Hi everyone, this is Dr. Ruscio. I’m here with Valerie who has had some good
results using some of the principles that we discussed in Healthy Gut, Healthy You. And she was another person who was nice enough
to share her story. Valerie, welcome and thank you for being so
kind to share your story with us today. Valerie: Oh my pleasure. DrMR: So tell me a little bit about the road
that you were on before you found Healthy Gut, Healthy You. Valerie: Of course. So two years ago I was diagnosed with SIBO
by my naturopathic doctor, and I tried to treat it but I wasn’t getting anywhere. Then a few months later I signed up for a
program, an eight-month program with a functional medicine doctor and we did a bunch of testing,
we tried a bunch of supplements and I didn’t get anywhere with that either. Then I discovered Healthy Gut, Healthy You
and I read it three times, implemented it, and for the first time I felt like I was actually
getting somewhere. It was really reassuring to have a “how
do I go from point A to point B” in the same spot so I was able to see ahead and plan
where I wanted to go. DrMR: Well, that’s great. It’s always such a reassuring reminder to
hear that people have seen naturopaths and functional medicine doctors. Those providers are probably trying to do
the best that they can but there is a lot of wisdom written into the protocol in Healthy
Gut, Healthy You. As someone who specializes chiefly in gut
issues, I think it’s sometimes harder for patients to wrap their head around the fact
that a book written by a gut specialist might get you better results than a generalist,
even if you’re working with them one-on-one, doing testing, and having all this personalization. Fortunately if you understand the way that
the gut works, that there’s this map or this algorithm that you can work through like you
mentioned along with your other point, it is helpful for patients to understand it’s
just one thing that we’re doing right now. It’s not the end all be all. It’s one stepping stone in a number of different
therapies that can be woven together to get you 20% from the diet, 20% from the probiotics,
20% from the antimicrobials. And when you have that bigger picture, long-game
perspective I think it really helps people not get frustrated and say, “I did probiotics
but I wasn’t cured.” Well, they may not cure everyone. They may not completely resolve everyone’s
symptoms. But if you get a nice bump in your improvement,
then that’s a step in the right direction, and then we reevaluate and take another step. It seems like that’s what you did with Healthy
Gut, Healthy You. Valerie: Yeah, absolutely. And another thing I want to mention that I
really like about the book and the program is that it teaches you how to deal with setbacks. DrMR: Good point. Valerie: So when I was first diagnosed, my
doctors told me that I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life. They kind of put this negative spin on it,
like I was stuck and there was nothing I could do for myself. Right from the get-go I felt discouraged and
hopeless, but the way the science is presented and the steps are laid out in the book teaches
you what to do when setbacks happen. Now when I have a setback, instead of feeling
like, “Oh no, I have SIBO again and I have to get tested,” I just try to revisit the
therapies that worked for me before and it works. Then it only takes them a matter of days and
I’m back to normal. You mention it so well in the book. Sometimes it makes me realize, “Okay, I haven’t
been sleeping that well recently.” Or, “I’ve been falling off my diet.” So it really encouraged me to be mindful about
everything that I’m doing. DrMR: That’s such a fantastic point and I
just want to echo the fact that it can be discouraging when you have a setback. If you don’t understand that setbacks are
kind of normal then what can happen is people start to really psych themselves out. Like you’re saying, “Oh my God, SIBO is back. I’ve got to get tested again.” And then sometimes people will even say, “Well,
screw it. I’m not going to keep eating healthy or keep
using my probiotics or whatever.” That kind of potentiates into this snowball. Whereas if you have a different frame of mind
on this, you realize we all have ups and downs. I think everyone has these ups and downs but
are your ups and downs where you’re feeling terrible most of the time, or are your ups
and downs while you’re feeling pretty good most of the time? Yeah, you have a couple of days that aren’t
as good as others, but you understand that those little setbacks occur and they’re not
abnormal. So that’s fantastic and it is really pleasing
for me to hear that because I do see first-hand in the clinic how patients struggle with the
mental aspect of this. So I’m so happy to hear that the book helped
pull you out of the lurch of despairing thinking. Valerie: Yeah, it really taught me about the
importance of having a good mindset, because the minute that I realized that I can do something
for myself was probably, from that point on, when I started getting better. DrMR: Yeah. And it’s so empowering. Well said. So happy that you had that kind of realization
from a psychological perspective. Tell us about some of the symptoms that you
were suffering with. Valerie: The most annoying symptom that I
had was bloating. I was really uncomfortable and I would be
bloated all the time. Even from the moment that I woke up in the
morning until the end of the day, and I just felt this heaviness in my stomach just standing
up was not fun at all. So that was probably the biggest complaint. I also had constipation and some belching,
which were other unpleasant symptoms. Then I had the non-digestive symptoms, like
joint pain, brain fog, and headaches. I’m so happy they’re all gone now. DrMR: It’s so fortuitous that the gut can
drive all of those problems, right? You have the gut problem in and of itself
and you have the gut-joint and the gut-brain with the joint pain and the brain fog.That’s
why it’s so powerful the impact one can achieve when they improve their gut health. Now you said you had SIBO, was this tested
with the naturopath or with the functional medicine doctor? Do you have a formal SIBO breath test? Valerie: I do. DrMR: Yeah. Okay. And the reason why I asked is because there
is this thinking that probiotics are bad for SIBO. Unfortunately that that rumor circulates in
some circles and there may be a degree of truth to that whether it might be a very small
subset, but I think what ends up happening is one person said it, another person said
it, now enough people have said it where that canard has some ability to self-propagate
