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Becoming an IBD Disruptor: The Game-Changing Way You’ll Beat Crohn’s & Colitis

In this week’s episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, we’re delving into a transformative approach to managing Crohn’s and Colitis. Join us as we explore the IBD disruptor’s vision of what health looks like through your Wheel of Wellness, an innovative tool designed to help you build a comprehensive, personalized healing plan that addresses the unique complexities of IBD.

Discover how the Wheel of Wellness can help you integrate multiple healing pillars necessary for true and lasting flare-free living, from diet and lifestyle (momstyle) adjustments to unconventional treatments and mind/body practices. This episode is all about empowering you to take control of your IBD journey and create a sustainable path to long-term remission on your terms.

Tune in To Learn About:

✅ [10:03] Discover your personalized path and gut healing in a 360 vision

✅ [14:36] What’s included in your Wheel of Wellness

✅ [24:19] What unconventional treatments really looks like.

✅ [30:27] Why ditching FOMO and embracing the slower path of motherhood is actually a bonus for your long term health.

✅ [32:13] Do it Like a Mom: Family ways to make your Wheel of Wellness work for you

✅ [34:50] Grab my Wheel of Wellness Building Tool Kit to get started on your IBD disrupting, personalized path to health today

It’s time to take control of your health. Put the power back within your control. This is the episode to help you do just that!

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

>> Your Wheel of Wellness Tool Building Kit {free resource}

>> The Ultimate IBD Diet Decoder Quiz

>> Join The Gut Love Community for Moms with IBD

>> Book Your FREE IBD Consultation with Karyn Today

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on YouTube

Karyn on Instagram

Karyn on Facebook

Episode Transcript:

Episode 107 of The Cheeky Podcast

Karyn [00:00:08]:

Hey there, mama.

Karyn [00:00:09]:

Welcome to season two of the Cheeky.

Karyn [00:00:12]:

Podcast for moms with IBD.

Karyn [00:00:14]:

I’m Karyn Haley, functional IBD nutrition and.

Karyn [00:00:17]:

Wellness coach and Crohn’s warrior.

Karyn [00:00:19]:

This podcast is all about us moms.

Karyn [00:00:22]:

Because our IBD plays by different rules. Season two is juicy, full of unconventional wisdom, real talk, new ways to tackle our illness, and a whole lot of.

Karyn [00:00:32]:

Community empowerment, and all of us advocating.

Karyn [00:00:35]:

The hell out of our illness.

Karyn [00:00:37]:

We’re in this together, and I’m here to help you find healing on your terms.

Karyn [00:00:42]:

Let’s do this. Well, hey there, dear one. We have got a crucial IBD topic to talk about today. You know, a lot of the time when the conversation is about something as tricky as getting your guts back in gear, it’s really important that we get specific with step by step tutorials. And I have to say, I love a good step by step as a lifelong teacher. I just love step by step processes. Maybe too much because I think sometimes I can get, if somebody says they have a plan, I can really get sucked into it. But usually a step by step is a good thing.

Karyn [00:01:24]:

Like when I think about some of the back episodes of the Cheeky podcast, like back in episode 103, the Yogurt Myth. That was a really tutorial type of episode. Or maybe episode 97 that was all about ways to stimulate your vagus nerve. Very step by step concepts. But sometimes, sometimes we have to take a step back to take a look at the big picture and focus on overall healing modalities to really get a 360 view of the process. Like, I like to kind of think of it like you’re looking at the view at the top of the Grand Canyon, or maybe it’s like a Mount Kilimanjaro view. It’s breathtaking. It’s awe inspiring.

Karyn [00:02:15]:

So big picture, because when we have full control of what’s overarching, all the little things that we do to heal on a daily basis, when we know our why and how we generally want to get there, it has the power to translate then into laser focused clarity, into those nitty gritty type of pieces of the puzzle. And when we know the bigger picture, we can then hone in on the smaller things that make up the larger sphere. So today’s episode, it’s all about the biggest picture. Specifically about a vital missing piece that should be part of your big picture IBD goals, but is also often missing. And I’m going to be really honest with you here. Until about five years ago, that missing piece that we’re going to talk about today I was missing it as well. I was missing it from my IBD healing plan as well. So I had to have a complete breakdown, just basically a meltdown, like a come to Jesus sobbing on the floor, bathroom floor kind of moment, to really realize how important, like, that’s how big this was for me to realize how important this missing piece is.

Karyn [00:03:47]:

So if you have to find out today that this crucial piece, this gut healing piece, if you have to find out today that you don’t have that in place, girl, I gotta say, you’re in good company. And even better news is that it’s never too late to add this piece in. So just what was that moment? What was that come to Jesus moment for me? What was that all about? And what’s that missing piece of gut healing that’s most likely plaguing you? Well, what happens when we put all of our gut healing eggs in one basket? So for you, at this point, all of your eggs might be in the medication basket, and maybe you’re only using medication, maybe a medication only approach to cover up your IBD symptoms. And that was me for about 20 years, not even a few years, but that was me for about 20 years with IBD. I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know there were other options. But cover ups like that, they never give you that real, true, inside out healing, do they? They might look like they’re covering up the problem in a way that is long term, but truthfully, they never solve it long term. It never solves the problem in a lasting way.

Karyn [00:05:15]:

It’s like I always tell my kids, your problems will never go away if you continue to cover them up. It’s when we bravely walk through the challenge that we take its negative power away. But even when I was able to get off of the medication, only train, as I like to call it, I still succumbed to issues because truthfully, I was cocky. I thought that I had it all figured out. I figured out, I thought that I thought I had found my savior and that IBD, it would just never plague me again. I really did. I really thought that. I thought that I had licked it.

Karyn [00:05:56]:

I had found food. Glorious gut healing food. It’s the ultimate IBD healer, right? Those gut healing diets, like the specific carbohydrate diet and gaps and paleo, now that has the power to really get to your root of the root of your IBD. That’s what so many experts tell us. Just eat for your gut and bye bye IBD. And that’s what I thought for the next ten years with gut healing food as my. It was basically my north star of remission. So no Crohn’s was in sight.

Karyn [00:06:35]:

I found food and I’m healed. That’s what I’m thinking. Or so I thought. Because as it turns out, gut healing food, that approach, it’s an amazing starting place. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great starting place, but just like medication only is a great starting place. Food, just food. Just medicine. It might work for maybe other health challenges, but trust me, trust me, dear one, it is absolutely not sustainable.

Karyn [00:07:07]:

It’s not a sustainable, forward thinking action plan because IBD plays by different rules. And the biggest thing that I’ve learned in my last several years on this planet is that IBD healing takes a village. It takes a village. And your IBD healing village is a multi pillared approach. When you have many tools, not just one, even if it’s a good one, when you have many tools at your healing disposal, you can take the time to consciously work on those tools on a daily basis. And this is the missing piece. This is the key that has the power to keep your IBD in remission long term. So right now, if you’re solely relying on medication to manage your IBD, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Karyn [00:08:05]:

I have to say, and I’ve said this before, I thank God for western medicine, doctors, surgeries, medications, I think the heavens for that every day. They’re where. They’re the kind of things that are there when we need them. But if your approach to IBD healing is 100% medicine focused, it’s time to broaden your perspective because you might be missing out on many key pieces of the root cause long term IBD healing puzzle. Now, I do have to say, though, on the other hand, some IBD moms, they will opt for a medication free approach to alleviate IBD symptoms while focusing solely on some sort of dietary choice like the ones I mentioned earlier. Whatever path that might be, whatever gut healing path that might be. I did that for so long. And this can be a really good first step towards the multi pillared approach.

Karyn [00:09:08]:

But it’s so important to recognize that there’s more to the equation than just food. Managing your IBD symptoms and achieving flare free living. Can I get an amen for that? We all want that flare free living. It’s never about just one thing. It’s a complex interplay of various factors that when combined, they create a holistic remission life. And this is your missing piece. This is the missing piece on the IBD healing journey. So, those who have found lasting success in managing their IBD, the ones who have developed this multi pillared approach to healing, this is the approach that gives you the power to delve deeper into those root causes of your individual disease.

Karyn [00:10:03]:

And I. I just want to say that one more time. Your individual disease, so not the way that my disease shows up, not the way that your friend’s IBD shows up, but the way that your IBD shows up, the way it shows up for you. So when you add this missing piece, you will be able to maintain longer, healthier periods throughout your life. So today, today I’m going to introduce you to the way to bring this missing piece into your life in the easiest, most mom centered way possible. It’s all about your wheel of wellness, your personalized IBD healing framework that provides multiple angles to tackle Crohn’s and colitis effectively. Now, you might remember that I’ve mentioned your wheel of Wellness on the podcast and on my website before in different episodes, in different ways. I’ve mentioned this before, this wheel of wellness, but I’ve never dedicated an entire episode to it.

Karyn [00:11:13]:

And it’s so, so, so past time. It is so past time that I did this because this is capital h huge, my friend. The human body, it’s incredibly intricate, and IBD is a complex condition. We’re the healing modality that fits one patient is different from the healing modality that fits another. So relying solely on medication or single method, one size fits all dietary changes to heal your IBD. It’s like treating a problem that’s multifaceted in with a simple solution. It just does not fit. This is a multifaceted problem.

Karyn [00:11:57]:

It’s like, think of it this way, it’s like trying to build a house with a hammer. That’s it. You just have a hammer. But actually, you need a lot more tools. You need an entire toolbox and then some to build a house. So that’s what I’m talking about. And the beauty of adopting a multi pillared approach with your very own tailor made wheel of wellness is that it addresses your disease from multiple angles. It acknowledges that IBD manifests differently in each person, and it recognizes that there’s various factors that contribute to its onset and to its staying powder.

Karyn [00:12:38]:

But by addressing these factors at the same time, this multifaceted but at the same time type of approach, you now have the power to create an empowered, badass, comprehensive action plan that’s always at your fingertips to help you live flare free with IBD. And that’s where your wheel of wellness comes in.

Karyn [00:13:05]:

Just a quick interruption. We will get back to the podcast in a second.

Karyn [00:13:09]:

I’m wondering, are you, like many of.

Karyn [00:13:11]:

Us with Crohn’s and colitis, you’re turning to food to help heal your gut, but you’re just feeling really overwhelmed by the myriad of gut healing diets out there.

Karyn [00:13:21]:

There’s gluten free and dairy free and paleo gaps, and it can be really.

Karyn [00:13:26]:

Confusing and frustrating and leave you feeling disheartened about which diet is the right one for you. And I’ve been there myself. That’s why I created the ultimate IBD diet decoder quiz to help you find your best diet for your unique needs. Now, maybe you’ve tried one of these diets, but you gave up quickly because they were just too strict or they didn’t fit with your lifestyle.

Karyn [00:13:53]:

Here’s the truth.

Karyn [00:13:55]:

There is no one size fits all diet. But there is one best diet for you. And the best diet for you isn’t just about your symptoms. It’s about your lifestyle and your personality too. Are you ready to find the gut healing diet that fits you like a glove? Head on over to forward slash quiz to take my ultimate IBD diet decoder quiz. It’s free and it only takes three minutes. Discover what you’ve been meant to be eating to put your IBD in its place. That’s quiz.

Karyn [00:14:34]:

And now back to the show.

Karyn [00:14:36]:

So just in case you’re new around here and you’ve never heard me mention of this wheel of wellness, let’s just start by making sure that we’re all on the same page with this concept before we move forward with creating it for you. Let’s make sure everyone is on the same page with what it is. So here’s what I like to think of it as. So I like to think of it like I imagine a bike with all the spokes that come out of the wheel. And each of those spokes represents a different aspect of your healing process. So these spokes, they encompass various elements. So they might encompass like one spoke might be a dietary choice or a gut healing diet, another spoke might be exercise, another spoke would be mental health, various treatments, whether they’re conventional or unconventional lifestyle adjustments. So, for instance, your wheel of wellness, just to kind of give you an example of those spokes, it could.

Karyn [00:15:41]:

And again, this is just an example. It doesn’t have to be yours, but it could look something like this. So let’s just kind of go through what it might look like. So you might have a spoke that follows the specific carbohydrate diet. That’s a popular diet for IBD. So maybe that’s one of your spokes. You follow the specific carbohydrate diet. Another spoke might be regularly practicing yoga to promote stress and flexibility and core strength.

Karyn [00:16:07]:

Another spoke might be somatic therapy sessions with a counselor to address the emotional and the mind body side of IBD. Another spoke might be incorporating unconditional conventional treatments, like doing infrared sauna sessions or seeing a craniosacral therapist. Yet another spoke would be about taking your prescribed medications. So that could be something like Stelara or Skyrizi. And then another spoke could be prioritizing your sleep, making sure that you get a consistent 9 hours nightly in your schedule. Another spoke could be practicing breathing techniques like the 478 breath. Maybe you do that twice a day because you, it helps promote vagus nerve regulation and grounding within your body. And so there are so many spokes.

Karyn [00:16:59]:

Maybe one is even including supplements. Like maybe you have a daily probiotic supplement or maybe other supplements as well. So now that you’ve listened to this, and I know there’s a lot of them, I was rattling off a whole list, and you may have thought, just, whoa, just wait a minute, Karyn. You mean I have to do all that? Did you, wasn’t that like ten or more things that you just listed? Here’s the good news. The good news is that in that example, that those example spokes that I gave, they might not all be necessary for you, right? Yours could be completely different. Everyone’s wheel of wellness will look different, and only you need to figure out what your spokes are. And to start, you only need one spoke. You only need one.

Karyn [00:17:46]:

You need one spoke to get started. After that, you can add. After you add that initial spoke, you can start to add in more. You can commit to adding in one new spoke at a time until you come up with a path forward that fits for you. So don’t feel overwhelmed when you’re thinking about building your wheel of wellness. I just kind of wanted to give you some ideas of what might be in it to get your wheels turning. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. And your wheel of, of wellness, it doesn’t need to be constructed overnight.

Karyn [00:18:20]:

The key to long term success with this is adding in one spoke at a time. That’s really important for long term success. And your spokes, they don’t have to even be things, things that you do. And what I mean by that is that spokes can actually be mental, because it could actually be something like an attitude shift. The reason I’m thinking about this is because I was just working with a client this week, and we were looking at her wheel of wellness, and it had things on it that I just thought were so brilliant. It had things like setting boundaries, saying no, listening to positive podcasts, doing foot soaks. So see, your wheel, it doesn’t have to be things that take you out of your home or even out of your body. It can also be things that are more mind body centered, more mind body techniques.

Karyn [00:19:14]:

In fact, spokes like that, they are just as important as any other spoke in your wheel of wellness. Now, remember, if this is new to you, you’ll just be starting out with that one single element. Like it might be medication or maybe it’s food. Maybe that one thing for you is trying to say no more often. We could all do that, right? So it might just be that once you have that one thing, whatever that is for you, once it becomes very much a habit for you, then you can focus on introducing that next spoke. But don’t rush this process, and don’t worry about creating the perfect wheel of wellness. Oh, no, this is not about perfection. This is b, all the way, your personalized approach, it’s going to evolve over time, and it will reflect your ever changing IBD mom needs, as well as your lifestyle.

Karyn [00:20:17]:

So if you find yourself unsure about what to add specifically to your wheel of wellness, I want you to. I just kind of want to give you some help here with this. So I want to give you some of. Just some suggestions to kind of help get the mind going. Start thinking about what could actually go in there. So I thought we would talk about my five pillars of gut healing. It’s what I call my flush formula framework. And I call it the flush, because each of the letters in the word flush stands for a pillar in the gut healing method that I use with my clients.

Karyn [00:20:52]:

So I’m going to walk you through these key pillars of healing, and what I want you to do, whether you’re driving or doing the dishes or taking a walk, whatever you’re doing, I want you to. If you’re in a place where you can do this, I want you to just kind of let your gears turn, let some marinating happen. I want you to see if it sparks any ideas into what could possibly fit into your own personal wheel of wellness. Because in just a few minutes, we’re going to find out how you can get your hands on my wheel of wellness tool building kit. And I would love, love, love for you to already have an idea. One or two is fine of what your first spokes might be. Okay, so here is the flush pillars of gut healing, the ones I use with my clients all the time, every day. Okay, so the first letter in flush is f.

Karyn [00:21:53]:

That stands for. You probably know it stands for food. I’ve said it before, I will say it again. I will probably be saying this till the end of time. This is your best starting place. It’s a quick win if you find the right gut healing diet for you. It’s a quick win and it starts to move the needle in the right direction. It’s not your only pillar.

Karyn [00:22:18]:

Like, don’t make that mistake like I did for years, but it is the best place to begin when you’re just starting out. So maybe there’s a food that you want to omit, or maybe there’s a gut healing diet that you’re thinking about trying that way of eating, whatever that is for you. That could be a spoken your wheel of wellness. Okay, let’s talk about my gut healing pillar number two. And that starts with l, the l in flesh. And that’s lifestyle. Or as I like to kind of call it, your mom style. Since I work with moms, it’s all about redefining your daily habits so that they sync harmoniously with the needs of your body.

Karyn [00:23:02]:

Brilliant, right? So this is where your healing modalities, things like sleep and setting boundaries. Is there saying no taking bubble baths, you know, anything that makes up your lifestyle, foot soaks, date nights, girlfriend time, etc. Etc. All those things. All the things that make up your life, your mom life, all of those things come into play. So we’re talking about big, important things that if you’re going to make time for, they need to be visualized somewhere. Somewhere that you see it often. And that’s where this wheel of wellness comes in.

Karyn [00:23:40]:

Because as we’re going to talk about in a minute, I want you to put it in a really prominent place. Okay, let’s talk about the you in flush. And that is unconventional treatments. So this pillar in my gut healing framework, it might take a little bit of research on your part. This one is a little bit more in depth because unconventional treatments are just that, they’re unconventional. So step one here might be finding out what your options are. Some of the unconventional IBD treatments that my clients tend to use. I just wanted to kind of give you some thoughts just so you could get, again, get the wheels turning.

Karyn [00:24:19]:

Some of them are more mainstream, so even though they’re in the unconventional realm, they’re more mainstream. So that could be things like Reiki, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, things you may have heard of all the way to out there treatments like rectal ozone therapy. And we talked about that in a podcast with Doctor Ilana Gurevich. Maybe ozonated suppositories even to weigh out their things, like working with a shaman or a medical intuitive. So unconventional treatments can really run the gamut, but they can be the answer that you’ve been looking for, and they can be a great addition to your wheel of wellness. Okay, let’s talk about the fourth pillar to really help you marinate with this and get the gears turning. Thinking about what might be in your just the starting wheel of wellness for you. So number four is s, the s in flush, and that’s supplements.

Karyn [00:25:14]:

Of targeted supplements. Now, notice I said targeted supplements because I am really against the throw everything, spaghetti at the wall kind of supplement, every supplement under the sun approach. That is not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about targeted supplements that have the power to supercharge your healing process and elevate your healing journey. It’s all about picking the ones that work specifically for you, and they can be wonderfully complimentary when you find those right ones. It can be a great component to adding into your dietary and your lifestyle shifts. Supplements are really the most individualized pillar that we have, because what works for one might not work for another with Crohn’s or colitis. And it’s really important to work with someone when you’re deciding on which supplements are the best fit for you.

Karyn [00:26:12]:

Okay, the last pillar to really help you just kind of think about what do you want? What do you want that number one spoke to be in your wheel of wellness. And that’s the h in flush. And that’s higher mindset. This is the last one. This is the last pillar that we talk about, but it’s definitely not the least. This is your all important mind body medicine. That mind body connection, inner tools that will be the core, the center of your remission strength for years to come. So we’re talking about things like meditation and spirituality, prayer, therapy, connecting with nature, deep breathing, a gratitude, practice mantras.

Karyn [00:26:58]:

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Those are just some examples. Your higher mindset is also, it’s very personal to you. No two higher mindset pillars really tend to look alike. And yours is going to grow and develop over time as well. I think it’s a beautiful thing to explore this particular part of your healing journey. What mind body techniques are you thinking about adding? Like, what are you thinking about right now? Any of the ones I mentioned. What do you think you could add to your wheel of wellness? In the higher mindset category, what could you add today? All right, so that’s the five pillars of my flush formula framework in a gut shell.

Karyn [00:27:44]:

And these pillars are your guidepost to help you brainstorm those ideas for your own personal wheel of wellness.

Karyn [00:27:54]:

Hey there, it’s Karyn popping into the episode. I want to thank you so much for tuning into the cheeky podcast for moms with IBD today. You know, the great information that we’re dishing out on this pod is exactly the same type of conversations I get to have with my clients every day. And if you’re ready to take your IBD healing journey to the next level and move into being the mom you always dreamed you’d be, then hop on over to and book your free IBD consultation with me today. Remember, my mom had to be a little bit different and spell my name with a y. So that’s Now, on our call, we will dive into what you’re struggling with most right now and make a plan for how.

Karyn [00:28:44]:

We can work together to help you.

Karyn [00:28:47]:

Achieve your big, bold, beautiful, life transforming goals. No more sitting on the sidelines waiting for that miracle cure to magically happen. You’ve got what it takes to do this, mama. You just need a little nudge in the right direction, and I’ve got your back. And now back to the show.

Karyn [00:29:11]:

Okay, now remember, I have to say this, but there’s no rush. There is no rush to any of this. There’s no stress to any of this. You want to do it right, you don’t want to do it fast. So building your wheel of wellness, it’s a very gradual, ongoing process, but it is an integral part of your healing journey. Take it from me, I learned this the hard way, especially if you don’t want your healing to be fleeting. And it might even be a couple years that you stay where you thought you would be forever. But trust me, it is fleeting.

Karyn [00:29:50]:

So this is really crucial. I want you to be able to start to build your own wheel of wellness today. So if you want to do that, head on over to wheel. That’s wheel, and you can grab your very own free wheel of wellness tool building kit. It’s got everything that you need to get started today. It’s got sample wheels. It’s got ideas for you for your own wheel based on my flush formula framework. It’s got your very own fill in the blank wheel.

Karyn [00:30:27]:

It’s basically everything that you need to ditch this missing piece of your IBD healing plan. Now. Now, before we wrap up today, I have one last idea that I want to leave you with, and that’s the role of motherhood in building your wheel of wellness. As a mom living with Crohn’s or colitis, it’s vital for us to recognize that our journey will progress differently from others due to the demands that are placed on us as the awesome sauce busy moms that we are. So instead of feeling behind the compare or even, you know, playing that comparison game with others or feeling FOMO, we need to stick together, right? We need to stick together and embrace the pace of the tortoise, because that’s where our life is at right now. So don’t ever forget, it’s the slow and steady tortoise. I say this all the time. It is the slow and steady tortoise who wins the race in the end.

Karyn [00:31:31]:

That’s us. That’s me and you. That is IBD mom tortoise. That’s who we are. As busy moms, it might take us more time to get there with our wheel of wellness, and that’s okay. In fact, I have to say, I think it’s better than okay, because change is hard and developing habits slowly over time, it’s been shown to actually help those habits stick better. So the fact that we are on a slower journey is actually a good thing. And the best news here, the best news is that there are so many things you can do to make living your truth in this wheel of wellness, to make it 100% doable, 100% possible for you.

Karyn [00:32:13]:

Firstly, you can find creative ways to incorporate your kids in this whole process. They can become part of your wellness routine as well. Maybe they can join you for meditation or for yoga sessions. That would be fun, right? How about maybe enlisting their help as you prepare nutritious meals together? Sometimes having a family with all that goes into root cause healing, sometimes when I see clients, it’s seen as a hindrance because, oh, my gosh, I have to think about my family, too. But I like to see that as something that we can also look at the other side of, because it can be a blessing in times of healing. We have this built in support system. So seek help. Seek help and support from your spouse, your parents or your siblings to ensure that you maintain your wheel of wellness along with your responsibilities as a mom.

Karyn [00:33:11]:

And bonus tip, bonus tip. Wheel of wellnesses. They aren’t just for IBDers. Oh no, my friend, they aren’t just for IBDers. You can get your family involved in the wheel of wellness mindset as well. You can share your visions with each other. And I say that because I have a client who did just that. So she’s married and she has two teenagers and they all have their wheels up on the fridge.

Karyn [00:33:38]:

They’re all on their fridge together at home. They use it to support each other’s journeys. You don’t have to have IBD to have a wheel of wellness. Everybody needs a wheel of wellness. So they are there to support each other’s journeys. And then they talk about it with each other from time to time and say, hey, how is your goal doing? How are you doing with that? And I just have to say, how freaking beautiful is that? I absolutely love that. Okay, last thing I want to say, if you’re anything like me, you need a constant reminder to do this. But I want to say that I’m giving both of us permission to ask for help.

Karyn [00:34:18]:

To ask for help when we need it. Whether it’s getting a babysitter for some much needed self care or it’s delegating tasks to help lighten your load. We deserve health. We deserve health as much as anybody else. And sometimes that means that we need to take help. We need to take help to make these things happen so permish to ask for help. Granted, both for me and for you. Okay, my friend, this is where I leave you for today.

Karyn [00:34:50]:

Off to the races on your very own wheel of wellness. Don’t forget, it’s free and yours for the taking. So grab your Wheel of Wellness Tool Building Kit at That’s If you’re eager to boost your chances of getting long term control over your IBD, this comprehensive guide is going to walk you step by step through the process of creating your own wheel of wellness, an individualized plan that’s tailored to your unique needs and preferences. Remember, you may be missing this gut healing piece today, but you don’t need to be missing it any longer. Your Wheel of Wellness is a powerful tool that will continue to evolve with you over time.

Karyn [00:35:49]:

It’s not something, it’s not a one and done thing. It will evolve with you as you change. It will change. That’s a really cool thing. But it’s not about having it all in the place today. So remember, as we were talking through, I mentioned you only need one idea today and I bet you already have it. I bet as we were talking, you thought of something. Just one spoke.

Karyn [00:36:11]:

Just one spoke is in your mind as we’re speaking right now. So go and get that idea on paper while it’s fresh in your mind. And I’ve got to say this, my love. I’ve got your back. I’ve got your back. We’re in this together until we chat again. I’m wishing you much gut love and much happiness. Always chat soon.

Karyn [00:36:40]:

If this podcast is meaningful for you, if it’s been helpful in your IBD.

Karyn [00:36:45]:

Mom life, I’d love it if you.

Karyn [00:36:47]:

Would do a couple things first, follow the pod. You’ll never miss an episode. And those moms who are searching for.

Karyn [00:36:54]:

Podcasts about Crohn’s and colitis, they’ll find us easier.

Karyn [00:36:58]:

There’s probably a plus sign or a follow sign where you’re listening in right now.

Karyn [00:37:02]:

It’s at the top of your screen.

Karyn [00:37:04]:

Go ahead and give that a tap. And then also give the cheeky podcast a five star rating and review and share it with your friends who are also struggling with IBD. The more we are open about talking.

Karyn [00:37:17]:

About our illness and bringing awareness around.

Karyn [00:37:19]:

It, the more we’re able to connect and build a safe community around each other.

Karyn [00:37:25]:

I love being in community with you.

Karyn [00:37:28]:

And I appreciate you, my friend.

Karyn [00:37:31]:

One last thing before we wrap up today.

Karyn [00:37:33]:

You know, I think you’re a rock star for taking time out of your.

Karyn [00:37:37]:

Busy life to listen in and invest in your healing.

Karyn [00:37:40]:

It is capital h huge. And the the reason I know how huge this is for you is because I am right there with you in all of this, working my wheel of.

Karyn [00:37:49]:

Wellness, keeping my crohn’s at bay. It’s something that I invest in every.

Karyn [00:37:53]:

Day and I’d love it if we.

Karyn [00:37:55]:

Could continue our gut healing journey together.

Karyn [00:37:58]:

If you’re like me and you’re ready to soak up even more amazing gut.

Karyn [00:38:02]:

Healing information, it’s time to join the Gut love

Karyn [00:38:10]:

The GLC is my free and fabulous.

Karyn [00:38:13]:

Space, dedicated to dishing out even more.

Karyn [00:38:15]:

IBD resources, recipes, healing hacks, lots of.

Karyn [00:38:19]:

Bts, secrets on how I manage my life with IBD, all wrapped up in a weekly newsletter to help you keep your momentum going strong. This IBD dish is gut healing insights that I only share within our tighten knit community.

Karyn [00:38:35]:

Basically, it’s your one stop shop for.

Karyn [00:38:37]:

A more diversified approach to true and lasting gut healing.

Karyn [00:38:41]:

Amen to that, my friend. Let’s walk this gut healing journey together.

Karyn [00:38:47]:

Join me in the community that’s community. I can’t wait to meet you you.

Dr. Kasia Kines On… The Link Between the Epstein Barr Virus and IBD

In this week’s episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, we welcome Dr. Kasia Kines, an internationally recognized expert on Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infections. Dr. Kines, with her extensive background in clinical nutrition and her role as the CEO and Founder of the EBV Global Institute, brings invaluable insights into the often-overlooked connection between EBV and IBD.

If you’ve ever felt that something was off, maybe what you’re going through doesn’t fit the typical pattern of anything you’ve been diagnosed with, this episode is tailor made for you.

Join us as we explore this complex and often misunderstood condition, especially in its reactivation form. You’ll be amazed at just how many illnesses actually link back to an EBV infection—including Crohn’s and Colitis. Dr. Kines shares her expertise on what proper EBV testing looks like and she shares how you can get tested without even involving your doctor.

We dive into what effective treatment strategies look like and the empowering role of self-advocacy in managing chronic illness. This conversation is filled with eye-opening insights that could transform your approach to IBD management.

This is a powerful one. Don’t miss it!

Tune in To Learn About:

✅ [07:50] Struggling patients, unanswered questions, frustration in healthcare

✅ [20:11] Dr. Kines surprising discovery about IBD while writing her book: The Epstein Barr Virus Solution

[31:06] An AMAZING research opportunity to work with Kasia for those newly diagnosed IBD

✅ [34:03] How immunosuppressive drugs play a role in reactivating EBV

✅ [54:27] Kasia’s Ultimate EBV Healing Bundle

✅ [1:06] EMF exposure and Wi-Fi hygiene

Join us for this enlightening episode and empower yourself with the knowledge to navigate your IBD treatment with confidence and hope.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

>> The Ultimate IBD Diet Decoder Quiz

>> Join The Gut Love Community for Moms with IBD

>> Book Your FREE IBD Consultation with Karyn Today

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on YouTube

Karyn on Instagram

Karyn on Facebook

Connect With Kasia:

The Website

The Epstein Barr Virus Solution Book by Dr. Kasia Kines

Episode Transcript:

Karyn [00:00:08]:

Hey there, mama. Welcome to season two of the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD. I’m Karen Haley, functional IBD nutrition and wellness coach and Crohn’s warrior. This podcast is all about us moms because our IBD plays by different rules. Season two is juicy, full of unconventional wisdom, real talk, new ways to tackle our illness, and a whole lot of community empowerment, and all of us advocating the hell out of our illness. We’re in this together. And I’m here to help you find healing on your terms.

Karyn [00:00:42]:

Let’s do this.

Karyn [00:00:49]:

Well, hello, dear one. How’s it going? How’s it going for you today on my end? I gotta say, I am positively giddy over here to introduce you to doctor Kasia kinds. She’s so brilliant and educated, yet as you’re going to see, she’s also personable and really down to earth at the same time. And what she is dishing on is going to.

Karyn [00:01:13]:

It’s like it’s going to blow your.

Karyn [00:01:15]:

Mind because no one is talking about this important topic, which makes this episode a must listen or a must watch if you’re here with us on YouTube, when she connects the dots between the Epstein Barr virus and so many illnesses like ms and lupus, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, psoriasis, vagus nerve dysregulation, thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s, type one diabetes, celiac connective tissue disease, and the list goes on and on. But what I brought her here to talk about today is the link between EBV and IBD. And holy how this conversation does not disappoint. It’s an eye opening. And really, I have to say, it is a must listen for anyone, anyone with Crohn’s or colitis. So please, together, let’s be the conduit for our circle, and let’s share this episode with your IBD friends, with your IBD communities, whether it be in person or online with fellow IBD family members. Because this is game changing. It’s really, truly, it’s a game changing conversation for all of us in the IBD world.

Karyn [00:02:33]:

So this is definitely one you’re going to want to listen to and to share as well. Before we get to the interview, let me tell you a little bit about Doctor Kasia Kynes. She is an international authority on the Epstein Barr virus. You’re going to hear us throughout the episode. Call it EBV. Just like inflammatory bowel disease goes by IBD, we’ll be talking about it in terms of EBV. She is a doctor of clinical nutrition. She’s the CEO and founder of the EBV Global Global Institute.

Karyn [00:03:02]:

She’s a board certified nutrition specialist with not one, but two master’s degrees, including a master’s in clinical nutrition from the prestigious Bastille University. And she’s also a best selling author, Amazon bestselling author of the Epstein Barr Virus solution, Doctor Kasia Kinds. And as she prefers to be called, Kasia. She brings her wealth of knowledge to this discussion that’s so often overlooked, that connection between EBV and IBD. And if you’ve ever felt something that you thought, well, that’s just a little bit off, or maybe you thought, what you’re going through, it just doesn’t fit the typical pattern of anything that you’ve been diagnosed with. This is absolutely the episode Taylor made for you. We delve into what EBV is. We talk about, it’s a link to mono.

Karyn [00:04:00]:

You may have had that in your younger years, but mostly we talk about reaction activation syndrome that has the potential to happen in your, or occur in your adult life. We explored the nuts and bolts of the virus like symptoms, diagnosis, what proper testing looks like, because, trust me, your doctors are probably getting it wrong, according to Kasia. But the best part of this conversation, the best part is what Kasia shares with us in the scientific research about the causal link, not correlation, but causal, actual cause and effect links between EBV and certain types of IBD.

Karyn [00:04:39]:


Karyn [00:04:40]:

And we also talk about the link between immunosuppressive drugs. And those are something that if you have IBD, you’ve probably had experience with. So things like steroids, immunomodulators, like six MP, as well as all of the biologics, we talk about their link as being a gateway to eBV. And we do also talk about treatment as well, including a discussion about Kasia’s ultimate EBV bundle. Bundle. But we also spend time talking about the vital role of empowerment and setting boundaries and stepping into your power, and how these facets are just as important a treatment tool. And so we also talk about how hard these qualities are to embody for all of us, especially for those of us who are empaths. And I have to tell you, I have never, never met an IBD gal who wasn’t an empath.

Karyn [00:05:39]:

So this absolutely relates to you, my friend, this episode. It’s your roadmap. Your roadmap to understanding a critical and rarely I maybe if ever talked about aspect of IBD that you might just be missing. You know, statistically, around 95% of the world’s population is a carrier for eBv. So chances are, if you’re listening to this today, the chances are extraordinarily high that you’re a carrier yourself. And what that means for you is that given the right circumstances, this dormant virus has the potential to come out in you. How can you prevent that from happening? What can you do if it does happen? Why is IBD at the center of all of this specifically for us? These are the questions that we’re going to answer today. Please help me welcome Doctor Kasia Heinz.

Karyn [00:06:37]:

Welcome, Kasia. I am so happy to have you on the Tiki podcast. Thanks for joining us.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:06:43]:

It’s so good to see you again. It’s been a long time.

Karyn [00:06:45]:

It has been a really long time, actually, I wanted to start there. So your path as a clinical nutritionist, I know it didn’t start out with Epstein Barr virus. In fact, when we met, way long time ago, when you were living on the east coast, you were actually specializing in. Correct me if I’m wrong, I think it was Sibo. Small intestinal, bacterial overgrowth, or even just gastrointestinal issues, GI issues, and sibo in particular. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So tell me, what caused this change? What happened that you then began to focus on eBv?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:07:20]:

The universe happened. That’s what happened. Well, I always, you know, like a dog, I always follow where my nose goes, and the nose goes where the pain is. And so I was at Hopkins with Doctor Mullen. He specialized in Sibo, so I worked a lot with that. But then that led me to Hashimoto’s autoimmunity. But in general, I was the clinician of last resort. So I had a lot of complicated cases, so to speak.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:07:50]:

People that tried everything had a pile of labs, big bills from all the functional doctors, and they were not getting better. So I had to follow that pain and follow what presented and follow what I needed to know. And there was a percentage of, you know, it’s in clinical life, we are humans, so we tend to focus on the negative. So if I was able to help 100 people change their lives, but there was one I couldn’t, then we focus on that one. You couldn’t amplify it and say, why? Why? Why? So I always ask the question, why was I hitting a wall with some of those beautiful souls? Like, we were doing everything right? What was I missing? And that’s a frustration in a lot of clinicians, actually. And at the same time, half a year before I was ready to move to the States permanently, one of my best friends ended up in er, out of the blue, half paralyzed, and was diagnosed with miss. You know, this was. We lived close, relatively close to Chernobyl, you know, northern Poland.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:09:05]:

Chernobyl is south, but still, you’ll never know. But when I moved to the States, she began his journey, her journey, fighting for her life. And basically, I tried, you know, I became a nutritionist. I tried long distance. I didn’t really know how to help her with miss, but I always ask, you know, why did she get it? I didn’t. She did. What? Why was it? And I was asking the question. She was fighting.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:09:36]:

She was the most extraordinary person. And eventually it took her almost 20 years, and she died of complications.

Karyn [00:09:46]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:09:47]:

And I wasn’t able to help her, and that was really painful. And she basically is the reason why I kept asking why she died, why I couldn’t help her, what was it behind it? And the universe delivered. Basically. I started to bump into things. And then a couple of my patients at the same time asked me my educated opinion on the book medical medium. And not that I had time to read, but I was flying to a medical conference. I said, okay, well, if one, I could ignore. If three, like, I have to read it.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:10:24]:

So I read it on the plane and almost fell off my chair, because, like, what if it’s Marlena? And so I actually. I actually had a colleague who was a medical intuitive, and I asked her, and she confirmed it. You know, it’s just, why did she develop it was that started with EBVDev. And I think Marlena has orchestrated a lot of things in my life moving forward. So I didn’t miss. I didn’t miss anything I was not supposed to miss. So while there’s absolutely no training whatsoever anywhere, I am the training now. There’s no train.

Karyn [00:11:01]:

You are.

Karyn [00:11:02]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:11:02]:

But there was this one instructor in my doctoral program, one. And he only did one semester with one class, and I was in that class afterwards. He was not rehired. And he talked about virology, not specifically ebv, but he, like, that was like that crack that not open for me clinically. And I started to look at things differently and pursue it. And so from that on, I just had to say, okay, if medical medium had this huge claim on the extreme left, and he says the spirit of compassion tells him what it is. And then there’s medical community. And I realize medical community has no current information whatsoever on this virus.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:11:49]:

What they’re doing clinically is so inappropriate that it’s almost like medical malpractice because the literature is there.

Karyn [00:11:59]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:11:59]:

So you have those two camps, and then in the middle you have thousands, probably millions of people falling through the cracks and getting worse and sometimes dying. And so I thought, well, what do we know? What can I solidly put in place for everyone? So maybe these start talking and people get better.

Karyn [00:12:21]:

And as it turns out, a lot, because you’ve written a book that is like, you can’t see me if you’re listening to the podcast. But turns out there’s a lot of information on EBV, because.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:12:34]:


Karyn [00:12:35]:

And in fact, where’s mine? Here it is.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:12:37]:

Right here I have it.

Karyn [00:12:39]:

What a book it is.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:12:41]:

What a book it is. A lot of book. I was just. Because I had to cut, you know, there was so much noise and there was so much misery in people with eBv. And, you know, so the first thing I. After that medical conference, the first thing I did is started to request testing and analyze medical literature about testing, testing, lab interpretation, what actually, how do we test what is appropriate and how to read it and all that stuff. And so. And I pursued it with my clinic, with my patients, and I was blown away because we started to see it.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:13:15]:

And these were the tough cases. These were the people that, you know, were sick and tired, being sick and tired. Tell me what to do, I’ll do it. I just. I need my life back. Beautiful people.

Karyn [00:13:25]:

You know, I definitely want to get into the diagnosis part of it. I want to get into testing part of it. But before we even get there, let’s back up a little bit, because so many people will come to me and say, what is this Epstein Barr thing? Like, I keep hearing about it. I’m not sure. Like, let’s just even break it down. Let’s start there. As a lay person, right?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:13:47]:


Karyn [00:13:48]:

Listening. What is the Epstein Barr virus? And then I really want you to hone in on the difference between dormant and then reactivation later in life.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:13:58]:

Okay? So. Huh. The virus has been on the planet for 910 million years. So we, most of us are carriers. 95 plus percent of global population has it. And, you know, it doesn’t mean that we get sick. It’s just like parasites or candida, you know, that we just. We have all these residents.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:14:18]:

But it is an opportunistic virus that can be triggered when your body or your emotional state, your spiritual state, whatever piece of you, becomes very vulnerable in compromise. And for many reasons, many reasons. If you. So, for example, you’re very stressed, and you have chronic stress. Chronic stress causes depletion of nutrients, if your nutritional status drops, and then you eat junk food on top of that, that actually, in studies, you can see that can reactivate ebv. It feeds off that. It feeds off stress hormones, it feeds off deficiencies. Like, if you compromise this way.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:14:56]:

So there’s a lot of reasons why it can reactivate. And so oftentimes, people with chronic eBv, these are people that had trauma, that had a lot happen in their lives, that had, you know, a lot of surgeries, lots of losses, a lot of changes. I mean, that you pile it up in their life and it’s like, how did they even manage? But that’s where you can start. Yes, there’s typically a tipping point for the body.

Karyn [00:15:25]:

And so that’s where it would then, because it’s dormant, like you said, maybe I’ve read up to 95%. So you said 90, 95% have it, it’s dormant. But then something in their life happens, maybe a chain of things, like you’re saying multiple stressors, medical issues, and then it reactivates. And this is when it can become chronic.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:15:47]:

Yeah. So the, the infection typically is called mono. Mononucleosis, glandular fever in different countries. And so it’s the. And that’s the one form that is recognized in medical practice. And so typically you’re thrown in bed. It’s like the worst fluid of your life. You achy, you have malaise, you are in bed, and you may stay in bed for a few weeks.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:16:16]:

That’s typically, you know, that’s probably mono.

Karyn [00:16:18]:

Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:16:20]:

And the doctors, if you go to the doctors, like we have, old studies suggest 3 million documented, reported cases of mono a year in the states. Probably underreported, you know, because not everybody gets to the doctor when they’re so sick. They just stay in bed. So it should last about four, six weeks. And then, and that’s a misconception in medical community. You know, go rest. There’s nothing we can do. And then after a few weeks, you’ll be fine, and that’s the end of EBV.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:16:50]:

You’ll never get it again. That’s all right. That’s really wrong information. And so some people will do, you know, jump back on their feet and they’re fine, but there is a percentage that will not. And suddenly your baseline of your functionality has dropped. So if you were an athletic marathon runner, and we have those in our community, you can’t run anymore. You get too exhausted and you are bedridden again, like something happened, something shifted, and so suddenly you have to be careful with your energy, where you spend it. You don’t have reservoirs.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:17:26]:

You get, you know, you get tired easily, and then you get brain foggy, maybe achy. And it just is underlying something. And then you start pursuing different therapies and doctors and testing your heart out because, you know, something is off and you don’t know what it is, but not necessarily connecting to mono because your doctor told you mono is mono, you get mono, you don’t get it. Again, that’s it. You know, over. And anything in future with your health has nothing to do with that. And that’s also misinformation, not based on medical literature.

Karyn [00:17:59]:

Yeah. So much misinformation.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:18:02]:


Karyn [00:18:02]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:18:04]:

And so there is a concept in medical literature called chronic mononucleosis syndrome, and it really matches chronic fatigue syndrome. And I would say that probably majority cases of chronic fatigue is really ebvdev.

Karyn [00:18:21]:

Yes. Oh, my gosh, yes, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, so many illnesses are related to EBV. You go into many of these in your book. And I really, I want to focus on IBD and its correlation to EBV. But before we even get there, especially for the listener who doesn’t really understand the far reaching ness of this illness, can you just tell us just off the top of your head, just a few, what are some of these illnesses besides IBD that can be linked to ebvdev?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:18:53]:

Yes. Where do I start?

Karyn [00:18:56]:

I know, I know. I just asked you, like, this question that could last the whole podcast, but even just a few, because it’s crazy how far reaching it is.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:19:05]:

Yes. So there are. Okay, so one cluster is autoimmune disorders. Lupus is classic. Rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type one, Mas. Celiac, actually. And these are not correlating. These are really causation.

Karyn [00:19:29]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:19:30]:

Like. Yes. Celiac in particular, diabetes type one, we have studies on that. And IBD. Two, there’s a study specifically on how it’s turned on by the virus. There is a laundry list of oddball autoimmune disorders, common autoimmune disorders, and at some point I can go into pubmed. You know, these days, I don’t doubt. So if there is a new condition, I’m thinking I’m going to go to pubmed, like interstitial cystitis and ebv.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:20:05]:

And it’s really, I never thought of the connection, but there it is.

Karyn [00:20:10]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:20:11]:

So when I was writing the book, I actually had to stop, and IBD was the last thing I added because I was. This is very interesting because I was finishing the book, you know, and the book was so big, it’s like, you know, we have to get it out. And I’m thinking, well, I used to work with IBD, and why don’t I just check? I had no idea that I would find these studies and they would be so consistent. Like what? Yeah, and then there was one study in particular that was suggesting that some specific kind of Crohn’s disease is a misdiagnosed IBV as well. What?

Karyn [00:20:54]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:20:55]:

So, yeah, so it is. And then there is a cluster of types of cancer, lymphomas, Hodgkins, non Hodgkins, lots of cancers. There’s more studies on breast cancer. And breast cancer is pretty driven by toxic log, environmental toxins and ebv response, really, to environmental toxins, too. So I don’t know, they were looking at, you know, that the tumors were more aggressive. There was more to this cancer where EBV was there. They’re looking at correct rectal cancer, too. There are some associations so far.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:21:29]:

So all kinds of cancer, and then all kinds of weird presentations, you know, lymph nodes enlarged over sensitivity to mosquito bites, nosebleeds. I mean, there’s just a headaches. 75% of people with mono, in particular have headaches as a presentation, and people don’t realize it. And then you can have liver enlargement, you can have spleen involvement, you can have connective tissue involvement, vagus nerve involvement. It depends where, you know, encephalitis, you can. You can have the virus going to the brain vestibular nerve in the inner ear. That can cause vertigo, tinnitus. So you can have viral encephalitis.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:22:16]:

I mean, it’s. Can be in thyroid. So that’s your hashimoto’s? Hashimoto’s is common. That’s a common, common causative, you know, for. For hashimoto. So, yeah, so in many things. And functional medicine is failing because they’re pursuing the little things. So if somebody has three autoimmune disorders, if they don’t see that umbrella, they may pursue things like therapeutic diets that are unnecessary because they’re not really hitting the virus.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:22:52]:

And so if you work with a virus, you can expand on the diet and have more nourishment rather than being stuck on a highly therapeutic and highly restrictive diet. There’s interesting.

Karyn [00:23:04]:

So we’re used to the western doctors failing us, but you’re saying even functional medicine doctors are missing the boat here and going in direction. Yeah.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:23:15]:

Unless I train them, I don’t know what they’re doing. And so the problem is, if you go to a functional doctor and they know a little bit about it, they will throw at you everything. They will combine antiviral medication, homeopathy, botanicals, so herbs and supplements, and typically the typical. I have a, I actually am doing a lecture at a medical conference, and I’m going to use this quote because it’s so common. I love my nd. We’ve been working on EBV for two years, and I’m 25% better. It’s like, what? So it’s like a real, it’s a little bit like c boy, you know? Yeah. Going and going and swinging around.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:24:00]:


Karyn [00:24:00]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:24:00]:

They’re not hitting another wall. And, you know, they’re throwing ozone therapy, iv vitamin c therapy, you know, red light therapy, whatever. And people will travel and, and wait in line to see a dog, famous doctor for four, six months, as sick as they are, because there’s a glimpse of hope that they will do something. And then it’s very expensive. And at the end of it, somebody was saying they were doing ozone therapy or hydrogen peroxide therapy. Right. $1,000 for three months. And, and then apparently they are the 10% that doesn’t respond like, oh, my gosh.

Karyn [00:24:42]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:24:43]:

So I had to pursue, I have to follow the science. I had to follow the medical studies. That’s all I had to foundation. So it’s black and white. This is what it is. And so if people have ebv, the process I created is solid because it’s just, I’ve seen it. I see what it does. It has.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:25:03]:

If you have ebv, it has to work. There’s no other.

Karyn [00:25:06]:

Based on the research.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:25:08]:

All based on the research.

Karyn [00:25:09]:

So what they’re doing is basically throwing spaghetti at a wall and just seeing what sticks.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:25:14]:

Yes. Because, you know, like, common thing in, in supplement industry is, you know, the more the better. No.

Karyn [00:25:23]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:25:23]:

I just talked to a new student in our program. She was on about 50 supplements, including a lot of those being essential oils.

Karyn [00:25:31]:

Oh, my goodness.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:25:32]:

And my concern was like, how’s your liver doing? This is too much the body. Well, funny that you say I have non alcoholic fatty liver. We have to remove all that and only focus on these things that we know work for ebv and start building you up.

Karyn [00:25:51]:

Are you, like many of us with Crohn’s and colitis, turning to food to help heal your gut, but feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of gut healing diets out there? Gluten free, dairy free, paleo SCD gaps. And that’s just naming a few. It can be so confusing, frustrating, and leave you feeling disheartened about which diet is the right fit for you. And trust me, I was there until I created the best tool to help me figure this out. Now, maybe you’ve tried a diet or two only to give up quickly because you couldn’t figure out what to eat. Or maybe the plan was just too strict for you to follow. Here’s something you won’t hear from the so called food gurus. There isn’t one single diet that works for everyone.

Karyn [00:26:39]:

I don’t care which diet it is. And the best diet for you isn’t just about your symptoms. It’s also about your lifestyle and your personality. Why start a diet based solely on your IBD symptoms only to abandon it a week later because it doesn’t fit your life. If you’re ready to discover which gut healing diet is the perfect fit for you based on your unique needs and your current stage in life, then you need my ultimate IBD diet decoder quiz. Head over to quiz to access this free resource. Remember, there is no one size fits all, best cut healing diet, but there is the one best diethye for you. Find out what you’re meant to be eating to help put your IBD in its place.

Karyn [00:27:28]:

Got three minutes? That is all you need. Go to quiz. That’s quiz. Answer a few simple questions and get your personalized quiz results immediately. Now let’s get back to the show.

Karyn [00:27:47]:

So many different illnesses related to it. And then the problem being that when you go to your doctor, they’re throwing just everything at it, not really following the research, not having a honed in approach. Well, when it comes to Crohn’s and colitis. And the reason why I really wanted to talk to you is because, I don’t know why, but there is now an abundance of people, my clients, that come to me and say, you know, I think I might have ebv. And I went to my doctor and they said, oh, either I got the brush off, no, you couldn’t possibly have that. You have IBD. You couldn’t have EBV too. Or they did the testing.

Karyn [00:28:24]:

Well, it’s dormant. You don’t have it, right?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:28:27]:

You had it in the past. Yeah.

Karyn [00:28:28]:

Yeah, exactly. You just had it in the past. And so I just started researching and researching and I’ve seen different research studies. So what I’m wondering is what really is coming first here? Is it the chicken or the egg? I’ve seen research that says EBV leads to an IBD diagnosis. Then I’ve seen research that says when you have IBD, you are at greater risk for ebv reactivation. What is it? What is coming first?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:28:59]:

I think EBv may be first. And I think the reason why in your community, you may be seeing and hearing more of EBV now is because medical medium has put the topic on the table, which is great. People are talking, people are seeing it. Maybe my book is there, you know, I don’t know. I’ve had some podcasts and stuff like that. But then I feel like if you. If you just get into that, I think this is what will happen. If you just have a diagnosis of IBD right now, like, you haven’t had it for 30 years, you’re just starting.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:29:38]:

And if you can pursue EBV at this point, I think there is a great chance that you could have a turnaround before the damage is done. It’s like it’s way, way on its way. So I’ve been thinking about our conversation. Like, we could even create a small group and try that and see with people that are new to IBD how far we can take it and see if we can help them. Like, if we can create a new pattern. Because in my community, I work with a lot of people with IBV, but people with IBD are not, not coming. So we don’t have that subdivide sub population. So I can’t really talk to that here today.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:30:22]:

But I’m thinking, well, we would have a great opportunity if we had like a pilot, ten in a group and worked together for a few months. Would be amazing to see would be.

Karyn [00:30:33]:

I will definitely mention that to my community because there are people that are just recently diagnosed and it would be interesting to get them the ebv testing to see where are things at for them.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:30:44]:

Yeah, we can totally have analyzing their results, get together and educate. Yes, that would be really fun.

Karyn [00:30:54]:

We would definitely further the research because I know that I’ve been looking at it. There is some research, there’s a lot of research, but there needs to be more in this area in particular.

Karyn [00:31:06]:

Hey there, it’s Karen interrupting this juicy conversation for just a quick second. I wanted to let you know I talked with Kasia after the episode, and she confirmed that she’s absolutely willing to work with a small cohort of newly diagnosed IBD patients to see if EBV may have been a factor leading to your diagnosis, and this would be a great way to help your own understanding of your illness, but also a good way to further the global understanding of both EBV as well as IBD. So if you were recently diagnosed with IBD, let’s say one year ago or less, and you’re also interested in finding out what role EBV may have played in your diagnosis and more importantly, what treatments might help your symptoms, go ahead and email me that’s I will put you in touch with Kasia and her team to see about working together. This is a huge opportunity. It’s so nice of her to offer this to our community, so definitely don’t pass this up if you’re new to IBD and feel free to let others know as well because I will put them in touch too.

Karyn [00:32:27]:

The email to let me know if you’re interested is let’s see what we can do to further these diagnoses together.

Karyn [00:32:38]:

And speaking of research, I’m a total research nerd. You know, when people, like, curl up with a good book, I like to curl up with study because. And just kind of, like, suss it out. Is this because we know there’s so many bad studies out there, right? What the heck? Who paid for that stupid study?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:32:55]:

Did they even have any? Yeah.

Karyn [00:32:58]:

And that’s where you have to start, is who actually paid for this study? But I love to do that. So I was reading this scientific review, and maybe you’ve read it, too. It’s linking. It’s about ebv and IBD research. Just a scientific overview. It was in frontiers of immunology. Okay, so there’s this quote that I would love for you to help me unpack. All right, here’s the quote.

Karyn [00:33:20]:

I love this. So inpatients with IBD and opportunistic EBV, latent eBV. So we’re talking about non active EBV can transform into EBV related colitis, lymphoperifelative disease. So like lymphatic diseases and occasionally lymphoma. So cancer. This transformation, here’s the key part here, is likely related to long term immunosuppressants or biologics and chronic inflammation itself. Can you please help us break this down? This possible relationship between common IBD meds, ebv, and then some pretty serious health complications. Is there truth? Is this true?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:34:03]:

Yes. So there was another study that looked at IBD and EBV, suggesting, look, the immunosup, if people have EBD because of the virus, the immunosuppressive suppressive therapy is probably not the direction to go. The immunosuppression is an open door to reactivating the virus. And so, so in my community, for example, I can ask this question, did you ever have to take corticosteroids for any reason? And if the answer is yes, I will ask and say, did you feel like you’ve been hit? You were hit by a truck? Because with immunosuppressant medication, you may have a honeymoon when you feel elated, like, whoa, I am cured. But that’s just, you’re turning off the immune response and then you tank. That’s the presentation, ebv, then you’re going to chunk. And because the ebv has open doors, like, immune cells are all stopped, I can do what I want. Immune system is keeping ebv in check like any other pathogens, parasites, you know, any, any bugs we’re co hosting.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:35:25]:

So, yes, so there are studies suggesting that, you know, you have to know where that IBD comes from. Interpret the lab correctly, which I can’t wait to talk to you about for your community. So they will forever know.

Karyn [00:35:39]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:35:40]:

And then you really need to be careful where you’re going with it because the immunosuppressive medications are really life altering in themselves.

Karyn [00:35:49]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:35:49]:

And calm with. It’s a heavy cost on the body.

Karyn [00:35:52]:

Oh, absolutely. And it’s a, you know, is it worth it? You know, you kind of have to weigh all of that depending on where the disease is.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:35:58]:

You need them for life. Life threatening situations. In emergency, you need them. That’s when you need them short term.

Karyn [00:36:05]:

Right, right. And the problem is, especially with IBD, it’s, you’re on this for life once you start, you’re on it for life. But what’s happening is before they’re going on the medication, they’re always tested for tb. So I’m wondering if it should be standard of care for testing for ebv before you go on this. Oh, this is huge. Yes, yes. Yeah, this is really big. This is going to be big news for people to hear.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:36:33]:

It’s big news. However, it takes, what, 17 years for medical information from, from studies to actually trickle into medical practice and use it. So I think your community needs to advocate, like, I ask women what to ask their doctors to test for. Thyroid, for example, because that’s also a hot mess. In tragedy. So your community needs to advocate and expect the doctor to add ebv panel, tell them exactly which panel, and in the worst case scenario, go to a consumer direct lab because they do exist, pay out of pocket, get it done and get the report in two days and have it black and white without the doctor messing up the panel because that happened.

Karyn [00:37:25]:

Right. Okay. So let’s actually, let’s get into that now. Now that you, I was going to do that a little bit later, but let’s, since you brought it up, let’s talk about it.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:37:31]:


Karyn [00:37:32]:

So testing, you mentioned in your book about testing, getting the right testing because so many people are getting testing that is useless. Right. And so, yeah, so I want to get into, when you want to get tested, what are the tests that you should request? Because that’s what patients need to do. They need to go to their doctor and say, here, this, like, let me just give you this piece of paper. This is what I want. That’s the only way to get what you need. You just say here, this is what I want. And then how do they make sure that they have this definitive diagnosis and if they don’t have a doctor? I know I’m giving you a lot of questions, but you already alluded to it.

Karyn [00:38:07]:

You can actually go on your own and get the testing. So talk to us about testing.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:38:12]:

Yes. What should we know? Yeah. So people don’t know that you can, you can test independently whatever you need, ladies and gentlemen. You don’t have to beg your doctor and wait three months to see a functional doctor because you want a particular test. And then I mess it up for you and then you paid them and it’s a mess and you just wasted three months. So we actually have a link to a consumer direct. They created the panels for us. So, you know, I know what they give.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:38:43]:

They don’t mess it up. So, you know, you can’t, you can do that. Totally. So the problem with the lab testing is when do you go and test your lab? So, because if you just go now, you probably, the result will look like you had infection in the past and not now.

Karyn [00:39:05]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:39:06]:

So I have to explain that there are four antibodies that I want you to test. I don’t want you to test PCR, which is the DNA. You’re not going to find DNA in the bloodstream. The virus doesn’t live in the bloodstream.

Karyn [00:39:20]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:39:21]:

It only lives in the bloodstream when it spills out of the cells. It’s called lysine and travels. And this is where people reactivate when they really, really, like, on their back.

Karyn [00:39:33]:

In bed, traveling to their organs, right?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:39:35]:

Yes. Because it’s looking for b cells to infect. These B cells will be in your thyroid, here, there, you know, but they don’t even.

Karyn [00:39:43]:

Haven’t they found ebv in the mucosal lining of people with ibDan?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:39:49]:

I don’t remember that. You probably know more studies on IVD than I do.

Karyn [00:39:54]:

I feel like I read that in a study that they have found it.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:39:59]:

I wouldn’t be surprised. Yes. But it’s going to go after cells and live inside the cells, so not like in the bloodstream. Four antibodies, three of them are igg and one of them is igM. Okay? So if you. If you talk to any medical doctor, igg to them is fast exposure. Igm is current exposure. It doesn’t work this way with ebv.

Karyn [00:40:26]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:40:27]:

Okay, so I need you to see igG, igM, the igM, the one igm in the panel. This typically becomes elevated if this is your initial infection.

Karyn [00:40:41]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:40:42]:

When you have reactivation. Reactivation, reactivation. We have chronic ebv that will be normal. So pretty much guaranteed igm is normal. Squatch. Squatch. And this is where your doctor says, well, this is normal. This is only your past has nothing to do with what you’re dealing with.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:41:02]:

But that’s not correct. This is counterintuitive. So if doctors don’t read medical literature on EBV, particularly in particular, they will think I’m looking for IGN for current infection. If it’s normal, you don’t have reactivation. I have very few cases when igm is always elevated, and that’s more of a complicated situation. So let’s scratch that for now because typically 99% of the cases will be normal. So you have three iggs. Okay.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:41:37]:

Yeah. Out of three iggs, if you forget everything else, you need to just remember early antigen. Ea. Early antigen is igG, but that’s the one. That’s the one that pops up when you have first infection, but it pops up when you reactivate. Every time you reactivate, it should pop up. Okay, so if it pop ups. So let’s say the.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:42:05]:

The ranges from zero to nine. If you have ten. Yep, yep, yep. It doesn’t have to be like 300.

Karyn [00:42:12]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:42:13]:

With early antigen, you don’t have to have triple digits. You don’t have to have like, you know, 50, 70. The highest I see is like, what was it, 282? Extremely high. In terms of early antigen, it doesn’t go like, to 900 or 600, like it’s typically, you know, 2030 50, and that’s still positive. People are still sick. So early antigen is the one that labs typically don’t put in the panel. So even when you ask your doctor for ebv panel, if they don’t know, they’ll get the three others. But this will be missing.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:42:51]:

And this is where you do not have the whole case. You don’t know what you have because there’s two others. These are tagged for life. Both of these are elevated in my life, but I’m living my life. So when you have chronic ebv, these will not be zero. And if you recover for ebv, these will not go back to zero. We’re tagged for life. But as you reactivate, they will fluctuate, reactivate fracture.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:43:20]:

And if you work on ebv, like, if you’re doing the protocol, they will be dropping numbers. And sometimes they are, like, over the range. So if the range is 600, it will tell you more than 600. So if both of these can be triple digits, even though the range may be zero to nine. So these two can be like. So if. If you go beyond, like, more than 600 or more likes more than 750, so it’s going above the range. You don’t know if it’s 751 or 7000.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:43:54]:

So the point of these two is if either one of them is above the range that, like, the numbers are not even given because it’s too high. If eventually they drop. So you have the number, let’s say 598. Huge success. People don’t realize that it’s starting to drop and fluctuate, drop, fluctuate, drop, fluctuate, drop. So maybe from 500 to 400 or to 300, that indicates that you’re doing something right.

Karyn [00:44:25]:

Okay, that’s good to know. Okay.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:44:27]:

But it will fluctuate with early antigen reactivation. Reactivation. Now, so that’s the two. So early antigen. This one. The problem with it is you have to catch it. When you reactivate, it’s only like two, three weeks. You can miss it.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:44:43]:

And this is why, when early antigen is normal, I give you an example. I was training practitioners, and my colleague, fellow nutritionist, was in my program, and she says I have a classic presentation. I’m pretty sure cbv, everything fits. The only problem is, when she tested, early antigen was normal.

Karyn [00:45:06]:

It just wasn’t the right time.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:45:08]:

Yeah, she has hashimoto. She has this fatigue. Da da da da da da. When did she test? January. So my question was, when did she feel like she was hit by a truck thanksgiving gotcha. Thanksgiving is stressful.

Karyn [00:45:24]:

Yes, that’s right.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:45:25]:

So by the time, by the time she tested the early on to January. So the. The lysing already stopped. And then you are in the latent stage, which is between reactivation, which actually is very active for the virus. The latent state is more important for the virus than lysing because lysine. So when you look at studies, the virus depends on latent stage more because the b cells keep replicating during the latent stage. Yes. So they kind of are immortalized.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:46:06]:

So the. It’s cloning, the new virus are growing inside. It’s like. So it’s like this perpetuation. The lysing is the reactivation when you are thrown in bed, is when the virus are ready to spill out of those infected cells and they travel in the bloodstream and they’re looking for condo to move in.

Karyn [00:46:30]:

Which organ can I move to?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:46:32]:

Which organ is it going to be? Yes. And so the point is that you have to know the tools to keep everything in check and to make sure that between reactivations, you immobilizing all these processes.

Karyn [00:46:49]:

Yeah. And so they don’t replicate.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:46:52]:

So you stole all this and it’s like.

Karyn [00:46:54]:

Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. So just for people who are listening, who are maybe because I. My podcast is, you know, a lot of people listen, but mostly moms. And so they. Maybe they’re driving in the car or they’re doing some house chores and they can’t. Or they’re at work and they can’t write this down. There’s somewhere on your website, right, that has a link so that they can just say, because I know they trust you, so they’ll just say, cautious dad, I should do this.

Karyn [00:47:19]:

So this is what I’m going to do. So where do they go on your website to just get this information?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:47:24]:

There are. So we created a website where we only provide factual information with references that are clickable. So you can go to Pubmed. But on our homepage, we have two things that you can do. Number one, there is a button. Test your ebv, and you don’t have to use that lab, but you can test on that link. And you will see that there’s different panels that the company created. And there is a panel for ebv.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:47:54]:

And you can write down those four markers. They’re right there. You’re going to see three igg and one igm. That’s all you need. But if you are like, if you’re like Karen and you want to dissect it. Then at the very bottom, there’s a list of pages listed, like different topics. And one of the page is labs. And if you click on that page, I have an entire page analyzing different lab results.

