Health Update: Gluten Free, Pro-Biotics, Paleo & More

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a little while, but I wanted to make sure everything I have been doing was working, and it wasn’t just coincidence. I’m so happy to have been able to find out the reasons for the issues I have been suffering, and most of them are things that I’m working on right now in order to try and get healthy again, illuminate my digestion and bloating issues, and feel free. So these are the things that I’ve been working on for the past few months.

Gluten Free

I adopted a gluten free diet quite a few months ago (with slip ups along the way) and I was literally shocked at how much gluten impacted my life, without me even realising. I had the test done to check I wasn’t Celiac, and thankfully I’m not, but I definitely am gluten intolerant. Cutting it out of my diet has eliminated so many issues for me, including my cystitis, nerve flare ups, temporary paralysis, digestive problems, bloating, gas, lethargy, gastritis… the list is endless!

Now whenever I have eaten gluten (accidentally or through choice), I suffer a lot. I start to get cystitis, my stomach swells up like a balloon, the gas is painful, I feel extremely tired, and very cranky. I’ve been doing trial and error with foods and I’ve found out that it’s not just wheat flour gluten that hurts me, it’s rice flour, maize, and tapioca starch as well, so I don’t even eat the gluten free foods as they are usually made with those instead. It seems that any flour, no matter what it’s from, is not good for me and causes me so many issues. So the only carbohydrate I can eat is potato.

Paleo Diet

With the only carbs being potatoes in my diet, I have sort of adopted a Paleo diet. I didn’t know much about it at first, but it’s going back to basics where you only eat meat, potatoes, vegetables etc, and avoid dairy, processed foods and anything that doesn’t grow. So my diet mainly consists of fish, chicken, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit. Some vegetables I can’t have though, like cabbage. I still eat eggs, and I do have an unhealthy chocolate addiction, but this type of diet has really been working for me now. I am no longer bloated (unless I eat something I shouldn’t) and my gastritis problems have been long gone.

I’m still on a Lansoprazole tablet each morning to help with the acid, but in time I am hoping to come off of them. Now when I think about how much damage I was doing to my body without even realising it, it scares me. I would always opt for wholegrain or wholewheat as I thought it was healthy, and all this time it’s been tearing my insides apart because I’m intolerant. I’m so thankful that I now know what I can and can’t eat, but it is hard. It restricts mostly everywhere when eating out and it means my diet is incredibly bland, but unfortunately that’s what I have to get used to.

Pro-Biotics

This is something that I was hesitant about to begin with as I’ve tried certain pro-biotics in the past and ended up with bloating and gas, which can happen, however, I managed to find one great pro-biotic that has worked for me without those side effects. The one I found is Renew Life Ultimate Flora and it’s been so helpful. I took it originally when I was on my triple therapy anti-biotics for the stomach issues, and I only took a months worth, but I’ve been told I should take them all the time because of my digestive issues. I have IBS as well as the food intolerance’s and allergies (badly allergic to cornflour), so I’m starting them up again and so far so good. They seem to help and I’m hoping they will make my skin nicer too, since it’s suffering so much. I definitely recommend a good pro-biotic to you with lots of different strains of bacteria in – the more, the better.

Moringa Leaf Powder

Guys, this one is for the ladies, so be warned! This is something that I want to touch on in a separate post for the ladies out there who suffer, but it’s been an absolute miracle. Adam was the one who found out about it online after doing research, but it’s amazing. I’ve suffered with painful periods since I started them 14 years ago. They are sometimes so bad that I cry in pain and have to stay in bed, which is not good at all. That usually lasts for the first couple of days and as I can’t take Nurofen Plus (the only tablet that ever worked) because of my sensitive stomach, I was sticking to raw carrots which only helped a small amount.

Then I found out about the Moringa Leaf powder which is actually deemed to be the miracle tree, and it definitely is. If my cramps were a 10/10 on the pain scale before, they are now 3/10 or 4/10. This means I am not suffering in agony anymore, it’s only minor and I can still function properly. I’ve been on Moringa Leaf for 2 and a half months and so far, my periods have been lots better. The gluten free also helps this as well, so a mixture of the both means I don’t suffer so much at all. As I said, I will do a post on its own about Moringa and the other benefits it has, plus how to use it, but it’s truly amazing and I can’t be without it now.

