“I’ve had a stomach ache my entire life. I don’t remember a time when my stomach didn’t hurt. I remember times when it got better for a while and I remember times of great stress when it became almost unbearable.
About 3 years ago was one of those times. I had recently changed my diet to include more whole grains. I have always been interested in nutrition and wellness and I enjoyed eating what I thought was “healthy”. After a month of eating more whole grains, I was sicker than I had ever been before. I was exhausted all the time. I would fall asleep playing with my kids or while I was working, and I would have to come home and lie down for hours. My mind was in a constant fog that never lifted. My stomach swelled and hurt terribly every night and every morning I woke up nauseous. I went to many doctors throughout my life. I had many expensive and invasive tests that put my family and myself under tremendous stress. The doctors never found anything. When I was a child they told my parents it was all in my head. As I returned years later to new doctors I was offered various medications, but they could never tell me any reason why I felt so terrible.
Thankfully, my good friends Dr. Johnny and Sue Gomes were beginning a Functional Medicine practice, Optimal Health & Wellness. I made an appointment and I remember feeling amazed at the difference in Dr. Gomes’ treatment approach. He talked to me for at least 3 hours and explained everything in detail. Once I understood why my current diet and lifestyle were actually making me miserable I was able to commit to making permanent changes. I remember the first day I ate a completely Paleo diet. I cried. It was the first time I could remember not feeling nauseous in months.
Over the next 3 years I have worked with Johnny and his wife Sue. There were times I had to be on a very strict Autoimmune Protocol diet combined with a Low FODMAP diet. There wasn’t much to eat except greens and meat, but… it worked! It worked without medications and side effects, and it made me feel amazing. Of course there were times when I felt deprived and sad and socially outcast because of the all the foods I could not eat. I was able to lean on Dr. Gomes and Sue during these times too. That is one of the best things about Optimal Health & Wellness…it isn’t just a pill or a diet recommendation. They were able to help me manage stress and look at things from a different perspective that helped me to stay on track. I am so happy to say that 3 years later I am feeling better than I have in my entire life. If I end up with a stomach ache, I know exactly why and how to fix it. I’ve been able to add lots of food back into my diet because I allowed my gut to heal. I won’t ever be able to eat gluten, and may not even be able to eat some other things either, but I enjoy every bite I eat and most of all I can enjoy my life again.”