What is the difference between IBS, also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and IBD, aka Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
And how does Ulcerative Colitis factor in when we are talking about these illnesses?
Jaime Lubich Hartman, NTP of Gutsy by Nature chats with me about her experiences living with Crohn’s, an autoimmune disease, and how she manages her chronic illness with both natural methods and traditional medicine.
We share our experiences with diagnostics for IBD and IBS, including colonoscopy and barium x-ray imaging. We also talk about the lifestyle changes we have made to keep ourselves in remission, including taking a slower approach to life, and learning to take on less.
Jaime coaches people living with autoimmune disease and struggling with leaky gut. She and I agree upon supplementing with bone broth, collagen, and L-glutamine for healing intestinal permeability and helping to soothe aggravated digestion issues.
Jaime not only uses the AIP (autoimmune protocol) for her clients’ healing, but she also continues to utilize the protocol in her own life and health.
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Samantha: 00:01 INTRO
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Thanks so much for being a listener! Now onto our show!
Samantha: 05:30 Well Hey y’all, I’m back with another podcast, today I am talking with Jamie Lubich Hartman. Jamie is a nutritional therapy practitioner, a certified AIP coach and also a registered yoga teacher and she believes that nurturing both the body and mind are essential for living well. She also holds her master’s degree in educational psychology and has 20 years of experience in teaching, coaching and motivating people. And Jamie’s the blogger behind GutsyByNature.com and there she shares her experiences of using real food healing protocols to manage the effects of living with her post surgical Crohn’s disease, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the GI…the digestive tract. Jamie, it’s so lovely to have you here today. How are you doing?
Jaime: 06:23 I’m great Samantha, thanks for having me. It’s lovely to be here as well.
Samantha: 06:27 I’ve been looking forward to today. It’s like I’ll get to talk to Jamie finally. Now, today I want to talk with you about something that you have a lot of experience in and that’s Crohns disease and IBD. And I was hoping maybe you could give us a little background on the experiences that you’ve had and uh, how you, how you got diagnosed.
Jaime: 06:50 My experience, uh, is vast. I um, I was diagnosed when I was just 19 years old. The summer I turned 20, so I was 19 going on 20 when I was diagnosed and I’m not 43. So this is most of my life. My original symptoms were that kind of crept up on me. I didn’t have a dramatic crash. It was, I’d had digestive issues on and off probably for most of my life, but they always kind of got better and never really got into any kind of a crisis until I was in college and was at the point where I was having diarrhea like every day and feeling very weak and unable to kind of keep up with all of the things that I had been doing. I had been an athlete in high school, had been really active. Um, and all of that was starting to become very, very difficult.
Jaime: 07:44 I finally kind of got up the courage to start talking about my bowel movements, which is part of the problem I think for why it took me a while to get a diagnosis because I didn’t want to talk about bathroom things and you know, things that were very personal and I was a little bit embarrassed, right? No, let me scratch that. A lot embarrassed, um, to talk about. And so I finally told my doctor and my annual visit that I was having diarrhea every day and not feeling good. And she fortunately immediately in a recognize it’s something severe was wrong and referred me to a gastroenterologist to again fortunately immediately recognize it as likely being crones disease. And so ran a few tests. I had um, a sigmoidoscopy, which is like a colonoscopy if they don’t go all the way through. I had a Barium X-ray I had, I think that was a, those were the two at the time and gave me a diagnosis really quickly and put me on some medications.
Jaime: 08:38 So it did help right away. Help me feel better. Those medications though had side effects. Of course it was mostly, um, prednisone as long with a few other antibiotics and you know, medications that I was grateful for, but I didn’t have any other real alternatives. You know, didn’t know if there was anything else I could do, I would have been willing to change my diet I think right away. But it was not awkward to me as an option and I didn’t know any better because this was, I’m old. This was 1995 and Google, I don’t think even existed yet. I didn’t have any way of, of knowing that there was something else to do. So that’s part of kind of why I am so happy now to tell my story because I know there are people out there who are like me and maybe don’t want to talk about the bowel issues that they’re having.
