The Unglorious Call to Action

IntestineThat is a personal problem.  Not a medical problem.

Here’s the poop.  No.  No.  I mean scoop.  My call to nutritional voodoo was, well, to say the least, not a glorious one.  Other nutritional blog hosts–oh such extraordinary, amazing recovery stories from horrible illnesses like multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis.  Motivating and inspiring us all to higher eating!  My issue–hmmm.  Right.  Not so inspiring.  Considered by the uninformed to be a personal problem, not a medical problem.  Ah, well.  Even if I arrived in Nutritional Nirvana via a clumsy fall on my derriere, I am here all the same.  My gut is working.  And the pursuit of that goal is pretty much what started this blog.

My History

I’m a 39 year-old female.  I have had chronic constipation all of my life.  Although not a common issue, I can remember twice in high school when I had horrible stomach cramps prompting me to head to the nurse’s office.  On the way, the visceral pain overcame me, and I passed out leaning against the lockers in the hall.  As a sixteen year-old girl I did not make the connection between constipation and these symptoms.  Neither did anyone else!  “You just need to eat more.”  Mmm-kay.  It never dawned on me that my gut was trying to move against a brick and it hurt!  I thought bricks were normal.  I mean, nobody talks about bowel movements at 16!  (I suppose I’m not supposed to talk about them ever.  But since I’m a medical doctor, no orifice or function makes me blush.)

Each decade, my GI function worsened, and I did finally realize in pharmacy school that my gut was abnormal.  The next ten years brought rounds of different fiber preparations (I can make darn tasty desserts with Metamucil wafers), docusate, milk of magnesia, magnesium supplements, suppositories, Miralax, yogurt, probiotics, prunes, shredded wheat (half a box a day), and finally, despite my attempts to only use them sparingly, daily stimulant laxative became required.  Mind you, even with those stimulant laxatives which were needed at doses which would kill a normal human being, my bowel movements still only occurred about every five to ten days and still were not easy to pass.  My gut was slowing down from slow to stop and becoming refractory to everything I knew to try.  I visited several doctors through the years and I always got the same answer:  more fiber and water.  Got a colonoscopy.  Pretty negative.  Got checked for low thyroid and celiac disease.  Negative.

I decided to think outside of the box and took to the wilderness of internet medicine.  Talk about crazy.  How do some of these people say these things without a license?  Guess I’m glad they can because it tipped me off in the right direction, and I embarked on the odd diet called GAPS (at least that founder has a medical license)–before I knew about Paleo which sounds way cooler than GAPS.  (Ha!  Ha!  I actually have landed on a diet which has no name but uses the templates of several diets.)  GAPS helped me identify food intolerances and taught me how to eat a nutrient dense diet.  It got my gut usually responding again to high dose magnesium (Natural Calm), but I don’t think high dose magnesium is good to take for the rest of my life.  So my endeavors persisted.  My goal is NO supplement for my constipation.  For myself, I try to use supplements as a bridge to achieve my health goals.  Once my health goal is achieved, I’d like to try to maintain it with food choices if I can.  However, I recognize there are conditions which will require lifelong dependence on medicines and/or supplements, not to mention declining content of certain nutrients in our food sources.

Achieving Success

This week I’ve lived large, taken a chance, and dropped the magnesium which sustained me through pregnancy.  My gut is working daily!  Back in November 2013, my gut was also working very well daily, and I was set to write this post back then.  I had started butyrate (butyric acid), and although it isn’t supposed to make it to the colon, it worked like a charm on my gut.  My GI tract moved daily and even my stupid food intolerances seemed diminished just in time for Thanksgiving.

But I hate supplements (please know that I do take some). I wanted to allow my body (I consider those bacteria in my gut to be part of my body.) to make its own butyrate, so  I tried to incorporate green bananas, green plantains, cold potatoes, occasional bites of raw potato and sweet potato, some legumes, and potato starch slurried up in water each night to get my own gut bacteria to make butyrate.  Things were going great.  Just great!  I was able to stop my butyrate and still have the same effects.  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.

Then, we were blessed with pregnancy.  Let me rephrase that.  We were blessed with a baby.  Pregnancy is no sleigh ride with jingle bells. (Increased constipation has always been in an issue in pregnancy.  This time was much better.  There was a time at about 14 weeks along where my gut completely stopped and nothing I did made it move.  I got worried, but after a couple of weeks, that lifted and magnesium helped again.)  However, I worked through all the food and supplement aversions and stomached magnesium, which I needed again every single day in excessive doses.  I bid “good-bye” to butyrate and resistant starch foods, which sounded disgusting during this time.  I delivered in July a beautiful, healthy girl.