Karyn [00:48:27]:

Oh, wow.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:48:28]:

When you go to this page, there’s a pop up. And the pop up invites you to a free video that I did with whiteboard and color markers. When I draw those four antibodies and explain it to you, it’s about 15 minutes. This was a Facebook live and it’s completely free. You have to say, yeah, I want it. We’ll send you the. And then you can really educate yourself and your doctor. You are bulletproof.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:48:57]:

Nobody can question you. This is what it is. This is how it is. This is research. This is solid. So you can always go to that and watch that. And kind of the colors are important in the book. I couldn’t show the colors, unfortunately.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:49:12]:

It’s black and white. But so even if you have the.

Karyn [00:49:15]:

Book, go check this out. I mean, so many people who listen are like me, and they want the real skinny and they want to really get it. So if you want to go in depth, it’s beautiful because Kasia has this as well. So you can just get, these are the four tests I need, and just bring them to the doctor or bring them to the lab. Or you can go more in depth and figure out the why behind all of it, because she has all of that. So I love that.

Karyn [00:49:40]:

Thanks so much for tuning into the cheeky podcast for moms with IBD today. The great information we’re dishing out on this pod is exactly the same type of, of conversations I get to have with my clients every day. If you’re ready to take your IBD healing journey to the next level and move into being the mom you always dreamed you’d be, hop on over to consult and book your free IBD consultation with me. Remember, my mom had to be a little bit different and spell my name with a y. So it’s on our call. We’ll dive into what you’re struggling with most right now and make a plan for how we can work together to help you achieve your big, bold, beautiful, life transforming goals. No more sitting on the sidelines waiting for that miracle cure to magically happen.

Karyn [00:50:33]:

You’ve got what it takes to do this right now, mama. You just need a little nudge in that right direction, and I’ve got your back. and now back to the show.

Karyn [00:50:44]:

So let’s say, now we know we’ve gone through it, we know we have this diagnosis. I know that you talk about how unfortunately there is no magic pill. It’s not like you can say, well, you have ebv, take this one pill, even take a 30 day supply and you’re going to be cured. There is none of that, unfortunately, as we all know, with a lot of chronic illnesses. So it sounds like this. Well, maybe I’m wrong. There’s a lot of starting places, but you talk a lot about supplements, and that, again, is on your website. There are several supplements that you recommend that people take when EVB is a factor in their life.

Karyn [00:51:22]:

But I, and I know people can go and see that, but there’s a couple that I wanted to ask you about specifically. One of them is selenium. Yeah, I love this because I feel like selenium is one of the most underrated nutrients that people just don’t talk about. So besides the fact that were mostly depleted in selenium, why do you recommend selenium for ebv?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:51:47]:

So what you’re talking about is on our website, we have a link to supplement website and I created a bundle, we call it ultimate bundle for ebv. And that’s where you start. And selenium is in it. In order to get to the bundle, the supplement had to meet many criteria. For me, selenium does meet those criteria. It has to be an antioxidant because ebv creates a massive, colossal numbers of oxy, free radicals, lots of oxidative stress damaging the cells. It has to be a multitasker. Selenium has so much value.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:52:33]:

Selenium will help create for you. It nourishes the thyroid. Thyroid cannot support you without selenium. And it is depleted in soil. We’re not getting enough from food because the soil doesn’t have enough. Selenium is an anti ebv. It has specific pathways in which turns off the virus. So it has all those benefits, but the magic is in the dosage.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:53:04]:

We go pretty aggressive. We go as aggressive as clinically, you know, shown in medical research, and that’s what it takes. So in, on the website, I obviously don’t disclose that because I don’t want people to hurt themselves and do it on their own.

Karyn [00:53:22]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:53:22]:

But even 200 micrograms can make a huge difference, especially for women. It’s the thyroid, it’s the liver support. It’s a lot of stuff. So when, so what we created is I want to educate and empower people. So on our supplement website, every member of the bundle, including the selenium. When you have the selenium product, you have a video training on selenium that I did.

Karyn [00:53:56]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:53:57]:

I love that I explained that. And then under that we have an infographic, like a graphic with summaries and when to use it, when not to use it, you know, so it highlights all the benefits within EBV and outside of EBV because I need people to understand and be empowered and know why they’re using something so they are motivated, because it’s not a quick fix. You know, you have to stay on it and drill it down deeper into the cell. Yeah.

Karyn [00:54:27]:

I love this part of your website. I really just want to highlight it because if you’re thinking about this at all in your life, go to this website, go to this supplement section, because you break it down like I’ve never seen before. So not only do you talk about the supplement and just the generalities, but then there’s a YouTube, a short, it’s not a long, it’s a short YouTube clip that tells about the supplement and why you want to use it for EBV. And then you’re. And then you even have the infographic that even breaks it down further. So everybody needs to see this. That’s why I said we don’t have to go into all of them. Because if you really want to know about Doctor Kyne’s protocol, you can go there.

Karyn [00:55:06]:

But I just wanted to ask you some questions specifically. So the other one I wanted to ask you about is vitamin C. That’s part of the protocol as well. And I know that you mentioned iv vitamin C, so I’m curious. And then you say that it isn’t really for everybody. There are some people that it isn’t for. Would that be a good way to go, you know, right into the vein, the iv type of c for somebody with IBD. Right? Don’t know.

Karyn [00:55:35]:

Don’t know. Yeah. Okay. That’s okay.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:55:36]:

I’m so the problem is a little deeper.

Karyn [00:55:42]:

Yeah. Okay.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:55:43]:

You don’t develop chronic EBV. And also you don’t develop IBD if you’re living your life, if you’re walking your walk, if you’re seeking your truth, if you say no when you need to, if you have good boundaries, if you are just solid in your life. Right. There’s something that makes you vulnerable in this life and this is why you get. It gets in your gut. Right.

Karyn [00:56:08]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:56:09]:

So when we’re looking for a solution for something like that, EBV and IBD we’re looking for a solution for the whole person. Who am I? What happened to me in my life?

Karyn [00:56:21]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:56:22]:

You had to do that?

Karyn [00:56:23]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:56:24]:

It’s not just iv. You can go and, you know, I have people go to iv therapy, they get vitamin C, they pay for it, they feel better for a few days, they go home and then it weans all, you know, it stops working, they have to go back. So it’s like a crutch. Do they have any empowerment? No. Do they have the tools they can use at home? No. What if the doctor retires? What do they do? This is not a sustainable tool. And yes, vitamin C IV doesn’t work for everyone. The doctor needs to test you for a particular enzyme that you may be lacking.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:57:02]:

And if you lack that, enzymes and do IV therapy with vitamin C, that is threatening, life threatening. That can be very dangerous. And people can get really sick. You can literally like, lyse your blood cells.

Karyn [00:57:14]:

And I haven’t heard of this, but I was reading about it in. Maybe it was on your website. G six PD is the name of this enzyme, correct.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:57:22]:

They should know that enzyme. They should, they should. This will be part of the protocol for any doctor that uses vitamin C therapy, IV therapy, they know that they need to test that.

Karyn [00:57:32]:

That’s interesting that you say that they should know, but I have had IV therapy at various places, you know, pre surgery or this or that or tired or whatever, and nobody has said to me, you should be tested for this enzyme. And these are at functional, well, like good clinics. So I’m gonna have to bring this information to my doctor and say, why have I not been tested for this?

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:57:56]:

Awesome, awesome, awesome. That is exciting. Yes.

Karyn [00:57:59]:

Go, go do it. Yeah, yeah. For sure.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:58:02]:

So, you know, it’s like you said, if people have cancer and surgeries, this is vitamins. Vitamin C IV is great, but in terms of recovery from chronic illness, it is helpful temporarily, but it doesn’t give you any tools. It’s not empowering, it’s not. You know, what I have to teach people is if you need to change this, you have to change your life. You have to change the concept of yourself, of how, what you say, what you don’t, what you do, what you don’t, when you delegate, when you have to say no and mean, it boundaries. Yeah.

Karyn [00:58:37]:

It’s bigger than just a supplement. It’s really. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:58:43]:

So I don’t know about your community, but within ebv community, you know, like every species has, based on studies, about 20% within every species are empathetic. Individuals. But in my communion, it’s like 90, 95.

Karyn [00:58:58]:

That’s right. That’s right. Yes.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:59:00]:

It’s probably similar in your community. These are the people with a heart on their sleeve.

Karyn [00:59:04]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [00:59:05]:

That works against you because you’re over giving, overdoing, overachiever.

Karyn [00:59:10]:

Perfectionist. I can’t. It doesn’t make sense. But I’ve been doing this work since 2010. I have not met. I’ve worked with hundreds of women. Not. Not one of them didn’t fit this profile.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:59:23]:


Karyn [00:59:24]:

Overachiever, empath. Anxiety leads to the anxiety. Overdoing. Trying to be the best. Right.

Dr. Kasia Kines [00:59:30]:

All of it overcompensating. So, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll say, I’ll drop a bomb on you when you strip everything, all the therapies, you know, counseling. And if you look really at the. The one sentence I can say that probably is leading to all of this is the bottom of it, is you don’t feel you’re enough. There’s something in your upbringing in life that was telling you this information. You’re not enough. You have to do something to be enough.

Karyn [01:00:02]:

That is huge.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:00:04]:

That is huge.

Karyn [01:00:05]:

Simple, but huge. Huge. I really hope that people are just taking that in and listening to it. I relate to that. It resonates with me completely. I mean, I’m a work in progress. I continue to work on that constantly. I don’t think I’ll ever be completely healed.

Karyn [01:00:25]:

I always work on it.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:00:26]:

It’s a human condition. But when you realize that, okay, I actually am enough today, and I don’t have to tell my boss, I’m gonna work after hours on Fridays. So, you know, it’s like, I remember one of my students said, I’m gonna go. So we had that conversation. I’m gonna go to my boss and tell him. So she was a paralegal, and she said, I just wanted to tell you I will not work on Fridays. I signed up for part time, and that’s what it is. I will not.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:00:54]:

You know, if you need more, I’m gonna walk away. And the beautiful thing, ladies and gentlemen, is when you step into your boundaries and your power, people really respond to it. Oh, my gosh. I totally get it. Nope. No more Fridays. You are so good. I so appreciate your work.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:01:11]:

I want to keep it. Don’t go.

Karyn [01:01:12]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:01:13]:

She goes. Finally.

Karyn [01:01:14]:

Speak up. Yes. When you step into your power and you.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:01:20]:

Because you feel. You feel you’re enough, you can do that.

Karyn [01:01:24]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:01:24]:

That’s the human condition. This is the. You know, this is the thing. So I feel like the empathetic community are the healers, the canaries in the mind. And if we can turn this around, and I have goosebumps now, my biggest job in my community is not to just help them physically, but to help them with this journey so they are empowered and they start shining their life and walking their walk and doing the advocacy and I practicing what they came here to do, you know, being of service and shining their light. There’s nothing better on this planet than to do that. And if you heal those parts of you and you are able to do it, you know, the physical parts, they have to heal. I would believe that they have to heal.

Karyn [01:02:14]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:02:14]:

And if they heal only to a certain degree, then you know what you have and you ride with it. You are peace, but you know who you are.

Karyn [01:02:23]:

Oh, gosh, that’s huge, too. Yes, yes. Yep. At some point, just knowing. Yes. What is it? But just bringing. Yeah. Having peace with what is rather than what I wish was.

Karyn [01:02:37]:

And I’ve had to work on that myself as well.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:02:39]:

Yeah, yeah. With IBD, I think that’s a big one because, yeah, you can’t always reverse engineer it. Like with ebv. Straightforward, just eBv. Like, if you have ebv alone without any bucket full, like IBD is a bucket, you know, you have this. If you have straightforward ebv, you will recover and you will live your life. So you are, you know, it’s easier, but if you have IBD, at some point, there’s some damage done and you just have to work with that.

Karyn [01:03:07]:

But you, especially if you’ve had surgeries like me. So, yeah, I have to work with what is, you know, I can’t. I can’t put that intestine back. So, you know, you can thrive.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:03:19]:

You can still thrive with it.

Karyn [01:03:20]:

That’s right.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:03:21]:

You can totally thrive.

Karyn [01:03:23]:

Yeah, yeah. By being at peace with what is. This is a really great place to wrap up, but I just want to add that I got to show this book one more time because we’ve only really scratched the surface here. There’s so much in here. We haven’t got into food, we haven’t got into lifestyle, which is so huge. Well, we just did a little bit detoxification, having metals. I mean, just a wealth of information. So the biggest takeaway here is to get the right testing.

Karyn [01:03:57]:

Get the right testing. Now, you mentioned at the top that, you know, if you’re just diagnosed with IBD, that’s the time to get the testing. But let’s say you’re like me and you’ve had it for 35 plus years. Is it still valuable to get tested or only if you’re symptomatic at that point?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:04:16]:

I don’t know. I mean, if you want to test, you know, if you want to test with a purpose, then you want to test. If you’re curious, then you want to test now when your functions are where you are and when you have the lab report, you know, I would write on it like I tested it when I felt, you know, stable, you know, my typical, you know, functionality. Maybe like seven out of ten normal.

Karyn [01:04:43]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:04:44]:

And then when something happens and you start going down, you test right there and then without waiting. And then, you know, you have your lab results and you write on it. You know, I test it when I talked because something happened, you know, there was a divorce or something, and then you look at the markers and see what you see.

Karyn [01:05:03]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:05:04]:

Because otherwise, if you test at one time, what does it give you? You probably will have normal igm, you probably will have early antigen normal, and the two will probably be elevated. But you need context, right.

Karyn [01:05:18]:

So it’s not one and done, right? Not one and done. Yeah.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:05:22]:

I can have the same result, two different people, two different circumstances, and two different, like, background information and two different conversations based on similar presentation in labs. So that’s it. That’s the trickier part.

Karyn [01:05:36]:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I like that you mentioned that because it’s important to know. I feel like earlier you were talking about testing and saying that, retesting and retesting to see where you’re at at different times during treatment. So it’s. Yeah, it’s kind of like Sibo or Lyme disease or. You know what I mean? You don’t just test once. And so many doctors make that mistake, especially with, well, you tested positive. Let me give you some antibiotics and then you’re done.

Karyn [01:06:06]:

So it’s kind of like that. It’s like you have to continually be on it and retest and see where you’re at when different life events happen.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:06:14]:

To understand the patterns. Yes.

Karyn [01:06:16]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:06:16]:

I want to bring one more point before we go because it’s a low hanging fruit and people, and I remember when I was writing my book, I asked Doctor Pizorna, who was the founder of Basturia University, he’s brilliant and brilliant in toxicology. I asked him to review my book and his only observation was not to talk about EMF because there’s not enough validation in research and I’m going to be criticized for it. I didn’t follow his idea, but I have to tell you, over the years, this is the lowest hanging fruit. We have to have a Wi Fi hygiene. I am. I ask every person coming in. I have a quiz, so I know what people are doing and I know the trends. And one of the most alarming trends is that people are using their phone as alarm clock.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:07:05]:

It’s unacceptable that people are using earpiece that is wireless. It’s unacceptable. Please don’t do that. That people, though, are not aware that I have a smart meter and they don’t do anything about that. Please remove that or put it in a Faraday box. It’s not expensive. It’s easy to find. And then your wifi router, get a kill switch so you can turn it off with a button before you go to bed and put it in a Faraday box.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:07:36]:

These things will really help your cells regenerate and work because you’re inundated on cellular level with radiation.

Karyn [01:07:47]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:07:48]:

It’s huge.

Karyn [01:07:49]:

Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:07:50]:

It’s huge. And it is very detrimental. This stuff reactivates cbv and people, like, people are stewing in it, and they have no, they have no idea.

Karyn [01:08:02]:

It may be your headaches or it may be the cause of your joint. I mean, you have no idea how it’s impacting you. Yeah, I need to do more. So I’m glad that you mentioned that, because I’ve done some of those things, but I definitely need to do more. And I know there’s a whole chapter in that, in your book as well.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:08:21]:

You know, it’s an old book, so there’s. There’s simple solutions these days that were not available then. Oh, good.

Karyn [01:08:27]:

So there’s even updates. Yeah, gotcha.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:08:29]:

Yeah, I mean, you know, like I told you, you can get, you can, you can clean that up. I mean, you can get an earpiece called air tube. So there’s air in the tube, so there’s absolutely no effect on the brain when you have, you know, the. The earpiece that you have.

Karyn [01:08:47]:

Like the one I have right here. Yeah, exactly. And I’m thinking, well, I don’t have the wireless ones, so I’m doing much better, but it’s still an inch an issue, huh?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:08:58]:

Yeah. You still have a little bit of. A little bit going to the brain.

Karyn [01:09:02]:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Gotcha.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:09:04]:

Anyway, so. Yeah, yeah, take a look at that. Especially if you have kids, because kids, their brains are still developing. It’s very dangerous technology. I’m not a parent. If my kids had phones, I would not be able to look at them. Hold that next to the brain, there’s studies on that, there’s brain tumors. I know of young women that died because they always, one woman always carried her phone in one particular place.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:09:34]:

She developed cancer right there. She died. It’s like people are not hearing about research, but it’s there. There’ve been studies, there have been illegal against tech companies, against the technology. So it’s a big deal.

Karyn [01:09:52]:

Yeah, it really is. It really is.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:09:54]:

Yeah. Moms are listening. Moms, you have to, you know, figure something out.

Karyn [01:09:59]:

Yes, exactly. Do what you can. I mean, they’re here to stay, but let’s do what we can to make everything as safe as possible. Now, this podcast, just, if you have just a couple minutes. This podcast is oftentimes we go deep and it’s kind of down because we talk about really serious things. So I like to end on a positive note, if you don’t mind, just a really quick lightning round, just some super quick questions, and they’re fun and light and easy. Is that okay with you?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:10:26]:

Oh, yeah.

Karyn [01:10:27]:

Okay, here we go. So what is your favorite go to healthy snack?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:10:32]:

My go to healthy snack? I would say apples or pears.

Karyn [01:10:39]:

Oh, yum. Yeah, yeah. Especially when they’re in season, right? You can’t beat it.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:10:43]:

Pears in season.

Karyn [01:10:44]:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. What is the one supplement that you can’t live without?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:10:53]:

That would probably be a combination of adaptogenic herbs. Because I have a lot of stress and so I just have to manage, you know, lifestyle isn’t what it is. It’s taxing on the body, so it’s a little buffer for me. It’s a combo of adaptive drink herbs.

Karyn [01:11:10]:

Yep. Okay, awesome. What’s your favorite form of exercise or movement? Exercise or movement. What do you like the best?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:11:18]:

Well, surprise, surprise, the exercise that I love is my walking meditation, scooping poop for my three horses. I do it every day. That’s so bad. Actually, I’m developing a little thing here that’s so great.

Karyn [01:11:34]:

Good for your muscles, but also good for your soul.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:11:37]:

Yeah, I don’t like the gym. I need, you know, you need to exercise with purpose. And the thing with the brain development or brain react reaction when you’re on a treadmill is very repetitive. The brain needs challenges. So you need to be on uneven turf, you need to stumble, you need to go into the mud like I do. There’s ups and down and you have to adjust and, you know, the brain has to adjust. So the idea of exercise is walking in natural terrain, up and down, trees, logs. That is actually exercise.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:12:10]:

We are designed to walk. We walkers. So you will never see me in the gym.

Karyn [01:12:16]:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:12:17]:

Not worth it.

Karyn [01:12:17]:

I love it.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:12:18]:

Real air, no oxygen. Phew.

Karyn [01:12:21]:

Exactly. Exactly. Me neither. What’s one thing that you do on a regular basis that really helps you connect with your spirit, your soul, whatever that means to you? What’s something like self care that you do?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:12:34]:

I talk to my spirit guides all the time, and I also have a particular spirit guide with me sister.

Karyn [01:12:42]:

Oh, she’s showing a picture of her horse.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:12:45]:

She was not my horse. She was my friend horse. And she’s up there now, but now she has wings. I understand.

Karyn [01:12:53]:

Oh, my goodness. Beautiful.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:12:55]:

And she’s white now, and she loves my guardian angel. So we’re looking for the farm for my three adopted horses now with her help. So I work with my spirit guides.

Karyn [01:13:06]:

Oh, lovely. What do you think is the house? Is a big question, but loaded, but try to keep it as brief as you can. What is the most misunderstood thing about EBV, in your opinion?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:13:27]:

Big question you had.

Karyn [01:13:30]:

Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Your doctor said, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:13:34]:

It’s nothing to do with what you’re going through. Yep. I would say.

Karyn [01:13:37]:

Now we’ve mentioned the medical medium, so this might be your answer. But when somebody says to you, what’s a good book that you recommend? What’s the one book that you go to over and over other than your own? What’s the one book that you go to over and over and you say, you have to read this book?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:13:53]:

About what topic?

Karyn [01:13:54]:

Anything. It could be fun. It could be medical. I mean, just any book that you. That just speaks to you, that you say, oh, you have to read this book.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:14:02]:

Um, I don’t read it again and again, but I love. I have it. I’ve given it as gifts to friends. And it is, uh. Charlie ho. It’s a beautiful, magical book. The boy, the horrors, the Fox, and, oh, boy, my titles. I can’t recall titles.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:14:27]:

It’s a little bit like little Prince and Winnie the Pooh. It’s a beautifully calligraphed and graphically beautiful, magical book that talks about life. Who’s invited?

Karyn [01:14:42]:

I want to look it up.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:14:43]:


Karyn [01:14:45]:

Okay. That’s all right. Yeah.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:14:46]:

The boy, the whores, the. There’s four animals with a boy. They. They travel together and talk and have philosophical interest, conversations that are just beautiful in just who we are. It’s. It’s magical.

Karyn [01:15:01]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:15:02]:

Let me email you the link.

Karyn [01:15:04]:

Yeah, that sounds really cool. Okay. Would you have a favorite travel destination?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:15:08]:

Travel destination. It would have to be my home hometown in Poland, which is on the Baltic Sea. I miss it. I don’t go there.

Karyn [01:15:21]:

You haven’t been in a while. My husband was just. Well, he’s been several times now in Poland, Warsaw. He’s a psychologist, and they’re working with the ukrainian medical professionals and to try to help them with everything that’s going on there in Poland is really the safe place closest to Ukraine. So they meet there in Poland. So, yeah, he keeps telling me, you have to come. You have to come.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:15:47]:

Well, Warsaw is a very different place. I come from a town. It’s a. It’s a place where every pole want to go in summer at least once in their lifetime. And so it’s a beach place, but it’s not a beach culture like in America. It’s a very healing place and public beaches, and my mom lives eight minutes away from the public beaches. Wow. But also, there is a tri city north of Warsaw that your husband might like to go to.

Karyn [01:16:18]:

What’s it called?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:16:19]:

Tri city.

Karyn [01:16:20]:

Tri city.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:16:22]:

Dines Gdenia, Sopo. You can’t miss it. There’s the biggest three cities on the water, on the Baltic Sea. That’s where I used to live when I was a. A young adult professional before leaving for the States. That’s kind of my. My base. I miss that.

Karyn [01:16:40]:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, coffee or tea? And how do you take it?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:16:44]:

I never drink coffee.

Karyn [01:16:45]:

Yeah, I hate. Do you drink tea?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:16:49]:


Karyn [01:16:50]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:16:50]:

Big tea drinker.

Karyn [01:16:51]:

Yeah, me too. Last question. So the name of this podcast is the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD. And it. It’s very tongue in cheek, because I have to just make a little bit of fun, a little bit of light of what we go through. And to me, being cheeky is about being a little bit quirky, a little bit sassy, and a lot badass. So how are you cheeky in your life?

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:17:16]:

I’m cheeky because I like to do things that haven’t been done. So with no experience with horses, I started to be with horses free in the open wide field, and now I ended up helping a shut down mustang that nobody could touch. Nobody could. Like, she didn’t rehabilitate.

Karyn [01:17:40]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:17:40]:

We fell in love with each other, and I ended up adopting her magically, which was not possible, but I never gave up. And now I have three. I created a herd for her, so we have. She’s a lead mayor, so she has a purpose now. She has two girls. She, you know, she protects. And now I’m looking with sister’s help. I’m looking for a farm for us.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:18:04]:

I’ve never done that before. I don’t know what it means, but I’m literally selling my house now. And we’re looking, actively looking for it. Amazing.

Karyn [01:18:14]:

That’s not sassy.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:18:14]:

I don’t know what is so sassy. We’re doing everything.

Karyn [01:18:18]:

Taking a leap, you know, just doing something new.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:18:22]:

Leap of faith. And I’m not writing them. It’s just a very different concept. It’s a. It’s kind of a pioneering, very natural way of being with those amazing creatures. So we’re GONna have a healing place where I will have retreats, WEEKend retreats. We’ll be cooking, breathing, eating, and we’ll sit down outside and breathe. And if the girls want to come and breathe with us, that’s what we will do.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:18:45]:

So it’s going to be very healing because they still are healing.

Karyn [01:18:48]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:18:48]:

You know?

Karyn [01:18:49]:


Dr. Kasia Kines [01:18:49]:

They’ve been rescued.

Karyn [01:18:51]:

I love that. I love that. Wow. KASIA. Oh, my goodness. AmAzing. And so we did a lot. We dug in a lot here today, but I still feel like we scratched the surface.

Karyn [01:19:02]:

There’s so much MOre to know. So, KaSIA, where can people go to find out more about you and more about the beautiful evb. Ebv. SORRY, ebv. Work that you’re doing.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:19:13]:

Yeah. Everything is on our website. Links from our website. You can sign up for newsletters so you’ll be updated. You know, ebvhelp, like we keep it simple. And I want to finish with. With a plea to all your moms, please.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:19:30]:

You are a beautiful, magnificent soul. You are. You know, we are a spiritual being, having a physical experience. Your spirit is so important. Don’t let anybody take it away from you. You just shine your light, speak your truth, see who you are.

Karyn [01:19:51]:

We need that more than ever in the world.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:19:55]:

More than ever. The magnificence of your body, how intelligent it is, how it’s fighting for you despite all of the mess inside. It’s just incredible. So just know that your body is working for you, not against you, and trying within whatever is given. And never, never give up. And there’s always a way to shine in your life. Just. Just be yourself.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:20:18]:

We need that.

Karyn [01:20:19]:

Oh. Amen, Kasia. Amen. I love it. Beautiful world. Words from a beautiful soul. Thank you so much for being here.

Dr. Kasia Kines [01:20:27]:

My pleasure.

Karyn [01:20:36]:

If this podcast is meaningful for you, if it’s been helpful in your IBD mom life, I’d love it if you would do a couple things. First, follow the pod, you’ll never miss an episode. And those moms who are searching for podcasts about Crohn’s and colitis, they’ll find us easier. There’s probably a plus sign or a follow sign where you’re listening in right now. It’s at the top of your screen. Go ahead and give that a tap. And then also give the Tiki podcast a five star rating and review and share it with your friends who are also struggling with IBD. The more we are open about talking about our illness and bringing awareness around it, the more we’re able to connect and build a safe community around each other.

Karyn [01:21:21]:

I love being in community with you and I appreciate you. You my friend. One last thing before we wrap up today. You know, I think you’re a rock star for taking time out of your busy life to listen in and invest in your healing. It is capital h huge. And the reason I know how huge this is for you is because I am right there with you in all of this, working my wheel of wellness, keeping my crohn’s at bay. It’s something that I invest in every day and I’d love it if we could continue our gut healing journey together. If you’re like me and you’re ready to soak up even more amazing gut healing information, it’s time to join the gut love

Karyn [01:22:03]:

community the GLC is my free and.

Karyn [01:22:08]:

Fabulous space, dedicated to dishing out even.

Karyn [01:22:10]:

More IBD resources, recipes, healing hacks, lots of BTS secrets on how I manage my life with IBD, all wrapped up in a weekly newsletter to help you keep your momentum going strong. This IBD dish is gut healing insights that I only share within our tight knit community. Basically, it’s your one stop shop for a more diversified approach to true and lasting gut healing.

Karyn [01:22:37]:

Amen to that, my friend.

Karyn [01:22:40]:

Let’s walk this gut healing journey together. Join me in the community that’s community.

Karyn [01:22:54]:

I can’t wait to meet you.

The New Crohn’s & Colitis Treatment Approach Isn’t a Pill, a Food, or a Supplement

In this week’s episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, we’re diving into a game-changing approach to treating Crohn’s and Colitis that goes beyond traditional methods. If you are feeling frustrated with the limitations of pills, specific diets, and supplements, this episode is for you. Discover how a new approach to treating IBD may be better than anything you’ve tried before.

We explore the critical need for a treatment plan that aligns with your core values and focuses on root causes rather than just symptom cover-ups. We’re going deep in this conversation, so grab a pen and paper and get ready to transform the way you are being cared for by your team of IBD specialists.

Tune in To Learn About:

✅ [00:03:15] The limitations of relying solely on GI doctors and medications.

✅ [00:07:50] How combining the traditional values of healthcare with Eastern philosophy has the power to set your IBD free.

✅ [00:15:20] The natural and holistic healing option that gives you the best nutritional support and personalized healthcare.

✅ [00:23:45] The natural medicine doctor who embraces ancient wisdom to bring health and balance to our digestive system.

✅ [00:31:30] Five foolproof questions to ask yourself to help you choose the right natural, holistic provider for you.

✅ [00:43:02] The “Do it Like a Mom” rapid-fire way to embrace your new gut healing approach.

Join us for this enlightening episode and empower yourself with the knowledge to navigate your IBD treatment with confidence and hope.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

>> Which Natural Health Provider is Right for Me? {Free Resource}

>> The Ultimate IBD Diet Decoder Quiz {Free Resource}

>> Join The Gut Love Community for Moms with IBD

>> Book Your FREE IBD Consultation with Karyn Today

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on YouTube

Karyn on Instagram

Karyn on Facebook

Episode Transcript:

Karyn [00:00:08]:

Hey there, mama.

Karyn [00:00:09]:

Welcome to season two of the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD. I’m Karen Haley, functional IBD nutrition and wellness coach and Crohn’s warrior. This podcast is all about us moms.

Karyn [00:00:22]:

Because our IBD plays by different rules.

Karyn [00:00:25]:

Season two is juicy, full of unconventional.

Karyn [00:00:27]:

Wisdom, real talk, new ways to tackle our illness, and a whole lot of.

Karyn [00:00:32]:

Community empowerment, and all of us advocating.

Karyn [00:00:35]:

The hell out of our illness.

Karyn [00:00:37]:

We’re in this together, and I’m here to help you find healing on your terms.

Karyn [00:00:42]:

Let’s do this. Well, hey there, my friend. Welcome to the episode. I’ve got a question for you. How’s your current IBD treatment plan going? Feeling confident with all the pieces that you have in place? Or is there something missing, something you might not be able to quite put your finger on? But, you know, if you could just figure it out, your life would transform in an instant. Oftentimes when I get to chat with our fabulous gut love community members or my amazingly courageous one on one clients, I hear this sentiment. I’m doing everything right, but I’m just not getting better. Or I know something is missing from my treatment plan, but I don’t know what.

Karyn [00:01:35]:

Or I’m just so frustrated with my treatment plan, the one my doctor has me on. It’s not in line with how I want to heal. And let’s get real here. Having a treatment plan that is totally in line with your core values, one that works, is crucial to living the life you were meant to live. Because when Crohn’s and colitis plagues you, it’s a constant daily battle. Heck, it’s a moment to moment battle. And I know that battle well. So I see you and I feel you.

Karyn [00:02:13]:

I understand that merry go round, that IBD Marigold round, because it’s been part of my life journey since I was a young teenager. Through the good times and the badlandhouse, between doctor’s appointments, medications, flare ups, managing the kiddos, trying to work, and trying to find time for that all elusive self care that we know, our mind, our body, our soul needs. It’s really tough navigating the world of IBD, isn’t it? It’s about always staying one step ahead of it. And sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we fail. I’m right there with you. I’m raising my hand over here. I’m right there with you. For the most part, we rely on our gastroenterologists to get through the rough patches, the flare ups.

Karyn [00:03:03]:

But how’s that working for you? These totally short, often rushed appointments where your ideas and thoughts, and sometimes your ability to advocate for yourself, it just tends to get lost. You end up barely scratching the surface with what you need. And I’m not one to completely poo poo doctors or medications, but I have to say, in a perfect world, in a perfect world, we’d all be stable enough to be off of drugs. But even when you’re doing everything in the natural realm, that’s at your disposal, even when you’re doing everything you can to find long term health, sometimes medication needs to be part of that picture as well. Sometimes short term and sometimes long term. So, yeah, medications and the doctors who prescribe them, they have their place. But it’s important that you know one thing today. If you leave this episode and you only have one piece of information, if you hit pause right now and you never come back, I need you to know this one thing.

Karyn [00:04:13]:

Just this one thing. Gastros and the meds that they prescribe, they are not your one stop shop for gut health. Now, docs and meds are just one piece of your IBD treatment puzzle. The analogy of thinking about your IBD as a puzzle, it’s the perfect way to think of it. And putting the pieces together, putting those pieces, those puzzle pieces together. When we only get one puzzle piece from our traditional provider, that puts a lot on us, a lot on the patient. So I don’t take it lightly when I tell you how hard this is and when I tell you this hard truth. Because we’re moms, we’re juggling all the things along our IBD journey, and it’s truly freaking hard to find time to put more puzzle pieces into place.

Karyn [00:05:11]:

But we must. We must find the time. We must find the strength to do just that. The medication GI doc puzzle piece, it can be a strong, solid, middle piece of your healing puzzle, but it never shows up as that necessary pillar of a puzzle. Preach piece. That’s that true corner connector piece, and it never gets to the root of our illness. And that root, the med only root, it never truly heals us because it solely focuses on covering up the symptoms rather than taking the time to truly understand the root causes of your specific individual challenges. Your IBD healing journey towards health, it shouldn’t be so hard, but it is.

Karyn [00:06:07]:

And that’s frustrating. Let me just say what it is and let’s just call it out. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You may even go into your doctor’s office, and you might even be full of hope that this time, this time it’s going to be different this time. You’ve got all your questions in hand. This time they’ve got to help you. But so often, so often we leave those doctors appointments feeling disheartened and dejected. I felt that way, I dare say, most of the time. Where’s the hope? Where’s the amount of good news that comes from that appointment? And if you found this podcast and you’re in the realm of the gut love community, you know that I am all about the absolute opposite, the opposite way that you feel after those frustrating appointments.

Karyn [00:06:58]:

To me, to me, healing should never be about disheartenment or distrust. It should be about empowerment, advocacy, knowledge, hope, root causes, and positivity. When was the last time you left your doctor’s office feeling any of those emotions? Empowerment, advocacy, knowledge, hope, root causes, positivity. If you want more of those gut healing vibes in your life, where do you go to get them? Well, I’m so glad you asked that question, because I’ve got your answer. This episode of the Cheeky podcast is your roadmap to navigating a new world of IBD medicine. A world where I ultimate healing and positivity is the goal. Imagine that. And it’s a form of healing that’s actually and didn’t invent it.

Karyn [00:07:55]:

It’s a form of healing that’s been around for centuries, but it still is pretty much, I’d say, in its infancy in the United States. So what am I talking about here? What’s the new approach to treating IBD that encompasses everything you desire and everything you deserve from your medical care team? It’s the world of complementary, natural, alternative, root cause, integrative, functional medicine. It is called by so many names, but at its heart, this type of medicine is about all those positive thoughts and feelings that I mention. When you find the right provider in this space, it has the power to turn your IBD treatment plan on its head. Because it’s all about empowerment, advocacy, knowledge, hope, root causes and positivity. Finding the right provider in this natural type of health space. A provider who takes the time to hear your story, who takes the time to listen, who gives you access to ask your questions, and leaves you with a heart centered treatment plan that encourages the body’s innate ability to heal. It’s this type of provider, these types of providers who can help craft your ultimate IBD healing plan.

Karyn [00:09:22]:

Can I get an amen? Okay, so keep that middle puzzle piece, GI doc. I’m not saying get rid of it. Keep it. Keep that middle puzzle piece GI doc, keep the meds if you need them because we need these pieces to complete our IBD healing puzzle. But don’t forget, don’t forget that we also need the strong pillar of the puzzle. Corner piece. That corner piece, provider. We need that as well.

Karyn [00:09:52]:

We’ll never fully complete our healing journey without someone like that in our corner. And it’s my dream. It’s my dream that each and everyone that’s part of the GLC and beyond, of course, beyond finds a provider like this sometime in their lifetime. I want everybody to find a provider like this. You deserve to be treated with the respect and the attention to uncover hidden gems to successfully manage your illness. And I have to say, I have been so incredibly blessed because I’ve been able to work with a number of providers who fit this description over the years. And I swear they are at the heart, at the heart and soul of all the healing that’s taken place for me. And it’s time for you to find your natural healing provider as well.

Karyn [00:10:48]:

And that sounds incredible, right? Finding a provider who actually listens and works with you instead of against you. So you’re probably wondering, where do I start? Where do I start? Where do I find such a provider? The good news is that nowadays, they’re everywhere. You just have to know where to look to find them. It’s time for us to just step away from the grasping at straws, approach the throwing at a wall treatment plan, and then maybe connect with a provider who truly understands what you’re going through. It’s one thing to know this information, to even embrace it in your mind, but it’s a whole other dimension to actually get out there and find the natural root cause healing provider that’s got your name on it. So today, it’s my goal to help you explore your natural provider options, arm you with the right questions to ask, to know if these providers are the right fit for you, and then most importantly, empower you. Empower you to take charge of your health like the badass moment warrior that I know you are. Are you ready? I said, are you ready? Okay, I’m hearing you.

Karyn [00:12:10]:

I’m hearing the feedback. You’re ready. Good. Okay, let’s dive in. Okay, so hopefully, hopefully now I have at least sold you on the benefits of finding a medical provider who works with you as your equal partner on your healthcare journey, because, holy cow, it’s so powerful. But now the question is, who is that? Who is that provider for you? We’re going to find that out together because knowing your options is your best starting place. You can’t get started if you don’t know what your options are. I have to say though, that the best news I can give you is that there’s this whole world of alternative medicine out there.

Karyn [00:12:50]:

It’s waiting to be explored. Now, it might not be five minutes from your front door, but with just a little bit of knowledge about where and how to search, you can find a root cause provider who is right for you. And keep in mind, you don’t need to connect with all of these options. What’s most important is finding the right provider rather than spreading yourself thin with multiple practitioners who might not fully understand all your needs. Or I have to say even worse than that is when there’s just too many cooks in the kitchen, they all end up giving you competing treatment plans. If you’ve ever been there, you know what I’m talking about. It’s an absolute nightmare, this process of finding the right alternative provider. It can take a little bit of time and a little bit of research on your part, but I know that you can do this, my friend.

Karyn [00:13:45]:

Us IBD gals, we’re skilled, we are tenacious, and given the proper tools, we find the right providers who can make all the difference on our gut healing journey. I know this to be true, so I know that you can do this. So who are these alternative medicine providers and what do they bring to the table? Well, I am so happy to tell you that the options abound. From acupuncturists to chiropractors, reiki masters, therapists, counselors. Alternative options go on and on. And while the types of practitioners that I just mentioned, while they can really play a valuable role in your holistic care team, your best starting place is with a natural minded holistic IBD specialist. I’m going to say that one more time. A natural minded holistic IBD specialist.

Karyn [00:14:42]:

These are folks who sit at what I call the top of the natural health pyramid armed with the knowledge and the expertise to get to the root of your IBD symptoms, the integrative medicine doctor, the functional medicine provider, and the naturopath, these are some of the best, most skilled types of providers that you’ll want to research. These specialists, they offer a whole body approach to health. They have training to run comprehensive functional tests. Your traditional doctor will probably never think of the tests that they run, and they focus on treating the underlying causes of your symptoms rather than just masking them with medications. Working with a provider like the ones that I just mentioned, it can be truly life changing. And I don’t say that lightly. I know a lot of people use that word. It’s so transformative, it’s so life changing.

Karyn [00:15:39]:

I don’t use that lightly. I mean, it can be life changing. And like I said, I truly want that valuable gift for you because they have this unique ability to partner with you in a really empowering way. To be your guide, not your dictator or your guru as you. You like capital y o u, take control of your health and reclaimed your life from the inside out.

Karyn [00:16:13]:

Are you, like many of us, with.

Karyn [00:16:14]:

Crohn’s and colitis, turning to food to help heal your gut but feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of gut healing diets out there?

Karyn [00:16:22]:

Gluten free, dairy free, paleo SCD gaps. And that’s just naming a few. It can be so confusing, frustrating, and leave you feeling disheartened about which diet is the right fit for you. And trust me, I was there until I created the best tool to help me figure this out. Now, maybe you’ve tried a diet or two only to give up quickly because you couldn’t figure out what to eat. Or maybe the plan was just too.

Karyn [00:16:51]:

Strict for you to follow.

Karyn [00:16:53]:

Here’s something you won’t hear from the so called food gurus. There isn’t one single diet that works for everyone. I don’t care which diet it is. And the best diet for you isn’t just about your symptoms. It’s also about your lifestyle and your personality. Why start a diet based solely on your IBD symptoms only to abandon it a week later because it doesn’t fit your life? If you’re ready to discover which gut healing diet is the perfect fit for you based on your unique needs and your current stage in life, then you need my ultimate IBD diet decoder quiz. Head over to quiz to access this free resource. Remember, there is no one size fits all, best cut healing diet, but there is the one best diet for you.

Karyn [00:17:45]:

Find out what you’re meant to be eating to help put your IBD in its place. Got three minutes? That is all you need. Go to forward slash quiz. That’s quiz. Answer a few simple questions and get your personalized quiz results immediately. Now let’s get back to the show.

Karyn [00:18:09]:

Okay, now remember, at the top of the natural provider pyramid stems three types of providers, the integrative medicine doctor, the functional medicine practitioner, and the naturopathic position. And you have this daunting task of deciding which type of those providers will suit you best. But I gotta tell you, I’ve got you, girl. I am going to walk you step by step through what these providers stand for so that you can make the best decision, the most informed decision for you. Now, to help you get familiar with the similarities and the differences between these three options, I have created categories within each profession to help basically separate what these providers are all about. So those categories are their beliefs, their training, their philosophy, the conditions that they treat, the treatments they use, and then how to go about finding them. You can then use these categories to help you make the best decision for you regarding your natural healthcare. There is no right or wrong answer here.

Karyn [00:19:22]:

All of these types of practitioners have the potential to offer value and truly exceptional care. This provider breakdown, it will just help you make the best decision that fits for you. Also, I want to mention that there’s a ton of information I’m about to hit you with. This is a lot, lot of details. And you might be driving, you might be out for a walk or doing the dishes or cooking dinner or even in the bathroom or the shower. Well, those are the kind of things that I do when I’m listening to podcasts anyway. But don’t feel like you have to pull your car over or stop what you’re doing. Because after I go over these categories and walk you through the ins and outs of these natural healing providers, I’m going to tell you how you can get your hands on my handy dandy.

Karyn [00:20:10]:

Which natural provider is right for me? Resource. It’s going to give you all of these details in a more concise, clear cut format. So stay with me. Now, start your gears turning. Start the marinating in your mind. Be in the moment with me, but know that I’ve got your back. I’ve got your back for later. And I’m going to tell you how you can get this free resource.

Karyn [00:20:35]:

Which natural provider is right for me in just a few minutes. Okay, so let’s begin. And let’s begin with the integrative medicine doctor. Are they the right natural provider for you? Now, integrative docs, they believe, they have this really unique approach because they believe in combining alternative therapies with conventional medicine to treat the whole person, mind, body and soul. And they come at it from a variety of backgrounds, really. They might be coming from osteopathy, or they could be a traditional MDD. They could come from a traditional MD training program, you know, medical school, or they could even come from the naturopathic medicine sphere. Besides that training, integrative docs will then receive additional integrative training at a school like the Andrew Weil center for Integrative Medicine, and that’s located in Arizona.

Karyn [00:21:30]:

An integrative medicine doctor’s philosophy revolves around the idea that illness manifests from an imbalance in the body’s natural equilibrium. Can I say that word? Let me try it one more time. Equilibrium. There we go. So from the body’s natural equilibrium with lifestyle, genetics, things like environment, mental health, all of those things, they say, play a very crucial role in your body’s ability to heal or to manifest illness. Because they come from such education heavy backgrounds, they’re able to treat a really wide range of chronic illnesses, including chronic pain, metabolic disorders, digestive issues, hello, Crohn’s and colitis, mental health conditions, and then autoimmune diseases as well. Now, in terms of treatment, integrative providers, they often combine the conventional approach, like medicine or even surgery, with the unconventional, like massage, chiropractic care, nutrition and counseling. And this is the hallmark of the integrative doc.

Karyn [00:22:43]:

So if you want to find a provider who is skilled in both the western medicine side as well as someone who sees value in more eastern philosophies, this type of provider might just be your jam. It’s really rare, I have to say, to find a full fledged IBD literate integrative medicine doctor, especially in the United States. But they do exist. You just need to be willing to travel to them or see them via telehealth. Isn’t telehealth great these days? See them via telehealth if you don’t live near where they practice. Now, to seek out an integrative medicine doctor, it’s really best to check out the American Board of Integrative Medicine, or you might even be able to get a referral from your current healthcare provider. So that’s the integrative medicine natural health provider. That’s their beliefs, training, their philosophy, the conditions they treat, the treatments they use, and how to find them in a gut show.

Karyn [00:23:47]:

What do you think? In my opinion? Here’s what I have to say about integrative docs. In my opinion, if having a provider who is skilled at both the medicine side of things, the traditional approach, along with the skills and knowledge to know when a more natural method is reasonable to try, then this is your doctor. All right, let’s go ahead and continue on and talk about natural medicine. These categories again. We’re going to go through the same categories again, but I. This time, let’s look at it from the lens of a functional medicine provider. Is this the type of natural medicine provider for you? I don’t know. Let’s find out.

Karyn [00:24:31]:

Functional practitioners focus on root cause medicine as they aim to identify the underlying causes of disease, diseases like IBD, and they view the whole body is interconnected and they practice personalized medicine. I love that. So there is no one size fits all approach here, no one size fits all approach that fits the masses. They are all about digging deep into your specific needs. Even if the patient they’re seeing after you has the same condition as you, your treatment plan, it might look completely different from theirs. That’s something that I love about functional medicine. Functional medicine providers, they come from really diverse backgrounds. They might be in the nutrition field or traditional medicine, or naturopathy, and then what happens is they just like the integrative doc, they receive that additional functional and diagnostic training.

Karyn [00:25:33]:

So functional medicine practitioners, they’re not all mds or even doctors because they can come from somewhere in the medical or even the mental health space. But then they specialize in functional techniques. That’s what sets them apart. Now, personally, in my practice, I most align with a functional approach to healing. The methods that I use in my one on one coaching practice with my clients, they are all from a functional perspective, a functional practitioner’s philosophy. It centers around this idea that illness stems from dysfunctioning body systems that are linked to several things, lifestyle, diet, genetics and the environment. And functional medicine providers believe that health occurs when these systems are optimized. Functional medicine providers treat a wide range of chronic conditions, just like integrative docs, including autoimmune, metabolic, digestive, hormonal, cardiovascular, neurological diseases, just to name a few.

Karyn [00:26:37]:

Though I would do. I will say though that they do tend to specialize in one or two areas where most of their training lies. Functional treatments, they often include things like a personalized nutrition plan, targeted supplements, lifestyle modifications, stress management, detoxification, and mind body techniques. Now, if you’re thinking that this is the type of provider that’s exactly what you’ve been waiting for, wait no longer. Because you can find a functional medicine provider through resources like the Institute for Functional Medicine, or it’s like it’s called IFM. IFM. Or possibly again through a referral from your healthcare provider. I know that in my practice, several of my clients will say that their doctor is the one who referred them to me.

Karyn [00:27:28]:

Some providers are open minded and they will refer their patients to functional practitioners. But just in case you don’t have access to a doctor that’s open minded to natural methods of healing, it’s good to know that you could go to the IFM program. You could go there online because they have a referral center. All right, so what did you think? What do you think about the functional approach to natural medicine? If an individualized approach is important to you, if bringing nutritional and lifestyle changes into your healing regime is important to you, then I would say bring on the functional provider. That’s the one for you. But don’t bring them on just yet, because I’ve got one more natural provider to introduce you to. And that is the naturopathic provider. Is this the provider for you? Let’s find out.

Karyn [00:28:21]:

Okay, so the naturopathic doctor, they believe in the body’s innate ability to heal, the innate ability to heal itself. And they use natural, holistic approaches that focus on root cause healing. Naturopaths attend accredited naturopathic schools of medicine. Like, for example, they might go to Bastille University in California. And these types of doctors, and yes, they are doctors, they undergo rigorous training in alternative as well as traditional medicine. A naturopath’s philosophy, it centers around the idea that illness manifests from an imbalance in the body with things like poor diet, stress, environmental triggers, toxins and genetics. All of these things. To them, it plays a significant role.

Karyn [00:29:12]:

And naturopaths, they also treat a wide range of chronic illnesses, including autoimmune, digestive, ding, ding, ding, hormonal allergies, cardiovascular, even mental health conditions. But like functional providers, it’s common for them to then pick one or two fields that they specialize in. In terms of treatment. It will often include things like herbal medicine with botanicals, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, counseling, acupuncture, ayurveda, traditional chinese medicine, as well as physical medicine. So the best place to find a naturopathic provider, besides doing a Google search in your area, is to maybe check out a resource like the American association of naturopathic Physicians or AANP. Or you could also check out the Institute for Natural Medicine. Now, some states in the US have a naturopath in every corner. They are covered by medical insurance, and they practice just like an MD with the same privileges.

Karyn [00:30:19]:

Other states have strong restrictions on mds, naturopathic doctors. And if you want to see a natural provider like this, you need to shell out the dough yourself, because there’s no insurance involved. Now, from my experience, the naturopathic approach to treating IBD specifically, it’s really groundbreaking and unique. You’ll hear from naturopaths ideas to help you that your GI doc would never even have thought of. They reach back into centuries old wisdom with herbals and botanical treatments that have been used as far back as early indian, chinese, native american or egyptian cultures, ideas that have long been forgotten by our medical community. Today, if you want to get a good idea of what a naturopath specializing in gut health might bring to your gut healing table, I highly recommend you check out episode 102 of the Cheeky podcast just a few episodes ago where I had an eye opening conversation and a truly enlightening conversation with an IBD expert and naturopath doctor Alana Gurevich. So check that out, because that will give you a good idea of the kind of amazing things naturopathic doctors bring into their practice. Okay, so that’s how naturopathy works.

Karyn [00:31:40]:

How does it sound to you if you love going back with ancient medical wisdom? If you believe that given the right tools, the body can heal itself, finding a naturopath as your natural care provider, it might be the right option for you. Now, each of these stellar top of the natural health pyramid providers, they bring something unique to the table. But ultimately the right fit. It depends on your individual needs, it depends on your preferences and your values. By grabbing my free resource, which natural care provider is right for me, you will absolutely have what you need to make the right healing decision for you. You can use this resource to help you explore your options, do your research, especially to find a local providers in your area. And of course, I want you to trust your instincts with this. And remember, you don’t need to connect with all of these amazing root cause natural health providers.

Karyn [00:32:46]:

What’s most important is finding the right provider who resonates with you and can support you on your healing journey. So go ahead and get your which natural care provider is right for me resource. It’s going to help you with everything that we talked about today, but it’s just in a more concise version, wrapped up in a nice, neat, tidy bow. Head on over to natural to get your hands on this oh so valuable resource today. And remember, it’s and that’s natural. You can get that resource right now. Okay, if you’re listening intently to all these details, the ones I’ve been dishing out about integrative doctors, about functions, medicine providers and about naturopaths, you might have noticed that there’s actually a lot of similarities between these types of naturally minded holistic providers. At the end of the day, these approaches by these providers, they may seem very similar in many ways.

Karyn [00:33:54]:

And so then the question becomes well, how do I decide? How do I decide which type of naturally minded holistic provider is best for me? After the break, we’re going to talk about five foolproof questions to ask yourself to help you determine which natural health provider is the right one for you. And then we’re going to finish up this important convo today with a lightning round of do it like a mom finding the best natural care provider like only an Ibden mom can. Stay with me, will ya? This is where all the knowledge that’s been marinating for you, it will begin to gel and solidify. It is action plan time, so don’t go anywhere.

Karyn [00:34:40]:

Thanks so much for tuning into the cheeky podcast for moms with IBD today. The great information we’re dishing out on this pod is exactly the same type of conversations I get to have with my clients every day. If you’re ready to take your IBD healing journey to the next level and move into being the mom you always dreamed you’d be, hop on over to consult and book your free IBD consultation with me. Remember, my mom had to be a little bit different and spell my name with a y. So it’s consult on our call. We’ll dive in what you’re struggling with most right now and make a plan for how we can work together to.

Karyn [00:35:23]:

Help you achieve your big, bold, beautiful, life transforming goals.

Karyn [00:35:28]:

No more sitting on the sidelines waiting for that miracle cure to magically happen. You’ve got what it takes to do this right now, mama. You just need a little nudge in that right direction, and I’ve got your back. consult and now back to the show.

Karyn [00:35:45]:

So we know we can’t just rely on one GI doc to put all of our gut healing puzzle pieces together. We know the root cause long term approach to healing lies with a natural care provider. And we know our best top of the pyramid choices, the integrative doc, the functional medicine provider, and the naturopath. And I want to stress that I’m not discounting the acupuncturist, the Reiki master, the massage therapist, the craniosacral therapist, etcetera, etcetera. These are also important options in your healing care. But they’re not the top of the pyramid, right? They’re not those providers. They are the ancillary soldiers who play a vital role in your healing. But it all trickles down from the top of the the pyramid with these providers that we’re talking about today.

Karyn [00:36:38]:

So the question then becomes, how do you know? How do you know which type of natural provider is right for you? Well, you ask yourself these five questions, just five questions. Answer these questions with me right now, and you’re going to be well on your way to finding the right provider for you. Okay, question number one, is it important that my provider be knowledgeable in both eastern, so that would be the more natural side of things, and western, the more prescriptive the medical side of things. Is that important to you? If the answer is yes, an integrative approach is really your best option to pursue. Done. Case closed. No need to go any further with these questions. But for argument’s sake, let’s just say that you’re not quite sure yet.

Karyn [00:37:29]:

So let’s keep going with our questionnaire. Okay? So question number two, who’s in my area? Who’s in my area? If it’s important for you to see a doctor in person, and I would have to say that it’s nice to be able to do that from time to time, even with the advances in telemedicine. Well, then pick the one that is actually in your area. The truth is, traditional mds, they’re found pretty much everywhere. They’re in every town in America and around the world. But holistic, naturally minded doctors, they aren’t always available in high numbers. So depending on where you live in the world, it might be hard to find someone. But the good news, the good news is that all these types of providers have the power to be of a big help to you, to help you dig beneath the surface of what’s going on at the root of your crohn’s or colitis.

Karyn [00:38:23]:

So just pick the one who’s nearest to you. Pick the one that’s actually in your town. Pick the one where you live, and just get started. You can always make a change later if they’re not a good fit. And of course, virtual consultations, they’re an option as well, because gone are the days where you could only see doctors who live in your part of the world. I have to say, my main GI provider, she lives 2700 miles away from me, and I wouldn’t trade her expertise or the time she takes with me or her outside the box root cause thinking. I wouldn’t change that. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.

Karyn [00:39:02]:

Okay, question number three. Question number three. To ask yourself, do I need testing or prescriptions? So, while most integrative and most functional providers have these types of privileges, at least in the United States, there are many states that do not recognize naturopaths as doctors, and therefore they don’t allow them to write prescriptions or order tests. Maryland, where I live, it’s one of those states. And even though I have a naturopath, she is not able to write prescriptions or order procedures for me. So instead she makes recommendations and then I bring them to my MDE and I ask if she’s comfortable ordering what my naturopath thinks that I need. And I do have to say, luckily, and I do feel very lucky about this, I have a really great MD who’s willing to work with me, but not everybody has that option. So ask yourself, do I need tests? Do I need prescriptions? Because if you do, a natural path might not be for you and that can help you whittle down your choice.

Karyn [00:40:05]:

Okay, so number four. We’ve made it to number four. Question number four, what’s the cost? We got to talk about price here. It’s the elephant in the room. What’s the cost? And can my insurance cover it in the United States? This can be a really big issue. I wish that I could say that all natural and holistic providers accept insurance, but the truth is, most don’t. And their fees, they can be quite pricey. Trust me, it is worth it.

Karyn [00:40:32]:

I am telling you, if you can find a way to do it, it is so worth it, especially in the long run because it will probably save you from medical expenses, but it’s still pricey upfront. So always check with your insurance company or your HSA account first to see what they might cover. Look for out of network benefits and see what you might be able to get back before you go to your appointment. And don’t forget, you’ll be filling out your own paperwork. So don’t forget to ask your fee for service doctor. That means that they take cash, not insurance. So fee for service doctor, please ask them for a super bill. It’s called a super bill because that’s what you will need to submit to your own insurance company, your insurance claim, you’ll need to submit that on your own.

Karyn [00:41:20]:

It’s called a super bill. Okay? So if paying out of pocket or getting reimbursed later, if that isn’t an option for you, you’re going to want to find someone that will take your insurance. And this varies from provider to provider and from state to state. So just keep this in mind when you’re deciding who will best serve you. Okay, lastly, question number five is, what’s the reputation of the provider so important? Right. No matter which natural healing category they fall under, who are they and how do they serve their clients or their patients? That’s actually, even, in my opinion, much more important. Check out their reviews, ask around about the provider, and above all, interview the practitioner before you make a final decision. This is where empowerment and advocacy come into play.

Karyn [00:42:14]:

Remember, you are in charge of your healthcare. These individuals are your consultant. They work for you. Their ability to help you is much more important than what medical program they attended, at least in my opinion. Okay, so what are you thinking now with those five questions in mind? Now that it’s marinated and now it’s gelled and now solidified a little bit more, ask yourself, what are you feeling? Who is going to be the best fit for you? And you might not be able to answer that question fully today. And that’s okay. You’ve got everything you need to go forth and conquer this task. Use your which natural provider is right for me resource to help you complete this task.

Karyn [00:43:02]:

Remember, you can get natural forward slash forward slash natural okay, now there’s only one thing left to do, and it’s time to do natural providers like the badass IBd warrior mom that I know you are. Okay, so here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to give you several quick tips, quick hit tips, I like to call them, to be the IBD mom warrior that you are, to do natural providers like the badass IBD mom warrior that you are. Okay, so number one, leverage your networks like a playdate pro. You want to use your networks for referrals for doctor or provider referrals. Just as you might ask for recommendations for a pediatrician or a good babysitter, turn to your local mom groups, online forums, community centers, wherever you go where there are other moms, use that to help you get personal referrals to naturopaths, to functional medicine practitioners, or to integrative health experts. And you might even want to take it to social media. Utilize platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn or Instagram.

Karyn [00:44:18]:

Because many professionals maintain active social media profiles where they will maybe share their expertise. They interact with the public. They might post client testimonials. All right, what else? How do you do it? Like a mom consult like you’re interviewing a babysitter. You wouldn’t just let somebody babysit your kid that you don’t know. You would interview them. Many natural health care practitioners, they offer free initial consultations. Use this as an opportunity to see what is their philosophy and approach and how does that align with your expectations? Not enough people, I have to say, take advantage of this, but it is really, truly a must do task.

Karyn [00:45:03]:

Don’t forget to go into that initial consultation. Then prepared with specific questions. Ask about their experience with IBD, their approach to treatment, their successes with past patients. How do they handle communication follow ups? How hard is it to get an appointment with them? All of those things, these questions, they go a long way to help you make your ultimate natural provider decision. Okay. And then after that consult, you’re going to do your homework. You’re going to check the doctor’s credentials, their licensing, and this includes looking into their educational background. Maybe they have additional certifications, any professional affiliations that they’re part of.

Karyn [00:45:44]:

I always like to check out where they went to school. I look at their board certification status because when it’s a really tough decision to make, maybe I’m deciding between two practitioners. This can be a good help. It can be a good deciding factor. Also, don’t forget to check out patient testimonials on their websites, but also look for those independent reviews as well, like on Google or health grades or other medical review sites because then that’s going to help you get kind of a more balanced view of this practitioner. Okay. Do it like a mom means that you also absolutely consider proximity. Just like when you’re scheduling a play date, right? You want to make sure it’s convenient.

Karyn [00:46:27]:

It’s a kid friendly location. You just want to think about those types of logistics. If the provider’s office is too far or it might be not where it’s convenient for you, that’s going to add stress and that’s counterproductive to your treatment. So we don’t want that. But also remember that many providers offer virtual consultations, which can be a great option for a busy mom like you. It not only saves you travel time, but it makes scheduling a lot more flexible. Also, trust your mom instincts by listening to your gut, not just the rumbles in your IBD belly. I don’t mean the actual listening to what’s going on in your belly.

Karyn [00:47:09]:

I mean, listen to what your intuition is telling you, just as you would know it instinctively if something is wrong with your child. Trust your instincts when choosing a healthcare provider. If you feel rushed during that consultation, if you feel dismissed or you feel uncomfortable, it might be worth considering other options. Okay, I have one last do it like a mom tip for you, just a quick hit. Stay informed and be flexible. The more that you know about IBD, about your IBD specifically, and about your potential treatment options. The better that you are able to advocate for yourself and communicate effectively with your provider. And also, it’s important to note that natural medicine, it works a little bit different than traditional medication cover ups.

Karyn [00:48:03]:

Often it takes a holistic, gradual approaches a little bit longer. So make sure you’re being flexible. Set realistic goals and timelines with your provider and then be open to adjusting them as your treatment progresses. Oh my goodness. Whoo, my friend. Whooie. We did it. That is a lot of knowledge.

Karyn [00:48:27]:

If you were taking notes, I bet you were just writing furiously. Thank goodness I have that resource for you. Holy cow. That was a lot of information. But you did it. You did it and you are ready to put this plan into action now. As you embark on your journey into holistic healing and naturally minded providers with all the knowledge and insights that you gain today, remember that finding a root cause healer, that’s your ultimate goal. Whether it’s a functional medicine doctor, an integrative health practitioner, or a naturopathic doctor, the decision is yours to make.

Karyn [00:49:06]:

Take the time to explore your options, trust your instincts and choose the provider who resonates with you and your individual needs most. And keep in mind, keep in mind you’re doing all of this to begin to build a comprehensive support system to help manage and then eventually thrive with IVD. Can I get an amen? Your best care? It starts with these types of providers. I cannot say it enough. It starts with these types of providers because they are the ones at the top of the pyramid. And then from there you can add in other practitioners who support your ultimate health goals. Last reminder, one last time. I want to say, don’t forget to grab that free resource.

Karyn [00:49:55]:

We covered so much today, but it’s all there in a very nice, neat, concise format. And I have to say it’s kind of graphically cool as well. It’s in a great format. Grab that free resource because it’s really going to help you out. Which natural provider is right for me? You can grab that natural that’s natural and it will just help you to ensure that you find the best natural healing provider, the one that’s best for you long term IBD remission. It’s waiting for you. Take this big, bold leap.

Karyn [00:50:38]:

I promise you. I promise me. Hand over my heart. Hand over my heart. I promise you you won’t be sorry that you did. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you much gut love and much happiness. Always chat soon if this podcast is meaningful for you, if it’s been helpful in your IBD bomb life, I’d love it if you would do a couple things. First, follow the pod.

Karyn [00:51:10]:

Youll never miss an episode. And those moms who are searching for podcasts about crohns and colitis, theyll find us easier. Theres probably a plus sign or a follow sign where youre listening in right now. Its at the top of your screen. Go ahead and give that a tap and then also give the Tiki podcast a five star rating and review and share it with your friends who are also struggling with IBD. The more we are open about talking about our illness and bringing awareness around it, the more we’re able to connect and build a safe community around each other. I love being in community with you and I appreciate you my friend. One last thing before we wrap up today.

Karyn [00:51:54]:

You know, I think you’re a rock star for taking time out of your busy life to listen in and invest in your healing. It is capital h huge. And the reason I know how huge this is for you is because I am right there with you in all of this, working my wheel of wellness.

Karyn [00:52:10]:

Keeping my crohn’s at bay.

Karyn [00:52:11]:

It’s something that I invest in every day and I’d love it if we could continue our gut healing journey together. If you’re like me and you’re ready to soak up even more amazing gut healing information, it’s time to join the Gut love community the GLC is my free and fabulous space dedicated to dishing out even more IBD resources, recipes, healing hacks, lots of bts secrets on how I manage my life with IBD, all wrapped up.

Karyn [00:52:44]:

In a weekly newsletter to help you.

