How to Improve Fatigue, SIBO, and Joint Pain in 3 Days

Why an Elemental Diet Worked When Nothing Else Did with Randy

Randy shares how he used Elemental Heal to finally recover from ongoing SIBO, fatigue, reflux, inflammation, joint pain, and more. He had tried all kinds of things including diets, medications, and supplements, but results were either minimal, temporary, or would improve one set of symptoms while seeming to trigger another. But when he gave his gut a reset with Elemental Heal, he experienced significant improvements in energy, gut symptoms, and joint pain within days. Hear Randy’s story in his own words, and our whole conversation, in this video.

In This Episode

Intro … 00:00:45
Background and Symptoms … 00:01:13
Initial Treatments … 00:04:23
The Effects of Elemental Dieting … 00:06:36
Research … 00:14:45
Episode Wrap-Up … 00:16:19

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➕ Full Podcast Transcript

Intro:

Welcome to Dr. Ruscio radio, providing practical and science-based solutions to feeling your best. To stay up to date on the latest topics as well as all of our prior episodes, make sure to subscribe in your podcast player. For weekly updates visit 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. I am actually here with a childhood friend of mine who I haven’t spoken to in maybe 15 years, Randy Arthur. I was really pleased to see that we had this scheduled because you had stumbled across Elemental Heal, it had helped you with some gut stuff that you had going on. I was like, “Wow, Randy! I haven’t talked to Randy since we were running around as kids in the backyard playing soccer probably when I was about 13 years old.” So hi, nice to see you.

Background and Symptoms

RandyArthur:

Absolutely. Great catching up. It’s kind of an important thing that I’d like to share too. I think it’s important for people just to know my personal story and what I’ve been through dealing with Lyme and then the after-effects from a lot of medicines. I wasn’t always exactly open to trying alternative things or things outside what I guess would be the standard medical path. I think because I knew you and we had been friends for so long, it kind of gave me faith and courage to do that. I’m very glad I did because I’ve had a lot of success with Elemental Heal and I have certainly passed that on to others that have had experiences similar to me. Anything that I can do to help get the word out there and let people know about my particular story, because if it’s beneficial to them the way that it’s helped and improved my life, I’d definitely like to get that out there.

DrMR:

Let’s give people some of the backstory. I know that the short snippet I read in the write-up was about Lyme, a decent amount of antibiotics associated with that treatment of course, and then your gut seemed to go a little bit sideways. But give us some of the backstory.

RA:

Yeah, absolutely. It’s hard to believe, but unfortunately I went undiagnosed for a very long time with Lyme. I was having a lot of side effects as far as inflammation, which has kind of been the general theme to everything I’ve experienced, and a lot of issues with GI which got exacerbated by the fact that I was on heavy doses of antibiotics and also heavy doses of antivirals for a long time. While one treatment was in some regards helping to deal with the symptoms of the Lyme, it left me pretty torn up from the GI perspective. They tried a lot of different things as far as medications to help with that. Also specific diets, removing things, and looking if there was some sort of an allergen that was causing it which really wasn’t the case. And then just trying different diets like the low FODMAP, different forms of paleo, and different things which I had some mild success with, but that’s when I came across Elemental Heal.

RA:

I started looking into using your product as a replacement for a full elemental diet because I’ll be the first one to disclose that I’m not the best eater in the world. So it was kind of easy, and I think what made it even easier was especially that the chocolate shakes were very good, which made it good to do a quick gut reset. I tried that for the three days and I couldn’t believe some of the initial transformations just from the start. Also, I know the energy is probably not one of the things that you guys advertise the most, but it made such a difference with having a four-year-old son at home and being able to keep up with him. As I started to feel better, also being able to get back into routinely exercising, not that it was the same when we were 11 or so, but playing soccer again with the group of guys has just kind of improved the overall quality of life.

