar, right? I mean, that’s kind of obvious. Processed sugar. You’re raising glucose and insulin. Anything else you want to add to that specifically? . Well, bacteria and pathogens feed off of sugar. Candida, right? Yep. Candida. So I’ve had a lot of people who come back with candida, they thrive off of sugar.

Um, a lot of other type of pathogenic bacteria, they thrive off of also sugar in the diet. Um, we know it can also cause a lot of the, um, blood sugar and balances increase in cortisol levels throughout the body as well too. Um, and also just leads to overall obesity as well. And we know that can also wreak havoc in our overall gut microbiome.

Yeah, so sugar, whether it’s real or artificial. And I think that one’s really, really tough for a lot of people to swallow because there’s, you know, so many diet foods out there and you know, I was the first one who had all of my pre-workouts, my protein powders. Um, I was putting it in my coffees. And when I really look back and I look at it, it was.

Constantly throughout my day, like these were staples in my diet. Like first thing when I woke up in the morning, artificial sweeteners before I went to go work out artificial sweeteners when I got back from working up artificial sweeteners. And if you look at the side effects of a lot of these things, slo, um, anything that adds an OS or all I always tell my clients to look for, um, you’ll see side effects of bloating, distension, constipation, diarrhea.

Because just because there’s not calories in ’em doesn’t mean they’re good for you. It doesn’t mean they’re still not feeding bacteria in your gut as well. Amen. And you know, I saw a study that looked at, they were tracing where SLO specifically ended up in the body and they traced only 96.7% of it. So 3.3% was untraceable.

Like, where the heck did that go? Is it accumulating somewhere in the body? There’s also research that shows it could be inogenic for some people, it’ll cause more cravings. It could be a neurotoxin. So those are, those are bad. What are some of your favorite, um, not artificial sweeteners, but natural sweeteners.

What are your go-tos? Yeah, I’ll usually have some of my clients utilize monk fruit. Mm-hmm. Stevia, if it’s actually Stevia, cuz there’s still a lot of processed Stevia. Trivia is not Stevia. I actually used to have a Stevia plant in my backyard and if you get real Stevia, it’s green. Um, it’s not gonna be white and granular.

It’s not gonna be in those little bit of those little droplets as well too. So if we can get like real, um, natural zero calorie sweeteners, I’m okay with monk fruit or Stevia. Those are gonna be much better alternatives than things like Superlo. Yeah, I agree. Uh, and next I, on the list of gut destroyers is vegetable oils, industrial seed oils.

I talk a lot about this. I recently did a, a TikTok video a couple weeks ago about the worst cooking oils versus the best ones and it just exploded. It has 3.3 million views. Somebody on a radio show heard me. Or heard the video from a friend and then they brought me on the radio show yesterday to talk about it.

So this is a topic I love and I love that you talk about it. So why Rachel, are these vegetable oils so bad for us, especially the gut? Well, they just create massive inflammation throughout our entire body. It’s probably the easiest answer for . Hey. No, it’s true. Is it worse than sugar though, or vegetable oils worse than?

Yeah, because we can metabolize sugar, we can’t really metabolize these industrial seed oils or vegetable oils from our body, so they just kind of stay stuck. And I run omega-3 omega six indexes on all my clients who come see me. And I will say about nine out of 10 people are high in these omega six s, these pro-inflammatory fat that typically come from vegetable oils, industrial seed oils.

Um, and most of the time they’re telling me I don’t cook with those, though I’m not like at home cooking with a vegetable. And I’m like, you’re getting it. You’re getting it from when you’re going out to eat. You’re getting it from, you know, so maybe at those processed foods, um, people who not. I mean, you aren’t paying attention to like their salad dressings com commercially mean salad dressings.

You look at the back of them. Yeah. They’re, you know, using vegetable oil. You think you’re getting a nice, healthy salad with all of these, uh, these fibers and these veggies and they throw on there some chicken breast, but then you’re dousing it in a bunch of vegetable oil and it just causes massive inflammation throughout the body.

Yeah, they’re everywhere. They’re ubiquitous. They’re at Whole Foods. They’re at most of your restaurants. What I do when I go to restaurants, it drives my fiance crazy sometimes, but I’m always asking the waiter or waitress, Hey, which oil do you cook with at this restaurant? 98% of the time it’s like a soybean canola or even olive oil that’s cut with one of those.

and I tell ’em, look, I’m allergic. My fiance’s allergic to those oils. Can you use a real olive oil or butter or, or a coconut oil? And they usually have that option, but you have to request it. So, good job. I love that you talk about that. I agree. Worse than sugar, you could burn off sugar. Can’t burn these off.

Next on the list is medications. What does that do to the gut? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. Birth control and to acids, NSAIDs. Um, they’ve shown that actually birth control can deplete the body of key micronutrients. It can affect your body’s adrenals. I know when I was on birth control, when I would do my testing, my cortisol levels were at like 50.

And I remember the physician I was seeing, it was like, I have never seen cortisol levels. Wow. Like this high ever. It came off of it, went back to normal, got back on, it was crazy high and they. , this birth control is just not good for your body. And that was one of the reasons why I ended up coming off of it.

Um, so yeah, birth control can wreak havoc in our gut microbiome, not only because of depleting the nutrients, but it can definitely, um, cause an imbalance in a lot of that good in the bad bacteria as well too. NSAIDs, we know that can cause a breakdown in the gut lining leading to more actual gastrointestinal inflammation.