Jaime: 09:26 Um, and they can find me now they can find me on the Internet and know that there are a variety of ways that they can support their healing, including diet, which I know we’ll talk about. So that’s kind of the beginning of my diagnosis story, my journey with a Crohn’s disease and since then has been very up and down. I kind of coped with it for the first almost 10 years, mostly by ignoring it and then I couldn’t anymore and had to have surgery and that was, I’m not an easy experience. My surgery did not go well. The recovery of that did not go well and ended up needing to have more surgeries to repair problems that had occurred from the original surgery and really hit a rock bottom after that. And that is finally when I found that there was something more I could do and I found diet and that was well into my late 30, so already been dealing with Crohn’s disease now for almost at that point 20 years by the time I finally adopted some dietary strategies.
Jaime: 10:28 Um, and so that’s another thing I like to share with people and make sure people know is that it’s never too late to make a difference. I mean, I live with this for a very long time, managed it as best I could and then decided to take it another step and saw tremendous benefit from doing that. Um, and now today I’m, I am probably in the best health that I’ve been in since I was in high school. Um, I finally have all the pieces in place. It’s been, medication’s been part of my story. Diet is a huge part of my story, but also a lot of lifestyle factors and stress management and getting the right kinds and amounts of exercise and um, and putting all those pieces together has really been the key for me to be living well into, to kind of achieve this optimal wellness in my life. But it’s, it’s all of those pieces. It’s never, I never look at it for myself or any of the clients that I work with as an either or situation. It’s not for me medications or food conventional or or alternative treatments. It is about looking at all the options that you have as as elements in a menu or in a toolbox that you can use to support yourself so that you can live your best possible life.
Samantha: 11:46 I didn’t know you when you were 19 but just hearing that story, knowing that the change that you’ve gone through and all those struggles to get you are now in feeling that good because of that whole process. Yeah, I call it the one, two, three punch. Sometimes doctors giving the steroids and antibiotics and the low fat diet is kind of what we’re given for most ailments. Sometimes, you know, in the beginning it can work. And so I think that’s why people continue trying higher dosages and things like that. Um, but that long span of at a young age, having symptoms to finally getting diagnosed or finally finding relief is because of the information age. Cause the same with me. I had a lot of gastro issues that were just generally diagnosed as Gerd, g, e r d…tons of PPI’s. And I’m told to eat a low fat diet and steroids here and there for multiple issues, you know, like Eczema and things. But I am really grateful for the amount of information that we’re allowed to share nowadays because it’s, it’s not even a second thought anymore. It’s like, Oh let me look this up on Google. You know, versus even 10 years ago, 15 years ago you were, you know, you had to go find a book and the information and they were so outdated. So, and I’m grateful for what you do. You know, I love bloggers that share their story because when people can relate to it, I think that’s when healing really starts to happen. Bowel issues being such a, like a sensitive topic because we’re taught to be kind of embarrassed about that a little bit. That’s where I’m not shy about talking about poop either.
Jaime: 13:30 Yeah, I’m not anymore, but I’m not anymore. It’s the opposite now. Yes. Okay.
Samantha: 13:37 Yeah, same here. It used to be, oh, I can’t tell anybody that now. I’m like, guess what happened? Well, I’m, I’m glad to see you thriving now you have crones and there’s another, it’s ulcerative Colitis, right? [inaudible] do you know the difference between those two?
Jaime: 13:54 so they both are inflammatory bowel diseases. So when we hear the term IBD, that’s an umbrella term that includes different flavors of inflammatory diseases. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are by far the most common. Those are the major ones in that category. And the difference between the two. There’s a couple, but most significantly when a person has all sort of Colitis, it is only in the colon. So one of the significant factors that that means for treatment is that if it were to get very, very, very severe and they had surgery to have their colon removed, that theoretically is a cure, at least according to the kind of the conventional model because the part of the body that was had the disease is removed. Um, but of course it’s an autoimmune disease and so that hasn’t stopped the autoimmune. It’s he some people who who ended up having that surgery because their disease got so severe that that was the best choice for them.
Jaime: 14:55 Have their whole colon removed, end up having other autoimmune conditions diagnosed down the road. And one wonders if they really ever work cured of their original condition. They just simply had the part of the body where it was being expressed, removed and now it’s expressed somewhere else. That’s one difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease can actually is ulceration inflammation in the intestine, but it can occur anywhere in the digestive track and it’s usually in multiple places separated, you know, so somebody might have a patch of inflammation, you know, somewhere in their colon. And maybe one also in their stomach and one in their small intestine and they can even have it in their mouth, rectum from anywhere from beginning to end. There can be these ulcerations, these inflammation patches. Um, and then the other difference I know between the two is that when they actually look at, so like sometimes it’s hard to tell like let’s say a person just has inflammation ulceration in their colon.
