44 year-old Dana from Ottawa contacted us because she was struggling with a weird cluster of symptoms that were affecting her ability to enjoy an active lifestyle.
Digestive problems, low energy, a “sick” feeling every day, and some strange numbness in her face were all worrisome.
By the time we’d finished working together, Dana had these kind words to say:
“I worked 1 on 1 with Dave for about seven months and the experience quite honestly changed my life. Now, I feel much healthier and I’ve learned in great detail how my body works.”
It’s a complex case, with a relatively simple solution, and I hope it inspires you to take action if you are not feeling yourself right now.
How it all started…
Here’s how Dana described her symptoms in her intake forms:
“I feel sick in a weird way almost all the time. Sort of like feeling poisoned, not that I really know what that feels like I suppose, but that’s what comes to mind.
I never vomit, but frequently feel nausea in my mouth.
My face gets slightly numb above my lips and on my cheeks. My gums can feel sore, but don’t bleed.
I sometimes feel swollen in my upper GI area under my sternum… so much sometimes that I just can’t wear a bra, as the pressure is so uncomfortable.
Occasionally I get bloated and it can feel like something is inside me that shouldn’t be, and random stabbing pains in my lower abdomen are also an occasional occurrence.
And most of the time, my brain seems to be clouded over…”
Obviously these symptoms were affecting Dana’s enjoyment of life, and they’d been going on for some four years. Again, in her own words:
“OMG – the stomach sick feeling has been going on since September 2013.
In the fall of 2015, my doctor discovered an umbilical hernia, which I had repaired in November 2015.
I was hoping that was the cause of my distress.
I felt quite well until this past May, when the sick feelings started up again.”
Symptoms cannot develop without an underlying cause, and while Dana’s doctors had done their job to the best of their ability, I felt we could dig a little deeper to see what was going on.
Over a few months of working together, involving some lab testing and specific protocols, Dana and I uncovered the reasons she hadn’t been feeling well.
Thankfully, she was able to make a full recovery.
The first major finding was a parasite called Giardia, which you can see detected in red at the bottom of the snippet, below.
Giardia is a microscopic parasite that causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in acute cases.
However in chronic cases, it can result in general feelings of “yuckiness”. Perhaps the Giardia parasite was causing Dana’s symptoms?
Next, the stool test detected a bacterial overgrowth called Proteus. This particular “bad bugs” is more strongly associated with urinary tract infections.
I asked Dana whether she had experienced UTIs, and she said that she had. In women, the urinary tract has been shown to “share” microbes with the GI tract, so I felt there was a link here.
Then, we discovered that Dana has some Candida overgrowth in her digestive system. Although the overgrowth was “low”, I felt it was still causing problems.
Organic acid testing is really simple: It’s a urine test you do at home and send to the lab. We do it because it has information on the digestive tract, and nutrient level.
I decided to do this test with Dana because of her numbness symptoms in the cheeks and lips.
Often times, this kind of numbness is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, and we know that vitamin B12 can be caused by Giardia parasites.
I won’t show all the details of the organic acids test here, but here are the main ones.
First, a urinary vitamin B12 marker was too high in her urine, indicating a B12 deficiency.
Next, we had confirmation of Dana’s Candida overgrowth, because her Arabinose and Carboxycitric acid levels were getting a little too high.
Finally, Dana’s glutathione markers were too high, indicating toxic stress on her body (likely coming from her gut) and glutathione deficiency.
Investigating chronic health challenges is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. We seek pieces of the puzzle by doing labs and correlate them with symptoms and health history.
In Dana’s case, here’s what I thought was happening:
Giardia parasites coat the intestine, preventing nutrient absorption. Her yucky sick feeling, intestinal cramps, and other GI complaints were probably due to the parasite.
If you look at the picture here, you’ll see how Giardia parasites coat the intestine, making it hard to absorb nutrients.
B12 deficiency was likely the result of the parasite infection preventing vitamin B12 absorption, and this deficiency was probably causing her facial numbness.
I also figured that Dana would have other nutrient deficiencies because of Giardia’s ability to impair digestion and absorption (especially fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K – this is important for later in the story).
