Autoimmune Disease


Hey, guys! Hope you’re having a great week! It’s Wellness Wednesday, so I gotta share a nugget of my health journey knowledge with you. This one is a great one! I’ve struggled with bloating and indigestion for so many years. I would feel full after only eating a little bit, especially when it came to protein. It’s so common. I don’t know many people that DON’T have this problem at least at some point in their lives.

One of the reasons that we have bloating, indigestion, stomach infections, and poor nutrient absorption is because our stomach acid is low. This can happen for a number of reasons. As we get older, our body produces less, and things like antibiotic use and medication for heartburn and acid reflux can decrease the amount of acid in our stomachs. Infections, stress, and zinc deficiency, as well as stomach surgeries also can contribute to low levels of stomach acid. So, when we eat, our food doesn’t get broken down, and can lead to bacterial buildups, bloating, and gas. This can make us feel sluggish and fatigued, too. Nobody’s got time for that!

Other symptoms can include:

  • Hair Loss
  • Burping
  • Diarrhea
  • Infections in the gut
  • Brittle Nails
  • Sickly feeling after taking vitamins/supplements
  • Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Visible food in the stool

Low levels of stomach acid have also been linked with certain conditions like autoimmune disease, anemia, acne, allergies, psoriasis, and asthma.

While stomach acid might sound like a bad thing to have, we need a certain amount of it to break down proteins, kill off bad bacteria and other pathogens that we ingest, and to absorb nutrients like Iron and Vitamin B12.

So, when I told my chiropractor (shoutout to Dr. Amanda at Family Chiropractic in Cranberry, PA!) about my issues with extreme bloating, she suggested I start taking a hydrochloric acid supplement to help my body break down proteins. She told me that this would even help my energy levels because my body wouldn’t be working overtime trying to digest this food, and it would absorb more nutrients (hello, Vitamin B12 and Iron – super important for energy)!

So, I started on this supplement pictured here called Zypan. It’s by Standard Process, one of the oldest and most trusted supplement brands by so many health practitioners. Do take caution to read the labels on these supplements, because they are not always gluten and dairy free. So, if you are very allergic, just make sure you check first. Most of them are gluten dairy and dairy free. This product was reformulated and no longer has dairy in it, so you should be safe with this unless you got your hands on an older bottle.

I take 4-6 tablets about 15 minutes or so before I eat. She told me to make sure that I taste the supplement before swallowing it. I’ve heard this from several of my doctors. This helps the brain communicate with the stomach, so it knows how to process what is coming and better use it. The bottle says that you can take it with a meal, so if you forget to take it prior to, at least just take it with your meal. If you are just eating a piece of fruit, or a salad, you probably won’t need this. But, if you are eating a heavier meal with proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, it will definitely aid you in digesting!

Another brand that I like for digestive enzymes that also includes hydrochloric acid is Designs For Health, Digestzymes. This was given to me by another practitioner (shoutout to Dr. Turack of Turack Chiropractic in Wexford, PA!) and it has multiple other enzymes in it to aid with digestion. It is also gluten and dairy free.

I notice a big difference when I take the Zypan. I feel less full and have much less bloating. I can tell I have more energy as well. I don’t have that heavy feeling after eating and I can actually eat more which is always great, haha!

As always, this is not medical advice, it’s just based upon my own experience. So, please run it past your healthcare practitioner if you are unsure if this is something that might be beneficial to you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to check with your natural health food store or practitioner to see if they have any of these products on hand. You might get better pricing from them than Amazon sometimes.

Hope that you found this blog post helpful! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Have an awesome rest of your week! 🙂

References: Leonard, Jane (2018, July 17). What is Hypochlorhydria?. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322491.php

Hey, friends! Happy Wellness Wednesday! I hope you are having a great week so far! I am relieved that spring is finally here and the warmer weather and sunshine really have a positive effect on me! I hope it does for you, too.

