How to Improve Bloating, Fatigue, & Hair Loss: Ana’s Story

Paleo diet and probiotics improve Ana’s gut health.

How do you improve bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, and hair loss? Simple gut health support, with the Paleo diet and probiotics can make a profound difference. In today’s video, Ana shares how the protocol in Healthy Gut, Healthy You improved her symptoms and restored her health.

Hey everyone. This is Dr. Ruscio. Today I speak with Ana who has read Healthy Gut, Healthy You and is a prime example of exactly what I hope reading Healthy Gut, Healthy You can do for an individual. She resolved her bloating, fatigue, body odor, and hair loss, but while doing so, she also felt empowered and encouraged. Meaning she learned what worked for her system, what didn’t work in her system. She did not fall into a dependency upon supplements nor a fear around food. In fact, again, she is coming through the Healthy Gut, Healthy You protocol not only healthier physically, but also seemingly healthier psychologically, which is the other part of the healing process that I’m growing increasingly concerned about. Sure there are these things that can go wrong. But when the discussion of all the things that can go wrong is framed incorrectly, it can lead to unnecessary and unhelpful fear and worry. This can be very antithetical to healing. So she was a great example of how, not only did she discover what worked for her fatigue, bloating, hair loss, and body odor, but she felt empowered by the simple solutions and things she could change and fix. She could heal. And she could look forward to broadening her diet and having a healthy perspective on food. So just a really constructive, and I think the demonstrative example of what my intent and goal was in writing, Healthy Gut, Healthy You. So now we would go to the conversation with Ana.

In This Episode

Episode Intro … 00:00:44
Onset of Symptoms … 00:02:49
I Felt Like I Was Dying … 00:04:48
The Process … 00:07:02
The Benefits of The Protocol … 00:08:34
Simplify the Process … 00:12:06
Episode Wrap-Up … 00:16:58

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➕ Full Podcast Transcript

Intro:

Welcome to Dr. Ruscio Radio discussing the cutting edge in health, nutrition, and functional medicine. To make sure you’re up to date on this and other important topics, visit drruscio.com and sign up to receive weekly updates. That’s DrRuscio.com. The following discussion is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor. Now let’s head to the show.

DrMichaelRuscio:

Hey everyone. This is Dr. Ruscio. Today I speak with Ana who has read Healthy Gut, Healthy You and is a prime example of exactly what I hope reading Healthy Gut, Healthy You can do for an individual. She resolved her bloating, fatigue, body odor, and hair loss, but while doing so, she also felt empowered and encouraged. Meaning she learned what worked for her system, what didn’t work in her system. She did not fall into a dependency upon supplements nor a fear around food. In fact, again, she is coming through the Healthy Gut, Healthy You protocol not only healthier physically, but also seemingly healthier psychologically, which is the other part of the healing process that I’m growing increasingly concerned about. Sure there are these things that can go wrong. But when the discussion of all the things that can go wrong is framed incorrectly, it can lead to unnecessary and unhelpful fear and worry. This can be very antithetical to healing. So she was a great example of how, not only did she discover what worked for her fatigue, bloating, hair loss, and body odor, but she felt empowered by the simple solutions and things she could change and fix. She could heal. And she could look forward to broadening her diet and having a healthy perspective on food. So just a really constructive, and I think the demonstrative example of what my intent and goal was in writing, Healthy Gut, Healthy You. So now we would go to the conversation with Ana.

DrMR:

Hi everyone. I’m Dr. Ruscio and I’m here with Ana who has read Healthy Gut, Healthy You and had some good results. She was kind enough to share her story. Hi Ana, welcome.

Ana:

Thank you.

Onset of Symptoms

DrMR:

Tell us what was going on. What was the backstory leading up to finding Healthy Gut, Healthy You?