RA:

But the biggest thing that I’ve noticed is with my dietary habits as I cycle on and off of that. I just don’t have the flare-ups anymore. None of the gas that came with it, which I’m sure everybody’s glad is gone, or the constant belching. And then mostly when I wake up in the morning, my throat’s not on fire. I don’t have that lump feeling in my throat anymore; I don’t deal with that. I can’t say I haven’t fully come off it; I still do take it once or sometimes twice a day as a replacement shake or after a workout or something, but knock on wood, to this point, I just haven’t had those same experiences and it’s worked better for me than any of the PPIs or the alternative treatments I’ve tried.

Initial Treatments

DrMR:

Great, that’s awesome to hear. And do you feel like the gut symptoms were long-standing? Do you feel that they were kind of provoked by the antibiotics?

RA:

Even prior to when I had the treatment for Lyme, they were trying to find out what was wrong. So I did some other treatments. I did the breath test and they diagnosed me with SIBO, and I did quite a few rounds of Xifaxan, which is an antibiotic for that, which would be helpful, but it was always for such a limited time. It was almost like I was on a window. After 12 weeks of being off of it, my symptoms would immediately return. It didn’t matter what I ate or how I dieted. Not to take away from it because 12 weeks of relief is still great when you’re not feeling well, but it’s certainly not something that you can just continue to stay on. And then over time, unfortunately it’s not as effective, or at least in my case it wasn’t. Whereas with this, I haven’t gone out as far as I had cycled on and off of that antibiotic, but so far to date, luckily, I’ve had a lot more success with it being sustainable.

DrMR:

Awesome.

SponsoredResources:

Hi everyone. After many requests, we’re very excited to announce we have two brand new flavors of our best-selling Elemental Heal. Elemental Heal, in case you haven’t heard of it, is our great-tasting, meal replacement, hypoallergenic, gut healing formula. These formulations and flavors aren’t ones you’ll find anywhere else, and better yet you do not need a doctor’s note to order or use them. In addition to our existing varieties, we now offer Peach in the whey-free version and Vanilla and the low-carb version. These have been through some serious tastes tests, so we really think you’re going to enjoy them. Whether you’re using Elemental Heal as a morning shake meal replacement, as a mini gut reset for a few days, or even using it exclusively for two to three weeks, we now have a formula that should fit your needs. If you go to DrRuscio.com and head to the store, we’re offering 15% OFF any one of our Elemental Heal formulas. This discount is limited to one per customer. Simply use code TryElementalHeal at checkout and you’ll get that 15% OFF. Let us know what you think about the new flavors. We believe that you’ll find them to be not only great tasting, but also really friendly on the gut and can help give you a boost in how you’re feeling.

The Effects of Elemental Dieting

DrMR:

You make a couple of really good points. You’re not alone in this cohort of patients who respond to Rifaximin or Xifaxin for a temporary period. And to your point, it’s great that they’re seeing some improvement, but then they kind of backslide. One of the things we try to offer people is a few different types of supports. Probiotics as one that can be helpful, and elemental dieting is another. I’d much rather someone do another round of probiotics or this kind of periodic, low-level elemental dieting like you’re doing rather than just repeat Rifaximin or Xifaxin. And there are studies showing safety and tolerability of repeat Xifaxin or Rifaximin, but still I like the idea of elemental dieting better than just antibiotic round every four months or so.

RA:

I definitely agree. I think the biggest advantage of it is you don’t have the highs and lows either of when you’re coming off and you’re going onto the antibiotics. Also the side effects of that aren’t always pleasant at first, even as it starts to work. So depending on what works best for the person, I definitely think that I’ve had more benefit from this diet.

DrMR:

Right. And so energy is better, the kind of GERD burning the throat is better, some belching, and was it also some abdominal pain that you said was occurring?

RA:

Yeah, I had a little bit. It’s more so I would constantly… even when they did the barium swallow tests, my esophagus would never empty. It was always having continual presence of that in there or something being left. In general, whenever I go to the doctor, regardless of what the situation is for, the common theme is always, “You haven’t had a normal amount of inflammation. It’s like, “Great, I know that, but what do we do about it?” And basically short of being on high doses of prednisone, nothing has really given me relief. Obviously that’s not something that’s sustainable.