I know I shared with you a couple of weeks ago that I got some not so great news from my doctor recently. As I’ve shared on my blog before, I have had troubles with gut problems. For many months I have really struggled, especially when I travel or eat out at a restaurant. My immune system is very weak despite all of my efforts, and I get gut infections often. Even if I eat the same thing as everyone else, I end up with some kind of bug. So, when I brought this up to one of my functional medicine doctors at Advanced Integrative Medical 360 in Pittsburgh, they suggested I do a stool test. The results came back and showed that I have really high markers for inflammatory bowel disease. He said he’s positive I have Chron’s or Ulcerative Colitis. I need to have a colonoscopy done to completely determine this, so I’ll be doing that in the coming months. For now, I am trying everything I can to bring down the inflammation in my gut and treat the infections. I’ll keep you all posted, and hopefully have some good news sooner than later. If anyone reading this has experience with Chron’s or Colitis and has any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear from you!

One of the things I have been finding really helpful for me in reducing inflammation has been CBD oil. For years I tried so many different brands, and I honestly could not feel any difference. I was so frustrated because so many people rave about how CBD oil has helped them! So, when I started asking around in my online wellness groups for the various chronic illnesses I associate with, I got some good recommendations for the best CBD oils out there. After trying them all, I have to say that Charlotte’s Web is my favorite!

If you are new to this whole CBD, hemp oil business, you will want to note that hemp oil and CBD oil are NOT the same. This is probably why I was not experiencing much relief by using hemp oil. Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. It is high in anti-oxidants and omegas 3 & 6, but it does not contain any CBD. It is more of a carrier oil like jojoba or grapeseed oil. CBD is cannabidoil which comes directly from the cannabis plant. It is derived from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the plants rather than the seeds. It has a higher ratio of CBD to THC than hemp oil. It is more beneficial for inflammation. So, when you are looking at labels, you want to choose one that says CBD in the name. Sometimes it will say Hemp CBD oil, which can be confusing, but that generally means it does have cannabidoil in it.

CBD oil is legal and is sold online and in stores. There are very small traces of THC in it, but you won’t feel particularly “high” from it. I use it a lot for anxiety. Sometimes my illness gets the best of me and I get fearful and anxious. I’ve found the CBD oil to help bring me a sense of calmness. I can definitely feel it. I also notice that my pain decreases when I use it. I have joint and back pain, headaches, abdominal pain, menstrual cramps, and muscle pain, and it helps take the edge off. I usually use a little bit more than the recommended dosage because my pain levels are often pretty high. I typically will use 2 droppers full of the Charlotte’s Web Extra Strength CBD oil per serving. I usually use it 1-2 times a day, more often in the evening.

Through the end of today, Charlotte’s Web CBD oil is on sale for 25% off at Thrive Market! I do not get any commission or free products for telling you guys about this. This is all my own experience and personal recommendation. (I will never recommend a product to you if I don’t personally like and use it, no matter if I get paid or free product or not!) If you’re interested in trying CBD oil, I would definitely take advantage of this sale on Charlotte’s Web. They do not go on sale often. If you have never tried Thrive Market before, I’d also highly recommend it! They have so many amazing specialty products for less than what you can find them on Amazon or other stores. You can find foods for every diet! I’m talking cookies and even chocolate for every diet! LOL! They even have non-toxic cleaning supplies and personal items. The shipping is fast, too which I love!

Use this link by clicking here to get 25% off of your first order any day on anything on their site! If you are looking for the CBD oil, just go on and search for Charlotte’s Web, and all of their products will populate. I use the Extra Strength CBD oil. Their oils are gluten free and vegan. I buy the regular flavor, but you can get it in Chocolate Mint, too! There are two different strengths. One is Full Strength and the other is Extra Strength. I have never tried the Full Strength, so I can’t tell you exactly how I feel about it. It is cheaper, but that is because it has less CBD in it. If I were you, I’d take advantage of the sale and get the Extra Strength. They also have balms, capsules, and even oil for your dogs! I just ordered some for Barkley because he is a very anxious little guy, too, so I’ll let you know how it works for him!

Have you tried CBD oil before? What has been your experience? Do you have a favorite brand? I’d love to know! Have a great day 🙂

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