name is Marilia
And through my own health journey I learnt that our physical and mental wellbeing is intrinsically connected to the health of our gut. Our digestive tract is our first point of contact with the external world, it protects us from external invaders and it is also where 70% of our immune system resides. Simply put, a healthy gut is the core foundation for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
I grew up with robust health, I was happy, cheerful, full of energy, and could eat and drink whatever I wanted without experiencing a single symptom of indigestion. All that changed after an episode of food poisoning, a slice of pizza that literally changed my life.
That slice of pizza was the opening door to a bacterial infection that caused severe damage to my digestive system. I developed a condition called Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS), which affects 1 in every 9 people who suffer an episode of gastroenteritis.
Due to the lack of knowledge at the time, I spent almost a decade jumping from doctor to doctor and medical labs but could never get to the root cause of my problem. I was told by dozens of professionals that it was all in my head - that I was too stressed, too anxious, too worried, and that by addressing those issues, my digestive problems would disappear.
Turns out that none of that was true. Year after year I felt my body getting worse. I not only had constant physical symptoms like severe bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, brain fog, but I could feel that my digestion simply did not function as it used to. At the time, my condition was left somehow untreated as the only solution provided to me were indigestion tablets and antacids.
Little did I know that antacids would be the second biggest problem to my already impaired digestive system. They not only created further imbalance in my gut microbiome (which had already been compromised due to the bacterial infection), but created room for the bacteria from the small intestine to overgrow and I then developed Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, a condition that is quite tricky to treat.
As we now know, an imbalanced gut environment is the opening door to chronic and complicated health conditions and since my gut was in bits and pieces, I ended up with an autoimmune reaction that left me almost housebound. I couldn’t eat anything without feeling unwell, had absolutely no energy, had zero ability to concentrate due to so much brain fog and suffered from inexplicable muscle pain and fatigue.
It took me nearly 7 years and a lot of independent research to figure things out. During that time, I found myself in a position where I had to take control of my health and that's how I fell in love with Nutritional Therapy. The gut is the first organ nutritional therapy looks at for imbalances and dysfunctions and I now know that addressing the root cause of my problem could have spared me years of suffering.
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