Get inspired by this incredible success story and find out how Lorraine’s determination to get answers after 30 years of IBS discomfort and years of fatigue paid off!
What drove Lorraine to work with a nutritionist
When Lorraine contacted me and asked how I could help her, she was exhausted. Feeling tired wasn’t something she could shrug off anymore – it was making her days unbearable.
Lorraine’s love for walking and yoga had come to a halt. Extra movement just left her more tired than before and naps weren’t bringing any relief. With a pressurised legal job to keep up with, Lorraine needed a resolution to her fatigue.
Lorraine was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) almost 30 years ago. However, back in the 1990’s there wasn’t much known about IBS. A syndrome is the name for a collection of symptoms which consistently occur together. Beyond this, not much else was known and little support could be given, so Lorraine’s symptoms were given a name and she was sent on her way just as she came.
Almost 30 years later, unsurprisingly, nothing was getting better and Lorraine continued to struggle with bloating and stomach pains. The root cause of Lorraine’s IBS remained unresolved and so her symptoms persisted. When I met Lorraine she had made a great effort to identify the foods that triggered her symptoms, but the more time that passed the harder this was to define.
Lorraine needed help to:
Regain her energy so she could function daily and get back to exercise
Resolve her bloating and stomach pain so she didn’t have to unbutton her trousers in the afternoon/evening
Revive her confidence with food, with clarity on what she could eat and enjoy, safely
“Natalie’s support felt really personal and she was there to keep me going when it was difficult at times.”
Finally finding the root cause with functional testing
After so many years of digestive discomfort, it was time for Lorraine to have clear answers. Following the initial consultation, we discussed completing a comprehensive stool test which analyses:
- Key markers for inflammation and an activated immune response
- Capability to digest adequately with enzymes and bile acids
- Presence and level of 24 commensal bacteria in the large intestine
- Existence of yeast, fungal and other unbeneficial species
Although this was an additional investment, it was one of the best investments Lorraine could have made, beyond our work together. Here’s why…
The test identified that Lorraine had:
Reduced ability to breakdown food, meaning undigested food was entering her intestines and contributing to her symptoms
High inflammation in the intestines, which is unsurprising for 25 years of unsupported IBS
An overgrowth of E.Coli that was inhibiting the growth of beneficial bacteria and contributing to the inflammation
Increased levels of hafnia alvei, a bacteria that produces histamine, which correlates to Lorraine’s long history with asthma and seasonal allergies – along with the inflammation
All systems of the body are connected and the results from the test illustrate that.
I also wrote to Lorraine’s GP to request some specific blood tests. From these we uncovered:
- A mild allergic response to egg whites
- Very low folate levels – which contribute to energy
- Low B12 levels – which also contribute to energy
- Low Vitamin D levels – impacting the immune system, bone and muscle health, and energy
Although Lorraine had very low levels on certain key blood markers, none were under the NHS range and therefore no action was taken by her GP. Thankfully, within my remit, I could support Lorraine.
“I’ve got my energy back and now I’m able to exercise again – with no fatigue afterwards!”
Key focus areas that led to success
Approaching health in the right way and in the right order is key to achieving results when it comes to the health of the gut. It is a delicate organ that can respond and change quickly. Energy levels can also pick up quickly once the root cause of low energy is identified.
I specifically supported Lorraine by:
Providing adequate digestive support so food could be broken down properly, including mindful eating practices, different ways of cooking and supplements.
Recommending the removal of certain, known intolerances such as egg whites, gluten, high amounts of dairy and specific legumes while we heal the gut.
Reducing inflammation through anti-inflammatory nutrients, foods, herbs and spices.
Healing the gut lining through demulcent herbal teas, key nutrients in the diet and supplement support.
Increasing nutrient-rich foods and supplements daily to boost natural levels and support overall energy.
Working on diversity in the diet through different colours, textures and food groups.
Guiding on the reintroduction of foods once the gut was healed.
Refining sleep routine and adopting stress management techniques.
“ I don’t have any bloating or pain after eating anymore!”
Within 4 months, I had helped Lorraine to:
Get rid of her bloating and stomach pain.
Gain confidence in which foods were affecting her and why.
Restore her energy and enable her to get back to exercising again
Lorraine has just returned from the holiday of a lifetime where, for the first time in decades, her bloating, pain and tiredness didn’t hold her back from enjoying herself!
Lorraine stood proudly at the summit of Sukkertoppen, in Norway. A 3-hour climb of 320m in elevation, is something she couldn’t have even thought about last year but a challenge Lorraine took on with determination – just like her health journey.