RA:

So just trying to find the right diets and modifying exercise routine and trying to live as cleanly and as best you can. I think that at a certain point you realize, especially after you’ve had Lyme, you’re probably never going to be exactly the way you once were, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have quality of life and it doesn’t mean that you can’t have improvements. I think my biggest thing was trying to fight the inflammation and the joint issues while also simultaneously dealing with horrible reflux. It was almost like a lethal combination. To just get rid of the reflux side of the house and only deal with the other in moderate sustainability, I think is probably as best as it’s going to get for me. But it’s a lot, lot better than it was for sure.

DrMR:

That’s great. There is research to back this up, and you may have seen some of this, Randy, in some of your reading. For joint pain, specifically for RA, rheumatoid arthritis, there was one trial that found that elemental dieting was as effective as corticosteroids. There have been a couple of studies that have found elemental diets can be helpful with upper GI reflux and/or GERD. Really, elimination diets tend to be helpful for that also. And not that you have this, but a number of studies in inflammatory bowel disease, which is a hallmark by obviously inflammation, have really shown nice improvements in that.

DrMR:

So yeah, that’s great. This is a nice anti-inflammatory intervention that’s non-drug, which is always a win at least from my vantage point. I like how you’ve fallen into this intermittent use. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? Because that’s one thing that people sometimes think, “Well, there was a study in SIBO that was two weeks exclusive, so it’s either that or nothing.” One of the things I’m trying to bring to the forefront is that it doesn’t have to be quite that prescriptive.

RA:

I guess I shouldn’t just say that I kind of made up my own book as how I was going to use it, because I definitely did some reading on your site and talked a lot about it with my doctor. The idea was to see how my body reacted to it first and do that quick two or three day gut reset and see if I had any improvements, because obviously if you’re not improving, there’s no point continuing to go on. It can certainly take others longer to see the advantages or benefits, especially from a diet. But like I said, the thing that really amazed me is that within, I would probably say two days, I noticed an immediate difference. That was huge for me because, especially as we talked about going on and off cycles of medicine for long periods of time and not really seeing a drastic improvement, I think that told me that I was going down the right avenue and following the right course.

RA:

And to answer your question as about intermittency, for me personally, it doesn’t bother me. I know a lot of people have problems digesting it, but if you take that chocolate shake and you put a tablespoon of almond butter in it, it’s basically like drinking a peanut butter cup. It’s pretty great. So that kind of makes it easy. With the energy that it gives me, I don’t drink coffee anymore, which I used to do a lot of but with reflux it’s just a bad habit and not really the best of choices, at least for me anyway. So I find that having one in the morning is a good way to start the day off. It gives me energy for my exercise cycle around lunchtime, and that works out. If I did flare back up again or had symptoms, I don’t think I would hesitate to do another three-day reset, just because, like I said, I saw the benefits of that so soon that it’s kind of been sustained. But I think for me anyway, one or even two a day, depending on how things are going or how I’m feeling, have been very helpful as a substitute. It’s kind of just an ongoing thing for me. Again, I’m a picky eater but it’s certainly not anything that I would say was a hard change. It’s something that I enjoy. Definitely the benefits of it have worked out very well.

DrMR:

And also just for our audience, there is some good two to three year longer-term data with this sort of what they term in the research literature “hybrid use,” where you have some elemental meal replacement shakes and some whole foods. Mainly this comes from a cohort of research in Crohn’s disease children. And they’ve documented that the control, meaning they’re not doing anything, versus those doing the elemental diets have better outcomes, better symptoms, even better growth. So this is definitely something that has a fair bit of information or evidence showing that replacing one or two meals per day is actually something that can be done in the longer-term safely.

RA:

Yeah. I mean, I’m still trying to work with a paleo diet outside of that, just because I have had some benefit from it. I think a combination of the two are the right fit for me. But it’s definitely not an all one or other situation where I have to have it three times a day for the rest of my life. Definitely I think that’s something that works for me.

DrMR:

It’s a nice support to have when you need it. Great, this is exactly what I would hope someone would find in terms of the use of the elemental diet. I’m glad it worked for you, I’m glad you liked the taste, and I’m glad that we’re seeing that nice anti-inflammatory benefit.