Jaime: 15:53 How do you know if it’s just ulcerative colitis or if it’s just Crohn’s disease that’s only in the colon at this point. Then they do a biopsy, they can see that ulcerative colitis will be in the outer most layer, the top layer. Whereas with Crohn’s disease it’ll go through all layers. So it’s, it’s one way that they can tell by doing the biopsy, but they still make mistakes. I mean I worked with a client not too long ago who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, had that surgery to have his colon removed and have like a pouch created so that he would be cured. Then was not cured and later diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. And the question there that nobody can really answer is did he just always have crones disease and they were wrong about his original diagnosis. Did he develop it as a secondary illness later?
Jaime: 16:43 I guess in the end it really doesn’t matter because you’re going to address it in the same way as you would any other, but that’s, that’s the to all sort of colitis and Crohn’s disease and then people will often kind of get confused when they hear IBD and they may be have been told that they were, they have IBS and think that that fits into the same family and it actually doesn’t. I be asked stands for irritable bowel syndrome. The only part of it that’s the same as the be the bowel. So it’s just the part of the body. So IBS is a syndrome, I’m not a disease. And a syndrome is of course the kind of thing that bell doctors give you as a diagnosis when they can’t really say exactly what’s causing the collection of symptoms you’re experiencing. So they’re saying that it’s a syndrome.
Jaime: 17:32 We got it, a name for it, but it’s still not truly a disease that we can treat other than manage with symptoms. And then the, I stands for irritable, which is just probably the most irritating word I’ve ever heard used in medical, um, diagnosis because it means nothing. Like, so your bowels irritable. I mean, there’s nothing really to that information other than that. Now you have a name for what you have. And this is, of course, I’m not saying this to diminish people who have IBS. I think IBS is it more frustrating in many ways than IBD, you know, because IBD, I’m like, okay, clearly I’ve got something there. Ours, like this menu of drugs that they can try, you know, there’s standard tests that they’re going to do. They’re going to, you know, you’re going to follow a path, you know, in some way when you have IBD, if you have IBS, it’s just symptom management and they don’t know what caused it.
Jaime: 18:23 They don’t know how to fix it and how to help you. And so it can be very frustrating. I know for people dealing with that. But I encourage anybody who feels like they have digestive issues, bowel issues, they’re experiencing constipation, diarrhea, alternating upset stomach, you know, heartburn, whatever. Those are to keep pushing until you get an answer. I don’t ever want to scare anybody into thinking you could have a disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis that could one day end up meeting requiring you to have surgery. But it’s good to pursue that and rule those things out because if you are on that path, you want to find out about it so that you can intervene and try to change things so that you are getting the medical treatment, tracking, guidance, support and being able to make some of those lifestyle changes early on if you can. Um, is very confusing with all those, those terms that are out there. And then you used another one, you said Gerd, which is gastroesophageal reflux disease. So that’s when you have heartburn that then becomes really severe and that will often be kind of tied into IBS as well. Um, so there’s a lot of complicated factors in there and doctors, you know, they can help you with diagnosis and they can offer treatments. Um, but they don’t always have all the answers for all of these pieces either.
Samantha: 19:48 Getting a diagnosis or seeking one and hopefully finding one because sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard on a longer journey to get that diagnosis. It’s, I think it’s so important to go for that and not stress yourself out about it in the meantime because that’s really easy to do and get yourself worked up because then once you know what you have, then you know how to start seeking options and treatments for that specific thing because so many gastroenteritis, excuse me, gastroenterological. That’s so hard to say fast! So many Gi issues have a lot of the similar symptoms. I would assume that Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis or autoimmune diseases, they can they commonly be seen together and patients or is that a little bit more of a rare thing? Do you normally just see one more than the other in one?
