I get all giddy feeling writing these case study blog posts because when I think back to when I was struggling with (misdiagnosed) IBS I felt like I would NEVER feel better again. Life felt so hard – my doctor had told me that IBS was just something I was going to have to live with. It turns out this was not the case for me or today’s client, Zoë. By taking a root-cause approach to health, we were able to heal her gut health and get her back to feeling like her old self.
Her Biggest Complaints:
Digestion: She was diagnosed with IBS 3 years ago.
She frequently experienced gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. After certain foods, she often felt ill or would have to run to the bathroom.
What She’s Already Tried:
Zoë has tried many things, but the biggest diet she tried was a low FODMAP diet. She would see slight improvements eating this way, but it was incredibly restrictive and tough for her to follow.
The first thing we did was run a stool test through GI-Map. This is a very comprehensive digestive panel that looks for parasites, good and bad gut bacteria, inflammation levels, enzyme levels, and more. Many things showed up in the results, including a C. difficile infection. I sent her to her GP to get antibiotics for this and it did improve her symptoms significantly, but not completely. There was still something missing.
The GI Map also showed higher than normal H. Pylori, which can also influence nutrient absorption and opportunistic bacteria (think SIBO, which can also create more gas/bloating and indigestion. Lastly, her anti-gliadin IgA was high, indicating an immune response to gluten.
Zoë did not have a history of celiac disease in her family (that she knew of) but given her symptoms, and since she had not yet cut out gluten, I asked her to get tested for Celiac with her doctor. I remember her saying to me. “I know I’m not Celiac because I just ate so much bread in France and was fine.” I didn’t know if she would be, but wanted to leave no stone unturned.
Sure enough, she tested positive for celiac disease. WELP! She very quickly eliminated gluten (because nothing was worth eating that made her feel this way) and almost instantly noticed a difference.
Given the H. Pylori and other opportunistic bacteria on her test results, I also suggested some anti-microbial herbs and nutrients that help to lower H. Pylori, so that her absorption and stomach acid levels would return to normal.
I am so pleased to share that when I had an update call with Zoë after being gluten-free for a few weeks, almost all of her symptoms had subsided. The best part was she had stopped the low FODMAP diet and re-introduced small amounts of dairy and was able to tolerate all of those foods too!
“Honestly, I thought I was taking a stab in the dark with Mandy - not because I didn’t believe in HEAL’s programming - but because I had been so sick for so long that I thought it was my new normal. If I look back on what I was like in May 2023, I’m honestly shocked. Mandy’s program was worth every penny. I’ve had several work colleagues (who didn’t know what I was going through, or knew very little) comment that I look healthier. If you’re tired of a basic IBS diagnosis, contact HEAL!!!!”