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 have been unable to improve their health, even after seeing numerous doctors, to 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. Health coaching. 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’re a clinician, there is our clinicians’ newsletter, The Future of Functional Medicine Review, which 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 are otherwise considered challenging cases. Everything for these resources can be accessed through DrRuscio.com/resources. Alrighty, back to the show.

Research

DrMR:

Anything else you want to share with people?

RA:

Like I said, I just really thought it was important because I went through probably longer of a period than need be, and I wish I had found something like this sooner without having taken a lot of medications that probably weren’t entirely necessary. Unfortunately it’s not a perfect science and we’ve got to try and diagnose and figure these things out. But I think it’s amazing and I feel really good about the product. The reason I had sent the email wanting to thank you and obviously to get back in touch is also because there’s so much information overload out there with supplements. Especially if you’re on Facebook or any social media, you see all these wonder drugs that are going to do all these things. And some of it is just not backed, and it’s hard to find facts or information.

RA:

That’s what I thought was really helpful when I checked out your site. I did some research before taking it because there was a lot of beneficial information that was just kind of based on a common sense approach. This wasn’t going to be a miracle cure that was just driven from nowhere and no one knew about it or secret herb. But it just made sense along with the dieting that I had, and it felt like a healthier lifestyle and alternative choice to make. It’s really benefited me. I think for anyone that really does deal with inflammation in any regard, or excessive inflammation because it can cause so many different things, I would definitely recommend trying this, especially if your doctor supported it the way that mine did. I think the benefits can far outweigh long-term cycles of things that might not do anything for you and have a lot of negative effects on your health as well.

Episode Wrap-Up

DrMR:

Awesome, well said. Also, I’m glad that you had a doctor to his or her credit that was supportive and not kind of combative, because it makes it harder for people who are trying to integrate other therapies into the conventional model if there’s not at least a degree of open-mindedness. Sure, we want to filter out the quackery, I totally agree with that, but maintain some open-mindedness in that filter too.

DrMR:

Randy, great story. Obviously I’m super happy to reconnect with you, and we’ll have to catch up more after the recording here, but I’m just really appreciative of you being willing to share your story because these really do help a lot of people. For anyone out there who’s dealing with something similar, consider Elemental Heal, and again, Randy, thanks for sharing and so happy to hear that you’re feeling better.

RA:

Thank you for the great product and I appreciate your time today.

DrMR:

A hundred percent.

Outro:

Thank you for listening to Dr. Ruscio radio today. Check us out on iTunes and leave a review. Visit DrRuscio.com to ask a question for an upcoming podcast, post comments for today’s show, and sign up to receive weekly updates. That’s D R R U S C I O dot com.

 


Sponsored Resources

Hi everyone. After many requests, we’re very excited to announce we have two brand new flavors of our best-selling Elemental Heal. Elemental Heal, in case you haven’t heard of it, is our great-tasting, meal replacement, hypoallergenic, gut healing formula. These formulations and flavors aren’t ones you’ll find anywhere else, and better yet you do not need a doctor’s note to order or use them. In addition to our existing varieties, we now offer Peach in the whey-free version and Vanilla and the low-carb version. These have been through some serious tastes tests, so we really think you’re going to enjoy them. Whether you’re using Elemental Heal as a morning shake meal replacement, as a mini gut reset for a few days, or even using it exclusively for two to three weeks, we now have a formula that should fit your needs.

How to Improve Fatigue, SIBO, and Joint Pain in 3 Days - Elemental Heal LC Vanilla L
How to Improve Fatigue, SIBO, and Joint Pain in 3 Days - Elemental Heal WF PC 12 L

If you go to DrRuscio.com and head to the store, we’re offering 15% OFF any one of our Elemental Heal formulas. This discount is limited to one per customer. Simply use code “TryElementalHeal” at checkout and you’ll get that 15% OFF. Let us know what you think about the new flavors. We believe that you’ll find them to be not only great tasting, but also really friendly on the gut and can help give you a boost in how you’re feeling.

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