About two weeks ago, I decided it was again time to get rid of that excessive magnesium and all that it was probably doing to my calcium balance.  Besides that, the magnesium didn’t always work daily.  I decided to take butyrate again and started incorporating resistant starch foods into my diet.  Would the experiment work for me again?  I was nervous since I had proclaimed success with butyrate in fall of 2013.  What if it failed?  I would have reported it, you know.  But I would have felt very stupid because I never want to lead anyone astray.  The experiment for me has successfully repeated itself.  Now all that needs to happen is to continue the resistant starch foods and see if I can taper myself off of the butyrate supplement.


So you see, mine is not the most glorious nutritional conversion story there is.  But it’s real.  It has convinced me that eating a nutrient dense diet, excluding inflammatory foods, and supporting the body’s bacterial flora is key to health and curing disease.  I am pretty much 100% convinced that this experiment would never have worked two and one-half years ago in the gut that I had then.  I’ve worked very hard and tried a lot of things to rehabilitate my broken colon.  In the next post, I am going to list what I feel has been most important for getting my gut peristalsis in working order.  I will report what worked for me.  Don’t assume that what works for me will work for you.  I want to make sure you seek the advice of your doctor; I don’t want you to overlook serious health conditions because you’ve given up on conventional medicine.  Don’t use my story as medical advice.  That it is not.  This is my story.

Photo credit:

Originally from en.wikipeida.  Author Dflock.  Now public domain.

48 thoughts on “The Unglorious Call to Action

  1. Boundless

    The new book “Wheat Belly Total Health” (Davis) has a significant amount of content specifically on gut recovery, and I’m only halfway through reading it.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I think a lot of people do too. I remember being taught in med school that every three days was to be considered absolutely normal. Just glad I finally learned nutrition/gut health so I can pass good habits on to my children.

  2. Debbie

    You know, I can’t believe we’re the only ones with this problem. Considering all the over-the-counter constipation aids out there, I get the feeling this is an epidemic no one talks about. I do talk about it ! and no one I know relates – and even the internet conversations seem to trend toward diarrhea or both diarrhea and constipation. Never just being blocked. I suppose debilitating diarrhea is worse than constipation – after all, we can hide it. No need to rush anywhere!

    So – keep writing! I’ve been adding banana flour to my potato starch and also a new probiotic, BB536. Not much of a change – not that things are bad. But there was no movement this morning, and I’m feeling it – so it’s that motility issue that is so confounding. By the way, I’m a coffee drinker, and I’m not sure if that it also helping me go. I drank plenty before the success with starch and probiotics, so I think if it’s helping at all it isn’t a major factor.

    We must persevere on our quest. Maybe a comic strip?

    Take care –


    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hi Debbie:

      Yes! A comic strip! 🙂 Do you draw?

      In that coffee stimulates bile which can stimulate peristalsis, some people have great success with it and swear by it for constipation. It in and of itself doesn’t help me–but maybe it offers something–like you said, nothing major. For me, not detrimental at all for GI.

      I do think constipation is a hugely prevalent problem. Reflective of our terrible gut health–and thus systemic health. But,like you say, there are some of us who have it “different.” Unless you have it “different,” I don’t think you can appreciate it as a real problem. And also it’s not appreciated because modern medicine is way behind in recognizing gut health’s role.

      Very fascinating stuff. I am just glad I have for sure made huge gains! For that I am grateful. Thanks for the encouragement. Nice to have when you write posts like these. ~Terri

      1. Anonymous

        Thank you x a million! Have suffered from severe constipation for 32 years. Took ex-lax for all those years and almost died from being so backed up after thinking I would try to stop using laxatives. I’ve spent the last two years searching the Internet for information and learned about BUTYRIC acid just last night. Found your post this morning. Found out about GAPS DIET ABOUT 3 months ago . Pray to God that BUTYRIC acid will help me. Thank you for posting the best article EVER about real constipation! I could never go to the bathroom without using laxatives. I took antibiotics 3-4 times a year since I was 19 and I am sure this is what cause send my leaky gut. Drastic change in diet for the last two years and tried everything possible with no success.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Hi, Someone! Every case is different, but I understand as well as anyone can. My motility is far from perfect, but at least the matter is controlled here for me! And at times, it is amazingly normal! THAT would have been impossible had I never kept trying. I’ll get an update post up “soon.” Just never enough time!