Ulcers even for people as well too. Um, and then the other one is anti acids. Very rarely do I see people who have too little stomach acid. Usually they have actually too much stomach acid. Um, and then we overuse these anti acids, which is a little bit of a bandaid to suppress the symptoms that people are experiencing.

Um, but typically what I see is, you know, when people don’t have enough stomach acid, they can’t break down protein very well, and this protein can actually even begin to rot a bit and create, um, this symptoms of having more of like an acid reflex. So we start taking more of these anti acids. Um, and then this kind of continues the cycle, but we’ve also shown that a lot of these anti-acid.

Because they deplete a lot of our stomach acid can actually cause more of these bad bacteria and pathogenic bacteria to enter into our gastrointestinal tract because that stomach acid is needed kind of as a defense system as well too. Um, pro pump inhibitors, I think one, those are one of the worst things that people can get on for their gut microbiome.

There’s a, um, a very strong correlation between proton pump inhibitors and sibo, so small intestinal bacteria overgrowth. And every client that I’ve seen who’s come in with a proton pump inhibitor that they’ve been on, normally one, they’ve been on it for like years and they can’t even get off of it anymore, and they used to even have a black box warning for proton pump inhibitors with doctors, like, don’t put people on it for longer than a week.

Now people are just on them for life and they struggle to even get off of them. because everything’s just like completely off when they do try and they get way too much than stomach acid production. Um, but these port pump inhibitors also lead to a lot of bacteria overgrowth. So now not only do they have the stomach acid issue, they’re now also dealing with a lot of this bacteria overgrowth in their small intestine as well.

Yeah, well said. Um, so the next one on the list is stress. And we know you talked about it already mm-hmm. , but stress comes in three areas, mental, emotional, physical, chemical. But what, what, what role does stress play on that gut? Yeah, I’d say it plays a big role, um, by, causing us to be more in that catabolic state that I was talking about.

Um, so we’re in that sympathetic state fight or flight. Our digestive system completely shuts down as well. So we’re either gonna hold on to all of our food or we’re gonna completely expel it. So when our digestive system is not really working, cuz we’re in this stress state, this can lead to a lot of that bacteria overgrowth as well.

Slow motility in the gut. Um, and that over time can just lead to a lot of those microbial imbalances as well. So stress is normal. We’re all gonna experience stress. Um, when you’re working out, you’re under a very short stressor, but this is more for people who are like chronically under stress every single day.

Cortisol levels are always. Their digestive systems are always shut down. Um, and they’re dealing with sometimes constipation, diarrhea, um, and that’s when really that stress can lead to a lot of those functional gut issues. Yeah. And stress is good to your point. You know, hor hormesis, hormetic stress mm-hmm.

you have this herme hormetic ceiling, but everybody has a different ceiling. So you might add working out to a person who’s already highly stressed out from different areas and all of a sudden that curve drops and you start to get more symptoms. So everybody needs, needs to know their hermetic curve and their hermetic ceiling mm-hmm.

and then make sure you kind of stay in that zone, uh, which is really interesting. So I love that. And then on the next topic here, or the next one on the list is unresolved trauma, which can kind of be in that stress category. But you mentioned you had some unresolved trauma that you Yeah. Dealt with. So what are some strategies to deal.

Well, I will say first, um, they’ve shown that people who’ve gone through trauma actually have something called a low vagal tone. So we have something called our vagus nerve, which connects our brain all the way down to our gut. And this is why we have a gut brain connection and why when we go through periods of stress, our gut is infected, or even when our gut is off, we’ve seen it can definitely affect our neurological function as well too.

So they’ve shown that people who have a history of trauma, um, especially unresolved trauma that they haven’t really worked through, that actually can stay dormant in the body. And one of the ways that it’s manifested is by a poor vagal tone. So poor gut brain connection. Um, and they’ve shown that a poor vagal tone is one of the number one causes for SIBO or small intestinal bacteria overgrowth as well too.

So this is why working through, you know, the things that maybe we’ve. gone through our childhood trauma is really, really important. Um, I’ve read the book How to Do the Work by the Holistic Psychologist. I’m a huge fan of her. She talks a lot about vagal tone, talks a lot about trauma, how to understand these trauma, cuz sometimes they’re not even like major life events, but they’re things that have really shaped the way that we think, um, have shaped the way we show up in relationships as well too.

So I’m always encouraging my clients to do the work, you know, work with the professional, um, whether that’s working with a coach, whether that’s going to see a psychologist, um, whether that’s doing the work on their own to really try to understand how some of these emotional traumas could be playing a role in their overall health.

And it’s by no coincidence, um, that usually most people who see psychologists or psychiatric physicians usually are dealing with. I b s gut issues, or even autoimmune conditions as well too because our gut in our brain are so interconnected. When your gut is off, it literally affects every system in your entire body leading to symptoms of anxiety, depression, brain fog, because the gut and the brain are highly interconnected.

This leads to chronic bloating, literally looking at six months pregnant at the end of every single day, which is exactly what happened to me when my gut was off to hormone imbalances, to thyroid issues, high cholesterol, inability to lose weight. The list goes. On and on, which is why when we can heal our gut and optimize our microbiome, everything starts to fall into place.

