My wellness journey with BePure started when I saw an ad on Instagram for Digest Assist. As someone who has battled with gut issues for as long as I can remember I was intrigued by a 5-star review from a customer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and longed for the same results.
A staggering 1 in 7 New Zealanders are affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and women seem to be twice as likely as men to get it *.
Over the years I have learned my triggers and can anticipate what will cause an IBS flare-up. It’s the classics you will see if you google it:
- Skipping meals / Eating on the go
- High-intensity workouts
- High FODMAP foods like onions, garlic, legumes, dairy, apples, (the list really does go on).
At this point, I was restricting foods and following a Low FODMAP diet, so I ordered Digest Assist (a digestive enzyme that supports the breakdown and absorption of your food) and took it consistently for 60 days. As a first step it did work, my bloating eased and I felt less sluggish after meals. It also gave me the confidence to go out for meals or have a take-out without being in crippling pain moments after.
After relying on Digest Assist for some time I pulled back from taking it. BePure recommends taking it for up to 6 months and then taking a break to see if your body is producing enough of our own enzymes & HCL - but as soon as I came off it and tried to reintroduce trigger foods I went back to square one.
I was lucky enough to join the team at BePure and learn more about their testing services via the BePure Clinic. I started on a BePure Comprehensive Programme with the lovely Dragica (Dray) and came away from my first session feeling really empowered. Gut health is an area of speciality for the BePure Clinic – not only do they see a large number of clients with gut-specific complaints, but gut health also plays such an integral role in overall wellbeing – it literally is a driving factor and connection to everything.
I learnt more about how stress and lifestyle play a huge role in gut issues; most people who experience IBS also experience anxiety and poor immune health which in hindsight explains a lot when I look at my health journey over the years.
I had grown up being told by doctors that IBS was just something I had to live with and learn to manage and whilst this is true in some cases, this was the first time I felt like I was being given tools, dietary advice and support to improve my health.
To start, Dray recommended getting my nutrient levels checked to see if I had any deficiencies that could be playing a role. Once my results came back we sat together and went through each marker in detail, as someone who eats well and consumes lots of fresh fruit and veg I was surprised by the results - low vitamin D, low iron, low B12, B9 and B6, this explained the fatigue and headaches I had also been complaining about. I added some essential supplements to my daily routine (BePure One, Zinc Restore, Iron Restore and Vit D Restore) to get my markers to optimal levels.
A few weeks on and I was feeling much better, my energy levels had improved and I had seen other benefits such as stronger hair and nails (that’s the zinc) but I was still restricting foods and didn’t know for certain what was behind this.
Dray recommended the Complete Microbiome Mapping Test, this is a stool test done at home to indicate any parasites or worms, or bacterial, viral, fungal, or yeast overgrowth; providing very in-depth information specifically about what could be driving gut health concerns and taking the ‘educated guessing’ out of things. The results came back from the lab and everything became a bit clearer. I had an overgrowth of bacteria: Sulphate Reducing Bacteria (SFB), which can cause inflammation and further disease as well as deplete beneficial bacteria (the good bugs).
Similarly to high FODMAP foods, I had a sensitivity to sulphur. As sulphur plays an important role in crucial functions in our bodies it wasn’t something I could just avoid long term, instead, Dray advised me to follow a no/low sulphur diet for a short period of time, followed by a staged reintroduction, we did this alongside some gut protocol to reduce this bacteria. I also began taking Magnesium Restore and a Molybdenum supplement, alongside Epsom salt baths consistently.
I continued my Clinic Programme, seeing Dray monthly and then bi-monthly and have honestly learnt so much. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it can be overwhelming doing the research alone. Receiving personalised health and lifestyle tips has been crucial to getting my health where it is today.
My top recommendations for anyone dealing with gut health issues:
- Speak to a practitioner - everyone’s health journey is unique. Going deeper can help you figure out what is causing your symptoms and what you can do about it.
- Low FODMAP diets can be necessary but they are so restrictive and aren’t recommended for long term use.
- Test your nutrient levels and add quality supplements like BePure’s Gut Nourishing Pack to your diet to reach optimal levels.
Take what you need from my IBS toolkit:
- Yoga & mindfulness to reduce stress.
- Peppermint oil or tea when you experience a flare-up.
- Aloe vera juice or bone broth to support digestion.
- Start your day with a quality protein shake for breakfast.
- Eat wholefood meals (regularly) and try to minimise processed foods, dairy, sugar and alcohol.
If you'd like to find out more about how the BePure Clinic can support you on your unique health journey just like Laura, we'd like to invite you to set up a FREE discovery phone call with Lucy, our BePure Clinic Journey Consultant. She can discuss what's going on for you and recommend how we could best support you going forward.