  3. Debbie

    One more thought: I wonder why – or if – our bodies aren’t making tons of butyrate by now? I’m eating fermented vegetables and have been taking SBO probiotics for almost a year. I’m going to try taking actual butyrate as you did, and see what happens. But I wonder why the PS and SBO – including fermented vegetables twice a day – aren’t creating cities and cities of butyrate?

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Butyrate seems to be “my ticket” to my endpoint. But I don’t think, based on some correspondence I’ve had with people, that it helps everyone. Assumed to not make it to the colon where it works. So I’ve no clue why it helps me quite yet. Heisenbug’s blog, I’m on my phone and can’t link to it, has some posts that may help answer your question. I read them awhile back but need to refresh. But if you haven’t been over there yet–do check it out!

      1. Linda

        Hi Terri, me again from today, sept 16,2015. I can’t figure out how to post, only to post to a reply. Anyways, can you please tell me what brand of Butyric Acid you use or used? The brand and dosage and what time of day you take it, how many times a day and how you take it, with food, before food or in between meals, right when you get up, right before bed, etc. would really appreciate the details. Also did you notice any side effects like rapid heart beat or dry mouth and especially too much energy?.. I am so hopeful that this acid will help me too. By the way, I read one of the earlier posts about people getting a histamine reaction to certain things. I researched that and found out that taking a large dose of vitamin C( 4000 mg for me) that it blocks the histamine reaction I get when taking many things including fermented foods. I can’t remember how it works but it works. Maybe this info will help someone else. I couldn’t even take 1 tsp of Braggs apple cider vinegar without having a terrible reaction to it. ( it affected me emotionally). Now I always take some vitamin c if I try a new supplement and it bothers me in some way. Thanks again for sharing all your info about the constipation. It’s so incredibly helpful.😀😇

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Hi, Linda:

        Warning!!! LONG reply!

        That’s cool about the vitamin C tip. (Guess the 4 grams didn’t help your constipation, though—mine either. Too bad, eh?)—-I’m sorry about the posting problems. That’s always inconvenient. Thanks for taking the effort to leave a comment anyhow. I know it’s a nuisance when the reply process messes up because there’s a couple of blogs I really like but I can’t leave comments easily. Takes me 5 minutes to read the article and an hour to finally give up and not leave a comment I wanted!—-I keep coming back to Body Bio calcium/magnesium butyrate complex which I simply buy on Amazon. About two years ago when I started taking it, it seemed to work nearly immediately. I stopped my magnesium and then the next morning was normal and each day subsequently was normal–no straining, no hardness, full evacuation feeling, etc. I was able to only take the magnesium laxative I have to take maybe once every 10 days or so and only when things seemed like I had to strain. I was able to transition OFF of the butyrate by using foods high in resistant starch daily, including potato starch (which I was also able to eliminate). This success lasted about two months until I became pregnant. Then, since that point, my gut has been doing whatever it wants to do the last two years regardless of what I do for it. (Poor, rebellious thing. 🙂 ) I tried completely retracing my steps from two years ago. No luck. I tried different butyrate supplements. No luck. I tried all kinds of stuff (which I will post about and which was safe in nursing as I still nurse). No luck. BUT two weeks ago, I decided to try once again the butyrate. Because, even if it doesn’t help my motility, it still seems to offer an edge on my ability to eat certain foods (eggs, nuts, etc). I swear, I took that Thursday night, and Friday morning things were normal again. And have been since then for two weeks. Only one dose of the mag laxative. I just don’t understand. I think hormones play a huge role, and perhaps as the baby weans, things are starting to function more normally. I don’t know. But it is amazing and it’s embarrassing to say that I hope it doesn’t stop. A person shouldn’t be so hopeful and anticipatory about pooping each morning. But I am.

        Someone left a comment about Body Bio being a bad company and having actions taken against them. I looked into that. I left a reply on that somewhere on the blog. It didn’t look like it had to do with the product, but their marketing—which seems like is a common sore point in supplements. So I’m not saying they’re a great company or even good, I’m saying their supplement helps me and I couldn’t find that there was anything harmful in the supplements.