Karyn [00:52:46]:

Keep your momentum going strong. This Ibd dish is gut healing insights that I only share within our tight knit community. Basically, it’s your one stop shop for a more diversified approach to true and lasting gut healing. Amen to that my friend. Let’s walk this gut healing journey together. Join me in the community that’s community I can’t wait to meet you.

Dr. Shahana Alibhai on Giving Mothers Permission to Focus on Their Mental Health

In this week’s episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, we’re breaking down the walls around taboo mental health topics with the insightful Dr. Shahana Alibhai. As a TEDx speaker, family physician, and mental health expert, Dr. Shahana has dedicated her career to improving mental health, and her innovative programs and powerful insights have made her a sought-after voice in the field.

Dr. Shahana and I explore the critical importance of prioritizing mental health, especially for moms with IBD. We dive into the challenges of postpartum anxiety and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder– is more common than many of us realize), how societal expectations impact our mental well-being, and practical strategies for managing these issues alongside chronic illness. Dr. Shahana also shares her personal journey with mental health, providing a unique and candid perspective. Whether you’re a new mom, have adolescents at home, or simply want to improve your mental state, this episode is packed with valuable insights.

Four Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

✅ [00:06:25] Understanding postpartum anxiety and why it’s not often talked about.

✅ [00:13:42] Dr. Shahana’s personal journey with mental health and how it impacted her career.

✅ [00:24:37] Managing expectations and the stress equation in motherhood.

✅ [00:44:27] Practical tips for finding the right mental health support.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

>> The Ultimate IBD Diet Decoder Quiz

>> Join The Gut Love Community for Moms with IBD

>> Book Your FREE IBD Consultation with Karyn Today

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on YouTube

Karyn on Instagram

Karyn on Facebook

Connect With Dr. Shahana:

Dr. Shahana’s Website

Dr. Shahana on Instagram

Episode Transcript:

Karyn [00:00:08]:

Hey there, mama. Welcome to season two of the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD. I’m Karen Haley, functional IBD nutrition and wellness coach and Crohn’s warrior. This podcast is all about us moms because our IBD plays by different rules. Season two is juicy, full of unconventional wisdom, real talk, new ways to tackle our illness, and a whole lot of community empowerment, and all of us advocating the hell out of our illness. We’re in this together, and I’m here to help you find healing on your terms. Let’s do this. Well, hey there.

Karyn [00:00:50]:

Welcome to this week’s episode. This season of interviews is all about breaking down walls and talking about taboo subjects that are often off the radar of most of our conversations that we have with our providers. And I gotta tell you, this week, it’s no exception. We’re exploring all the ways we can create the necessary space to own and talk about mental health challenges. But this ain’t your mama’s mental health conversation. Join me for a next generation mental health convo with the incredible Doctor Shahana Alibi, a TEDx speaker, family physician, and mental health expert, Doctor Shahana has dedicated her career to improving mental health, particularly among youth, and has been featured in major media outlets like CTV and Global. Her innovative program think like a doc and her powerful TEDx talk emotional literacy for better mental health have made her insights highly sought after. If you didn’t feel that motherhood glow you’re supposed to feel the second your kid was born, if you struggled with sadness or anxiety about motherhood in postpartum, if you kept your feelings buried because every other mom seemed to have it all together while you were living the life of a swan, you know, no sweat, perfect on the top, but paddling for your life underneath.

Karyn [00:02:20]:

And you did it all while battling IBD, you are going to love this episode of the Tiki podcast. Doctor Sherhana and I delve into the importance of mental health across the lifespan, from adolescence to postpartum and beyond. We talk about how prioritizing and finding the language to talk about mental health without shame or guilt is so crucial to both our physical and our mental health. And we discuss navigating rarely talked about mental health struggles like postpartum anxiety and postpartum OCD while managing difficult illnesses like IBD, Crohn’s, and colitis. And doctor Shahana helps us find ways to break down the barriers to mental health by addressing societal expectations and normalizing the real and often hidden experiences so many of us have with motherhood. We dive into the link between gut health and anxiety and how it can manifest in each of our lives. And then finally, we, we explore the practical side of things with practical tips for change. And doctor Shahana emphasizes the big role that small shifts can make to improve your diet as well as your mental state.

Karyn [00:03:41]:

Doctor Shahana gets really candid in this interview, sharing her own personal experience with mental health struggles in her youth and also as a new mom. And she brings this really unique perspective to this topic, knowing that doctors struggle with their own challenges as well. I love how she just humanizes doctors for us in that way, because they have their own struggles, too. They’re human, so they struggle as well. Whether you’re a new mom or have adolescents at home, or are just looking for ways to better manage your mental state, this episode is packed with valuable insights. Please help me welcome Doctor Shahana Alabai. Welcome, Doctor Shahana. I’m just so excited.

Karyn [00:04:27]:

I’ve really been looking forward to having this conversation with you because working with moms who have Crohn’s, who have colitis, they’re so busy taking care of themselves, taking care of their kids, that mental health, it just gets put on the back burner. It’s not something that’s really in the forefront of their mind. So having this conversation with you today, I think is really important. It’s giving us permission to say, yes, we need to talk about this topic. So I’m really excited to dive in.

Dr. Shahana [00:04:57]:

Oh, it’s my pleasure. And you couldn’t have started it better than using the word permission, because I remember looking at my husband after, in my postpartum journey and just asking him for exactly that. I need permission to pause. Give me permission to take a break, give me permission to take a step back. And ironically enough, I thought maternity leave would be a pause. And anybody who’s listening, it’s anything but that. So what a wonderful way to start. Start.

Karyn [00:05:24]:

Yeah, you’re exactly right. It is anything but. And I know that something that is really near and dear to your heart is talking about postpartum anxiety. And this is something that many of my clients, my community, I know that they have experience with, whether they’re able to put a name to it or not, it’s something that is really so much a part of their life. And so I find it interesting because I think nowadays we’re talking a lot about postpartum issues. It’s not something that was ever talked about in my generation. This before, during, after thinking about your mental health in any way, and so, especially because of celebrities, they’re talking about postpartum depression a lot. But the one thing that I think about this is that when it comes to postpartum anxiety, I’m not hearing that.

Karyn [00:06:11]:

I’m not hearing those words, right. Postpartum depression, yes. Postpartum anxiety, no. So I thought we would just start there. Can you tell us, what is postpartum anxiety, and why is it just not in mainstream conversation?

Dr. Shahana [00:06:25]:

Yeah, that’s such a good question, too. And I think even if I think back to conversations with my mom during the postpartum period, it was often really misunderstood because it was, well, you know, you don’t feel sad. So what’s the problem? Right? We define this idea if we go back to the nomenclature of postpartum depression. Must be that you’re sad, you’re crying all the time, you’re not getting out of bed, you’re wearing, you know, just your sweatpants, which is very common in motherhood, let’s be honest. Like, you know, all the time. Right? So then what does that flip side look like? And you can think of postpartum anxiety and depression under mood disorders. So I always like to tell my patients, because I’ll always say, doc, give me the anti anxiety, not the antidepressant. Give me the anti anxiety.

Dr. Shahana [00:07:12]:

And I’m like, surprise, surprise. It’s the same pill. They’re the same thing. It’s just different dosages, too. So if we think of them as two sides of the same coin under the umbrella of mood disorders, I think postpartum depression has gotten more of a voice, potentially, because postpartum baby blues, which is very different and secondary to hormonal changes right after the delivery, affects about 80% of women. So that kind of. That’s very common. And then roll into postpartum depression, which, you know, can be, you know, one in ten, two in ten.

Dr. Shahana [00:07:45]:

And that’s just at the low end. At the low end. Postpartum anxiety, however, is less recognizable. And I think that’s why it doesn’t get as much attention. It’s less visible. It’s the hyper vigilant mom. It’s the mom. And this can come in all sorts of flavors.

Dr. Shahana [00:08:00]:

It’s the mom who can’t go to sleep at night even though the baby is asleep, because they’re so worried about sudden, intimate death syndrome. It’s a mom who can’t walk down the stairs with their child because they think they might trip and fall and some harm would come to the child, too. It’s the mom who. And we can go on and on but vigilance is a good word. Vigilance or hyper vigilance.

Karyn [00:08:20]:


Dr. Shahana [00:08:21]:

Hypervigilance being extremely. That your arousal system has gone on to above. And the next level, one of the, what we call the DSM five criteria, or this idea of what does psychiatry look like? What does that manual look like? Part of anxiety is this idea that you’re keyed up, you’re on edge, you’re restless, the inability to relax, the inability to sit still. So it might just look like you’re mumming it. You’re constantly. And that. Can you just look like a mum? Because which mom isn’t sitting still? Like you’re always doing something? But I think the distinction we have to make is a, when you have any sort of mood disorder, it interferes with the quality of your life. This is not just like, you know, you’re getting some extra cleaning done or you’re feeling really hyper vigilant.

Dr. Shahana [00:09:07]:

It’s the idea that you can’t go out in public, you can’t complete your duties that you want to do. You’re not completing self care, you know, or it’s affecting your physicality. You’re not eating well, you’re not sleeping well, you’re not engaging socially, all of those types of things. So is it affecting your quality in your day to day level of functioning? The one caveat to put into all of that, that is even we were just talking about this, you know, off the air, this idea that IBD in general, we’re talking about a stigmatized topic. But let’s add to another stigmatized topic, not postpartum anxiety, but postpartum OCD. It used to fall under the umbrella of anxiety. It doesn’t quite anymore. But the idea is that postpartum OCD can often misrepresent as anxiety.

Dr. Shahana [00:09:55]:

You see the woman that they’re super anxious and scared and not sleeping at night, and you think it’s just because they just want to protect the baby. But we don’t ask that second question. And the second question is that that woman is afraid of causing harm to their child, and they actually think that they could cause harm. They don’t want to by any means, but they’re so deathly afraid of that. That is what we’re saying.

Karyn [00:10:20]:

That’s where it crosses over into OCD versus anxiety.

Dr. Shahana [00:10:25]:


Karyn [00:10:25]:


Dr. Shahana [00:10:26]:

The trick and the hard part, once again, not recognizable, is that when we think of OCD and pop culture, we think of the actors or actresses that are checking the doorknobs or wiping or washing their hands 100 times.

Karyn [00:10:40]:

What is that movie with Jack Nicholson? Do you know what I’m talking about?

Dr. Shahana [00:10:44]:


Karyn [00:10:44]:

He had OC. That’s a long time ago. That’s showing my age. No, that’s what we think about. We think about the compulsions when it may not be compulsions. Right? It could just be the thoughts.

Dr. Shahana [00:10:56]:

It’s just the intrusive thoughts. The intrusive thoughts dominate the story and dominate the picture when it comes to post. Part of. That’s why these poor women, including myself, you don’t, your partners, your family, don’t recognize any compulsions. The compulsions can be the waiting by the baby’s bedroom because you’re so worried that something’s going to happen to them, hiding all the knives in the house, refusing to bathe the child, all these things that could get swept under the rug, too. And we have to put words to this because I, you know, when my eldest was is now eight. This is now eight years ago, I found out about this through a tiny subset on a blog. And here I am, a physician.

Dr. Shahana [00:11:37]:

This is what I deal with. I knew in my heart what it was, but I really didn’t want to open my eyes to it. I looked at my husband, I’m like, why can’t it be my thyroid? Why can’t it be my thyroid? Like, you know, give me something like that. Like, something simpler, like the shame and.

Karyn [00:11:53]:

Without the stigma completely.

Dr. Shahana [00:11:55]:

Like, I would pick up the phone and tell my doctor, yes, I’m having intrusive thoughts about hurting my child. Like, are you kidding me? No way. But this is why it’s so important. Because we’re losing women. We’re literally. The rates of suicide can be so high because of the stigma and because of the misdiagnosis of postpartum psychosis, which is a completely different kettle of fish. And that’s much more rare. It’s still there.

Dr. Shahana [00:12:20]:

Much more rare. But you can imagine what a misdiagnosis and an error in treating them in terms of medication could do. So that’s why I like to just spell it out, because if someone listening can hear, recognize, help anybody else, then we’ve saved that one person.

Karyn [00:12:37]:

Yeah, absolutely. And I know that this is something that you have had to deal with in your own life. Like, you alluded to a little bit after, I don’t know, was it the birth of your first child or your. It was the birth of your first child. It was postpartum OCD.

Dr. Shahana [00:12:50]:

OCD, yeah. Yeah.

Karyn [00:12:52]:

And can you share with us a little bit about your story? About what that journey was like for you.

Dr. Shahana [00:12:57]:

Yeah, for sure. You know, I think it’s ironic now that I think back. It’s almost like, how could it not happen? Because one of the things you have to realize that if you go into the postpartum or perinatal time period, the time period surrounding conception to postpartum with a mood disorder of any sort, that’s a risk factor for having postpartum anxiety, depression. So if I already have that history after the postpartum period is a beautiful, fertile time for these things to rear their ugly head. You know, unbeknownst to me, at the age of four or five, I started having symptoms of what’s called pure obsessional OCD. Just the intrusive thoughts, not so much the compulsions. And that’s much more rare in the whole grand scheme of things. Remember, in the.

Karyn [00:13:42]:

That’s something you’re looking back on and saying in hindsight.

Dr. Shahana [00:13:45]:


Karyn [00:13:45]:

Because you’re at four and five years old. Are you remembering back that? Are you thinking, oh, in hindsight, I think I was like this pretty much most of my life.

Dr. Shahana [00:13:53]:

Good question. No, there was. It was vivid, troubling memory of that. Extremely troubling memory. So much so, I I would pull my mom aside, try in my, you know, elementary school way of conveying what was happening, but, you know, it was taking the word distress and bolding and underlying it and feeling so much distress at what was going on, but not having the language or the maturity to explain what was going on. And I think when there’s.

Karyn [00:14:22]:

This is the pure. Oh, go ahead. I was just. Well, let me just say this is the pure definition of what you were talking about earlier, where it will affect the quality of your life. And so it’s so memorable for you because it. It affected the quality of your life so much, even at that very young age.

Dr. Shahana [00:14:36]:

Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I think I have a lot of people right now, you know, talking about ADHD, and they’ll say, oh, yeah, I remember that time where I got a bit distracted. This was kind of the counter to that. This was a constant memory for me that kind of ebbed and flowed, but it was always smoldering under the surface. And surprise, surprise, during stressful times, it got worse. What made it better? School. School made it a lot better because I had something to focus my brain on.

Dr. Shahana [00:15:04]:

Right. Summertime was the worst for me because there was nothing like that hamster wheel to keep chasing, too. So, ironically enough, well, medical school entered the picture, and that turned out to be a beautiful cure didn’t it? Because it kept that part of my brain so completely occupied, all with the feeling that I felt that something was wrong, something was flawed, but I didn’t know exactly what. So you’re lurking in the shadows, right?

Karyn [00:15:30]:


Dr. Shahana [00:15:31]:

And I remember there was. We all have to do all the rotations, you know, whether it be obstetrics or internal medicine. And of course, psychiatry is one of the rotations. And there was two charts, one with a lady with. With bipolar and another with a lady with. Who was a professional. I still remember she was a lawyer, and she had OCD, but more pure obsessional OCD. And I gave the chart of that to my friend.

Dr. Shahana [00:15:54]:

I said, you take her, I’ll take the bipolar patient. Because I couldn’t be anywhere near that diagnosis. I was skirting around. It was too close.

Karyn [00:16:02]:


Dr. Shahana [00:16:03]:

I’m not going to be you. I’m going to separate myself from you. And all that separation did was create a springboard for me to land face first into that diagnosis. Now, not called pure obsessional OCD, but postpartum OCD. So it’s the same flavor. It’s just the fact that it got much, much worse. You add sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, and a predisposition, too, so. And that’s.

Dr. Shahana [00:16:33]:

And even after all that, too, it took me a year to reach out for help. A full year. A full year.

Karyn [00:16:39]:

So you were experiencing this postpartum for about a year before you said, you know what? Something’s really not right here. I need to do something about it.

Dr. Shahana [00:16:48]:

Oh, absolutely. It was coming face to face with all of the things that I talked to my patients about. Isn’t it funny how we expect our patients to sit there, be vulnerable, tell us the truth, tell us how they feel? But when we’re asked to do that, we lie, we numb it, we suppress it. We do all of these things to sugarcoat it. And that’s exactly what I did until I couldn’t anymore, until the thought of me not being there was actually a comforting thought. And that was the line. And even though that’s the subject matter that I deal with so often in my practice, especially dealing with youth, it was that rude awakening that how can I not recognize this in myself? But it certainly took its sweet time. It took a year or two.

Dr. Shahana [00:17:34]:

And even after that, I didn’t have the courage to call my own family doctor. We were friends. We were colleagues. It was too close. So, speaking to an anonymous physician helpline, I remember the phone call. I told my story, and I said, he said, you know, you’re going to have to speak to a psychiatrist. You know, you’re going to have to go on medication. Right.

Dr. Shahana [00:17:51]:

And I said, you know what? This has been so therapeutic. I feel so much better after this phone call. So it speaks to the vulnerability of what does being a patient look like? And just because the doctor tells you that this medication to take doesn’t mean it’s going to work. Right. Like you and mine didn’t work the first time, you know, the second or third time. And I think I’m trying to pull it back to, you know, women with IBD as well. I, we shared, I have a sister who had, who had IBD and now has a total colectomy. But at the same time, I look at my patients sometimes say, I hate that you have to be a guinea pig.

Dr. Shahana [00:18:29]:

I wish I had a crystal ball and knew that this was the exact right medication, medication for you. This was the exact right dose. But it’s the hardest when you’re the most vulnerable and you have to go through that as well. And I think we have to kind of call it out sometimes. And that’s okay.

Karyn [00:18:43]:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I don’t know that a lot of doctors do that. So I’m glad that you. I’m glad that you make a practice of doing that in your practice because I feel like a guinea pig so often. Well, we don’t really know if this works. We’re not really sure, but. But let’s try it.

Karyn [00:18:58]:


Dr. Shahana [00:18:59]:

Right, exactly. And. Yeah, and I think until you’re put in that shoes of, oh, like, who wants to actually take a foreign pill and put it in their body? Like, you have to be at a certain level to say things are not good. Things are. And I remember taking the medication and looking at my kids, and I’m doing this for you guys. I’m doing this to be here, to be present. But it taught me a lot about, about the flip side of things. I always say it’s easy for me to sign the bottom of a prescription, but when my name was on the top, things got real.

Karyn [00:19:32]:

Yeah. It’s probably, I would imagine the hardest for an MD, a doctor to then go to their own doctor and admit, you know, something that’s going on with them, especially when it comes to mental health. So what courage that you had to, you know, to take that step and say, you know what, I need help.

Dr. Shahana [00:19:50]:

Yeah, no, exactly. And I think it’s so interesting because I think there’s a reason why certain support groups who advocate a sense of community that’s why they work, because I think anything bred in the shadows is where all of this stigma festers. The minute I started to use the words, I remember the first time a podcast host asked me, I said, oh, is it postpartum depression? Anxiety? I couldn’t. I couldn’t say the words OCD. It took me years. Just recently, actually, just over the last couple of years, I still am not at a place where I could go to a family gathering and say that none of my close family really knows. None of my know.

Karyn [00:20:30]:


Dr. Shahana [00:20:30]:

It’s much easier to speak to strangers in some ways. But I’m doing this because, once again, if somebody listens to this, the rates now are not thought to be so low. In fact, up to 50% of postpartum women in one study for the first six months were shown to have intrusive thoughts. So it’s. It’s wild, right? It’s. It’s much more.

Karyn [00:20:50]:

So much more common than we realize.

Dr. Shahana [00:20:52]:


Karyn [00:20:53]:

Exactly. Yeah. And when we keep it in the shadows and we don’t talk about it, the problem gets worse and worse. And like you said, suicide rates, thinking about suicide, that kind of thing. It’s high.

Dr. Shahana [00:21:05]:

It’s high. Yeah, right. Exactly.

Karyn [00:21:10]:

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Karyn [00:21:59]:

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Karyn [00:22:50]:

Go to quiz. That’s quiz. Answer a few simple questions and get your personalized quiz results immediately. Now let’s get back to the show. I want to stay on the topic of postpartum issues for a minute. So as a new mom at our society, you’re told, well, as soon as that baby’s born, you are just going to love it. You’re going to bond with it. Immediately after birth, you’re going to have this connection.

Karyn [00:23:23]:

So what do you do if really you’re dealing with postpartum mental health issues, whether they are depression, anxiety, especially for somebody with IBD, because not only might that be an issue, but having a flare up right after birth, post birth right is very common. So even if it’s just that I’m dealing with so much of my own flare up and my own gut struggles that I just cannot find the bandwidth to bond with this baby, what are some steps that you can take when, when this is just all encompassing for you?

Dr. Shahana [00:23:59]:

And you said it best, too, because it really comes down to expectation management. I use this analogy of the stress equation really is stress wanting or expecting things to be different than they are, when there’s a discrepancy between let’s take my wedding day. My wedding day has to be, everything has to be absolutely perfect, and the sun has to be shining and everyone has to be smiling. And whatever the case might be, and a couple drops of rainfall, suddenly there’s that gap. And it’s about managing the gap. And you manage the gap by managing your expectations. It’s nothing to do with your effort. You still put all the effort into planning that perfect wedding day.

Dr. Shahana [00:24:37]:

But if something that goes wrong, out of your control, like a flare up, for example, like mental health notice, I use the word out of your control because we have this. If I right now had an IBD flare up and I had a mental health issue, which 01:00 a.m. i going to get more support from? Which 01:00 a.m. i going to say, okay, here, I’ve got your back. I’ve got. I’m hoping it’s both. But it’s not usually. Yeah, it’s not usually.

Karyn [00:25:02]:

And even if there are people that are willing to, if I reached out and said, I need your help. As the IBD patient. You’re going to put your time and effort into the IBD because you feel like I have to take care of my physical health first.

Dr. Shahana [00:25:16]:


Karyn [00:25:16]:

My mental health is going to take the backseat.

Dr. Shahana [00:25:18]:


Karyn [00:25:19]:

And we do this time and time again.

Dr. Shahana [00:25:21]:

Absolutely. And I think it’s very quantitative. Like, look, even with IBD, from my sister’s experience, you might measure it as the number of bowel movements, how much abdominal pain you’re having, the quantity of bleeding. You have something to hang your hat on. For mental health, it can be really difficult. It can be really nebulous. What does concrete look like for mental health? What the other misnomer is that we think that mental health is either really anxious, keeda, or it’s sad. And sometimes it’s none of those.

Dr. Shahana [00:25:53]:

Sometimes it’s nothing. You feel absolutely nothing. It’s that lack of feeling. It’s that numbness. It’s that cognitive blunting. And especially when you have that, that’s even harder to quantify because you go around feeling like a zombie. And unfortunately, some of the medications titrated to the, you know, too high of a dose or the incorrect dose can also cause cognitive blunting. So you have this double edged sword.

Dr. Shahana [00:26:19]:

But going back to your initial question, I think it really comes down to putting a pin in this idea that we have a certain amount of time, a finite amount of time to bond with our child. I have to be honest, I didn’t feel a sense of bonding with my first child for months. For months. It’s gonna make me emotional now, but I remember going down to his level and crying and crying and looking at him and apologizing. And I. He was six months, seven months old, just kind of sitting there and just bawling, going, mommy’s so sorry, mommy’s so sorry, mommy’s so sorry. We. I have to put this in there, though.

Dr. Shahana [00:27:02]:

Do our spouses and partners feel the same way? I think there is a society’s expectation that we. We go through this pregnancy, which can be beautiful and burdensome and all of that at the same time, and the delivery, which can be also difficult. And suddenly we’re meant to just milk, come in, breastfeed over the sunset, and bond at the same time. Let’s manage our expectations. And I think what we have to realize is that, you know, this baby is going to be in your life for the long term. You guys, you’re always going to be its mother. You’re always going to be whatever role you happen to play in its life, too. So.

Dr. Shahana [00:27:40]:

So let’s take that pressure out a little bit and be kind to yourself, because I think the minute you say it’s almost like, don’t think of a pink elephant. You’re gonna think of a pink elephant. It’s going to happen. Right. So I think there’s a society and gender expectation that we have to start tweaking a little bit more.

Karyn [00:27:57]:

Yes. Amen to that. And I hope that. I hope that this is happening slowly. I do hear more people talking about it. It’s wonderful that you make this so central to your message, because we just need to have, again, I have to go back to that word permission, as, just as women, we have to give ourselves permission, and that comes from normalizing, from knowing other people that have gone through it. Exactly. When I had my third child, you mentioned that numb feeling, and I had that feeling for a really long time.

Karyn [00:28:32]:

And I would also add a fog. Like, I was just in a fog and I didn’t realize it. So this is another piece of this. So sometimes you’ll realize it, and you. You just don’t know what to do about it or you don’t want to do something about it because you. There’s. Because of the stigma. I didn’t realize until my child was a year old.

Karyn [00:28:51]:

As I started, the fog started to lift. The numbness started to lift that. I said to myself, oh, my gosh, Karen, you actually had postpartum depression, and you didn’t. You didn’t know it the whole time. I didn’t even know. Like, I was so numb.

Dr. Shahana [00:29:05]:


Karyn [00:29:06]:

I didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until I started to experience joy again that I said, huh? I was not. I was not in my right mind for a year, and I didn’t even know it.

Dr. Shahana [00:29:18]:

Absolutely. And at that time, you would have had probably a seven and eight year old. Like, you know, we’d have had.

Karyn [00:29:23]:


Dr. Shahana [00:29:24]:

You know, you’re having two other kids dealing with a child. Like, it’s. I think it just, I think. I think motherhood shows us the impact of sleep. If anything, it is hard. It is really, really hard. And I think the same thing. You know, our marriages are not supposed to be all bliss, and otherwise it wouldn’t be real.

Dr. Shahana [00:29:44]:

Right. And our relationship and our bonding experience with our children. Let the good things come. There’s lots of good things to come. And any of us moms, now my kids are. We talked about four, six and eight. I look at them now and go, oh, my word. I feel so much more connected with you than just feeling like a milk machine all the time.

Dr. Shahana [00:30:02]:

But of course. But who’s gonna go up to a mom and baby group and see all these doting parents and say, I don’t feel connected. You feel like the black sheep. Right? So just hearing it from someone like us, you know that this is normal and you’re not alone.

Karyn [00:30:17]:

It just takes one person to say, yes, me too.

Dr. Shahana [00:30:21]:

Me too. Right, exactly.

Karyn [00:30:23]:

Yes. Yes, exactly. And I know in your practice, we haven’t actually talked much about your practice. I did. I’ve already said your bio, so people have heard about it. But I know your practice is in British Columbia. I know you work with teenagers. Is it 14 to 24? Do I have that age?

Dr. Shahana [00:30:39]:


Karyn [00:30:39]:

Twelve to 25, something in there. And so you probably see a lot of kids with anxiety. So obviously anxiety and gut health, they go hand in hand. Is that something that you see in your practice when people come into you and there’s anxiety issues? Do you also notice a gut component?

Dr. Shahana [00:30:56]:

Oh, I can’t even. So, so glad you brought that up. I think just in general, I’m noticing more gut issues. Like, so many more gut issues. You really ask these kids about their digestion. Not that they want to be asked, but I will ask them. And I’m appalled at what they think normal is. I’m appalled at what they think normal is.

Dr. Shahana [00:31:18]:

And you go back and you look at, just like when you think about burnout, for example, you can’t just blame the individual. You have to look at the systems behind the individual. The same thing here when it comes to the care of our youth. You have to look at the systems behind your youth. And so many of these youth. I had a conversation. She’s like, you know, my mom can either afford. You know, things are really tough here right now, especially in British Columbia.

Dr. Shahana [00:31:42]:

With inflation and whatnot and the cost of food prices and groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables going up, it’s like, we can either afford rent or fresh fruits and vegetables. Like, that’s where.

Karyn [00:31:52]:

What are you going to pick? Right?

Dr. Shahana [00:31:54]:

She comes to me and she’s like, you know, it was so. It was so endearing. She’s like, my favorite food. I said, what’s your favorite? I was thinking pizza, pop. Cauliflower. She’s like, I really love cauliflower, but my mom, all I opened the fridge, and all there is is processed food.

Karyn [00:32:08]:

Processed food. So it’s cheaper. Well, at least in the States, probably in Canada, too, I would guess.

Dr. Shahana [00:32:14]:

Oh, absolutely. It lasts for longer. You don’t have to go grocery shopping as often it’s frozen. It’s right there and then, you know, and it’s easier to prepare. It doesn’t involve it, you know, so. So many different reasons. And then you can’t put. And then it’s so easy to say, oh, I blame the parents.

Dr. Shahana [00:32:29]:

It doesn’t take long to look and to look at their history and their background. So this intergenerational trauma, if I dare say that too, I think affects the systems around things. Affects what we’re. Our nutrition and that directly affects our mental health. There is a connection between the two. Like it 2023. We have to say that. That is a well, well known fact.

Dr. Shahana [00:32:51]:

So, you know, for me, I love to talk about fish oil with the youth that I work with, but so much of it comes down to cost and accessibility. Right. We can’t even afford medications, let alone, you know, supplements. So we try to just focus on the basics here, you know, can we. Can we cut out a really easy one that I do? Is that. What are you drinking that contains sugar in it? Like, let’s just change to water.

Karyn [00:33:17]:

Start small, right?

Dr. Shahana [00:33:18]:

Super small. Right. Can you not eat something out of a package at breakfast time? Like, can we do something like that? Luckily, I work at a school that’s kind of an at risk school with kids who have been kicked out of the regular school system. And they provide a hot lunch. So in some ways, they have one meal every day that is freshly prepared, which is lovely. Right. So those kids have access to that.

Karyn [00:33:44]:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just like you’re doing with starting small. This is what I do as well with. With people who have IBD, and we’re starting to make dietary changes. It’s baby steps.

Dr. Shahana [00:33:54]:


Karyn [00:33:54]:

It’s. You don’t need to make a massive diet change and you don’t have to do it all at once. Let’s just start by, like, removing some of the sugar. Right. It’s that simple. So no matter what you’re dealing with. Right. And then when you do these things, and let’s say, I know it’s probably difficult with compliance, but when you do these things and somebody is compliant that you’re working with, do you notice that at a.

Karyn [00:34:15]:

Impacts their anxiety levels?

Dr. Shahana [00:34:17]:

No, it certainly can. I think I keep telling them and teaching them that, you know, food is medicine, right. You have, you know, energy drinks are just abundant amongst our youth these days. It’s so interesting. I’ll ask about coffee. They’ll be like, not as much, but how many red bulls or whatever they monster drugs or whatever they call it these days. Oh, yeah, tons of those. Like, they don’t equate it just like I say, are you smoking cigarettes? Oh, not cigarettes, but are you vaping? Oh, yeah.

Dr. Shahana [00:34:41]:

Like, you know. Right, the.

Karyn [00:34:43]:

No, you have to ask the right question.

Dr. Shahana [00:34:45]:

And that nomenclature is different. But yeah, absolutely, they can see small. Maybe it’s a little bit of an improved sleep. Maybe it’s that they’re not as fidgety anymore. Maybe it’s that they’re not craving certain things, you know, those. And once again, small. It’s small. And you might notice small things, but those small things build up.

Karyn [00:35:03]:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I’m thinking about this idea of anxiety, and of course, that goes along with perfectionism, right. That kind of thing. So especially in new motherhood, it’s almost normal, right? You know, you’ve prepared for this for nine months. You’ve read all of the what to expecting in all these books, and you want to do it right. I’m doing this in air quotes. If you can’t see me, you want to do it right.

Karyn [00:35:28]:

So can you talk to us about what would be help? What’s a healthy way to approach this in terms of this perfectionism, anxiety, stress. Like, when does it cross the line into this is now pathological? What signs should we be looking for besides the. I know you mentioned, you know, when it’s impacting the quality of your life, is there anything else, like, just, like, tangible that we can say, all right, this is. This is. I’ve gone beyond, right? I know I’m a new mom. And, like, for me, for example, when I had my first son, we were pretty rigid, and so he had to eat at the same time every day. If it was noon and I did not have the food on the table for this baby, I was like, we need, like, doctor Shahana. This is what we would do.

Karyn [00:36:14]:

We would actually stop the car. We were driving in the car. We would stop and say, okay, it’s noon. We have to stop because he has to eat. And I’m not talking about breastfeeding. I’m talking about when he was even eating table food. He has to eat. Like, that’s pretty rigid, right? But that was probably my own.

Karyn [00:36:27]:

That was probably the only thing. So when does it, like, cross over into. Okay, like, this is too much.

Dr. Shahana [00:36:34]:

Exactly. There’s a beautiful analogy given where you can imagine a river, and on one side of the riverbank is chaos, and on the other side is rigidity. And part of motherhood, I think, is flowing between both right and it’s not that you’re ever going to be beautifully downstream right smack dab in the middle. It’s being able to ebb and flow and change directions and change the tide when you need to. And that’s the complete opposite of rigidity. But I think the way to distill that down is to ask yourself the question, what does that say about you? Why do you need to feed him directly at noon? So you would maybe say, well, it’s really important for his growth. Well, tell me, why is it really important for his growth? Well, I’m afraid that he’s going to lose weight. Well, why are you afraid that he’s going to lose weight? Well, you know, my mother in law has been telling me that he’s not really looking as chunky as he used to, and I really want to make sure that he’s looking that way.

Dr. Shahana [00:37:28]:

You keep asking yourself that same question. Whatever I answered was completely theoretical. But seven times. And you do that seven times to get to that root. And the root I give the funnel. Any new mom with young kids would know that we love pouring sand through funnels, right? You funnel things through pouring water or whatnot. So imagine you have all that milieu of stuff in your brain of, you know, why you are, and it might be the behavior that you’re funneling through. You might not know what that you were adapt to saying, okay, it’s the rigidity.

Dr. Shahana [00:38:00]:

But you might just know that this is my behavior that I’m doing. I was the same way with my first. I think many of us are because we don’t know what we’re doing. So you clamp down and try to do everything, too. I remember with my first, I had a birth plan that I always joke is not, you know, photocopied, but laminated like it was. This is the way it was gonna go. And within 72 hours, everything went out the window, right? But at the end of that funnel, you want, if you can, come down to fear, like, what is that fear? Is it fear of failure? Is it fear of rejection? Is it fear of the unknown? Is it fear of being hurt? There is about nine or ten cardinal fears that we all have to some degree. And I’ll just cut to the punchline.

Dr. Shahana [00:38:46]:

For me, so much of my rigid behavior was because of feeling like I was going to fail as a mom. And for me, there was nothing worse. And it goes back to that expectation management, because I had set motherhood on the highest pedestal. Throughout medical school, everybody would say, I want to be an ophthalmologist. I want to be a dermatologist. I would say I want to be a mom. Like, that’s going to be my, it was mom, mom, mom. And secretly I think it’s because I wanted a break.

Dr. Shahana [00:39:13]:

Like, I just thought maternity leave was going to be this beautiful. Strap on your apron, bake some cookies, everything’s going to be okay. I was tired.

Karyn [00:39:21]:

You’re in the rat race and you just needed a break.

Dr. Shahana [00:39:23]:

Well, exactly.

Karyn [00:39:24]:

And you thought motherhood was gonna give you that break.

Dr. Shahana [00:39:27]:

Well, and society made it look that way. You kind of baby bump you like, and I’m not being facetious at all, but my own mom, she’ll laugh at this, but, like, our home videos had music playing in the background. It looked lovely. So I always joked to her, I said, you did not portray this correctly. To me, it’s false advertising. But at the end of the day, too, you know, that’s so the higher you set that expectation that it is going to look and feel and act a certain way. Your baby hasn’t read what to expect when you’re expecting. And any of us with more than one child, very rarely will we say, oh, he or she is exactly like your brother.

Dr. Shahana [00:40:08]:

Oftentimes it’s like, wow, I thought I knew what I was doing, and then.

Karyn [00:40:12]:

I’m completely curveball with the next one.

Dr. Shahana [00:40:15]:


Karyn [00:40:15]:

They’re all so different.

Dr. Shahana [00:40:17]:

They’re all so different. Right. So you can. But for most of us, it’s, I think, I think it’s the fear of failing at this thing that society tells us that we. Right from delivery, listen to your body. Be intuitive. You know, our grandmothers and great grandmothers. And I remember thinking, I don’t know what my intuition is telling me right now, because we’re so afraid and confused and it’s okay to be.

Dr. Shahana [00:40:44]:

It’s okay to be. So I think this higher expectation of having it all go a certain way doesn’t allow us that feeling of letting some of that chaos in. And by the time you ever have your second or third or whatnot, you know that you have no control out of it anyway. So it’s interesting, when you talk to a mom of one or a mom of multiples, just where they flow along the riverbank, you can watch it go in those different directions.

Karyn [00:41:11]:

Well, you just gave me a big aha. About what was behind that rigidity for me. And of course it was. Yes. Like somebody’s going to say I’m a bad mother, of course. Self imposed, right? If I don’t do this, if I don’t feed my child at this right time. Then someone’s going to see that I’m a bad mother. Because deep inside, I don’t feel confident.

Karyn [00:41:32]:

I don’t feel like a good mother, and I don’t want people to see it. But I have to tell you, Doctor Shahana, by the time number three came along, it would be like two, three in the afternoon. And I’m saying to my husband, has he eaten today? I grew, you know?

Dr. Shahana [00:41:46]:

Oh, exactly. Let’s be honest. That’s what social media is about. It’s taking this and going, look, I’m good, right? Look, my kids are well dressed, right? My kids are in soccer, right? I do it too. Like, give me the marks. Because so much of our emotions comes from this vacuum of needing significance. We. There’s nothing wrong.

Dr. Shahana [00:42:07]:

We all need significance. That’s an important part of our internal driver. But I think one of the reasons we crave that so much is we lack acknowledgement. Like, acknowledgement is those are the small band aid. Significance is the hemorrhage. Does that kind of drive? Yeah. Yeah. So how.

Dr. Shahana [00:42:25]:

And there’s nothing wrong with self acknowledgement. That’s not just patting yourself on the back. It’s kind of what you just did. Looking between my first and my third and goes, oh, I’ve come a long way. I’ve come a long way. And that’s what I do for my youth. Obviously, they’re not parents, but they have come so far in their life, but they get significance, potentially through risky behaviors and harmful ways. So if I can prevent the hemorrhage of significance with the band aid of acknowledgement and say, wow, you made that decision.

Dr. Shahana [00:42:56]:

Good on you. You broke up with that relationship. Good on you. Right? That’s. I consider myself not a doctor, but a coach to them as well.

Karyn [00:43:05]:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yes. I love that you say that because recognizing that in yourself and kind of saying, yeah, you know, yeah, I came a long way, or, I’m doing great at that now. It’s so huge for your self worth, for your self esteem, because so much of this is self imposed. It’s. I’m not worthy. You know, it’s all of the self talk, the negative self talk that we give ourselves.

Dr. Shahana [00:43:27]:

I call it, are you rubber or are you glass? If you’re first in, eat on time, are you gonna just like my glass here? Is it gonna shatter? Like, that’s it. And I see this with my youth all the time. Or are you that rubber ball? Like, can you bounce back? And that bouncing back really comes from self compassion, right? Self compassion as being three things. But one is important is that kindness, speaking to yourself in that kind voice. It’s often that we jump to that. But let’s be honest. I know for my youth, I asked one youth, one time, I said, you know, what? Like, what are we doing? Said, do you even like yourself? And he’s like, no, I. Many expletives hate myself.

Dr. Shahana [00:44:06]:

I said, then what are we doing here? Like, so I think the basis of self compassion for me is self acknowledgement, right? You need to get there before you get to self compassion and then to turn yourself into rubber versus shattering, right?

Karyn [00:44:20]:

And we think that that’s a lesson that so many people learn in adolescence, but actually, like, you know, we’re into our thirties, forties, fifties, and we’re still coming to terms learning it. You know, it’s like a cycle that continues. And sometimes I’m good and sometimes not so good, right?

Dr. Shahana [00:44:38]:

Well, exactly. And think about that rubber versus glass analogy in terms of who’s on your team to help you bounce back. You know, like, I see this with my youth and the relationships that they’re at. Those people are fracturing them, not allowing them to reach their limits or reach their sky, you know? So that’s the other piece you need to think of the connectivity that you have. And for all the moms and the new moms out there, all I can hope is that you have some support system. Like research has shown. If you have three people, three people that you can call at midnight, then you’re way better than any of the followers or likes or anything that you have on your social media. So that’s what I endeavor, and that’s what I hope for you.

Karyn [00:45:18]:

Real people, not people where I can validate myself on social media. Right? I’m gonna post this fake picture of my family having some sort of time where it doesn’t, nobody sees it. But we were actually arguing 2 seconds before that picture was taken. And now I’m gonna get the likes and validate it. No, it’s real people who you can call, who. Who can listen to you, who are there for you.

Dr. Shahana [00:45:39]:


Karyn [00:45:40]:

So much of that is missing. And so it’s about trying to, you know, find that in your life and it doesn’t have to happen all at once. No, it can happen slowly. Right? Find that one person. I talk a lot in my community about this thing called the wheel of wellness, which is surrounding yourself with all these different aspects of wellness, because it’s never about one thing that is going to help your IBD, it’s about a multitude of things, and your support system is a huge part of that wheel of wellness, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Shahana [00:46:09]:

It’s your hammock. It’s that, you know, when I was growing up, my dad would always kind of take their naps in the hammock. And I remember I kind of think about that sometimes because it’s that feeling of being bolstered, of being caught, of being supported. Right? We all need that, but we need to tighten those holes in the hammock so we don’t fall through. Right.

Karyn [00:46:26]:

So that’s what I. Oh, I love that analogy. So good. Thanks so much for tuning into the cheeky podcast for moms with IBD today. The great information we’re dishing out on this pod is exactly the same type of conversations I get to have with my clients every day. If you’re ready to take your IBD healing journey to the next level and move into being the mom you always dreamed you’d be, hop on over to consult and book your free IBD consultation with me. Remember, my mom had to be a little bit different and spell my name with a y. So it’s consult.

Karyn [00:47:08]:

On our call, we’ll dive into what you’re struggling with most right now and make a plan for how we can work together to help you achieve your big, bold, beautiful, life transforming goals. No more sitting on the sidelines waiting for that miracle cure to magically happen. You’ve got what it takes to do this right now, mama. You just need a little nudge in that right direction, and I’ve got your back. consult and now back to the show. We were talking a little bit about the adolescents that you work with, which made me think of a question that I have about. About adolescents in general. So in my generation, we never talked about mental health.

Karyn [00:47:49]:

If anybody had a mental health issue that was taboo even more than it is today, it was, you know, no, no, no. I don’t have that. That’s not me. Even if in the shadows, right, in your own life, you’re seeing a therapist, you’ve actually been given a diagnosis. No. But here’s what I think is really fascinating. So I have two college age kids, and for as long as I can remember, through their teenage years, they would come home and say, so and so is having panic attacks. So and so has depression, so and so is borderline.

Karyn [00:48:18]:

Like. It’s just everybody has a therapist. It just rolls off the tongue, they just talk about it so much more openly than we did in my generation. So my question for you is this this new way of looking at mental health, this 180 degree turn, is this, is this great? Is that people are, you know, talking so openly about this or is this a case of TMI?

Dr. Shahana [00:48:43]:

Yeah, that’s a really, really good question. I think it’s a yes, but answer. So, yes, I’m really. I think, once again, we’ve learned through this conversation whether it be postpartum, OCD, IBD or many other things fall under that category that shame and stigma breed in silence. Right. Nothing good happens when people are suffering alone. We all need a sense of community, sense the social interaction and the importance of that. Okay, wonderful.

Dr. Shahana [00:49:10]:

We know through obviously, Brene Brown’s work and this idea of the difference between vulnerability and shame. Right? So when people can be more vulnerable and enhance their connections. Excellent. So all of that are kind of those tick marks for why we should be talking about mental health. And the way that I like to talk about mental health. It’s not, not a you disease. It’s not a me disease. It’s meant to for all.

Dr. Shahana [00:49:30]:

Meant for all. Mental health is meant for all. Just like I’m taught. I work a lot in breast cancer as well. You know, if somebody was diagnosed with breast cancer and the other person was diagnosed with schizophrenia studies have shown the person with cancer would get a lot more support because we still take a big step back. So there’s still work to come. And there’s two things to say about that. Number one is that we have tended to use the words anxiety and depression not as diagnoses, but as adjectives.

Dr. Shahana [00:50:00]:

It is okay to feel anxious. It’s actually, in fact, it’s perfectly normal. We have 3400 different emotions and anxiety is one of them. Okay? So I think what’s happened with our youth is that if I feel really anxious, I must have anxiety. And that’s the rub. Is it an adjective or is it a noun? Right. So I feel sad, therefore I must have depression. So the great example is I had a youth coming to me the other day.

Dr. Shahana [00:50:28]:

My youth worker says I need to go on anti anxiety medications. Very typical appointment for me, I said. And I showed up in front of the class and had to give a little public speech of some sort and I felt anxious, so I medicated.

Karyn [00:50:44]:

So, no.

Dr. Shahana [00:50:45]:

Like, no, no, that’s normal. Like, let our anxiety. And there’s beautiful books written about this, right? The idea that actually there’s nothing wrong with acute stress. Acute stress is why all of us are alive right now. If we didn’t have those periods of acute stress, that is illness, we wouldn’t be able to get over it, right? It’s the chronic stress. It’s the day in, the day out, the month in, the month, the month out. It’s the idea, once again, of the not being able to complete your day to day activities, taking a toll on your sleep, taking a toll on your relationships, losing or gaining weight. It’s all of that.

Dr. Shahana [00:51:22]:

So I think we have to be the. But part comes into saying there’s nothing wrong with emotion comes from the word motus, which means comes and goes. Emotions are energy. They come and they go. Anxiety can do that, too. But if it’s here and here to stay, and it’s always there 24/7 then we need to talk about it as well, too. So we do. I think we’ve crossed that line quite a bit.

Dr. Shahana [00:51:49]:

I call it the pendulum is swung a little bit in the other direction, and it just is. The onus is not on the patient. They’re doing their sharing. It’s on the physician to be the gatekeeper and say, wait a second. I always say, just because you mention it doesn’t mean I need to medicate it.

Karyn [00:52:09]:

Oh, yes. Very good. I like that.

Dr. Shahana [00:52:11]:

I don’t need to medicate everything. You say, I’ll listen, I’ll empathize. I’ll be there. But there’s not a pill for every illness, so let’s just kind of reframe that.

Karyn [00:52:20]:

Yeah, yeah. And so by talking to you, then they can kind of say, okay, is this normal? Is this a problem? It’s like they’re kind of coming to you and saying, this is what happened to me. Is this really a problem? And then you can say, well, let me. You can probe a little deeper and then say, this is. Or no, really, it’s normal.

Dr. Shahana [00:52:37]:


Karyn [00:52:38]:

You know, getting anxious when you have a speech is. Is a normal reaction. It’s okay.

Dr. Shahana [00:52:42]:

And that probably served you well in that time period, too. And the other piece, I think, is realizing that the craving or needing a diagnosis to validate who they are, you know?

Karyn [00:52:54]:

Oh, oh, you just said something so important. Please just say that one more time.

Dr. Shahana [00:52:58]:

Yeah. Like craving and needing a diagnosis to validate who they are. You are not the Alphabet soup after your name. I’ll get these teens Gad and PTSD and bad and BPD. Like, wow. Like, that’s a lot. That’s a lot.

Karyn [00:53:15]:

They’re wearing it like a badge of honor, almost.

Dr. Shahana [00:53:17]:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s. It’s that we’re walking that tightrope between saying that you are legitimate in who you are. This stuff is maybe part of who you are. It’s not all of who you are, but also trying to say is that you are not that, if that makes any sense. Right.

Karyn [00:53:36]:

So, like, you’re experiencing that, but you are not that.

Dr. Shahana [00:53:39]:

Exactly. Exactly. There is a big life for you out there of that, and you don’t need, you know, I sometimes I’ll see these youth who are on eight, nine different medication.

Karyn [00:53:48]:

I’m going, wow.

Dr. Shahana [00:53:49]:

Oh, my word. Like, where do we even. And we don’t know how anyone’s reacting because they’re all. It’s all a soup of medication. So, yeah, that’s the other thing as well, too. So let’s not hang our hat that I’m just waiting for that, for example, ADHD diagnosis. Then I can get on with my life. I think we have to be a little bit cautious about that.

Karyn [00:54:09]:

Yeah, that’s really wonderful. Thank you so much. I love that you clarified that for me because that makes a lot of sense.

Dr. Shahana [00:54:14]:


Karyn [00:54:15]:

I think the big takeaway here from our conversation is that when you’re really thinking about your mental health and whatever type of challenge you’re having, whether it’s dealing with trauma, anxiety, depression, whatever it is, thinking to yourself, really going in and thinking to yourself, how much is this really affecting me? Did this just happen to me once, or is this becoming a pattern? And if it’s becoming a pattern, then it’s time to reach out and seek some help. And so where would that be? Where’s the best place to go if that’s an issue?

Dr. Shahana [00:54:48]:

And I think I know for so long, I would just say, oh, just get some counseling. Like, as if it’s just like, go pick up some bread from the store. It’s. I think you have to go. It’s once again, our job as a physician or whoever the gatekeeper happens to be, whoever you happen to be seeing to pre, what I call preload the patient a little bit, that the first counselor you see might not be the right counselor, just like the first medication you take might not be the right medication. Don’t write off all counseling or all medication or all supplements, because the first one didn’t work. And I wish someone had told that to me, too. Every.

Dr. Shahana [00:55:20]:

You might need to go. Just like trying to wear the perfect pair of jeans. It might take a couple of goes, too. Right? There is different types of counselling. Not all of it is, you know, you sit there. I sit there. I talk, you listen, I leave. There’s other things that you can do as well.

Dr. Shahana [00:55:36]:

CBT, DBT, EMDR, trauma centered counseling. Lots of. Lots of different things as well. I wish. I’m not sure how it works there. Here. There is a cost, which is. Most of my youth, obviously, are not covered for that.

Dr. Shahana [00:55:49]:

Our clinic does provide some counseling, but that’s another thing to try to finagle and keep in mind is how to manage the finances, because that can be a serious and legitimate concern for a lot of people as well. And some studies show that not talking to someone who’s extremely close to you, whether it be, like your best friend or. But just talking to somebody that you trust but is a little bit at an arm’s length. I know. For me, the first time I ever shared my true story was with a colleague, and we happened to be working and charting, and we got to talking, and she talked about her postpartum. I, for the first time, use postpartum, postpartum OCD. And ironically enough, she turned to me and said, me, too. Not that she had OCD, but that she had a very similar tumultuous journey.

Dr. Shahana [00:56:33]:

And it was that moment of leaning in instead of going, oh, I don’t know what you have. That’s weird. You know, if there’s any message I want to take away is that if anybody ever makes you feel that way, do not go to that person. You much more than that. Because even if we don’t have a quote unquote label for what you’re feeling, and you don’t always have to, there might not be, and that’s okay, too. But all I want is to you to feel that sense of empathy, that sense that someone is listening to you, that you feel validated, that you feel heard. So that’s what I want, and that’s what I think everybody deserves, at minimum.

Karyn [00:57:10]:

Yeah. So finding somebody who does that for you, keeping in mind that if you decide that therapy is the option for you in the United States, you can interview. I tell people this all the time. You can do the same thing with your doctors. Interview them first call, can I have a 15 minutes consult, pick maybe three, and then have a phone conversation with them. Do I resonate with this person? Does it fit for me at all? You know, and you can do the same thing with your friends. You can, you know, have a quick conversation. Is this, you know, you can kind of share a little bit of the story, and if you feel that they are open to it, if you feel supported by them, then you can share more.

Karyn [00:57:50]:

So it doesn’t all have to come at once. But I think the bottom line here is whoever you go to first, if it’s not the right person, go to somebody else.

Dr. Shahana [00:57:59]:

That’s right.

Karyn [00:58:00]:

That’s what I hear you say.

Dr. Shahana [00:58:01]:

Exactly. And usually, and this is, I always talk about emotional intelligence, emotional learning as not learning, but unlearning. It’s unlearning how you’ve learned to think about yourself, to self narrate to yourself all of the different biases that have come along the way. So that takes time. Right. It’s not a one and done. It’s not. I’ve seen a counselor for two to three months, and I’m feeling great already.

Dr. Shahana [00:58:27]:

So allow yourself that this is going to be, it might be three steps forward, one step back, but as long as you’re making some sort of linear progression, I would just try to stick with it. And it’s just like exercise. Right. We never think, you know, I’ve seen a personal trainer three times. Why aren’t I like, completely built and ripped? Like, what’s happening? Like, never judge a personal trainer for that, too. So allow the same respect to the, to the, your counseling professional as well.

Karyn [00:58:52]:

Yeah, exactly. It all, it just takes time. Right. And so.

Dr. Shahana [00:58:56]:


Karyn [00:58:56]:

And so your message is that, it sounds like to me is that give it time. Right. Know that. Know when it’s time to get help, but then when it is time to get help, give it time.

Dr. Shahana [00:59:07]:

No, exactly. Certainly know that you’re, you’re not alone in all of this. In fact, the one piece, what you were saying with your, with your college aged boys, which is really important, is to normalize the counseling piece. I know growing up, if you ever mentioned the word counselor, you’d be like, what? Like, that’s crazy.

Karyn [00:59:23]:

What’s wrong with you? Yeah.

Dr. Shahana [00:59:25]:

Now it should be, I go to the dentist, I see the optometrist, I go for personal training, and I go to the counselor. Like, it should be considered just as normalized as all of those specialties, too. So I think if we see progress, it’s in the piece that psychotherapy, counseling, whatever you want to call it, is getting much more accepted and normalized.

Karyn [00:59:44]:

Yeah. And especially for moms with inflammatory bowel disease, it is a lot. You’re a mom and you’re dealing with this disease that has. So it’s like, we were talking about this earlier before we hit record. It is a rollercoaster. There are so many other ups and downs. And so to have somebody and there are specifically trained therapists that can help. There are health psychologists, right.

Karyn [01:00:06]:

That are knowledgeable about Crohn’s colitis, about medical conditions and they’re available and can help. So it’s huge.

Dr. Shahana [01:00:15]:

That’s huge. And that’s all you want is. And, yeah, you want someone in your corner that actually knows the language that you’re speaking, right?

Karyn [01:00:21]:

That’s right, yes. You want to feel seen, heard, all of those things. Exactly.

Dr. Shahana [01:00:25]:

You got it.

Karyn [01:00:26]:

Doctor Shohanna, I want to finish up today with just a little fun lightning round. Is that okay?

Dr. Shahana [01:00:31]:

Yes, yes.

Karyn [01:00:32]:

Okay. So yeah, all of the questions promised, super fun, super easy. Some of them are about mental health, about health in general, but it’s just going to be fun.

Dr. Shahana [01:00:41]:

Perfect. Yes.

Karyn [01:00:42]:

Okay, let’s go for it. Okay. Number one, you. I love this question for you, especially because you are an MD. So when then you go to the doctor’s office, how do you advocate for yourself during visiting?

Dr. Shahana [01:00:55]:

Oh, good. Oh, good question. It’s a little bit different because my MD happens to be a colleague of mine too. The way that I advocate for myself is actually for me, I tend to be a little bit overzealous, a little bit rigid, because I think I know what I need. I tend to take a step back. I’m really working on listening to somebody else for advice and that’s actually worked really well because being a doctor to your own child or children, I have three boys, is not a good idea at all. So for me, the advocating that what I need to work on is to say, what do you think I need to do right now? Instead of always be an overbearing mom doctor patient, which I intended to be in the past.

Karyn [01:01:41]:

That makes sense. That makes sense. What is your favorite form of exercise?

Dr. Shahana [01:01:45]:

Oh, yeah, for sure. I love weight training. Anything with lifting is my, is one of my favorite things to do. Yeah. And my husband’s really big into it, I think just lifting heavy things. I’m not talking about extremely heavy, but it seems to just release a certain level of confidence in myself. So.

Karyn [01:02:03]:

Yeah, yeah, I love that too. I started strength training maybe six months ago. I’m so with you on that.

Dr. Shahana [01:02:08]:

Oh, perfect.

Karyn [01:02:09]:

What’s one thing that you do on a regular basis to help you connect with your mind? Like a mind body technique, a self care hack. What helps you connect with yourself?

Dr. Shahana [01:02:19]:

Yeah. Warm bath, reading Epsom salts. Usually every day. Every other day?

Karyn [01:02:24]:

Yeah, every day.

Dr. Shahana [01:02:25]:

Oh, yeah. When the kids go to bed. I don’t think it’s great for my relationship. I’m joking. But, like, I’m very much, like, can’t talk too, honey right now. I just need a little bit of that quiet time, a couple drops of eucalyptus, and it doesn’t have to be very long, but it’s lovely. And for me, reading is my ultimate, ultimate escape. I just.

Dr. Shahana [01:02:44]:

Absolutely. And we’re talking, like, chiclet books, you know, nothing heavy here, but that’s what.

Karyn [01:02:49]:

I. Escapism kind of book.

Dr. Shahana [01:02:50]:


Karyn [01:02:52]:

What is one thing that we are all getting wrong about mental health, in your opinion?

Dr. Shahana [01:02:57]:

That it’s like a light switch, that you either have it or you don’t. And that’s mental health is not the absence of distress. It’s not when it’s an ongoing thing that we all just like that personal trainer example, you know, I think when our life is going well, we think our mental health should be going well. But I think it’s. Mental health is about balancing your expectations, times your perception of what’s happening. That’s the key to mental health.

Karyn [01:03:24]:

Gotcha. Interesting. Okay. Speaking of books, when someone says to you, do you have a good book recommendation? What is always that one book? That one book you recommend most?

Dr. Shahana [01:03:36]:

Yeah, it’s a great question. I really. I never thought of. Yeah. Compassionomics. I forget who the author is, actually.

Karyn [01:03:42]:

I have to write that down.

Dr. Shahana [01:03:43]:

It’s really, really good. It’s given to me by a close friend, and it just. It actually delivers the science of compassion in our healthcare system. And one of. And it’s actually really focused on the us healthcare system. But in any case, they really talk about this idea that in medicine especially, we think of the diagnosis and the treatment as the. The main dish and compassion as dessert. But we need to start thinking of compassion as the main dish, because it’s not just that it’s a nice to have.

Dr. Shahana [01:04:11]:

It’s a need to have people get better, live longer, feel better, even for us, for burnout reasons. So it was what I always knew in my heart. It gave the literature to support it.

Karyn [01:04:23]:

Yeah. Oh, I have to read that. That sounds like a good one. Yeah. What are you currently binge watching?

Dr. Shahana [01:04:29]:

Oh, that’s a really good question too. This is a very boring answer, but I. There’s this daytime talk show just called the social CTV, so I will watch that sometimes, actually, the amazing race Canada for them nostalgic show, because I started watching it in the postpartum period, and it was one of those shows that I’m like, that was my little break or my little getaway when I was postpartum, and now I get to watch it with my son, so.

Karyn [01:04:58]:

Oh, that’s great. That’s great. Favorite travel destination?

Dr. Shahana [01:05:03]:

Oh, my goodness. Yeah, Australia. I got a lot of family in Australia. I would love to take my kids and go back. I’ve been just twice too, and Hawaii.

Karyn [01:05:12]:

As well, so, yeah, I have not been to Australia. Hawaii, I’ve been a few times. Love Hawaii, but Australia’s on my bucket list for sure. Coffee or tea? And how do you take it?

Dr. Shahana [01:05:23]:

Oh, coffee. Sorry, sorry. I was gonna say love coffee, but indian, we have every morning, indian chai tea, so that’s what’s boiling in the house. My husband has to prepare it and has cardamom and cinnamon and fennel and green tea and with a little bit of milk, so.

Karyn [01:05:40]:

Oh, that sounds delicious. Yeah. Okay, just two more. What is your favorite way to. Oh, I know your answer for this. What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day? It’s got to be that bad, right?

Dr. Shahana [01:05:51]:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So sometimes I will go for a small walk with my husband just because we. That is important, that we communicate, but that too. It’s nice to have a walk without the kids.

Karyn [01:06:02]:

Yes, yes, for sure. Okay, last question. The name of this podcast is the Cheeky podcast. And so, to me, cheeky means being a little sassy, a little bit quirky, and a lot badass. So how are you cheeky in your life?

Dr. Shahana [01:06:15]:

Oh, I don’t know if this counts as an answer, but do you know what? It’s kind of going against the. The grain of what a physician should do. You know, as a family doctor, I could be seeing, you know, nine to five x amount of patients every day. And I remember going to that room, going, I spent ten years, and I feel suffocated and stifled by these walls and doing this, being a physician, going on podcasts and speaking and not knowing what I’m doing, but doing it anyways.

Karyn [01:06:48]:

Yes. So good. So good. Doctor Shahana, it’s been such a pleasure to talk with you, to hear all of your insights on mental health. If people want to find out more about you, if they want to follow the wonderful work that you’re doing, where can they find you?

Dr. Shahana [01:07:02]:

No, absolutely. So my website,, super active on LinkedIn. So drshahana Alibi, come find me there. Hopefully have a book coming out in spring, February, March. So, you know, you can always check that out, but lots of free resources on my website as well.

Karyn [01:07:18]:

What’s the title of the book?

Dr. Shahana [01:07:20]:

Feel better.

Karyn [01:07:20]:

Do you have a title? Yeah, feel better.

Dr. Shahana [01:07:22]:

Feel better.

Karyn [01:07:23]:

Yeah, I love it. Oh, awesome. Thank you so much.

Dr. Shahana [01:07:27]:

Such a pleasure. Thank you so much.

Karyn [01:07:29]:

Take care. Bye. If this podcast is meaningful for you, if it’s been helpful in your IBD bomb life, I’d love it if you would do a couple things. First, follow the pod. You’ll never miss an episode. And those moms who are searching for podcasts about Crohn’s and colitis, they’ll find us easier. There’s probably a plus sign or a follow sign where you’re listening in right now. It’s at the top of your screen.

Karyn [01:08:02]:

Go ahead and give that a tap. And then also give the cheeky podcast a five star rating and review and share it with your friends who are also struggling with IBD. The more we are open about talking about our illness and bringing awareness around it, the more we’re able to connect and build a safe community around each other. I love being in community with you and I appreciate you, my friend. One last thing before we wrap up today. You know, I think you’re a rock star for taking time out of your busy life to listen in and invest in your healing. It is capital h huge. And the reason I know how huge this is for you is because I am right there with you in all of this, working my wheel of wellness, keeping my crohn’s at bay.

Karyn [01:08:49]:

It’s something that I invest in every day, and I’d love it if we could continue our gut healing journey together. If you’re like me and you’re ready to soak up even more amazing gut healing and information, it’s time to join the gut love community the GLC is my free and fabulous space, dedicated to dishing out even more IBD resources, recipes, healing, hacks, lots of BTS secrets on how I manage my life with IBD, all wrapped up in a weekly newsletter to help you keep your momentum going strong, this IBD dish is gut healing insights that I only share within our tight knit community. Basically, it’s your one stop shop for a more diversified approach to true and lasting gut healing. Amen to that, my friend. Let’s walk this gut healing journey together. Join me in the community. That’s community.

Karyn [01:09:57]:

I can’t wait to meet you.

The Yogurt Myth: What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You

Ever wondered if the yogurt your doctor recommends is actually helping your IBD? In this episode, we dive into the yogurt myth and uncover the truth about its impact on your gut health. Join me as we explore the hidden pitfalls of commercial yogurt and discover a game-changing alternative that could transform your digestive health.

Four Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

✅ [10:23] Doctor prescribed misconceptions about store-bought yogurt and IBD

✅ [18:45] Why commercial yogurt falls short for those of us with gut disorders

✅ [27:30] The benefits of eating fermented foods tailored to your unique gut challenges

✅ [35:15] 7 practical IBD mom tips seamlessly integrate the mother of all homemade ferments into your busy life

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

>> My 24-Fermented Homemade Yogurt Recipe Collection

>> The Ultimate IBD Diet Decoder Quiz

>> Join The Gut Love Community for Moms with IBD

>> Book Your FREE IBD Consultation with Karyn Today

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on YouTube

Karyn on Instagram

Karyn on Facebook

Episode Transcript:

Karyn [00:00:00]:
Well, hey there, my friend. I hope that you’re doing well today. I hope you’re having a good IBD day. And if not, then I have to say I’m glad that we’re hanging out together in this moment to give us both a little bit of community, a little bit of support. I have a question for you. Did you check out last week’s episode, Episode 102 yet? That was seriously mind blowing information, right? That conversation, for me, at least. It was so, so unique and so refreshing. I want you to do yourself a favor.