And when I healed my gut, literally everything improved. Bloating went away, my skin cleared up, my mental health improved, and it was so much easier to reach and maintain my ideal body composition, which is why I am so passionate about gut health with my functional medicine practice. And it’s the exact reason why I created my.

Gut health repair program. Look, I get it. Not a lot of people can, you know, really afford to work with us through one-on-one coaching and functional medicine testing with Rachel Sheer Nutrition. But my gut health repair program is literally a fraction of the investment, and you’re gonna be learning everything that I’ve done with not only myself to heal my own gut, but also with over a thousand Rachel Share nutrition clients as well.

We’ll be diving into my three R approach to healing the gut, removing gut triggers and toxins, restoring your gut lining, rebuilding back your gut microbiome, and. Optimizing and reinoculating the gut with good bacteria. You see there’s a massive difference between healing and overall health. Sometimes we need to heal the gut and get it to a place where we can then step into optimization, and I see a lot of people doing this backwards, and this is why they find themselves chasing their tail and not really getting the results that they optimally want with their gut issues, skin issues, hormone imbalance.

Or even weight On top of that, with my gut health repair program, you are going to be getting a step-by-step guide to calculating and hitting your macros. So we can also focus on your skeletal muscle mass, because your muscle literally is the organ of longevity and it plays a massive role in your overall metabolic rate and therefore your weight loss.

So by optimizing your skeletal muscle mass, by getting in enough protein in conjunction with a customized workout program, will be able to not only loose fat, build muscle and do this simultaneously with healing and optimizing our gut health. How freaking incredible is that? So you’re gonna be also getting a three month workup program to focus on strict training so we can create the body of your dreams.

And like I said, it’s for a fraction of the cost, what it would be to normally work with me for one-on-one coaching and functional medicine testing. So you don’t wanna miss out on this opportunity and I’m gonna be doing even an additional discount coming this Black Friday. So keep an eye out and if you wanna opt in so you don’t miss out on any of these notifications, go ahead and click the link here in these show notes and we will subscribe you.

So you are first to be notified. When we launched this upcoming gut health repair program starting this December, I was in the process of literally ready to schedule that surgery, but something came over me in that moment. You know, I believe it was God because I’m faith-based and I really listened to my gut despite how messed up my gut was at the time.

But it said, you know, this is not the way there, there’s another answer. So, I left and I literally became obsessed with learning everything that I could about the gut and the gut microbiome and how these little microbes in our gut control everything from our hormones, our thyroid mm-hmm. , our brain health, our metabolism, that our motility, the transit of food.

And I just spent hours and hours on end, just like I did in high school, just like I did, you know, when it came to making my dance team just like obsessed with getting better. And I was like, you know what? Nobody is gonna do the work for me. I’m gonna have to do it for myself. So I was the dietician and I just became obsessed with learning everything that I could about gut health and, but let that what you just.

No one was gonna do the work for me. Mm-hmm. , I had to do the work myself. Exactly. Like, that’s what you have to do. It’s like me. Nobody was gonna walk again for me. I had to get up and mm-hmm. , learn to walk again. Nobody was gonna create joy again. I had to decide and start doing it. So I love that about you and I love that, that you have so much grit and determination and you learned so much about it.

I didn’t actually know as much about gut health and all of that until the last few years when I got sick of taking all the medications and started trying something to heal my gut. But for people who aren’t familiar with exactly what the gut is responsible for, so you. Your hormones, your hormones, your thyroid, your metabolism.

They’ve literally shown that the bacteria in our gut control how many calories we extract from our food are our bacteria and our gut are in constant communication with our brain. So when you are depressed, when you’re anxious, very, very often, your gut bacteria is playing a massive role because our gut produces about 70% of our serotonin that we produce.

Most antidepressants are SSRIs. These are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which literally just help your body keep more serotonin in it. Where that is literally what the bacteria in our gut do. And if you think about it, most of us, wow, with the standard American diet, you know, which is I call the sad diet, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, you know, everything.

Even though my, like I said, my diet was quote unquote macro friendly, fitness friendly, you know, even got me to a good body composition. Like it was terrible for my gut. It was processed foods. All of these things that were wreaking havoc on my microbiome. And you combine that with, you know, emotional stress.

And the way actually stress affects our gut, as I always explain it, is think of stress. It’s um, it’s a catabolic hormone. We, we’ve all heard about cortisol. Oh yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And you know what? When I’m stressed, I start to shrink, like I start to lose muscle and I’ve been away on trips where I’m doing events and I’m speaking on this date, and I mean, I’m grateful for that.

Mm-hmm. , but I’m just go, go, go speak, and I get back and I’ll walk in the door. My husband will be like, you need to eat. You know why that is? Because it’s a catabolic hormone. Right? It breaks things down. Mm-hmm. . So if you think about this, our gut lining, it’s also a muscle tissue. So when we’re in this catabolic state, when we are in a constant state of fight or flight, now stress can be so many different things.

It can be dietary stress, it can be emotional stress, work stress, poor sleep, unaddressed trauma. But it also can be environmental stress. You know, you have toxic heavy metals, mold, a gut pathogen, but this causes. Cortisol to become chronically elevated, and over time it begins to break down your gut lining.

Now why is that a So is that leaky gut? Mm-hmm. , and that’s what actually sets the tone for intestinal permeability. And our immune system as a byproduct starts to decrease. We start to pick up other types of bacteria infections, and as a byproduct of a leaky gut, we start to develop food sensitivities.