itself and then patients think that, and so they placebo themselves into expecting to
have a negative reaction from probiotics. While an actuality, I would assume it’s probably
five percent or less of people, but what was your experience with probiotics? What did you notice from using them? Valerie: They made me feel a lot better from
day one. I tried the three categories and I’m still
on them currently. I take them every other day and sometimes
I just do a full week on them. They were very helpful with the bloating,
even with anxiety and other non-digestive symptoms. DrMR: Sure, and that’s what the research tells
us. The research has shown clearly as I talked
about in Healthy Gut, Healthy You that probiotics be quite helpful for IBS, which could include
bloating and constipation. And for SIBO according to more than four clinical
trials SMRS and one meta-analysis. Two meta-analyses showing that probiotics
can improve mood. So for anyone who might be in a similar boat
as you where they have had a positive SIBO breath test and maybe the provider’s telling
them, “Oh, don’t use probiotics.” It’s not to say that you are guaranteed not
to have any negative reactions to probiotics, but I would certainly say they are well worth
a trial and clearly, in your case, it sounds like they were pretty pivotal in that road
of improvement that you are on. Valerie: Absolutely. DrMR: What else? Were there some other things? Low FODMAP, elemental diet, microbials that
seem to stand out in terms of being able to help you? Valerie: There’s one thing that really took
me from here to here in terms of the foods that I could tolerate, and that’s the intestinal
repair formula. It really allowed me to enjoy off-plan foods
from time to time. Even things like eggs and stuff and I was
on it for some time and it really helped with my symptoms, because I followed the program
and I was stuck on that step Remove. So the part where we use antimicrobials and
the elemental diet. I felt better but I wasn’t quite where I wanted
to be, and once I tried intestinal repair formula it was like night and day. It was such a positive improvement that really
brought me to where I am today. DrMR: Awesome, and that’s definitely something
I see with some patients where, and again, so for our audience, I should clarify one
thing that we updated the name from intestinal repair formula to Intestinal Support Formula. It’s the same exact compound. Just for regulatory reasons apparently, we
can’t claim to be repairing anything. Only a drug can do that. So we had to change the name. One of the reasons why I do recommend using
intestinal support formula at an end phase application is because that’s when patients
tend to respond to it the best. So you had worked through the majority of
the steps and you had gone through diet, and probiotics, and also antimicrobials, and elemental
diet improving all on the way, but then it seems that you were unable to successfully
reintroduce foods, and that could be because the immune system in your gut was still really
quick to attack. All the other work had likely very much so
improved the state of the bacteria and fungus, but the bacteria in the fungus have to also
be in harmony with the immune system. So this may have been why the reintroduction
of food wasn’t very successful was because the immune system was always just ready to
attack. What the intestinal support formula does nicely
is it binds to various irritants in the gut, gives the immune system a chance to calm down,
and then the immune system tends to ramp itself up or calm itself down and people tend to
get stuck in these self-feeding cycles. Because if you eat a food that causes inflammation,
that may damage your gut, that leaves a leaky gut and that leaves the further immune system
activation as this downward cascade you can get stuck in. But if you can interrupt that cycle there
is no longer that inflammatory response to the food then the leaky gut can start to heal. Then the immune system can start to tone itself
down and now you start to have this upward cycle and improvement and that manifested
in your case as the ability to bring in new foods, which is a huge win. It may sound silly and simple, but for someone
who has a really sensitive gut just being able to eat something like eggs, or broccoli,
or garlic and not have a flare of joint pain or bloating can be a godsend. That’s the difference between being able to
go out and maybe have a meal with friends, or having to revert to your bubble of safe
food. So from a lifestyle perspective, I know that
that can be very, very nice to have that leeway. I’m so, so happy that you came across Healthy
Gut, Healthy You. For our audience listening, I hope that this
helps you or for maybe people who are new to our audience, and they’re trying to figure
out where to go with how to resolve their health complaints. Definitely consider giving Healthy Gut, Healthy
You a read because I wrote that book as an experienced clinician who focuses in the gut
and trying to provide the reader with a map of how to go through all the different steps
rather than just trying one thing that you read about or trying another thing that you
read about. Or going to a well-intentioned doctor but
who might be a generalist and might not have the scope and the depth of knowledge on gut
ailments and how to effectively kind of remedy those issues, and you’re such a beautiful
example of that. Bloating, constipation, joint pain, brain
fog, those things all now I’m assuming are pretty much under wraps. Valerie: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. DrMR: Awesome. Well great. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you sharing your story. You have any parting words you want to leave
people with? Valerie: No, just to say that I think the
book is a really good investment from my point of view, and to give it a try and take responsibility
for your own health. DrMR: Yeah, and I want to second that. I think people don’t understand how much power
they have if they have a clear process right in front of them and they take these things
one step at a time, and there’s definitely a time and a place for doctors and clinicians,
but I think we should close with this note of empowerment because you can achieve more
than I think you might give yourself credit for if you have the right guide and the right
process. Valerie: Absolutely. DrMR: Awesome. Valerie, thank you again. It’s been a real pleasure chatting. Valerie: My pleasure. Bye. DrMR: Bye-bye.

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