Karyn [00:00:30]:
Go over and check out that convo with Doctor Ilana Gurevich, if you haven’t already, because it’s going to make you look through the lens of IBD from a different perspective. It’s really good stuff. Now, today’s episode, it’s all about gut healing yogurt. Or is it gut healing? See, the truth is, it kind of depends. We’re going to get into the heart of that today. But I can pretty much guarantee you’re not getting much out of the yogurt your doctor is recommending. In fact, it may be making your Crohn’s or your colitis worse. So it’s episode 103 of The Cheeky Podcast, and we’re separating yogurt facts from yogurt fiction.

Karyn [00:01:25]:
Hey there, mama.

Karyn [00:01:27]:
Welcome to season two of the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD. I’m Karen Haley, functional IBD nutrition and wellness coach and Crohn’s warrior. This podcast is all about us moms because our IBD plays by different rules. Season two is juicy, full of unconventional.

Karyn [00:01:44]:
Wisdom, real talk, new ways to tackle our illness, and a whole lot of community empowerment.

Karyn [00:01:51]:
And all of us advocating the hell.

Karyn [00:01:53]:
Out of our illness.

Karyn [00:01:54]:
We’re in this together. And I’m here to help you find healing on your terms.

Karyn [00:01:59]:
Let’s do this. Now, I have to say, I love a good story. So let me start this episode by telling you a little story, and let’s see if you can relate. So you’re sitting in the doctor’s office. You’re sitting in your GI’s office like we all do. You’re chatting about your IBD treatment plan, and if your provider is even semi knowledgeable about the link between Crohn’s colitis and nutrition, or they know anything about the microbiome. And I have to say that conversation is happening more and more these days, and I’m so grateful for that. If you’re sitting there in that doctor’s office, chances are that they’ve thrown the yogurt recommendation your way.

Karyn [00:02:49]:
Now, what’s the yogurt recommendation sound like? It sounds like this yogurt is a great way. This is your doctor talking. Yogurt is a great way to get your probiotics in. You don’t need fancy probiotic pills. Just head to the grocery store and buy some yogurt. Does that sound familiar? I have heard that very thing from my doctor, too. But here’s the problem. Here’s the problem with that statement.

Karyn [00:03:12]:
Even though digestive docs are starting to come around about diet and nutrition playing some role in our gut health, I mean, we’ve known that forever, so duh for us, but they are just coming around. So instead of giving you accurate and probiotic guidance based on science or education, or referring to a, referring you to a nutrition professional who studies nothing but the microbiome and its role in IBD and nutrition, what they do is they give you the layperson, the non IBD version of what gut health should look like. Because to them all, yogurt is good for the gut. But as we know, as we know our gut health, it’s not the same as the general population when it comes to eating food for IBD. Why doesn’t our doctor know this? Why don’t they know this? It’s simply because here’s the thing. On paper, the yogurt you buy at the grocery store, it makes sense. It makes sense. On paper, it makes logical sense.

Karyn [00:04:24]:
Yogurt’s got probiotics, those friendly bacteria that balance out your gut flora to help ease your IBD symptoms. Plus, if they’ve done any little research, any extra nutritional research than most, then they’re also probably aware of this whole fermentation process that’s going on with yogurt. Yogurt breaks down some of the lactose in the milk. It makes it easier to digest for a sensitive IBD belly. And then let’s not forget about the nutrients that are packed into every spoonful of yogurt. We’ve got calcium, b twelve. We’ve got protein, quality, fats, you name it. To the semi trained eye, whose focus is more on medication and procedures and not the latest nutrition science, store bought yogurt is a one stop shop for gut health.

Karyn [00:05:16]:
So I get it. I totally get it. I get why our GI docs see grocery store yogurt as gut healing and gut healthy. But here’s the thing. When you’re dealing with a major gut struggle like the monster that is IBD, and we all know that IBD is a monster of an illness with symptoms that not only disrupt your life, but your family life, your work life, your relationships. Nothing’s ever straightforward with IBD. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems. And that’s why I want to educate about this important topic today.

Karyn [00:05:56]:
It’s what I call the yogurt dilemma, where grocery store yogurt falls short. And let’s talk about what you should do instead if you want to make life transforming strides for your GI tract and your overall health. Let’s start with where grocery store yogurt falls short. Because for all of its fermented potential, the benefits, they just don’t outweigh the downsides. Okay, so, first of all, commercial yogurt, the kind that we buy at the grocery store, it’s filled with sugar bombs, preservatives, artificial stuff, and gut disrupting gums. And these ingredients in commercial yogurts, they can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiota, promoting growth of unhealthy bacteria and increasing the inflammation response, basically increasing the problems that you’re trying to get rid of instead of decreasing them. Yeah. So these gut disruptors, they’re wreaking havoc on our inflammation levels, and in many cases, they’re creating more harm than good for those trillions of critters that take up residence in our digestive system.

Karyn [00:07:09]:
And I know. I know that when I say that it’s not a pleasant thing to think about all those gut bugs roaming around in there, but trust me, when you make friends with those critters, it’s a good thing, because when the system works, right, it’s actually a beautiful symbiotic relationship that we have with them. But let’s just say, just for argument’s sake, let’s just say that you don’t buy the flavored yogurt with all that crap in it. I was just talking about, let’s say that you’re aware that some yogurts contain more gut disrupting sugar than a can of coke. And that’s actually true. They can. So instead, you go with the plain, the natural yogurt. Well, unfortunately, there can be challenges there as well, because there’s two constituents in yogurt that tend to cause issues for us, ibders, lactose and casein.

Karyn [00:08:08]:
Now, let’s start with lactose, the milk, sugar, and pretty much a substance that has the potential to be quite an issue for those of us with sensitive bellies. It is reduced, I have to say that it is reduced in commercial yogurt. So, in all fairness to the product, yes, it is reduced, but only an eight hour fermentation time occurs. That’s the standard fermentation rate for grocery store yogurt. And this doesn’t remove enough of the lactose for us to reap the bacterial rewards. So for most of us with IBD, the amount of lactose in these commercial yogurts, it still causing so many symptoms. Bloating, gas, abdominal pain, disruptive bowel movements, whether they take the form of diarrhea or constipation, or sometimes a mix of both. And sometimes the challenges lend themselves to even non GI issues.

Karyn [00:09:04]:
Tell me if any of these sound familiar to you. Achy joints? Headaches? Brain fog? Irritability? Lethargy? Definitely not the best option to help manage our IBD challenges are you?

Karyn [00:09:21]:
Like many of us with Crohn’s and colitis, turning to food to help heal your gut, but feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of gut healing diets out there, gluten free, dairy free, piglio SCD gaps. And that’s just naming a few. It can be so confusing, frustrating, and leave you feeling disheartened about which diet is the right fit for you. Trust me, I was there until I created the best tool to help me figure this out. Now, maybe you’ve tried a diet or two only to give up quickly because you couldn’t figure out what to eat. Or maybe the plan was just too strict for you to follow. Here’s something you won’t hear from the so called food gurus. There isn’t one single diet that works for everyone.

Karyn [00:10:08]:
I don’t care which diet it is. And the best diet for you isn’t just about your symptoms. It’s also about your lifestyle and your personality. Why start a diet based solely on your IBD symptoms only to abandon it a week later because it doesn’t fit your life. If you’re ready to discover which gut healing diet is the perfect fit for you based on your unique needs and your current stage in life, then you need my ultimate IBD diet decoder quiz. Head over to quiz to access this free resource. Remember, there is no one size fits all, best cut healing diet, but there is the one best diet for you. Find out what you’re meant to be eating to help put your IBD in its place.

Karyn [00:10:57]:
Got three minutes? That is all you need. Go to quiz. That’s quiz. Answer a few simple questions and get your personalized quiz results immediately. Now let’s get back to the show.

Karyn [00:11:17]:
So we know that the leftover lactose in commercial yogurt. We know that that can be problematic. But what about the casein, the protein found in dairy? Well, casein, that one’s a bit trickier because no amount of fermentation is going to remove the casein. So if you find yourself sensitive to casein, dairy yogurt is never going to be your friend, no matter what type you buy, no matter where you buy it. Okay, Karen, so grocery store dairy yogurt is out. We’ve determined that. How about non dairy grocery store yogurt? Now, there’s loads of options out there with no lactose and no casing to worry about, but unfortunately, we run into similar issues. Even with non dairy, commercial yogurt, added sugar, artificial ingredients like carrageenan, there’s gums, artificial sweeteners.

Karyn [00:12:15]:
And even with the plain, organic non dairy options, we still run into challenges like lower probiotic counts due to the lower fermentation times of these yogurts. Commercial yogurt, whether it’s dairy or non dairy, it’s just not equipped to provide the benefit that an IBD gal, in the midst of anywhere from a mild to a massive flare up needs. Now, we need a more tailored, individualized approach that takes into account the state of our gut in that moment. And since I know that you know that we are supposed to think of our GI doctor as our consultant, not the guru, not the end all decision maker, not the guru. It’s time that we rethink our doctor’s orders regarding yogurt. Now, while many GI doctors may be misguided in the type of fermented food, they recommend the commercial yogurt that I’ve been talking about here, I have to be honest and say they are spot on about one thing. Here’s what they’re right about. Certain fermented foods can play a significant role in gut repair for bacterial balance, for immune function as well as inflammation regulation.

Karyn [00:13:38]:
And when we take the time to hone in on the right type of fermented food for our specific body needs, for where we’re currently at on our gut healing journey, we can harness the power of fermentation. Because fermentation, when foods are fermented and when it’s done right, they have the power to increase microbial activity in the gut. How cool is that? Now, during what I call a proper fermentation, that beneficial bacteria, usually in the form of lactobacilli or bifidobacteria or yeast, all of those families, they consume sugars and starches in the food and that in turn produces lactic acid, alcohol or acetic acid. And then not only does it lower the ph of the food, but it also prevents harmful bacteria from growing. And that’s what a proper fermentation has time and the power to do in our gut. So the right type of fermented food, it will also help us. What’s the word I’m looking for? Proliferate. That’s the word.

Karyn [00:14:51]:
Proliferate. These beneficial bacteria, it will increase the probiotic content of that food. And then when we consume it, it adds to the diversity and the health of our gut microbiome. Now, the right type of fermented food, it also helps produce beneficial compounds like those scfas, the short chain fatty acids, also peptides and vitamins that can nourish the gut cells like really like at the cellular level, can help reduce inflammation and then of course, can help support overall gut health. The right, I keep using that word, right, but that’s what I’m talking about here. The right fermented foods, they reduce anti nutrients. How cool is that? Longer fermentation processes have the power to thoroughly reduce anti nutrients and anti nutrients, things like phytates and those are the things that bind minerals and prevent their absorption, those phytates. But this process enhances this process of a longer fermentation time.

Karyn [00:15:57]:
It enhances the nutritional profile of the food and it makes it so much easier for us to get those nutrients in the food that we need. A good fermentation process also enhances the digestibility of that particular food. Longer fermentation times, they aid in the breaking down of those complex food components, like that lactose that we were talking about earlier. It helps break it down. And this is a much needed benefit for those of us with compromised gut function and lactose challenges. In fact, as ibders, we need a longer fermentation time than what the commercial yogurt allows. And it just shows us how different our digestive process is from that of what I would call, quote unquote, the normal population. And neither commercial yogurt, that whole industry or our GI doctors, neither of them are typically taking any of this into consideration.

Karyn [00:17:03]:
Okay, so I just want to recap, because that was a lot of information I just gave there, but I want to just do a really quick recap of the benefits when we consume that word right? When we consume the right type of fermented foods with a tailor made to your needs fermentation approach. Okay, so we’ve got a healthier microbiome, improved symptom pathology. So we’re talking about less bloating, less gas, less irregular bowel movements, less abdominal pain, not to mention less of those extra intestinal symptoms like brain fog and joint pain and skin conditions like rashes or eczema. And it also benefits our gut barrier due to those short chain fatty acids I mentioned, which reduce the risk of pathogens that enter our bloodstream. Leaky gut, anybody? Right? This reduces that which is, of course, going into that bloodstream is the driver behind lowering, not, sorry, not going into our bloodstream is the driver behind lowering that inflammation. The right type of fermented foods. It also plays a huge role in modulating our immune system at the microbiome level. And then lastly, don’t forget about the power of the right type of fermented foods in aiding us in our nutrient absorption.

Karyn [00:18:23]:
That’s so important. We have to. It’s not just about eating the nutrients. We got to be able to absorb them. And this is a big one for ibders, especially when nutrients are more bioavailable. It’s easier for us to digest and absorb the essential vitamins and minerals that we need to decrease our intestinal and overall body inflammation. So can I get an amen? Can I get an amen for the right type of fermentation? Fermentation tailored to the needs of someone with gut challenges, not commercial yogurt fermentation, which is tailored to the needs of a mostly healthy individual with a semi healthy digestive system. So right about now, your mind might be just kind of skipping ahead, and you’re thinking about, what are these right fermented foods that you might want to look for? And we all want the health benefits that I just described, don’t we? But I’m going to stop you for just a second before your mind moves ahead, because I want to say that I urge you to proceed with caution here, because I’ve seen one too many IBD clients venture down the fermented road too soon, too fast, only to end up with worse problems than they started with.

Karyn [00:19:44]:
Does that sound familiar to you? So before you get started with, you know, heading down that road of kimchi and sauerkraut and lacto fermented veggies and miso, I would just have you ask yourself one question. Just one question. Where is my IBD at in this moment, where is my Ibd at? And if your answer is remission, healed, healthy scans don’t show anything. No sign of disease. Kelprotectin is low. Then I say, more power to you, and go for it with your bad ibd mama self. Go for it. But if you’re listening to this podcast, and I’d venture to say if you are, you probably aren’t in that place.

Karyn [00:20:29]:
Like, otherwise, why would you be here? If you’re still looking for the answers, you’re in a flare up, your levels aren’t where you want them to be, and you’re wondering, what’s the best fermented food? For me, it’s not kimchi. It’s not that kimchi that everyone with a normal digestive tract raves about. And so then the question is, what should I eat? What should I eat? And for you. For you, dear one, for the gals still in gut healing mode, my answer to you is that we must meet our belly where it’s at, if our ultimate goal is to eventually heal and seal our gut so that when then when we’re in that place, we can enjoy healthy fermented foods like sauerkraut in the kimchi and the lacto fermented veggies. Because they rock to keep your IBD in remission, right? They’re perfect for when you’re in remission. But if we’re not there yet, and we want to get there, we must start with a fermented food that’s gentle and healing on our belly. Does that make sense? We must start with one that has the potential to aid in gut repair, restoration, as well as rejuvenation. And for this fermented food, I gotta bring this conversation back to where we all started with that word, yogurt.

Karyn [00:21:54]:
The yogurt your doctor had the forethought and the insight to recommend. But. And this is a big but, but with a much healthier and healing twist. This yogurt that I’m talking about is different from that eight hour fermented grocery store yogurt that does more harm than good. Because when it comes to the absolute best fermented food for an unhappy IBD belly, you cannot beat 24 hours homemade fermented yogurt. Dairy or non dairy, depending on your food sensitivities and your personal taste preferences, transitioning to a homemade 24 hours fermented yogurt instead of flocking to the grocery store on your doctor’s recommendation. It can be a game changer. And I don’t say that lightly, but it can be a game changer, especially for those navigating the complex nature of IBD.

Karyn [00:23:00]:
Now, I know you might be hearing that word 24 hours, and you’re like, did she actually say 24 hours? It takes me 24 hours to make this yogurt. I don’t have 24 hours to make anything. But I assure you, I assure you that if you have 15 minutes, because 23 and three quarters of those hours, you’re doing nothing. Nothing. If you’ve got 15 minutes, you’ve got time to make 24 hours fermented yogurt. And I’m going to share with you my easy peasy recipe. I’m going to share that with you both. My easy peasy gut healing dairy recipe and my non dairy recipe for homemade fermented 24 hours fermented yogurt.

Karyn [00:23:44]:
I’m going to share that with you in just a moment. But before we get to that, let’s start with why. Why this yogurt, this variation on this yogurt, why is it a standout and why is it a cut above all the rest of the other fermented foods that you could start with when you’re trying to repair your gut? 24 hours fermented yogurt is the ultimate gut repair solution because there’s several things I want to tell you here. Okay? So the first thing is, number one, it’s gentle on the gut. It’s a game changer. I said it before, I’m saying it again. It’s huge. It’s gentle on your gut.

Karyn [00:24:22]:
It’s all the probiotic and bacterial balancing goodness that you’re going to get in the grocery store without the harshness of other type of gut healing ferments that you might buy commercially. The longer fermentation props to process of a 24 hours homemade yogurt. It works like magic because it has the time to break down the lactose into lactic acid. And that means less stress on your sensitive digestive system and more healing, soothing love for your belly that’s most likely on fire. It’s like giving your whole digestive system a big, comforting hug during a nasty flare up. And in fact, I have to say that clients will tell me that exact statement. They say it so often, they’ll say things like that. Homemade yogurt, it’s so soothing and comforting.

Karyn [00:25:13]:
It’s like I just gave my belly a hug, right? Every time I eat it, it’s like giving my belly a hug. Okay, so reason number two why Homemade 24 hours fermented yogurt is your ultimate gut repair solution is that it’s got high powered probiotics. Say hello to your new gut, BfF. Thanks to that extended fermentation time, that 24 hours fermentation time with the yogurt, it’s belly soothing. And this concoction is bursting at the seams. With beneficial bacteria. All that extra time created more beneficial bacteria. So these adorable little critters, as I like to think of them, they’re basically like superheroes.

Karyn [00:25:57]:
Superheroes of your microbiome. The swooping in to save the day by calming inflammation and restoring balance down below. Okay, I got another reason why I love it. Reason number three. Reason number three about why this type of yogurt is your ultimate gut repair fermentation choice is that it’s what I like to call lactose light. It’s lactose light. Plus it helps us if we have issues with fodmaps. It helps you get rid of that challenge as well, because it’s all low fodmaps.

Karyn [00:26:31]:
And this yogurt is virtually lactose free. So that’s why I say lactose light. It’s a virtually lactose free. So you can bid adieu to all of that discomfort that often comes with store bought dairy yogurts. No more belly rumbles or cramps. Just smooth sailing all the way. And then I have one last thing I want to share with you about the why. So reason number four.

Karyn [00:26:56]:
Now, the last reason why 24 hours yogurt is your ultimate fermentation food starting place is that it’s amazingly versatile, whether you’re eating it straight, serving it with a fruit compote, or drizzling it with drizzling it with a dash of honey or maple syrup. Or maybe you’re even going to blend it into a refreshing gut healing smoothie. 24 hours fermented yogurt. It plays really nice with all sorts of concoctions you can come up with. Plus it plays nice with any kind of dietary preference or restriction you might have, so it’s really just a no brainer for your daily routine.

Karyn [00:27:41]:
Thanks so much for tuning into the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD today. The great information we’re dishing out on this this pod is exactly the same type of conversations I get to have with my clients every day. If you’re ready to take your IBD healing journey to the next level and move into being the mom you always dreamed you’d be, hop on over to consult and book your free IBD consultation with me. Remember, my mom had to be a little bit different and spell my name with a y. So it’s consult on our call. We’ll dive into what you’re struggling with most right now and make a plan for how we can work together to help you achieve your big, bold, beautiful life transforming goals. No more sitting on the sidelines waiting for that miracle cure to magically happen. You’ve got what it takes to do this right now, mama.

Karyn [00:28:37]:
You just need a little nudge in that right direction, and I’ve got your back. consults. And now back to the show.

Karyn [00:28:46]:
Now, of course, I have to say that since this is the cheeky podcast for moms with IBD, I would be remiss if I didn’t take you through how to do 24 hours fermented yogurts like the badass mama that you are. Because by now, I’m sure that you are sold on the benefits. You’ve been listening and you’re like, yeah, that actually sounds good. I want to try that. But how do I make it work in my mom life? How do I make it work? Because as moms, we have to be able to seamlessly integrate the magic of this gut loving superfood into our bustling mom life. And as moms with IBD, we are no strangers to multitasking and juggling and finding creative solutions to life’s challenges, are we not? And so I have to say that homemade yogurt, making it yourself, it’s no exception. And I get why it might seem a little bit daunting at first, because I know it’s been a while for me, but I know way back when, when I first was making it, it was daunting for me. I’m going to say way back probably in sometime in 2008, I remember trying to make this yogurt at home for the first time.

Karyn [00:29:59]:
And I actually, I sent my whole family out of the house because I just needed to be able to concentrate and I couldn’t. I needed to concentrate without distractions. But even after I made this yogurt once, that homemade, 24 hours fermented yogurt, even when I made it one time, I remember saying, wow, it’s that easy. Why haven’t I been doing this all my life? So I have to just say, fear not. Because making 24 hours fermented yogurt, even though 24 hours seems like a long time, it’s not as downtown as daunting as it sounds. I promise you, we’re going to tackle this with all the grace and the resilience and the savviness of moms who’ve conquered the trenches of motherhood. And you did it all while managing IBD at the same time. If you can do that, you can do this.

Karyn [00:30:44]:
And you know what? You might even want to include the kids in this, because kids tend to love this yogurt as well. But I have to say, I also understand if you just want to keep it for yourself, because I can relate. I’ve hit it a time or two myself, so no judgment. No judgment on that. So, okay, here’s a few do it like a mom tips from me to you. When you’re starting to think about making this 24 hours yogurt, how do you do it? Like a mom. Okay, so tip number one. At first, go slow.

Karyn [00:31:19]:
Go slow. This tip is so important. Adding in that gut healing probiotic, that bacteria of a 24 hours fermented yogurt, it is a really good thing. It’s really wonderful for your IBD, but it tends to set up an environment that will crowd out the bad guys at the same time, the bad critters, the ones we want to get rid of. So to minimize the challenges that this chain reaction can create, we always start slow with yogurt. Start out with just a spoonful of day. Some ibid gals actually will even need to start with less than that, and that’s perfectly fine. What I say here is as long as you’re moving forward, even if it’s at a snail’s pace or a tortoise pace, you are where you’re supposed to be.

Karyn [00:32:06]:
So go slow. Okay, let me give you another tip. Tip number two, wait until the time is right. Another really big tip, along with going slow, waiting until the time is right is also a baller. I just gotta say it. A baller. IbG. Mom, move.

Karyn [00:32:24]:
Some of my clients are ready for 24 hours fermented yogurt from day one. I gotta say it. Some are just like, they can do it. They can tolerate it. It works well for them. While others need a little bit of space time before introducing fermented foods, any fermented foods. For some, even that gentle 24 hours soothing fermented yogurt, it’s a struggle. In the beginning stages of gut healing, it can be a struggle.

Karyn [00:32:52]:
And if you’ve ever tried homemade yogurt before and you felt awful after, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t for you. I got to say this again, because it stops people in their tracks, but actually, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t for you. It just means that a little more gut healing needs to take place before you fully commit to that process. And that’s okay, because we all start where we’re at. You’ll get to it eventually, so just set it aside and know that you will get back to it eventually. Okay. For mom’s tip number three. And that is to set a yogurt making schedule.

Karyn [00:33:29]:
Once you’ve made your first batch and you know things are going well, you know it went down well. You’re taking it slow. You’re going to want to establish a regular time each week or even every other week, depending on how much yogurt you’re eating. Because when you make to make your yogurt, because this is going to ensure that it becomes a consistent part of your routine and that it never leaves you without any of this gut healing elixir. So have a schedule. Okay. Tip number four, how you do yogurt like a mom? Involve the kids. Of course involve the kids if you want to share this process with them.

Karyn [00:34:08]:
It’s actually a beautiful thing. It’s a fun activity for the whole family. It teaches the kids about not just healthy eating, but fermentation, which is a really cool, pretty much a science lesson for the kids. So I love that part of it. And you’re also spending quality time together with your family. So involve the kids. All right, next. Tip number five.

Karyn [00:34:29]:
Keep it simple, keep it sweet. I always like slow, simple, right? I’m never doing anything too complicated. We’re just doing one baby step at a time. So when you’re making yogurt, that means start with the basic ingredients, ingredients and recipes, like the one that I’m going to share with you today. Embrace the learning curve because there’s a little bit of a learning curve if you’ve never made it before. But trust in the practice, the yogurt making practice, trust that it’s going to become second nature, because eventually it will. Okay, tip number six. Homemade yogurt is about the journey.

Karyn [00:35:05]:
Now, I really, really, really relate to this one. It’s not about the finished product. It’s about the journey. Not every batch is going to turn out perfect. And that’s okay. You might forget to turn off the yogurt maker. And when I had a yogurt maker, that wasn’t an automatic shut off. I have done that.

Karyn [00:35:25]:
Raise my hand. Yep, that’s me. I’ve done there. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Or you might just get distracted with your milk and it might boil over on the stove and, oh, yeah, I’m raising my hand over here. I’ve been there, too. But I have to say, each batch, each batch that you make, it’s a step towards healing and understanding what works best for your taste buds and your health needs these little imperfections.

Karyn [00:35:53]:
They’re part of the journey. So embrace it. Embrace that journey toward better gut health. I have one last tip for you, Mama. How can you do yogurt like a mom? Number seven. Tip number seven. It’s lean on your community. Remember that you are not alone on this journey.

Karyn [00:36:11]:
You don’t have to do this alone. Share tips, successes, and even the not so successful attempts with your fellow community. Badass Ibd mom warrior friends. I have to say, personally, I love hearing yogurt stories, the good and the bad. So feel free to hit me up. I just heard one from a client just this week where she curdled it, and I thought, hmm, how did you do that? I think maybe she left it on the burner too long because the milk will curdle if you do that. But I hear stories like this all the time, so I am up for one of those stories. Funny.

Karyn [00:36:47]:
Not funny yogurt stories. Feel free to share them with me sometimes knowing that there’s someone else out there who gets it, it just makes all the difference in the world. So. So with those nuggets, those tips for you, the one through seven, the do yogurt like a mom tips, and all those little nuggets from today, with those things in mind, and I have to say, there were lots of pieces of wisdom about gut health today. Lots of pieces about healing. Lots of gut healing wisdom pieces that were imparted today. Let’s land this 24 hours fermented yogurt plane with my yogurt recipe collection because it’s time for you to go forth and for you to remember that even though your doctor is most likely not recommending this fabulous gut healing tool, their heart is in the right place. They’re learning about gut health and nutrition just as we are.

Karyn [00:37:44]:
And maybe, maybe they just need a little education from you. And with this yogurt recipe collection in your hands, you can start to make changes to your life. Maybe you can even educate your doctor on the process as well. You know, give them a little bit of insight on what actual gut healing yogurt looks like. So how do you get your hands on it? How do you get your hands on my 24 hours fermented yogurt recipe collection? Well, I have to tell you, it’s free and it’s easy. So all you have to do is go to slash yogurt. That’s yogurt. And you can get my all of my gut healing recipes.

Karyn [00:38:28]:
So it’s got recipes in the collection for dairy yogurt with a yogurt maker, dairy yogurt with an instant pot, non dairy yogurt with a yogurt maker, and non dairy yogurt with an instant pot. So it’s got four different recipes. I have got you covered, my friend. Plus the recipe booklet gives you brand recommendations for everything that you need, from the yogurt starter to the yogurt maker to what kind of milk to use. It’s got all kinds of recommendations, and it even has a robust faq, a frequently asked questions section with my most commonly asked yogurt making questions. So a quick side note that all of my yogurt recipes, they are compliant with the traditional gut healing diets. I just want to mention that. So whether you’re on a diet like gluten free or dairy free or paleo or gaps or SCD, and of course, the gut healing diet that I work with most with my clients, the IBD transformation diet is compliant with all of those.

Karyn [00:39:31]:
So rest assured that you are eating something that’s not only the best thing for your digestive health, but you can stay on your gut healing diet while you’re eating it. So don’t forget to grab your free 24 hours fermented yogurt making recipe collection now. And let’s just kick start this yogurt bonanza for you. We’re going to start it one spoonful at a time. Remember, mama, you’ve got to do this. You even know how to do it like a mom. We went over all of it and I am here to cheer you on every step of the way. Remember to get that recipe collection.

Karyn [00:40:09]:
It’s karynhaley yogurt. Message me on socials if you have any questions at all. I am d health coach, both on Facebook as well as Instagram. Any questions that you have at all, I want you to definitely reach out, get in touch, and I will absolutely get back to you. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you much God health, much happiness. Always chat soon if this podcast is meaningful for you, if it’s been helpful in your IBD mom life, I’d love it if you would do a couple things. First, follow the pod.

Karyn [00:40:57]:
You’ll never miss an episode.

Karyn [00:40:59]:
And those moms who are searching for podcasts about Crohn’s and colitis, they’ll find us easier. There’s probably a plus sign or a follow sign where you’re listening in right now. It’s at the top of your screen. Go ahead and give that a tap and then also give the Tiki podcast a five star rating and review and share it with your friends who are also struggling with IBD. The more we are open about talking about our illness and bringing awareness around it, the more we’re able to connect and build a safe community around each other. I love being in community with you and I appreciate you, my friend. One last thing before we wrap up today. You know, I think you’re a rock star for taking time out of your busy life to listen in and invest in your healing.

Karyn [00:41:48]:
It is capital h huge. And the reason I know how huge this is for you is because I am right there with you in all of this, working my wheel of wellness.

Karyn [00:41:57]:
Keeping my crohn’s at bay.

Karyn [00:41:58]:
It’s something that I invest in every day and I’d love it if we could continue our gut healing journey together. If you’re like me and you’re ready to soak up even more amazing gut healing information, it’s time to join the gut love community the GLC is my free and fabulous space. Dedicated. Dedicated to dishing out even more IBD resources, recipes, healing hacks, lots of BTS.

Karyn [00:42:27]:
Secrets on how I manage my life.

Karyn [00:42:30]:
With IBD, all wrapped up in a weekly newsletter to help you keep your momentum going strong. This IBD dish is gut healing insights that I only share within our tight knit community. Basically, it’s your one stop shop for a more diversified approach approach to true and lasting gut healing. Amen to that my friend. Let’s walk this gut healing journey together. Join me in the community that’s community. I can’t wait to meet.

Dr. Ilana Gurevich: Naturopath & Digestive Disease Expert


When it comes to managing Crohn’s and colitis, finding innovative and effective treatments can feel like a never-ending quest.

Today’s episode is a game-changer, featuring the brilliant Dr. Ilana Gurevich, a board-certified naturopathic gastroenterologist who brings cutting-edge insights from her personal journey with Crohn’s Disease, to her years of experience guiding patients with digestive disorders. In this eye-opening conversation, Dr. Gurevich delves into little-known interventions that can make a profound difference in IBD care, from the mysterious world of biofilms to the surprising power of rectal ozone therapy.

Get ready to discover new approaches and feel empowered to take control of your gut health.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode:

🌿 [00:04:15]  What biofilms are, how they affect gut health, and Dr. Gurevich’s three-step treatment process for tackling them.

🌿 The benefits and applications of rectal ozone therapy for reducing IBD inflammation and supporting overall gut health.

🌿 Insights into a groundbreaking oral form of fecal microbiota transplant and how it can help manage IBD and dysbiosis.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Connect With Karyn:

> > Karyn on YouTube

> > Karyn on Instagram

> > Karyn on Facebook



Connect With Dr. Gurevich:

> > The Turd Nerds Podcast

> > Open Wellness PDX


Links Mentioned in This Episode:

> > Take The Ultimate IBD Diet Decoder Quiz: Which Gut Healing Diet is Best for You?

> > Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consultation with Karyn.

>  >Join the Gut Love Community and Never Miss Out on Our Weekly Newsletter.


Episode Transcript

Karyn [00:00:01]:
Hey, Doctor Gurevich, welcome to the Tiki podcast. I am really over the moon excited to have you join us today.

Dr. Gurevich [00:00:07]:
I am very excited to be here. This is like one of my favorite topics.

Karyn [00:00:10]:
Oh, this is going to be great. So I want to talk with you because you have some of the most cutting edge ideas about IBD that I’ve ever heard. So I love talking with you, and I want to get into all of that because there’s so many different things that I think that my audience has never even heard of that we’re going to talk about today. But before we get to that, I want to start with your journey. So you are a naturopath, and out of all of the ways that you could have gone into medicine, that’s the one you chose. And then within naturopathy, you specialize in gut health. So my question for you is, why?

Dr. Gurevich [00:00:47]:
So I come from a long line of physicians. My grandparents were, three out of my four grandparents were doctors. My parents are doctors. The majority of my aunts and uncles are doctors. And my father was a psychiatrist. And he started going through his midlife crisis. And some people go through a midlife crisis by having an affair or buying a fast car. He discovered alternative medicine.

Dr. Gurevich [00:01:08]:
He discovered acupuncture, actually, he was addiction. He was board certified addicts in psychiatry, and he started realizing how powerful acupuncture was when the drugs weren’t working. And around that time, you know, I started getting very sick with my own health at around age twelve, I went to five different gastroenterologists between the age of twelve and 19. And my fifth gastroenterologist diagnosed me with Crohn’s disease. And it was, it just happened to be the perfect minute because my father was in acupuncture school and he was studying with this man who was also a naturopath. And so when I got hospitalized for Crohn’s disease, back then, we didn’t really have any drugs. You know, we had immunosuppressant drugs, we had steroids, and then we had methylamines, and I was hospitalized. When I got out of the hospital, I made two appointments.

Dr. Gurevich [00:01:53]:
One was doctor present, who at the time in New York City was the forefront Crohn’s disease physician. He actually studied with doctor Crone. And the other one was a Jim sensening. He was a naturopathic physician. And I went to see doctor present, and I sat in the waiting room for 2 hours and they had me get changed. And then I sat in the treatment room for another 2 hours, and he came in and he saw me for about 15 minutes. And then I went to see doctor Senzening, who was a naturopath, and I was on 60 milligrams of steroids at that point. I was really sick.

Dr. Gurevich [00:02:24]:
But doctor Sensenig was basically like, give me a year. If you give me a year, I can get your health back on track. And a year later, I was not cachexic. I was living abroad, I had energy, I was hanging out with people. And I met this person on the phone. One of my housemates in Scotland said, my friend has Crohn’s. And he was. I mean, he was on a liquid diet, on elemental diet for six months.

Dr. Gurevich [00:02:54]:
He was not thriving. And that’s when I realized, oh, naturopathic medicine works. And I think that is what I’m supposed to do with my life. And so I’m so grateful for that period of my life that was by far the hardest, but also got me on my life’s path.

Karyn [00:03:09]:
Yeah, yeah. So that’s why naturopathy, and that’s why gut health, personal experience, which is what brings so many of us to this side of medicine, doesn’t it?

Dr. Gurevich [00:03:21]:
Yep, it does. And it’s. You know, I never had a question, does it work? Like, I knew it worked. I lived how it worked.

Karyn [00:03:27]:
Right, right, yeah. And who better to hear it from than somebody who has experienced it? I don’t know about you, but when I work with people, they love to know that I have Crohn’s because there’s this connection that we have that they don’t have with their other providers.

Dr. Gurevich [00:03:40]:
Yep, yep.

Karyn [00:03:41]:
Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Gurevich [00:03:42]:
And, you know, also, like, they have time, you know, like, it’s really hard in medicine to have a physician who actually listens to you.

Karyn [00:03:50]:
Oh, yeah. Amen. Yeah, yeah. Well, you now have a podcast. It’s called the Turd nerds, and I will link to that in the show notes. But I was recently listening to your podcast, and there was a double episode on this thing called biofilms, and I had heard of it before, but never with relation to gut health. And so it really blew me away. And that’s when I said, oh, my gosh, I have to have you on the podcast.

Karyn [00:04:15]:
You have to talk about this, because most of the people listening this word is going to be completely new to them. And what I want to do is, you know, there’s so many people dealing with really chronic issues. They’re going from doctor to doctor. They’re trying different treatments. They’re not getting any better. And this could be the answer for them. So I want them to have that aha moment that I had. And you have this really cool way of explaining what a biofilm is.

Karyn [00:04:44]:
So can you talk to us about this, you know, from the perspective of somebody doesn’t even know what this word is, what is a biofilm?

Dr. Gurevich [00:04:51]:
Okay, that’s a great question. So there are, the first thing to start with is there are healthy physiologic, natural biofilms, right? And then there are scary, pathologic, bad biofilms. And so when I’m talking about biofilms, usually I’m talking about the bad ones, but they also are healthy and protective. The way I’d like to describe a biofilm is, you know, I think humans are a biofilm on the earth, right? So we live in these brick houses, and so when it’s blizzarding outside, we don’t really care because we have these walls around us that protect us from the elements. Bacteria, funguses, parasites, prozoa, viruses, phages, they all do the same thing. They come together and they make a decision in community, say this is where we want to build our city. And then what happens is the bacteria, which, you know, if we think about it, we usually think about bacteria like a single celled organism, right? Like you have urinary, you have some pain in your urine, you run a ua, they find e. Coli, they’re going to treat that bacteria that is a single celled organism, or that is a bacteria in the planktonic state, right? One little guy doing one little thing.

Dr. Gurevich [00:06:00]:
Bacteria are equally as comfortable in that planktonic state as they are in the biofilm state. The biofilm state means a bunch of variety of them come together and they make a choice to build a city, right? Then and there. And then they start building, and they almost hyper specialize and in a second become this crazy multicellular organism more complicated than the human being, right? And so they come together and they say, this is where we want to put our walls. And there are bacteria that are really good at building walls around the biofilm, right? And so then they build walls, and then they make, like, roads for sanitation and roads for nutrient delivery, and, like, they basically hyper specialize and start working together. The other way to kind of think about this is, you know, when you’re living in a building in New York City, which is where I grew up, you’ve got the people in the building, right? But then you’ve got the cockroaches and the mice and the rats and all of the other things that are also living in that building under the walls. That’s what happens with biofilms. And what happens is those biofilms protect the bacteria from the elements, which is your mouth or your gi tract or your skin. Plaque on your teeth is the most tangible explanation of a biofilm.

Dr. Gurevich [00:07:10]:
You know, you go to the hygienist and she, like, scrapes your teeth, and you have, like, airflow through your teeth, and then three weeks later, that airflow is gone because the bacteria rebuilt the walls to protect itself from the elements of your mouth. That’s a biofilm.

Karyn [00:07:26]:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so why are they hurting people with gut issues? Why is it specifically, I mean, I know there are other reasons why they’re harming people, but we’re going to focus on gut health here. So why are they harming people with gut issues? I know it has to do with antibiotic resistance. So talk us through that a little bit.

Dr. Gurevich [00:07:46]:
Okay, so the large intestine has more bacteria than all the cells of your entire body combined, the large intestine. Right. When bacteria gets together in that crowded state, they are gonna form a biofilm that is a physiologic or good biofilm. When you expose that much bacteria to the elements of our modern world. So that is pesticides, preservatives, processed food, processed sugars, antibiotics, you know, xenobiotics, like xenoestrogens, like all of the toxins, we end up killing off the good guys, right? We end up killing off our friends. This is what happens when you, like, hyper sterilize your house with bleach. Like, you’ve killed off all of the good guys, and everything that’s left is resistant to the antibiotics that you’re giving it regularly. When you have, now you have this crowded community of bad guys.

Dr. Gurevich [00:08:35]:
And so they’re going to build walls that are stronger, they’re going to build walls that are bigger. And so it’s going to make it harder for your natural immune system to, or your, you know, the body. The GI especially has a symbiotic relationship between the bacteria and the immune system. And if you wipe out the good guys, the guys that are left are making your environment just a bad neighborhood.

Karyn [00:08:57]:
Yeah, yeah. And from what I’ve read, they love a moist environment and a solid surface. And so your GI tract, right, that would be a good place for them to build up residence.

Dr. Gurevich [00:09:11]:
Your vagina.

Karyn [00:09:12]:
Yeah. Another place.

Dr. Gurevich [00:09:13]:
Your mouth. What else that is. Absolutely. So the fluid is really important because the fluid acts as kind of river systems through their, through their city communities. Right. So the river will flow through, and that’s how they do their detoxification, or that’s how they process their metabolites, is the water has to flow through. You know, in nature, we see biofilms all the time. Like in the river, a rock that’s slippery.

Dr. Gurevich [00:09:35]:
That’s slippery. That’s the biofilm. Or, you know, when you’re. When you have old copper pipes and they kind of get rusted out, right? That rust is a biofilm, right? That all of that, that gunk that builds up, that’s a pathologic biofilm, right? Like on the rock, it’s a little bit more of a physiologic biofilm, but it’s happening all the time. And as you change the microbiome, you change how the bacteria react and the virulence of the biofilm, for lack of a better word.

Karyn [00:10:03]:
Yeah. Yeah. So we know that Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, these are chronic conditions. Would having this diagnosis be enough to say this is something that I should be concerned about? Or is it more like I have a co infection, like I have sibo, I have candida? And so that’s when I should start to become concerned. What is the chronic issue that should cause alarm bells to go off for us?

Dr. Gurevich [00:10:33]:
So the key word in that whole question is chronic. If you have a chronic condition, you do want to assume there’s at least a little bit of a biofilm component. And the trick. So the data on ulcerative colitis and biofilms is exceptionally clear. We know that there’s a huge link with ulcerative colitis and microbiome disturbances, significantly more clear than there is with Crohn’s. And we know that a lot of UC patients have a microbiome component to them. With Crohn’s, the data is not as clear, but I think that we can extrapolate to assume that there is also a biofilm component for those patients as well. I think with Crohn’s patients, you know, it’s not as easy to get to, because usually the disease is higher up, so you can’t take as much samples or data.

Dr. Gurevich [00:11:16]:
And it’s also, we’re not. Our technology is just getting started on being able to sequence the microbiome with a small intestine. The sequencing the microbiome of the large intestine is really easy. You poop in a cup, you got your large bowel, but you don’t have your small bowel there.

Karyn [00:11:29]:
I was going to ask you that because have you noticed that a lot of IBD research talks about UC instead of Crohn’s. That has to be the reason why.

Dr. Gurevich [00:11:37]:
It’S so much easier to study. It’s so much easier to study.

Karyn [00:11:39]:
But you think that that’s evolving?

Dr. Gurevich [00:11:42]:
I think that there’s a lot of new groups that are really trying to figure out how to sequence the microbiome in the small intestine. It is. I do not envy them. It is not easy to do because you have to, you know, basically, you have to have two scopes in there. If you’re really trying to get a good sample, you have to have a scope within a scope. And then that second scope is what comes in, takes the sample, pulls it out. But the first scope protects you from picking up any other flora. You know, if you’re doing a upper gi from the esophagus, from the mouth, if you’re doing a lower gi from the small intestine, it is not an easy thing to do.

Karyn [00:12:14]:
Yeah, yeah. But hopefully we’re getting there.

Dr. Gurevich [00:12:17]:
I mean, I believe in technology.

Karyn [00:12:19]:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, so let’s say you feel like, you know, you’ve been. You’re one of those people. You’re going from doctor to doctor. Things are not getting better. That word chronic is really resonating with you. You’re listening, and you’re saying, yes, me. Me.

Karyn [00:12:32]:
This sounds like me. Can you go to your doctor, your traditional doctor, and say, hey, doc, I feel like I have biofilms. What do I do about it? And here’s why I’m asking you this question, because I had never heard about biofilms until my son had chronic Lyme disease. And that was back in about 2015. And luckily we found a Lyme literate doctor, integrative medicine, you know, a whole functional approach. She was brilliant, and she was really helping him. She was treating his biofilms. So I’m so excited about this.

Karyn [00:13:05]:
I take this information to his pediatrician, who literally laughs me out of the office, calls me an irresponsible parent, and says that if I really wanted to help my son, I would take him to somebody who really knew what they were doing. Not a quack, as he called this doctor. That’s 2015. So if I think that this is an issue for me, if somebody listening thinks that this is an issue, can they now, have we advanced that far? Can they take this information to their doctor and say, hey, doc, can you test me for this? What’s going on with this? Can they use the word biofilm, or is it still just an unknown in the traditional doctor’s office.

Dr. Gurevich [00:13:39]:
So part of the problem is that the research world is really ahead of the medical world, and it takes a very long time for the medical community to change. So I can remember I was doing my training in naturopathic medical school in, you know, the early two thousands, and I got really excited about probiotics. I was like, probiotics? They’re amazing. And everybody was like, probiotics? It’s so boring. Like, eat yogurt, probiotics. You know what I mean? And now, ten years later, 15 years later, probably the microbiome is like the biggest thing in the whole world, you know what I mean? And so, do I think it’s coming? Yes. Do I think it’s there? No, I think the science is really clear on it, and I think if you do a literature search in Pubmed and you look for biofilms, hundreds of thousands of articles, do I think medicine’s there? No, I think it’s going to catch up, you know, I think it’s going to catch up in, like, ten years. So I think you really.

Dr. Gurevich [00:14:30]:
I mean, I don’t even think alternative medicine is there, you know, like, that’s interesting. So I. You know what I think about my practice? I’ve been treating patients for 17 years now, and there are, like, these pivotal moments in my practice where I’m like, oh, I was missing this whole group of patients. Like, that happened with Sibo, right? That also happened with me with biofilms. But I only learned about biofilms, like, five years ago, maybe doctor Paul Anderson was the one who really started doing the research on it and put it on the map, and I had, like, Lyme doctors knew about it, because Lyme was so complicated, and it’s the great mimicker, and it destroys everything. And so when I started looking at biofilms, the first thing that I did was talk to my Lyme literate doc friends and being like, what do you use? What do you. What are the herbs you’re using? What are the agents you’re using? But, like, I don’t even think it’s in alternative medicine yet, unless you’re in the Lyme community. I think it’s coming.

Dr. Gurevich [00:15:22]:
I think it’s dripping in. I think there’s a lot of interest, but I don’t think it’s not there yet.

Karyn [00:15:29]:
Yeah, yeah. So, yeah, so it’s not going to cut it. You’re not going to go to your doctor, and they’re not going to say, yes, this is what you do. I know it. Even though the research is there, which is so frustrating. But that is how it happens. They say it usually takes about 20 years for the research to catch up, but I feel like, if I remember correctly, that the biofilm research has actually been in, you know, circulation for. Since the eighties, maybe.

Dr. Gurevich [00:15:53]:
So in 1982, there were three papers on humans that had the word biofilm in it. If you look currently, I think I just looked in, like, the end of 2023, and there was something like 8000 papers being published every single year on biofilms. It is an upward trajectory. We are aware of it, and you will see it in medicine. Like, we study a lot of biofilms with surgical wounds that won’t heal. Like, we’re starting to see it there. I think that actually, the group that’s doing the most research on biofilms is the Department of Defense, because they’re starting to understand, seriously, because they’re starting to understand, they have a lot of chronic infections in that population, and they’re starting to understand that it is a biofilm.

Karyn [00:16:37]:
Issue with wound healing, with prosthetics, things like that. Oh, wow. So they’re the ones really advancing this.

Dr. Gurevich [00:16:44]:
Research at the moment. Yes.

Karyn [00:16:46]:
That’s really good to know.

Dr. Gurevich [00:16:47]:

Karyn [00:16:48]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:16:48]:
I mean, and then the other thing you need to. So one of the things we didn’t talk about is how it happens. Like, how does, how do biofilm formations happen? There is this function called quorum sensing, which is incredibly interesting. So what happens is you have, like, a hard area that’s surrounded by fluid and liquid, and bacteria will just kind of, like, hang out and propagate in that area. And when that bacteria gets to the area, it sends out this. It’s called an autoinducer molecule. It’s almost like a human. It’s like a conversation piece.

Dr. Gurevich [00:17:17]:
So let me back up even more. Bacteria, single celled organisms, there’s very few little ports where hormones can come in, but there’s two ports that are on every bacterial species. One is this auto inducer molecule that it’s a receptor for, an auto inducer molecule for other bacteria of its similar species. Right? So that’s like, people in China all speak Chinese, people in Spain all speak Spanish. Then there is this other molecule that every bacteria has that is this universal auto inducer language. Right? So it’s a hormone that every single bacteria releases that every other bacteria can understand. All species speak math. You know what I mean? It’s kind of like that.

Karyn [00:18:00]:
Isn’t that fascinating?

Dr. Gurevich [00:18:01]:
It’s fascinating, and I don’t think. I think I’m not using the right word. I think hormone is actually not the right word I should be using. I think autoinducer molecule would be more appropriate.

Karyn [00:18:09]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:18:09]:
But, like, I think of it because it’s, like, out in the air and, okay, so a bunch of bacteria come together, and when there’s enough of them and there’s enough of those autoinducer molecules that are floating around, all of a sudden, as a community, they make a decision build. Right. And so then they come together and they build that decision making. That’s called quorum sensing. Right. Quorum sensing is the ability for every bacteria to speak the language of every other bacteria of its type. And so what’s happening right now is we are trying to make drugs that interfere with quorum sensing, which I love the theory behind that. I worry about it because that’s a universal language for all bacteria, and we know that bacteria is the foundation of humanity.

Dr. Gurevich [00:18:53]:
I mean.

Karyn [00:18:53]:
Oh, right. So it could have positive implications for breaking down biofilms, but negative implications for, well, just bacteria in general. What are they going to do when they can’t communicate with this universal language? That is a little bit concerning, and.

Dr. Gurevich [00:19:08]:
So it’s not there. Quorum sensing is both universal language and individual for the bacteria. The question is, can they come up with a targeted enough drug that blocks some of the quorum sensing for these particular bad guys, but doesn’t have downriver effects on everything else?

Karyn [00:19:23]:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Gurevich [00:19:24]:
It’s complicated.

Karyn [00:19:26]:
It really is complicated. It’ll be interesting to see if they can do that, because what will happen.

Dr. Gurevich [00:19:31]:
Is when there’s a drug out there that can do that, everybody’s going to be talking about biofilms.

Karyn [00:19:36]:
Yeah, exactly. Oh, you know it. You know it. Because that’s where the money is, right? That you, you know, pharmaceutical research up here, anything natural that’s less expensive down here, like we’re going to get ozone therapy. That’s one of those.

Dr. Gurevich [00:19:49]:

Karyn [00:19:50]:
Okay. So I just want to make sure that everyone is really clear on this so we know kind of what’s going on in the body, how it’s proliferating, how they’re communicating. But I know you mentioned the word chronic, like, what should I be looking for in my body? What should we be looking for? To say, you know, I really should think about this for myself. Besides the word chronic, what should we be looking for?

Dr. Gurevich [00:20:12]:
I honestly. Chronic otitis medium, chronic bacterial vaginosis, chronic candida, chronic gastritis, chronic ib’s, sibo, the word that we really are, it’s not, it takes a while to build those really strong walls to change how the bacteria builds biofilms. Right. And so really, if it’s been happening forever, and you’ve tried every treatment, if you have taken a lot of antibiotics to try to treat everything, then that’s when we get into trouble.

Karyn [00:20:43]:
Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. So that’s how, you know, if these things are happening, you’re not getting any better. This is where we really need to start thinking that a biofilm issue, and.

Dr. Gurevich [00:20:54]:
I’m never going to say it’s everything, you know, like, I think that the biofilm issue allows me to, you know, bring in and help this whole other group of patients that I just was not helping before. So I think it’s a piece of the puzzle. I am, you know, I’ve been at this too long to think that it’s the whole piece of the puzzle. But I do think that if you’re thinking about it and you’re treating it, other things become easier to treat most of the time.

Karyn [00:21:18]:
Yeah. Yeah. So typically with a patient, it’s not the first thing that you go to. You’ll try a bunch of things, and then if things aren’t getting better, you’ll think, ah, maybe we should start looking in this direction.

Dr. Gurevich [00:21:28]:
Or they come to me, you know, it takes a while to get in with me. So they come to me and they’ve seen, like, five other doctors, you know, four other functional medicine naturopaths. They’ve done all of the things. They have a long history of being on antibiotics or lots of pharmaceuticals. They live a lifestyle, I think, you know, we live a very antibacterial lifestyle.

Karyn [00:21:46]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:21:47]:
And that, I think, leads to disease. You know, I think the pendulum starting to swing on that. We’re starting to understand that all of that hyper sanitation that we’ve been, you know, obsessed with is causing more harm than good. But then I’m gonna be like, okay, we should, we should think about biofilms. And then the other thing that I’m gonna think about is there, I do run stool tests because, you know, I’m GI focused. That’s kind of exclusively what I do. I do run stool tests to see what’s in there. And I.

Dr. Gurevich [00:22:13]:
There’s just certain bad guys that I know I have to go after.

Karyn [00:22:16]:
Yeah, I want to get into that because that gets into testing. So if you suspect this and you’re doing testing, is it a stool test that you always look at? Is it the clinical picture? What? What? Yeah. What is your method of testing for this?

Dr. Gurevich [00:22:31]:
Both. So remember, there is no great way for me a clinician to work up the microbiome of the small intestine. Right. So then I’m looking for some chronicity there. If I’m doing all the treatments, I’ve done the testing, and they’re not responding to treatments or testing to the treatments that I’m doing, even though it matches the testing, I’m like, okay, either I’m treating the wrong thing, or I’m not treating it as precisely as I want to be as I need to. Right. So then I’ll think about biofilms there. If I’m looking at a large bowel patient, right, then I’ll do a microbiome workup.

Dr. Gurevich [00:22:59]:
And if I see a couple of key bad guys, I’m always going to go after biofilms. If I don’t see those key bad guys, but the symptom picture also fits, and I’m not getting anywhere. Then I’ll also go after biofilms and those I’m always looking for pseudomonas. We have a lot of research in pseudomonas, especially for surgical wounds. And so I’m always going to go after, if there’s an abundance of pseudomonas, I’m going to try to treat it. Klebsiella is another known biofilm creator. Provotella is another one. Proteus is another one.

Dr. Gurevich [00:23:29]:
So I’m kind of looking at the species that are coming back in the large intestine workup.

Karyn [00:23:33]:
Yeah. And those are bacteria. But we’re not just talking about bacteria here. Right. It could be a fungus, like a parasite, could be other things, too. Correct.

Dr. Gurevich [00:23:42]:
So fungi, I are very difficult. They’re more difficult to treat. You know, funguses are slow. They’re everywhere. Candida albicans, in particular, is known to make a fungal biofilm. And the fungal biofilm, the bacteria biofilm, they do kind of interact and do the same thing. So, yeah, that’s kind of what I’m.

Karyn [00:24:06]:
So you’re looking at all of those things?

Dr. Gurevich [00:24:07]:

Karyn [00:24:08]:
In a stool test, not a blood test, just to be clear.

Dr. Gurevich [00:24:12]:
Yep. Not. So.

Karyn [00:24:14]:
I mean, you’ll look at that in terms of global picture, but when you’re looking for this particular bacteria, you’re looking at their stool, correct?

Dr. Gurevich [00:24:22]:
Yes, yep, yep, yep. Correct.

Karyn [00:24:23]:
Just want to make sure. Okay, now let’s talk about treatment. And I know this is complicated. There’s a lot to it. And so I really want people to work with a. And I think we should coin this, if it’s not already a phrase. It should be biofilm. Literate doctor.

Karyn [00:24:39]:
Just like Lyme literate doctor. Biofilm literate doctors. So you’re working. I really feel like you should work with a biofilm literate doctor, but just at a high level. Can you talk us through what are some of the hallmarks of treatment? What is working to break these down?

Dr. Gurevich [00:24:56]:
That is tricky. That is tricky because, you know, so, I mean, let’s go back to Lyme disease. Like, Lyme docs have been treating biofilms. They’ve known about biofilms for like, a decade. They are, like, far ahead, far above, and advanced over the rest of us. Right. And what they were using back then is they used some chelator agents, like DMSA, dmps, EDTA. They used a lot of enzymes, and enzymes, I think, do have very good data behind them for breaking down biofilms.

Dr. Gurevich [00:25:26]:
Paul Anderson came on the scene, and he coined what he calls his bistio complex, which is probably what I’m most likely to use, which is a mixture of a chelator, DMSA, or dmps, depending on what your compounding pharmacy has. He also matches it with alpha lipoic acid. Right. When the bism. And then he adds in bismuth, some kind of bismuth species. So pepto Bismol, that’s bismuth subsalicate. Right? I’m using bismuth sub nitrate, because that’s what my compounding pharmacy can, hat can get. I think the best data that the v that the VA is studying is bismuth citrate, maybe.

Dr. Gurevich [00:26:02]:
Yeah. So the VA is studying a different.

Karyn [00:26:04]:
But that just means that different types of business are working, not just one. It’s just about what you can get.

Dr. Gurevich [00:26:09]:

Karyn [00:26:10]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:26:10]:
And so, basically, when you combine the bismuth with a chelator and the alpha lipoic acid, they form this compound called a bis thiol complex. This bisthiol complex makes bismuth slightly safer. Bismuth is a really interesting substance because it goes back to, I mean, in chinese medicine, we talk about bismuth. In the classic ayurvedic text, they talk about bismuth. It’s a mineral. It’s everywhere. You know what I mean? It’s a very, that’s, that’s what pepto bismol is made out of. Um, and so we have a long history of using bismuth, and in short durations, it’s very, very safe, and in medium length durations, it’s probably safe.

Dr. Gurevich [00:26:47]:
And in the long term, it’s a little bit more toxic. Usually, all the toxicity that comes with bismuth, generally, if you discontinue it, it will get reversed, but it is definitely not. You don’t have free rein on it like you do with, like, magnesium or vitamin c. Right.

Karyn [00:27:00]:
Yeah. So it’s not something you’re using long term.

Dr. Gurevich [00:27:02]:
Right. But if you, if you put in this combination of this bis thiol complex, then it adds a little bit of safety to it, and you can use it for longer because the bismuth is larger, and so it’s less likely to get out of the GI tract.

Karyn [00:27:17]:
Okay, interesting. Like, through the, like, through the mucosal layer, like, like into the bloodstream.

Dr. Gurevich [00:27:24]:
Into the bloodstream, which is what you’re worried about. Yep.

Karyn [00:27:26]:
So that’s the main component of what you’re using to treat.

Dr. Gurevich [00:27:29]:
That’s one of the big things I do feel like for the GI, that one works really well. I also think enzymes are really helpful. And there is data that probiotics can act as an antibio film, or it can push your physiological by biofilms to regulate. And just as an aside, there’s absolutely, absolutely data that shows that if you have healthy physiologic biofilms, those actually act as protectors to actually shut down pathologic biofilms from growing. Right. So the better your microbiome is, the more robust and diverse your microbiome is in the GI, the more it’s actually to shut down the pathogenic biofilms.

Karyn [00:28:07]:
Interesting, interesting. Gotcha. And what about what role do antimicrobial herbs play in treatment?

Dr. Gurevich [00:28:14]:
So whenever I think about treating biofilms, I’m thinking about it in two levels. I think the reality is our antimicrobial treatments that we take orally are going to be great for planktonic bacteria, for those single celled organisms. That is also very true about antibiotics. When you have that urinary tract infection and you take that antibiotic, you’re getting rid of the planktonic bacteria biology.

Karyn [00:28:36]:
Single cell.

Dr. Gurevich [00:28:37]:
The single cell biofilms have different rules. Because of those walls. Antibiotics, both herbal and pharmaceutical, are a thousand times less likely to penetrate those walls to affect the bacteria that’s living in that planktonic state. The other thing about biofilms, I could literally just talk about the science of biofilms for like a month. Other thing that happens from biofilms is those plants. You know that bacteria very comfortably goes from single cell to multi cells, right? Planktonic to biofilm. When you give antibiotics for a planktonic bacteria and the planktonic bacteria has antibiotic resistance, right. It will go back to its biofilm community.

Dr. Gurevich [00:29:16]:
It will then spread the information of its antibiotic resistance to not just its species, but to the whole community. Also in the biofilm state, bacteria is not turning over as often as it turns out. It turns over in the planktonic state. So all of that antibiotic resistance is then going to this brand new generation of bacteria to then spread to the rest of the body. And so it, like antibiotics, if you’re not breaking down the biofilm first, your treatments are not necessarily getting where they need to go.

Karyn [00:29:53]:
Gotcha. Okay, so in terms of the antimicrobials, like, in terms of the herbals, not, not, not so effective.

Dr. Gurevich [00:30:02]:
Well, it’s more. Step one, break down the biofilm. Break down some of those, take down some of those walls. Step two, use your agents antibiotic, either herbal or pharmaceutical, to then change the microbiome. Step three, make sure you regrow a healthy, diverse microbiome.

Karyn [00:30:20]:
Okay. So it’s about getting, you know, the first step, using the bismuth complex first before you get to, you know, it’s basically, you have to do these things in order in order for them to work. Now, are you worried about antibiotic resistance with the herbals or the antibiotic that you’re using?

Dr. Gurevich [00:30:37]:
Not if we’re using whole herbs. You know, humans evolved, you know, so biofilms are about a trillion years old, and. Sorry, I should back up. Bacteria is a trillion years old. Humans in their natural state, about 200,000 years old. Right. We’ve been in this human form for 200,000 years. We have been using herbs for 200,000 years.

Dr. Gurevich [00:31:00]:
Right. Plant medicine is all we had. Also, plants to eat is all we had. And so I’m not worried about herbs because they have so many active constituents. And, you know, we don’t have a quote unquote clinical trial on them, but we’ve 200,000 years, like, that’s not that short of a trial to see safety and efficacy.

Karyn [00:31:19]:
Is there anybody that’s just top of mind right now that you’re thinking of so that people could really just relate to what it looks like to be treated for this? What, you know, any case studies you could share with us?

Dr. Gurevich [00:31:30]:
Well, I am always a lot more cautious with IVD people just because I feel like, you know, like, I think of it like a seesaw or teeter totter, and you can definitely do something that just, you know, spikes them right into a flare. Right. So I think that when I’m looking at going after biofilms with patients, I am not necessarily going to use the bismuth complex. You want to talk about ozone? Right? Can I talk about ozone.

Karyn [00:31:56]:
Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s talk about ozone.

Dr. Gurevich [00:31:59]:
Because ozone is one of these treatments that I.

Karyn [00:32:01]:
But remember, most people don’t even know what this is. So let’s just start at the beginning.

Dr. Gurevich [00:32:06]:
Okay. So ozone. Ozone is a very, very unstable gas. The way that you make ozone in the medical setting is you take oxygen through an oxygen generator, right? And you through. So you take ox, medical grade oxygen through an oxygen tank and you run it through an ozone generator. That ozone generator basically runs electricity every, depending on, you know what, gamma, you set it to every x amount of seconds and that will break down that really staple bond of oxygen, a husband and wife, and it will reform into the form of ozone. A husband, a wife and a girlfriend. It’s very unstable.

Karyn [00:32:39]:
I love the way you say that.

Dr. Gurevich [00:32:40]:
It’s not going to last for very long. It’s very unstable. You, at about 30 minutes, all of that ozone is now oxygen again. Right. And about 30% of whatever we put. And so the way that it works is we like hook a bag onto this ozone generator and that bag will fill with ozone. 30% of it will be ozone. The rest of it will be oxygen.

Dr. Gurevich [00:32:59]:
And then what I do is I take that very, very unstable gas and I have the patients go right into my bathroom in my clinic and administer themselves rectally. That ozone is doing three things at the same time. One, it’s actually pro inflammatory for the first 6 hours. So that third electron will go into the GI and it will kind of creepy claw all over and it will find any cell that’s inflamed or irritated. Right.

Karyn [00:33:30]:
And it’s getting way up there, correct?

Dr. Gurevich [00:33:31]:
Oh, depending on how much you’re putting in there. It is getting way up there.

Karyn [00:33:34]:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Gurevich [00:33:36]:
So it’ll find any cell that’s inflamed or irritated and it actually will irritate it more. That’s really important because what it, what happens is now the body can see how damaged that cell is and it just kicks it off. Right. So extrusion is what it’s called. It literally just kicks off that inflamed cell. But then that, that electron, that third ozone, you know, I don’t know if you remember, but in high school we learned about the electron transport chain or the Krebs cycle. That is flu fueled by an o one, a single oxygen unit. Right.

Dr. Gurevich [00:34:04]:
So that ozone, that single oxygen will then go into the mitochondria and like hyper speed up the prediction, the not prediction, the production of new cells. Right. So it’s gonna extrude, and then it’s gonna replace very quickly with healthy cells. With healthy cells, right.

Karyn [00:34:22]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:34:23]:
And then the other thing that that single electron is going to do is it’s going to act as an antimicrobial. Ozone is one of the antimicrobial, most antimicrobial species we have, and it acts as an antimicrobial. And anything that is anaerobic, it will end up dealing with, while also dealing with. So when you’re changing that environment, you’re also kind of penetrating that biofilm and breaking it down. So one of the ways that I think about treating inflammatory bowel disease patients is, you know, I’m as a clinician and as a natural medicine clinician, I don’t have lots of, like, I don’t have the comfort of these huge clinical trials to say, if I give 50,000 people this agent, they’re going to react, or 80% of them, or 40% of them are going to react in this way. So what I like to do is I like to be as scientific as I possibly can for my ulcer of colitis patients. A calprotectin is a very, very useful marker that tells me how many white blood cells are in the GI tract. Right.