Mm-hmm. food is typically not the root cause, like allergies are something that you’re born with, you can’t get rid of. But a food sensitivity is something you typically develop because you have some degree of intestinal permeability where you’re getting food bacteria, toxins leaking into the bloodstream, causing massive immune and inflammatory upregulation.

So now we have this. This leaky gut. But also too, this sets the, the tone for bacteria to overgrow in the body because our immune system has been lowered. Yeah. We have all of these processed foods, these stressors and the bacteria in our gut. They’re, they’re listening, they are paying attention. And when we are in this state of stress and when we’re not getting sleep, we’re not getting sunlight, you know, we actually can create something called dysbiosis, which is an imbalance of that good and that bad bacteria.

So now you kind of think about my story, right? Where I had all of this physical stress, I had this dietary stress, I had this unaddressed trauma too. And all of these different things combined, my gut lining started to break down. My immune system lowered, I started to get bacteria that started to overgrow in my gut because of all of the, the poor foods that I were eating that were feeding all of this bacteria.

And if your diet is. Full of all of these processed foods. I mean, it’s gonna be a really hard time to heal. And you know, so often you see like, Hey, just take this probiotic, it’s gonna fix all of your gut. Well, there’s, there’s nothing wrong with the probiotic, right? Like, take the probiotic. I’m, I’m not against it.

But we have to deal with these stressors. We have to deal with the shit that’s going on inside our head. Um, we need to address, you know, our toxic thoughts that we’re experiencing. Where are these coming from? Mm-hmm. , what is the story? How is this showing up in my body? I’m a big believer that, you know, chronic stress, trauma, it’s really trapped energy in the body if you really, really think about it.

And we need to get that out of the body. And that’s where, like for me, a big part of my healing was really leaning into things like breath work, um, meditation, fitness. And I know you and I have related to that in so many levels, but like, when I have that high levels of stress, like I need to, to move my body now, there’s a big difference.

In the way that I did it back then where I did it to an extreme, but it was also the combination. And for most people, it’s not one thing. It’s not like, oh, it was this one food. Oh, it was this one stressful day that I had this one stressful event. For most people, it’s this like perfect whirlwind. This combination of emotional stress.

Poor diet. You know, when we’re, we’re really stressed out, we have trauma, guess what we do? We turn towards vices, we turn towards food. Mm-hmm. , we start bingeing, we start leaning into that. And there are vices, like alcohol and drugs and yes, those also definitely disrupt the gut. Um, antibiotics, um, NSAIDs, those type of things, pain medications.

Um, but also you interrupt the. Yeah. And antibiotics. And antibiotics, definitely. And as you’re saying all this, I’m thinking about, you know, after my motorcycle accident, my body completely shut down. Mm-hmm. So my hair was falling out. Mm-hmm. I mean, chunks of hair. I had to end up cutting my hair. My hair was falling out.

I stopped having my period. Mm. Um, my thyroid was, levels were undetectable. My estrogen and testosterone were undetectable. Mm-hmm. , like zero, like nothing. Yeah. And so everything was shut down. I was not using the bathroom. It was like your gut was shut down. Like everything, it was completely shut down from the trauma.

so much medication. Mm-hmm. being, just think about being in a coma for that long. All the medications they were giving me. Yeah. And I remember thinking, well, I don’t, they were like, you need to be on testosterone now. You need this thyroid medication, you need this anti antidepressant. Like they were just giving me medication after medication, after medication.

And it was like once I could start eating healthy again, once I could start therapy and dealing with some of what was going on and the trauma. But it, I love how you say it’s not just one thing that can start this. It’s like a whirlwind of all these things and then before you know it, you’re like, holy cow, why do I look six months pregnant?

What the heck is going on? Like, what is happening in Ramos people? Have gut issues. There’s usually other things that are off too. It’s usually not just like, Hey, I’m a little bit bloated. I’m a little bit constipated. Usually, you know, they have brain fog. Oh yeah. They have anxiety, depression, they have skin issues, they have hair issues.

They’re constantly getting sick. I mean, all of these are indicators of an underlying gut issue that we’re experiencing. We do notice a change, right when we like pull out a lot of. Foods from our diet. Yes. Like a lot of the cravings tend to dissipate overall. So you’re saying a lot of that really goes back to the bacteria are actually changing and the bacteria are what’s really changing?

They’re signaling, signaling the brain what you’re feeling right now. Mm-hmm. . So, you know, we talk about America and the modern world having such a mental health crisis. You know, depression, anxiety are up 30%. We’re like the unhappiness we’ve been in 50 years. And then you look at our food and what we’re doing with our diets and our lifestyles and it’s, it’s clear to me that there is a connection now that we know what the gut does and how it communicates to the brain.

There’s a connection between this poor diet. It’s like a highway we’re on. Highway and basically if you wanna be healthy, you have to get off the highway. It’s not like mm-hmm. , the default is depression, anxiety, feeling tired and crappy, having cravings and not really ever feeling your best. Mm-hmm. . And you have to get off that highway and choose your own path.

And that’s what’s really hard. Yeah. Because, so the. You know, if you just follow what all, you know, what everyone does, you are going to suffer. Yeah. And I think that’s what’s like so unfortunate is like that is the, the programming right now is that it is normal to be overweight, to have these massive cravings, to really just trash our body really is what we’re we’re doing.