De-Stressing

Stress is something that I suffer with a lot and sometimes it gets extremely overwhelming for me, which then turns into more physical problems and issues. A lot of my issues (like cystitis or IBS) are affected by stress and anxiety, but as I’ve always been a nervous and timid person for as long as I can remember, it’s not something that is easily fixed.

I’m often very tense, I analyse situations to figure out every possible outcome, I’m nervous and scared of change, I have OCD, I don’t like crowds, I’m not good with people in my personal space or touching others, and I often just have anxiety about becoming sick when I’m out. All of these things upset my stomach, my body, and my mind and trying to de-stress does help. I’ve been practicing breathing with The Hayo’u Method and adopting more of a Buddhist lifestyle, trying to meditate, and do the routines and rituals to keep my energy flowing nicely (see here). When I manage to really concentrate on this and I don’t have outside worries, things are good, but when there’s problems I can’t control, and upset (like recently with my nan passing), I get flare ups of problems again.

Understanding Being An Empath

Over the last few months as well, I’ve come to realise how much of an impact being an empath can have on your life. I found out I was one quite a while ago, but I didn’t really know how to deal with it. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s where you absorb the energy and emotions of others, among other things (see a full list here). It’s been overwhelming at times as when I’ve been around people who are extremely upset and anxious, I take that on. I take on anger, pain, sadness, and pretty much every emotion going so I can feeling anger and upset for no reason whatsoever. It’s not good as it plays havoc with my health, especially when I can’t figure out why.

I also absorb and take on the pains and illnesses of others too, receiving the symptoms they have, which is also not good for me at all. It’s a strange thing how your energy can connect with others, but I’m learning how to be guarded and stay strong, managing to block out the other emotions and take myself out of situations which are uncomfortable. Crowded rooms are too much and meeting new people in busy environments is a struggle because everyone’s energy is all coming at me at once. Understanding and learning about how to control and protect myself more from unwanted emotional and physical energy has been extremely helpful. It means a lot of solitude for a while and making sure I have plenty of time to myself, but I’m happy. I no longer watch stressful or upsetting things on TV and sometimes even social media is hard, as I can take it on, but it’s getting better.

What’s In The Future?

There’s more things in my future that I’m thinking of trying, like essential oils if they can be tolerated by me as I’m sensitive to smells. There’s certain massage and skin oils I can try as well, like Argan and Moringa Oil. I’m going to stick with gluten free and as much Paleo as I can do, try to keep de-stressing myself and relaxing, and learning to manage my issues and work with them. Even with this weight gain that happened (9 pounds), I’ve decided not to stress about that and instead of trying to lose the weight, just become toned and healthy with gentle exercise instead. Working with my body more than against it. Plus, I’ve been taking a Vitamin D oral spray for many months now and that’s been helping a lot, since I was very deficient in D. I would also love any tips and advice you all have, if you have any, and if there’s a certain subject you would like to know more about in a separate post, I would be more than happy to write one. Lorna xx.

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36 Comments

  1. Ian
    February 8, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    Hi Lorna I found this very Interesting and a lot of good points brought to light . Have you tried yoga for distressing and building up your core strength . So helping out with other problems . Take care Ian

    • February 8, 2017 / 3:22 pm

      It’s something that I am looking into! Some things in downwards positions I can’t do because of my issues, but I am definitely looking into light yoga. Thank you!

  2. February 8, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    Loved your post, dear Lorna, and i am glad that you got much better after cutting gluten from your life! I should do this as well, but I love it so much… my brothers tell me that it would be great to give it a try (because they don’t eat gluten), but I then don’t know what to eat… talk about someone lazy… I love cooking, but not everyday. So… the paleo diet would require a lot from me – but I grant, it looks good. At least you can still eat potatoes. Pro-biotics are great, I am a fan. The moringa powder I will recommend to a friend who suffers a lot during her periods. She calls me “blessed”, because if I had 2 or 3 times of just a small discomfort along my “periods-life”, that was even too much. Never felt pain, any symptoms of anger, hunger, etc, so she calls me “blessed”. But I know many people who will profit from the moringa powder. Being an empath leaves me drained, many times. Now, this year, I decided to avoid some things, people asking me to do everything for them and I was suffering so much. All the energy being absorbed and I really need to get away from that. I totally get what you mean, I told you once. I am glad that you are getting better in this area, too, as well as physical health! Go on this way, the future is bright! Hope you have a lovely day!
    DenisesPlanet.com