Jaime: 20:48 I think a person just experiences one or the other. Um, but I have, I have hung around enough to see people who get diagnosed with one and then it switches to another. Um, and then back again from all sort of Colitis, Crohn’s, that the doctors are not always sure which one it is. I don’t know that there’s ever a case where they would say you have both because I don’t think that would really be just highly unlikely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean it just, it doesn’t because if you had what looks like all should have colitis in your calling and you also had Crohn’s activity somewhere else than you would have Crohn’s disease. And that’s just where it gets confusing. Cause they’ll also say a doctor will say you have like something called Crohn’s Colitis, which is Crohn’s disease, but they’re just saying calling it colitis because it’s, it’s only in your colon.
Jaime: 21:42 And so they have a lot of different terminology. I think the important thing though is to recognize that if we are diagnosed with one of those, you have an autoimmune condition and now you can approach it from that perspective of understanding what autoimmunity is. Your doctors will also approach it from that angle. Instead of just giving you prednisone to tamp down the inflammation, they will now want to do some things to help your immune system fall back in the line, basically suppressing it with a different types of medication. Um, but that opens the door then to understanding why something like AIP works for somebody with an inflammatory bowel disease because it’s getting at that root cause of the auto immunity being the trigger for why you’re having this inflammation in your bowel.
Samantha: 22:32 And that makes sense. You know, cause you can take out the part that’s irritated cause we’re using that are irritable. Um, but the underlying issue in the body’s still persist, like as to why the part of the body was having a problem. AIP is, has been one of the most beneficial tools for me and so many people that I’ve got to meet over the last few years. Um, not just for IB D. Um, but also for IBS. Um, even though IBS is not auto immune, it’s one of those, you know, like you said the blanket term. Um,
kind of like fibromyalgia is a blanket term. I noticed. Um, personally, um, my interchanging diarrhea and constipation even out quite a bit when I went AIP, I still had a bunch of other underlying issues other than just my auto immune diseases. So it didn’t just, you know, get better and stay there.
Samantha: 23:30 This has been a long journey. I’m sure you understand, but I know that once I start adding things in that I do have like an autoimmune response, then my IBS starts to kick in more. I say IBS because last year I through a bunch of really fun note sarcasm diagnostics because my, both immunologist and gastroenterologists thought that I had Crohn’s disease because of where the pain was. I, it wasn’t in the colon, it was or you know, the lower colon it was in the higher the gut. So when I aid and this happened and everything pointed to crowns and I had actually reached out to you before I got a couple of my, uh, diagnostics done cause I was terrified of putting the things in my body, the colonoscopy prep and the barium solution. I’m like, does this have gluten in it? Is there something more natural than I could take? And in the end it was no, I kind of needed to follow what they were telling me to do. All my results came back clear, no inflammation. You know, when you’re seeking diagnosis, it’s like, well that’s cool then what’s the problem? Right. You know, so it was nice to celebrate that I didn’t have to add another autoimmune disease to my list. Um, but at the same time, frustrating because of, okay, well where do I go from here? You know? So yeah, that’s it.
Jaime: 24:54 Common experience I think. I mean, I honestly, when people ask me about what was it like to be diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I was like, it was a relief. Like, I was great to know that there was a reason I was feeling the way I was. It had a name. It wasn’t just embarrassing bowel issues. It was a thing, a specific thing. And that was such a really, um, I remember like probably feeling a little bit better even before I’d started taking the medication they gave me, just because I’m like, okay, I know what’s wrong. I’m going to take these pills and it’s going to fix it. I didn’t at that time really understand, you know, I think when you’re 19, you don’t have a pretty, very good, and I’m like, anybody has a very good grasp of what it means to have a condition that you’re going to live with for the rest of your life.
Jaime: 25:36 Um, but you know, I just was grateful to have an answer and to be able to kind of go to the next step and get back to my life. Yeah. I think the experience that you’ve been through is much more difficult than what I had with my diagnosis and getting an answer. I can’t imagine like how frustrating it would be to think, okay, they’re going to find something and they don’t find anything. And you still feel the same way you felt before. It’s not like getting that good news. You don’t have an IBD called doesn’t necessarily ease anything because you still have the symptom. You still feel the same way you did before. You’re no closer to getting the answer there. So I can only imagine how frustrating that is.
