About Me – My Extreme IBS Story

I had a happy childhood. I was your average, (dad would say cute), healthy child. I loved eating ice-cream with my brothers and playing with Mosquito our beautiful blonde labrador puppy. I remember my dad saying

"Jesus!! this dog has ADHD or something, she's like a mosquito all up in my god damn face".

my-small-puppy

The name stuck and my dad, mom, mosquito or anyone around me growing up never had any issues with their digestion. Those years were great.

Actually Mosquito did have stomach issues once but she broke into our a neighbors trash and ate something, I still remember Dad going crazy about that.

One morning waking up in my dingy shared-apartment in New York everything changed. It was like an overnight curse.

my-apartment

Many Doctors find it easy to slap the IBS diagnosis on their patients. It's an easy solution for them. It's not uncommon for minor digestive symptoms to just be brushed off as IBS.

In my case, weeks after my digestive symptoms started to spiral out of control. Sitting in my Doctors office, I was simply told I was over-reacting and simply had..... "IBS".

Alicia-Harper-Stomach

Without the help of my Doctors I felt extremely alone and like everyone had given up on me.

My long-term boyfriend at the time left me as well just to rub some extra salt into my already deep wounds. 

I started losing A LOT of weight. I had brain fog. I had bloating. I had daily diarrhea. I had stomach cramps. I had bacterial vaginosis. 

This couldn't be life now, surely not?

"Alicia..... it's nathingg to warryyy abawt.... Yer blood tests are fiiiine, ya jest have IBS. Feel free to cam back, anytamm" was what my Donald Trump looking Doctor droned on.

I cried myself to sleep most nights and started praying for the first time. I woke one morning to the sun strangely lighting up my dingy bedroom. Then, after showering, I walked to our kitchen still lit up with the sun.

my-bedroom-sun

"Dear God, please help me heal my crippling diarrhea"

Sitting on the table was a book. "The Microbiome solution". The book it's self wasn't that life changing and the moment wasn't that dramatic. I skimmed through it while eating my toast.

It did lead me down a rabbit hole, through a forest and on a path too healing. For a long time I thought God might have put the book there. My ex always said I was gullible and naive. Looking back now though I think I know how it ended up there.

my-room-mate

It was Jack my old room mate who had moved out the night before. He must have heard me crying and maybe even praying if his head was close to our shared wall because I definitely heard him some nights.

No doubt, my room mates saw me going to the bathroom often but it's not a topic you can talk about openly with people you aren't super close with. 

I know he was studying to be a nutritionist or something a long those lines. He must have figured out what was going on and ordered the book and put it there for me.

He was super healthy and full of energy. I always felt like there was this warm glow coming from his face. 

That book lit up a light bulb in my head, I started learning about the Gut-Microbiome and how an inbalance of bacteria could set off many different symptoms like an upset stomach, weight changes, fatigue, auto-immune conditions, food intolerances, bloating, gas. (1) Pretty much everything I was suffering with.

Probiotics-Bottle-With-FoodProbiotics-Bottle-With-Food

I started eating fermented foods like Kimchi, Saurkraut, Kefir, Miso. I cut out processed foods from my diet and things started to slowly get better. Then I started ordering Probiotic supplements. I would look up medical studies for the strains to see what they could help with and then started ordering different probiotics online.

Many of them didn't work for me at the start. It was a little frustrating but eventually I started to get amazing results. I learnt that capsules should be acid resistant, when the best times to take probiotics are. I figured out what strains provided the best results for different symptoms and about CFU counts. 

I can happily say that today I am in great health and life is good. I am a self-confessed probiotic nerd and owe my life to them. That is the story of how I started ProbioticReviewGirl.com

Alicia-Harper-Headshot

Alicia Harper