And these foods are just wreaking havoc on our gut, therefore our mental health. And it’s just like this continuous cycle over and over again. And I know for myself, I was so surprised because I even went to the Mayo Clinic, like for all of my gut issues and they didn’t even like talk about the gut microbiome, they didn’t talk about the bacteria.

And I was like, I’m going to. Place in the United States for the treatment of like my gut issues and my hormones. They did like this crazy extensive genetic testing even on me. I found out I had something called like Alars Don, low syndrome, like cool. Oh yeah. . But, um, but I still didn’t get any kind of answers overall.

Yeah. And I just was like blown away that like, this isn’t something that’s talked about more. I think it is a little bit more now, like for people like you, people like me mm-hmm. , who are taking a little bit more of a, of a holistic, a functional, let’s get to the root cause of what’s going on here. Let’s.

Look at food instead of just, Hey, what’s your symptom? And kind of doing everything based off of symptom clusters, and I think that’s what’s part of the problem, in my opinion, is it’s like, okay, you have depression. Here’s, here’s a medication for depression. Yeah, okay. You have gut issues. You have an irritable bowel syndrome.

I know when I got that diagnosis, I was like, well, no. No, shit. I have irritable bowels in around that’s, I know. That’s why I’m here. Yeah. Because my gut is irritable. Let’s help. Help me figure out why. Overall, what do you feel like the disconnect is right now? The problem is, is that medical studies. in the US are most, they’re expensive, right?

Mm-hmm. , so who’s funding the medical studies? It’s people who can get benefit from it. So there’s a lot of companies that fund it and mostly medications that you can, you know, so if you look at medications, every medication on the planet has been tested because they want proof that it works. It’s that economy is driving the research.

Yeah. And so when you talk about something like diet, something like improving gut health, and even though we’re finding out more and more about the microbiome, we really haven’t put into practice yet. Mm-hmm. , it takes about 10 to 15 years for new research to even get to the standard of practice. And luckily the microbiome research has been exploding Yeah.

Over the last 10 years. So I think we’re at the turning point where it’s going to start to become like normal medical advice, but you, we don’t have to wait for it to become kind of like, yeah, standard. We can do some of these things are so easy. And so inexpensive that you should be doing it anyway. And eating right is going to help you in many, many aspects, not just gut health.

Right. Yeah. And to your point, I think in America we focus on either we’re not focused on food at all. Like even fitness people, people like you who were amazing looking people like you look super fit, right? But you weren’t healthy. Mm-hmm. . So I think that there’s a difference between looking fit and being healthy.

And then the, on the other hand, there’s a lot of people in America who are like, Desperately trying to lose weight. Mm-hmm. Or fix their health issues. And they don’t even know that the biggest needle mover would be their gut health. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. That’s huge. And I know one thing I’ve always said is like, we have a food industry that pays no attention to health.

Yeah. And we have a health industry that pays no attention to food. Yeah. Really. So there’s like this massive disconnect and it’s like, what is really the, the driving force here? Money, political power. Yeah. Other, I mean that’s a whole nother rabbit hole to definitely go down another day. But I think, you know, just hearing like the power of the bacteria in our gut, how that’s playing Roan in our cravings.

So part of it is of course, like changing our diet to break that overall cycle. But also I. So fascinating is the research in overall mental health, and especially after Covid where, you know, depression, anxiety, you know, all of these things are at a high. Yeah. The research on gut health is also so fascinating there.

Um, and even just like looking at things like psychobiotics. Yeah. Overall, it’s like a whole new research of like the use of probiotics. Yeah. And actually improving people’s mental health. So outside of cravings, what else does the bacteria do? Brain. Yeah. So I, I think people don’t realize that gut bacteria makes serotonin.

Mm-hmm. And they make dopamine and they make adrenaline, acetylcholine, gaba. And so all these things that we equate with like brain health are made by gut bacteria Also, you know, GABA is kind of like a calming. neurochemical and there’s, um, acetylcholine. There’s adrenaline, as you know, is like a very, very stimulating, and these are things that the gut bacteria produces.

And so when we talk about being happier or having better sleep or even having less anxiety, you should be looking to those gut bacteria because we are going to get to a place where we’re going to be able to. Tell people exactly which gut bacteria does what. Like we know now, like Proteobacteria does negative things for the gut.

Mm-hmm. We know like lactose bacillus helps with the serotonin dopamine, but we don’t really know how to get it into our gut. Mm-hmm. Without just actually eating right and exercising. We’re getting so close to learning like how to even modulate our gut health in a way to help change our personality. All right guys.

I got a giveaway coming at ya, and if you guys have heard, we are launching my gut health repair program again coming this December, and I am going to be giving it away free to one lucky person. And this is all you have to do. You have to be following the Sheer Madness Podcast on Instagram. along with all of my other pages at Rachel Shear and at Rachel Shear Nutrition.

And then take a screenshot of you listening to this podcast, sharing it in your story, tagging all three Instagram accounts. And then part three, you have to leave the Shear Madness podcast and incredible review. By doing all three of these steps, you’ll be entering into the contest to win my entire gut health repair program that’s gonna be starting this December.

I need to try everything that I can. Mm-hmm. , because you know, when I was Googling ulcerative colitis and you know, I try to use fine resources, I went to YouTube cuz I know there’s people who vlog and stuff. And so I thought, you know, there has to be someone out there who talks about their experience with this.