        I take two capsules three times a day. I usually take them with meals, but sometimes if I skip breakfast (intermittent fast), I just take it with black coffee. In the past, I played with the timing and took some on full stomach and some on empty as I wanted to know if one seemed better. I don’t appreciate a difference. I’ve also take up to two capsules four times a day. Again no issues. Because they don’t use any enzymes at all to be absorbed by the body, unlike long chain fats, I can’t appreciate that it would matter whether I take food or not with them. Other than that yucky capsule is sitting in your stomach and that might need some acid to break it down or some food if a person has a sensitive stomach. Sometimes I get really wrapped up in things, and so my butyrate dosing pattern throughout the day is not consistent. It hasn’t seemed to matter much.

        Finally, I noticed two years ago a little headache when I started. Some tummy grumbling. That’s it beside the desired effect of waking up in the morning and having a BM. The headache stopped after a few days. This time, this last month, I had a very bad sleepy feeling for five days, despite enough sleep. Like someone had given me Benadryl. We also had houseguests and I was working hard, so it could have been that too. It has gone away, and things are good.

        I DO have to wonder about whether or not certain batches of the butyrate are “stronger” than others. It just is weird that it works so well sometimes, and other times not. Sometimes the batches are really stinky (as butyrate should be!!!!!) and other times not.

        I think that’s all I can think of. One day, if it is possible, my goal is to be off of all supplements, having a normal BM daily, and having a clear head no matter what I choose to eat (but I will 99.9% of the time choose real, whole, food). It’s good to dream. “Build your castles in the sky, for that is where they should be. Now, build the foundations under them.” (A little philosophy for our guts…)

        Best wishes! Pardon typos.


      3. Linda

        Hi Terri! Love the long detailed replies. I have never met anyone with this problem so it’s so great to know what your situation is and what you do to help it. I’m wondering if your headache feelings could be from slight dehydration from taking the pills? I’m thinking magnesium moves water out of the tissues and into the gut? Can’t remember if I mentioned it in my first post but a month ago I started doing probiotic enemas every 5 days but I believe it washed out a lot of good bacteria because week after week I stated getting super bad inflammation in my body. I stopped and now in the process of trying to rebuild some of that gut bacteria I lost. But I mentioned the enemas because they were making me dehydrated and I felt the same symptoms you described when you took the butyric. Regarding the supplement working then not working, etc, I know that when I take laxatives, they work best when I drink lots of water the day before, and all that day when I’m going to take them, then take them right before bed. I’m going to check locally to see if I can get a similar Butyrate like you take so I can start taking it today. I just PRAY it works for me without side affects. Things always affect my heartbeat ( I have a few stents) and am normal weight and always lived a healthy lifestyle but Im a juvenile diabetic for 40 years now, since I was 10.

      4. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Dear Linda, Just for my mental notes, how long have you had to suffer with the slow motility? Did it come on slowly, lifelong, or an abrupt change? And do you have any gastropareseis also from the DM?—I do try to be diligent with my hydration status. Thanks for the caution. It is a good reminder; the magnesium in the butyrate is far less than the amount I had to take to get my gut to move.—Being a diabetic with stents, you know this, but move slowly and cautiously, reading everything, everything you can, and find a trusted healthcare provider (hopefully you already have a great one). I want you, and anyone reading this, absolutely safe and taken care of. Butyrate itself is usually safe, but if it comes with sodium, magnesium, calcium, MCTs etc, then some people have contraindications (medical reasons they shouldn’t take these) to these other substances in the butyrate. Always caution.—Keep me posted. Don’t mean to “carry on,” but I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind people.—-Terri

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Jenny, I would be very happy if something I write benefits somebody else. I really thought all this stuff was craziness and scorned natural medicine/alternative medicine. When I started trying diet change, it was with the expectation that it would FAIL. Well, it worked and sure changed my la ti da, “I am a medical doctor. I know this won’t work” attitude. 🙂

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Oh, you. Yes, I’ve tried kombucha regularly, but although I consume it regularly, I did so before the “breakthrough.” So it wasn’t “the key,” but maybe more of a low-lying, heal up the gut, kind of thing. Water kefir I’ve had but not regularly. Never made the special effort to buy the grains and learn how to do it. My sister makes it though.