The Proteus bacteria in Dana’s digestive system could also still be in her urinary tract, and could also be contributing to the symptoms even though she didn’t have obvious UTI symptoms.
Important to note is that Dana had taken the birth control pill for 20 years. The pill is known to cause B12 deficiency.
Along with Giardia, it’s no surprise that Dana had developed a deficiency in this vital energy, nerve and mood nutrient.
The pill also changes the hormonal balance in the vaginal tract, which leads to chronic UTIs in some women, including vaginal Candida.
We know Dana also had some Candida overgrowth from both her stool and organic acids tests. No doubt the Candida was contributing to her symptoms, too.
Addressing these issues is not as complex as you may think.
First, Dana embarked on a gluten-free diet, which helped her feel better.
She also found that eating dairy products made her feel worse, so she eliminated them as well.
Coffee seemed to be a trigger for her symptoms, so she also bravely stopped her morning coffee on the way to work.
So far, so good: Dana was feeling better.
Next, I designed a supplement protocol to attack the Giardia, Proteus and Candida in her digestive tract.
I also gave Dana an herbal protocol to address lingering “bad bugs” in her urinary tract, and to boost her glutathione and B12 level.
After 3 months, Dana felt appreciably better, but certainly not 100%. The numbness in her face had completely gone, her digestion had settled down, but she still felt a little yucky from time to time.
Dana would feel great for the second two weeks of her menstrual cycle, but not very well during the first half of her cycle.
Interestingly, the symptom pattern is usually the other way round in women, with symptoms generally developing in the second half of the cycle, leading up to the period.
We needed to dig a little deeper.
I wanted to look at some additional parameters, so I recommended Dana go to her doctor and get a complete blood test.
She had to haggle and harass her doc to get what we wanted, but eventually he agreed.
The blood test revealed that Dana’s vitamin D level was very low:
We also discovered that her thyroid function was also low. Her thyroxine (T4) and T3 levels were both lower than we’d like to see, even though her TSH level was normal.
It is not shown here, but Dana’s thyroid antibodies were slightly elevated, which was likely the reason for her sluggish thyroid.
Knowing that low glutathione and low vitamin D can lead to these antibodies, I felt we just needed to support Dana’s vitamin D.
I was fairly sure that these two findings were the reasons Dana had hit a plateau in her recovery.
Dana began taking a specific type of vitamin D that goes under the tongue rather than being swallowed as a pill or capsule. This ensures better delivery of the nutrient into the body.
We didn’t actually do anything else.
Over the next 60-days, Dana experienced a huge improvement in her general feelings of wellbeing, and she was able to get back to exercising regularly.
When she re-tested her thyroid antibody levels and vitamin D, they had normalized, indicating the vitamin D supplement had done its job.
Here’s what Dana had to say about her journey:
“I worked 1 on 1 with Dave for about seven months and the experience quite honestly changed my life. I was impressed with Dave’s ability to take a variety of my test results from independent sources, summarize the findings and identify what we needed to work on together. Now, I feel much healthier and I’ve learned in great detail how my body works. I would recommend Dave to anyone who is looking to improve their health and isn’t sure where to start. He is a highly informative individual and his ability to change lives is real. The knowledge he holds is immense and he’s able to share it in a way that makes sense to the average person. You will learn so much about yourself and your body, and feel much better in the process.”
All this information may seem complex and overwhelming, but it’s not.
The two steps Dana took were:
She took steps to remove the bad stuff and put the good stuff back, voila, she felt better.
And that’s all you need to do, too.
I know for that you can achieve the same life-changing outcome that Dana experienced.
We’ll hold your hand all the way – all you have to do is put your best foot forward and kick-start the process.
There are two ways to get started.
First, if you have a bunch of digestive symptoms, start with a stool test and consultation package.
Alternatively, if your symptoms are confusing, or if you don’t seem to have much going on with your digestion, you might prefer to run a personalized case review and consultation first so we can learn more and recommend the best testing options.
Anyway, I hope you are inspired by Dana’s story and we look forward to helping you on your journey.
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