Dr. Gurevich [00:35:20]:
So before I start, I’ll get a calprotectin, and then I’ll have them do ozone, you know, a couple of times a week, a few times a week, every other day, daily, depending on what’s happening. And then I always have them take a week off from ozone. The reason for that is because it’s pro inflammatory before it’s anti inflammatory. And I have seen those numbers be falsely elevated when I test too soon. So I’ll have them take a week off, and then we’ll rerun that calprotectin. Is this treatment working? Is the amount of white blood cells that are hanging out in their intestine because they have inflammation going down? If it is, then I’m going to say, let’s keep going. I want to get you into a stable remission. If it’s not, then I have to think about, am I not being aggressive enough, or do I need to change my treatments because ozone is not going to be one of the things that helps them.

Karyn [00:36:06]:
Yeah, yeah. So you’re using. You’re using various things. I mean, first of all, ozone is working on multiple levels because it’s working on inflammation. It’s turning over cells. So cell regeneration, it can break down biofilms. So what you’re saying is it has a wide application for a number of issues that people with Crohn’s and colitis are dealing with. And so maybe in a case you might use ozone over, like the bismuth complex.

Dr. Gurevich [00:36:35]:
I definitely feel like it’s safer to start with ozone over bismuth. It just, you know, so the side effects that come with ozone with rectal inseparlation of ozone is diarrhea, cramping and gas. Right. So the large intestine is supposed to squeeze and go down. And I am taking, depending on where their diseases and how severe their diseases, I am having them put in somewhere from 200 to 750 ccs of gas in their rectum. That’s going to be a lot of stretching, which means that most likely they’re going to have an urgent bowel movement, they might have some cramping, they’re going to feel bloated, they’re going to feel distended throughout the night, and by the next day, things are kind of going to come out and they will feel better. But I think it’s, I’ve done it.

Karyn [00:37:15]:
I can attest to it. It does a little uncomfortable, but then, yeah, you feel tons better.

Dr. Gurevich [00:37:20]:
And I’ve seen it stop bleeding. I’ve seen it get out of also infectious gastroenteritis. It’s very effective because of that antimicrobial, microbial aspect of it. And so that is where I’m generally going to start with an IBD patient, especially if they’re local there. Yeah, let’s say it doesn’t work. Let’s say I can’t get them out of this flare that they’re in, then I’m going to start thinking about, you know, layering in other tools that I have, and biofilm treatment is definitely one of those other tools.

Karyn [00:37:49]:
Gotcha. Gotcha. Now, let’s talk about FMT, just with a very specific question about it. So fecal microbiota transplant. So basically what they’re doing is they’re inserting healthy bacteria into the GI tract. So then it then proliferates more healthy bacteria. And so is this something, I feel like you mentioned earlier, something about using probiotics with biofilm. So is this something that would also be something that would break down biofilms as well as help, you know, repopulate the microbiome, help with inflammation, all of that? Is that something that would help with that?

Dr. Gurevich [00:38:30]:
The teeter totter that I was, the seesaw that I was talking about, FMT for a lot of patients will absolutely switch them into a physiologic state. Absolutely. But if you’re in the US, FMT is almost impossible to get at this point. They’ve. The. You know, the FDA was basically like, we don’t like the idea of stool transplants, also. A stool transplant, basically, that is an organ transplant. You know what I mean? Like, we do consider the microviome an organ at this point.

Karyn [00:38:55]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:38:55]:
And so the FDA was, like, the first drug company that can make us a drug that can get us very clean, very safe stool. We’re gonna shut down FMT because we don’t know what kind of infections are gonna spread. This is the same story about, like, hepatitis with blood transfusions and HIV with blood transfusions. We don’t know what we’re getting. We don’t even know to look for what we. You know, we only know what we know. And so in the US, it is currently very difficult to get FMT. It is available outside of the country, and there are still stool banks that are running.

Dr. Gurevich [00:39:24]:
But in the US, it’s more difficult to get an FMT transplant unless you have a known donor. If you have a known donor, it’s very. It’s vital that you screen that donor to death. And you work with a doctor who understands how to screen that donor to death, because we don’t know what you’re going to get exposed to until it’s too late.

Karyn [00:39:43]:
Okay. Which brings me to this recent advancement in FMT therapy, which is an oral. Sterile. Basically, it’s poop. Right? Sterile poop from this company called Thana. So I recently started taking this. Is this something that you are using a lot in your practice, and what are you seeing? You know, so I. Everybody, I hope you.

Karyn [00:40:07]:
I want to say this one more time. So this is like FMT, but it’s oral. So you’re taking it. You know, it’s a capsule that you just take by mouth. This is sterile poop. That is working pretty much like the components of FMT, right?

Dr. Gurevich [00:40:21]:
Okay. So, you know, when I’m using Fena, Thena is made. I do know both of the owners, the company, they are very, very smart naturopaths. They. So it’s very. It’s expensive, right? It’s not expensive as FMT. FMT is a thousand. This is in the hundreds.

Karyn [00:40:35]:
Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Gurevich [00:40:37]:
But. So I gave. I was at a board meeting with one of the owners or one of the founders of the company, and she gave us all a free bottle. And I was like, oh, I don’t need an organ transplant. I’m all set. And then I. For some reason, I went out to dinner and she, like, convinced me, so I started taking it. It was the craziest thing, so I started taking it.

Dr. Gurevich [00:40:55]:
And, you know, anybody who listens to the turn nerds knows all three of us suffer from constipation. Like, we are go getter. Like, the three of us never stop moving, you know, like, there’s not no time. And I was like, okay, I think Theta’s gonna really fix my bowel movements. And it didn’t. But what it did fix, which I did not see coming, was my sleep. I. When I started taking Theena, I was at first taking it at bedtime.

Dr. Gurevich [00:41:19]:
When I started taking Theena, I started. I did two things. I did, like, the Huberman lifestyle stuff, like the cold showers and exposing my. My eyes to sunlight and. And, like, moving right in the morning. And then I took Dana in my sleep. I was sleeping better than before I had kids. I was sleeping through the night.

Dr. Gurevich [00:41:34]:
I was having crazy dreams. I was so. Such a good sleep. And then I ran out of that.

Karyn [00:41:39]:
That doesn’t tell you the gut brain connection is real, right?

Dr. Gurevich [00:41:42]:
And then I ran out of Thana, but I kept on doing the Huberman stuff. And, you know, I’m in this huge transition. I’m opening up a new clinic, and my sleep got funny. And it probably had been, like, four months since I took Thena, and I was still doing the Huberman stuff, and I was like, oh, I bet it was the thana. And so what I do now is when I get through a period of where my stress overtakes my sleep, right. I’ll take, like, two weeks. I’ll pulse the thana, right. And it completely will reset my sleep cycle.

Dr. Gurevich [00:42:10]:
It’s like, so now I’m using it with my really, really complicated insomnia patients to see if I can reset their sleep cycles, and it’s working for a lot of them. And so. So that is where I’m seeing it be very beneficial. I am also absolutely using it with my chronic GI people.

Karyn [00:42:27]:
Like, you are?

Dr. Gurevich [00:42:28]:
I am. And, you know, I’m generally like. I start by selling it as a sleep supplement, and then people are like, yeah, but my poops are, like, amazing, huh?

Karyn [00:42:38]:
So for some people, it is fixing their poops. Is it more if you have loose stool? It’s bringing it back into formed, or is it working for constipated people, too?

Dr. Gurevich [00:42:47]:
I’ve seen it work for both.

Karyn [00:42:48]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:42:49]:
I’ve seen it work for both. It is one of those layers that we have in our arsenal that is really interesting and has good efficacy.

Karyn [00:42:59]:
Yeah. This is something I think. I mean, I had never heard of it. It’s very recently to me. So I think this is something most people haven’t heard of. So I will link it in the show notes so that people can look it up and do their own due diligence and see if it’s for them. But it is. This is not a probiotic.

Karyn [00:43:13]:
This is a postbiotic. Correct.

Dr. Gurevich [00:43:14]:
This is a postbiotic, and it is just basically sterilized stool. And I will also say, thana screens their donors to death like their stool don’t. So the way that the company started is Andrea Macbeth, who is one of the co founders, and her piper, her partner, were running a stool bank. They were treating exclusively c. Diff resistant patients who had failed standard treatment. And it became real clear that the FDA was going to shut it down the minute they could find a drug. And they were like, I wonder what would happen if we sterilize the poop. So they take human stool, and they run it through an autoclave.

Dr. Gurevich [00:43:51]:
It’s 100% sterile. There is nothing that is in there at all. And they encapsulate that. The capsules are white. Like, they’re not even brown. You know what I mean?

Karyn [00:44:00]:
The stuff inside is brown, though. And I know that because I had to start really small with it, because I can’t take a whole pill because I’m so sensitive. So I had to open it. And it’s brown. And it does smell a little like poop, I’m gonna be honest with you. Yes, it does.

Dr. Gurevich [00:44:15]:
Because I’m like, when they’re closed, I’m like, I think it smells kind of like green tea.

Karyn [00:44:19]:
Right? Like, you wouldn’t know. Yeah, but if you open it.

Dr. Gurevich [00:44:22]:

Karyn [00:44:22]:
And I even, I wondered to myself, because it’s so faint, that I had my son, I said, come smell this. He said, oh, yeah, that smells like poop.

Dr. Gurevich [00:44:30]:
Oh, okay.

Karyn [00:44:31]:
So interesting. You just turned off, but, like, you know, you can tell.

Dr. Gurevich [00:44:36]:
I think you just turned off, like, probably 20% of your audience.

Karyn [00:44:40]:
Oh, but it’s so good. It’s so good. Like, I’m loving it.

Dr. Gurevich [00:44:44]:
I. Yeah. What are you, what are you noticing?

Karyn [00:44:46]:
It has firmed up my stool.

Dr. Gurevich [00:44:48]:
Wow, that is something to say.

Karyn [00:44:50]:
Yeah. And that’s on just a small amount. I’m not even taking the whole thing because I have a particularly sensitive system, and I don’t need to take the full dose of anything. Plus, I’m thin, so, you know, so for me, I don’t usually need the full amount. So opening it up is, you know, taking less, and I’m still noticing that it’s helping.

Dr. Gurevich [00:45:07]:

Karyn [00:45:07]:
That is the other thing I did notice. It’s interesting you mentioned sleep, because I’m having some kind of crazy dreams.

Dr. Gurevich [00:45:12]:
Okay. Absolutely crazy. Crazy. Take it in the morning. Take it in the morning.

Karyn [00:45:17]:
And I’m taking it right before I go to bed. So that.

Dr. Gurevich [00:45:19]:
Take it in the morning.

Karyn [00:45:19]:
I need to switch that.

Dr. Gurevich [00:45:20]:

Karyn [00:45:21]:
Interesting. Very interesting. Okay. I want to switch gears and ask you about something else, something that I noticed. I’ve been working with people who have IBD since 2010, and I mainly work with moms, women, and I noticed that their IBD shows up differently because I do have a few male clients I work with than men. I feel like it’s related to hormones, you know, like the start of your menstrual cycle, being pregnant after giving birth to the baby, menopause, these key hormonal fluctuations. Do you see in your practice, do you see IBD showing up different for women? And is it because of hormones? Like, what are you seeing there?

Dr. Gurevich [00:45:57]:
Do you know about the astrobalone? Have you heard about this?

Karyn [00:45:59]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:46:01]:
So we’ve discovered a bunch of different organs in the last ten years. One of them is the microbiome. We classify that as an organ. The other one within the microbiome is this part of the microbiome called the astrobulone. Right. The astrobulone is the type of that bacteria that comes in and out of bloom depending on where you are in your cycle and so your strobe loan. So this whole inter organ within your organ will change around puberty, around pregnancy, every month, depending on where you are in your cycle and around menopause. Men do not.

Dr. Gurevich [00:46:31]:
Their. Their strobellone is much more static. I don’t actually even know if men have an astrobillon because I’m only talking about it in context of women. But it is important to know that that part, that organ is literally in flux. And so. Absolutely hormones can affect them. Absolutely. And, you know, one of the things that I’m always looking at for my patients is, like, is there a time of the month where you’re more triggered? Or, like, are you more likely to have a flare? Is it stress that flares you? Is it drugs that flare you? Is it your period that flares you? Like, what else happens? Because that zones me in to focus on the astrobalone.

Karyn [00:47:05]:
Interesting. Interesting. Yeah. Wow. That’s fascinating. I need to do more research about that. Okay, so there’s so many things we talked about today that I know that people aren’t going to hear about from their typical GI biofilms. We talked about rectal ozone therapy.

Karyn [00:47:20]:
We talked about fecal mycobriata transplant. We talked about this new post biotic that people are taking. If I’m, you know, I’m completely new and maybe I’m new, the people who are listening, they’re either new to IBD or they’re new to this idea that I want to move beyond medicine. Maybe I want to take medicine, but I want to do more. Or maybe I just want to get away from medicine completely. What would you say their first step? Like, let’s say they don’t really have access to a naturopath. What do you think their first steps should be? Something that’s going to move the needle. They’re going to see something right away.

Karyn [00:47:55]:
Would it be the kind of things we talked about today, or is it let’s dial in on food and like, what should they do first?

Dr. Gurevich [00:48:01]:
So the first thing I want to say about that is I personally don’t think that drugs are the bad guy. Right. You know, I think because of my nature of being a natural medicine provider, I see a lot of people who are convinced that the drugs are going to kill them. In my experience, I think the drugs absolutely have side effects, but I also think the drugs can be life saving. And I have seen people be able to, like, you know, I had a patient who, maybe she’s the one who introduced you to me also. She was like very involved in the online community and all the forums dealing with IBD. She was.

Karyn [00:48:31]:
Oh, right, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Gurevich [00:48:32]:
So she was so involved. And, you know, I got like so many referrals from her. And when she. When she came in to see me, she was about as close to a walking dead person as I had ever worked with. And we did a lot of work. You know, she had been resected. We did a lot of work on her microbiome. And I’ll still touch base with her.

Dr. Gurevich [00:48:50]:
She usually touch base with me like once or twice a year, but she’s like not involved at all because her microbiome is stable. Right. So it’s important, like, in my world, the solution is you having quality of life, so you’re not on those forums. And sometimes that’s the drugs. I am not opposed to the drugs. I think that there are some drugs that are safer and some drugs that are more dangerous. I would like to avoid the ones that are more dangerous as much as I can. And if all that works for you is the drug, let’s do that.

Dr. Gurevich [00:49:17]:
However, I think both of us know sometimes the drugs aren’t enough. Like, they take care of a small piece of it, but not everything in it, you know? Like, the drugs are not always the solution, and so if you need extra help, you’re always. The diet is the place to start, always. You know what I mean? Like, they’re food and, you know, start, like, real simple things. I was just. Yesterday, I actually had a patient come in, a new patient came in with a new diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, and we were talking about his diet, and his diet was chock full of processed food preservatives, food dyes, and gums. Right.

Karyn [00:49:54]:
You know where to start?

Dr. Gurevich [00:49:55]:
Yeah, I just pulled a study on it that was published in 2022, I think, in the Journal of Microbiology, that looked at what food dyes, gums, and preservatives do to your microbiome as one of the key agents that cause inflammatory bowel disease. That’s where I would start. Get rid of the ultra processed food, try to take the gums out of your diet, because we know that irritates your lumen, your gi lumen, and then, you know, make sure you’re eating a diet that’s pretty diverse and not processed. That’s where I would start there.

Karyn [00:50:25]:
Yeah, yeah. Yep. I like it. And then if you can get some sunlight, if you could get some movement, exercise, that’d be great, too.

Dr. Gurevich [00:50:32]:
You can decrease alcohol.

Karyn [00:50:35]:
Right, right, right. That is step one, which can. I love it. I love food because it can move the needle a lot. It may not fix everything, but it’s a quick win that you can just see right away. I really love that. Okay, so I don’t know if you’re gonna love this question, but I have to ask you, what. What is the future of IBD look like? What is on the horizon in terms of treatment? And do you see a cure in our future, in our near future?

Dr. Gurevich [00:51:02]:
I don’t think the medical community likes to use the word cure. So I’m gonna say that I have, you know, intimate experience with the medical community not liking that I use the word cure. So do I think that where research is going is more biologics that you can administer orally? I think that that is, you know, a chronic pharmaceutical that can keep you in remission is kind of where everything’s going. So that’s conventional. That’s, like, where the money is. I also think that we are at the same time, moving the needle in this, like, whole health, expanding health span. You know, we have those two opposite things. Happening at the same time.

Dr. Gurevich [00:51:39]:
And I put my money on, you know, what are the health span people doing? What are the longevity people doing? How do we. We have made our world toxic, and we’re starting to see the effects of that. And at this exact moment when it’s, like, the darkest, you know what I mean? We have this amazing light coming in to talk about just all the foundational things that we need to treat our bodies like humans. Right. That is happening right now. That is where I put my money. I will, you know, I’m also a huge believer in the human body, and, you know, being able to live a life where you are not polluting your body, and I think that’s what brings health. And so that’s what I would be paying attention to if I was, you know, new to this diagnosis.

Karyn [00:52:22]:
Yeah. Yeah. That makes complete sense. What we talk about here oftentimes is really kind of deep and heavy. And so I like to end on a lighter note with a lightning round so that we can just find out a little bit more about you, but keep it really light. Is that okay with you?

Dr. Gurevich [00:52:37]:
Yeah, I’m ready.

Karyn [00:52:38]:
Okay, here we go. So what is your favorite go to? Gut friendly snack.

Dr. Gurevich [00:52:43]:
Oh, kimchi.

Karyn [00:52:44]:
Kimchi. Oh, you gotta get those fermented foods in. Yeah.

Dr. Gurevich [00:52:48]:
Kimchi with nutritional yeast and, like, some mushroom salt. It’s very good.

Karyn [00:52:51]:
Yeah, love it. Okay. What is the number one supplement that you just cannot live without?

Dr. Gurevich [00:52:56]:
Glutamine. For sure. Any small valcrones patient. Glutamine.

Karyn [00:52:59]:
Glutamine. Okay. And being a doctor, going to a doctor, how do you advocate for yourself when you are the patient?

Dr. Gurevich [00:53:09]:
That’s like the hardest. You know, I honestly think the goal when you’re in the doctor’s office, you are. This is not the person who knows everything. This is not doctor knows best. You are utilizing that practitioner to give you opinion. That’s very educated and well informed. That may or may not be the key to you. That is the whole point of your doctor’s day.

Dr. Gurevich [00:53:29]:
This is a consultant that you’re bringing in that you may or may not utilize. There are treatments, yes.

Karyn [00:53:34]:
You cannot emphasize that enough. It’s so huge. So many people go and think, oh, but my doctor said, they are your consultant. They’re working for you. Oh, yes.

Dr. Gurevich [00:53:44]:
You can only know what they know. That’s it. Like, I only know what I know. I’m not having the pharmaceutical reps coming in and out of my office. Like, I’ve got my two. That for the drugs that I use, I’m having the nutritional people come into my office. They’re having the pharmaceutical people, they only know what they know, and the system is designed to keep them busy so they don’t, like, reach out and look for something that new or out of the box.

Karyn [00:54:05]:
Right, right. Exactly. What is one thing that you do on a regular basis to help you connect with yourself? Like something self care wise?

Dr. Gurevich [00:54:13]:
I’ve recently discovered orange theory.

Karyn [00:54:16]:
What is that?

Dr. Gurevich [00:54:17]:
Orange theory? It’s like.

Karyn [00:54:18]:
I don’t know this. Tell me.

Dr. Gurevich [00:54:19]:
Oh, my God, dude. They have. They have, like, hacked my psychology. It’s an exercise class, basically. It’s a mixture of cardio and weights, and it’s like, on a circuit. They kind of tell you what to do, but they blare, like fun music, and you’re, like, running and sweating and it’s. They have hacked my psychology.

Karyn [00:54:35]:
Do you have to go in person for this or can you get a nap?

Dr. Gurevich [00:54:38]:
I think you go in per. I don’t know. I only go in person. I’m not likely to show up unless I’m being.

Karyn [00:54:43]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:54:43]:
Like, holding me accountable. Yeah. I pay money. I’m gonna show up.

Karyn [00:54:46]:
Yeah. Right. Okay. What’s one thing that we’re all getting wrong about gut health, in your opinion?

Dr. Gurevich [00:54:53]:
I don’t think we’re focusing enough on fermented foods as we should be. And I think that one of the things that happens, especially in this community, that both you and I serve, is there is this, like, I want to limit. I want to limit. I’m on a limit. And then you’re on, like, the five foods, and none of them have nutritional value. I think what it comes down to is you need to, you know, get rid of the stuff that has the preservatives, the gums, the pesticides, and put in the fresh stuff so you can understand just how good whole nutrition makes you feel.

Karyn [00:55:20]:
Yeah. Because it makes a big difference, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. If somebody says to you, do you have a good book recommendation? You know, when someone says that to you, what’s the one book that you feel like you recommend more than any others? And it doesn’t have to be gut health. It doesn’t even have to be health related. It could be anything. Of course it is. Knowing you, Doctor Gurvich.

Dr. Gurevich [00:55:37]:
So it’s actually called gut? It is. Her name is Alana something. I can’t remember. It is. And I listen to it. I didn’t read it. I listened to it.

Karyn [00:55:46]:
Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Gurevich [00:55:47]:
First of all, she’s hysterical. Second of all, she builds and explains the Gi in these complicated, like, in these really simple ways for these complicated concepts, that actually puts a ton of humor in there. And it just like. It’s like. It reads like fiction, but it’s all about the function of the gi. It is, like, the best book ever. I love it.

Karyn [00:56:06]:
Okay. Oh, I haven’t ever read it. I’m gonna go get it.

Dr. Gurevich [00:56:08]:
You’re gonna love it.

Karyn [00:56:09]:
What’s your favorite travel destination?

Dr. Gurevich [00:56:14]:
I like to go visit my family.

Karyn [00:56:16]:
Yeah, no, no, we’re, like, tropical overseas or anything. Just home for your family? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And coffee or tea. And how do you take it?

Dr. Gurevich [00:56:25]:
Green tea. Coffee makes me crazy. Obviously, I have no limitation of energy. It gets a little bit too much for everybody if I get coffee, and I love. So I’ll buy loose leaf green tea, and then I’ll just refill it all day long until you get different a. You get caffeine, but also you get different layers of the antioxidants. And, you know, they say it’s anti carcinogenic, so it prevents cancer. We’ll see.

Dr. Gurevich [00:56:49]:
It just gives me the perfect amount of caffeine, and it also tastes delicious.

Karyn [00:56:53]:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Love green tea. Okay, what’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day?

Dr. Gurevich [00:56:58]:
Oh, hanging out with my kids, and then I like to cook.

Karyn [00:57:02]:
You do? Yeah. Cooking with your kids. That would probably be perfect.

Dr. Gurevich [00:57:05]:
It’s really. And, I mean, I tell everybody I don’t have any hobbies. It’s like naturopathic gastroenterology and cooking. That’s it.

Karyn [00:57:11]:
Yeah, I love it. Okay, last question. So, the name of this podcast is the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD. That’s my way of just having a little bit of fun with our illness, because I think you got to do that. So to me, being cheeky is being a little bit sassy, a little bit quirky, but a lot badass. So how are you cheeky in your life?

Dr. Gurevich [00:57:30]:
I feel like what I do every day, just showing up and slightly fighting the system.

Karyn [00:57:37]:

Dr. Gurevich [00:57:38]:
Which I believe in, but I also think is bullshit. I think that is what I do on a regular basis.

Karyn [00:57:44]:
Yes, yes.

Dr. Gurevich [00:57:45]:
I mean, like, you know, for us, you know, anybody who’s in alternative medicine, we’re not, like, I don’t get paid. I mean, I have some gastros that I work pretty intimately with, and there’s a couple groups that refer to me, and I refer to them, but really, we are talking to, like, the direct people who want other options besides just the system. And that is, like, not the easiest a lot of times.

Karyn [00:58:10]:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I love it. Doctor Gurovich, thank you so much. I know we can find you on the Turd Nerds podcast, so everybody should go and download it, check it out. Where else can we find out about you?

Dr. Gurevich [00:58:22]:
So I’m moving clinics. My new website is open Wellnesspdx, and that will be where my new practice is, hopefully for the rest of my life.

Karyn [00:58:31]:
Yeah, you don’t want to make that move again.

Dr. Gurevich [00:58:33]:
No. Ever.

Karyn [00:58:34]:
Yeah, exactly. Doctor Ilana Gurevich, thank you so much. This has been such a wealth of amazing information. I know it’s going to mean so much to our listeners. So thank you for taking the time.

Dr. Gurevich [00:58:44]:
I also just want to say thank you for getting this information out there. Like, we live in a world where really good at information is really accessible, coming from experts who know what they’re doing. And you putting out something like this actually helps people take ownership of their own health, and that, I think, is the first step of feeling better.

Karyn [00:59:01]:
That is my goal, so. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you.

Dr. Gurevich [00:59:04]:
Okay. Thank you, honey. Bye.

Karyn [00:59:05]:
All right, bye.

We’re Back Baby!


Season 2 is dropping soon!

Enjoy new episodes all summer long.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 We’re back baby: new release on June 13th!

🌿 An amazing caliber of guests coming on this season

🌿 Solo episodes you don’t want to miss

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One for the Road: The Best IBD Advice I Ever Gave

This day has been a long time coming.

It’s me pressing pause on The Cheeky Podcast. Today I’m telling you why I’ve made this hard decision to put the show on pause for a little while, what’s coming up next that I’m excited about (that I hope you’ll be excited about), and my final words of wisdom.

After 35 + years with Crohn’s, it’s 13 Things I know for sure about healing your IBD in my heart and in my soul. This one is going to be a little emotional for me, fair warning.

I hope you’ll join me in support today so have to go through this one alone.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 3 reasons why now is the time to hit pause on the podcast

🌿 Living in the uncomfortable reality of practicing what you preach

🌿 13 Things I know for sure about healing your IBD

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Episode Transcript:

One for the Road: The Best IBD Advice I Ever Gave You

This day has been a long time coming. It’s me pressing pause on The Cheeky Podcast. Today I’m telling you why I’ve made this hard decision to put the show on pause for a little while, what’s coming up next that I’m excited about (that I hope you’ll be excited about), and my final words of wisdom. After 35 + years with Crohn’s, it’s 13 Things I know for sure about IBD in my heart and in my soul. This one is going to be a little emotional for me, fair warning. I hope you’ll join me in support today so have to go through this one alone.


Hey, hey my loyal friend, my fellow IBD mama. It’s great to connect with you on this gorgeous day. And yep, you heard it right at the top of the show. The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD is going on pause for a little while. This is a decision I didn’t make lightly, it’s a decision that frankly I’m not all that happy about, but sometimes in order to grow, we need to take a step back to take stock, to make changes so that we can move forward even stronger, even better than before. My hope is that by taking a break from the show, I can do just that.

You know I fancy myself Wonder Woman, able to do it all, lasso and invisible jet on hand, but lately I’ve felt like maybe at this time in my life I can’t do it all. I know I preach this to you all the time and it’s time that I listened to my own advice.

I don’t want to go out without an explanation though. And there isn’t just one explanation because life never happens in a bubble, there’s always multiple factors at play. And it’s this confluence of factors that has led me to make this decision from my head and also from my heart. 


#1- If you listened to the whole episode last week, the one where my hubby and I talk about being an IBD couple and what our life journey has been like, if you listened to the end (and I know it was a long one), you heard me open up about some health struggles I’ve been having lately. I’ve tried, since January of this year to do it all—keep up with my health, my job, my kids, helping to take care of my elderly dad… and because I wasn’t focused enough on all the balls in the air, I found that most of the time the ball that was dropping was my health.

You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything—your health is the most important thing in this world so it’s time to practice what I preach. It’s time to put my health first again. You also might remember me sharing that back in 2008, when I finally decided I was the one in charge of my health, I declared it the year of ME. One year focused on doing everything I could to make me as healthy as possible, inside and out. I’m about to do that again. Thankfully this time, I don’t think it will take a year, but I do need to put in some focus time on me and so that is what I am going to do.

#2- With the health challenges that have creeped up for me lately, it’s really inspired me to continue my health and nutrition education so I’m about to go back to school to get my Master’s Degree in Nutrition. First up, are classes like Anatomy and Physiology and Organic Chemistry—classes I really need to give my all to. So this break from the podcast will also allow me the opportunity to learn more about the nutritional approach to healing IBD and I can’t wait to share all the knowledge I gain with you.

#3- Lately there’s been this nagging feeling in me, that I’ve been playing too small when it comes to helping people with their Crohn’s and colitis. That there are so many more people out there that I want to share this empowering message with. So part of this break from the podcast, I’ll also be oiling the hinges of my message and how I serve you, with the intention of figuring out how to make an even bigger impact in the world of Crohn’s and colitis. I’m really excited about this last piece and I don’t exactly know what The Cheeky Podcast 2.0 will look like but I know it will have interviews with cutting edge IBD providers and I know I’ll be sharing more of your inspiring stories, and I know there will be a book in there as well. I want to shout IBD so loud that everyone in the universe hears us, takes freakin’ notice, and it moves them to finally get off their assess and develops a cure. That’s my goal for the future of IBD.

So with all of those life factors and goals in mind, spending some time focused on my health, going back to school, and thinking about how we can make a bigger IBD impact, I’m going to take some time to do just that with the goal of bringing The Cheeky Podcast back in a bigger and bolder way to support you on your gut healing journey.


But of course, I don’t want to leave you hanging. I will never leave you hanging and I want you to keep moving forward on your personal healing journey. My passion and my mission in life is to serve those with IBD, and I’m not abandoning that mission. During this podcase hiatus, it might be a great time to go back and catch up on some of our past 100 episodes, all dedicated to livin’ your best IBD mom life. From crazy healing modalities you may never have heard of to eating for your own gut health needs, to IBD supplements, colonoscopies, interviews with experts and IBD gals, there’s too many topics for me to mention. It’s basically a A to Z of all thing C + C related and there’s lots of uncharted territory to discover. Go back and take a listen to some of the oldies but goodies on our play list. I’ll be sending out a list of the most popular, most commented on Cheeky Podcast Episodes to our Gut Love Community members so you can check out what you might have missed, so stay tuned for that.


And speaking of our free and fabulous  Gut Love Community, the place to be for all things IBD healing and motherhood related, we’ll still be rockin’ over there during this podcast break and  I’ll still be in touch with you in the community with how to’s, recipes, my take on the latest research studies, I’ve got some brand new hot off the press gut healing protocols to share, a couple of surprise challenges we’ll be taking on together in the community, and so much more. I’m super excited about that.

There’s never been a more important time to join the Gut Love Community if you haven’t already. Join us at It’s our free and fabulous community of IBD mamas all with the same goal of finding our way to health and happiness, while we raise our kids.  If you are already with us in the GLC, hang tight, I’ll be in touch soon. If you haven’t join yet, here is your engraved invitation. Join us in the GLC to keep up with your gut healing while the podcast takes this much needed pause.

OK, my friend, that’s it in a gut shell. That’s the haps on why it’s time for me to take a pause on the podcast and for this episode today, this last episode for a while, I want to leave you with

13 Things I Know for Sure About IBD in My Heart and in My Soul.

Keep this list with you in your heart, save/bookmark it on your computer. It’s at Re-read it, re-listen to it every time you need a reminder of why you are working so hard to achieve your IBD goals. This is why. This is your motivation to keep going.

So, let’s end today right with my best advice. A culmination of what I’ve learned in 35 +years with Crohn’s. Here we go with 13 Things I Know for Sure About IBD in My Heart and in My Soul.

#1 I know that there is no one-size-fits-all diet for IBD, but there is a diet for you, and it’s not the diet for everyone. It’s the diet for you. It’s the Karyn diet. It’s in the Stephanie diet, it’s the Jessica diet, it’s the Giovanna diet. There is an eating plan that works best for your sensitive belly. Finding out what that food is takes time, but it is the best investment you’ll ever make.

#2 I know that your doctor matters. Keep doctor shopping until you find a doctor you connect with and can be open and honest with, a doctor who sees you as an equal on your healing journey. Your doctor can have a profound positive influence or they can suck you into a vortex you never get out of. Choose a doc who know about root cause medicine, not the one who wants to suppress your symptoms and your spirit.

#3 I know that it’s never selfish to carve out YOU time. It’s imperative for your health, your healing and your well-being. Mom guilt is powerful, but just remember how much love and energy and fun you can give your kids when you have filled your cup first. I give you permission, get rid of the mom guilt. It doesn’t serve you or your Crohn’s or colitis.

#4 I know that you should never lose your faith or you will lose your way. Believe in the power of you and in the power of healing. There is no greater strength than this. Keep telling yourself: this may be my now, but this is not my forever.

#5 I know that healing isn’t just about finding the right eating plan. If you ignore the stress in your life or your terrible chronic sleep patterns you have or other lifestyle factors like anxiety and depression, you will never get all the way to health. There will always be something standing in your way.

#6 I know that if you want healing that lasts, you need to believe in the power of your mind. The gut brain connection is real and it’s profound and it can have an impact in both positive and negative ways. To help your gut and brain communicate more effectively, stimulate your vagus nerve—that neural pathway between your gut and your brain. It’s one of the most important links in your body.

#7 I know that you can’t go through Crohn’s and colitis alone. Find your support and support doesn’t always mean family. Find your IBD tribe of mamas and be vulnerable and real with them. Let them help you when you are in need and help them when they are down. There’s no greater sisterhood than an IBD sisterhood.  

#8 I know that we need to stop apologizing, whispering I have Crohn’s or I have colitis, stop feeling embarrassed because your disease takes you to the bathroom. Shout IBD from the rooftops. It’s the path to how we will eventually find a cure.

#9 I know that you can’t give IBD so much power in your life that dictates your mood. You are more than your physical body. You are more than your body.

#10 I know that eating out, going to friends’ houses, parties, and traveling does have your name on it. It may take a little bit more effort and you may need to curtail some of your activities, but never let IBD take away your life, your freedom, or the happiness you experience by being with others.

#11 I know that when it’s time to decide on a particular medication, a diet, lifestyle factors or supplements, and mindset approaches, the most important decision maker is you. You have intuition and wisdom greater than you know. Listen to your inner wisdom, it will always lead you in the right direction.

#12 I know that you absolutely, positively need to cultivate your wheel of wellness. All the healing modalities at your disposal, the ones that improve the quality of your life. Healing is never about one thing and no one is going to cultivate your wheel of wellness for you. It is up to you to figure out the doctor, the movement practice, the food, the spiritual journey, the therapy, mind-body medicine approach, the supplements etc, etc, etc… your wheel of wellness is just as unique as you are. Build it slowly and assess its strength often. When it’s built solid, your wheel of wellness will stay with you forever.

#13 Lastly, I know that you need to find something to be grateful for every day, even if all you can come up with in the beginning is “I’m grateful that the day is over.” Gratitude begets gratitude, begets gratitude, and gratitude is a healer.


I am grateful for you dear one. You are the reason I do what I do. You are the reason I keep fighting for and educating and empowering because together we are the difference makers. No one cares more about eradicating Crohn’s and colitis than us. I’m grateful for you, that you have taken up this cause for your own body. Keep fighting for you, keep fighting for health. You will get there, this I know to be true.

Don’t forget, if you want to continue this IBD conversation while the podcast is on hold, take this time to re-listen or listen for the first time to some of the 100 episodes in our Cheeky Podcast feed and join us in the gut love community where you’ll be supported, heard, and embraced as I take the time to heal, to learn, and to reimagine what’s possible to serve you even better.

I say this every time I sign off from the podcast, but today it certainly has more meaning than ever before. Until we meet again, and I know we’ll meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey.

Chat soon!

{#theirIBDstory} Karyn + Bill: A Couple Perspective on IBD

Your IBD story. My IBD story.

If these walls could talk, what as story they would tell.

I bet your mate has been on quite a journey with your Crohn’s or colitis as well.  We never experience IBD in a vacuum, or in a bubble. They are by our side, living IBD in their own way. What’s it like for them to live with a partner who as Crohn’s or colitis?

Today, on this very special 100th episode of The Cheeky Podcast, Bill and I are pulling back the curtain to let you in on our IBD story.

This is one to listen to with your partner.

Four Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 Why it’s so hard to be vulnerable and honest with your partner about how IBD impacts your life.

🌿 Using your diagnosis to help your kids be as healthy as they can be (at least until they reach their teen years ; )

🌿 Couples Communication IBD style: The pitfalls we fall into and the communication strengths we gain from having a chronic illness.

🌿  Why stepping into your Crohn’s and colitis power is the must do step for lasting healing to take place.

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Crohn’s & Colitis Friendly Condiments from the Condiment Queen

Do you love condiments as much as me? Ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, salsa, and dips like guacamole and hummus?

You bet you do!

They add a little flava-flav to just about everything you eat. But when it comes to being able to enjoy condiments like these on your favorite foods, you run into two problems…

#1- The ingredients in traditional condiments wreak havoc on your gut (whether you know it or not).


#2- Condiments like these, the ones you find at your local grocery store, are never on your gut healing diet. The ingredients are either full of sugar or chemicals (and often, both).

If you’re a condiment lover, hold on to your hat mama because this week on the podcast, I’m setting you up for condiment success.

I’m dishing out some seriously good news when it comes to these flavor makers. Condiments that turn your plain food from iffy to spiffy (yep, I said it) and at the same time, make your belly happy too!

We talk about:

  • The ingredients in 95% of all condiments that make your gut do a tailspin
  • Quick and simple recipes if you want to make your condiments at home (great for knowing exactly what’s in them)
  • How you know when you’re ready to start eating condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, BBQ sauce (all the good stuff) when you’re on a gut healing diet
  • Why condiments are the key to getting your kids to eat healthy food

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have simple and delicious condiment recipes at your fingertips, knowledge about which store-bought condiments are gut healthy, and access to all the best condiment brands on the market. You go, condiment queen.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [07:00] The ingredients in 95% of all condiments that make your gut do a tailspin
  • [09:16] Why Mrs. Butterworth isn’t as friendly as she looks
  • [14:10] Quick and simple recipes if you want to make your condiments at home (great for knowing exactly what’s in them)
  • [15:00] Gut healthy, yet super tasty condiment ideas you can buy at the grocery store
  • [15:31] The absolute best condiment brands you can always trust
  • [16:18] How you know when you’re ready to start eating condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, BBQ sauce (all the good stuff) when you’re on a gut healing diet
  • [19:15] Why condiments are the key to getting your kids to eat healthy food
  • [22:23] The benefits of the condiment caddy and what to put it in
  • [24:04] The best way to take this conversation to the next level and get your gut healing plan in place today

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode

You’re FREE Resource: Condiments for a Healthy Belly and a Happy Mama

Book Your 30-Minute IBD Consultation HERE

DM Me on Facebook

Episode Transcript:

Do you love condiments as much as me? Ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, salsa… dips, aw dips, like guacamole and hummus?

Definitely tasty, but the problem is, with so many added ingredients like sugar and salt, plus chemicals to enhance flavor and color, and preservatives to increase shelf life, they’re usually not so healthy for your gut. But today we’re going to change all that so you can rest assured that the condiments your consuming aren’t messing with your digestive system. In this episode, I’m going to share with you the best gut healthy condiments you can have, ways to make the unhealthy condimnents healthy, and all the while, keep your Crohn’s or colitis belly happy.

If you love condiments as much as I do, it’s time to take your condiments from iffy to spiffy. Uh, the corniness has begun. Let’s get this condiment party started!


INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.


Hello dear one and welcome back to The Cheeky Podcast—the best place to be for moms with Crohn’s and colitis who are trying to heal with out of the box remedies that honor not just your symptoms, but your mom lifestyle as well. I am so thrilled to share this time with you today. Whether you’re dropping the kids off at school, washing the dishes, exercising or just laying down and chilling like you deserve mama, thanks for hanging out with me for a bit, I couldn’t appreciate you more. I love this podcast medium. It’s the perfect way to connect with you, my fellow gut loving mama.

After last week’s deeply personal and sometimes dark episode, episode 50 (go check it out if you haven’t yet), I needed something a little lighter this week. Something equally important for your gut health, but a little lighter. Something that brings joy to my life, and I hope joy to your life too.

And that’s condiments.

You know me as Karyn, the Crohn’s and Colitis Health Coach, but in my family, I’m known as the condiment queen. Move over Queen Elizabeth. I never met a condiment I didn’t like. Whether it was pre-Crohn’s as a kid, or after I started eating gut healing and healthy food, all the way to today. Condiments and I are, as the cool kids say, BFF’s. How about you? Do you love a good condiment? Do you have to have ketchup and mustard or mayonnaise on your burger? Maybe it’s relish or barbecue sauce? I’ll put condiments on anything but when it comes to a burger for me there’s nothing better than a barbecue sauce mayo combo and for a hot dog I like traditional yellow mustard and relish. If I’m lucky, some kraut.

Mouth watering yet?

[05:30] I’d love to know your sauce or a condiment obsessions. I remember way back in the day, when I was a kid, I had to put ketchup on everything. From breakfast eggs to dinner steak and everything in between, ketchup was my jam. My youngest child must take after me because he was quite the ketchup connoisseur as well. Lately he’s started to shy away from ketchup a bit, I think because his brothers like to tease him about it (and we all know how the whole older sibling younger sibling dynamic works), but if he had his way I think he’d put ketchup on salad.

Like I said, as a kid it was all about ketchup, but as I got older I fell in love with blue cheese on my pizza—maybe for you it’s ranch… fries dipped in mayonnaise (you can thank visiting the lovely country of Belgium for that), and to this day whenever I go out to a fancy restaurant, I have to order a sauce like bearnaise, or green peppercorn for my filet mignon.

[07:00] Condiments can enhance the flavor of pretty much everything we eat, but condiments, the kind we buy at the grocery store are usually really unhealthy for even healthy people, and for those of us with gut disorders like Crohn’s and colitis, the ingredients can be so disastrously disruptive, that at best, they said us to the toilet, and at worst they ignite the flames of a flareup.

Most store-bought condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salsa, salad dressings, hot sauce, soy sauce… all the ones that are probably in most kitchen refrigerators are usually filled with added sugars and salt. And over time, the sugar especially, will mess with your gut and create a bacterial imbalance and a host of distressing digestive symptoms.

If it was only natural sugar and natural salt that was added to condiments, I think we could find some work arounds, but the worst part of about these grocery store condiments is that they are filled with artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, even chemical preservatives and those of us with the gut disorders can be really sensitive ingredients like these. Even if you don’t feel it right away (like running to the bathroom 5 minutes after you eat), these artificial ingredients can make your Crohn’s or colitis worse and be one of the factors that keeps us from finding true and lasting remission.

Let me  give you a few examples so you can see exactly what I’m talking about here.

Let’s take maple syrup- Mrs. Butterworth? Seems like a friendly lady right. Think again. That’s definitely not maple syrup that’s hangin out in that kind of freaky looking bottle where we pour the syrup from the top of her head—come on, you know it’s weird. Syrups like Mrs. Butterworth, not to pick on her because there’s lots of other maple syrup imposters out there, have no maple syrup in them. Instead they’re filled with high fructose corn syrup, and, because hfcs wasn’t enough, then some more corn syrup, and then some cane sugar because the hfcs and the corn syrup wasn’t enough sweetness for the manufactures. Also caramel color and sodium hexa-meta-phosphate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), and then there’s that added artificial flavorings (and who even knows what that means).

BBQ sauce is loaded with multiple types of sugar.

Many queso dips contain MSG.

Teriyaki and soy sauce are both loaded with sodium and gluten.

And don’t even get me started on your favorite store bought, supposedly healthy salad dressing. A salad should be a healthy meal. But the chemicals, the artificial flavors, preservatives, the gut disrupting gums that are used to keep the ingredients emulsified, the added sugar… makes your “healthy” meal anything but healthy.

If you’ve looked into or started any gut healing diet for your Crohn’s and colitis, you know that none of these store-bought condiments are allowed. There’s just too much crap. They’re not natural, and their ingredients cause major disruptions to your already disrupted gut.

So, even though you know you’ll miss condiments like crazy, you are motivated mama and you start that gut healthy, gut healing diet and all these condiments are off-limits. You’re eating dry chicken and tasteless vegetables. Your food has no pizzazz, no flavor, no flair. And it just makes you feel serious FOMO. Everyone else can eat jazzy, spicy, bold, flavorful, delicious treats, but you’re stuck with boring, bland, tasteless cardboard.

[13:04] If you’re smiling or laughing right now, you get it. You get the dilemma. It’s not fair.

But, hold the phone mama because I’m here to change all of that for you. Just because you’re eating gut healthy doesn’t mean your food has to be tasteless or boring. Hell to the no! Healthy food can be super tasty. You just have to add your own flair to it.

You can say yes to ketchup, you can say yes to a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, you can say yes to creamy, delectable mayonnaise and salad dressing and sauces that make your Asian dishes sing. It’s all about finding a way to either create your condiments in a really simple and speedy way in your kitchen or knowing which brands have ingredients are best for your sensitive digestive system.

If you’re like me and you love condiments and food that tastes good, you’re going to definitely appreciate a brand new resource I have to share. I created this one especially for my clients who understandably refuse to give up flava when they’re in gut healing mode. It’s my pdf guide—”Condiments for a Healthy Belly and a Happy Mama” and it’s yours absolutely free. This condiment resource has quick and simple recipes for some of your favorite condiments, it has ideas for healthy condiments you can buy at the grocery store, and it also has my favorite condiment brands, so you know exactly what to buy and where, when it comes to your purchasing options. If you are a condiment queen like me, you’re going to love this resource. You can get it by going to That’s

You can also get your free resource by checking out the show notes. I’ll leave a link there as well.

Before we wrap up for today, I want to address one of the questions I always get asked about condiments when it comes to eating for your gut health. Many gut healing diets like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, The GAPS diet, Paleo, even the gluten-free or dairy free diets, don’t get into when is it OK to add condiments (healthier condiments) like these to your every day eating plan.

[16:18] Although everyone is individual and some condiments that work for one mama will not work for another, the rule of thumb I like to follow is when you can eat all of the ingredients in the condiment separately without any G.I. or non-G.I. reaction, you can eat that condiment, in all its glory.

So if you’re waiting to enjoy mayonnaise for example, check out your mayonnaise recipe if you’re making it homemade, or the ingredients list for a store-bought option. It might include ingredients like eggs, a specific type of oil, maybe some Dijon mustard, sometimes you’ll see lemon juice or vinegar in mayonnaise. Can you tolerate all of these ingredients individually, by themselves? If you can, that condiment is yours for the taking.

Make sense?

Cool, so go for it with healthy homemade or store-bought condiments from my pdf resource guide because they really will jazz up any gut healing food you’re eating. I remember when I began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet back in 2008, condiments and seasonings became my go-to for every meal. It’s amazing how wonderful and deliciously healthy gut healing food can taste when you have the right condiments and the right spices and seasonings. It doesn’t hide the food like so many traditional condiments do. It brings out the natural flavor in the food. It’s just an absolutely different gastric experience when you eat this way.

So that’s good news isn’t it? Condiments are not off the table even when you are trying to eat gut healthy for your Crohn’s and colitis. Want to know something that might be even better than that? I’m going to tell you how to do condiments like the bad ass boss mom I know you are.

Let’s do condiments like only a mom can.

When you’ve collected all of these delicious and healthy condiments, you want to have them at the ready for you, but you can also have them at the ready for your kids too. Condiments are the key to getting your kids to eat healthy food.

[19:15] I’ve gotta shout that from the roof top one more time: Condiments are the key to getting your kids to eat healthy food.

The key to doing condiments like the mom I know you are is to set up a condiment caddy, one that is circular and spinnable. Some people call it a Lazy Susan. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google Lazy Susan. You’ll see exactly the device I mean. It’s a round platter that spins. When it comes to breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, set out the condiment caddy right in the middle of the table and watch what it does for your kids taste buds.

There’s two rules that bad ass moms follow when it comes to the condiment caddy. Rule #1 about the condiment caddy that works perfectly in your kids favor is that they are allowed to put whatever condiment from the condiment caddy they choose on their food. Even if you think it’s gross. I mean, even if they choose to put ketchup on their salad.

The second rule about the condiment caddy is that initially, they are allowed to put as much of that condiment as they want wherever they want. So again, back to getting your kids to eat salad, they are allowed to put as much salad dressing on that salad as they wish… at first.

Those two rules definitely go your kids favor. But with rule number two, as you get your kid used to whatever healthy food you’re dishing up, you start to pull back a little bit on the condiment. Eventually and hopefully you’ll be at an amount you consider to be sane.

[22:23] I got my kids to eat broccoli this way. A little parmesan cheese and butter on their broccoli and voila, they are now broccoli lovers. Same thing with spinach salad—at first they loaded it up with ranch dressing. Little by little, they were easing up on the dressing and loading up on the spinach—well at least it worked for 2 of my kids and don’t they say 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!

And if you’re wondering what would I possibly put in my condiment caddy, you’ll definitely want to check out my free pdf resource: Condiments for a Healthy Belly and a Happy Mama. It’s got condiments galore so I have no doubt you’ll find some condiments you and your kids will love. Remember you can find your PDF resource by going to the show notes or typing in into your browser.

Do it like a the amazing mom I know you are with the condiment caddy.

OK my friend, did I answer all of your questions about the best ways to use condiments to jazz up healthy, gut healing food… about buying healthy condiments at the grocery store and making super simple delicious condiments that will make your belly happy at home… and how to get the kids involved by making condiments the gateway to health food? If anything I’ve talked about today is unclear or you still have questions, be sure to DM me on Facebook. I’m happy to continue the conversation over there. On Facebook I am @TheIBDHealthCoach. @ TheIBDHealth coach.

[24:04] And if you’re a Crohn’s or colitis mama and you’re struggling—maybe you were just diagnosed, or you’re struggling to get off the toilet, struggling to have enough energy to enjoy time with your kiddos, struggling to get your head around the steps you need to take to create a healing path for you—that’s definitely my specialty… know that I’m here for you. I offer free 30-min coaching sessions for moms with Crohn’s and colitis who are ready to get clear on their healing path, so they can move forward with confidence, clarity, and good gut health. During our 30-minute consultation, we set goals together, we talk about how we can marry your symptoms and your lifestyle to create the best plan for your needs and wants, and we talk about how we can work together with me as your guide to get you to the other side faster and with less roadblocks. And whether we decide working together is a good fit or not, you leave the session with tools you can use to jump start your Crohn’s or colitis healing journey right away.


If you’re ready to take big bold steps mama to heal your Crohn’s or colitis, I’ve got you covered. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation at  That’s

Dear one, just for today because we like to take it one day at a time– be bold, be brave, be kind to yourself, but always, always be true to who you are.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey.

Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Could Your Water Source Be Harming Your Crohn’s or Colitis?


It’s something we all take for granted. In the United States and in most countries, we turn on the facet in our home and we’ve got fresh, clean, pure, hydration right at our fingertips, right?

Actually, it turns out this isn’t always the case.

Often times our tap water and even our bottled water can be filled with odorless, tasteless contaminants, irritants, hormone disruptors, gut disruptors—all invisible. We don’t see it. We don’t taste the problem so we keep drinking, thinking we are doing our body good.

Today on the podcast, I’m sharing the challenges with most tap water and even many of the most common water filtration systems, ones you might even have in your home right now. And I’ll be sharing with you how you can make one small water change to positively impact your life.

For your IBD health, for you kids health, this is an important episode to check out.

Four Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 Two key factors that determine if your water is gut healthy and whole body healthy.

🌿 The best water check resource to see where your tap water stacks up.

🌿 Why reverse osmosis may not be all it’s hyped up to be (and don’t get me started on the filtered water that comes from your refrigerator).

🌿  The best water filtration system on the market today.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

Your FREE Water Quality Resource Guide Cheat Sheet

EWGs Tap Water Database (how safe is your tap water?)

Consumer Reports: Find Out What’s in Your Bottled Water

The Berkey Water Filter

Episode Resources:

Is Water the Forgotten Nutrient?

Drinking Water Contaminants

Distilled Water

Can you Drink Distilled Water?

Purified Water vs Spring Water

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Good for You?

The Dangers of Refrigerator Water Filters

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline Water: Beneficial or All Hype?

What is Ionized Water?

Berkey Water Filtration Process

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Could Your Water Source Be Harming Your Crohn’s or Colitis?

Water. It’s something we all take for granted. In the United States and in most countries, we turn on the facet in our home and we’ve got fresh, clean, pure, hydration right at our fingertips, right? Actually, it turns out this isn’t always the case. Often times our tap water and even our bottled water can be filled with odorless, tasteless contaminants, irritants, hormone disruptors, gut disruptors—all invisible. We don’t see it. We don’t taste the problem so we keep drinking, thinking we are doing our body good.

Today on the podcast, I’m sharing the challenges with most tap water and even many of the most common water filtration systems, ones you might even have in your home right now. And I’ll be sharing with you how you can make one small water change to positively impact your life. For your IBD health, for you kids health, this is an important episode to check out.

Let’s dive in.


Hello my friend, welcome to The Cheeky Podcast. It’s great to be with you again. Summer is flying by as it always does. The weather is hot, hot, hot, and we are all reaching for some water to stay hydrated. I thought that it was the perfect time, when we’re all drinking more water, for us to have a candid, open conversation about what’s really in your drinking water and what you can do to make sure you have the best water source at your fingertips, in summer especially, but all year long.

So, most of the time when we talk about water, we talk about how much water you should be consuming. What’s a healthy amount and how can you make sure you get it in throughout the day. But before we even get to that conversation, before we talk about how much water to consume, we need to address an even bigger question. And that question is: What’s the best water source for you? Because without good, clean, quality water, you can drink and drink and end up doing more harm than good.

Clean, pure water is important for everyone, but like many things, when it comes to Crohn’s and colitis, we need to be especially careful about the water we consume because of the challenges of our compromised intestinal system. Research by the American Gut Project shows that the source you pick for your water is a key factor in the variation of gut bacteria in your microbiome. The simple act of picking the right source can make a big difference in diversifying your bacteria, the bacteria in your gut, for better digestive health—and frankly, better health overall.


We’ve talked up and down, this way and that, endlessly about how food impacts our gut health on this podcast, but what about water? The problem of not talking about where our water is sourced from starts at the very top. I mean way at the top, at the institution level, the government level. Was water part of the food pyramid of our youth? Remember the food pyramid we learned about in health class? No, it wasn’t. Is water a part of the latest dietary guidelines in the My Plate chart. Nope. And this omission is causing many scientists to classify water as the “forgotten nutrient.”

Our government and national healthcare agencies may not be talking about the importance of your water source, but the research is clear, the water source you choose will positively or negatively impact your microbiome. In an recent study, participants who drank well-water had higher microbiome diversity in their stool—over tap water, bottle water, or even filtered water.

Of course we don’t all have access to well-water, let alone good quality well-water and if you’re like me, you can have well-water and still struggle if it’s not potable or drinkable. You should see the number of filters our water has to go through, just to pass inspection. That cannot be good for our family’s health.

So, if you don’t have access to well-water or you’re well-water is less than desirable, what can you do to make sure you are using the highest quality filtration system to get the best benefit for your gut health and your overall health as well? There’s so many choices out there… spring, distilled, mineral, reverse osmosis, ionized water…

What’s the best water for our sensitive bellies, the one that will give us a healthier microbiome, more diverse bacteria, and aid us as we combine all the other gut healing modalities we’re using to combat our Crohn’s and colitis. And if you’re anything like me, you want to keep this water decision, easy peasy. You spread enough time on food, supplements, medications, lifestyle factors. Your water source needs to be an easy decision, and an easy set up.

Let’s see if we can simplify all your water choices. I’m going to tell you the absolute best water source for you, for your endocrine system (your hormones), your metabolism, your connective tissue, and of course your digestive system.

On the way there, we’ll evaluate your current water sources—ones you might be using right now, so you can see which ones make the grade and which ones might just have to go. For each of the options, there’s two specific goals we have to keep in mind when it comes to water: purity and mineral content. Water, in many cases can be contaminated with pathogenic microorganisims—heavy metals, pesticides, and endocrine and gut disrupting chemicals. We need to demand water that’s as pure as possible for our own health, and also for the health of our kiddos.

And minerals—why do we want minerals in our water? Well, our whole body can benefit from maintaining minerals in our water sources. Especially in America, we are mineral deficient, we’re afraid of salt, we don’t eat enough mineral rich sea vegetables, but our digestive system and our other organs benefit from minerals. Minerals found in quality water sources like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. High quality water sources include minerals and we don’t want a water source that excludes these vital nutrients.

Just to recap before we move on, quality water is about #1 purity (no contaminants that can disrupt your microbiome and in turn your Crohn’s and colitis) AND #2 the presence of trace minerals that positively impact not only your digestive system, but also your endocrine system, metabolism, neurological pathways and the connective tissues in your body.


If you want to get the full picture on water quality—broken down in a one-page format, that gives you the load down on all the filtration methods (the pros and the cons)—what we are talking about today, but in a handy dandy condense version, I have a one-page cheat sheet I’ve created just for you, You can go to It’s my Water Quality one-page PDF and it will give you all the deets you need to get the best water filtration system for your home.

So, yes, I’ve got the cliff notes version all ready for you to grab, but if this has really been a question in your mind, if you want to make the best decision with your whole family’s health in mind, want to have what you need to make the most informed decision, stick around because I’m about to give you the full scoop on choosing the best water source for your home.


OK let’s start with our most common source of water, the water that comes straight from our facet at home, tap water. Remember, we are looking for purity and minerals. So how does tap water stack up? Well, the good news is that tap water has the potential to be full of healthy minerals. Nothing has been filtered out so the minerals that are in the water are there to benefit you.

The problem with tap water though is in it’s purity rating. Many tap water sources contain microorganisms like E. coli, giardia, noroviruses, inorganic chemicals like arsenic, nitrates, lead. And organic compounds that are hard to pronounce like glyphosate and tetrachloroethylene.

Of course, in America, our tap water is regulated by the FDA and the EPA. They wouldn’t allow any of the crap in our water, would they? Unfortunately, there are levels of these known contaminants that are considered safe and allowed by the FDA. Plus there have been several case studies, news reports (I’m sure you’ve heard about them), where contaminants in tap water have reached concerning levels. Let’s take lead for example, a known toxic substance. That’s one that I’m sure you’ve heard about as being of concern in certain cases.– in the home where you deserve safe drinking water. This is especially challenging in children as they are still developing but also concerning for those with immune disruptions as well. People like us.

Other contaminants that have been known to seep into tap water include fertilizer, livestock manure, human sewage. Also, some tap water contains nitrates, nitrites, arsenic, parasites, and bacteria. Now, of course these are extreme cases and these may not be substances that are in your tap water. Let’s hope not.

If you are wondering about your tap water right now, for my folks in America, you can get all the information you need through the EWG’s website. That’s the Environmental Working Group. The watchdog company for all things food, environment, and health related. They have a tap water database and you can type in your zip code to see how the water coming out of your faucet stacks up.

I put in my zip code in as prep for this episode and was surprised to find a total of 12 contaminants in my tap water. Seven of them exceed the EWG’s health guidelines. Yikes! This is in my own tap water that I’ve had tested and is supposed to be safe. Thank goodness I have a water filter I trust. I don’t want to expose my kids to that. You might want to check out your own water purity if you use tap water in your home. I’ll leave a link in the show notes to the EWG’s tap water database so that you can type in your own ZIP Code and find out what’s going on with the water in your area. The show notes can be reached at /99. The link will be there.

Now, many of us are aware of the pitfalls of tap water because we hear about it all the time, this is the reason why the bottled water industry has boomed into such a powerhouse. Filtered water, distilled water, mineral water… All the things that make our water pure and clean… supposedly. But how are these methods really stacking up? Let’s find out.


So first we’ve got distilled water. Distilled water is created when tap water is boiled into a vapor and then condensed back into a liquid. That sounds promising right with all that boiling it’s got to be really pure. And yes, indeed, it is really pure. No microorganisms to upset our G.I. tract. Problem is, it also purifies out so much of the minerals and salts that our digestive system benefits from. That’s definitely not a good thing.

And not only that, but distilled water also pulls in properties of anything it touches. So put that in a plastic bottle and guess what it’s leaching? Yeah, it’s leaching plastic and then you are drinking it so for the most part if you’re looking for a drinking water, I have to give distilled water a thumbs down. Yes it’s pure but it’s missing some vital nutrients that our body needs.


Now how about spring water? We all know about spring water and so many of us consume it when we drink bottled water. It comes from a spring so we’re thinking babbling brooks and nature and water that is in a peaceful environment. With all that goodness, it must be healthy.

First, let’s get on the same page with what exactly were talking about when we’re looking at spring water. Does Springwater actually come from babbling brooks? Well, spring water is ground water. It’s ground water that lives underground in an aquifer. It sits below the earth’s natural water table. Sounds good so far, but the problem here is that getting information on how a particular brand or product is made (about its purity and mineral content) is really tricky. The companies that make spring water aren’t required to give us this information, so we are left with variable purity ratings and variable mineral ratings.

That’s not to say that all spring water is bad, the problem is we really just don’t know. Some are probably good and some are lacking. Without any real transparency in the bottled water industry, the authenticity of the water source becomes really murky.

There is, potentially some good news on the spring water front though. If you’re like so many Americans and you have come to rely on a particular brand of spring water… maybe it’s Daissini or Fiji or Deer Park—my brother only drinks Deer Park and swears by it. He swears that if he drinks any other bottled water he hast to run to the bathroom. I definitely think there’s a psychological component going on there. What do you think? But there is a way to find out about the specific nutrient and purity information about a particular bottled water company.

Consumer Reports has a online spring water database where you can click on a particular brand of spring water and check out all of the nutrients and purity levels in that product. You may not be getting the full picture about your particular spring water, but at least it’s more than the information you’ll find on the bottle . I’ll leave a link for you to check out that website in the show notes as well.


Now I know there is some of you out there listening saying Karyn, I never drink my tap water and I definitely don’t drink bottled water. I know that the purity and the mineral content is very variable and I don’t want to drink out of plastic bottles. I know all of this so that’s why I have a reverse osmosis system in my house. Let’s talk about that filtration system for a moment because I know it’s really popular and several people have that type of system in their house.

Reverse osmosis, most of the time called RO, is a purification process that uses a semi- permeable membrane to filter out contaminants like sediment, chlorine and microorganisms. The good news about RO is that it’s great if you live in an area where the water is really contaminated because it’s definitely removing those contaminants. But, how much of the contaminants it’s actually removing really depends on your RO system because there’s a ton of variability in these systems.

Also we definitely need to talk about the mineral content with reverse osmosis. After having heard about the other options we’ve talked about so far in seeing how RO works with its purification process, you can probably guess that there’s a problem here. All that purification is also removing the good trace minerals that we need for better digestive health. Iron, magnesium, manganese, and so many more.

And there’s more when it comes to RO filtration systems. If you’re using an RO system in your home that connects to your water faucet and you use that water for all the cooking in your home, here’s where trouble can happen. This demineralized water removes the vitamins and minerals in the food as it’s cooked. That’s because water bonds to everything it comes in contact with so the nutrients from the food you’re cooking gets leeched into the water and then you throw all those nutrients away when you strain your food.

Even the WHO, the World Health Organization is concerned about RO filtration stating that, “It has a definite adverse influence of the animal and human organism.” Not a good look RO!

OK, so so far we’ve talked about tap water, lots of negatives with that one. We’ve covered spring water with so much variability you really just don’t know what you’re getting and we just covered the pros and cons of reverse osmosis. Some positives when it comes to purity, but lots of negatives with the removal of all those much needed trace minerals.


Let’s move on and talk about one of the filtration systems most of us have in our kitchen. That’s carbon filtration. This is really common if you have a refrigerator that has a water spout built in. These type of refrigerators usually use a carbon filter. The bottom line with carbon filtration is that they can be really variable in their effectiveness with both purity and minerals.

First of all, the good news, they remove contaminants that we can taste and smell, but other contaminants do remain. Secondly, some studies have shown bacteria like salmonella can still be present in carbon filtered water. And of course there’s the problem of changing the filter enough. How many of us remember to do that? And to make matters worse, the constant water formation on the surface of the spout encourages mold and yeast growth. So that yeast and mold is getting into your water glass and then into your body every time you take a sip.

I remember one time, a babysitter who was at our house taking care of the kids saying to me have you looked up inside your refrigerator water spout? There’s all kinds of mold growing in there. I was mortified and terrified of what we had been drinking for so long. I tried repeatedly to clean the area with bleach and get the mold away, but no matter how hard I tried, that mold was just not going anywhere so we stopped using the refrigerator water now we don’t have that refrigerator anymore, so good riddance.

The bottom line on carbon filtration is variable purity and variable minerals at best. Not the best water source for our health or our family’s health either.

Now, so far we’ve talked about water filtration systems that have the potential to be threatening to our health, let’s turn the page and talk about some possible options for us when it comes to healthy, pure, mineral rich drinking water. There’s two of them, and I would call these my honorable mentions when it comes to quality drinking water.


One option is alkaline water. You might’ve heard about an alkalizing diet, eating with less acidic foods, finding a better pH for your body, eating food that is more basic (as opposed to acidic) for your overall health. A healthy digestive system is the main focus for an alkaline diet because the predominant thought is that disease cannot survive in an alkaline state.