      1. IrishMum

        I can’t drink either, I get too much of a histamine response, but I think my kids get benefit from them. Besides they think it’s like soda 🙂

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        My kids all like it now too. I don’t know if I get a histamine response from it. I know I try to keep to a certain amount or else I get a little headache. I quit trying to figure that out–gave me more of a headache– and just stick to my amount.

  4. Rachael @ mummyflyingsolo

    Love hearing the background to your story. I can’t believe how blocked up you have been. Must have been soooo painful!!!! Keep on writing and sharing your story. There are so many people out there that you can help. I’m sure of it. I’ve just started (day 1) the I Quit Sugar program here so looking forward to a bunch of new yummy recipes I can add to my repertoire all while getting healthier again. Today is a tough day. I must have more sugar in my diet than I realised and I’m quite good at knowing about labels and the like. Shocking!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I’m sure the chronicity of the problem perpetuated the problem, too, as the colon will begin to “enlarge” according to the load placed upon it. Once it adjusts to increased load, it will peristalse less. Anyhow, I’m just about “cured!!!” Just with no thanks to any remedies dished out by my field. Needed a huge overhaul from the ground up! Good luck with the I Quit Sugar! I know once it gets rolling for you, you’ll have no problems! Hope you feel better in the next day or two once your body adjusts. Are you still running? And BTW, I e-mailed you regarding your blog. Wondering if you got my e-mail.

      1. Rachael @ mummyflyingsolo

        Oh I’ve been SHOCKING at even checking my blog email account. I’ll go and have a look. Sorry! Nope not running right now. I’d love too but we are trying to fall pregnant and the only two times I’ve fallen this past year have been when I stopped running (although they both eventuated in early losses). Anyway we are starting IVF now so my current exercise is a 20min vigorous walk along the beach every day. It’s not running but it is still nice. I use the time to listen to a TED talk which is pretty awesome!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Not normal. I too thought it was normal enough until it stretched to just twice a month to the loo. I mean how lucky was I? No poop. No stink. No need for toilet brush. 🙂 Seriously. I mean I thought I felt fine for most years. Mostly. I never connected frequent headaches and allergies along with my gut. Crazy talk, I know. Tell her when she’s in a nursing home when she’s old, she’ll be carted to the ER to be digitally dis-impacted. That’s how I met one of my favorite patients. She loves me forever for making her feel better. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Curing My Colon | The HSD

  6. Jo tB

    Hi Terri, great post. I think it is important to talk about it, often. I Always thought I was the only one with the problem, but no longer. I used to make water kefir, but found it didn’t help at all. I think it was because the good bacteria didn’t get to the colon. From Tatertot I learned that the bacteria need to “hitch a ride” on a medium and water doesn’t do it. So I switched to whole milk kefir (organic and looked for a brand that wasn’t homogenised). The beneficial bacteria can hitch a ride on the milk solids/fat. And I increased my fat intake substantially, because for decades I had been eating extremely low fat. It does improve my situation.

    I started making beet kvass as well, which is supposed to ber beneficial. After just 2 glasses of the stuff I am going to the toilet even better yet!! So things are definitely moving.

    And I’ve recently purchased a SquattyPotty. That is also helping, I think. I bit too early to tell yet.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Yes! Yes! Yes! The probiotics are definitely better transported with fats! I most definitely increased my fat intake too. I am no longer afraid of fat, but sugar I fight to regulate! I have never been able to get the bowel movement effect that some people report with high dose fat/olive oil, though.

      Beet kvass! I’ll have to look into that! Thanks! Ha! You got the Squatty Potty too! It helps anatomically. But in pregnancy it was way too high! LOL!

  7. Jo tB

    Just to be clear, the bacteria need to hitch a ride to get past the stomach acids. Which is why, apparently, propbiotic suppliments often don’t work, they get chewed up by stomach acids.

  8. Ashwin Patel

    Terri, Have you had a breath test to show if you are positve for Methane gas? An overgrowth of Methane producing Archae microbes in the Colon (they consume Hydrogen produced by other Commensal Microbes) are thought to contribute towards Chronic or functional Constipation by impacting on Gut Motility via the neurotrnansmitter Serotonin. Reducing the population of these microbes or inhibiting the process of Methanogenesis may cure the problem. I have a list of Herbs and Spices that do just this.