And there’s a couple, there’s not a lot. And you know, a lot of them had even more severe experiences than me, you know, because I was embarrassed by my symptoms. I almost, you know, didn’t go to my parents. And I’m glad I did because I found out early on enough. But some people aren’t as lucky. They don’t say anything and then they end up in the hospital.

Um, you know, some people end up having to get their large intestines removed and you know, that was something that a doctor suggested to you. And so I just don’t wanna get to that point. I wanted to do everything that I possibly could to find a solution and to get better. And so when I found out about you, I mean, yeah, I finally had hope.

I’m like, you know, I was already my medication, I forgot to say it was a lot. I, and I still take it and it’s nine pills a day and uh, plus a suppository and it’s a lot. And there’s side effects. I mean, my goal is to not be on medication at some point. Mm-hmm. it, I mean, to be on that kind of medication at 22, 23 now.

Mm. I mean, it’s crazy to me that I, my doctor told me I’d be honest for the rest of my life. Yeah. You know, and I think, you know, it’s, there’s gonna be a point where that you’re able to come off of those medications and I think there’s a bit more healing that has to be done overall. Mm-hmm. , um, with the body.

And, you know, I’ve worked with a lot of people with autoimmune conditions and, um, actually talked to a girl about it before the Zoom, uh, interview here today. And, you know, she was just kind of blown away with what the functional medicine approach is. And for those who are listening, you know, when it comes to dealing with any kind of an autoimmune condition.

You know, there’s kind of a few different things that can trigger it, and oftentimes the gut is one of the biggest things that actually can trigger an autoimmune condition. Um, so if we get anything, um, that’s called like a leaky gut, when our gut lining becomes damaged, whether this be from medications, from stress, from a poor diet, um, you know, maybe we’re exposed to something, um, like a pathogen.

Uh, a virus and our gut starts to get a little bit leaky. Um, in leaky gut. Basically we have these junctions that line the gut, and if they become damaged, um, they, we start to get, um, foods, toxins, bacteria that see through that gut. And when that happens is we start to get this immune upregulation because these toxins and foods are going into the bloodstream that’s gonna trigger an immune response and an inflammatory response.

So part of addressing, um, any kind of an autoimmune condition is looking at what’s happening with the gut. We also wanna pinpoint any kind of gut pathogens that are there. So you didn’t have any gut pathogens, like with the microbiome test? Mm-hmm. . But oftentimes we, we see people with fungal overgrowth, we see them with gut pathogens.

We’ve even had people come back with parasites as well too. And that’s all gonna trigger your immune system to go into overdrive. Um, you know, the through third component of it, um, besides the gut microbiome, is gonna be your immune system. And that was one thing that we saw with some of the testing we did on you mm-hmm.

is that you were pretty low in things like vitamin D, your B vitamins were really, really low as well too. Mm-hmm. . Um, so that caused a low level of, um, a protection with your body from things. Um, toxins and also just your overall immune response and can also lead to a little bit of that leaky gut. Um, you were pretty deficient in omega-3 fats.

Um, you were like really, really deficient. I know actually , she had, she had like the lust than sign where it was like didn’t even register on the test. So, and those omega-3 fats actually play a huge role in keeping that gut lining nice and strong and healthy. Um, so we did a lot at the beginning of working with Hannah, like micronutrient replacement, bringing up her vitamin D, her B vitamins, getting some of those fatty cuts of fish and, and her to her diet and adding in some omega three s.

So that’s one big component. Um, another component that oftentimes people don’t look at is, um, hidden toxicities. And sometimes these can be environmental like mold, herbicides, pesticides. So these toxicities can actually trigger an immune response quite a bit. So part of taking a functional medicine approach is, , what’s going on with the gut?

How severe is their leaky gut? Um, what’s going on with our immune system deficiencies we have? And then are there any hidden toxicities? Because all of these are gonna play a key role in our immune system, in our inflammatory response and the gut. You know, I talk about that all the time. You know, especially when we’re dealing with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, you know, that’s all in the gut.

So we need to work on healing the gut. I think when we make the shift too, of like realizing that every cell in our body is made up from the food we eat, it’s like mm-hmm. . Oh my gosh, why didn’t I think of it like this before? You know? And people are like, I don’t feel good. I feel unhealthy. And we like, don’t even ever look at like, the things that we’re putting into our body.

Mm-hmm. and like the things that we did, even with Hannah, like, I’m not saying grains are bad for everybody, you know, and like, like even dairy is bad for everybody, although like the rate of, um, sensitivities with dairy is pretty high. , but especially when we’re dealing with an inflammatory condition. You know, we wanna cut out a inflammatory foods and then we wanna cut out foods that cause a lot of an immune response that could be possible sensitivities as well too.

We did some food sensitivity test on her, which kind of further helped to bring down some of that inflammation with pinpointing a lot of those triggers. And the nutrition is really what made, you know, a huge difference. And I just can’t reiterate that. Um, so, so much because of how important that is. And so many of us just don’t even look at nutrition.

It’s like the main way we’re gonna get healing. We can take all the supplements in the world, we can take all the medications in the world, but if we’re not addressing the things we’re the food we’re putting in our body that is making up all of ourselves and you know, we honestly, we can’t heal. I really realized I was coming from a place of trying to prove something, trying to hustle myself to some kind of worth.