    • February 8, 2017 / 11:39 pm

      Hi Denise, I’m so glad you liked the post. If gluten doesn’t affect you in any way, maybe it’s ok for you. You definitely are blessed with your periods being easy like that, wow! I hope the Moringa Leaf can help your friends though, it really is an amazing product. It has to be taken daily for it to work though, not just on your period. I hope you have a lovely day too!

  3. February 8, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    Hey Lorna, I found this post so interesting especially because I’ve found that we suffer with very similar health problems, so I always try and keep up with your thoughts and findings. I’m so happy to hear that things are going well for you and that you’ve found things that are helping. Recently my gut health has taken a downturn, I’ve recently been prescribed pills to help reduce stomach acid, which I don’t like very much because I prefer natural supplements to prescribed pills but I just want to see if they help. I also think I may have an intolerance to certain foods (unsure what foods) because I’m finding my stomach ranging between uncomfortable and painful after I eat most times. I have a similar diet to you, chicken, fish and vegetables mainly but I’m obviously consuming something that doesn’t agree with my body.

    I don’t know if you’ve read or heard of it and it takes an open mind but I’m currently reading Medical Medium which is incredibly interesting, you might like it. I will certainly be taking what I’ve read here today and see if it can help me too. I have to say, yoga is very relaxing, especially the breathing exercises. I have yoga for beginners by body wisdom.com on dvd which is quite gentle. I work a lot with crystals too, I can give you some names if you would like? Just drop me an email. I understand you’re sensitive to smells, I can be too sometimes, though more with noise. But essential oils are amazing. Sage is great for clearing any negative energy you may have picked up. Lavender, though it took me a long time to get used to the smell is so relaxing and I’ve just bought some eucalyptus which is nice to help with breathing exercises.

    Sorry for rambling, there aren’t many bloggers who cover this kind of thing, so it’s nice being able to relate to someone over a topic such as this 🙂

    Take care and I hope all continues to go well.

    Daniella. Xox

    • February 8, 2017 / 11:44 pm

      Hi Daniella,

      You are very welcome! I know not many bloggers want to discuss health in any way, which is why I thought it would be good to. It’s nice when people are more open as it proves we all suffer with something, but more so I want to help others who might be going through what I am, and if I have any advice I can give, I’m happy to.

      So sorry you’re going through the same issues! What stomach acid tablet are you on? Mine is called Lansoprazole. It’s the 3rd one I have tried and it seems to work better than the others, with minimal side effects. I prefer everything natural too, so it’s the only tablet I’m on, but I can’t be without it at the moment. Regarding your food, are you eating anything with flour? That’s what really screws me up. Sometimes butter can, and cabbage, which is terrible for me. There’s always some things hidden and they can be hard to avoid, but I hope you get there soon! Sometimes it can even be a simple thing as eating two things together, which cause a problem. The digestive enzymes or meat and the enzymes of carbs are both entirely different, so they can cause problems when mixed in your stomach too if you’re sensitive. It’s crazy!

      I’m yet to know on the oils, but hopefully they work for me and they aren’t too strong. I’m sensitive to sounds too, as I have extremely sensitive and heightened hearing. High pitch noises are horrendous! So are emergency services sirens. Anyway, keep in touch! I hope we can both figure things out more! 🙂

  4. February 9, 2017 / 6:48 am

    Glad you shared you health experiences with us because not many people are willing to do so. I am giving you a link to mindful meditations online because they have helped me with my anxiety so much. I hope they do the same for you. Here it is: http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations
    You can listen on your phone, and download as well. Wish you all the best on your health journey. I’m on one too!

    Much love,
    Tania
    http://inspiremyfancy.blogspot.com/

    • February 9, 2017 / 12:27 pm

      Thank you so much, Tania. I really appreciate that xx.

