One of the reasons that I want to get my story out there is that I work in a field where there is a lot of misinformation and negativity in the main stream. People get a diagnosis and they are told to eat fiber, and that they’ll be sick for the rest of their lives. They will just have to manage their suffering.
I want to inspire hope in other people who are suffering with what I suffered with. It’s healable; it’s tough but you can do it.
I got diagnosed with IBS when I was 28. I grew up eating a lot of crappy junk food. I had very bad environmental allergies; I was allergic to pollen and dogs, dust and mold. I was allergic to everything.
My Mom took me to the doctor all the time. I got allergy shots and then they gave me steroids,
We lived in a cul-de-sac with all these trees and deer. When I was 23, I got Lyme disease from a Lyme tick and was given antibiotics intravenously for 3 weeks.
I moved in NYC. I worked as a journalist and lived a pretty unhealthy lifestyle; high stress, cigarettes, bagels and coffee. My stress control was drinking. I had a lot of colds and flues, a very bad immune system. I was a sickly person.
At 28, I started having digestive issues; bloating, constipation, pain, lethargy, exhaustion, depression, heartburn. I had no idea, I thought I’ll go to the doctor and it’ll be fixable. I’ll get a pill and I’ll be fine. They said, this is IBS, we don’t know what causes it and there’s no cure.
I thought, so I’m going to have this for the rest of my life? They said there are things you can to manage the symptoms. It was one of the most depressing moments of my life. It makes me angry looking back on it, it wasn’t true.
I’m very rebellious by nature. I thought, screw this, I’m not going to be sick for the rest of my life. I went to the library, took a bunch of books out on IBS; they were all very useless and I got even more depressed.
I started trying alternatives; I was pushed into the world of alternative medicine. At first I tried a homeopath; he was a mean, angry man and gave me some very expensive pills that did nothing.
It got worse and worse, I knew I had to change my life. I started practicing Yoga and I moved from NY to San Francisco. Yoga helped a little but not tremendously. This was my gateway into the healing world. I started self-doctoring using the Internet to figure it out. I thought maybe I had symptoms of candida so I put myself on a 6 week candida cleanse. I lost weight and improved a lot of my allergies.
I reckon that with self–doctoring, I might have got 80% right, but the last 20 % could be the problem. I met my boyfriend (who’s now my husband) and went on a birth control pill. I went downhill, got very depressed and my symptoms got much worse. I went on anti-depressants, I had no idea it was connected to the pill.
I got a Fulbright to Spain; I was a life-long dream. But it turned out that I was such a mess that I wasted the whole experience. I couldn’t leave my apartment; I was isolated, missed my boyfriend and very depressed. I really fell apart there.
I came home kind of destroyed psychologically. I’m such a go–getter; I didn’t know who this person was. I was so sick physically that I remember that I would get better and 3 days later I’d get sick and then it repeated again. I was cranky, I had no energy and I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I had recurrent yeast infections and migraines. I felt like an 80 year-old woman.
I guess that was rock bottom. I decided to get serious about this; I had to find some healing.
I went to a Naturopath; there was marginal improvement, maybe 35%. He was quite wacky and I stopped seeing him because he was really sick himself and I felt like he couldn’t support me. I wasn’t getting better to the level I wanted to and it was really hard work. I wasn’t going to give up, I felt like I tried everything; energy healing, chiropractor, body work a course of colonics (made it SOO much worse). Raw food made it worse too.
Finally, 4 years later, nothing was working. I started to think it really is in my head.
That was when I went to a meditation center; I met a vacationing nutritionist, I spoke to her and had a consultation in the hotel room. I had a feeling, an intuition. I’d had so many failures before and yet I felt this is going to work.
She said you need to eat red meat, I said I can hardly digest lettuce. She said, don’t worry. I started the program and within 2 weeks I had 70% improvement. I followed this plan religiously for a year; grains, beans and nut free, no sugar at all, fruit and vegetables and lots of meat.
By the end of the year I had reversed all of my food allergies; I could even have latte and feel fine! I became a new person, with a new body that never gets sick.
My digestive system is still strong. Right now I’m trying to get rid of wheat, dairy and sugar, simply to be disciplined like my clients, but my gut is great! I don’t need to.
I went from completely destroyed to invincible, I feel like a superhero.
It’s a puzzle to figure out, it took me six years to get here, and I’ve been here for 8 years. You’d think maybe I’d relapse because I don’t eat perfectly, but I don’t. I made long term changes, put my health above anything else. If there’s a job that’s stressing me out, I won’t take it. I take lots of probiotics, I do Qi-gong; I keep myself in balance.
It’s just the power of persistence, I failed multiple, multiple times. I had my back against the wall, I didn’t have a choice so I kept going and kept going and eventually I succeeded and hit the health jackpot. I’m not disciplined, I don’t deal with failure well, but if you just don’t give up and do what it takes to survive, you’ll succeed.
So many people give up on themselves. I couldn’t live like that I couldn’t imagine it.
I guess I’m a fighter.
– Angela Privin provides free digestive health advice and gut-healing inspiration to serious Superhealers at www.diyhealthblog.com