India was a gorgeous bundle of energy with pink streaks in her hair and a fledgling career in marketing. But her stomach was a major problem in her life. She couldn’t wear the clothes she wanted to as she was always conscious of how bloated and uncomfortable she would feel by the end of the day. She’d tried various herb teas and over the counter remedies, but nothing seemed to work unless she refrained from eating at all.

We started the consultation by talking about her history as a child. She had grown up healthily, but used to get tonsillitis regularly, which meant she had a course of antibiotics or two most winters. Then as a teenager her skin had been bad, so she’d been prescribed a course of antibiotics for several months. Her stomach problems had started at around the same time and steadily got worse.

We started with a comprehensive GI Effects test. I use this test with clients a lot as it is extremely comprehensive and unbelievably useful for many issues. This is a test that looks at the health of the large intestine. It gives a picture of any inflammatory markers; the diversity and abundance of any bacteria; looks for any parasites or harmful yeasts and bacteria; and how well you produce stomach acid and enzymes.

Unsurprisingly, India’s test showed that she had a very small colony of beneficial bacteria, and overgrowths of several harmful species of bacteria and yeasts. All the antibiotics she had been given through her teenage years had stripped her gut of most of her good bacteria. Her intestines were showing signs of ‘Leaky gut’, and she had troubles digesting and absorbing most nutrients.

We spent the next few months replenishing her gut bacteria and restoring a good balance using diet and supplements. Almost straight away India started to see results, with the bloating decreasing from week 1. As a bonus, her skin, hair and nails began to improve as she began to take in more nutrients as her gut healed.