  5. February 9, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    Great post. I think is a good thing that you wanted to share your experience, there are many people intolerant to gluten and this post will be useful. Hope you are getting better and better!
    Kisses
    Cinzia

    http://www.callmeblondiebycinziasatta.com

    • February 9, 2017 / 5:43 pm

      Thank you so much!

    • February 9, 2017 / 5:43 pm

      Thank you, Amy!

  6. February 9, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    A very interesting read. I found the sections on your diet to be especially fascinating – though, of course, I feel a bit sorry for you that you eat so many of the things that most of us take for granted. Of course health has to come first ahead of taste though, so I hope that you still are able to enjoy the things that you can eat without getting too bored of them? I feel for you about feeling limited in restaurants. I’m reasonably lucky in what I can eat – really there’s only a tint handful of foods I can’t have (either allergies or just dislike) but one food I have an intense hatred of is garlic. So many dishes in restaurants involve garlic so I tend to opt for blander, safer, dishes when eating out. I can only guess at how awkward it is for you in having a whole long list of things to avoid.

    Do you do much home cooking yourself? I think even with a limited choice of ingredients there are still so many different ways in which to use those ingredients and create interesting meals. I’m speaking, of course, as someone who has recently developed a whole new interest in cooking for myself and I’m enjoying the experimentation which goes along with that. 🙂 One of the main reasons I started cooking for myself was boredom with the variety of ready meals available… (quite aside from the fact that processed food isn’t great for the body) I found, again, that garlic is almost everywhere. So if I want a more varied menu I have to make things myself… No bad thing for me really… 🙂 So, if you don’t do much cooking, my advice would be to start. 🙂

    The rest of your article was interesting too – and I admire you very much for being so open about everything that you’ve written about here. I hope that your piece will inspire and help others. 🙂

    • February 10, 2017 / 12:29 pm

      Thanks, Steven 🙂 I’m glad you liked the post. I do get very bored of the food sometimes. It would be nice to just have something that’s tasty. I struggle with cooking myself as I’m absolutely terrible at it, and there’s not much you can do with the flavours as I can’t have spices and stuff like that. So it’s pretty plain. I can have a home made gluten free gravy with a stock pot and potato starch to thicken it, but that’s as far as I go, lol 🙂

  7. February 10, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    Hi! This post was so interesting to read that I have written down some ideas to look for more information. I wish you the best, and I hope you achieve your goals. Thank you so much for sharing! Have a nice day!
    Steal4Style.com

    • February 10, 2017 / 1:27 pm

      Thank you so much!

  8. Norman
    February 10, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    Hi Lorna, I watched part of a TV programme this morning about diets and food and there was people on there who had lots of health problems similar to yours. They all went gluten free and their health improved tremendously all because of gluten not in their diet. I really hope you have now found the answer to a lot of your health problems.
    Take care of yourself. Love Norman.

    • February 10, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      Hi Norman,
      That’s what I’ve been reading a lot about actually, how much gluten can impact peoples lives. It’s scary when you think how many people don’t realise and it’s considered a normal part of the diet, even though it’s not something we are meant to eat.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  9. February 11, 2017 / 5:42 am

    Hey Lorna, this was such a great post to read and thanks for sharing. I have a few of the problems you listed but I’m being quite irresponsible at ze mo, coz I’m not really addressing them. The biggest being my bloating and IBS. But this week I am cous cous free and stocked up on my salads, but I neeeeeed to have this with feta cheese and those coote tiny bread sticks, erm…
    I have a few mates that suffer from painful periods so will pass your tea recommendation to them.
    I’m also like you when it comes to stress, when I’m majorly stressed it manifests into pain. I’ve had random painful ear infections from nowhere and now currently dealing with a sore wrist which I never injured/hit etc. I should try meditating one day but I just cant bring myself to do it, the closest I get to that is my iyengar yoga class.
    Really happy that you are seeing a change physically and I’m sure mentally and spiritually and hope you continue t feel better.
    Have a lovely wkend. ( :

    • February 11, 2017 / 1:22 pm

      Thank you ( :

      I know it’s not my place to give you advice, but if your stomach is really bothered by what you’re eating, you need to stop, before it does permanent long term damage. I’ve come to realise that it’s your body’s way of telling you it’s not right and I’ve had a lot of bad issues come up because I never listened. I don’t want that for you!