Samantha: 26:21 It’s been a long road. Um, but thank goodness for the people that I network with online and, um, the Facebook groups that are available these days. You know what, you have to be careful about the information you get in there. But, um, without that peer support, it’s not just myself, but I know a lot of people have not been able to heal as much as they have the patient to patient experiences and talk. Like even my gastrologist get my GI doctor as wonderful as she is about believing me and ordering the tests that I need, um, and not even charging me every single time I need to ask her a question. Like, I’d just leave a message and she’ll call me back. She still recommends me to eat like beans and low fat. Um, she’s like eat lots of fiber and I’m like, it hurts when I eat too much. Fine. So getting a different recipes and methods of cooking. I know with, with Crohn’s especially or if you have IBS, it’s really flaring up or any an IBS or IBD that raw foods tend to cause problems with people. I remember you telling me that at one point. So cooking foods has been helpful. Um, everybody’s so different.
Jaime: 27:36 Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s the number one most important thing to remember when you’re dealing with these conditions is that even if two of us share a diagnosis, we are not a going to share anything more than that. I mean, our experience, it might be completely different. Um, and that can be very frustrating, but it is just a reality of life and in, and we can still learn from each other. But you’re right that some people will find through doctor’s advice too. It was very helpful. Like they truly didn’t need to eat more fiber to feel better and other people, that is the last thing that they need to feel better. So that becomes really challenging for us as individuals and for me as a coach and an NTP working with clients is that, you know, I kind of come into it with the one idea and have to immediately step back and say, wait a second, let me really, really listened to what it is that they’re doing.
Samantha: 28:36 Uh, I’ve had some luck with some supplements. Collagen has been a great one. It’s always, it’s almost like not a supplement. It’s like a food to me. If was wondering if there are any supplements that you’ve personally used or you might recommend to your clients that have IBD?
Jaime: 28:51 Yeah, I, you know, it’s, again, bio individuality here is really important. So there, so anything I say is not something that applies to everyone, but I can say that most people, I’ll have them at least try a few things to start with and see how far that gets them. These are fairly universal things. One, you already said it at Collagen. I really pushed for people to not only get supplemental Collagen but also to really do bone broth, understand, you know all the arguments about I don’t want to cook it myself and all that kind of stuff and if so if you have to buy it for a while, do that. But it really is a powerful healing tool. Again you like you said Collagen is like food and bone broth definitely is food. So that is one thing I really, really recommend for all of my clients and if they’re coming to me and start, we start working on they’re in a really intense flare and not able to eat a lot of um, solid food comfortably.
Jaime: 29:49 Bone Broth and soups, pureed soups that are based in bone broth. I have a lot of those kinds of recipes on my website because you need some variety if you’re going to be doing that for awhile. But that is really important because you need to get those nutrients in you and you need to get them in a form that you can digest. So free. I think of him as like pre digested when it’s a pureed soup, you know it’s gonna have um, the vegetables, the bone broth, cooked, cooked, cooked, pureed, so that it’s very easy for you to consume and digest and not upset anything. Um, so that’s one thing. It’s again, that’s food, but it’s supplement as well. It has appealing purpose. Another thing that I, that I want all my clients to get started on right away and see how they do, is to take some l-glutamine as a supplement.
Jaime: 30:35 Again, that’s another thing that’s a component in the bone broth. So you are getting some of it, but getting even more in a high dosage. And I work with them to figure out what dose they should start on. But I always tell people, so if anybody’s listening to this and wants to go out and get some get l glutamine powder because the dose that you’re going to start at is going to be way more pills than you want to take. So you want the powder. And actually the powder is really nice because it actually tastes kinda nice. It doesn’t have any kind of an unpleasant taste. It’s slightly sweet. Um, the way that I take it is that I just measure out the dose that I’m going to take and I just throw that powder in my mouth and then I followed up with some water. That’s all.
Jaime: 31:15 I don’t bother stirring it up or anything. I just seems to be the easiest way for me to kind of stick with doing it. And I have it be the very first thing that I consume in the morning. It’s the first thing that goes down. I’m not really sure if there’s a whole lot of science behind that. Some of that’s just sort of my gut instinct that like I think it’s going to have the most benefit if there’s nothing else interfering with it. So that’s a supplement that I, that I strongly recommend all my clients start working with. I also look at at having them experiment with different strains of probiotics and with taking fermented foods. But this is where individualization is really important because I really have no way of knowing what is the current population in your gut, you know? And what you might really benefit from.