And the fruits of that was then losing my health. So I started to deal with all of these gut issues. I was chronically bloated every single day. I stopped being able to really use the restroom without a bunch of laxatives. Um, my hormones, my thyroid plummeted, my skin was erect, my hair was falling out, and I was really depressed and I had a ton of anxiety.

Just was like my whole body just got off. And I remember at the time, Roxy, I was like, why is this happening to me? You know, I am for one, a nutritionist. I went to school for nutrition and dietetics. I thought I was fit, I was healthy. And I like didn’t understand like what the heck is going on. So I did what most people would do.

I went to the doctor, I did all the scans, X MRIs, the ct, the very basic blood work. Mm-hmm. And they’re like, you. , I b s , so they would send me away with, you know, prescription medication and that just kind of continued to happen for the next year. You know, I was determined to figure out what was going on, but I was just given a bunch of bandaids masking the issue.

I was given an antidepressant because I was so depressed. I was put on birth control because I didn’t have a cycle. I was put on thyroid medication and put on laxatives and wow. I just continued to get worse and worse and worse. And I remember like at the rock bottom, I was like lying on the kitchen floor one night, just, just sobbing and crying because my gut hurt and I was just, I had so much anxiety and I was continuing to lose weight.

They then sent me to a colorectal surgeon. So it’s kinda like the last resort where they actually said they needed to remove my entire large intestine, because at this point now my motility, which is the transitive food throughout your gastrointestinal tract, had came to a halt. So for me to go to the restroom, I was having to use an enema, you know, twice a day to just empty my body.

Mm-hmm. . And they were like, this is something you probably have always had, it’s called like a lazy colon. So we’ll just cut out the large intestine, so your small intestine to the rectum, and this will fix a lot of the, the transit issue that you’re dealing with. Mm-hmm. . And I don’t know if any of your listeners have ever been at like a place of like, true desperation, but I was at that point where I was like, all right, when can we schedule the surgery?

Like, let’s just do it. I, I wanna be able to go to the bathroom. I wanna be able to live my life. Like I was that desperate. Hmm. . But I remember I went home and I, I really just leaned into my heart and my soul, God, you know, whatever, you know, everybody believes in mm-hmm. , but I felt like God told me that there was another way, and part of that version of me where it gets super obsessed with just like laser for focused and getting what I want, I became that with learning about gut health.

Mm-hmm. . So I just for the next, you know, months, you know, became obsessed with learning everything that I could about the gut and the gut microbiome. Em, and how these little microbes in our gut control literally everything from our hormones, our metabolism, the transit of the food throughout our, our body to our mental health mm-hmm.

to our hormones and. , I loved it so much. I even became certified in functional medicine. Mm-hmm. and a lot of the beginning of my functional medicine, um, career started with working on myself. Mm-hmm. , I started to do various elimination diets. I started to incorporate supplements to help regenerate my gut lining.

And don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an overnight fix. It took months probably to a year, but eventually I could go, you know, a few days, a few weeks. Mm-hmm. and my body really did heal. Um, and I could avoid having my entire large intestine removed. But you see, it wasn’t early. The diet, it wasn’t, you know, Supplements or things like that.

Like there’s a lot of things that can cause the body to be off. But the true root cause, Roxy, of what I think caused a lot of those issues was the place that I was coming from. You know, the whole person must heal for the gut to function optimally. And along with healing my gut and doing things to help regenerate my gut lining and address my gut microbiome, I really began doing a lot of that work on myself.

And really paying attention to like, man, I got some rotten fruits in my life and I’m trying to shame myself to health, trying to shame myself to fit. And the reality is, is we can’t shame ourself to health and we can’t heal a body we don’t love. So that’s where I really started to get on this journey of, of self-love and, you know, addressing my gut and the microbiome.

And that’s where, if you follow me on social media, like I’m so passionate about the holistic picture of like, yes, there could be things that are off in the body, but the mind plays a massive role in even trauma too, and how much that really gets trapped in the body. . Yeah. I mean, I, it’s so powerful.

Everything you just shared, I mean, just your whole process. And, you know, again, that was one of the things that when we first met, we were talking about, we dove into a lot of self-love. And you know, for me, I’m always speaking, it’s one of the core topics of mine is the relationship that you have with yourself is literally the most I important relationship.

And it’s ultimately what’s shaping your life. And so I love that, you know, you so consciously, you know, brought yourself to understand like, Hey, this is actually what’s happening here. Yes, there are actual, you know, biological things that we need to address, you know, uh, to, to, you know, move out of these health issues.

But there’s a deeper thing happening here. So let me have a look there and let me start working on, on that at the same time. And, and, and what I love about that too, Rachel, is I think that there’s, um, you know, people, there’s a disconnect, you know, that happens that is happening. with, and that’s why there’s so much disease, I feel.

I mean, we, yes, we can talk about environment, we can talk about nutrition, we can talk, absolutely. But ultimately, you and I both know that, and, and this is something I totally want you to, you know, tease out and talk about, but we know that a lot of the choices that we are making for ourself, even if we just say nutrition or how we train, it’s because of the relationship that we hold with ourself.

It’s because of that self love. It’s because of that self-respect, that self-worth ultimately all grouped into this, you know, connection that we hold with ourself. So if you are an individual that is not, you know, feeling that connection or trying to invest in that connection and then all of the self stuff that I just talked about, well, yeah, you’re, the choices that you’re making in your life are probably not gonna be as optimal for you as they would be if you, if you were right.