Just like alkalizing foods, water can be alkaline as well. Alkaline water boasts of higher mineral content like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Right now it’s all the rage. But is it better? Well the jury is still out on that. I will say that alkaline water certainly has potential. One recent study actually found that alkaline water was better for bone health (largely due to the mineral content) and another study found that it did reduce acid reflux symptoms which isn’t surprising since it is less acidic. As aging women we all need to think about better bone health. And of course as women with Crohn’s and colitis, acid reflux is something we may deal with as well. So that’s promising.

All and all, I’d give alkaline water a halfway thumbs up for purity and a thumbs up for mineral content. Yes the studies I’ve read look good, but I just think we need to have this type of water filtration system out a little bit longer before we can definitively say it’s a go.


The second honorable mention it’s worth mentioning, is ionized water. The best news about ionized water is that you can be sure it contains minerals. The whole filtration process starts with electromagnetism that separates positive charged minerals and sets them off to one side from negative charged bicarbonate that gets separated off to another side. Ionized water can also be alkalized so now you are drinking water with a higher pH, meaning less acidic, more basic water and water that has been proven to have a high mineral content. That definitely is promising.


So I’d say alkaline water and ionized water definitely have benefits and are worth looking into for a pure and mineral rich drinking water that’s good for your whole body and your family’s health as well. But I have to say, that there is an even better option on the market today. Let me tell you about that option now. This is my favorite overall option when it comes to drinking water, it’s the system we’ve had in our house for the last seven or eight years. I’m a huge advocate of this type of water, but right now I am not an affiliate for the company. That may change in the future because I just can’t say enough about this filtration system, but as of right now I’m just telling you this out of my research and my experience with the product.

I’m talking about the Berkey filtration system. Is this a filtration product you’ve heard about before? It’s definitely gaining in popularity because it’s been reviewed by scientists and consumer groups alike. And everyone is raving about the quality of the water it produces.

Berkey filters work on a filtration system that uses gravity fed filtration. It’s high in purity and high in the mineral department. I really like that with the Berkey filtration system, that it doesn’t require anyone coming in your house and work on all of the pipes and change all of the inner workings of your tap water. It’s just a canister that sits on your kitchen counter and pound for pound it’s in definitely a cheaper option than many of the filtration systems on the market.

So I mentioned gravity fed filtration. How does all of this work? The Berkey water filtration system starts with microfiltration of your own tap water. So no special water needed. It gets rid of the microorganisms in your tap water. So we’re talking about a 99.9% of the arsenic and bacteria and chlorine. It’s also removing huge amounts of E. coli and fluoride, as well as glyphosate, heavy metals, etc… All those microorganisms that can have a negative impact on our digestive health.

Then, the Berkey filtration system ionizes the water. Just like the ionic process I mentioned earlier, it’s the same principle. Contaminants attract to contaminants and then get absorbed by the filter. Contaminants don’t get past the filter in into your drinking water.

Lastly in its filtration process, the Berkey purifies by removing submicron (that’s teeny tiny—if you want to be technical about it), viruses from the water. This is B Big because most water filters can’t accomplish this task without the use of toxic chemicals.

If you’ve seen a Berkey filters before, maybe on someone else’s counter or maybe on your own, you know what it looks like. It looks like one of those metal coffee urns with a spout on the bottom. You see them at events and in hotel lobbies. Do you know what I’m talking about? The Berkey company makes different sizes of this urn and the one that you get depends on your needs and the size of your family. Like I said earlier, pound for pound this is really an economical option. There is an upfront cost for the Berkey that may seem high to you, but when you think about the fact that the filters in the Berkey only get changed every two years, and I always change mine during the holidays because that’s when they have their super sales, in the long run it’s a much cheaper and definitely it’s a much healthier option than any we’ve talked about so far today.

The Berkey water filter, big thumbs up for purity, big thumbs up for mineral content. You won’t be disappointed with this water filtration system. Just make sure you get a size big enough for your needs because my family made the mistake of getting what’s called the Big Berkey and I think we probably could’ve used a size bigger. I use it for everything, for drinking water, for cooking water, for the pets water and I’m filling the water more often than I’d like. One day we are going to upgrade. But if you have a smaller family, I’m sure the Big Berkey would be the right size for you.

So that you have it. My favorite water filtration system the Berkey and the honorable mentions that almost measure up plus the methods you should absolutely think twice about before you make a long-term commitment. If you want more Berkey info, if you want to check this water filtration system out for yourself, I will leave some links for you in the show notes. Remember that if you want my recap, the cliff notes version of everything we talked about today, go to Everything you need to know about quality water in a one-page PDF version. And if you’re not in the market for a water filtration system today, you can keep that on hand for when you are.

OK my friend, how did that information land for you? What questions do you have about getting quality water in your life? Which system seems to fit best for you? You know my opinion, there are some honorable mentions out there but they just do not meet the quality standards of the Berkey water filter. I’d love to know your thoughts though. Come on over to the show notes at and let me know what you think.

Until we meet again I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey. Chat soon!

9 New & Noteworthy Gut Healthy Snack Foods {no baking necessary}

Thanks to gut healing diets like Paleo, FODMAPs, Keto, gluten free, even to some extent the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, we’ve seen store-bought snacks rise to the occasion.

Gone are the days when we have to go without or suffer through the long hours of making our own snacks at home.

Today’s gut healthy store-bought snacks are all about flavor. They’re all about saving you time in the kitchen. And they’re all about ingredients that work best for your sensitive belly.

Raise your hands in the air like you just don’t care if that’s got your name all over it.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 The one brand of gut healthy snacking goodies that covers everything you ever wanted to snack on.

🌿 The best snacks to satisfy your salt cravings and your sweet tooth.

🌿  The family who turned an autoimmune disease into a gut healthy, thriving snack business.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

Simple Mills Soft Baked Bars

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Thrive Market

On Amazon

Purely Elizabeth

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Vitacost

On Thrive Market

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From the Ground Up:

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Thrive Market

On Fresh Direct

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Epic Bone Broth:

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Fresh Direct

On Vitacost

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Birch Benders:

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Target

On Thrive Market

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Simple Mills Crackers:

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Amazon

On Thrive Market

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Host Defense Mycobrew:

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Pure Formulas

On Amazon

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Hu Chocolate:

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Thrive Market

On Vitacost

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Siete Foods Tortilla Chips:

Purchase Information

On The Website

On Vitacost

On Hive

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve for Better Gut Health

When we deal with challenges like Crohn’s and colitis, we feel its impact daily. The digestive system and other parts of our body seem to fail us at every turn.

What if we could use our gut-brain connection and our vagus nerve pathway, (this amazing super communication highway between our brain and our microbiome) to our IBD benefit?

And what if it was amazingly simple? What if there were no-brainer, easy peasy ways that increase our vagal tone and ultimately create a positive impact for our gut?

Reducing symptoms like inflammation, boosting our immune system, reducing our stress response, balancing our mood with less anxiety and depression, healing the lining of our digestive tract.

Sometimes gut healing is hard.

Sometimes we need to take drastic, challenging steps to heal. And sometimes gut healing modalities are so simple that they are right at our fingertips.

No side effects, no toxic pills, no special diets to follow.

Just simple steps you can start right away.

Well, grab a and pen and paper, get out the notes app on your phone because today is all about some simple, no brainer steps you can take right now to improve your gut health and it’s all thanks to our amazing, often undervalued vagus nerve.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 The specific bacterial strain that’s been found beneficial in helping IBDer’s achieve remission.

🌿 How vagus nerve stimulation therapy is being used to help those with IBD find relief from mild to moderate symptoms.

🌿  The link between singing and IBD healing.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

Episode 6: Use The Gut-Brain Connection to Your IBD Advantage

IBD Research Studies:

The Probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 Reduces Pathogen Invasion and Modulates Cytokine Expression in Cao-2 Cells Infected with Crohn’s Disease-Associated E. coli LF82

Mutaflor- E. coli Nissle 1917 Probiotic

Non-Invasive Vagal Nerve Stimulation to Treat Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in Children and Young Adults

Vagus Nerve Meditations:

Insight Timer: Vagus Nerve Stimulation by Chibs Okereke

Insight Timer: Vagus Nerve Breathing Meditation by Camilla Sacre-Dallerup

Insight Timer: Vagus Nerve Half Salamander Practice by Chastitie Vallance

Episode Resources:

Gut Microbe to Brain Signaling: What Happens in Vagus

The Vagus Nerve: Gastroparesis, Vasovagal Syncope, and Other Health Conditions

Vagal Tone: The Gut-Brain Axis and The Vagus Nerve

5 Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve

Mind Body Green 11 Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve

15 Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve to Improve Gut Health

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Gut Healing Through Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Gut instinct, gut feeling, even butterflies in your stomach… You might think these thoughts in your head, but you’re feeling them in your gut. That’s the gut/brain connection in action and its pull is strong. You can think of it like this: Maybe you have a friend or a family member who you chat with all the time, you know each other so well that you finish each other’s sentences, the two of you never run out of things to talk about… that’s the connection between the brain and the gut. It’s solid and no one is tearing it apart.  This glorious link, this super communication pathway is all made possible by a part of the central nervous system called the vagus nerve. It travels down the back of your body and connects these two body systems so they can talk like two young girlfriends who stay up all night at a sleepover.

Now let’s bring IBD into the equation. When we deal with challenges like Crohn’s and colitis, we feel its impact daily, where the digestive system and other parts of our body seem to fail us at every turn. What if we could use this gut brain connection, this vagal pathway, this amazing friendship and connection, to our IBD benefit? And what if it was amazingly simple? What if there were no-brainer, easy peasy ways that increase our vagal tone and ultimately create a positive impact for our gut?


Reducing symptoms like inflammation, boosting our immune system, reducing our stress response, balancing our mood with less anxiety and depression, healing the lining of our digestive tract.

Sometimes gut healing is hard. Sometimes we need to take drastic, challenging steps to heal. And sometimes gut healing modalities are so simple that they are right at our fingertips. No side effects, no toxic pills, no special diets to follow.

Just simple steps you can start right away.

Well, grab and pen and paper, get out the notes app on your phone because today is all about some simple, no brainer steps you can take right now to improve your gut health and it’s all thanks to our amazing, often under-valued vagus nerve.


Hello my friend, welcome back to The Cheeky Podcast. It’s a treat to be with you today, talking about one of my favorite gut healing topics that just doesn’t get enough attention—it’s the vagus nerve. I just stimulated mine right before I hit record on this episode so I am feeling energized and ready to tell you all about it.


Before we dive into the juicy details, I want to leave you with one final reminder… you might remember me talking about this at the end of the last couple episodes—my private health coaching practice is about to hit pause for new clients. I’m booking my last consult calls before I’m enacting my waitlist on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. If you and I are already working together, this won’t impact you at all. You are still good to go and it’s my honor to be by your side on your gut healing journey. But from time to time, I reach my client limit and in order to best serve the clients I do have, I need to press pause on taking any new clients.

One of those pauses is about to happen so if you’ve been thinking about how health coaching might be just what you need to get some clarity on getting your IBD into remission, if you’ve been feeling stuck in a rut, spinning your wheels and getting nowhere with your current IBD healing plan, or if you just feel overwhelmed with all your healing options and you don’t know where to start—hop on a client call with me. My 30-minute consults are completely free and we’ll chat about how your IBD is impacting your life, we’ll make a plan to get you started on the right path and we’ll talk about how we can work together to help your gut healing goals become your reality.

After these sessions, the comment I always get is “Wow, I don’t feel as overwhelmed anymore. Now I have a plan and a path forward.” That’s the best thing to hear for me. It truly lights me up. After all these years with Crohn’s, giving back in this way really feeds my soul. You know if you are a long time listener, supporting you on your IBD healing journey is my mission in life. I suffered for way too long before finally finding ways to help put my IBD symptoms in their place and I don’t want you to suffer like I did. There’s just so much that can be done to help. Sometimes, we just need someone to take us by the hand and walk with us as we figure things out.

Did I mention an IBD consult call with me is absolutely free? What are you waiting for? Now is the time mama. If you’re ready to take big, bold, IBD-sized action steps, I’m here to help. Go to to book your session with me today. Remember, it all goes away on July 12th, 2022 so take advantage of this opportunity before then.

OK my friend, it’s vagus nerve time and we are about to talk about some simple action steps you can take today, ones that can have a positive impact on your gut and the rest of your body. And let’s be honest here, this might seem like an episode that you want to skip because it’s not the sexiest topic and it may not be something you’ve heard about before so you’re not sure if it’s worth your time. Let me tell you my friend, you should definitely stay for this one because I’m about to share with you things that your doctor probably has never talk to you about before. You are not going to believe how profound and how simple some of these steps are that really can help with your Crohn’s and colitis symptoms.

But let’s take a quick step back before I share with you 11 simple ways that you can engage in stimulate your vagus nerve for better gut health because in order to fully embrace the simple action steps I’m going to lay out for you today, you’ll want to understand exactly what we’re talking about here and why this vagus nerve and the gut/brain connection has anything to do with your IBD.


Now, we’re not going to get too detailed here, because there’s already a Cheeky Podcast episode about the gut/brain connection out there. It’s an oldie and for me it’s cringy to listen to, but the information is valuable so I’m going to swallow my pride and dread of you going there and taking a listen to remind you that it’s episode 6. We are up to 97 at this point, so please be kind. I hope the flow has improved since that one. But if you’re looking to expand your knowledge about the gut/brain axis, this episode is really intriguing to you, that’s the episode for you. It’s a good companion episode for this one. So go check that one out as well, but in this episode we are going to move beyond what the vagus nerve connection is and talk more about how to stimulate it for better gut health. Let’s just do a quick refresher of how this connection works and why it matters especially for those of us with IBD.

So, if you remember studying anatomy and physiology in school (and who doesn’t), you might remember just how amazing our body systems are (that part I do remember). The fact that they work in such harmony to keep us alive is truly astounding. The vagus nerve is one of those body systems. It’s part of (as the name suggests) the central nervous system or the CNS. The CNS breaks into different types of nerves and the vagus nerve is part of a CNS system called the parasympathetic nervous system. Its opposite counterpart, the sympathetic nervous system is the fight or flight part of our anatomy we need in dangerous situations and when we see that there is no real danger, it’s up to the parasympathetic nervous system and our vagus nerve to kick in and calm us down.

The cool thing about this system is that it’s autonomic. We don’t have to think about it to make it work—our breathing, our heat beat, our digestion.  All parts of this system are well-oiled machines that don’t take conscious thought to work. Well, the vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, this calming system and it starts at the base of our skull and travels down our back with nerve endings moving into our heart, our immune system, and our digestive system.

When we talk about this nerve, we talk about it connecting the gut and the brain, but we really should include the microbiome in there as well. That’s the gut connection. Those trillions of tiny microorganisms, gut bugs if you will, play a crucial role here as well. You can think of this connection like an information superhighway and even though it contains no wi-fi, or dial up internet connection, it’s even faster connection than the world wide web, and definitely a more important because it connects all these major organs in you.

To keep our amazingly well-crafted bodies going, our organs need to be in constant communication with each other in for us to maintain homeostasis—or balance. And this communication is bi-directional so these are not one-way streets. The vagus nerve is not just the brain sending information one way down the road and the gut sending one way as well. It’s constant information going both ways all the time. Talk about a complicated system! Because of this complicated, constant communication, the vagus nerve gets to plays a roll in our food intake, our hunger, our satiety or feeling full when we eat, but also our physiology and even our behavior. Even just simple thoughts and feelings we’ve gotten used to when we have IBD are linked to this vagus nerve. The feeling of a rumbly, gurgly belly, feeling nauseous or queasy, even how your mouth waters when you think of your favorite food. It’s all about the gut/brain connection.


So far so good? Well, the this is where, in my opinion all this complicated anatomy gets interesting because it turns out that the health of the vagas nerve and the communications we are having between our microbiome and our brain actually have links to all kinds of illnesses, when the communication isn’t working at its peak. Autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS… research shows major connections to disrupted vagas nerve communication and because this nerve ending also plays a role in our fight or flight response, it also plays a huge roll in our stress response (how we experience stress and anxiety) and also in how inflammation shows up in our body.

See why if we could, we’d all want to find ways to have our vagas nerve working at its peak, why we’d want to stimulate it so it’s working to its fullest? Because when the vagas nerve is happy, the inflammation in our digestive track is lower, our stress response is more regulated and balanced, and we are at decreased risk for the other illnesses I just mentioned—both physical and mental health challenges.


A couple minutes ago, I said that this is where it gets interesting, the vagus nerve and its strong connection to disease and illness, hold on to your hat mama and get ready to geek out with me, because if that was interesting, it’s about to get fascinating. Everything I’ve mentioned so far has been information that’s been around for a while, but lately this gut, brain, microbiota connection, all through the vagus nerve has gotten even more fascinating because lately researchers have found that when we take specific bacterial strains (think probiotics, prebiotics), we can change the course of some of these types of illnesses.

So, it used to be that scientists would say, we know that probiotics are important for your gut health, but we’re not exactly sure which probiotic you should take. Take a multi-strain one because I’m sure one of the bacterial strains will help. But now, researchers have been able to pinpoint specific bacterial strains and say, “This one helps for depression, this one helps for Parkinson’s, this one helps for IBD.” And through treatment options like these, we are stimulating the connection between the gut and the brain through our microbiome for a healthier vagus nerve connection and a healthier whole body for you.

Now there’s a long way to go with this research, but it’s coming along more rapidly now that ever. Just think, if we could use very specific strains of bacteria on our own body, imagine how much more effective they’d be to control our Crohn’s and our colitis symptoms. For example, some new research has studied a bacterial strain called E. coli Nissle 1917 and it’s been shown to be beneficial for patients with both Crohn’s and colitis. Have you heard about this strain? I actually have some clients who swear by this probiotic as an integral roll in their Wheel of Wellness. Of course, everyone is individual and more research needs to be conducted, especially more human trials (so far it’s mainly been animal studies), especially before you know if it’s the best approach for you, but it’s an exciting start and I think it’s really going to move the IBD needle in a positive direction. Hopefully in our lifetime.

If you want to read more about this specific bacterial strain, the E. coli Nissle 1917 and see the research for yourself, go to the show notes at and you can check out the research for yourself.


Thanks to all the new research currently being conducted, we can also get really specific with conditions that can be helped by stimulating our vagus nerve. Medical centers like The Cleveland Clinic have been treating gastroparesis (where food stops moving from the stomach to the intestines) and vasovagal syncope (basically fainting) with vagal nerve stimulation or VNS as it’s called. Those are more traditional uses for VNS, but information put out by the Cleveland Clinic also shows indications for VNS for other health challenges like cluster headaches, PTSD, and guess what other condition near and dear to our heart—yep, you guessed it VNS has been used to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

And here’s where we get to the most useful part of this whole conversation today. We now know the why. Why the link between the brain, the gut, the microbiome, and IBD so important. Now we get to the how. How can you stimulate the vagus nerve to help as a healing tool for your Crohn’s and your colitis. Well, one way is through medical VNS (vagal nerve stimulation) I just mentioned.

So far, there have only been a few human studies looking at medical uses for VNS in IBD. In one study, patients with IBD had the VNS device inserted cervically and the device was implanted  internally. This study did show promising results. But in a newer study the VNS devices were being used in a non-invasive way (not inserted inside the patients). One research study in 2021 I looked at showed a younger set of IBD patients, 10-year-olds to 21-year-old. They all had mild to moderate Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and they didn’t respond to conventional treatment. The people in the study also had calprotectin levels of 200 or higher. I know most of us if not all of us are familiar with the lovely calprotectin level. It’s an IBD measurement tool through a stool sample that looks at IBD inflammation in our body. And level of 200 would be considered active inflammation.

So the young people in this study were either given VNS treatment externally through their left ear or externally on their lower leg. And although this was a small study, it at least was a human study and it definitely showed promising results for several of the patients—inducing remission for many. This is definitely prompting more research in the area of vagal nerve stimulation to help with IBD symptoms. We’ll have to see if this ends up as a treatment in our doctors’ offices. Wouldn’t that be cool?

So that’s what’s happening medically. That’s what’s happening with gut brain vagus nerve stimulation with research and possibly at some point, an option for treatment in your doctor’s office. But what can you do right now? What can you do to help increase your vagal tone right at home so that you can find gut healing benefits for you as well?

I mentioned the at the top of the episode that activating and stimulating your vagus nerve for better gut health is simple and something you can do right away. And as I give you these examples today, you’re going see just how accessible and easy this process is. Here’s 11 ways you can stimulate and increase your vagal tone to help you control inflammation, boost your immune system, heal mucosal lining, decrease your stress response and your feelings of anxiety, modulate your mood (especially for depression), become more resilient, and enjoy so many more of the benefits of this vagus nerve gut/brain connection.

Vagal tone, or a well-stimulated vagus nerve, is accessed by looking at your heart rate and your breathing rate. We want there to be a difference between your inhalation heart rate and your exhalation heart rate. Your breath should speed up when you breath in and slow down when you breath out. And this means higher vagal tone means which equals a healthier gut/brain connection.


So let’s increase your vagal tone, all with ways we don’t need to go to the doctor’s office for. All with easy ways that need no special equipment, shall we?

#1: You can increase your vagal tone with gentle exercise.

And I think you’ll find that gentle exercises like yoga is especially beneficial here as there are lots of twisting your torso exercises in this type of practice. Twisting exercises help with smooth muscle contractions and smooth muscle contractions aid in digesting your food. Gentle impact exercise stimulates your vagus nerve for better digestion.

#2: You can increase your vagal tone with deep breathing exercises.

Deep breathing promotes the parasympathetic nervous system’s state of relaxation, calm, and peace. There’s several ways you can incorporate deep breathing into your day. I’m a huge fan as you already know of the 4-7-8 breath. This is the breath where you breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, you hold it for 7 seconds, and then you breathe out through your mouth for 8 seconds. It’s a breath you can do anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

I’m also a huge fan of taking three slow, deep intentional breaths in the morning before I get out of bed. And also taking three slow, deep intentional breaths before I go to bed at night. It’s just very calming and soothing and a lovely way to start and end the day and good for that vagal tone.

Alternate nostril breathing is also a wonderful breathing exercise to stimulate the vagus nerve. It involves blocking off one nostril, while breathing in and then taking turns closing the other nostril as you breath out. You can repeat this breathing exercise on both nostrils 10-20 times playing with how slow or fast you complete the cycle.

The most important part about deep breathing is no matter how many seconds you decide to make the breath last, when you breathe in and then breathe out, try to make your exhalation breath double the time of your inhalation. So if you breathe in for four seconds, you’ll want to breathe out for eight seconds. And if you choose to breathe in for three seconds you’ll want to breathe out for six seconds. Continue to try to lengthen the time of your deep breathing and you’ll be sending signals of calm and relaxation to your vagus nerve.

#3: You can increase your vagal tone by singing.

Yes, you heard that right singing. Whether you’re tone deaf or you sing like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, it doesn’t matter. Just the act of singing is all you need for this vagus nerve stimulator. This is my favorite way to stimulate my vagus nerve. It works because vibrations in your body from singing gives your vagus nerve a workout. There’s no fight or flight response while we are singing. Just lots of rest and digest which is all part of the parasympathetic nervous system and the vagus nerve.

#4 You can increase your vagal tone by side sleeping.

Are you already a side sleeper? If you are, that is a bonus and if you are sleeping on your right side that’s a double bonus. Right side sleepers are stimulating their vagus nerve and increasing their vagal tone while they sleep. It couldn’t be simpler than that.

Now if you are a back or tummy sleeper, you can always use a pillow to help. You know one of those long pillows or U-shaped pillows. I always called it my boyfriend pillow. They’re those long body pillows you probably remember from when you were pregnant. I would always tell my husband, my boyfriend’s coming to bed with us tonight. Totally bad joke but he always laughed at it which is how I know I picked a keeper. If they laugh at your bad jokes, they are a keeper. If you prop that type of pillow behind your back, it can help you stay on your right side while you sleep.

#5 Speaking of laughing with your spouse, you can increase your vagal tone by laughing.

Laughter truly is the best medicine. Laughter stimulates your vagus nerve and increases vagal tone. So often as moms, we forget to laugh. We’re so busy running our household and taking care of our health that laughter gets left behind. I was definitely the victim the cheerless mom. So, this year I made a pact with myself that I would have a huge belly laugh at least once a day. I love to watch comedians (Jim Gaffigan is a personal fav, he always makes me laugh), but I’ll also watch funny YouTube videos, and I’ve asked my older teens to send me funny animal memes on my phone because they always crack me up. It’s my goal to laugh hard, get in a true belly laugh, at least once a day and getting my family involved in it helps me stick to my goal.

Not only am I stimulating my vagus nerve here, but I feel like laughter is just good for my whole body, mind, and soul.  

#6 You can increase your vagal tone by getting some acupuncture.

Great if you already have an acupuncturist, I don’t know if I would go out and get one just for this benefit because there are so many other options here. But if you already have an acupuncturist, you might want to let them know that you are interested in stimulating your vagus nerve for better gut-brain health. They are trained in increasing your vagal tone and will definitely be able to help you out.

#7 You can increase your vagal tone through meditation.

And you know I am not a “make your mind blank” type of meditator. So you know that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about active mind visualizations that help strengthen your gut-brain connection. Meditations like this not only improve your vagal tone, but they can also improve the quality of your sleep, how you express pain in your body, it can help decrease anxiety, as well as your G.I. symptoms.

My favorite meditation app is insight timer, it’s full of free meditations and they even have great vagus nerve stimulation options. I put my top three favorite in the show notes so if you’re interested in using meditation to stimulate your vagus nerve, go check it out at

#8 You can increase your vagal tone with cold exposure.

Have you tried this before? This is something I’m really getting into lately, and I’m not going lie, I’m really struggling with it. I’m not going to give up though because I know just how beneficial cold exposure can be. Cold situations like a cold shower, a cold plunge pool, an ice bath… people swear by these and research shows that it benefits our vagal tone as well.

If you’re new to all of this like me with cold therapy, you might want to just start by drinking a glass of cold water or splashing cold water on your face. That can be a baby step and can help get you moving in the right direction with this vagus nerve stimulator.

#9 You can increase your vagal tone by taking specific bacterial strains.

We talked about this earlier in the episode, this new research showing that specific bacterial strains rather than multi strain probiotics may be a direction that can help your Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Remember E. coli Nissle 1917? That’s one in the research that  is promising for Crohn’s as well as colitis.

There are also several bacterial strains that have been shown to benefit the vagus nerve. Another one is Bifidobacterium longum. That has been found helpful for those with anxiety. So if that something that you experience, you might want to check out the research on that as well. I’ll leave the links for that in the show notes as well.

#10 You can increase your vagal tone by cutting down on sugar.

What ailment can’t be helped by cutting out sugar? This is a no-brainer. Sugar causes chronic inflammation, and it impairs your vagus nerve pathways. Inflammation of the mucosal lining is also present when there’s too much sugar in the diet. It disrupts the microbe communication between the brain and the gut. So as best you can, get rid of the sugar. It will help your gut brain connection.

#11 you can increase your vagal tone by gargling.

Yep, simple gargling. Getting a bunch of warm water and gargling it in the back of your throat. This option works much like singing because it is all about the vibrations it creates in your body. Those gargly vibrations stimulate your vagus nerve. It’s like in giving the vagus nerve a work out.

For a highly effective IBD gargle and swish, especially to keep the mouth sores away which are so common with Crohn’s and colitis, I highly recommend adding into your warm water a touch of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Now you’re helping the health of your mouth and stimulating the vagus nerve at the same time. Win, win.

I told you those were simple right. We’re not talking about rocket science here. These are things that all of us can do right now, today, to help with the health of our gut. I know you can do at least four or five of these right away. Maybe more!


Let’s recap increasing your vagal tone ideas real quick before we go.

1-Gentle exercise

2- Breathing

3- Singing

4- Laughter is the best medicine

5- Side sleeping (right side)

6- Acupuncture

7- Meditation

8- Cold exposure

9- Specific bacterial strains

10- Cut down on the sugar. You are sweet enough.

11- Gargling

Right now, the ones I’m most actively working on are deep breathing, singing, laughter, meditation, and cold exposure. All of them probably play some sort of roll for me, but those are the ones that I think are most important for me right now. How about you? Which of these are you currently actively engaged in or which ones do you feel like you could do more of? As always I want to hear from you. Let’s connect so you can tell me what vagal tone exercises you’ll be trying. There’s a comment section at the bottom of the show notes. Tell me what one or two vagal tone strategies you are going to start right away. Ones that will help not only your Crohn’s or colitis, but your whole body as well. I can’t wait to hear from you. The gut-brain connection, it always makes me feel lucky and grateful for all my body does for me.

Don’t forget, you’ve got only a few days to book your free IBD consult with me and for us to work together with me by your side as you find your best IBD healing path. My free consultations and private 1 on 1 health coaching sessions are hitting pause. It all goes away on July 12, 2022 so book your free consult at

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey.

Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

{#herIBDstory} Karyn Hobson: Ulcerative Colitis is Her Thing

This episode is one of my favorite interviews to date.

My guest today is Karyn Hobson and as I’m sure you’ll see in this conversation, she and I could go on talking forever. We have so much in common, so many strange coincidences in our life that start with the fact that our mothers not only named us the same name, but then spelled our names with the same weird “Y” in the middle.

And as you’ll see, that’s just the tip of the iceberg with all the connections we have in common. I think you are going to feel like a fly on the wall listening to this really powerful IBD-centered conversation.

Four Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 The power of finding your tribe to help you get through the negativity and the naysayers who don’t get your life on an IBD healing diet.

🌿 How to balance being a “good patient” with your own patient advocacy needs so YOU come out on top.

🌿  Doing a colonoscopy your way and learning from past colonoscopies.

🌿  The wrong thing to do when symptoms creep up vs the methodical, practical, no-drama way that’s much more productive.

🌿  And so, so, so, much more! If it’s C + C related, we get into it.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Summer “Gut” Lovin’ Had Me a Blast

It’s official. Summer is here.

The sunshine, the kids out of school, the pool parties, and the seasonal bounty of summer fresh and summer fun fruits and veggies. Yes, it’s summer, and that means that so much of the world is getting excited about summer food—berries and salads and melons—but for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis, summer food is usually a little cringe worthy. 

Raw fruits? Raw veggies?

Not likely.

But here’s the thing. A lot of enjoying food you don’t think you can eat, is about putting those foods in a form that you can easily digest and absorb. 

And that’s my IBD specialty.

Finding ways to help you enjoy IBD forbidden foods, especially in summer. So that’s what today’s episode is all about. Sensational summer gut healing foods you should definitely be getting lots of this time of year, all made in a way that you can enjoy them too!

Did I mention there’s recipes involved? Oh yeah, I’ve got you covered.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 The secret to eating summer foods you thought you’d never be able to touch.

🌿 The digestive enzyme found in a summer favorite that can help you decrease gas, bloating, belly pain, and diarrhea after meals.

🌿  The glutathione rich veggie that can help heal your intestinal lining.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Summer Gut Lovin Had Me a Blast

Oh it’s official. Summer is here. Summer gut lovin’, had me a blast.  The sunshine, the kids out of school, the pool parties, and the seasonal bounty of summer fresh and summer fun fruits and veggies. Yes, it’s summer, and that means that so much of the world is getting excited about summer food—berries and salads and melons—but for those of use with Crohn’s and colitis, summer food is usually a little cringe worthy.

Raw fruits? Raw veggies?

Not likely.

If you’re a Cheeky Podcast regular, you might remember I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. In fact, I’m going to repeat it over and over again because it’s just that capitol H HUGE.

A lot of enjoying food you don’t think you can eat, “Nope, I’m sensitive to that or No way, that food gives me gas and bloating,” is about putting those foods in a form that you can easily digest and easily absorb.

And that’s my IBD specialty. Finding ways to help you enjoy IBD forbidden foods, especially in summer. So that’s what today’s episode is all about. Sensational summer gut healing foods you should definitely be getting lots of this time of year, all made in a way that you can enjoy them too!

Did I mention there’s recipes involved? Oh yeah, I’ve got you covered. Cue the music.


Hello my friend and welcome to The Cheeky Podcast. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, and I am so happy to connect with you on the bright sunshiny day. Especially today on an episode all about food—my favorite topic. Summer is here and it’s time to get your freak on. You know I’m all about eating seasonally to get the best nutrients out of the food you’re eating, and if that food has been shown to benefit your gut, oh, I’m all over that.

Today, I’m sharing 5 of the best gut healing, summer loving fruits and veggies you’ve got to make part of your diet this season. But best of all, I’m also sharing with you some gut friendly recipes you can try out to get these foods in, even if you thought they were off limits to you before.

Now I know, some of you listening do tolerate fruits and veggies in their more traditional form, so I’ve got you covered dear one. Summer lovin’ recipes for when your gut is happy and recipes for when your gut needs some extra love.

On the show, I’ll be telling you all about our 5-star sensational summer favorites for these recipes, I’ll highlight why they are so important for your gut health and what types of gut ailments they are best for. Then, if you want to take these food stars one step further and cook with them, you can get your hands on my Sensational Summer Recipes for Gut Love at

OK, enough preamble, let’s just dive in with our first summer of gut love star—

#1: Asparagus

Yes, love it or hate it, asparagus. Asparagus is a lot like Brussel sprouts. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. But I have to challenge you here because just like Brussel sprouts, I’ve got to say that if you don’t care for them, it’s because you are not making them right. Gone are the soggy, slimy asparagus recipes from your mama’s kitchen or your grandmama’s time. Today’s asparagus is made in a way that brings out all the natural sweetness and if you thought you didn’t like asparagus, I’m begging you. Give it a chance with the recipes I’ve created for you. Then get back to me with your thoughts because I’m betting you are going to be changing your mind.

Did you know that there are actually more than 300 species of asparagus grown around the world. In American anyway and also in the UK, the color we see most often is the bright green. But have you ever had purple asparagus? I think that’s my favorite. That’s a French type of asparagus and then there’s the white variety which is more of a Spanish and Dutch variety.

Well if you can find it, the purple colored asparagus is especially healthy. It is filled with phytochemicals called anthocyanins just like the ones found in purple pigmented things like berries and red wine. Phytochemicals are all about boosting our immune system and cutting our inflammation down so go for it with purple asparagus.

All asparagus varieties in general are great sources of vitamins like vitamin K and vitamin A. They’re also a great source of iron and the B vitamin thiamine. Those B’s are fantastic for energy boosting which, let’s face it, we all need when we are moms with IBD. It’s also a great source of iron, again one of those minerals that needs a boost when we have Crohn’s and colitis, and it’s also a good source of vitamin C. And if you are you thinking about getting pregnant, or you are pregnant, asparagus has your name on it as well because it is a great source of folate.

Now we can’t leave asparagus behind until we talk specifically about it’s gut healing properties. Asparagus contains glutathione. It’s an antioxidant found in plants and animals and fungi and it’s essential for proper immune function and it helps us build and repair tissue. It also protects our body from damage to its cells caused by free radicals. So you can see how this glutathione would be really vital for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis. Healing damaged cells, protecting and repairing gut tissue, that’s huge for us!

To really bring this home IBD style, it’s important to note that studies have shown that glutathione is actually depleted in the mucosal and submucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract in people with Crohn’s and colitis. So there’s actual research out there showing that we really need to find ways to improve our glutathione levels since we are depleted. Asparagus is one of those ways to help increase our glutathione levels. I told you asparagus was all about summer gut lovin’.

Asparagus also contains prebiotic compounds and inulin which can help with bacterial balance. Now, if you are in the middle of a nasty flareup, I don’t always recommend pre-biotics. They can just be way too challenging on an inflamed digestive system. But if this is you, I highly recommend you check out my recipe for asparagus soup because it is made in a way that breaks the fibers of the asparagus down and makes it much easier to digest. Now you have put the asparagus in a form that your body can use to help your gut heal.

Now one last fun fact about asparagus because it is the elephant in the room that we have to mention, and that’s asparagus pee. Have you heard of asparagus pee? That interesting smell that happens in the bathroom after you eat asparagus. It’s because asparagus contains a chemical called asparagusic acid. You might think that everyone can smell it, but the latest research says that it’s more complicated than that. There’s three types of people when it comes to asparagusic acid. There’s those who produce it and smell it, there’s those who produce it and don’t smell it, and then there’s those who don’t produce it at all.

Which type are you? Just a little fun fact to ponder.

You can get your summer of gut healing started with my recipes that include asparagus as the star ingredient: There’s my unique take on roasted asparagus and also creamy asparagus soup. The first is best if you’re able to tolerate whole asparagus in the second if you are in flare mode or find asparagus challenging to digest. You can get those recipes at

Next up is our star #2 in your summer of gut love.  

It’s Pineapple.

Tropical, summer favorite, juicy, sweet pineapple.

The reason why I picked pineapple as a summer gut healing fruit above so many is because pineapple contains a gut loving compound called bromelain. Bromelain is a digestive enzyme and it’s found in the stem, in the core, and in smaller amounts in the fruit of the pineapple. So for this reason, I highly recommend buying your own fresh pineapple, they have them in abundance in the grocery store this time of year, and when you cut it, get as close to the core as possible because this is where extra Bromelain enzymes lye.

So what is this bromelain enzyme all about and how does it impact our gut health in a positive way? Well people with Crohn’s and colitis struggle with digestion. Especially the proper digestion of macronutrients in the food we eat– our fat, our protein, our carbohydrates, can all be a struggle for us. But digestive enzymes like bromelain can have a massive positive impact on helping us break down the nutrients in the food we eat. And remember broken down nutrients means we are digesting and absorbing more of the vitamins and minerals in the food we eat. And that equals a happier belly, and it equals increased energy, and it equals a more balanced immune system, and it equals lower inflammation in our body. So being able to properly break down and absorb the nutrients in the food you it is a huge step at controlling your gut troubling symptoms. Symptoms like gas and bloating and belly pain can all be alleviated when we have digestive enzymes on board. It’s just a little extra help to aid our digestive system in doing what it wants to do, and that’s to thrive and be healthy.

Pineapple is absolutely the best source of this digestive enzyme, bromelain. And of course you can absolutely supplement with a bromelain-based digestive enzyme and if you struggle with symptoms like bloating and gas and belly pain and diarrhea after eating, these types of supplements may be really beneficial for you. But also choosing to eat pineapple that contains bromelain can be positive for your gut challenges as well.

There have been several research studies looking at the benefits of this bromelain enzyme and when it comes to gut challenges bromelain has been shown to speed healing, help decrease inflammation, it’s also been associated with helping with candida, which is a yeast overgrowth in the digestive track.

Bromelain has also been associated with lowering stool fat excretion so again if you’re having challenges digesting fat this can really be a help for you. Bromelain has even been found to reduce the expression of TNF-alpha that’s associated with inflammatory bowel disease. You may have heard your doctor mention TNF-alpha because of a biologic medication that you’re taking or maybe you have researched its role in Crohn’s and colitis, but TNF-alpha is one of the highest pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body. Cytokines are those molecules of inflammation, so bromelain can play a big role and bringing that type of inflammation down.

Like I mentioned initially, if you really dealing with some of these things that I just mentioned by having active Crohn’s or colitis, experiencing candida, difficulty digesting fat, you’ll want to look into supplementation, but why not eat some pineapple to boost your bromelain naturally as well?

Beyond the bromelain benefit, pineapple is one of the best sources of vitamin C. It’s also really high in the mineral manganese and it also has good amounts of B vitamins like thiamine and B6. And hello to your moms to be again– pregnant mamas, and nursing mamas , pineapple is high in folate and folate is recommended for three months after pregnancy as well.

There’s nothing like just cutting open a fresh pineapple and eating it by the chunk, but if you aren’t ready for fresh whole raw pineapple just yet, you can check out my favorite gut friendly way to eat pineapple all summer long in my Pineapple Fresca recipe at

Summer of gut love star # 3 is:


Yes, strawberries. And I get it if you’re saying whoa, whoa Karyn, I was with you for asparagus. I was with you for pineapple. But there is no way I am going to eat a strawberry. I remember those days well myself. In fact these days, I never take eating a strawberry for granted because I know just how challenging it can be for those of us with Crohn’s and colitis.

Remember, eating foods like this is about preparing them in a way that your body can digest and absorb. It’s about finding a way to get all those nutrients in a gut friendly way and I’ve got you covered there so take my word for it while I tell you about all the amazing benefits of making strawberries a main part of your summer of gut love.

Strawberries are all about their anti-inflammatory antioxidants. When we talk about most fruit, I usually say it’s just not worth it. Most fruit is not worth eating, especially if you’re eating it without the peel because there just isn’t enough health there. It’s way too much sugar and not enough gut health benefit. But strawberries, strawberries, they are worth every bite.

Strawberries are super high in vitamin C so you’ve got your immune system support there. They are also a good source of manganese and folate and potassium. Remember those anthocyanins from asparagus? Strawberries have them too to help boost your immune system and lower your inflammation– two things us IBDer’s need for sure.

And the seeds of the strawberry are just as important as the strawberry itself, maybe even more important because the seeds are high in micronutrients, beta-carotene and also vitamin C. Antioxidants are your first line of defense against free radicals and inflammation and strawberries are just an absolute powerhouse when it comes to that.

One last note on strawberries that’s important for all of us moms to know is that we want to give our kids strawberries as well. Research from the Department of Food Science and the University of Massachusetts found that a daily ¾ cup of strawberries may forestall the onset of Crohn’s, colitis and other IBD’s.

As moms with Crohn’s and colitis, we are always looking for ways that we can decrease our kid’s chances of ending up with our chronic illness. This research shows the benefit of strawberries so go out and buy those strawberries for you this summer, buy them for your kids this summer, if you have the time go strawberry picking because it is a blast. And everything just tastes better when it’s right off the farm, not to mention the nutrient benefits.

No worries if you are struggling with strawberries, I have got you covered with my gut friendly strawberry recipe for strawberry jam. It is a no refined sugar recipe but it is not a no when it comes to taste. You are going to love it. And for those who are ready for a raw strawberry, my grain free strawberry shortcake recipe, complete with dairy or non-dairy whipped cream is waiting for you. And I just have to give you a sidenote about that strawberry shortcake recipe, if you really feel like you’re just not ready for a raw strawberry but you are excited about strawberry shortcake, go ahead and pop the berries in a sauté pan with a little bit of water heat them on medium for a few minutes to break down some of those raw fibers in the strawberry. It makes them so much easier to digest. There’s no law against cooking your berries a little bit before putting them in the shortcake. The taste is still delicious while protecting your gut for easier digestion and absorption of those strawberry nutrients. Win-win. You can get your strawberry recipes and the other recipes were talking about today at

#4 on our list of summer of gut love stars is zucchini.

Zucchini, ripe and ready for you to eat, full of so much nutrition, zucchini is a vegetable you want to be eating this summer if you are in gut healing mode.

Zucchinis have been around for thousands of years. It’s believed that they were first cultivated over 10,000 years ago in South America. We talk about ancient grains and how healthy they are. But let’s take a moment to be impressed with ancient zucchini. Of course, over those thousands of years since, zucchinis have grown to be a much sweeter version than the original—no surprise there. But they are still delish and they are still oh so nutrish.

The summer promise of zucchini is in its anti-inflammatory properties and also it’s immune boosting properties. Again, two things we are always looking for when we have Crohn’s and colitis.

In the grocery store, you might see dark green, light green, or even spotted the zucchini. The nutrient profile for each a slightly different but know that they are all gut healthy. They may even be healthier for us than winter squash because they are lower in starch and lower in sugar content. So less disruption to the gut microbiome.

Zucchini is full of vitamin C, B6, manganese, and that wonderful B vitamin, riboflavin. It’s also high in potassium and folate (you go mama), so eating this versatile vegetable will help give you energy, an immune system boost, and help your baby’s health as well.

And I have to say it again, if you typically struggle with zucchini, if you think it’s not for you, I’ve got you covered with some amazing zucchini as the star ingredient recipes that are easier to digest and made with your gut health in mind.

When we get really specific with why those with gut struggles should consume zucchini, we look at gut struggles like diverticulitis because the zucchini is so hydrating that it helps balance electrolytes and nutrients for those suffering with this condition. Research is also shown it to benefit IBS, ulcer-type symptoms and also leaky gut. These are all things that many of us experience when we have Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

This is all great evidence to encourage you to eat zucchini, but I think the best gut loving reason is the benefit to our epithelial cells. With Crohn’s and colitis, we are often dealing with epithelial damage. Our epithelial cells line the surface of our intestine to help us digest and absorb our food and help protect us from microbial infections. But when these epithelial cells are damaged with Crohn’s and colitis, we are less likely to be able to digest and absorb our food and also we are more at risk for gut infections. Non-starchy veggies like zucchini can help lower inflammation in your gut for a stronger epithelial lining. A stronger epithelial lining equals better digestion and absorption of nutrients in our food. Bam. Drop the Mic. I don’t know about you but that sells me on eating zucchini.

In real gut health practical terms, zucchini is one of the only veggies that can help with both diarrhea and constipation because it is so easy to digest. It helps balance out either one of these challenges for a body. You can eat it soft and mushy, well-cooked, maybe without the skin for diarrhea and full skin on and lightly cooked for constipation. Now that is a versatile vegetable.

And just a real quick FYI before we move on, I’m talking about zucchini here but I also want to mention that yellow squash has many of the same benefits as zucchini so I always recommend eating both of them all summer long while they are in season. Why not get two you for the price of one?

If you’re looking for some unique and gut friendly ways to eat zucchini this summer, look no further than my sensational summer gut healing recipes. There’s delicious recipes for a zucchini omelette you are going to love and also my take on barbecue zucchini boats. Of course you can check those recipes out at

We have one last summer of gut love star. Are you ready for it? Our last gut healing star, one you should definitely be eating as much as you can this summer is #5 no our list:


Well it wouldn’t be summer without the taste of juicy, sweet, just eating it says summer, watermelon. Isn’t it great to know that when you eat watermelon you are giving your gut exactly what it needs to help it heal?

Watermelon in the summer is all about getting your antioxidants to help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation throughout your body. Watermelon is also a great summer hydrator since its water content is so high.

Watermelon was first cultivated in southern Africa. What they ate years ago was actually much more bitter, but now across the world, we’ve cultivated more than 1,200 different varieties of watermelon. Crazy cool right? Most of us eat the red part of the watermelon but you can actually eat the rind as well. It’s not toxic or dangerous, but I don’t usually recommend it for gut lovers like us unless you are fully masticating or blending it because it’s just too challenging for our sensitive digestive tract.

In terms of its nutrient profile, watermelon is a great source of vitamin C, hello immune system booster, it’s also high in vitamins A, potassium and magnesium. While I don’t think it’s the best source of your B energy vitamins, it does have smaller amounts of thiamine and B6.

I mentioned the potassium benefits of watermelon and that is not something to take lightly. Potassium is great for cleaning out toxins and helping prevent kidney stones, which is something that those of us with Crohn’s and colitis can be more prone to. It’s also a natural diuretic so that means it helps us pee more– fluid in/fluid out, which also helps decrease those kidney stones.

I mentioned that watermelon has a really high water content.  No surprise there but did you know that watermelon is about 91% water. This makes it one of the best natural detoxifier’s out there. I’d much rather you detox with food like watermelon rather than a dedicated detox which can make many people with IBD feel really awful. Our sensitive systems just needs a much more gentle detox and eating foods that naturally detox our body is truly beneficial for us.

Interestingly enough, watermelon has also been used in some of the most popular gut healing diet out there, like GAPS, for example. That’s because watermelon is believed to reduce acid reflux symptoms as it soothes and helps protect our digestive tract. It also helps to regulate pH levels which can be out of balance when acid reflux is at play.

One last thing I want to mention about watermelon is that it is a higher FODMAP food so if you are following a low FODMAP diet this summer, you may want to keep watermelon to a minimum. That doesn’t mean it’s your forever, it just means it’s your now. Watermelon will be waiting for you when your time with low FODMAP’s is over.

Of course, you can find my favorite gut friendly watermelon recipes in your sensational summer gut healing recipes guide. My absolute favorite summer recipe, the one I make all the time, is my watermelon salad with mint and feta. It’s in there as is my creamy watermelon smoothie. You’re going love both no matter where you’re at with your gut healing right now. Of course that’s waiting for you right now at

So when it comes to summer, your best to gut healing stars are asparagus, pineapple, strawberries, zucchini, and watermelon. Which one are you ready to try today? The best way to find out which one works for where your IBD is at and which ones you like best is to check out my hot off the press sensational summer recipes. These gut friendly recipes will help you with eating seasonally, keep you eating gut healthy, and it will absolutely keep your taste buds happy this summer. And bonus, these recipes are absolutely kid friendly as well. Try them out and let me know what you think. for your free and fabulous recipes.

One last note before we wrap for today. You know I have a private health coaching practice where I help moms with Crohn’s and colitis find the balance between motherhood and IBD, explore options that can have a positive impact on how your illness shows up in your life, and take you by the hand, step by step, as you take big, bold leaps towards life transformational change.

It has been my privilege to serve clients in this way since 2010. From time to time, my practice fills up and I need to stop accepting new clients in order to give my best attention to the clients I currently have. I am very close to that place again and I’m anticipating needing to start my waitlist again real soon. So, do yourself a favor. If you have been struggling with finding ways to quiet your IBD symptoms, if you are feeling overwhelmed with what steps to take next, if you are just feeling lost, make this your call to action. Before I enact the waitlist again, get in with me for a free 30-minute consult.

Now is the time my friend. Put you first. Put your health first. When you do that, you can then be a better mom to those kiddos of yours. It’s really the most selfless act you can do. If you want that free 30-minute IBD consultation with me, if you want to hear how we can work together to make big, positive changes in your life, schedule your consultation now, before the waitlist goes up again. You can do that at Super easy, just and you can book your session with me today.

OK my friend, it’s time to get out there and enjoy summer, gut love style. Summer, summer, summer… it’s like a merry-go-round. So many summer themed songs out there! Get your gut healing, gut loving recipes. They’re waiting for you at And of course, if you are driving or I confused you with too many links, you can always find all the links mentioned in this episode in the show notes and

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey.

Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

You Are Not Your IBD Body

Today’s episode is what I would call a mindset episode.

We talk a lot on The Cheeky Podcast about using food, and supplements, and alternative remedies, but one thing we don’t get into enough is how our mind can make the biggest impact. It’s something I’ve been learning more about lately.

It was always there, but it wasn’t until I started having some health challenges again that I realized just how much the mind plays a significant role, even in areas that are unconscious but ingrained in us.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 What’s really going on inside your head when someone asks, “How are you?”

🌿 Three questions we must ask to begin to separate who we are from what our illness is.

🌿  A conscious-thought exercise to set your day (your week or your month) off on the right foot.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

You are Not Your IBD Body

On this podcast, I’m most often talking about lessons I’ve already learned, I’m on the other side of something and I can step by step the information for you with ideas and concepts related to IBD that I’m comfortable teaching. Today, I don’t have a tutorial or a “how-to”. It’s more of a show and tell. I’m in the middle of this one with you and hopefully today, we can grow and learn together.


Hey there dear one, we meet again! Karyn with you on an especially introspective episode of The Cheeky Podcast. We’ve had a crazy Covid week at our house and I’m hoping all is winding down. This is our first time with the virus. 3 out of the 5 of us had it. I’m not part of the 3 and I’m hoping upon hope it stays that way. Covid is an unrelenting beast, it affects everyone differently (I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know) but I hope your experience with it, if you have an experience with it that it is mild and it’s quick. When will we get to fully move beyond Covid?  What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Today’s episode is what I would call a mindset episode. We talk a lot on The Cheeky Podcast about using food, and supplements, and alternative remedies, but one thing we don’t get into enough is how our mind can make the biggest impact. It’s something I’ve been learning more about lately. It was always there—I’m a psychology major—and in fact my training in graduate school was in a field called medical family therapy (so the medical side of the mind) so how the mind works and how we can use our mind to our healing benefit is always there, but it wasn’t until I started having some health challenges again that I realized just how much the mind plays a significant role, even in areas that are unconscious but engrained in us.

Let’s start our with IBD mindset conversation with a scenario. One that probably happens to you on a daily basis. It’s when someone casually asks you, “How are you?” Maybe it’s a friend, a co-worker, your boss, maybe it’s the nurse at the doctor’s office when you’re getting checked in, maybe it’s the check-out worker at the grocery store. Besides the perfunctory response we always give which is, “I’m good how are you?” silently, after hearing this question, we may look inside for a split second—it’s so unconscious, so brief that we barely know it’s happening—and we think how am I really doing? The answer to that question is so automatic and most of the time it has nothing to do with how we are really feeling.

It’s in moments like these that we’ll instantly mentally flip back on our day, on the last couple days or the last week and think, how many times have I been stuck in the bathroom, how much fatigue do I have, is my belly aching, am I bloated, gassy—you fill in the IBD symptoms that plague you. That’s how we judge our honest response if we were to actually give it out loud when someone asks, “How are you doing?”

Like I said, it happens so instantaneous and it’s so unconscious that it all happens before we even realize we are doing it.

What’s my IBD doing? Because that’s how know how I’m doing.  

That’s the way I was playing it too until very recently when I started consciously thinking about my immediate reaction to this question, “How am I doing?”

Why was I equating my mood solely on what my Crohn’s was doing?

Why was I giving this illness so much power?

Why was I letting IBD dictate how I was showing up in the world, especially when I felt bad?

What if I could separate who I am, my mood, my state of mind, outlook on life from the state of my IBD… could I separate all of this from IBD, even when my IBD is showing up in nasty ways.

Could I get asked that same question, “How are you?” and answer after that quick mental flip, answer with an honest “I’m great” even if my IBD had betrayed me that day?

Have you heard of the term toxic positivity? It’s all abuzz lately. Psychologically minded experts talking about how just having a positive attitude, an exceptionally optimistic attitude, can actually be detrimental to your well-being.

“My life my be on the skids, but I’m on top of the world. Nothing’s going to get me down. Today is another day and I’m just grrreeaaatt!!

The world just the most beautiful place and aren’t I lucky to be alive?”

We all know annoying people like this. They’re so freakin’ happy. Their world is rainbows and unicorns… and the honest truth is that after fives minutes with these people, we really just want to smack them for their toxic positivity.

When I’m talking about separating your IBD from your outlook on life, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m not talking about a false or inflated sense of peace or happiness or positivity.

Sure, you’re life may suck but smile and the world will smile with you.

No, that’s not what I’m pondering for myself or proposing for you either.

What I’m talking about is developing a real sense of self that includes highs and lows, but those highs and lows aren’t constantly dependent on the state of our IBD.

Does that make sense to you? I hope it does. It’s not about pretending we don’t have IBD, it’s about having a real life (the good and the bad) anyway. A life that’s not centered around IBD at every turn.

Because what I’m realizing lately is that this pattern of equating, “How am I doing?” is way too enmeshed with my IBD symptoms or non-symptom that day. And it’s giving IBD way too much power over me. And I’ll tell you something, the last thing I’m going to give that son of a B disease, is power.

Now let’s get one thing straight. The state of our Crohn’s or colitis matters. The fact that we have this illness at all, matters. Our body has betrayed us. The body we’ve come to depend on and rely on has betrayed us. Let’s just sit with that for a moment because it’s huge. Think about the betrayal and vulnerability one feels when someone breaks into their home and steals their personal belongings. Has that ever happened to you? It’s a betrayal of your personal world that was supposed to be safe. That’s kind of like what’s happened in our body with Crohn’s and colitis. It’s a betrayal of the highest order. Our body is supposed to be there for us. To keep us healthy and safe and in one fell swoop, with this diagnosis, we were betrayed by the entity closest to us in the world—our own body.

But that’s our body. The physical vessel that carries who we really are around. It’s literally the physical part of us that’s carrying who we are from one place to the next. What about our soul, our essence, if you don’t want to get spiritual or metaphysical about it, our personality. You can just call it that—your personality. The unseen but ever present things that make you, you.

Now, I know I’m getting into an other-worldly realm here. Some might even call this religious and for some, that’s stepping on too many toes. But for me, this isn’t a religious principle. You are a being—a physical being—with the housing you carry around you all the time. IBD has infected that part of you, your body. But the inner you, the invisible beautiful soul within—your personality, your compassion, your motherhood, your beliefs, your ability to experience happiness, gratitude, sadness and empathy… I’m suggesting you see this as completely separate from your IBD. Because when you do, when you separate you from your IBD, you may begin to remove yourself from the judging, and the basing “how are you,”  on your illness alone.

We never set out to do it. We never consciously think, I’m going to let my Crohn’s or colitis be my identity. But slowly, over time it happens and it’s time to break the cycle. I’m trying to break the cycle and I hope you’ll join me.

Like I said at the top of the show, this is a new outlook for me. This comes after having some hard times with Crohn’s lately and noticing that it was impacting every part of my life. I was letting it drag me down, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. And this thought that maybe I could separate who I truly am, what mood I’m feeling, how I show up in the world, didn’t come to me in an a-ha moment or in a sudden epiphany, but slowly, over time, over the last few months, I started to see that this illness was dragging me down and I wasn’t just letting it to this passively. I was the one attaching myself to the anchor at the bottom of the sea.

So the bottom line here for me and for you is 3-fold. It’s three powerful ways of showing up in the world, despite a diagnosis that betrayed your body. And those three statements go like this:

I am not my illness.

I am not my body.

My identity is more than my IBD.

It’s as simple as that, and it’s as hard as that.

I am not my illness.

I am not my body.

My identity is more than my IBD.

When you fully embrace these three statements, I mean at your core at your heart embrace the hell out of this way of thinking (not just I support the party line), but in your soul embrace that you are not your Crohn’s. You are not your colitis; you realize that it doesn’t need to dictate how you show up in the world. It doesn’t need to dictate your mood. You are not your body. You are not your body. Who you are is invisible, it’s beautiful, it’s un-adultered, it’s pure, and it is fabulous!

So now the question becomes, how do I go about separating myself from my IBD? How do I rip apart this crazy glue of an unhealthy relationship I’m tethered to? Like I said, this is a work in progress for me. In the past, I have found it easy to create distance from Crohn’s when I’m in remission. But when symptoms are raging, when ½ your day is taken up by IBD related crap, when the physical body is betraying you, how do you separate yourself from this dysfunctional relationship?

There is some research in this illness/attachment state. This showing up in the world as if you are your illness. The inability to separate the essence of you from your disease. Scientists call it psychological ownership. And sure, some psychological ownership can be a motivator to help you get well, but when this ownership drags who you are on the inside down with it, now it’s time to look in the mirror and start to make some changes.

How do we go about putting some distance between IBD and who we are at our core for the betterment of our experience on this planet, with this one life you’ve been gifted? We can start by asking ourselves a few questions.

#1: Who was I before my IBD diagnosis?

What was important to me? What lit me up and what brought me down? Who was I and how has that now changed?

Prior to my IBD diagnosis, I would have told you that I was going to be a dancer. I didn’t know if I was going to Broadway or own my own dance studio or teach dance at college, but I was going to be a dancer. It was my life before IBD. But to be really honest with you,  I was also self-absorbed and self-centered. Sure I was 14 when IBD came into my life, but I was on a path to lead what I thought of as a carefree, uncomplicated, but honestly not as fulfilled, not as appreciated life as it’s actually turned out to be.

Who were you before your diagnosis?

Have your friendships changed? Has your relationship with your partner changed? What parts of who you were before IBD would you bring forward into your post diagnosis world if you could? Even if it’s in the smallest of ways. Actually, it’s all about finding those small, significant ways.

So, I’m not a professional dancer, and I probably never would have danced on Broadway, IBD or not, but dancing is still a HUGE part of my life, 30 plus years later. Dancing is when I am freest. Dancing is when I connect with my soul. Dancing is when identifying with IBD truly leaves and magic is all I feel on the inside.

And the cool thing about life, post diagnosis, is that we can embrace some of the freedom that having IBD gives us. Some of the societal norms most people follow, we have an excuse to say, “no.” Many, many woman in our society take years to learn the word no. No, I don’t want to do that. Maybe they get comfortable enough in their skin by the time they are in their 40’s, 50’s… but we get to embrace “no” earlier. Protecting your energy, protecting your precious time becomes a hot commodity when you have Crohn’s and colitis. It means saying “no” when others might feel obligated to say yes.

And it also means that because we are faced with so many challenges, we learn to appreciate the smaller miracles in life. The little joys others may never notice or take for granted.

Who were you before your diagnosis? What did you forget to bring forward into your new life? What do you want to leave behind (like the yes-pleasing gene so many women have) and what seeds can grow out of this challenge like an appreciation for small wonders and little things like a the way a warm blanket comforts you or finding an extra roll of toilet paper in your bathroom when you thought you ran out.

I’m working on answering these questions in my life right now and I hope this question calls you to do the same.

#2: Do I make myself my illness?

Is the best describer of you—“You know, Karyn, the one with that gut disease. Karyn, the one with Crohn’s disease.”

My illness. My disability.

Is IBD your only identity? It is if you choose it to be.

How can you flip the script on your health challenge. Sure, it is yours. You are suffering for it, but it also doesn’t need to 100% define you. It doesn’t need to be 100% your identity. How can you separate you from you IBD?

I hope that when someone meets me for the first time they remember me for other things besides the one with that gut disease. There’s more to me and it’s important that I’m putting all my gifts out into the world.

Finally #3: Am I letting IBD dictate my mood? My every feeling, how I show up in the world?

It’s so tough for IBD to not dictate your mood and your thoughts about how you’re doing and what value you can bring to any situation. It can be completely unconscious. When IBD takes over our day, it takes over our soul, our essence, our personality. This becomes our default mode.

To break this cycle, it takes thoughtful, energy planning. It takes finding peace and happiness in small places to get beyond your Crohn’s or colitis dragging you down with it. So, maybe you don’t feel up to going on date night with your partner. Absolutely understandable. But we don’t need to give up the concept of date night all together. How about sitting in bed with your partner watching Netflix—even pausing the show when you need to use the bathroom or sitting with your heating pad if your belly feels like you inhaled a soccer ball.

Possibly you miss your kiddos big game because you were just didn’t feel up to leaving the house. I missed my son’s soccer tournament a week’s ago, but I sat with him while he shared with me the play by play from the video on my hubby’s phone. Thank God for technology. My kid was so excited to relive those moments that he made me feel like I was there. Now, I can still press play and enjoy those moments over and over again.

When IBD dictates your mood, your life, how you show up in the world it’s a good sign that your self-care has taken a hit as well. In what small ways can you pamper yourself? Yes, you are pampering your body with a bath, with a walk in nature, with 5 minutes of quiet time. But really, the bigger benefit is going to your soul. The smell of a candle, the sights and sounds of nature, the inner peace that quiet brings. These things don’t just invigorate the body, they invigorate the soul. And a happy and well-tended to soul is able to separate their physical state from how they are truly feeling deep in their soul.

This separation of mind and body, separation of your illness with who you truly are at your core takes conscious thought. It takes practice, it takes patience with yourself, it takes grace to falter, and it takes B+ mom effort.

I’m working on all of this. Especially on days when I don’t feel well. So, I’ve created mantra guides, words that stay with me as I work through and try to get better at this much needed separation. My favorite mantra right now is: I am not my body. I am not my body… That’s why it’s the title of this episode.

Conscious thought-practice is also really helpful as well. Conscious thought-practice involves being receptive to what the universe is telling me, taking it in consciously and reflecting the light back out into the world. Conscious thought-practice can involve getting myself in a meditative state and taking in the positive words of affirmation that feed my soul so I know what I am truly feeling. Not letting my body dictate the terms of my emotional state.

So, I thought it would be helpful to leave you today by setting both of our minds on the right path as we move forward with our day and with our life. I thought we’d go through one of these conscious thought exercises so you can really feel how powerful they can be. This is one I created for you and you can feel free to come back to it time and time again, whenever you need a pick me up or a gentle reminder that you are so much more than your IBD.

If you are just hanging out and listening today or if you are doing chores, take a quick break with me and close your eyes. It’s time to take a deep breath and go inward. If you are driving or walking, still take a deep breath with me. You can let these words passively wash over you. Either way is good.

You are not your illness.

You is inside, you is the real, inner, unseen you.

It’s your soul, your essence, your personality, you’re her.

The her in you may have to shift a bit to make room for IBD sometimes, but you are still in there.

Serve your soul just as you serve your IBD. Nurture her and she will give back to you 10-fold.

You are not your body.

You are the living, breathing, bounty of all that is good in the world.

You are worthy of love, and praise, and grace, and beauty, happiness, stillness.

You are worthy of genuine care and emotion.

Your identity is more than the woman with IBD.

It’s OK to wonder who you are without your diagnosis.

It’s OK to feel fearful about the unknown of who this person is, of who this person is yet to become, let the unknown fear in.

It’s OK to feel fearful about the known, fearful of what you are dealing with, what you are living with on a daily basis, let the known fear in.

Every ache and pain I experience may not be related to my IBD, because I am a whole person with other challenges and other life experiences.