Jaime: 32:01 I’ve seen a lot of people benefit from taking a saccharomyces Boulardii, um, probiotics. So that’s a good one to try. And I had never really had any experience with anyone having a really adverse reaction to it. It’s either been very, very helpful or kind of neutral, so it’s a good one to start with. But then the other probiotics strains that are often pushed by our doctors that have had research done on them have some validity for some people, but in other people that make them feel much worse. Like I, for example, the formulation that is really commonly studied and has some pharmaceutical backing behind it is VSL number three. That made me feel much worse when I took that. When I was in a flare, I just had constant diarrhea and I thought, you know, you get this kind of mindset like I just have to power through this and it’ll get better.
Jaime: 32:47 It’ll get better, it’ll get better. And it just never did. I mean, I tried it for a couple of weeks and was just at this point where I realized that is not changing. This is, I just feel awful from that and so that’s a good example of how like this particular probiotic supplement has been clinically studied to be very helpful. For some people, I mean more better than when they say it’s clinically useful. That’s meaning that compared to the placebo that they also tested. More people benefited from that, but that doesn’t mean everybody did. There were still some people in there who had like a neutral response and there were certainly seen people who felt that it made them worse. Even in that study. That doesn’t mean the study was wrong or bad or that I’m knocking this particular supplement. I just wanted to, you know, I just want to make sure people understand that just because it works for a majority of people are a significant portion or more than a placebo.
Jaime: 33:39 Whatever that number might be, doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same for everyone. So trust your own experience with that. If you’re trying something that has been recommended to you by a professional or by you know, appear who you met on a Facebook group and it doesn’t seem to be working for you. Don’t ever stop, don’t ever let yourself think that it’s something you’re doing wrong there. There’s something that worried about you, it just isn’t the right intervention for you at that moment. So I am really cautious about probiotics. I have everybody who takes some start in a small amount and then work their way up. And I also am really alleys checking in with my clients, with them, like saying, you know, is it helping or not? Because if you haven’t started to see an improvement in whatever symptom we’re kind of targeting here, then it’s time to switch it out for something else.
Jaime: 34:30 Um, rather than thinking that you just have to stick with it, stick with it and stick with it because they should have a fairly quick response if, um, if they’re going to do anything for you at all. Um, so those are, that’s usually where I start with people. The other thing I’m always doing when I work with individual clients is trying to suss out what actual deficiencies they might have. Because a lot of times when people are really at kind of their rock bottom with an inflammatory bowel disease, they have been for quite a while in a state of malnourishment because they’ve had impaired absorption and, or is there also a factor, they have kind of restricted their intake of food because everything they eat seems to make them feel terrible. So they may not be eating the vegetables that they need. They may have found that eating meat upsets their stomach.
Jaime: 35:18 So they’ve cut way back there, you know, and they’re kind of living on the only foods that don’t make them run to the restroom tend to be things that don’t have much nutrition. So we want to look at kind of what they’ve been eating, what some of their signs are that they’re experiencing that might indicate deficiencies. Um, I have a list of labs that I would recommend a client ask their doctor to run so they can find out for sure where their deficiencies are. And then we can talk about how to approach those. Recognizing that when somebody gut is in really bad shape, um, we always want to end up in that point where food is kind of providing everything but they may not be ready to jump there immediately. So that’s important too is just to get them feeling better again by repleting all of those things that they are, are lacking in their body. So looking at the specific vitamins, minerals and trying to support that as best we can.
Samantha: 36:13 And that’s a can be a tough spot for people to be stuck in where you need the nutrition and the nourishment from a wide variety of vegetables needs, things like that. But your GI is refusing to tolerate any of it. So the thing that’s going to help you is hurting you at the time and it can feel very stuck. Um, and even with probiotics to um, you know, starting off at too high a dose can be very painful. The different strains that people can react to like you’re mentioning. Um, and even different brands for me that were both high quality sacc. B, as you mentioned, one brand I did fine with…Another brand, I felt it stimulating my immune system. Um, so it’s, it’s such a gamble but it’s nice to have someone like you as a coach to guide someone, you know, remind the person that you’re working with.