Ana:

Starting at the end of last year, noticed that I was feeling bloated. I think in part with just all of the stresses of this year with the pandemic and all of that, my health was just getting worse. I noticed, and this was something new for me, that the bloating never went away. I would wake up still bloated. I had diarrhea. It got so bad to the point where the food just wasn’t being digested at all. My symptoms started to get worse and worse. I noticed that I was losing a lot of hair, a lot more than normal. I was extremely tired. It didn’t matter how much I slept. I would wake up exhausted. Also, my body odor changed. I don’t know if that’s has something to do with it, but I’m like, why do I stink? All I’m doing is sitting at my desk and I smell.

Ana:

So intuitively my body told me, like I was starting to crave soups and broths. My body said to me, I need some bone broth. So I Googled is this a thing? Is a bone broth cleanse a thing and it obviously is. I was going to do it for three days and then someone told me, actually, I had already been gifted your book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You. I just wasn’t ready for it. During the third day of the cleanse, I read it and I was blown away by all the information. In the book you suggested to do four days for the cleanse. So I did an additional day and I’m so glad I did, because on the fourth day I started to have die-off symptoms. I had no idea what that was.

I Felt Like I Was Dying

Ana:

I was just shocked that I woke up feeling terrible. Like I felt like I was dying. I didn’t know why. After some Google searching and looking at your book, I’m like, Oh wow, this is what I’m experiencing. So having such an intense experience on just doing a bone broth cleanse. Also, when I was on that cleanse, I was still bloated. It was telling me there’s something more. This is a lot bigger than what I was thinking. So immediately, after the cleanse I started your eight-step protocol. I’ve been eating paleo for about two months now, and that has helped a lot. I still get bloated and I kind of combined step one and two, I didn’t wait for the full 2-3 weeks to see if I needed to adjust my diet. I ended up going to my general doctor and got referred to an endocrinologist and she was like, yeah, it sounds like you have IBS and SIBO. I wanted to do a breath test just to verify. She just wanted me to do treatment, which was antibiotics. I didn’t feel ready for that. So I’m currently in step three of your protocol, which is the removal and I’m in month one. I’m actually a little bit over month one because your month two supplement, one of them is sold out. So I’m just continuing on month one.

DrMR:

This is Dr. Ruscio interrupting my own podcast to remind you, to make sure that you are sleeping enough, getting routine exercise weekly, preferably daily, time in nature and exposure to the sun. Ideally, also meditating. If you are not doing these things, you are not going to be feeling as good as you could. So please do not forget the massive importance of these fundamentals. So if you’re not doing them, get on top of it.

The Process

DrMR:

So let’s just unparse a little bit because it’s all fantastic stuff. The paleo diet, I’m curious, what changes did you notice from that? Then I’m assuming you layered probiotics on top of that?

Ana:

Yeah. After one week of eating paleo and taking your probiotics, I’m doing like basically all of your supplements. I started to have solid stool. It’s such a huge celebration. I was like, Oh my God, it’s back. I’ve also been taking the adrenal support and I have energy again. I don’t wake up tired. That happened in one week. So for me to feel like I’m alive again was such a blessing. That’s what encouraged me to just keep going. It was my birthday this week so I cheated on my diet, I just ate whatever. I did notice a difference where I was bloated and I just didn’t feel great. I had loose stool again. So I’m like, I’m not there yet. Good to know. Stay away from the cheese and the good stuff.

DrMR:

Okay. I really like how you’re saying you’re not there yet. That really indicates you’re framing this the right way. When some people have a reaction, they will assume that they’re not going to be able to be there ever. But the way you’re framing I think is exactly correct, which is you may not have healed enough yet to be able to tolerate those foods. So that’s really key.

The Benefits of The Protocol

Ana:

Yeah. I didn’t have this problem before. So I have to be able to get to the point where I am able to just eat whatever. At the same time eating this way, I’ve also noticed other benefits. In the past I’ve suffered from skin issues where I have eczema and dermatitis, and this has also helped to clear that up. It’s been interesting being on this diet, and noticing that clear. Then sometimes I get my little, I call them flowers where the dry spots start to open up. My eyes are really clear now as well. They’re not as red. So it’s helping so much of my well-being. I feel so much more clear mentally. I feel like I’m a lot more productive. That is because I am eating a lot cleaner and also taking your supplements and following your regimen.

