I wanted to share my story and offer hope for individuals who are suffering from IBS, Crohn’s, Colitis, Acid Reflux, or any other digestive issues. I was born with gut issues in 1970. The problems started when I was 4 when I would experience severe stomach pains in my lower right quadrant that lasted for about 2 hours and then went away. Also, it always seems to happen at the same time every evening? My poor mother was frantic and didn’t know what to do for me. I made several trips the emergency room, which resulted in the doctors saying it was all in my head. Are you kidding me! Well, this lasted for about 3 weeks until the doctors finally admitted me to the hospital. There were tons of tests performed on me. Swallowing barium (Yuck) was the worst of them! I continued to have the pains until after about 4 days, they gave me 2 medicines (Prednisone and Azulfidine), which are used to treat Ulcerative Colitis. I woke up the next day and experienced no pain! As a result, I had to take these 2 medicines for over a year (I know for sure that taking those medicines at that young age had some negative effects on my development). Throughout my teens and into my early 20’s, I still experienced digestive issues until one day, history repeated itself. Now we are in the 90’s and medical technology had advanced quite a bit. It was determined that I needed surgery because there was a blockage happening where the small intestine met the large intestine. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease as they were wheeling me into surgery.
However, during surgery, they realized it wasn’t Crone’s disease but a benign lymphoid hyperplasia and a Meckel’s diverticulum. So, once they removed those things, that brought me some relief. Little did I know that the fun was just beginning! Since, they removed some of my intestine that was responsible for absorption and wasn’t given guidance to supplement, I wasn’t getting enough nutrients to feel fully energized. Also, I developed gall bladder stones. As a result, they removed my gall bladder. Because they removed my gall bladder, I developed sphincter of Oddi disorder, which is a condition where your digestive juices back up into your pancreas and into the bile ducts of your liver. This causes intense belly pain and your liver and bile enzymes to skyrocket. To fix this, the gastroenterologists had to perform and Sphincterotomy. For this procedure, your sphincter of Oddi muscle is cut surgically to allow the juices to allow the liver and pancreatic enzymes to flow properly for digestion.
When that was all fixed, the GERD symptoms started. Acid reflux, which caused duodenal ulcers and gastritis really made my life miserable. When your gut is inflamed so is your brain. The gastroenterologists would just give me drug after drug, which would cause other side effects. Furthermore, they really weren’t informed to tell what I should and shouldn’t eat. This lasted for about 10 years until one day, my girlfriend came back from a conference with a packet that talked about Functional and Holistic Medicine.
It housed so much information about the microbiome, food sensitivities, leaky gut, supplements. Finally, I found something that made sense to me, which started me on the journey to heal myself holistically. At this time, my symptoms were aches/pains in my joints, fatigue, mood issues, overweight and acid reflux. I found a Functional Medicine doctor and made my 1st appointment.
It was such a different approach because they were using diagnostic tools and various stool/blood tests to find out the underlying cause for my problems and not just giving me a band-aid drug to stop the symptoms. The test results revealed that I have a gene for celiac disease, have a wheat sensitivity, leaky gut, couldn’t methylate vitamin B12 properly and had micronutrient deficiencies. The plan was to do an elimination diet for all grain products, supplement with natural products and vitamins/minerals to heal my lucky gut and help me not be deficient. After 3 months following this plan, I lost 20lbs, was full of energy, stopped all medications and finally felt normal. It was a miracle in my eyes that this holistic approach cured me.
It had such an impact on me, that I became a Certified Integrative Nutrition Wellness advisor. I created my 6-month program to help people fix the underlying cause and not just treat symptoms with medications. Furthermore, I teamed up with the best diagnostic lab and functional medicine professionals from Vibrant America so I can prescribe stool and blood tests to determine what is causing your issue. If you find yourself or know someone who is experiencing any of the below thoughts or issues like I did, I really want to encourage you to contact me via my website www.dannystillman.com. There is hope, I know this works and that I can help you or get you to the right people who can!
- Low Energy
- Irritable, Frustrated, Anxious
- Frequent Joint & Muscle Aches
- Brain Fog
- Suicidal, Hopeless
- I will never lose weight
- Depressed and Ashamed
- Feeling ignored by traditional medical doctors
- Fat and Ugly when you look in the mirror
- Tired of taking 5-8 different medications that have side affects
Have a great day filled with accomplishments, laughter and Joy!