Whēkau - Gut Health, Part 2

Dr Steve is a trained General Practitioner, with a masters in obstetrics, he uses applied kinesiology to explore and diagnose areas of concern by exploring how your bodies energy reacts to different stimuli.

 Image courtesy of Ryan O'Connor

Image courtesy of Ryan O'Connor

So what did I find out?

That I was lacking protein in my diet. Yes I know, me, someone who often eats steak for breakfast was lacking in protein, but when you take into account the amount of physical activity I do and what my body is trying to maintain it is not surprising. Also when I am battling along with high cortisol levels and a leaky gut, my body is constantly trying to repair, make immune cells and support my hormones.

My hormones were out of balance.

Specifically, due to adrenal fatigue, my thyroid hormones were being down regulated: If your adrenals are under stress, then you change from fat to sugar as a fuel source at lower intensities of exercise. This makes it harder for you to get fit- this is something I noticed when training for the Round The Bridges run, after about 30-45minutes my heart rate would begin to rise and I would lose control, my body temperature would also begin to rise, this was even more evident on the run itself where after the 6km mark my body went into a shut down mode and I began to get the symptoms of heat stress.

I had leaky gut.

This is a bit of a chicken and egg situation as increased cortisol can be a course of leaky gut, but also leaky gut ramps up your immune system and creates a chronic stress on the body, in turn resulting in adrenal fatigue. Contributing factors to my leaky gut were; dairy and gluten sensitivity (all those cereals for breakfast, and snacks, all those sandwiches for lunch and bits of toast after school/uni/before bed), Toxins: in-particular mould (you should have seen the roof of the bathroom in my final year flat, Dunedin days weren't too much better, thank fully it was often too cold for mould down there), and finally possibly related to my adrenal fatigue, my bodies preference for metabolising sugar despite my low carbohydrate diet was associated with candida over growth: a long history of athletes foot and ring worm meant I was not surprised by this diagnosis and was another one of my motivating factors for seeing Steve.


All of the above meant that my aerobic capacity had become greatly reduced, which may seem as a surprise to many as that is when I'm in my element in training, however as the years have passed that has been more about grit and determination and confidence that I can do it than feeling effortless like I once was.


So what did we do about it?

Steve and his nutritionist Kate Moffat put me onto a dairy and gluten free diet, with some leeway over the xmas period, which I might add I was proud of my self for not over indulging, however this was probably out weighed by an increase in alcohol intake over xmas and new year.

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A candida control diet:

This actually was quite similar to what I try focus on however some minor changes were needed, I had to stop having peanut butter all the time as well as avoiding cashews, pistachios and peanuts themselves. Mushrooms were out which has been something I have really missed, but otherwise this was mostly how I normally eat, some slightly higher sugar foods over xmas and the as mentioned alcohol would have held up my progress, but I hope the one month prior would have had me well on my way to recovery.

Exercise was to be very heart rate based, any time I felt my heart rate begin to get away from me I had to stop, this meant limiting runs, keeping swimming long and slow and making sure I had ample rest and warmed up appropriately before resistance training.

Meditation:

Steve recommended the headspace app and even gave me a 25% off discount code. I use my shatki mat to ground me and focus on Ujjayi Breath, also with Alex getting close to her due date, we have been using her hypnobirthing, Rainbow Relaxation meditation for falling asleep (man is it effective, some nights Im out to it before she even gets to the first colour).

Supplements:

Nanopro vegan protein: boost protein, clear toxins (mould), boost mitochondrial function and aerobic capacity. Brahmitone: Rebalance hormones, boost mitochondrial function and aerobic capacity. Bactrex: Leaky gut and Candida. Ultra Probioplex: Leaky Gut and Candida. Phytopro: Toxins (mould). And Activated Charcoal: Toxins (mould)


My original appointment was the 22nd of November and I am due to revisit Dr Steve on the 24th of Jan. Its been a great two months and I have definitely noticed an improve in my energy and function, I am excited to see how things have gone and I will be sure to fill you all in in my next blog post.


What are some areas of your health that are bothering you currently? I would love to hear from you as well as answer any deeper questions on the above article.

 

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Ryan O'Connor

You can catch Ryan over on his podcast, The Stag Roar, on his blog, on his YouTube channel, and @stagryan for Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.