My diagnosis does not own me.

I am open to discovering who I am apart from IBD.

I am not my illness.

I am not my body.

My identity is more than the woman with IBD.

I will find light.

I will find hope.

I will find balance.

I will find health.

I will find me.

This is the perfect way to end today my friend. Come back to this when you need a reminder of all that you are, all that you are destined to be. It’s waiting here for you. Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey.

Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Is it a Flare-Up or a Food Sensitivity Reaction? How to Figure Out the Difference

When I hear a question come up over and over again for my clients, I know it’s time to bring it up on the podcast.

Because I know if they are wondering, so are you.

One of the questions I’m getting a lot lately is, “How do I know if I’m in a true IBD flare up or if I’m just reacting to one of my food sensitivities?”

This is a great question, and on the surface, it seems like a hard one to answer. I bet, if you’ve struggled with this, it’s cost you some sleepless nights and hours of questioning.

It’s time to put this question to bed once and for all. I’ve got you covered and the answer is easier than think to figure out.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 Is there a difference between a food intolerance and a food sensitivity?

🌿 3 questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering if it’s a flare-up or a food intolerance?

🌿  How to figure out what your personal food culprits.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in the Episode:

Karyn’s Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System

Episode Resources:

The Eight Most Common Food Sensitivities


Food Allergy, Intolerance, or Sensitivity: What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Food Problems: Is it an Allergy or Intolerance?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Overview

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Is it a Flare-Up or a Food Sensitivity? How to Figure Out the Difference

When I hear a question come up over and over again for my clients, I know it’s time to bring it up on the podcast. Because I know if they are wondering, so are you.

One of the questions I’m getting a lot lately is, “How do I know if I’m in a true IBD flare up or if I’m just reacting to one of my food sensitivities?” This is a great question, and on the surface, it seems like a hard one to answer. I bet, if you’ve struggled with this, it’s cost you some sleepless nights and hours of questioning.

It’s time to put this question to bed once and for all. I’ve got you covered and the answer is easier than think to figure out.

Let’s get into it.



Hey there my friend, how are you feeling today? It’s June and I’m happy for summer weather in Maryland—finally. I just finished planting flowers in my garden and that makes me happy too. Behind my house, I have a small garden bed and some summers I grow veggies, sometimes it’s an herb garden, and sometimes it just sits dormant when I don’t have the energy or the gumption to do anything with it. Last year my neighbor grew this amazing flower garden. It was a thing of beauty and she was always bringing bouquets over to my house. We’d take care of the garden when they traveled, I loved peering over my fence into her garden to just take in the sight of the flowers. It was a daily self-care exercise and stress reliever all in one.

So this year, I decided I’d dabble in some flowers too. I bought seeds, I grew them into little sprouts in my house and I just finished planting them this week. I know, it’s late. We’ll see what happens. I’m always late putting my garden in and it still works out so I’m hoping the flower garden works too. Sunflowers, daisy’s, zinnias, Snapdragons, and Phlox’s. If you are a flower lover, these probably mean something to you. I, on the other hand, have no green thumb and don’t have a eye for telling which flower or plant is which so this will definitely be an experiment. If it works, I should have some stress relieving, calming beauty to look and smell at during this time of year. If it doesn’t, well I tried.

What are you doing this summer to find your center, to find some peace during a troubling time with your Crohn’s or colitis? To get through the kids summer vacation. I hope you find something that makes you smile because we all deserve to find something to smile about each day and sometimes, it’s something little, but it just brightens your world for a moment. Know what I mean?

Reach out and share with me what your summer happiness goal is. I can’t wait to connect with you!

Well, my dear, this is a good episode. It’s going to provide you with some clarity on a very murky topic for many of us in the IBD world. How do we know the difference between a food sensitivity and a flare up? This can be tricky for many.


In thinking about this topic for today, like with all episodes, I wanted to give you the most medical, research backed information, but maybe this is a surprise to you and maybe it’s not, medical journals and research studies aren’t being done on this. At least not ones I could find. So today, keep in mind I’m going from my own experience and my client experiences to answer this question for you.

I do have to say though that since I started my health coaching practice back in 2010, I’ve definitely seen patterns emerge and I feel confident that you are going to benefit from what I have to share. Just keep in mind the research studies aren’t there yet. Maybe one day they will be.

Also, I want this information about flare ups vs food intolerance reactions to be very actionable for you. After this episode, I want you to be able to say, “I get it now. That makes sense and now I’ll be able to figure this out for myself.” That’s why, after just a little bit of background info to make sure we are all on the same page with what a flare up is and what food intolerance is, I’ll be giving you the 3 questions to ask yourself next time this issue presents itself to you. The three questions that will give you all the information you need to know what’s going on with you in that moment. Does that sound like a good plan? I hope it does for you.

OK, now let’s start this conversation by all of us getting on the same page. When I say, “food intolerance” or “food sensitivity” what is it that I am talking about? It’s something that every IBD client I’ve ever had has had to deal with. It’s something Gut Love Community members email me about. IBD and food sensitivities, whether you know you have them or not, are impacting how you feel. So when we say, food intolerance or food sensitivity, what are we talking about here? What’s this thing that’s impacting so many of us?


The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology says that, “A food intolerance occurs when someone has difficulty digesting a particular food.” The smarties at Harvard say that food intolerance is, “The inability to process or digest certain foods.” Very similar right?

Harvard talks about examples of food intolerance being something like lactose intolerance. I’ll add on to that by saying histamine intolerance or fructose intolerance. An inability to digest those things. Harvard data also says that there’s a difference between a food intolerance and a food sensitivity, though when I look at their writings about both, they are really so stinking similar that I’m not sure even they understand the difference.

Other sources that I’ve seen don’t differentiate between food intolerance and food sensitivity. They use the words interchangeably. Personally, that’s the philosophy I prescribe too. So for today, you’ll probably hear me say both words. I mean the same thing. Whether it’s a food intolerance or a food sensitivity, we’re talking about having a challenge with properly digesting a particular food.

Now even though I’m using food intolerance and food sensitivity interchangeably, I’m not including food allergies in the mix. True food allergies are quite different that a sensitivity. A sensitivity starts in the digestive system. It may branch out and show up in other places as we’ll get into today, but it starts in the digestive tract. A true food allergy is an immune response where even a microscopic amount of that food can lead to anaphylaxis—a life threatening reaction where the person has difficulty breathing, might be wheezing, trouble swallowing, low blood pressure, maybe even passing out.

Food allergies are a whole different thing as you know if you have a family member or a friend with a food allergy. That’s not what our focus is today. Today is about the food intolerance type of issue with food and frankly, the least talked about food challenge and least understood by our doctors.


So when we talk about food intolerance, what exactly are the symptoms. What do those of us with IBD and food intolerance experience as a reaction when we eat something that doesn’t agree with us?

Well, as you can image, G.I. symptoms come up.

  • Intestinal gas
  • bloating
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea

But food intolerance symptoms may not stop there. Like I said, even if the symptoms start in your digestive system, they may not stay there. You may never even experience gastro symptoms from your food sensitivity. And that’s what makes this so damn difficult to pinpoint, to figure out the culprit in the first place.

Your food intolerance may show up as neurological symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Poor concentration
  • Inattentiveness
  • Scattered mind
  • Anxiety
  • Jitteriness
  • ADHD

Or it may show up as an inflammatory response like:

  • Arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus pressure
  • Sneezing

It may even show up as a skin response with:

  • Eczema
  • Rash
  • Bumps
  • Hives
  • Flaky patches on the head
  • Flushed skin

Your food intolerance may even show up as fatigue or drowsiness.

See why so many of us don’t know we have food intolerance? You go to your dermatologist for a rash, your neurologist for headaches, maybe a therapist for your ADHD symptoms… and not a single one of these providers puts these symptoms together. No one is looking at the whole picture, saying huh, “I wonder if there’s a root cause to all of this and I wonder if it’s all related?”

But you can begin to do that for yourself today. You can begin to ask yourself, “Which of these symptoms ring true for me and could they be related? Could something I’m eating be at the heart of all this?” These are big questions and it’s OK if you don’t have all the answers today. We start with the questions. Questions about what’s going on with you is where your healing begins.

So we can experience one or two of these symptoms after eating certain foods or more symptoms. That’s not unusual either. Probably more when it comes to food sensitivities because they can show up in different ways.


OK, so we know what the symptoms of a food intolerance or a food sensitivity are. Now let’s look at what’s going on when we have a Crohn’s or colitis flare up so we can begin to see the subtle differences. We know that an IBD flare up happens when we are not in remission, when inflammation is up, gut dysbiosis is rampant and our immune system is in attack mode. This is a time when our symptoms get out of control. As you can imagine if you remember some of the symptoms that I just mentioned, the IBD flare up is a similar picture. According to the Cleveland Clinic, world renowned for their G.I. department, they say an IBD flare up is happening when some of the following symptoms are present.

Remember our food intolerance symptoms? Keep those in mind while we go over these flare up symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Urgency
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Mucus/blood in stool
  • Upset stomach

Less common, but also present sometimes:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Vision problems

Completely different right? You’ve got it now. A flare up and a food intolerance present completely different. Case closed, we can end this episode now.

Uh, not so fast. That was my way of seeing if you’re still with me.

If you saw just how similar that flare up list was and you’re comparing it to the food intolerance list, I think you see the problem coming to life right before your ears. This issue of food intolerance vs flare up is a murky, tricky, little sucker and it lies. It loves to create confusion and chaos. It’s no wonder we can’t tell the difference between a food intolerance reaction and a flare up. There’s so much overlap in the symptoms that we may think we’re having a flare up when it’s actually a food sensitivity reaction and we may think we are having a food sensitivity reaction when it’s actually a flare up.

So how do we begin to figure this out? How do we begin to peel back the layers of this seemingly complicated problem, this onion if you will, to get to what’s really going on? Because when we know what our culprit is, then we can do something about it.

Uncovering whether it’s a food sensitivity vs a true IBD flare up involves asking yourself 3 questions. Three questions that will give you the information you need to have peace of mind that you are going down the right track to address your problem.


Question #1:

When I remove my suspected food culprit, do my symptoms go away?

If this were me, and it has been me several (too many) times before, the conversation with myself would go something like, “Were there peppers in that soup I had last night, and then had again as leftovers for today’s lunch? Yes, shoot I can’t believe I did that. I know peppers and I are not friends. That must be why I’m having extra gas, bloating, and diarrhea today. That’s why my head is pounding, and my hands are aching.”

Or the conversation I’ve also had with myself in the past (I like to talk to myself a lot and I also answer back, that’s a problem isn’t it). Anyhoo, I’ve said to myself, “These last several days I haven’t felt like myself. I’ve had been on the toilet more, I can’t keep track of a single thought in my head, my gas has been really smelly, and my belly looks 3 months pregnant by 4pm. What’s going on here? What have I been eating lately? Is there a food I’ve been eating that I can attribute this too? Let me do a few days with my Food-Mood-Poop Journal and see what’s going on.”

See how those are two different scenarios, but I’m getting back to the same question. When I remove a suspected food culprit, do my symptoms go away?  And if the answer is yes, you are most likely dealing with a food intolerance and not a true IBD flare up.

Now, before we move on to question #2 I want to address the challenge I see so many of you having with IBD. You feel so awful so much of the time that you don’t know what foods to remove. You don’t have any idea where to start. I’m going to cover this in just a minute so hang tight with me. I promise I’ve got your starting place too.

But if you are already working with food to help your IBD, if you are already on a gut healing diet, if you’ve already removed many of your culprit foods, this question will be easier for you to answer.

But, if you haven’t started a gut healing diet yet, what are you waiting for? It may not be 100% the answer for you, it must be part of an IBD healing approach—it’s in that Wheel of Wellness I talk about so often on the podcast. But gut healing food is an important factor and it’s time to get started on that today. Go to Episodes 68-71, wherever you get your podcasts and listen to my gut healing diet series to help you find the best gut healing diet for you.

OK, question #1, when I remove my suspected food culprit or culprits, do my symptoms go away? Now, let’s move to question #2.

Question #2 is: What are my symptoms?

It’s time to take a hard look at what’s going on with you. It’s time to be honest with yourself about your symptoms. As moms, we so often put others needs in front of our own, so with this question we strip down all the falsehoods, all the “I’m OK, I can handle it, it’s not that bad,” and we get real and honest with ourself.

What are my symptoms?

Now, remember, those symptoms of a flare up and a food intolerance can be very similar, but we have to ask ourself, “What are my symptoms?” Although there can be a wide range of symptoms in food intolerance, usually we are not seeing things like mucus in our stool, blood in our stool, consistent weight loss, fever, eye challenges like Uveitis…

We are not seeing these types of issues with an immediate food reaction.

Are you having any of these symptoms? Remember, according to the Cleveland Clinic, these symptoms are more indicative of an IBD flare up.

But maybe your symptoms aren’t this severe. Maybe your feeling abdominal pain, you’re spending more time on the toilet, you’re having headaches and body aches… is it just a food intolerance or could more be going on?

It’s time to ask yourself question #3.

And question #3 is: How long has this been going on?

1 day? 2 days? 3 days? Or is it more like 1 week, 2 weeks, a month, or longer?

To answer this question fully, we have to know the answer to another question first and that question is, how long does a food sensitivity reaction usually last? That’s a tough one to get a definitive answer on, but let’s break this down as best we can.

First, it’s important to note that a food sensitivity reaction may occur within a couple hours of eating, but it may also occur up to 48 hours later. It also may not occur until you’ve eaten your food culprit a couple times. You may need to put a couple helpings in your system over a couple days before your body says, “Enough!”

There’s really no clear guidance from medical sources here, but from my experience, a food intolerance reaction usually will go away 1-4 days after you’ve remove the culprit.

So, how long have these troubling symptoms been going on? 1 day, 2 days… or is it a lot longer than that?

According to most IBD experts, an IBD flare up can last a week, to several months, even several years. If your challenges are going on that long and if you’ve removed all your food culprits, you better believe that’s not the cause of your symptoms. It’s time to get some help from your doctor.

So, symptoms play a role in determining what’s going on and so does how long it’s been going on. If you can answer these three questions for yourself, you will come a long way towards deciding if what you are going through is a food sensitivity reaction or a true IBD flare up.

Let’s say you’ve asked yourself these three questions and you know it’s a food intolerance that’s at play, but you just can’t figure out what’s bothering you. Where do you start? Well, there’s three options I usually suggest.


#1- Food-Mood-Poop Journal

It’s the most comprehensive, meticulous way to figure out what your food culprits are. It’s crazy powerful and why I suggest it so often to my clients and on this podcast. There’s a lot that can be gleaned from tracking your food and your responses to that food. Download an app, do a free form journal, or get my free and fabulous F-M-P Journaling System at Just get started with it and start to see the patterns in what you eat and how you feel.

Now, what’s another option if you suspect there’s some food culprits but you don’t know what they are? An elimination diet is another option to try. With an elimination diet, you get rid of known IBD culprits—the main food sensitivities for many. Eggs, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, wheat, etc… Leave them out of your eating plan for 30 days to 3 months and then start to slowly add them back in and see what happens. With an elimination diet, I highly recommend you also journal about how what you are eating is impacting you with some type of F-M-P system. We think we can keep it all in our mom brain, but we really can’t. Elimination diets can be really helpful, especially when paired with a way to track how it’s going.

Or you can do option #3. Option number three involves getting a practitioner to order a food sensitivity test for you. This is usually accomplished through a blood test and as I’ve mentioned previously on the podcast, you can now even order these kits on your own. Some are good. Some are crap. I have to say though that food sensitivity testing shows a moment in time. Our sensitivities can change over time and insurance doesn’t usually cover the testing so that can be an expensive moment in time.

If you are already working with a practitioner that has access to a high-quality food sensitivity test, go for it. If not, I highly recommend the other two methods to figure out what food intolerances you are dealing with.

Knowing what you are sensitive to will make answering those three questions extraordinarily easier.

Now, that’s what to do if you know food intolerances are at play with what’s going on with you or if you are trying to sus all that out.  But what if you know it’s a flare up. You ask yourself those three questions I mentioned and you decide, yep, I’m in a flare up. Well, now it’s time to get some help. Your gastroenterologist, your functional, integrative, or naturopathic doctor… they are trained to help you in times of flare ups so don’t suffer alone. Go see them and see how they can help.

No matter if you are suffering from food intolerances or an IBD flare up, suffering is suffering. Please do yourself a favor and start by asking questions. Ask yourself the three questions I mentioned today.

If I remove my food culprit, do I feel better?

What are my symptoms?

How long has this been going on?

Start looking at what’s going on with you—no ignoring it because you don’t have time. Trust me, ignoring it will only take time away in the long run from you being the mom, the partner, the friend, the family member, the worker, and the human you deserve to be.

Today is the day to look at what’s going on mama and I’m here to help. If you are struggling with this very thing and you’re still feeling confused about whether what’s going on with you is a food intolerance or a flare up, get in touch. Together, we’ll figure it out. is how to get in touch with me. I love hearing from you and I’m looking forward to connecting with you soon my friend!

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey.

Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

From Exhausted to Energized: Vanessa Nowak Shares Her Best Strategies for Moms

Are you like me?

Exhausted by motherhood, chronic illness, all the demands placed on us every day?

If you’re feeling like your mind and body could really use a jolt of energy, a natural jolt of course– no 5-hour energy drink needed. You are going to love this episode.

It’s my interview with Vanessa Nowak, Health Coach and exhaustion to energy expert for moms. She has some really practical, tangible tips to share with us today so we can go from fatigued and blah to thriving and energized.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 The motherhood exhaustion story that led Vanessa to start to make changes in her own life.

🌿 Vanessa’s 5 Step Exhausted to Energized System to help you have more mom energy and better health .

🌿  Why, even when we have a step-by-step plan for success, we fail to act. And how you can get over inaction and into energy again.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Connect with Vanessa:

Vanessa on Instagram

Mentioned in the Episode:

The Fit On App

The Balance App

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine {Part III}

The problem with the way most providers approach treating Crohn’s and colitis is that they treat us with a top/down, the outside/in perspective instead of finding IBD where it starts—at the root.

The top/down approach is great when symptom relief is your goal, but not so good when you are ready to move beyond medicine and tackle this illness from the inside/out.

This backwards way of treating IBD that we have become so accustomed to smothers our IBD flame for a short stint, but doesn’t put the fire out for long periods of time, it negates the roots that caused our illness in the first place, and discounts the body’s innate and truly amazing ability to restore balance when given the proper tools.

In this Treating IBD series (this is Part III), we’ve been talking about a whole new approach—a re-imagining of how we see our Crohn’s and colitis, from the way that it came into our lives, to providers who can help us dig deep to find longer lasting answers.

And today, as we wrap up this Treating IBD series, we’re putting the final piece of the puzzle in place. The one that’s waiting for you to put all this information together.

The nine root causes of IBD.

Chances are you don’t have all 9, but when you know your 3-5 roots, you can be armed with the clarity and power you need to finally make big, bold leaps at truly quelling your IBD.

Together, in Part III of our Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine series, we’re going to nail down your roots and get you moving on a gut healing path that leads to remission.

Can I get a yes, yes, yes!!!!

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 When and why probiotics and pre-biotics (both in food and supplement form) can make you feel awful and do more harm than good.

🌿 The definitive way to know if you have leaky gut (not everyone with IBD has it). And then I’ll tell you what to do about it if you’ve got it.

🌿  How to get in touch with 10 IBD Experts that have practices dedicated to Crohn’s and colitis root cause healing so you can continue this conversation and thrive in your life.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

IBD Experts List: Provider list for when you are ready to move beyond medicine

Your Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System

Your Stress Management Toolbelt

Episode 89: Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine Part I

Episode 90: Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine Part II

Direct Labs: direct to consumer laboratory

Everlywell: direct to consumer laboratory

Episode Resources:

Leaky Gut:

What is Zonulin?

Top 11 Leaky Gut Supplements

Slippery Elm

Digestive Enzymes


Aloe Vera

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Treating Your IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine Part III

The problem with the way most providers approach treating Crohn’s and colitis is that they treat us with a top/down, the outside/in, perspective instead of finding IBD where it starts—at the root. The top/down approach is great when symptom relief is your goal, but not so good when you are ready to move beyond medicine and tackle this illness from the inside/out.

This backwards way of treating IBD that we have become so accustomed to smothers our IBD flame for a short stint, but doesn’t put the fire out for long periods of time, it negates the roots that caused our illness in the first place, and discounts the body’s innate and truly amazing ability to restore balance when given the proper tools.

In this Treating IBD series, we’ve been talking about a whole new approach—a re-imagining of how we see our Crohn’s and colitis, from the way that it came into our lives, to providers who can help us dig deep to find longer lasting answers. And today, as we wrap up this Treating IBD series, we’re putting the final piece of the puzzle in place. The one that’s waiting for you to put all this information together.

The nine root causes of IBD.

Chances are you don’t have all 9, but when you know your 3-5 roots, you can be armed with the clarity and power you need to finally make big, bold leaps at truly quelling your IBD.

Together, in Part III of our Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine series, we’re going to nail down your roots and get you moving on a gut healing path that leads to remission.

Can I get a yes, yes, yes!!!!

Here we go.


If autoimmunity was a tree, it would have nine roots. Nine roots that all lead back to one place. Your trigger. Hey there my friend, Karyn Haley with you again on The Cheeky Podcast and I hope you are having a promising day. It may not be great. We all know days with IBD can be a hit or miss, but it’s episodes like this one that have the power to give hope and support, to help you move forward, armed with life transforming knowledge. Knowledge you can then run with.

And this is definitely a notes episode, one that will give you so much information, you’re going to want to have a place to jot some of these ideas down. This episode is Part III in what has turned into a 3-part series all about how you can move beyond medicine to add other treatment modalities to your IBD healing regime.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, medicine may be part of your plan. I’m certainly not promoting taking away what you already have in place. What we’re talking about in this series is finding other ideas to add to your Wheel of Wellness besides medicine, to diversify your healing, get to the root of why you got here in the first place. And if it’s your goal, to help you completely move beyond medicine when the time is right for you.

Only you and your doctor will know when the time is right for that, but in the meantime, lets focus on adding to your treatment options so that you can find the healing and the path to the life that you absolutely deserve.

Last week in Part II, Episode 90, do you remember that was the episode where we talked about all your provider options when you’re ready to truly explore all the healing modalities open and waiting for you. Options and ideas your traditional doctor is probably not telling you about. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, go check it out. It’s got loads of really solid information on other providers that can help when you are ready. You might also remember me saying that I’ve got an awesome resource for you, with my favorite IBD experts in each of the areas we discussed. IBD experts who are in the thick of gastrointestinal issues and have great information and knowledge to offer. Some you may have heard of, some may be completely new to you.

If you want to get your hands on my IBD Expert List, you can get your hands on it at Wherever you are in the U.S. or other parts of the world, this list is going to be valuable for you because many of these providers offer telemedicine options and others have ongoing information they are publishing regularly regarding gut health—information you don’t want to miss out on.

I’ll remind you about the link one last time before we wrap up and of course, it will be linked in the show notes as well at

Now let’s get to those roots.

Back in Part I of the Treating IBD series, I mentioned your 3-legged stool. Do you remember the legs and are you still holding on to how they pertain to you? The first leg of your stool is your genetics—the DNA you are born with. Is it as fixed as we once thought? Nope, it’s changeable. According to the field of epigenetics it is, but were we born with the DNA for IBD? Yes, indeed.

The next leg of your stool is your microbiome or the trillions of bacteria living inside of your body, whose balance or imbalance, possibly intestinal permeability, is key to the trajectory of your IBD.

If all of this is confusing, don’t fret, go back and check out Episode 89. It will catch you up in a simplified way, and then you can jump back in with us for this episode, Part III.

Now the last leg of your stool, do you remember that one? It’s your trigger leg—the mind, body, or soul stressor or stressors that caused a volcano in your body named Crohn’s or colitis to slowly begin to ooze. Or even cause a catastrophic eruption like a Pompeii sized blast. Everyone is different here. How did your IBD show up for you? It’s these stressors, the triggers for you– this is where we begin our treating IBD story today.

So in Part I we talked about the 3-legged stool and how one of the legs is your trigger, and at the end, I gave you a homework assignment to think about what those stressors might have been for you. Today, we get to put your homework to the test with 9 possible autoimmunity triggers. Let’s see if your triggers fall into one or more of these categories.

Like I said at the top of the show, most people with autoimmunity, like IBD, fall into 3-5 of these root cause triggers. Maybe you’ll confirm what you already know and you’ll feel more confident about what brought your IBD about or maybe you’ll add a couple triggers to your insights and be that much more armed with great information to take to your provider and into your future healing.

With each trigger, I’ll be giving you some ideas to help get you started on a healing path as well. I’ll point out some of the ways medical professionals look at, assess, and treat these nine roots. This is definitely not a substitute for a good medical provider. We’re really looking at this from a high view, general perspective today, but it will still be good information so that you can fill in your specifics and at least know which practitioner to start with depending on the triggers you are presenting with.

Ready for the 9 triggers?


Is this one of your triggers? Maybe, maybe not. Everyone who’s heard of leaky gut and has gastrointestinal challenges tends to think they have leaky gut. This isn’t always the case and you can’t make a definitive assessment based on symptoms alone.

If you were with us for Part I in our Treating IBD series, you might remember I mentioned a clinician and researcher named Dr. Alessio Fasano. He’s the man who started this whole leaky gut conversation. Thanks to his research, we know that there is a protein that regulates leaky gut in our body. That protein is called zonulin and there are some really good tests in medicine today, tests ordered by functional and integrative medicine providers, that look to see if you have high levels of zonulin in a blood or stool test.

A high level of zonulin is a good indicator that you do in fact have leaky gut, one of the root triggers behind autoimmunity and IBD.

Let’s say zonulin testing has been conducted by your provider and you know leaky gut is at play as one of your root causes. Now what? Well, there’s a few options root cause providers are using for their patients, and of course it’s one part of a comprehensive approach because it must go hand in hand with other root cause solutions, but first and foremost, we grab the low hanging fruit and address your diet. Eating in a way that supports the health of your digestive system and the lining of the intestinal track is paramount.

We know that everyone is different here, but some changes you may want to consider are eating gluten free, dairy free, possibly eliminating gut disrupting foods like corn and soy. These types of foods may be one of the things at the root of your IBD and we’ll talk about specific food sensitivities in a moment, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to foods that create an environment for leaky gut. Healing leaky gut can also include adding in foods like bone broth. Basically, the bottom line with leaky gut is to eat in a way that supports your GI tract so that you have the power to digest and absorb the food you eat. Sounds like digesting and absorbing nutrients should be automatic, but for those of us with IBD, it’s not.

Besides food, what other options can help heal your leaky gut? Supplements and herbs for starters. Digestive enzymes, probiotics, an amino acid supplement called L-glutamine, licorice root, slippery elm, aloe vera, marshmallow root. And of course, I’m not saying you need to take all of these. Absolutely not. These are just options to consider—ones you can work with your “moving beyond medicine” provider to tailor a plan that works best for your needs.


Dysbiosis is a bit of a fancy medical word, but it just means that there’s an imbalance of bacteria your digestive system. An imbalance of bacteria is one of the hallmarks of IBD. Many of us fall into this root cause. How about you? How does this one land for you?

Gut dysbiosis is one of those ailments best looked at in your stool, but it’s not going to be found in the traditional stool tests you might at your GI office. Thankfully, there are functional labs like Diagnostic Solutions and Genova Diagnostics that offer quality stool testing for gut dysbiosis. It’s great if you have a provider who can order these types of labs, but if you don’t, the good news is that now you can order labs like these on your own, through reputable direct to consumer sites. I always prefer for a doctor to be able to help you interpret the results, but it’s good to know that tests like these, that were once only offered by certain providers are now offered to the masses. I’ll leave some links in the show notes at to some of the best direct to consumer lab companies.

Healing gut dysbiosis all starts with diet. See how much you can accomplish with diet? It’s truly amazing if we only put a little energy into finding out the foods that work for our body. Your first steps here will be to cut out the crappy food (you know what I’m talking about—the fast food, the canned, boxed, packaged food with way too many ingredients that no one can pronounce). Replacing the junk with healthy food—remembering that healthy is different for everyone. Again, it’s about eating the food your body can digest and absorb. Providers like the ones mentioned last week in Part II can help you figure this out.

After a diet clean up, we want to start adding in probiotic rich foods like 24-hour fermented yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchee, fermented veggies, kombucha, kefir, pickles, apple cider vinegar. All the good bacteria that can really begin to repopulate your digestive tract.

When you are able to tolerate pre-biotics, foods like dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic—these are great options.  But again, after some healing and restoring of the digestive tract has taken place. If you’ve ever just jumped into probiotics or prebiotics because you heard they were the answer for IBDer’s only to feel bloated, gassy, have diarrhea, etc., it’s because your gut just wasn’t restored enough for this step yet. Again, working with one of the providers I mentioned last week will help you figure out when the time is right for you.

Besides probiotic foods, probiotic supplements made from high quality pharmaceutical grade ingredients through brands like VSL#3, Visbiome, Kirkman labs, and Pure Encapsulations, and Klaire Labs can be helpful as well.


SIBO, Candida, C-diff (clostridium difficile), salmonella, E coli, H pylori… so many gut infections and as hard as it is to believe, much of the time we don’t know we have these infections at the root of our IBD because we are so used to having gut challenges. It becomes normal to us. And no one is testing for it.

Bloating, gas, diarrhea, back and forth between diarrhea and constipation, sugar cravings, heart palpitations, anxiety, brain fog, poor concentration, skin rashes… all of these can be symptoms of undiagnosed GI infections. With infections like these, the only way to really treat them with accuracy is to test for them first. SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is one of these infections that you’ve probably heard of, but most gastro’s aren’t testing for it. Or when they do test for it, they aren’t using the best test available to them. I see client after client only able to get limited SIBO testing. It is so frustrating. But integrative, functional, and naturopathic physicians who specialize in IBD are usually knowledgeable about the best SIBO and other GI infection testing options.  Again, there’s probably tests you can order direct to consumer, but having a trained professional to read your results is always preferable.

When treating gut infections, sometimes an antibiotic is needed. Other treatment options may include herbal remedies like allicin (compound in garlic) or natural antibacterials and antifungals like oil or oregano or neem oil. The type of infection you have along with your doctor’s gut infection protocol (they all seem to be a little different) will determine what you take and for how long.

Food should always be a part of an intestinal infection treatment plan. Diets like Low FODMAPs and SCD can be prescribed to help because they are low in sugar, low in fermentation, and low in carbs.

GI infections will always trump adding in probiotics for gut dysbiosis. This is a clear case when some restoration of the GI tract needs to come first. After some healing has taken place, then it will be safer to start adding in probiotics in the form of fermented foods or supplements again.


Oh yeah, mama, you know if this is you. This was me when I finally decided I wanted to move beyond medicine. This was my biggest culprit. Back then, my days were filled with pasta, white bread, cereal, white mashed potatoes with gravy, mac and cheese… so called comfort food. that’s all I ate. So much so that when I finally changed the way I was eating and embraced a low carb diet, I went into carbohydrate withdrawal. Yes, it’s a real thing it is no joke.

Changing up your diet when you are a sugar and carb junkie can be real tough, especially when you see others eating this way, seeming to have no consequences at all. Not fair, right? This is where the genetics comes into play unfortunately, but as my clever integrative gastro told me once, yes you have the IBD genes, but eating that will always catch up with you. So while others are struggling with heart disease, Type II Diabetes, strokes, and neurological challenges, your future, thanks to eating healthy, looks much brighter.

Your genetics that may have set all of this up in the first place, can actually be a positive here because it’s what is giving you the motivation to eat with your gut in mind; to eat healthy so you can avoid all those later in life challenges so many are plagued with.

The even better news about trigger #4 is that when one of your root causes to IBD is an unhealthy diet, the treatment doesn’t require a procedure, a test, bloodwork, or even a stool sample. Instead, it requires a commitment to figuring out what gut healing foods work best for your body. This is a good place to enlist the help of a qualified nutritionist or a health coach specializing in IBD. Not a calorie counter, bland food diet promoter, but someone who understands the impact of food on the digestive tract. And if they mention following bland diet, remember that’s your cue to run.


This can be a big unknown trigger for autoimmune conditions like IBD because so much of the time, we never know where our vitamins and mineral stand. Who’s getting vitamin and mineral profiles checked? As an IBD patient, it’s not something that comes up often in traditional settings. But when digesting and absorbing nutrients is at play and it’s not going well, you better believe it’s going to show up as a GI challenge.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies may show up as weak bones, fatigue, decreased immune function. Any of this sound familiar? So many of us are saying yes. This could be a root cause for you and it’s time to get it checked out. Like I said, vitamin and mineral testing is not a standard part of your bloodwork. Maybe a vitamin D level if you’re lucky, but other nutrients like your B vitamins (like B12 and folic acid), zinc, calcium magnesium, Vitamin C, potassium… Or how about your macronutrients like how well you digest fat, protein, and carbohydrates. All of these levels will have an impact on your C + C. And no one is looking for it.

Testing and then correcting for vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to huge transformations for the way your Crohn’s or colitis shows up for you. A functional/integrative provider may start looking at your vitamin and mineral count by checking out your bloodwork, but then they good deeper with urine, saliva, possibly hair sample testing—tests that can detect the micro and macro nutrient deficiencies in your body. Then, they can give you a personalized vitamin and mineral plan that includes food as well as supplements that are actually worth taking.

Let’s take your B-12 level for example. Most traditional docs may prescribe B-12 injections if they find you are low in B-12 (common in ileal Crohn’s). Low levels of B12 may show up as fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches, joint pain, weakness… Most doctors end up prescribing a form of B12 call cyanocobalamin. But another form, methylcobalamin, the methylated form of B12 is the active form of B12, so no conversion of the vitamin is necessary for your body. Many IBDer’s are unable to convert into the active form so they are just wasting their time with a B12 supplement that never helps their levels rise.

Let’s take one that’s more common—vitamin D. We’ve all heard of that one. Many with IBD are deficient, but are you getting the right test with your blood serum labs? Make sure you ask your doctor for the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test and when in comes in be sure you look at your values as well. Many traditional providers will say, “You’re level is around 30 so you’re OK, when functional and integrative providers warn that your D level really needs to be higher than that. Sure, we can ward of the most serious of sickness with a low normal level, but to function at our peak, our D levels need to be much higher. Providers like the ones I mentioned last week will look at your labs differently to help you function at your best, not just survive.


This is a big one for us. Capital H HUGE. It’s amazing what knowing your food sensitivities and avoiding those foods can do for you. Have you ever spent the time to figure this out for yourself? If you have, I know you are shaking your head saying, “Oh, yeah, it’s huge!” I’ve personally witnessed a 180 degree turn around in client after client when they figure out what foods work for them and what foods don’t. And these type of food reactions may not be your typical food allergy with an anaphylactic reaction, but they cause troubles nonetheless.

Common root cause sensitivities we tend to see in those with IBD are foods like gluten, dairy, foods that contain histamines or fructose, corn, wheat, soy, eggs, sometimes caffeine…  And the way these sensitivities show up for each of us will be different. From gut challenges to body aches to brain fog to sleep disturbances to skin reactions… food sensitivities show up in a myriad of ways. Figuring out what these foods are and how they show up in your body is the key to quelling this root cause challenge.

There’s many ways to assess food sensitivities. One way is through food sensitivity tests like one called LEAP (learning, eating, and performing test) or the ELISA test—Everly Well has an at home version of a food sensitivity test, Genova Diagnostics has a version as well. While these tests are by no means perfect when it comes to catching every food sensitivity, they can give you valuable information to start making changes to what you eat.

If you don’t have access to food sensitivity testing, you can still make strides at figuring out your food sensitivities by tracking your food, your mood, your symptoms and your poop with a food journal in an app or with my Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System. Methods like this usually take more time and dedication, but they can work to figure out how the food you eat is impacting the systems in your body—especially the GI tract. If you’re looking for a way to track yourself so that you can begin to uncover what you’re food sensitivities are, go to the show notes at I’ll leave a link for you there to get my F-M-P Journaling System completely free.


Toxins are something most of us rarely think about. Sure, we think poisons and hazardous materials as something to avoid. Carbon Monoxide, asbestos… You might even remember the Mr. Yuck sticker our parents would place on products throughout our home if it was something we weren’t supposed to touch because it had chemicals in it. Are you old enough to remember Mr. Yuck or is it just me?

But all toxins aren’t that obvious and some have the potential to hide, creep in, in places where think you are safe. Chemical, environmental, and physical toxins are lurking in everything imaginable. And these toxins may have played a significant role in shaping the way your IBD shows up today.

Everything from toys, to make up, shampoo, water bottles, our clothes, carpets, furniture, paint for our walls, mold, heavy metals, poor air quality… pretty much everything we come in contact with has the potential to contain toxins. In fact, according to toxin experts, most humans are walking around with about 700 toxins in their body, toxins that are not supposed to be there, at any given moment. 700!

And remember, not all toxins are man-made chemicals either. Natural toxins, like ones in our food also play a role in the demise of our digestive health. Toxins like lectins in legumes, mycotoxins in dried fruit and nuts, and biotoxins in certain kinds of fish can cause damage to many parts of our body, including the digestive system.

Besides natural toxins, some of the most common chemicals that you may still be in contact with in your home are ones like parabens found in shampoos, shaving gel, and toothpaste. Also formaldehyde which is usually on new things you bring into your home like a mattress or a new car… even clothing. If you ever say to yourself, wow that has a “new” smell, you can thank the formaldehyde. Periflorinated chemicals are also ones we probably come into contact with daily. Fast food containers, flooring, paint all may contain these PFC’s that have been linked to damaging our immune system.

There’s too many toxins here to list, but chances, even if we have the cleanest, greenest, most organic home with stuff and food, we are still exposed to toxins and toxins were most certainly present in the home where you grew up.

So, what can you do about this autoimmune root cause challenger?

There are some conventional blood tests that look for toxins in the body—complete blood count, liver enzymes, inflammatory markers… these can all be helpful. Functional and integrative doctors may take this testing one step further with an organic acid test that looks at toxins in your urine. They may also do more blood and saliva testing.

If it’s found that the toxins in your body are creating challenges for your immune function, your inflammatory pathways, and your digestive system you can work with your provider to create a plan to gently rid your body of these toxins. The plan will really depend on what toxins are present.

I don’t recommend you do a detox on your own. First of all, detox’s in general can be very taxing on and IBD gut, but the other problem is that detoxification releases toxins into your body to be flushed away. If you’re flushing organs like your liver, your kidneys, or your colon are not in good working order, you can be creating more problems than you are helping.

So do yourself a favor, if you feel like toxins are one your root cause culprits, work with a trained detox provider who is very familiar with Crohn’s and colitis to help you detox naturally and slowly so you avoid a lot of discomfort and don’t create more problems than the toxins themselves.


The mother of all triggers, the one we truly struggle to get under control is stress. Can you honestly say you have no stress? Me either. This is a trigger we can all use help with. But especially when IBD is at play, with this huge gut/brain connection, we can’t afford to ignore our stress anymore.

In my practice, stress is usually the last thing people want to tackle. People are much more willing to change their diet, try supplements, before they want to look at stress. And that’s because it’s hard. Dealing with the stress in your life is harder than adopting a completely new way of eating.

Right here, right now, let’s ask some questions to bring this topic of stress front and center for you, once and for all. Are you ready? I know just these questions alone can be anxiety provoking so let’s take a deep breath together and let it go. This is a safe space and we are just asking the right questions to get to the heart of your stress. Here we go.

  • What kind of stress were you under just before your IBD diagnosis?
  • Is that stress still a factor in your life today?
  • What are the 3 biggest stressors that you are struggling with right now? What three things are weighing on your mind when you get up in the morning, when you try to go to bed at night?
  • Are you more prone to the type of stress that lingers and festers for long periods or do you experience bursts of stress at home or in your work life that challenge you in the moment?
  • The kind of stress that lingers—finances, a long-term illness, long term relationship stress, long term insomnia—this is what we call chronic stress.
  • The kind of stress that comes fast and goes away just as fast like a time-centered deadline at work, a blow-up with your spouse you didn’t see coming but fizzles out quickly, a surprise when a deer jumps out in front of your car while you’re driving—these are all types of acute stress.

OK, you did great with that. Let’s just shake it off. Literally give your hands, your body a shaky shake, maybe a little deep breath and just let it go for the moment.

Good, now we manage these types of stressful situations (notice I said manage, not get rid of) in our life differently. Knowing the kinds of things that are stressing you out, knowing the type of stress that’s plaguing you (acute or chronic) is the first step in getting control of the stress that’s impacting your IBD. It’s insight, and insight is half the battle.

So congrats to you, you already to a big, bold IBD leap today.

Now it’s time to take some action. If stress is an IBD trigger for you, or if stress is in your life right now and you’re ready to take action to finally do something about it, I want you to get your hands on my stress management toolbelt. It’s your guide to managing stress so it doesn’t mange you or wreak havoc on your IBD. Going into this resource knowing if you fit into the acute, chronic, or both category (often times we have both) will be really helpful because you’ll now be able to hone in on the stress management techniques that will best serve you. A link to your free stress management toolbelt is in the show notes at


The last autoimmune trigger that’s a biggy with women is hormones. Hormones play a large role in all of our body systems, especially our digestive system. And if our hormones are out of balance, it creates a cascade of symptoms that can impact your gut.

Let me really bring this home with a really concrete example for you. When you have your menstrual cycle, if you’re still in menses, or think back if you’re not anymore, what happens to your bowels? There’s a change there during that time of month isn’t there. Some women experience severe constipation while others have looser stools, even diarrhea. The hormones responsible for initiating your period don’t just work during your time of the month. They also are interacting with you and your digestive tract all day, all month, all year long.

This gut-hormone connection isn’t just reserved for your period. How about when you were pregnant, what did your IBD do then? How about after you gave birth and your hormones changed again? What about menopause? If you’ve been through that, how did it impact your IBD?

See, hormones and IBD will always go together. One impacts the other greatly. If you suspect hormone imbalances at the root of your IBD, proper testing is key. And like with many of these triggers, your conventional doctor may not be asking for tests that will really give a full picture into your hormone function. When it’s time for hormone testing, don’t just stick with the standard TSH and T4 bloodwork. Be sure to ask for more detailed testing or see an integrative or a functional medical provider who can steer you in the right direction.

  • Functional hormone testing usually includes:
  • TSH and T4
  • Total T3
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid Antibodies

See how much more comprehensive we need to be when determining if there’s a hormone challenge at the root of your IBD?

Like with our possible IBD trigger #7: Toxins, the route you take to help your hormone challenges and your IBD will depend on what results come back. You may need targeted medications or supplements. There’s even certain foods that support various hormonal pathways like for our adrenals or our thyroid levels.

If you suspect hormone challenges at play, start with good functional hormone testing and let your practitioner steer you into some of your best treatment options.

Woo-Wee, we made it! Nine triggers. Nine possible root causes for your IBD. Which ones fit for you? Let’s recap our list one last time. Remember, we may be talking root causes here, but it’s only to get clearer on your best path to healing. We must know where we came from to know where we are going in life, and in IBD treatment as well.


So, those roots were:

  • Leaky gut
  • Gut dysbiosis
  • GI infections
  • High sugar/high carbohydrate intake
  • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
  • Hidden food allergies/sensitivities
  • Toxins
  • Stress
  • Hormone imbalances

Where do all roads lead for you? Did you pick out a couple that may be a factor? 2, 3, 7 roots? Instead of feeling daunted by this, I want you to pant yourself on the back and say, “Thank you body. Thank you for steering me in the right direction. Now I’m ready to take action like never before.”

As we wrap up this Treating Your IBD series: Moving Beyond Medicine, what did you learn?

Do you have a good handle on your personal 3-legged stool?

Do you have an idea of the types of providers that can help you when you are ready for healing from the inside out?

Are you thinking about what you’re 3-5 (it’s OK if there’s more or less) triggers are that contributed to your diagnosis and what’s still contributing to keeping your disease active?

That’s where I’d love for you to be right now. With clarity for those few things. It’s a lot, yes, it’s a lot. But if you’re feeling lost, confused, overwhelmed right now, I’m here to help you make sense of it all. You can also use your new IBD Experts List to help you seek out providers who can help. Remember that list is yours for hanging out with me during this series, it’s yours for being part of this lovely and courageous community of IBD mamas and it’s yours because you deserve it.

You deserve to heal.

You deserve to be as healthy as you can be. I know the providers my IBD Experts List can help get you started. It’s waiting for you at These are truly some remarkable, some of the smartest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet or learn from over the years. You are going to love hearing about the work they are working on and how they can help serve your IBD at its root.

And If you know anyone in a similar situation, please share everything we’ve talked about in the last couple weeks with them. This is powerful, life changing information. Share these episodes with them so they can find peace and thrive in their life too.

That’s a wrap on our three-part Treating Your IBD series I just want to say thanks for joining me. It’s been quite a ride. We’ll be back again this Thursday with an interview episode I know you are going to love.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey.

Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine {Part II}

Last week was the start a series of episodes all about treating your IBD at the root cause level.

When you’re ready to move beyond medicine, with so many options out there, all of them touted as THE ONE WAY TO HEAL, how do you go about carving out your best gut healing path? The one that will move mountains and create life transforming results for you in huge, impactful ways.

That’s what this series is all about. This week, we are continuing our moving beyond medicine conversation. It’s time for Part II in the series.

This is going to be good!

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 Big shocker ~ the best provider to help you with a “food is medicine” approach isn’t your doctor. But who is?

🌿 What is the difference between an Integrative Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Naturopathic Doctor (and who is best suited to help your IBD)?

🌿  The reason why you might just need more than one IBD root cause provider.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode 89: Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine Part I

Find an Integrative Medicine Provider Near You

Find a Functional Medicine Provider Near You

Find a Naturopath Near You

Episode 10: How to Find an IBD Doctor You’ll Rave About

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine Part II

Last week was the start a series of episodes all about treating your IBD at the root cause level. When you’re ready to move beyond medicine, with so many options out there, all of them touted as THE ONE WAY TO HEAL, how do you go about carving out your best gut healing path? The one that will move mountains and create life transforming results for you in huge, impactful ways. That’s what this series is all about. This week, we are continuing our moving beyond medicine conversation. It’s time for Part II in the series. This is going to be good!


Hey there my friend, Karyn here with you on The Cheeky Podcast and if you are listening to this in real time, it’s May and May signifies IBD awareness month. Raising awareness for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis is a job I take very seriously. I’ve been shouting I’VE GOT IBD from the rooftops for years now because the more people who are aware of who we are, the struggles we go through, that we are strong, and resilient, and bold, and that we have an invisible chronic illness worth fighting for, the further we will get in finding compassion, understanding, and a cure.

So as this month comes to a close, will you please commit to spending its last few days talking about your illness more than you usually do? Will you spread the word to your family and friends and neighbors and co-workers? “I’ve got IBD and this is how it impacts me.” You never know where you are going to spark an idea that will help us find peace in our lifetime.

You deserve it. We deserve it. We deserve understanding, and attention for what invisible, largely un-talked about, even whispered about illness looks like.

OK dear one, I have to start this episode with a bit of an explanation. If you were with me last week, you might remember that I was creating a two-part series all about treating your IBD in ways that move us beyond medicine. Medicine is great. It’s here for us when we need it, but long-term toxic medications with myriads of side effects do not need to be our life long goal anymore. There’s too many natural options available to us now. Thanks to the internet and social media and podcasts, we hear about our options now more than ever before.

Well, Part I was great. It went off without a hitch. We focused on why it’s absolutely valuable and necessary to move beyond medicine. Why it’s tough to do this when you’re only source of professional and medical IBD information is your traditional gastroenterologist. They have a warm place in my heart and they are so valuable, but they are not the only path we should be following. We focused on knowing where your IBD comes from and why having that knowledge is the biggest, badest, most necessary first step to take when you’re figuring out your next healing IBD move.

Remember the 3-legged stool from last week? Genetics, your microbiome, and the stressor or the trigger that explodes or slowly burns your IBD path in motion. These three legs of the stool are the key to your personal autoimmunity story.


Did you complete the homework assignment I gave you?

Did you take some time to figure out what your 3-legged stool looks like? If you did, you will definitely have a “leg up” on this episode. Use the information you have in your mind now to help you as we continue to move forward and put the IBD treatment puzzle pieces together.

Now, if you are just joining us for Part II of the series, that’s OK. This episode can really stand alone, but you’re going to get so much more out of your Crohn’s or colitis healing journey, to figure out what works best for you, check out Episode 89 as well.  You can get it wherever you get your podcasts and I’ll leave a link for it in the show notes at

But what I realized in creating Part II in this series, which was supposed to be the last part, is that this topic of moving beyond medicine is too big to constrain into two parts. If I want to really give you the knowledge to take with you and run, to give you the kind of step by step, detailed information I strive to give each week, I needed to make this series in three parts.

In Part I, we dug deep, all the way to the root of IBD. This week in Part II, our focus is on where to go to get help once you have this knowledge and deep understanding of our illness, and then Part III will be the wrap up to all of this knowledge—We’ll wrap our Treating IBD series up in a pretty purple bow (purple for IBD awareness) as we get to the most common 9 root causes for IBD and I’ll be telling you how you can use those 9 roots to get out of the dregs of IBD into a life of being the mom, the wife, the friend, the family member, the worker, the human you always wanted to be.

Let’s do this shall we? Let’s get into Part II: Moving Beyond Medicine with practitioners at the heart of autoimmunity and root cause medicine. When you begin to understand that you can and deserve to cast a wider net to help your IBD symptoms, the question often becomes now what? Who can help me move beyond medicine? Well, I’m so glad you asked.


So, you know the how and the why behind your IBD. Again, it’s all there in Episode 89. Now, it’s time for us to move into the what part of our IBD equation. What can you do to help your IBD besides medicine? Your gastro has you covered there, but what else is out there for your treatment options? Today’s episode is all about your options. It’s not about creating a treatment plan for you. It would be way beyond my scope to create a specific treatment plan, but it’s absolutely essential that you work with a qualified professional because autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s and colitis have several different pathways to healing. That God for that because we are all manifesting our IBD in different ways. As we learned last week, there are several different sneaky culprits at play when it comes to IBD.

In Part III, we’ll delve into the 9 most common ones, but even with that information, you’ll still need an amazingly qualified provider to help you get the most out of treating those roots. And by the way, Part III is coming out sooner rather than later because I want you to have all this information at your fingertips. So if you are listening when this episode goes live on Thursday, the next episode, Part III will be coming out on Monday (this coming Monday) so be on the lookout for that.

So, now we ask the question, what can you do? Who should you seek out to get the moving beyond medicine care you need.  Lets’ start with the Integrative Medicine provider. Integrative medicine—have you heard that term before? It’s a popular medical term in the U.S. It might be called something slightly different to you lovely listener if you are outside the U.S., but these days every country has providers who specialize in integrative medicine.

An integrative medical provider could be an MD, or a DO, or even a PA, or a nurse practitioner. Integrative medical providers come from all backgrounds in the medical field. You’re looking for one who specializes in IBD. The father of integrative medicine is Dr. Andrew Weil. Have you heard of him or read any of his books? Really brilliant man. I got to be taught by him in my health coach training program which was pretty cool. If you are not familiar with him and you go look him up after this episode, think “Yogi Santa Claus.” Just a little visual for you smile over.


According to the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, integrative medicine is “a healing-oriented medicine that takes into account the whole person, including all aspects of life.”

I think of IM as the best combination of East meets West. Integrative Medicine uses whatever modality is best for the patient so that could be medication, it could be herbs, or supplements, acupuncture, more cutting edge IBD treatments like Fecal Microbiota Transplant or Rectal Ozone Therapy, or stem cell therapy, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a medical provider by your side who is able to pull from all types of healing modalities whether they are conventional or more natural? Integrative medicine practitioners provide this and are well-versed in getting to the bottom of what’s causing and impacting your autoimmune illness and then spending time in partnership with you to carve out a treatment plan that works for not just your symptoms, but your lifestyle as well.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Integrative medicine doctors are found all over the world. I’ll leave a link in the show notes to a comprehensive IM provider directory so you can find an integrative medicine provider near you.

What other options are available to you when you are ready to move beyond medicine? How about a functional medicine practitioner? Again, a functional provider can be from all walks of healthcare. From and MD, to PA, nurse, to a nutritionist. I consider myself a functional health coach because I look at Crohn’s and colitis from a root cause, healing perspective rather than a symptom relief model.


According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, FM is a “systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.” Functional medicine providers can really help when you are ready to go all in on healing—not covering up your illness. Nothing against cover up medicine. Sometimes when we are suffering, that’s exactly what we need in that moment. I’ve been there myself; too many times but it’s not a place to thrive. We need to have that fire in our belly that says, “I deserve more.” Constantly covering up my symptoms was how I blinked and 20 years of IBD hell had gone by with nothing good to show for it. Take it from me, you don’t want to turn down that dark path.

You can find a functional medicine trained practitioners all over the world. To locate one in your area, or hell through telemedicine these days, I’ll leave a link to the Institute for Functional Medicine’s practitioner directory in the show notes. That way, you can find someone to connect with if you are ready.


I want to round out your medical practitioner options with one last field to consider. It’s one that’s been tremendously helpful for me. And that’s the field of naturopathy. Naturopaths are physicians. They are trained and educated at accredited medical colleges and according to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, “They learn how to, diagnose, prevent, and treat acute and chronic illness to restore and establish optimal health by supporting the person’s inherent self-healing process.”

I love that “self-healing process.” Self- healing, did you catch that? Inherent in the core belief of a naturopath is the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself. When given the right tools, naturopaths believe the body wants to reset, wants to find health and balance. We just need to have the treatment plan in place that gives our body a nudge.

There’s a whole range of naturopathic physicians working in the U.S. and most of them specialize, just like a traditional doctor so try to find someone who works with gastrointestinal issues. That’s the best type of naturopath that’s best suited to serve you. I’m working on creating a list of all of the types of providers I mentioned today with provider names for you to check out. And the naturopath I’ve got on that list is stellar. I mean, amazing and really cutting edge in the work she’s doing for IBD patients. I’ll have that done and ready to share by Part III of this series, so be on the lookout for that.

If you’re looking for a naturopathic physician where you live, in the U.S. the best place to start is with the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. There website has a directory of providers and of course, I’ll link to it in the show notes at I have no doubt there’s some type of field similar in non-U.S. countries. They may even be called a naturopath. Do a search and see what you can find where you live.


Now if you are seeking a food-based approach to healing, and I don’t blame you because gut healing food is medicine, a dietitian or a nutritionist can really help with getting you versed in a gut healing-based diet. Usually they are also helpful with supplement recommendations. Some even do root cause digestive testing that your traditional doctor doesn’t know about. Be careful though, there’s a wide variety in paradigms and schools of thought with dietitians and nutritionists. What you don’t want, is calorie counting, nutrition facts panel centered help. That might be needed for weight loss (that’s a strong might), but we are looking at transforming our digestive system into a gut healing machine.

Calorie counting is not the answer. And you don’t want to work with a nutrition expert who tells you, “Just eat bland and you be fine. Pasta, bread, mac and cheese… bland, bland, bland.” If that’s what you are hearing from them, run, don’t walk to find a new provider. Dieticians and nutritionists come in the integrative and functional variety as well. That type of provider is best suited to help and fulfill what you are looking for. Look for someone with digestive disease experience because they have the gastrointestinal tract experience to keep that in the mix.


One last option for your consideration when you are ready to move beyond medicine is to look for a Health Coach. Health Coaching used to be a small field and no one really knew what they did, but Health Coaches are everywhere now—around the world and they can be very helpful in providing you with ideas, resources, support, and accountability on your health journey. Plus, they are not the “15 min in and out” type of provider so with a health coach, you get to delve deeper and really feel heard and understood. It’s a safe space to sort out the challenges in your life.

Most Health Coaches, by nature, are mind/body, root cause, wholistic minded, but check their philosophy before getting started to make sure. You already have enough traditional and conventional wisdom in your life through your G.I. For this provider, you are seeking someone with a more natural, open minded approach to healing. All you have to do is ask about their healing philosophy and they’ll tell you.

One of the things Health Coaches do better than any of the providers I’ve mentioned today is engaging in the support, encouragement, and also providing you the accountability we all sometimes need to make change happen. A good health coach will help you weigh all your options, know what your options are, encourage you to have open, honest conversations with your doctor and in the end, respect your decisions without judgement. They really hold your hand and walk you step by step through your whole gut healing journey.

Just like all of the providers we discussed today, Health Coaches specialize. If you are looking for someone to help with your IBD challenges, you don’t want a weight loss coach or an exercise and fitness coach. Sure, some of these types of goals can be part of your health coach experience, but you’ll want a coach who is very familiar with IBD. Of course, you know I’m one of those coaches and I’d love to chat with you to see if we are a good fit to work together, but there are others as well. Don’t hesitate to interview them to find the coach that works best for you.

In fact, with all of these types of providers, an interview is a great idea. Most offer 15-min free phone chats to see if they work with the types of issues you are bringing to them. A while back I did an episode all about finding the best doctor for you. Before you seek out one of these providers we’ve talked about today, you might want to give that episode a listen or a re-listen to help you find the best provider or providers for you.

Remember, healing takes a village. Surround yourself with all the help you can get. If you want to check out that episode, where I help you find a doctor you’ll rave about, that’s Episode 44. I’ll link to it in the show notes.

Now the good news about all of the practitioners I mentioned today, ones that can help you further understand your personal 3-legged stool, can give you suggestions for how to move forward with true and lasting healing, is that they don’t practice cover up medicine. It’s their goal, 100%, to get underneath the surface to bust open a healing regime that works—long term works. Isn’t your life worth that?


Let’s review your provider options for beyond medicine healing one last time before we wrap up.

The integrative medicine doc who combines the best of western medicine with the best of eastern wholistic treatments.

The functional medicine provider who really looks under the hood to appreciate all the root causes that went into your current status, they look at you as a whole person, not just one organ.

The naturopath who is a trained physician believing in your body’s inherent ability to heal.

The dietician or nutritionist who specializes in a gut healing approach to food and supplements.

The health coach who helps you sort out all your options, gives you ideas to consider regarding IBD healing through food, lifestyle, and mindset and then supports you unconditionally when you choose your own path to healing.


Which are you going to call on first?

Check out the links in the show notes to help you get started and remember that all of these providers can work as a team to help you heal. You may have a functional medicine doctor and a nutritionist. Or you mind have an integrative medicine provider and a health coach. Find the best combination that works for you.

I’ll leave you with this—we all need a gastro—they are another valuable member of our team. You might be an IBD gal who relies on your biologic or your immunosuppressive therapy. But it doesn’t have to be the end all be all for you. I’ll argue that if you just rely on that, you are missing out on so much that life has to offer.

We’ve got to grab your IBD at the root and give a good shake to truly find lasting healing and lasting peace. These types of providers can help you get there.

In this now three-part series, we’ve tackled what got you here in the first place. It may have seemed weird for us to start there, we’re talking about IBD treatment! But trust me, you can’t move forward with treatment effectively until you know how you got to where you are today. The 3-legged stool.

In Part II, we talked about the providers you’ll want to seek out to become your partners on this transformative journey. Next up, getting released this coming Monday, it’s time for Part III it’s the last part of the equation. The 9 possible root causes you’ll want to bring to the attention of these providers when you reach out. Do you have all 9? The chances are crazy slim. I’m willing to bet that. In my experience with my clients, most people with autoimmunity and IBD have anywhere from 3-5 root causes. Next episode, I’ll go over the nine with you and help you figure out which are playing the biggest impact in your life. I’ll also give you some general guidelines on how you can begin to tackle some of those big root cause challenges. That way you’ll be well on your way when you seek out a provider who can help you clear it all out—all of those roots.


I’ll see you Monday. Don’t forget, that’s when I’m also releasing your Moving Beyond Medicine Provider Directory. The one with Crohn’s and colitis tested providers who are ready to help you get started. Can’t wait for that. You’re going to love it! Be sure to download and listen to Episode 91 to get your hands on that.

Until me meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey.

Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine {Part I}

Have you ever wondered, why me?

Why was I diagnosed with Crohn’s? Why am I saddled with colitis?

Of course you have. We all say, “why me” from time to time. It’s completely natural. Most of the time, we mean it in a WHY ME kind of way. Putting it out to the universe because there’s no real answer to this question.

But what if you really asked why? What if you actually knew the why behind your IBD? Imagine what knowing why you get this illness would do for how you treat you it—at the root cause level.

Today, we are going deep my friend. We are taking it to the root, to the why behind your IBD so you can use this information to create a personalized healing plan tailored for just you.

Are you ready for a big, bold, episode? Fasten your seat belt and get ready for some big revelations.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 For all the gifts your doctor has, why they may not be the best teacher of root cause medicine

🌿 What IBD and a 3-legged stool have in common (turns out, alot)

🌿  Why knowing what’s at the root of your Crohn’s or colitis is the key to unlocking your personalized IBD freedom plan

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode 31: You’ve Got IBD, Will Your Kids Get it Too?

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine {Part I}

Have you ever wondered, why me? Why was I diagnosed with Crohn’s? Why am I saddled with colitis? Of course you have. We all say, “why me” from time to time. It’s completely natural. Most of the time, we mean it in a WHY ME kind of way. Putting it out to the universe because there’s no real answer to this question. But what if you really asked why? What if you actually knew the why behind your IBD? Imagine what knowing why you get this illness would do for how you treat you it—at the root cause level.

Today, we are going deep my friend. We are taking it to the root, to the why behind your IBD so you can use this information to create a personalized healing plan tailored for just you.

Are you ready for a big, bold, episode? Fasten your seat belt and get ready for some big revelations.


Hey there, Karyn here with you on The Cheeky Podcast and it’s time we have a good, juicy chat. Get your cup of tea, coffee if you must (I’ve got some lemon lavender mint and a candle by my side). Let’s take a deep collective breath, and let it out, get centered, grounded, and feel open to learn everything you can about why IBD came knocking on your door.

Our conversation today has to start with a disclaimer to your doctor. Thank God for gastroenterologists. After all their academic smarts (cause let’s face it, you have to be smart to get into medical school) and then getting through medical school, and then specializing in gastroenterology, hopefully getting board certified even, they have the medical and scientific knowledge to help us treat our Crohn’s and colitis with state of the art medications when everything else has failed and we just can’t get out that nasty a flare up.

Thank God for colorectal surgeons who are just as smart as gastroenterologists, and again went through all the medical school rigor, board certifications, and have to remain steady and clear headed as they perform intricate and complicated bowel surgeries so we can function in life again.

We need medical professionals like this in our life when we have IBD. I always tell my clients, make sure you keep ties with a qualified gastro (a surgeon if you have stricturing disease or massive colon involvement) because you never know when you’re going to need them.


But the problem with always focusing on what the gastro gives you as treatment options and on that type of treatment regime, the medication only approach is that:

#1 It discounts so many other ways available to us to heal our digestive tract—ways that don’t include risks like a suppressed immune system or lymphoma.

#2 It doesn’t take into account that Crohn’s and colitis are highly impacted by the food we put into our body.

#3 Our IBD, it doesn’t ever really heal. Instead, it covers it up. It’s like when you know have friends over and you shove all the crap laying around your house into a nearby closet and hope know one looks in there. Your Crohn’s and colitis, it’s still there. It’s just not initially seen at a first glance.

And again, I am so grateful for medication for IBD, but in this time, in this day and age, with so much additional information at our fingertips, if you are not pairing your medication with more natural, more root cause approaches, if you’re not looking for ways to spend significant amounts of time away from your medication only approach, you are really missing the boat on what it is to truly find freedom from this devastating illness. Freedom that can give you your life back. And you, dear one, deserve to get your life back. You deserve it. And your family deserves to have all of you well.

Freedom from IBD is a beautiful thing!

So, when we are talking about Crohn’s and colitis, and other ways to find impactful healing, you’ve most likely heard about approaches other than medicine. If you’re a Cheeky Podcast regular, you definitely have heard about other ways to heal that use food, or supplements, or lifestyle tools like finding ways to managing the stress in your life.


But why do approaches like these work and why should you try them? Today, I want to take you back just a little bit, and go a bit deeper with you to help you truly understand the “how” and the “why” behind  natural, root cause medicine because it’s one thing to practice it—to go on that gut healing diet (gluten free, dairy free, SCD, autoimmune paleo…), it’s one thing to take the supplements you see touted on the internet as something that helps IBD (maybe vitamin D, turmeric, or gut repair powders…), but it’s a whole other thing to really, at a deep level, get the how and the why behind natural approaches like this.

Knowing why these approaches work can help you tailor them to best suite your needs and help the approaches you pick work best for you. It’s so important that you don’t just go out and try that diet or supplement everyone is talking about because when you don’t understand your own make up and what you try doesn’t work, you think—“Oh, everyone is wrong. Natural remedies don’t work.” Or you think, “What’s wrong with me? Why do things like this work for everyone else but not me?”