    Methane on breath testing is associated with constipation: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Methanogens in Human Health and Disease

      1. Ashwin Patel

        Inhibition of Methanogenesis :
        Two very useful Herbs are:
        1. Terminalia Chebula ( one of three ingredients in the Ayurvedic formulation “TRIPHALA”)
        2. Indian Gooseberry, more commonly known as “Amla”…..Emblica Officinails (the second ingredient in “TRIPHALA”)
        3.Garlic, Garlic Powder, Garlic oil
        1. Ginger
        2. Turmeric (may work via anti-microbial action or indirectly by inducing Bile secretion from Gall Bladder)
        3. Cloves
        4. Nutmeg
        5. Thyme and Ajwain (both contain Thymol and Carvacrol)
        You have already found fatty foods and oils helpful. These may work by inducing secretion of Bile, which has anti-microbial properties.
        Some of the spices are found in spice Blends used daily in Indian households.
        1. Curry Powder (Turmeric, Dried Ginger, Cumin, Coriander, Mustard Seeds, Cayenne (Chilli)Powder
        2. Garam Masala ( Cloves, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Black Peppercorns, Cumin, Cinnamon)
        3. Tea Masala (also known as Chai Masala) (Peppercorns, Dried Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg and some people add Fennel)
        It is quite possible that it is the balance between Hydrogen and Methane gas produced that determines the final result on gut motility. Some of the above Herbs/spices are known to inhibit methanogenesis while others are thought to increase Hydrogen via fermentation of suitable commensal microbes.
        An Indian Curry is called for!!

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Ashwin, Hello! I have read briefly on Triphala before (briefly). I opted not for it due to my thoughts that it was something to provide temporary relief as long as it was used daily. I am looking to be like “everybody else” ( 🙂 ): drug free and still having BMs. (I mean, seriously, why can’t I!?! Rhetorical question.) Perhaps your comment leads to the idea that it (or two of its constituents) would be somewhat temporary and simply a step in regaining my gut by modifying flora. Kind of like how I removed all grains for 18 months during GAPS dieting. So with your comment, I looked it up a bit more, still not enough but if anyone is reading this, these were helpful reads:
        T. Chebula:
        E. Officinalis: AND

        Everything else you mentioned I have in my pantry (except Ajwain). The whole family LOVES Indian curry. An Indian curry IS called for! An Indian curry MONTH more likely! Do we have to forego the naan and kheer? 🙂


  9. Alex

    I am jumping on this bandwagon about a year too late! Just had to let you know how grateful I am for this site. My gravity defying GI tract has taken over my life for two years now and it’s taken me this long to work my way through every type of doctor, pharmaceutical and diet known to the conventional medical establishment. I’m finally getting better slowly after finding a functional medicine practitioner and trawling my way through thousands of web pages and doing my own research. Yours is the most helpful website I’ve found!


    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thanks Alex. I hope you get your gut fixed and I hope I do too! I’ve got a few more things to type up that I’ve tried, but I don’t get much time with the kids. If you get things down and it lasts, I’d LOVE to hear what made the difference!


