Michelle, a 40 year old woman, joined Gritwell after struggling for years with chronic pain and digestive issues following a subtotal colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis, hysterectomy, and cholecystectomy. As a hospital worker and mother of 3, Michelle was constantly exposed to high levels of stress, making her conditions worse and harder to manage. She struggled with anxiety, insomnia, and overwhelming fatigue on top of her daily pain and fear of eating.
Michelle’s history indicated a long standing struggle with stress, food sensitivities, and gut infections that caused trauma to her gastrointestinal system. This inflammation caused dysfunction in her body’s detoxification mechanisms, starting with her gallbladder, manifesting as infection and inflammation issues in the colon. Because her underlying issues were never identified and addressed, Michelle’s inflammation progressed to the point of needing multiple surgeries. Her current gastrointestinal pain was hypothesized to be due to unmanaged food sensitivities, toxicity overload, enzyme deficiencies, and immune system hyper-reactivity.
Michelle’s complex case required a four-pronged wellness plan:
1. Identifying food sensitivities and nutritional deficiencies through testing,
2. Implementing an autoimmune nutrition protocol
3. Maintaining her current lifestyle interventions - therapy, mindfulness and meditation, and adding nature baths, breathing techniques, and a sleep hygiene plan
4. sleep hygiene plan
Adding supplements to resolve her gut issues
Additionally, mitochondria and mineral support was seen as important for revitalizing her system and supporting her energy levels and GI system repair. Her plan also targeted her drainage and detox systems, evaluating which systemic toxins needed more aggressive elimination using supplements.
Michelle came to Gritwell with a daily medication routine to manage her pain of Celebrex, Gabapentin, Duloxetine, and Meloxicam. At Gritwell, we don’t believe in eliminating medications unless it’s done in coordination with the prescribing physician, so Michelle’s regimen remained the same.
Based on her symptoms, beyond the typical blood work, Michelle’s team recommended the following tests to:
1. Show nutritional status to target supplementation
2. Determines primary food sensitivities
Michelle’s food sensitivity test results indicated a sensitivity to wheat, gluten, lettuce, egg whites, pineapple, cashew, and pecans.
Based on her test results and her history, Michelle’s wellness coach designed a personalized nutritional plan based on the Autoimmune protocol style of eating that eliminated her trigger foods as indicated by the food sensitivity test and boosted her anti-inflammatory intake.
For the first phase of her gastrointestinal recovery, Michelle was also placed on 4 supplements targeted to:
1. dissolve scar tissue from previous surgeries
2. support better digestion, liver health, and bile release
3. increase stomach acid to aid digestion
4. bolster the immune system
To combat fatigue, Michelle was placed on an additional supplement which supports mitochondria and increases NAD+ concentrations in cells, which helps anti-inflammatory pathways in the cell.
For the second phase, two additional supplements were added to further support her digestive health.
Through biweekly meetings, Michelle also received support to evolve her weekly routines, stick to her new diet, track her progress, answer any questions she had, and overall help her prioritize her wellbeing and health in a sustainable and manageable way.
After 3 months with Gritwell, Michelle’s daily symptoms decreased by 51%. She completely eliminated 25 of her symptoms recorded at intake - including insomnia, joint stiffness, and poor concentration. She had huge improvements in her daily pain, which reduced by 75%. Her energy levels and exercise tolerance increased threefold. Her digestive symptoms, which were anticipated to take at least 6 months to resolve, decreased by 54% in just 3 months. Beyond her physical health, Michelle learned to practice self-compassion and manage her emotional wellbeing with her prescribed lifestyle techniques. Michelle felt empowered by knowing how to better manage her nutrition through her customized diet plan and relieved that after years of seeing physicians who brushed her concerns and symptoms aside, she’d finally found holistic help that gave her substantial and sustainable results.