DrMR:

Yeah. It really is amazing how there can be one domino, in this case, it sounds like the gut was probably the most core domino of all the dominoes. That can cause things like thinning hair, outward manifestations like body odor and also problems with the skin. All of these things can kind of roll together. Why I’m so passionate, as you now know, about bringing this work to people is because if you look at the symptoms, it can be intimidating. But if we can trace this down to the root cause, not in every case, but in many cases, it will come down to the gut. It doesn’t have to be this idea of let me go into an office and get a bunch of testing run and now there are 13 things wrong with me. Now I’m overwhelmed wondering how am I going to fix all this? In many cases, there are simple things. Paleo diet, probiotics, anti-microbials. You’ve responded really, really nice. Not everyone’s road is that easy. Some people hit a few trip wires along the way, but you’re a great example of how, when we get the right support to the right person, everything just opens up.

Ana:

What I like about your book is that, and I’m not working with a practitioner, so I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, but I feel like you do such a great job at explaining it. I have all these post-it notes to reference back. If you just follow step-by-step, I feel safe doing it. It’s not something that is hard to do. It’s just cleaning up your diet. This week you do this. Then next month, check-in with yourself. What are your symptoms? Do you still have some? Now go to this. I really liked the simplicity and how easy it is for someone who maybe doesn’t have the extra income to work with a naturopath or integrative medicine where it’s not with your insurance. So it makes it really accessible. The fact that you also have the supplements through your own shop removes that added stress of like, where am I going to get these supplements? Can I trust the quality? So good job. It’s an easy, here you go, try this. It really has had an incredible effect for me.

Simplify the Process

DrMR:

That was one of the main impetuses behind the book, which was to give someone essentially what they would get with me. Very much like you said, let’s simplify the process. Take one step. We are asking your body a question. We want to listen to the answer then check back in. So the “check-in” in the book would be your follow-up visit in the office. There’s a lot of gain when we simplify the process, because now the user can say, I only changed this and now I’m noticing that. So I’m really confident that those changes led to this improvement. It’s also important to check back in because one of the things we don’t want to do is say, well, it’s all about probiotics, just probiotics, probiotics, probiotics, and the book’s all about probiotics and then the probiotics don’t work for you.

DrMR:

You feel kind of like you’re stuck. So there’s that escalation of, one change one step, give it some time, check back in. If you’re feeling well, go here. If you’re not feeling well escalate there. As you alluded to. With the supplements, that was the other thing I wanted to do for people. I did get some criticism from some early critics of the book about having supplements in the store, and I understand where that comes from. You don’t want there to be a conflict of interest per se. However, saying take 500 milligrams of oregano oil sends people out to the internet to determine who they can trust, who has quality, etc. So I appreciate you saying that about the access to the products in the store. My goal was to make your life is as easy as we can.

Ana:

Yeah. The other thing that I really like about the book is that I feel empowered. I feel like I know more about my body. It is kind of like a textbook at the beginning. When I did go to my general doctor, because I already had an appointment scheduled, I felt like I was able to communicate better. I could say these are my symptoms and I know doctors don’t like this, but I felt like I could say this is what I have. It was fascinating that she had no idea what die-off was when I said that word, like she looked at me with a huge question mark. She then kind of got annoyed and said don’t be diagnosing yourself. In the end, that’s what they told me I had. To your point of the blood work, for me personally, everything came back normal. But I knew things were not normal. Just because I’m in the range doesn’t mean that that’s right for me. I’m telling you, I’m losing my hair, I smell, I feel terrible. There’s something definitely wrong with me.