Samantha: 37:08 So you know, let’s start slow or let’s try something else. Also what you mentioned that, um, that feeling of like, okay, I’ve been doing this for a while now and I’m still having this kind of reactive feeling. I feel like crap because I’m sure you’ve been through like detoxes before and sometimes a bad reaction can feel like a detox or even a detox. You think you’re having a deep talks. Uh, the HERX reaction, but it’s actually a reaction. So it’s so hard to gauge those things, but once it starts feeling like, yeah, something is still wrong, like this is not for me. I think it’s so important to stay aware of that moment.
Jaime: 37:49 No, the rule of kind of rule of thumb that I go by with how to figure out if something is like a detox or Herx reaction versus a reaction reaction that we should stop is that if it’s a, if it’s a worsening of the symptom we were trying to improve, I tend to think that’s a reaction reaction. That’s not beneficial. And I’m not gonna let anybody suffer through that for very long, if at all. Um, but if there’s something else happening in the body that’s different, that’s more likely to be just that detox sort of process. Like for example, for me, I remember when I went full into AIP when I first changed my diet and just cut out all the, I mean I went from being, you know, Standard Diet, but what worse cause I was really sick and I was eating a really limited lane of food, you know, because everything seemed to make me feel terrible.
Jaime: 38:42 So I was eating a lot of toasts and rice and potatoes and cheese and you know, not great, not great, but like kept me from running to the restroom all the time. So when I switched from that to fully AIP and all that crap was detoxing out of my body, I remember, um, having like acne for the first time in like 15 years, it just came out like crazy and I would have like periodic headaches and you know, I felt pretty awful honestly for like a week. And I remember thinking that if it stays like this, I give up. I’m just to go back to having stomach pain and diarrhea because this is not cool. But after about six, seven days, that also did ease, and I’ve never had that come back. Like that never happened again. That was very much that initial like change that I made, where my body needed that I think just push out all that nasty stuff that it had been kind of holding on to.
Jaime: 39:37 So that’s an example of the sort of reaction that I encourage people to see what happens if you can just stick with it, increase your hydration, drink more water, give yourself some more rest time, take some Epsom salt baths, see how you can support yourself to get through that. But if it’s a worsening of the symptoms that originally brought you to making the change, um, that’s assigned to me, that it’s not just a healing reaction and something is clearly, it’s not going to get better if you just keep powering through it. And the bottom line is that people need to feel empowered to listen to their own bodies here. You know, they don’t need to work with somebody like me to tell them that. I mean that is truly just trusting your body kind of know. I mean, I think even back then I didn’t have any training at that point.
Jaime: 40:30 This was just me experimenting. This was before I went to nutrition school before, you know, I had learned any of the stuff I’ve learned now. I was just following the advice I had seen to change my diet. That was it. Nothing else. And I think I, I still knew though, kind of like in my gut that this was part of it and it was, it was okay. Like I can just tell that it was going in the right direction. If I could just get through whatever time that was going to be and I was right. I really encourage people to draw upon that and to trust themselves. You don’t need a guru to tell you what to do. You don’t need somebody holding your hand to give you all this direction. You have it within you. You just need to listen to yourself and respect yourself.
Samantha: 41:14 Amen to that. We’re the one that’s inside our body. Um, we know what we’re feeling and it’s, it’s so important to trust yourself and keep pushing, especially if something hurts, you know? Yeah. So we talked a little bit about the AIP, which is so beneficial for, um, reversing our immune disease and reducing inflammation in the body that’s triggering the autoimmune disease. And I know big part of AIP is the non food aspect, which includes self care and things like that. Getting out in the sun. It’s not always the easiest one. That one that depending on where you live as and if there are any holistic practices that you use for yourself or might recommend to people that aid in relieving the symptoms or, um, even better going alongside with AIP to help reverse the autoimmune disease.
Jaime: 42:06 Yeah, I think that that is the key element really. I mean, you can, you can do the Diet perfectly, but if you haven’t addressed everything else in the rest of your life, you are only going to see so much benefit. I mean, you’ll probably still see some, but because I was that person, I can tell you that when I adopted AIP and did the diet, I was still living a very high stress life. I had a very high stress job. I had a lot of things we’re not yet in place in my life and I definitely saw some benefit from changing my diet. I mean, and pretty quickly. But then I kinda hit a plateau of improvement and, and toyed with the idea of like is specific, this is the best I can feel. I don’t know. Um, if it is, I guess tech can live with that.
