Part 1: How I Healed My Gut (and Acne) Naturally – My Story

I was 21. I had cystic acne all over my face. I lost 14 kilos in less than 6 months. I had the hormone levels of a woman in menopause and I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed in the morning (thank you to the genius who invented watching uni lectures in bed).

From the outside I was doing everything right: I was eating the most nourishing foods, exercising my body, taking supplements and avoiding inflammatory foods. I didn’t really drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t do drugs. So how could one of the healthiest people from the outside be so incredibly sick?

Let’s re-wind a few years:

What actually triggered my body’s downfall?

It was never just one thing. It was a cocktail of factors that overtime, built up to my body’s breaking point. The contraceptive pill, antibiotics prescribed for acne and a diet that wasn’t exactly supportive to my gut or skin.

But it wasn’t until I got glandular fever at 18 that everything started to go dramatically downhill. My acne went crazy. I was breaking out with almost anything I ate, and I was getting painful hormonal acne every month. My acne was constant feature on my face and it wasn’t going anywhere.

As an 18/19 year old with a face-full of acne I was frustrated, annoyed and was getting no clear answers from health professionals. So, I researched everything I could. I went off the pill, I stopped drinking, I removed foods that triggered my acne and I was seeing a naturopath on the regular. I turned nights out dancing into morning yoga and green juice.

I did a lot of work. But despite it all, my skin was STILL breaking out.

What I didn’t know at the time was this: my skin was a mirror. It was the ultimate reflector into what was happening in my body. My persistent acne was a warning sign that something still wasn’t right despite all the work I had done.

Sometimes in life, our body gives us warning signs over and over again. But it takes knocking us over the head for us to actually listen. So finally, at 21 years old, I got knocked down… hard.

(above) The 21 year old version of myself: rapid unexplained weight loss (despite me trying to eat like an elephant), a missing period, severe fatigue and cystic acne all over my face… just to name a few.

the gut – my missing puzzle piece

The only way to clear acne, is to get to the root of what’s causing it.

After getting a detailed analysis of my gut and working with leading gut health experts, I finally had a clear picture of what was going on inside my body. And it wasn’t good.

My gut was a mess. If my gut was a movie it would be a mega-battle. Good vs evil… but in this case evil had prevailed.

I had ZERO good bacteria. My gut ecosystem was an overgrowth of pathogens, parasites, and bad bacteria. Not only this, but they had migrated out of my large intestine into my small intestine (there is actually a word for this called SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). They were consuming everything I was eating, so my body wasn’t absorbing anything. It was like they were growing stronger while I was growing weaker – yes, I know this sounds a bit like a movie trailer to Venom but it’s the easiest way to visualise. I had intestinal permeability, aka leaky gut, and inflammation levels through the roof.

It all made sense. Every health issue I was battling stemmed from that warzone of a gut: the hormonal imbalances, the dramatic weight loss, my missing period, my bowel issues, my toxin-loaded liver, my struggling lymphatic system… and of course my acne!

the warning signs you need to look out for: the checklist

For me, acne was my biggest warning sign that something was wrong in my gut and body. But there were other symptoms I experienced which all could be connected back to my gut. So, the things you need to look out for if your gut needs some serious love and attention:

  • Constipation or diarrhoea (or a mixture of both)
  • Acne, eczema, psoriasis or other skin issues
  • Brain fog
  • Stomach cramps
  • Increased gas
  • Headaches
  • Food sensitivities
  • Malabsorption/nutrient deficiencies
  • Unexplained weightloss
  • Missing period (aka amenorrhea)
  • Fatigue
  • Reflux/heartburn
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Acid Reflux
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Anaemia

If you said a big fat yes to a few (or a lot) of those, it might be time to take a look at what’s going on inside your gut.

But never fear cause I got you!

If your gut needs some work (or it was a complete sh!t-show like mine), get ready because I am about to tell you exactly how I healed my gut in 5 phases. These phases can be applied to anybody and everybody, however the specifics within the phases can vary depending on what is going on inside your unique body at the time you’re reading this.

Now onto part 2 – The Gut RESET.

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