DrMR:

Yeah. This is why I always recommend to people that they have one doctor on each side of the fence. If there was something more conventionally, pathologically wrong, you want to make sure you check that off and get that taken care. In many cases, just as I was way back in college, same sort of thing, all the blood work was normal, but I had insomnia, brain fog, fatigue. I was like “are you listening to me”? I’m really not the person I was six months ago, but there was no major disease presence. In one way, a sigh of relief, but also at the same time, what did you do? That’s why it’s good to have these two different schools of thought, conventional medicine, innovative alternative medicine, to make sure that you get the answers that you need.

Ana:

Yeah. I love it.

RuscioResources:

Hi everyone. This is Dr. Ruscio. In case you need help, I wanted to quickly make you aware of what resources are available to you. If you go to drruscio.com/Resources, you will see a few links you can click through for more. Firstly, there is the clinic, which I’m immensely proud of. The fact that we deliver, cost-effective, simple, but highly efficacious, functional medicine. There’s also my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You, which has been proven to allow those who’ve been unable to improve their health, even after seeing numerous doctors, be able to help them finally feel better. There’s also our store where there’s a number of products like our Elemental Heal line, our probiotic line, and other gut supportive and health-supportive supplements. We now offer health coaching. So if you’ve read the book or listened to a podcast like this one, or are reading about a product and you need some help with how or when to use, or how to integrate with diet, we now offer health coaching to help you along your way. And then finally, if you are a clinician, there is our clinicians newsletter, the Future of Functional Medicine Review. I’m very proud to say, we’ve now had doctors who’ve read that newsletter, find challenging cases in their practices, apply what we teach in the newsletter and be able to help these patients who were otherwise considered challenging cases. Everything for these resources can be accessed through drruscio.com/Resources. Alrighty, back to the show.

Episode Wrap-Up

DrMR:

Is there anything else you want to share with people before we wrap up? There’s a lot there already, but…

Ana:

I would just really recommend that if you have been struggling with digestive issues or if you just haven’t been feeling well, that the book is a really great place to start. It gives you so much information. Again, just by starting to implement small changes, it can create such a big difference in how you feel. It does give you hope because I was starting to feel hopeless. Also for me, not just hopeless, but I was just kind of starting to accept that that’s the way it is. You kind of get to the point where having diarrhea every day is normal. You don’t really think about it. And that is NOT normal. It was like retraining my brain. Shining light on the idea that there is a different way that you can feel. Starting to experience those changes just by modifying my diet and starting to incorporate some of the supplements really did give me hope.

Ana:

I know I’m going to be completely healthy soon and start to eat more, to incorporate more of the foods that I miss and that I like. It was also a reminder to like really listen to my body. It had been giving me signs along the way and I just kind of ignored it or built a threshold of like how much pain or discomfort I can tolerate. For me personally, I’m going to be listening to my body at the beginning. What’s been curious as well, and you mention in the book, is fasting. My body has been craving more of that. I did the initial bone broth and then a month later I did the lemonade fast and I loved it. I felt so good on it and energized. It was interesting that the first day back of eating food, I felt not great. So for me, I feel like doing a reset with a fast feels very healing for my body. So I’m going to just continue listening to it and see if it needs it and continue doing that, including the supplements and just eating cleaner.

DrMR:

Well, you are a rock star. I mean, everything that I hope would have been imparted by the book, it seems like you’ve captured right. This empowerment, not only to listen to your body, but also to realize that there’s hope. To be able to navigate these things and listen to your body and realize a lot of this stuff, you don’t necessarily need a practitioner for. Again, I’m never dissuading anyone from checking in with your doctor if you think something is wrong. Definitely do that. Beyond that, we’re in the driver’s seat of a lot of our own healthcare. If we just learn to be confident and listen to our body, there’s a lot there that we can tap into which you’ve done. So, just a fantastic job. I’m so glad that you’re feeling better. And thank you so, so much for sharing your story with us.

Ana:

You’re so welcome.

Outro:

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