      1. Linda

        Hi Terri,

        Yes, I am very well studied when it comes to my diabetes and heart and every other part of my body. Lol. This is a warning! Too, this will be long. 😆 At age 9 I started to gain weight and got kind of fat. Then at age 10 I had my tonsils out and while in the hospital came down with a very bad upper respiratory infection so that when I left the hospital they put me on antibiotics for about three weeks. About one year later at age 10 they diagnosed me with diabetes but I was still producing insulin so it technically was not juvenile diabetes at that time. Mom immediately put me on a strict diet I lost 20 pounds and got back to normal weight. Finally at age 12, a year and a half later they had to start me on insulin. Between the ages of 10 and 12 I started having a lot of cavities and by the age of 15 I had my first root canal. I have been played with tons of dental problems and I’ve had 15 route canals since that first one. I became really skinny between the ages of 11 and 12 when I was not taking any insulin as you probably know why. But then from the time I started insulin at age 12 until about 16 I slowly started to gain weight and was overweight but not grossly overweight. My my weight stayed the same until I was 19 and I was unhappy with it and a friend told me about being bulimic so for three years I was doing that. Well I think after all of that my body just couldn’t take it anymore and now looking back I realize tha my weight stayed the same until I was 19 and I was unhappy with it and a friend told me about being bulimic so for three years I was doing that. Well I think after all of that, my body just wasnt able to recover and repopulate with good bacteria in my gut. Now, looking back, I think that the antibiotics when I had my tonsils out ,changed my gut bacteria and then maybe even caused juvenile diabetes or the problem with my insulin( insulin resistance maybe?, and not full juvenile diabetes at that point?, since my body was still producing SOME insulin). So from that point forward my body was never able to recover and my gut bacteria was off and I had one dental problem after another and then like I said when I was about 19 I started being bulimic which lasted for three years and from the time I was 19 up until maybe five years ago I constantly had one infection after another every three months I was on antibiotics. Sinus infection, urinary tract infection, diverticulitis, conjunctivitis, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and others I can’t remember. I would be on some sort of antibiotics every three months of my adult life, so for the last 30 years pretty much. I’m sure of it now that all those antibiotics completely destroyed all my good got bacteria and that’s why was sick on my life and also why I have heart problems nerve damage and everything all the other problems that I have . Interestingly enough my ex-boyfriend who is the same age and has juvenile diabetes also, and has had it for the same amount of time as I have, is very healthy. And I have learned why. Number one he drinks beer on a regular basis and beer is fermented and it must be giving him good got bacteria and protecting his body. He chewed tobacco on and off all his life and that protected his teeth so he has no feelings no cavities. He ate beans rice or potatoes three times a week so that gave him the resistant starch she needed to feed the good bacteria. I truly believe now that all those things that I listed above kept him healthy all these years. He’s always been a very up and happy person and I couldn’t understand why I’m not feeling happy since I’ve eaten well pretty much all my life exercise and do everything possible for my health I don’t drink or smoke or take drugs and for the last 5 years, no antibiotics. Been taking natural stuff like garlic pills and other holistic medicine. However on December 1 of 2013, I finally decided to take things into my own hands. Menopause had started and I found out that brags apple cider vinegar or helped keep the hot flashes away. The vinegar actually helped with stomach issues and digestive issues. Then I learned about taking gelatin for the amino acids. I had set out on a journey to try to fix my Gut. I started going all Paleo no gluten no carbs nothing except grass fed meat free range eggs from the farm, distilled water with trace minerals added and fresh lemon juice to help stabilize my PH, salad, low glycemic vegetables. I was taking about 15 different supplements : folic acid, glucosamine & chondroitin, garlic pills, fish oil, and then added inositol powder, fermented cod liver oil, Great Lakes gelatin 1 tsp a day, 2 tsp ACV, B complex liquid, alpha lipoic acid and nutrihold K2 to try and move the calcium out of my arteries and tendons to where the calcium should be. Well something worked and after about 3 weeks I started going to the bathroom about every other day. That lasted 9 months and then abruptly stopped after a heated emotional phone call with my ex boyfriend. So that phone call was almost one year ago. Since then I have spent all my free time on the internet searching for what’s wrong and about two months ago figured out it was my gut bacteria that has been controlling everything. So I started making homemade yogurt and I think it helped my mood but nothing still on helping with going to the bathroom. Then made sauerkraut but the salt makes my feet so swollen and painful, so I stopped with that. ( I have really bad inflammation in my hands and feet and now I know it’s because of the bad guy bugs. After figuring out 99% of my health problems are caused by bad gut bugs, I went to the store and bought Digestive Advantage and took 2 before bed one night. WOW! For about 1 week the pain in my feet from inflammation, improved by about 80%!!!! So I bought several kinds of probiotics and of course started research and learning all I can about them. So I was feeling happy mentally and my body was feeling incredibly better but still No Pooping!!!! Lol. So I read the book by Natasha Campbell McBride: GUT AND PHYSCOLOGY SYNDROME. Awesome book! But she recommends enemas. So I did 1 every 5 days for a month and inadvertently cleaned out all the good bacteria in my gut!!!!!! Now I’m feeling worse than I have in ten years!. So made yogurt today and fermenting cabbage now and ordered what are supposed to be superior probiotics with SBO, and ordered the BodyBio BUTYRIC acid. Should get it Monday. I’m sad and in pain and just praying that all this mentioned will help me. I read that the BUTYRIC Acid helps with gut permeability better than anything else, and , as I am sure I have leaky gut syndrome, I’m praying it heals that over time and then my gut will start repopulating with good bacteria again. I will know it’s working if my mood improves and the pain from inflammation improves greatly in my feet and hands. I wrote all this in hopes that other juvenile diabetics might benefit from my story. 😇 Sorry if it’s choppy in my writing, I’m sure I left lots of things out but hopefully you will get the jist of it all.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        What a shame about all those antibiotics for so many years. However, the 9 months of improved motility and the times of good mood stability have to suggest that near-normal gut functioning is within reach despite that. Be patient. Be persistent. Keep eyes forward. I hope your inflammatory symptoms (which I believe mood is inflammatory symptomatology in many cases too) turn around soon. Thanks for writing for others, too.