Yeah. I think the big reason why most of us struggle with our health, whether that’s being overweight, whether that’s our mental health, really comes down to that emotional suppression of trauma. Yeah. Which manifests in so many different ways, and I really see it on two different extremes. I see, you know, the type A perfectionist person that was me, where we’re trying to shame ourself to health, to worthiness, to prove something to ourself and prove something to the world.

And the fruits of this is exhaustion, burnout, gut issues, everything that I ended up dealing with. . But also on the other end of the spectrum too, is also where I see people who don’t respect themselves. They, they don’t believe in their worth, therefore, they don’t do the things that they know are the most loving thing for themselves.

This is the person who makes excuses for why they should eat the pizza and the ice cream, despite the fact that they’re diabetic and they’re overweight and they’re dealing with a bunch of depression and inflammation. Mm-hmm. , they’re saying, Hey, I just wanna feel good. But really at the core, disrespecting their body because they don’t really believe in their own worth.

You know, and this can manifest in these two different areas, but at the core, it’s really coming from the same place. Mm-hmm. Not loving myself, and I think a lot of people also don’t know how. Mm-hmm. . And a lot of that comes back to that, that trauma that’s rooted in us because our gut is also connected to all of these other systems like our brain.

Um, this can actually lead to things like chronic brain fog, because 90% of our serotonin is made in the gut. This can actually lead to things like anxiety or depression because our thyroid hormone. T4 is converted to t3, which plays a massive role in our metabolism, happens in the gut. This is where we start to see all of these other systems becoming off the hormonal imbalances, the mental health issues, and all of that stemming from the bacteria that is now overgrown in our gut.

Some of the inflammation there and some of the other things we start to see is some leaky gut. Um, and that can be brought in from some of those dietary stressors. But one of the other really, really big ones that I haven’t mentioned is stress. Now we tend to think of stress as like, I have little bit of work stress.

You know, I had a fight, you know, this morning with my boyfriend, which that was me. Those are all, all normal stress. Now what I’m really talking about when I say stress is chronic, unaddressed, unaddressed stress, where our body is constantly in this state or of fight or flight. So people who have trauma, they’re more reactive, um, with their nervous system, so they can be easily activated in going to this fight or flight state.

Well, why does that matter? . Well, when our body is ha in a fight or flight state, what actually happens is our entire digestive system shuts down. So you, we probably have all heard the analogy of like, I’m running from a tiger. So all of our energy is going towards, you know, that fighting type response, not going towards rest and digest.

So when our digestive system. Down. This can actually lead to that slow down of the motility, and it can also lead to some of that bacteria to overgrow because it’s just sitting there in the gut. On top of that, we tend to get a higher level of cortisol, our stress hormone. We know when we have chronic levels of stress, and one of the things bodybuilders try to do is they avoid cortisol like a hawk, because cortisol is very, very catabolic, meaning it breaks things down.

It breaks down muscle tissue, so bodybuilders want to avoid cortisol, keep it as low as possible so they can maintain their muscle tissue. However, our gut lining is also a muscle tissue, so when that cortisol is really, really. That’s when it also causes that breakdown of the gut lining leading to some of that leaky gut, intestinal permeability.

So now it kind of starts to make sense. I have a leaky gut, I have an inflamed gut, and I have bacteria overgrowth that is now affecting all of these different. You know, systems in my body. So that’s where the very first step is, besides paying attention to those fruits, is really looking at what are the stressors in my life?

Um, what are my dietary stressors? Um, what are my emotional stressors? You know, maybe is it poor sleep? Um, is it chronic chronic work stress where my body’s just constantly burnt out in overdrive? This can sometimes even be a physical stress. That’s a lot of what my stress was. Um, I was exercising, you know, Probably almost to a fault where my cortisol levels were very, very elevated constantly.

I was also at a very low percent of body fat, which is not actually considered healthy. And then I had some unaddressed, um, trauma, you know, to go along with it. So looking back, you know, hindsight 2020, I’m like, oh my God, it makes sense of why my gut adds up. Yeah. Why my gut became off in the first place.

So first I started to really remove a lot of those dietary stressors. Um, worked a little bit on some of the physical ones, like down tearing, how much physical output I was having, upping some of my calories overall. But then number two, I started to add in things that helped my gut heal overall. So removing the stressors, part two is adding in things to support our overall gut health.

Now one thing I always do talk about on my social media is the difference though between gut healing and overall gut health. And when your gut is really compromised, when it’s inflamed, when you have al overgrowth, um, when you have intestinal permeability. You very often can’t tolerate a lot of the foods that somebody can, who really just needs to work on like maintenance or just optimizing their health.

So when my gut was really off, I didn’t even tolerate. Now like healthy foods, I’m talking about like Brussels sprouts, avocado, um, garlic and onion. These are what we call fermentable carbohydrates. So they feed bacteria in the gut. Now they’re not. And they’re not good. They just feed bacteria in the gut.

So when somebody has a very good gut microbiome or just needs to work on gut health and they have a good level of probiotics already in their gut, will feed more of those good bacteria. Now, when someone has an overgrowth of bad bacteria and there’s gut, their gut is really inflamed, they have a leaky gut, some of theses foods can actually ex exhaust exacerbate the symptoms.

So when I was on my gut healing diet, I actually had to pull out a lot of those foods even as well too.


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