Jaime: 42:52 But then I finally realized that I could be doing much better and made some major changes in lifestyle and that’s where my background is. Having been a yoga teacher came into play. I began practicing a regular yoga practice and meditation practice and then I ultimately made the biggest decision of all to change my life, which was to leave my corporate career behind and go into coaching and blogging full time, which is obviously not something everybody has available to them. The opportunity to just completely change their professional life, but I encourage everybody who is kind of in that place where I was living this extremely high stress on the go life to really reflect on what you can do, not accept the idea that it just has to be that way. I live in the Washington DC area and I’m just surrounded by people who just don’t really see there being any other way to live that like, this is what you do.
Jaime: 43:56 You just, you work hard, you play hard, you work even harder and you sleep when you’re dead. That is what I am surrounded by and I see in so many of my peers and I accepted that too for a long time and I just thought I have this added challenge of I have Crohn’s disease but I’m not going to let it stop me. And I think that’s an admirable attitude for a person to have. But it also meant that I really wasn’t living a very good life because all I was doing was fighting. I was fighting with myself to be able to still achieve at the level I thought I should be able to achieve and then to resist the fact that this disease would probably slow me down and keep me from doing some of the things anyway. It just, it, it really didn’t work like I wanted it to.
Jaime: 44:45 And I think that’s true for many people that it isn’t possible to have it all when you try to have it all and he tried to do it all, you end up not doing any of it very well and so everybody has to kind of figure out for themselves where that line is. What are they willing to give up? And I’m not just talking to people with chronic, severe chronic illnesses. I think this is true for everyone, that we all have to face those realities that, you know, there’s only so much time in the day. There’s only so much energy in your life and where do you want to be spending it? So when I, um, kind of take a step back and say, what advice would I give for somebody who maybe is recognizing that that’s them, that they’re trying to do it all, and none of it’s actually working very well because that isn’t possible, is to figure out what your biggest priorities are and then focus on watering and growing and nurturing those priorities.
Jaime: 45:39 Because what, what we pay attention to is what grows, you know, that’s the reality. And so if it is your career, that’s what we’ll probably grow at the expense of some of the other things in your life. I don’t fault anybody for making those choices, but they have to recognize and own that they’re a choice. So for me, the biggest, I think step toward my full healing was when I, when I accepted that I wasn’t going to have this high powered, high paying, incredible high achieving career, obviously agreeing to step back and do something completely different. And that then gave me the opportunity to focus on, um, my own internal healing and experiencing life fully instead of in the sake of my career. I think other people, it might be family obligations that are people that would be, you know, something else all together. And so recognizing that I wanted to focus on something else and make something else grow was huge for me in my healing.
Jaime: 46:45 So to, again, to really simplify that for people. I think it’s, it’s important to be honest with yourself about what it is that you’re trying to achieve and where you really want to be in your life and experience in your life and recognize that that might, that make me making those hard decisions to give something up. But in the end it’s worth it. I fully embrace my life now as it is. I’m no longer at this point resisting the fact that I have an illness and trying to fight through it. It is part of who I am and I’m all the better for it.
Samantha: 47:22 I just love those words. And that mindset is, it’s perfect for…not just people with auto immune disease but other people out there who, you know, have that go go, go mentality. And I, and I’m, I’m not talking crap about these people cause I used to be one of those myself. For me, there was a point where I just, I stopped and I said, can I survive with less on my plate? And it took me some writing it down and looking at funds and, and I as terrified as I was right before that thought and then writing it down, doing that exercise afterwards, I felt extremely relieved that I could make it happen. And without taking that step, I know that my health wouldn’t have gone in a better direction from there because, you know, as you said, that piece is so important. Um, stress is such a big driver for people that have autoimmune disease and people that may not have it yet.
Samantha: 48:31 So I wish I could share that with the world. Like, can you just survive with the little bit less? I’m glad that you shared that with us.
Samantha: 48:40 So if you would like to find where to work with Jamie, I’m going to put her website in the show notes. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook posting recipes and all things, autoimmune disease and lifestyle inspiration. I’m so glad that you were able to come on the podcast and I really appreciate you taking your time to talk with me today and share all this information with us.
Jaime: 49:08 Thank you for having me.
Samantha: 49:09 You take Care Hun.
Jaime: 49:10 You too.