  10. Linda

    Hi Terri, sorry about the last email. Rainstorms here in Florida causing lots of lightening and knocked me off computer and I see my last post became all jumbled up and repetitive. I think you will get the idea. And to answer your question.. I have been having the problem of not pooping for 30 years! 😢

      1. Linda

        Your blog has steered me into yet another direction of research to find my cure. Thank you for being so open about your personal poopoo’s ! Lol I will update my post as time goes by so that others may benefit. By the way, I bought and took the calcium/magnesium butyrate from BodyBio. It gave me heart pains like a slow achy burn. It was quite bad, so ordered the sodium/ potassium butyrate from BodyBio. Hoping I can tolerate it better. Ta Ta for now….

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Yes. I’m too open. 🙂 People are like, “Who is this chic?” Ah, well. I never worry for my sake, but my poor, dear loved ones. LOL! They probably cringe a little.—I’m so sorry about the cal/mag butyrate trial. I know one supplement which helps one person can definitely make another sicker. You be careful! And be well. Adios.

  11. Kathy

    So happy to have found your blog Terri after YEARS of chronic constipation and research! Your’s truly is the closest to my story of any I’ve read. At 68, I am still dealing with constipation – will think I’ve found a supplement routine that works but only for a while, then it’s back to the computer. I hope you will continue to share anything that works and have a question: are you still gluten free? Wondering if it’s worth a shot. Looking for a diet or probiotic that will clear mine up. So far, no luck on the probiotics. Any you recommend? I need to reread your blog from the beginning, so sorry if you’ve already recommended one. I’m lucky that I do not have true IBS symptoms, just poo that won’t move!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Kathy, Yes, it is strange, those of us with simply the slow transit! I will share some more stuff I’ve done when I can. I have a post being written in my mind, but getting it on the blog is taking forever. I am still gluten free. I have tried re-introducing it a few times, and each time, it definitely makes my constipation worse. So I think I’m leaving it out for lots longer. For me, working through a real food, low-allergen elimination diet helped beyond immensely. Diet is key for me. Probiotic-wise, I haven’t found any that really strongly makes a difference. I do take them, although not always the same one. Currently, I’m simply relying on Bubbie’s pickles and juice with the live ferments. I’ll keep working on getting that post down too. I’ve done several things. Take good care! For me, there wasn’t one magic bullet, it was a culmination of efforts!

      Take good care!–Terri

  12. thepasturedchick

    i stumbled upon this article while researching butyrate products. I felt like I was reading my own story! Though my story only started about 2.5 years ago. Anyway, I would love to know your diet plan. Can you point me to a page where you outline what you eat?

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I have been suffering alone, figuring out things all by myself, and coming to the same conclusions (mega doses of Magnesium = not good). I am just embarking on the butyrate, but want to get off of that one day also. I have greatly reduced my iodine supplementation to just 300mgs per day.


    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Lisa: Thanks for reaching out! I have developed a “safe” diet by I guess what you’d call an elimination diet. I try to venture out from that safe diet in order to have better diet and family satisfaction, and sometimes it goes very well. Then, when something seems off (my GI slows, bloats very badly, my headaches come back, etc) then I run back to my safe diet. My safe diet mimics autoimmune paleo (not by choice, but by observation via the elimination diet), except I can eat potatoes and rice. My broader diet when things are going well includes a serving of nuts (usually on salads or a Brazil nut for selenium); some peanut butter; small amount of goat or sheep cheese (Manchego or chevré); small amount of corn products; and if I’m really lucky, a slice of GF bread or GF baked good. Eggs are very bad for me no matter what. My goal is to not have to worry about food but eat a real, whole food predominant diet with occasional mainstream celebration meals. I’m currently down to about 1 tablespoon of Magnesium Calm about every third night. Still on butyrate periodically—I get off then add it back when things seem to flare. My gut overall seems improving, improving. Slowly. I don’t think much about it anymore! Which is good! Good luck to you! Hope this helped. If not, try me again! 🙂



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