  10. February 11, 2017 / 8:00 am

    Hi Lorna, very interesting post. Good to read some information on food and healthy living on your blog. I do think nowadays we should eat more fresh food and stick to the season. It used to work for many people in the olden days, so why should we eat foods that isn’t in season and needs to be imported from other countries to be available to us. I am setting up my own small vegetable garden again this year, small but very healthy and no chemicals are used. Stay healthy.

    • February 11, 2017 / 1:19 pm

      Oh that sounds like a really good idea! You will have to keep me updated on your vegetable garden!

  11. February 12, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    Wonderful shots!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase

    • February 14, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      Thank you!

  12. trulymadlydeeplyfashion
    February 19, 2017 / 1:36 am

    Lorna I’m sorry to hear about the health problems and food allergies you’ve been suffering from, and that you’re unable to eat many of the things other people take for granted. However, it’s a really positive thing that you’re finding new ways to improve your health and well-being. I’m glad to hear many of the symptoms have lessened as a result of your hard work and research, so you’re able to get on with your normal activities. It’s really helpful for others when you talk truthfully about your health issues here on the blog, rather than keeping things hidden. In the blogging world, it’s clear there’s a certain pressure to present a glamourous image online, and accentuate the positive. But it’s important to have an open discussion about health issues, so helpful tips can be exchanged, and people with similar problems know they’re not alone. So I appreciate your honesty.

    When you spoke about the OCD and crowd phobia, and the fear of people being in your personal space, I could certainly relate to the things you said. I also feel fearful when I don’t have space around me, and loud noises make me startled. On the underground I often worry about my clothes staying clean and get upset if someone pushes past me, and I have every cleaning product imaginable stowed in my bag. It’s not easy being out and about with these fears and compulsions. But it’s great that you’re living your life positively and not letting these anxieties prevent you from pursuing your ambitions.

    I find it very interesting indeed when you refer to being an empath. Although I experience many of the things you describe, I never realised there was a name for this, until reading about it on your blog. It’s really hard not to be affected by sad things that happen around us, as it’s impossible to avoid that side of life isn’t it? What you said makes perfect sense though, as there’s a sensible middle ground that can be found, and it’s great that you’re aware of this.

    Keep up the brilliant work Lorna.

    Lots of love Saba xx

    http://www.trulymadlydeeplyfashion.blogspot.com

    • February 20, 2017 / 12:12 pm

      I completely understand about the keeping clean when travelling, I am extremely fearful of it too and I imagine my clothes and me are covered in a layer of germs and dirt, it’s very difficult. I never feel completely ok until I have washed my hands, even if I do have anti bacterial gel, washing them always calms me. I’m glad you found the empath thing helpful too, I really am xx.

      • March 5, 2017 / 12:31 am

        Thanks so much for your reply Lorna. That must be stressful at times, and I can relate to what you said about the hand washing, and the sense of relief it brings. It’s really great that you still venture outside regularly though. It’s a shame when compulsions start to really limit a person. xx

        • March 6, 2017 / 9:38 pm

          It is a shame, we can only work with our fears and try and get around them, can’t we!

  13. February 21, 2017 / 3:12 am

    When you talk about the symptoms you have they sound an awful lot like mine, the massive bloating, acid reflex, pain, exhaustion… I might not like it but I think I will really have to find a way to go gluten free for a while to see if it is that. When I was eating really healthy a few years ago, I rarely ate any sort of bread or bread products… luckily I could eat wild rice without an issue and of course potatoes… Other than rice, I had pretty well given up flour items… I need to revisit that as I don’t think I can go on feeling the way I do…

    I am thrilled this is working for you, keep up the good work… I am really happy that you have found a way to feel better by eating healthier xox

    • February 21, 2017 / 12:16 pm

      Definitely try it, Launna, I think it might help. If you cut out most gluten products before and it helped you, it’s worth actually doing it 100% gluten free as there’s hidden gluten in anything. Avoid anything with gluten, wheat, barley etc as it’s in a lot of packaged foods too, it’s ridiculous how much stuff it’s in!

Thanks for your comments =) I read & reply every one =)