You see, IBD mamas who really get the why’s and the how’s behind a more natural way of healing, now those are the mamas who know so much about their body, what works for it and what doesn’t, that they become unstoppable.

To get this conversation started, we need to remember that Crohn’s and colitis are autoimmune diseases—diseases where for some reason, the immune system begins to attack itself. Lots of people in the world suffer with some sort of autoimmunity. Almost 4% of the world’s population has one of 80 known autoimmune conditions. And according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, as many as 50 million Americans are living with an autoimmune disease. 50 million! And the cost of treating it in America alone is $86 billion dollars a year. A year!

Many don’t even know they have autoimmunity. They know that they don’t feel well, but they don’t know why. They rush from doctor to doctor, never getting a proper diagnosis. Often times being told that if they just calmed down, if they just got over their anxiety or their stress, and often if feels like we are getting a verbal a pat on the head by the doctor about being “good girl” and maybe the problem will go away. You may have been in that place yourself, maybe even for a long time before getting the diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Well, at least after all the crazy, wanting to pull your hair out moments, at least we know what autoimmune disease we have. We know we have Crohn’s or colitis or maybe both. And I should say, at least we know one of our autoimmune conditions because if you know anything about how autoimmunity works, you know that autoimmunity likes to travel in multiples. It’s not uncommon for IBDer’s to also have other autoimmune conditions like thyroid disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on.

To really become a bad ass IBD mama, to really take control of your own healing destiny, it’s time that you got a behind the scenes look at your autoimmunity and what’s causing your IBD. That’s actually the place where root cause healing begins to take shape. When we want to move beyond medicine to help treat our symptoms at the root level, we start there, in the why and the how, with what’s created all this gut chaos in the first place.

The really cool thing about autoimmunity is that in the last 10-15 years is that the research has exploded. So much more is known about why we get Crohn’s and colitis than ever before. I remember 35 years ago when I was first diagnosed, no one knew anything. Literally I remember my doctor telling me, this is what you have, and we have no idea why it happens. But in your lifetime he said, I bet we figure it out and I bet we find a cure. Now, finally, the research is coming in droves.

Unfortunately, the phenomenal research that’s coming out hasn’t changed the way doctors treat IBD yet. Did you know that when new research comes out, the kind that can be replicated and really put to unbiased rigor to test it out, it often takes about 20 years from that point to put those new ideas into practice by doctors. Talk about a trickle-down effect. It’s like a clogged faucet, coming out in 1 drip every 7 days. Can you imagine if your shower worked that way? Frustrating, I know. But trust me when I tell you, it is coming. Medical practices and doctors are beginning to catch up with the science. We are getting there.

So what is the research telling us about IBD and about the why’s and the how’s of autoimmunity? What do we know about why this autoimmune disorder is plaguing us? It all has to do with a 3-legged stool. Yep, a 3-legged stool.


Picture a bar stool. It’s round on the top with 3 legs underneath to hold you up as you sit your behind on it. Perfectly balanced, those 3 legs have got you supported. But what would happen if one of those legs broke? Can a 3-legged stool hold you up with 2 supports? With 1 support? Absolutely not. With even just one leg of the stool missing, the stool collapses.

And this is how autoimmunity works. Autoimmunity is like a 3-legged stool. Each leg of the stool represents a factor that greatly contributed to your IBD diagnosis. If we can begin to strengthen even one leg of the stool, we can have profound positive impacts on weakening the strength of this IBD monster. Rebuild two of the legs, even bigger power, and all three, now you’ve made strides that will have a profoundly positive impact on the rest of your life.

Now, you might be thinking, wow Karyn has really put together an amazing analogy here. The 3-legged stool. How insightful of her. But nope, I’m just the messenger. Researchers, scientists, and some doctors have been talking about the 3-legged stool approach to autoimmunity since the early 2000’s. I’m just relaying this information as I understand it best. So many have batted around this idea, but I think it first came from Dr. Alessio Fasano, a researcher, a clinician, and an MD working in the field of digestive disease and autoimmune disorders.

And I want you to really get the why’s and the how’s of the rungs of the autoimmune 3-legged stool so you can start to put the puzzle pieces of your own illness together. What are your main culprits, your main factors? They are different for all of us, but knowing yours will help you begin to formulate the best root cause (get IBD at its roots and rip them out) treatment plan for you.


So what are the legs of this autoimmunity stool? The three legs are:

  1. Genetics
  2. The Microbiome/Intestinal Permeability
  3. The Stressor

One more time, it’s genetics: your DNA, your gene expression that you were given at birth. It’s the health and the strength of your microbiome: the trillions of bugs that inhabit our digestive tract and determine if you are healthy or in gut dysbiosis. And #3, it’s the stressor, the trigger that causes everything to collapse.

OK, so now you know what each leg of the autoimmunity stool represents. Let’s dive in just a bit deeper here so you can begin to put your own why’s and how’s, and ultimately your own root cause treatment plan together.

We’ll start with genetics. Your DNA. This is what is given to you at birth, and you can’t change it right? It’s just who you are destined to be. If Crohn’s or colitis is in your make up, you’re screwed. Well, if you’ve heard anything at all about an emerging field of research called epigenetics, you know that what we learned as kids is about our genes being unflinching is dead wrong. In fact, our genes aren’t as stable as we once thought. They may actually be more malleable, and this is great news for those of us with IBD—those of us who’s genes predestined us to this disease.

Epigenetics says that just because your parent(s) gives you a gene for autoimmunity or cancer or Alzheimer’s (fill in your disease of choice) doesn’t mean we will get it. How mind blowing is that? We have the power to change our genes for the better—or the worse, depending on the choices we make in life, and depending on our life factors—ones we have control over and ones we don’t.

The Human Genome Project has been looking into our DNA and has concluded that we have the power to turn on gene expression and turn off gene expression. This is the work of the field of epigenetics. Fascinating right? Is it just my nerd brain exploding here? It’s pretty cool, right?


So, what does this information mean for you?

It means that just as your genes played a role in contracting IBD in the first place, they can also play a role in your root cause healing. It means that you may not be doomed to a life of nothing but sickness for the rest of your life.

That’s very encouraging, isn’t it?

At the cellular level, we can make positive change happen. When we remove the source of the damage, we give the tissue time to heal, we restore energy to your cells so that immune function can get back on track and as a result inflammation can heal, we are literally changing our genetic make-up.

We’ll get into more specific ideas on what some options might be for you to consider and how this can be accomplished in Part II of our Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine series, but for today, just revel in the fact that epigenetics is a thing and the genetics part of your autoimmunity stool has the power to become strong again.

One last note I have about this whole topic—genes and epigenetics—I don’t know about you, but for me, when I talk about having IBD and I know there’s a gene link, it always makes me think about my kids. Does it do that for you?

While raising my kids, knowing IBD has been such a huge factor in my life, knowing that my kids don’t have to be destined to a life of IBD, I always think about what I can do to make sure this insidious illness doesn’t take over their body. If this topic makes your mind go there as well, go check out Episode 31 of the podcast: You’ve Got IBD. Will Your Kids Get it Too? It’s got some great ideas for you to give your kids the best start and maybe even have an impact on their genes too. I’ll leave a link in the show notes.

OK, we talked about the first leg in our 3-legged stool of autoimmunity. Are the wheels turning for you about how your genetic makeup may have played a role in developing this illness, but also how you have the power to say, “No. This is where I am, but this does not mean this is where I’ll always be.”

Powerful stuff.


Now let’s talk about the second leg of your stool, the microbiome and possibility intestinal permeability. So we know all about the microbiome. It’s a hot research commodity, I’ll tell you that. Lots of studies are being conducted about the health of the microbiome and how it plays in the diagnosis of Crohn’s and colitis. I’m so thankful for this because I think it’s the start of scientists finding a cure.

What we know about the microbiome is that it plays a vital role in all of the organs, systems, and pathways in our body. It plays an especially big role in how our digestive system operates. A healthy microbiome with a diverse range of bacteria leads to a healthy gut and that filters into other areas of our body too. But an unhealthy, unbalanced gut bug ratio, now that leads to an imbalance of bacteria and this state of imbalance leads to chinks in our immune function. And in the case of IBD, the immune system begins to attack itself.

We often think of our gut bugs as just a part of our gut, but the bacteria of your gut will have a huge impact on many functions of your body.

Once the immune system begins attacking itself, inflammatory pathways begin to light up because the immune system regulates inflammation.  See how the microbiome, our immune system, and our inflammation are all intricately related? As our immune system begins to wage war against itself, our inflammatory pathways turn on and begin to wreak havoc on our digest system. The perfect IBD storm and it can all be traced by to the balance of your microbiome.

Now the same doctor who first started talking about this 3-legged stool analogy for autoimmune disease, Dr. Alessio Fasano, is the same man who also was the first to bring up the idea of intestinal permeability or leaky gut. And we just cannot talk about the microbiome, about IBD, and not mention leaky gut.

If you’re really familiar with this topic, bear with me for just a sec because it’s important we are all on the same page when we’re talking about leaky gut. And of course, a refresher is always good too. Leaky gut starts with the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. The barrier between what goes into our bloodstream and what stays in the digestive tract. The mucosal lining of the gut is what we call, semi-permeable. Some things pass through and some stay out. We want the nutrients in our food and water to pass through, but we don’t want large food particles or other foreign substances getting in.

When autoimmunity strikes, our bacterial system can be out of balance, so our intestine becomes inflamed, and it’s not unusual for the tight junctions of the mucosal lining to open wider so that food particles and toxins breech the barrier and enter the bloodstream. This is what is coined as intestinal permeability or leaky gut.

Now, just because you have IBD doesn’t mean you have leaky gut, but many do and it can lead to other autoimmune diseases, food sensitivities, hormone challenges, metabolic disorders… you name it. And all of it started with the second leg of your autoimmune stool—your microbiome.

Now again we’ll be getting into some ways you can help your microbiome to restore its balance in the Part II of this series, but I do want to share with you what new emerging research is looking into with gut dysbiosis and balancing the bacteria in your digestive system.

There’s been a great deal of research into probiotics helping in this area. There’s even a specific multi-strain probiotic that’s been shown to have a positive impact for those with IBD. And that’s VSL#3 or Visbiome. These high quality, high dose probiotics have shown in research studies to be very effective in aiding our microbiome to balance out.

But what’s even cooler, is the latest research targeting very specific probiotic strains to help those with IBD to bring their gut dysbiosis back into balance. For example, there’s research showing the positive effects of LA1- lactobacillus acidophilus. It’s been shown specifically to improve intestinal barrier function. So if you have leaky gut, this particular strain can prove beneficial. Another probiotic strain, Bifidobacterium lactis, has been researched and is now associated with lowering colonic inflammation and it’s also been beneficial in regulating T cells in the body. That’s huge because excessive activation of T cells has a large role in the expression of IBD within our body.

That’s just a couple of the specific probiotic strain studies going on. I, for one, hope this research really continues. Using targeted probiotic strains to help each of us individually with the IBD symptoms that plague us most. It would be a huge advancement in IBD root cause treatments.

So, genetics, now the microbiome… are you beginning to put together a picture of how this IBD came about for you? Why do you think your microbiome was malfunctioning? The reason for all of us can be different. For some, it’s diet. For others it can be stress, or hormones, or a virus or parasites… We are born with a microbiome so did the imbalance develop in utero? That could be a factor too. As research continues into this field, keep the health of your microbiome at the top of your mind. We’ll talk about ways you can strengthen it in Part II of this series.


I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Gene expression and your microbiome are one thing, but without the straw that breaks the camel’s back, without the stressor, or as I like to call it, the trigger, we don’t have Crohn’s or colitis.

This could be the reason why you get Crohn’s and your sibling doesn’t. Possibly the genetic makeup is there for both of you, but you got the trigger—lucky you. And often times, in fact most of the time, it’s not just one trigger. But a cascade of triggers, like a rolling snowball, it gets bigger and bigger until it becomes out of control.

Your trigger may be chronic life stress over a period of time. It may be a bacterial or viral illness that favors the gut, like the flu or like food poisoning. It may be a hormonal shift, like starting birth control or giving birth, or less likely but even going through the hormonal shift of menopause—that’s more likely to exacerbate your IBD that create it, but hormone shifts do play a role. Exposure to toxins, and pesticides, other autoimmune conditions… all of these things can be your trigger. The final straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Most of my newly diagnosed IBD clients will tell me, “I felt this brewing for quite a while.” Or “I should have seen this coming.” They saw it coming through the events that were unfolding in their life, in hindsight of course.

When you use this information to start thinking about a more long term, root cause healing approach, think about the role these triggers played in your life to contribute to your diagnosis. And if you are struggling to figure out your trigger or triggers, get in touch. I’m happy to help process this with you. We’ll get to the heart of it together. You can email me at anytime. That’s what I’m here for.

Part of your IBD treatment plan (besides the medication, besides your diet, besides any supplements you take) should include ways to mitigate this trigger you are experiencing. It may be causing a physical stressor, or an emotional stressor, or a chemical stressor for your body through the toxins you are exposed to (maybe all three)—because if these are not dealt with, I’m telling you straight mama, you will never get the full healing you so desperately desire. The full healing you absolutely deserve.


How is this landing with you? It’s a lot to take in. I told you we were going deep today. And there’s no pressure to have it all figured out right now. Today, is just about getting a sense of what’s been contributing to your illness. How did you get here? It’s not the stuff your doctor typically talks to you about, but you not only have a right to know, like I said at the top of the episode, you need to fully appreciate how you got here, the why behind it all to help you develop your personal root cause treatment plan.

Next week, in Part II, we get into some ideas for what your plan might look like. Keeping in mind your personal 3-legged stool, you can begin to get to the heart of root cause healing. That’s where you’ll start.


So, I know I never do this to you, but this week, you get to be one of my clients. I give them homework and now I’m giving you homework too. Before we chat again next week, do some deep thinking about each leg of your autoimmunity stool: your genetics and even more importantly your epigenetics, your microbiome: What is the state of your gut bugs? Do you have leaky gut? What are your main symptoms right now? And lastly, what were those stressors, those triggers back when you were diagnosed? Are they still a factor in your life? Are there new stressors that have creeped up that are holding your healing back?

Have this information at the ready next week because next week, we are going even deeper to make positive change for your IBD in Part II of Treating IBD: Moving Beyond Medicine. Can’t wait.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey. Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Crohn’s & Colitis Meal Planning in 5 Easy Steps

A lot of the time, as a mom with IBD, we have a general idea of what’s good for our gut and what’s not, but actually making it happen, sticking to the diet we have laid out for ourselves, now that’s a different story.

We have this idea in our head of what healthy looks like, but buying the right food at the grocery store, making it efficient so we don’t end up back at the store every other day, doing it on a budget, finding the time to make this wholesome gut healthy food we bought, figuring out how to get the kids help in the kitchen and fit it in with their hectic schedules and your hectic schedule…

All of it is daunting, so overwhelming, so not-gonna-happen.

If the practicalities of eating gut healthy and meal planning for your Crohn’s and colitis is what is standing in the way of your intestinal healing, this is the episode for you my friend.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

🌿 How many recipes you’ll want to have handy for the most effective meal planning strategy

🌿 The meal planning step you’re missing that’s leading to way too much food waste

🌿  Loads of ideas on how to involve your kids in gut healthy meal planning and prep to take tasks off of your plate (no matter the age of your kids)

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

5 Steps to Meal Planning Cheat Sheet

Your “Find the Best Gut Healing Diet for Me” Episodes

Episode 69: The New Year’s Resolution Every Mom with IBD Needs to Make

Episode 70: Using Whole Foods to Crush Your Crohn’s & Colitis

Episode 71: 2 Diets Tailor-Made for Crohn’s & Colitis: SCD and GAPS

Episode 72: Finding Crohn’s & Colitis Relief with the Autoimmune Paleo Approach

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Crohn’s & Colitis Meal Planning in 5 Easy Steps

A lot of the time, as a mom with IBD, we have a general idea of what’s good for our gut and what’s not, but actually making it happen, sticking to the diet we have laid out for ourselves, now that’s a different story. We have this idea in our head of what healthy looks like, but buying the right food at the grocery store, making it efficient so we don’t end up there every other day and doing it on a budget, finding the time to make this wholesome gut healthy food we bought, figuring out how to get the kids help in the kitchen and fit it in with their hectic schedules and your hectic schedule… all of it is daunting, so overwhelming, so not-gonna-happen.

If the practicalities of eating gut healthy and meal planning for your Crohn’s and colitis is what is standing in the way of your intestinal healing, this is the episode for you my friend.

Let’ get this gut loving party started.


Well, hello dear one. Karyn here with you on another episode of The Cheeky Podcast and it’s an honor to be with you again. It’s soccer tryouts time of year again. If you have kids in fall travel sports, you know what I’m talking about. I really dislike all the drama surrounding it. It seems so unnecessary and I’m looking forward for to it being done. Behind us. But on the upside, Mother’s Day just past and my kids gave me exactly what I needed—the option of rest and relaxation. It was perfect. How about you? I hope your day was filled with love from your kiddos and most of all, and good health.

Now, I’ve got some goodness coming your way today. Some super practical, tactical, actionable steps you can take to jump start the meal planning part of your gut healing foodie life. Like I said in the opening, I see so many mamas who have a general idea of the way they should eat, the foods that work for them and the foods that don’t, but so often getting started with these new foods or finding time to make them—that’s what stands in they’re way.

Now of course, that’s not every mom with Crohn’s and colitis. Some are still trying to figure out. They’re questioning, “What the heck is the best gut healing diet for me?” And if that’s you, don’t worry I’ve got you covered as well. Back in January, I did a series of episodes all about finding the best gut healing diet for your IBD. If you want some help figuring out what gut healing diets are the best options for you, check out Episodes 69, 70, 71, and 72. It’s a really detailed series. One that looks at the best, most researched gut healing diet options and literally walks you step by step as you figure out what works best for you.

So, know that those episodes are waiting for you if you’re in the “what’s the best diet for me” search and you can hear those episodes wherever you get your podcasts or you can also find them in the show notes. I’ll link to them there as well at No matter where you’re at with finding the best gut healing diet for you, one day you are going to need to take the knowledge you’ve gained about what foods work for you and which ones don’t and put those ideas into practice. I wish I could tell you that finding the diet that works best for you is the most challenging part, but it rarely is. The most challenging part is actually making the diet you choose a part of your daily life and a fitting it in with your family life as well.

The practicalities of gut healing, they trip us up every time.

But today, I’m hoping to solve the practicality dilemma for you and show you how to make gut healing eating a habits that are easy, repeatable, and work for your whole family. It’s all about meal planning and I’m going to show you how to do it in 5 easy steps. One last note to share is that I’ve got a cheat sheet for this episode, so if you find yourself writing furiously or you want a reminder, go ahead and download my Crohn’s & Colitis Meal Planning in 5 East Steps Cheat Sheet. Keep it as a resource as you are starting out on this path. And you can get your 5 Steps to Meal Planning Cheat Sheet at

Shall we dive in? Let’s go for it.

OK, Step 1 in meal planning with your gut health in mind is all about having the right gut healing recipes on hand.

Step 1: The Recipe Hunt

Many people think that meal planning starts with sitting down and planning the meals for the week, but planning your meals for the week is going to take extra long if you don’t have recipes and meal ideas at your fingertips. So, instead of starting with planning the menus for the week, we take one small backstep that will lead you into a giant leap of a time savings with Step 1: The Recipe Hunt. And the recipe hunt is exactly what it sounds like—a hunt for your recipes.

What are your go-to meals?

What are your favorite foods?

How about your kid’s favorite foods?

What foods seem to work best with your sensitive gut?

Write these down first—just make some preliminary notes.

Now, with this information in mind, it’s time to cast a wider net and turn these thoughts and ideas into recipes.

Go to your favorite cookbooks, family recipes that can be made gut friendly (and let me know if you need help with this because it’s my favorite thing to do), go to one of the many gut healing recipe websites and blogs (A Life of Happenstance, Nom Nom Paleo, The Mediterranean Dish, Wholesome Yum—just to give you a few ideas), go to Pinterest (fantastic for recipes) and pull out, print, write down, put the recipes in an app. Put them in a safe place… all the recipes that appeal to you.

And you’ll want to pay close attention to the 5 ingredient meals, 30-minute meals, sheet pan meals, instant pot and crock pot meals… these are the easiest to make on a busy weeknight. The gourmet meals and the longer prep time meals are great, for when you have extra time or want an extra special dinner for a birthday or a holiday, but for everyday meal planning, focus on easy.

I have all my favorites in a recipe binder the I created. In fact, I think I have 2 or 3 at this point. I like things I can touch and feel, and spill sauces on ;  ) So this works for me, but pick whatever method works for you. If this is your first time collecting recipes, finding ten would be an amazing B+ mom start. If you already have a few, then maybe shoot for about 20 total.

I’ve been recipe collecting to help me with meal planning for years now so I think I’ve accumulated about 100 go-to recipes, but that’s actually too many. 20-30 tops is all you ever need to put on rotation so you’re not feeling like you’re eating the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.

Want a “Do it Like a Mom” BONUS TIP: At some point, when your collection starts to free up your meal planning time, start to categorize your recipes. You don’t need to do this at first. The important thing at first is to just do enough to take action. Later, meal planning can become much more streamlined this way. Soups, desserts, main meals, breakfast, etc… You’ll be so happy that you have this type of system in place.

Step 2: What’s Already in the House?

How many times have you gone to the grocery store and came home to put items away and found…one cucumber, two cucumber… “Huh? I forgot that was there!” We all do this. We forget what we already have in our house and stock up on too much, especially the perishables. Not it’s not the biggest deal to stock up on too many frozen carrots or another jar of ketchup, but fruit and veg that goes bad quickly—especially if you buy organic—not a good thing.

So do a quick once over before you even think about what you’ll be making for the week. See what you’ve got. See what you need.

Pantry, refrigerator, counter… When you first start doing this, it can seem a little daunting, but I promise you. You’ll get better at looking around to see what you’ve already got when you do this a couple times. It will become a very quick process.

Taking a peek to see what you already have means less food waste, but it also serves a second purpose. When you take a look at what you already have in your house before you make a grocery list, before you even decide on what to make for the week, you can plan your recipes accordingly. Do you have a lot of zucchinis in the refrigerator? Time for some zucchini boats or zoodles. Lettuce that’s getting on the older side? Plan for a cobb salad or a grilled chicken Caesar salad night. These are just ideas of course, but we all have food in our pantry or refrigerator that’s just waiting for a meal to be planned around it. Looking around before you decide what you’ll be eating for the week is always the best way to make gut healthy meal planning easy.

Want another “Do it Like a Mom” BONUS TIP: What foods can you combine to make 2 meals? Now we’re talking! You can make a roast one night and soup with the leftover meat and bones or you could do fish one night and fish sticks another night later in the week… now you are cooking with gas as mom always like to say.

Step 3: What’s on the Calendar?

Now that you’ve done a little bit of prep work, you have some recipes on hand, and you know what’s in the house so you don’t buy double to reduce food waste, it’s time to plan what you’ll be eating each night of the week. The best way to do this is to know what’s on the calendar for this week before you make your grocery list.

I like to plan for a week at a time. It’s manageable, it’s not too overwhelming like planning for two weeks or a month. It’s not too “fly by the seat of your pants” where you then end up at the grocery store daily… one week is enough to keep you on track.

So, your about to make a grocery list. What’s on tap for you and the kids for the week? My job has some night hours, so does my hubby’s, so I always keep that in mind when I’m deciding what to eat and when. Maybe you need to take this into account as well. How about the kids’ activities? Johnny has soccer on Tuesday nights, Katie has dance on Fridays… Think about all your evenings for the week. How will that affect how much time you have to make dinner?

If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge fan of kids learning to cook at a young age. Every kid, boy, girl, it doesn’t matter—every kid needs to learn how to cook. It’s probably one of the best skills your kid can leave the house knowing. And when your kids know how to cook, that can be considered into your weekly schedule as well, because they can help make dinner at least one night of the week.

In my house, we’ve had different incantations of this over the years. We used to do “Make it Mondays,” where each of my kids took turns making the meal for that day of the week. They got to go through my recipe list or the internet or cookbooks and pick out whatever they wanted (appetizer to dessert) then they were in charge of making it. That was fun.

Right now, we get the kids involved in meal planning, mostly with my youngest. He takes an online cooking class through Outschool. Are you familiar with that platform? It’s full of awesome online learning experiences for kids with every class you can imagine. Anyway, he takes a cooking class on Outschool every Tuesday. In class, he makes dinner for the whole family and it gives me and my hubby a break from cooking once a week. Shish kebabs, flank steak, salmon, pasta dishes… he’s made it all. We’re not talking kiddie food here. He even substitutes out some ingredients to make it more gut healthy like using honey instead of sugar or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to stay away from gluten. His teacher is really helpful with food sensitivity substitutions.

He started this particular cooking class when he was ten, but there’s cooking classes on Outschool for kids that are even younger than that. Our kids are so much more capable in the kitchen than we give them credit for. And it’s best if we start them at a young age—right beside us as we chop, and measure, mix and whisk. Even the littlest tyke can help with making breakfast or lunch and grow into making dinner for the whole family.

A little digression from “What’s on the calendar for the week,” but if you find a way to make this tip work for your own family, you’ll take your kids planning a meal into account when you are planning your meals for the week. I always know that on Tuesday, dinner will be planned. All I have to do is print out the recipe and add it to the grocery list. Dinner served.

Plan your meals for the week keeping in mind where everyone will be at dinner time and who’s making the meal. It helps your meals go smoother during the week and it also helps everyone to eat healthier too because we all know that when we plan what we’ll be eating in advance, we always make it healthier.  

We rarely say to ourselves on Sunday, “I can’t wait to get a Big Mac on Thursday.” It just happens when we fail to plan.

And are you ready for another “Do it Like a Mom” BONUS TIP? Having a busy night doesn’t mean it’s a takeout night. Don’t shy away from home-cooked meals, even on busy nights. That’s the perfect night for the Instant Pot, the crockpot, sheet pan dinners where everything gets baked in one pan, or a leftovers night. Busy nights are what trips up many of the best intentioned gut loving mamas. Don’t let it derail you. Plan the nights you are eating out in advance when you plan your week and try your best so stick to it. Meal planning with this five-step method will really you stay focused and on track here.

OK, it’s time for Step 4 as you meal plan in five easy steps.

Step 4: Grocery List & Shop

In steps 1-3, you’ve done a lot of background work. You’ve set the stage for an easy peasy Step 4: Making your grocery list and going shopping. With all the time saving information you’ve gathered, it’s time to take some action.

Now I know the actual making of the grocery list can take so much time for some. Writing down each item you want individually. But also, so many moms have gotten away from that tedious task and I hope you have too.

If you really like a paper shopping list, one you can hold in your hand, and I have lots of clients that do, that’s OK. Just be sure it’s a pre-printed list of the things you normally buy. And that the list is separated by categories in order of the way you shop at the grocery store. That way you can follow it along in order as you go through the store. On grocery shopping day, all you have to do is circle your items or put a check mark next to what you need. Super time saving.

If you’ve never done a list like this before, it may take a little time to set it up on your computer, but it’s so worth it. You will love the easy breezy way you can make your list and shop at the grocery store when it’s all organized. Plus, you’ll be less apt to buy impulse items as well with a list that’s so structured.

Another way to rock step 4 (the grocery shopping step) is to buy in bulk. It saves time and it saves you money. Most grocery stores have bulk sections these days and it’s a great place to stock up on everything from nuts, to grains, to dried fruit, canned goods, salad dressings, paper towels… even fruit and veggies for those who are buying for big families. Buying in bulk whether it’s at your local grocery store or a discount bulk superstore like Costco or Sam’s can be an integral part of your meal planning process.

When you’re at the grocery store, you want most of the items in your shopping cart to come from the perimeter of the grocery store. We all know, this is where the healthy food lives. No cans, boxes, or packaged food on the perimeter. If you find yourself always in the middle of the aisles, it’s time to take stock of how gut healthy the food your bringing into your home is. Gut healthy food is about whole, fresh food. And of course, we are striving for B+ mom effort here so do the best you can.

One last way to simplify and streamline your grocery list and grocery shopping time is to ask yourself, “How can my kids help with this?” The answer to that we really depend on their ages.

Older kids can definitely help you keep track of food that runs out in your home. Keep a list on the frig or somewhere handy and encourage the kids to write down food that’s out or low. Find a day of the week when the kids are in charge of a meal or two. If you’re kids are old enough to drive, they’re old enough to help with the grocery shopping. In my house, I prefer to do the big once a week trip, but you better believe I’ve got those older ones heading to the grocery store for those mid week pick-ups if I have any. They can do it.

Get younger kids involved by helping you pick out items at the grocery store. I know it’s annoying shopping with the kids when they’re little. I certainly had my days where the kids would fight or throw a tantrum. We’ve all been there, but I’m so glad I kept taking them because over time, they learned to actually be helpful.

And when they got old enough, I would send them an isle or two over to find a product. That definitely made the grocery trip go quicker. Do yourself a favor if you have littles, every once in a while you do deserve to go to the grocery store alone, but also find some days when you feel up for it and take them with you. Show them the ropes, and before you know it, they’ll actually be helping you at the grocery store.

Step 4, your grocery list and grocery shopping step also has a “Do it Like a Mom” BONUS TIP: And that tip is to download a “grocery list” app on your phone. The one that I use is called Shopping List is perfect for me. It lets me keep track of multiple stores, it automatically puts my items in my pre-selected categories, and then deletes them as I go through the store. I’ve had it for years, but I was recently looked up grocery list apps for a client and I found that tons more have cropped up. If you don’t have a grocery list app, do a search on your phone and find one that suits your needs. And if you already have one, virtual high fives for you mama. Keep making that app work for you and for your meal planning needs.

OK my friend, you’ve done the recipe hunt, you know what’s in your pantry, you’ve incorporated the family calendar into your planning, you created a user-friendly grocery list (one that’s easily repeatable) and you’ve shopped for your items for the week getting some much deserved help from your kiddos. You are a rock star mama! What’s the last step in easy gut healthy meal planning?  You last step is meal prep.

Step #5: The Meal Prep

And again, you might be sensing a pattern here, but we’re getting the kids involved with meal prep as well. Start your gut healthy for the whole family meal prep from the place of, “How can my kids get involved?” I mentioned Make it Monday. I mentioned my son who takes a cooking class and is in charge of dinner one night of the week. I mentioned getting littles involved in the kitchen, even if it’s just purchasing a kid safe step stool from a company like One Step Ahead to get them used to being with you as you make your meals.

What’s your version of Make it Monday? What have I mentioned today that just sparks some ideas on your part? How can your kids pitch in with the meal prep? Definitely find a way to bring them into the mix. Remember, if you want your kids to eat it, get them in the kitchen making it.

For your part of the meal prep, you’ve got all your ingredients, now we just start putting them together so that the actual making of each meal during the week goes that much quicker. I like to do my grocery list, grocery shopping, and meal prep on Sunday. It doesn’t all have to take place on one day, but certainly having it planned out in advance will save you time and money. And we all want more of that!

Take a look at all your meals for the week. What can you wash, chop, put in containers together for easy weekday cooking? Go for it. I know at first it can seem daunting, but just get started. Even if you have a goal of meal prepping one or two meals a week, that’s a great place to start.

You can meal prep for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you choose to. I would definitely start with dinner at a minimum (even just 1 to 2 meals) to help your busy weeknights go smoother, but if you really get into meal prep, you can do it with all your meals. It’s completely up to you.

The one food of the day I see people forgetting to meal prep and the one that can create a downfall when it comes to gut health is your snacks. Don’t forget to prep for your snacks as well. If you’re doing raw fruit and veg, get some cut up and at the ready. If you’re doing all cooked, cook up some veggies and have them in separate containers in the frig ready for when the hangries hit.

During the week, I love meals that include roasted veggies. So on Sunday, my meal prep dedicated day, I’ll roast a couple sheet pans of veggies to have them ready to go during the week. It makes weeknight meals come together so much faster.

Meal prep is also a good time to freeze your bulk food and perishables you won’t use all of during the week. What can you freeze to help it last longer? Veggies, fruit, beans, breads whether they are gluten or grain free. Freezers were a great invention we’re they? The freezer helps your food last longer. Just take it out as you need it.

And Step 5 wouldn’t be an amazing step if it didn’t have a bonus “Do it Like a Mom” tip would it? Step 5 BONUS TIP: Mason jars were made for meal prep. I’m such a fan. I’ve got mason jars in all shapes and sizes. They go in the pantry, the refrigerator, the freezer. And they are clear and easy to label so you’ll always know what’s in them. Stock up on mason jars to make meal prep work for you.

So, there you have it. Crohn’s and colitis meal planning in 5 easy steps. What do you think? It’s doable, you can make it work for you at your own pace (starting with one step and adding on), and it’s definitely going to help you make that gut healing diet work for you. It will help you make gut healing eating a habit and challenge you to stick to what you’ve planned for you and for your family.

You can do this and of course you know I’m here to help. Reach out if I can help you in the meal planning department at Before we part for today, let me recap those five meal planning steps one last time.


Step 1: The Recipe Hunt (get your recipes together in one place so you don’t have to go searching for them or think of them every week)

Step 2: What’s in Your Pantry? (and your frig and on your counter). No more food waste and use what you’ve got to create what you’ll eat for the week.

Step 3: What’s on the Calendar? (for your kids and for you)

Step 4: Grocery List and Shop (this is the perfect place to get the kids involved)

Step 5: Meal Prep (you can meal prep any and all meals you’ll be eating to make the week go that much smoother)

Remember, if you want all of these steps in one place, if you want a handy dandy cheat sheet, grab my meal planning resource: 5 Steps for IBD Meal Planning. It’s a cheat sheet so it lays everything out in a concise, easy to follow format. You can get all this gut love by going to

Happy meal planning and meal prepping my friend. Trust me, it has the power to be life changing. And if it helps you stay true to your gut healing diet, it’s worth the initial effort to get these steps and organization in place. Because when you have a system, everything falls into place.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey. Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

49 Date Night Ideas That Have Nothing to Do with Food

Think of all the date nights you and your partner have tried to have over the years.

Ones that got interrupted or ruined because after eating, you couldn’t get off the toilet, or you had stomach cramps, or loud belly gurgles, or bloating or you had so much smelly gassy after eating out.

Damn that Crohn’s and colitis!

Date night and spending time together alone is crucial to keep your partnership alive and date night doesn’t have to mean dinner.

Today, I’m going to prove it to you with 49 No-Food Date Night Ideas you are going to swoon over.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • How to plan fun and fabulous date nights where food isn’t the star
  • The daredevil no-food needed date night where my hubby and I met
  • 7 At home no-food date nights you don’t even have to leave the house for

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

49 No-Food Date Night Ideas Checklist

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

49 Date Night Ideas That Have Nothing to Do with Food

OK, so I know I say this all the time. I love this episode. This is my favorite episode. Well, here’s another one I’m just over the moon, crazy about. You are going to love this one. Think of all the date nights you and your partner have tried to have over the years. Ones that got interrupted or ruined because after eating, you couldn’t get off the toilet, or you had stomach cramps, or loud belly gurgles, or bloating or you had so much smelly gassy after eating out.

Damn that Crohn’s and colitis!

Date night and spending time together alone is crucial to keep your partnership alive and date night doesn’t have to mean dinner. Today, I’m going to prove it to you with 49 No-Food Date Night Ideas you are going to swoon over. Yep, 49 fabulous no-food necessary date nights.

Did I mention I love this episode? Here we go!


Well, hello my friend. How are you today? I hope you are feeling well. I’m doing OK. I’m a little bit annoyed because I ate at a restaurant that didn’t agree with me the other day. Such a rookie move and I’m not a rookie, which shows it happens to all of us from time to time. I’ll try to make it through the episode, but that’s the beauty of this medium, it’s not live so I can stop if I need to and then start again. This episode is happening at the perfect time for me, having been burned eating out. I hope it’s happening at the right time for you as well. If you’re listening in REAL time, you know that Mother’s Day is around the corner in the U.S. Happy Mother’s Day my rock star mom friend!

What better gift for you this Mother’s Day than a “no kids” date night with your sweetheart. And on that date night, you don’t need to eat out to have fun. In fact, I would even go out on a limb and say the best dates are ones where no restaurant is involved at all because these dates are more creative, more imaginative, and just more fun.

I gotta give a shout out to my gut loving friend and fellow Gut Love Community member Karyn (and she spells her name with a y too) for giving me the idea for this episode. It’s a juicy one. If you’ve got an idea for an episode, send it my way at I can’t wait to hear what’s on your mind. And dear listener, would you also do me a favor and if you know another mama out there who needs some date night ideas, share this episode with her as well. Just give her the link: OK let’s just dive in, shall we.

In this episode, I’ve divided your 49 No-Food Date Night ideas into seven categories, and we’ll go category by category. The categories are: The Outdoorsy Date, The Adventurous Date, The Intellectual Date, The Traditional Date, The Artsy Date, The Double Date, and The At Home Date. Each one is completely different, and completely doable with no food required. Some dates could have a “bring your own food—the food you know works with your body” option, but that’s completely up to you. You can, if you choose to, do all of these with no food in them whatsoever.

One word of caution about this episode. While it doesn’t need an explicit rating, occasionally, since we’re talking about date night with your special someone, and since it’s date night, I might allude to s-e-x. Nothing is overt or graphic and it’s only a few times. This information will pass right over your little one’s ears, but if you have pre-teens or teens who might be impressionable with this type of information or if they think it’s gross to hear about parents being affectionate and prefer to believe the stork brought them to your door, you may want to listen to this one away from them.

OK, my friend, here’s your No-Food Date Night Ideas category #1: The Outdoorsy Date.


Outdoorsy dates are exactly what they sound like. They take place 100% outdoors so they’re best done when the weather cooperates. But getting outside is very freeing and also grounding so it’s good for our soul, good for our digestive system, and good for your partnership with your loved one.

#1: An open air market or outdoor flea market. Lots of cities have these. It’s one of the great community activities I think. Strolling arm in arm with your beloved, going booth to booth—so much conversation to be brought up. And depending on where you live, outdoor markets love to spring up in the spring and into the summer, so go check one out. Yes, there are food vendors there, but there’s also home décor, jewelry, art, scarves, crafts… all kinds of goodness. I like to buy honey when I see it at a local market. Yes, I know that’s food, but I’m not eating it there. I love chatting with the apiary folks. They are always so knowledgeable about how their honey is made and what to use it for in your cooking and baking depending on the flavor profile. Love that!

#2: How about a drink-nic—like a picnic, but with drinks only. Find a park on a sunny day, bring your blanket, maybe a book and cuddle up with your partner while you are sipping a green juice, a smoothie, a glass of wine, tea, fruit infused sparkling water… whatever is your drink of choice. Yes, you may have to go #1 after all that liquid but hopefully there won’t be a #2 in there as well since there’s no eats involved.

#3: Take a walking tour of your city. Yes, they have them! In America, you can check out your Chamber of Commerce to see who’s scheduling tours. Overseas, I’ve been to tourist information sites. They schedule tours. You just need to do a bit of digging (even online) to find a tour. I bet there’s loads you don’t know about your town or maybe a nearby city to where you live.

#4: Take it to the field with pro or semi-pro baseball, football, soccer, tennis, whatever sport you’re into game or match. If you have a local sports team, it’s so fun to go out and cheer for them. Being at a game vs watching on TV is such an exhilarating experience. Where I grew up in Buffalo NY, we were lucky to have several sports teams—The Bills, The Sabers, and even a minor league baseball team. I recently took my hubby back for a Bills game and we had so much fun! What a great date that was.

#5: How about the beach or the lake? I’m a lake girl myself, and everyone seems to have a favorite (beach/lake), but if you live near any body of water, you’ve got to take advantage of it for a date day out with your special someone.  Take a boat out, go kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing, swimming. The beach or the lake is just so relaxing—something you need and deserve mama.

#6: If you’re looking for something chill and outdoors, there’s nothing better than a nature walk. The fall leaves, the spring flowers, the sunshine, the snow in the winter… We can all find a season to get out in nature. Again, this date night idea is fantastic because #1: no food, but also #2: there something about communing with nature that lets you let go of all your troubles for the moment. And if you don’t feel great, this is the perfect activity because it’s leisurely and slow and you set the pace.

#7: If you’re up for potentially a more strenuous date that’s outdoors, how about going for a hike? And strenuous is all relative here. Some hikes are on flat ground, while others involve lots of steep inclines. Some hikes are 10 miles long, while others top out at a half a mile. There’s a hike with you and your partners name on it. Go for it!

#8: My last outdoorsy no-food date option is to go stargazing. Wherever you live, for most of us, there’s bound to be a time of year when the stars seem to shine just a bit brighter, you can see more of them in the sky. Where I live, summer is the best time to see the stars. Wow, there are so many of them out in the country. We live on a pretty quiet street so my hubby and I will wait until everyone is settled in at night (remember my youngest almost 12 so that helps) but you can get a babysitter for this if you have to and just go stargazing with your mate. We downloaded this app during the pandemic that lets us point our phone at the sky. It points out constellations, planets, even the international space station as it orbits… it is so cool. It’s called SkyView Lite (absolutely free) and it makes night strolls extra special. A little romance and education at the same time. If you don’t have unobstructed views of the stars where you live, there’s no reason why you can’t go to an open air park or even go parking in your car. Ooohh, parking, and you’re not even a teenager anymore!

Real quick, before we go on to The Adventure Date, I have to ask you. Were you writing all that down or trying to type in your notes app—which I know can be tough to do because when I get excited about a topic I tend to talk fast—no need to write furiously with all these ideas because today, I’m giving you everything we’re talking about in a handy dandy checklist. It goes category by category, in a simplified form, everything we’re talking about today. If you feel like the checklist actually would help you while you are listening (maybe you want to make notes on it), go ahead and hit pause, download the your checklist and come right back or you can get it after the show. I promise to remind you at the end as well. Your 49 No-Food Date Night Ideas Checklist is waiting for you at


Are you ready for an adventure? Sometimes we need to shake up our dating life. Add some pizazz, something different. Adventure dates bring out the wild side in you. Let’s see if any of these adventure dates call your name.

Our first adventure date is a car adventure with a goal in mind. So not mindless driving, but driving with a purpose and you and your spouse get to pick the purpose. Like a driving date to see a covered bridge, or an abandon railroad track, or a hidden waterfall. You can even make a list of all the adventure spots in your community and make it a multi-day date plan. One of my friends who lives in Pennsylvania made a list of all the covered bridges in the state and she and her husband take date trips to each of them. I think they’re almost done with their list. How cool is that?

Another adventure date involves dusting off that bicycle you probably keep meaning to break out. Take a leisurely bike ride for your date, or if you are really adventurous, go mountain biking with your mate. I have another friend where she and her hubby have a tandem bike—you know the kind of bike that has two seats for two riders. I love hearing about all the adventures they’ve taken together on their tandem bike. Sounds romantic… and adventurous!

An adventure date that’s a classic is the day trip. Find a fun location about an hour away, maybe up to 3 hours, and make a day of it in a new town. Look at shops, stop for some tea or coffee, strolling around… You can even pack a lunch with foods you know agree with you.

An adventure date that’s sure to be thrilling is a trip to your local ice staking rink (inside or outdoors in the winter). Lots of towns have them. And if you’re a newbie ice skater, there’ll be lots of snuggle time as you hold each other up and try to stay upright. And then, tend to each other’s bruises when you get home. Not that I’m speaking from experience.

Alright, this one’s for you adventure mama. A rock climbing date. You can choose a real rock if you are really daring or have your adventure date at a local indoor gym. Lots of towns have indoor options with climbing walls for all skill levels.

Now for the mega adventurer in you, how about a skydiving date, with a reputable company of course. You might be surprised to hear this, but my hubby and I met while skydiving. No, neither of us had been before. But my husband was friends with my brother and he’s the one who invited us both to go skydiving. What a thrilling and bonding experience. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Let’s move on to an adventure that’s a bit tamer like a date to go to an exercise or a hot yoga class together. Super bonding, no-food, and with all the sweat you’re building up, you might just need a date night shower together after.

One of my favorite adventure dates that my hubby and on go on regularly is the spa date. He might get embarrassed that I’m telling you this, but he doesn’t listen to the podcast much anyway, so I’ll share with you that we love to go get pedicures together. We sit next to each other while we foot soak our troubles away. I get polish, he gets a leg massage. It’s always fun. We also will do get-away spa days together where we go to a retreat spa for a couples massage, maybe a wrap or other treatment. Very romantic, very stress relieving, and of course, no food required.

OK, maybe this next adventure date isn’t the most romantic, but it’s definitely bonding. How about volunteering together? Your local homeless shelter, serving food at a soup kitchen, doing a town clean up, volunteering with underprivileged youth. It might not feel “date worthy” but it will create a feeling that you are both giving back, together. And that creates a closeness like nothing else in the world.

It’s time for an adventure date your kids will want to get in on, but you’re going to say, go preceded by a no for a no-go. Have your date at an amusement park. Just go without the kids. Let the kid in your out as you ride the rides, see the shows, with no kids to look after. Just a carefree fun, adventurous day. I’m a huge fan of amusement parks and my hubby and I have been to many. And since this might be an all day adventure date, I’ll check out the park’s website or give them a call. Most have rules about whether you can bring your own food in, but they never say no to someone with true food challenges. Not once have I had a problem when I took care of this ahead of time. Yes, this one technically breaks the no-food rule, but if you bring your own food, the food you know you can eat and stay feeling well, I think we need to include it.

Our last adventure date is for the sporty adventurer in you. How about you and your mate join a rec league for your favorite sport. Nothing highly competitive, unless that’s your jam. Just something fun that’s co-ed and you can do together on a regular basis. Planned in advance, no-food dates like this rock because it’s not something that takes lots of effort. It’s on the calendar already so you will make it happen.

Ok, let’s move on to our next category—category #3. The Intellectual Date.


Some dates are just more cerebral than others. A good combo of outdoors, adventure, artsy, double dates, some intellectual dates is the is the way to keep your dating life fresh and fun and spicy. Planning a no-food intellectual date can be romantic and educational. It’s not for everyone, but I love a date that sparks my intellect and I bet you do too.

First up in the intellectual date night idea is bookstore browsing. I am a total book nerd and I love bookstore browsing. My hubby and I will go our separate ways, peruse, find some book  options and then meet together at a corner table or the bookstore café (with just tea or coffee—no food) and tell each other about what we found. Sometimes we find common ground and other times I’ll say, oh you’ll love that because I know my hubby’s taste in books. It’s fun, it’s different, it’s stimulating for the mind and the relationship.

Moving on to another intellectual idea for no-food date night, it’s the ongoing a club that meets regularly like a book club or a chess club or any other type of club. Just like the sports club from our adventurous dating ideas, this idea has a regular schedule so you’re more likely to commit. And it’s fun to have a hobby that you share together.

Another intellectual no-food date idea is to go to a museum. Museum of science, a war museum like WWII or a holocaust museum, a Native American museum, a museum of natural history, an art museum. Basically, any museum that’s not dedicated to children because we get enough of that in our mom life.

Another idea. How about going to a lecture. Some topic or speaker with ideas that engage you. Did you know that Ted-X talks are available in multiple locations in every state in America? Check out their website and see what’s coming your way. How about an author or public figure who’s touring and talking about their philosophies? Even college campuses have lecture series. These types of talks are so fascinating and always good date night conversation starters.

For the poetry lover, a good no-food intellectual date night might be going to a poetry reading. You’ll hear about these coming up at local coffee shops, newspapers, health food stores, on college campuses. Sure, some of the poems can be a little obscure and sometimes quirky, but that’s the fun of it. And if you write your own poetry, why not get up and recite some one of your creations.

One last no-food intellectual date night idea you may want to consider is an author signing at a book shop. If a book where you or your partner love the author is coming out, see if you can find out where a book signing is taking place. They usually happen in bigger cities so it will be easy to find if you live in one, but even if you don’t, sometimes the authors make their way to the smaller locations as well. You never know. Fun no-food date and a keepsake that will always remind you of your time together.

No-Food Date Night Category #4 is the traditional date.


Some of the dates we’ve talked about up until now can require a little outside the box thinking. Sometimes, all you want is a date that’s easy, traditional, no-fuss and involves little planning. That’s where the no-food traditional date night comes in handy.

Your first date night idea in this category can’t get any more traditional.  It’s going to a movie, only you skip the way overpriced, way unhealthy snacks available for purchase (trust me, you aren’t missing anything) and instead eat before you go or bring your “I know I can eat these because they have worked before” own snacks. I won’t tell if you won’t.

Your next traditional no-food date idea is to hang out at a tea or coffee shop, and you get extra points if it’s got character and charm. A local hangout, not one of those chain coffee shops… Starbucks. Easy peasy. Nothing to plan. Just some good old fashioned, hang out time with your spouse.

How about the Planetarium? I couldn’t believe it when I found out about a year ago that my little town has its own planetarium. Who knew? Yours might too and nothing is more romantic than looking at the stars with the one you love.

Another traditional idea– go clothes shopping and pick out outfits for each other. If your partner is like mine, they hate going clothes shopping for themselves, but if you go together and help them pick out something you love, now they might be into it. It’s a simple date, but my hubby and I do this at least once a year and we always have fun when we do it.

Our last traditional no-food date night for your consideration is another shopping date. Only this time, it’s about home décor shopping to upgrade a room in your house. For most, this won’t be a regular date. It’s more of a “take advantage of it when it’s time to upgrade” type of thing. My hubby and I have been in our home for almost 13 years now so we’ve been redoing things here and there. We always have so much more fun shopping at Lowe’s or Home Depot, or local home décor shops sans kids. We can take our time, bounce ideas off each other, and connect over a fun home improvement project.

OK, it’s time for another No-Food Date Night category– #5: The Artsy Date.


Do you appreciate the arts? Music, dancing, singing, painting… anything creative? If you do, you’ll love this next no-food date night category— the artsy date.

Go to a play or a musical. Now I am super biased here. I grew up doing musical theater. I love it, but I get that not everyone does. This may not be the date night idea for you. But the other thing I know is that even if you are not a “break out into song” music lover like me, there are plays that are really moving, or funny, or entertaining. Think of it like a live action movie. Be open here and you will find a play genre you both are into.

Another artsy idea for a no-food date night– go to a pottery studio and make something together. Pottery studios where you go and build your own creation have popped up in almost every city in America. You don’t have to be an artist to have a good time. I truly am appalling when it comes to pottery, but I still have fun and love the bonding time it creates for me and my mate. Plus, when we’re done, we get to take home our creation and display it so we always look at it and smile thinking back on our date.

Is there a budding singing sensation dying to come out in you? Karaoke date night is waiting for you. Get up and sing badly with your partner, sing an adorable duet. I’ve heard Endless Love and Ed Sheeran and Beyonce’s Perfect are popular karaoke duets. Or if you’ve got the pipes, do it solo. Can you imagine the love that will be pouring out of your partners eyes as they listen to you sing. Oh, so fun. Awkward and intimidating, sure. But fun, yes!

If you like music, but you’re not a singer, there’s nothing better for a no-food artsy date night than going to a concert, seeing a live band or even heading out to a music festival. Live music is good for the soul so it’s absolutely good for your relationship.

Ready for an evening full of laughs? Oh, laughter is so good for your gut health and your whole body. Go see a comedian. You know what they say. The couple that laughs together, stays together. Do they say that? Well, they should.

Next up, sing us the song you’re the piano man… check out a piano bar. Live piano music, dualling pianos, sing alongs with the audience? I’m there. Fun, no pressure to perform, and you don’t have to eat to have a good time.

For the serious arteest in you, the ballet is the date night option of choice. Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker… I’m a huge fan. My hubby not so much, but every so often I’ll drag him to a ballet and he almost enjoys it. That is if he doesn’t fall asleep. Kidding, mostly. But date night is about compromise and one ballet for me might equal and outdoorsy, adventure date for him. It all evens out.

Last up on our list of artsy date nights is taking a painting class together. Some galleries even offer date night painting sessions. Look in your local area for options. And again, you don’t have to be a painter to enjoy the class. Stick figures are my jam. You can keep your creation and get a good laugh out of it remember how much fun the two of you had on your no-food date night.

Next up is category #6 in our No-Food Date Night tour—The Double Date.


Some dates are just more fun with other couples. Here’s a list of no-food couples date night options for your consideration.

The 80’s called, and they don’t want their roller skates back. Instead, dust them off (or buy new ones—I just got some this past Christmas) and go roller skating with friends. No kids allowed. Just couples who are ready to have fun, laugh at themselves, and maybe fall on their bum a few times.

Date night bowling is always more fun as a double date. Get another couple or two and go play a few rounds of bowling. You can even put up the bumpers if it helps. No kids allowed on this one either.

Now escape rooms are fun—you know what I’m talking about right? You can “locked” in a room and you have to find your way out with the clues you are given—but they are so much more fun with other people. Date night escape room with other couples or friends is bound to bring out some thrills, some laughs, and some memories you’ll talk about for a long time to come.

Did you know that many towns in America (and overseas) have nighttime ghost tours? Heck they’re probably a whole lot better in other parts of the world because their ghosts have been their longer! But ghost tours (whether you believe in ghosts or not) are a fun no-food date night option and they are always more fun with friends.

Got a whole group of couples or friends looking for adventure. How about signing up for an adults only paintball experience. It isn’t just for kids, grown ups love getting out their aggression by shooting paint at each other too. For a little tamer experience, try laser tag instead. Same principle, less pain.

Lastly, our list of no-food double date options wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a couples book club. Maybe you already have a book club, but usually it’s not a partner event. How about asking your club if for one book, you bring in your mates? It will be fun reading the book together with your partner and then discussing it within the club. Of course, the only challenge will be to not talk about the book at home while you’re reading it. Or maybe that could be the fun part.

We’ve made it to our last category of No-Food Date Night Ideas. Category #7 is the At Home Date.


Sometimes it’s impossible to get a sitter and that’s no excuse to not make time for your partner. Your kids need your time and I bet you are trying your best and already doing it like a B+ mom rock star. You need YOU time. That’s important for your soul. But you also have to make time for your partnership, your marriage, your soul mate because if you don’t, where will you be when the kids leave home and you have nothing in common anymore. So, even if you don’t have a babysitter, do the at home date night thing and fit it in wherever, whenever you can.

At home no-food date night idea #1 is a little Netflix and chill. You know what I’m saying. And if you don’t, google it. You don’t even need a Netflix subscription.

At home idea #2, make a bonfire in the backyard. This is perfect for fall or spring nights when the weather is a little cooler. Just kick back, relax with the fire and enjoy chatting with your partner. Or just sitting in comfortable silence listening to the cracklin’ and the pops and smelling the smoky mist. If you don’t have a bonfire option at home, how about a fire in your fireplace? Whether it’s wood burning or electric, it’s just cozy to put the kids to bed and hang out in front of the fire.

Right about this time of year and into the summer, my hubby and I love to sit outside on the back deck and just listen to the crickets chirp or the frogs croak at night. Yeah, that is at home date worthy. There’s really nothing like that sound. You may not hear crickets or frogs, but what do you hear at your house? Sirens, planes, birds in the morning, the wind, nothing… get in tune with whatever you hear in your space and enjoy the peace and comfort these sounds bring.

To me, there’s nothing sexier than picking a book for my partner and I to read together. Actually read it together, not just at the same time. He reads a few pages, I read a few pages… snuggled up in bed, warm and cozy on a Saturday night or Sunday morning. No leaving the house and no food necessary. Or maybe we even listen to an audio book together. Oh, the conversations it starts. If you’ve done this before, you know just the act, in its simplistic nature, is date worthy. Try it with your mate. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Another at home date night idea is to buy or dig out a sexy board or card game. They exist and they can really add some spice to your at home together time.

And our 49th no-food date night idea is here!!! Our last idea in the at home category is to play a game with your partner. I just mentioned a sexy game, but this idea is about any game. A board game, cards, even a scavenger hunt. Games like this may bring out the competitive side in you, but remember it’s all in good fun and it’s all in the name of connecting with your partner. Just the two of you, to share fun, laughs, conversation, memories, and love.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need food to make date night fun. Just look at all these ideas I’ve shared with you today! 49 of them. If any of these ideas sparked something in you, you should definitely download my quick hit No-Food Date Night ideas Checklist. It’s got everything we talked about today in an easy peasy checklist format. Go to and it’s yours.

I highly encourage you to print out two copies. One for you and one for your spouse. Go through the list separately and check off at least 6 ideas that appeal to you. Exchange lists and see what you have the same and what’s different. Be open to what you’re partner is interested in. Also, let them veto one option on your list. They get to toss it out. No questions asked. If you each picked different ideas, you’ll have 10 no-food dates nights, pre-planned. How great is that?

Happy Mother’s Day to my friends in the U.S. May your kids shower you with all the love and the attention you deserve on your special day. Now, remember, after Mother’s Day, or maybe even a gift for you from your partner on Mother’s Day—give them the list as a hint– it’s time for a no-food date night. Let your partner plan it and you just enjoy the hell out of it.

Here’s to no-food date nights, your motherhood, and here’s to your gut health!

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey. Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

“I Was Just Diagnosed with IBD” 5 Step Roadmap

Is your Crohn’s or colitis diagnosis so fresh in your mind that you’re still playing the diagnosis conversation you had with your doctor over and over, almost like a record that’s skipping?

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with IBD, let everything else go except for 5 things I’m about to share with you. It’s your 5 Step Roadmap and it will help you get through all the initial overwhelm, the stress, and the anxiety that comes after being saddled with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease diagnosis.

And if you’re here today because you’ve had IBD for a while and you’re just stuck in overwhelm or indecision, rest assured you are also going to get lots of juicy nuggets as well from this podcast episode as well.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • Why your best first response after getting an IBD diagnosis should be to take no action at all
  • How to move from your IBD starter plan to a fully formulated IBD healing plan (and how long you should give that plan to work)
  • The 2 must-do healing resources that successful IBD mamas choose to follow

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Your Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System

Your Stress Management Toolbelt Kit

Schedule Your Free 30-Minute IBD Consultation with Karyn

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

Episode Transcript:

Is your Crohn’s or colitis diagnosis so fresh in your mind that you’re still playing the diagnosis conversation you had with your doctor over and over, almost like a record that’s skipping? Coming up today on the podcast, if you’ve recently been diagnosed with IBD, let everything else go and do these 5 things first.


Hey there my friend, it’s so good to be here with you today. It’s a cool day in Maryland, but the sun is shining and that always warms my heart. How about you? If you are listening to this episode because you’ve just been given that lovely Crohn’s or colitis diagnosis, you’ve come to the right place because I’ve got your step-by-step plan right here. And I’ve got to tell you, sure I’m biased, but this is some juicy, life supporting information. Get your pen and paper ready.

And if you’re listening today because you’ve had IBD for a while and you’re just stuck in overwhelm or indecision, or just because you’re a long time listener, first of all, I’m so grateful for you and the connection we get to have each week, and rest assured you are also going to get lots of juicy nuggets as well from this episode.

So the first things first. I have to mention that this episode and these 5 steps are not about a particular dogma or treatment plan for IBD. There’s loads of paths to IBD health and wellness. In know it may not feel like it to you right now, but there are. It doesn’t matter what your path is or if you have no path at the moment because after this episode, you’ll have a lot more clarification on which path you’d like to choose to move forward. So no matter which way you decide is the way for you to heal and live your best remission filled life, as you’ll see as we go through the steps, you can apply each principle, no matter which direction you to go in.

So, good valuable info, for the healing modality or modalities (which is always my recommendation) that you choose.

Also, this is a road map so you’ll want to follow these 5 steps in order. It’s not a choose whatever step you want to take first road map. It’s a step-by-step road map so keep in mind, you’ll want to go step by step to get your best results.

OK, without further ado, let’s dive into your “I Was Just Diagnosed with IBD” 5 Step Roadmap

Step #1- As difficult as this diagnosis is to get, and so many of us don’t even have a clue what Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis is when we first hear those words, the most important thing to do first is breathe… breathe a sigh of relief because you now have a reason for your pain. You have an answer to all your questionable symptoms. And for most of us, it took way too freakin’ long, going to doctor after doctor, being passed off as having IBS or anxiety or stress.  And getting to where you are at this point took loads of persistence and gumption to challenge the system. You are a rock star for getting this far.

So step #1 is to breathe a sigh of relief.

You have a diagnosis. It’s almost centering in a way because you probably have felt so off, so out of balance for so long. You have an answer and you’re not crazy—so breathe a sigh of relief.

And as soon as that diagnosis comes down, everyone around you will be so rush rush… you must start this med, and do this procedure, and get poked and prodded with bloodwork…

But it’s ok, I’m giving you permission, to let the world stop spinning for a moment and let the dust settle. Take a beat to breathe and gather up strength because you are going to need it. Don’t let the medical establishment rush you here, unless there’s an immediate surgery necessary. Usually that isn’t the case, so give it a few days, a week, and just let this new diagnosis settle in.

What does this change in my life?
What does this not change in my life?

Go inward in this moment. Get help for your kids. Ignore the world, it doesn’t matter.

As moms, so often we hear about a challenge and we jump into fix it mode. It’s in our nature. It’s our natural reaction, but I really want you to fight that normal mom response to solve and let action take over.

Instead, when you get that diagnosis, go in. Sit with this. Feel all the feels deep in your soul. Let the news wash over you so that when you have rested your reserves and begin to accept the impact of how this will change your future, you will have the energy to come out swinging with hope, with resilience, with strength, and the knowledge that you will find your way. And you will still shine bright in your lifetime. And you will still shine your light and amazing spirit with the rest of the world, just like you did before IBD came into your life. You will get to that place once again. Before you move on to step 2, you must believe these things about yourself, and in order to truly get there and not fake it, you have to stop for a moment, breathe and take it all in.

Now that you’ve put your energy in the right place, in your reserves, it’s time to take some action. Step one was all about re-action and self-reflection. And now, we take the energy we’ve been storing (and its psychic energy or if you don’t want to get to woo-woo about it, it’s mental energy, because your physical energy is probably still very low) and we begin to pick up the pieces.

By now, you’ve been given a lot of information from you doctor. There may be pamphlets or notes from your doctor’s visit or patient portal information, test results and recommendations. Now it’s time to begin to put the pieces together in step 2.

In Step #2, You Formulate a Starter Plan.

Not a final plan. Not an end all be all plan. A B+ mom starter plan. One you can live with for now, knowing once the worst  of your symptoms are behind you, you will probably make tweaks. And that’s OK. In fact, it’s the best way forward. That can be hard for so many of us perfectionists out there, but you will be most successful in healing if you just imperfectly start with the goal of getting to your most pressing issue first.

It’s time to ask yourself, with all the information I currently have (because you are just in the initial stages here), keeping in mind where you’re at physically right now, is your disease in a mild, moderate, or severe state—and ask yourself, what plan makes the most sense for me right now? What should I be doing immediately to relieve my worst symptoms?

In order to be able to move forward, you’ve got to get some relief. You really can’t think of anything else until you do. We’ve all been in that place before where we get tunnel vision because what we are going through is so devastating and painful, that we just can’t move on until we fix that problem.

I’ve experienced this so many times in my long journey with Crohn’s— but the thing I remember most from my early, early days with IBD was these ulcers in my mouth. So many that I couldn’t count them all. 20-30 all at the same time… they were everywhere. Under my tongue, on my tongue, in my checks, the roof of my mouth, in my throat. I couldn’t eat or drink anything, or talk or swallow, or breathe without being in immense pain. There were so many symptoms for me in those early days, but that one was really a doozy and I knew if I could fix that, I’d at least be able to leave my home again.

That’s just one example of the things that can rock your world in the early days or even years into your Crohn’s and colitis. In your early days, forget the unsolicited advice from people coming out of the woodwork telling you eat this, don’t eat that. Forget people who tell you that you just need to manifest your health or meditate, or find gratitude, try reiki or acupuncture, of an infrared sauna…

While those things can be amazingly healing and I talk about all of them on this very podcast and at some point you should try to incorporate healing modalities like these, in step 2 of your “I was just diagnosed with IBD” 5 step road map, with symptoms that are initially so severe, like going to the bathroom 10-20 times a day, blood in the toilet, 20 mouth ulcers like me that hurt even when you drink water, fatigue that keeps you from even stepping out of bed… your day will be successful if for today, you can say today, I put one foot in front of the other.

In the beginning when you just need symptom relief to feel like a human being again, deal with your most pressing problems first. The ones that will eventually get you out of your four walls, even if it’s just for a short period of time.

Because that is something to truly celebrate.

Now when it comes to what to take for those kinds of challenges, I’m not a doctor so I’m not prescribing anything specific, but for you that might mean taking 8 Imodium a day, or moving to an elemental diet where the only thing you put in your body are nutritional shakes for a week, or taking steroids temporarily, or rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda mixture multiple times a day like I had to do.

Whatever gets you to a place where you ease your most pressing physical discomfort, that’s the plan you want to be making in Step 2 of your road map.

Make a plan for your most pressing challenges and be open to whatever action you need to take to get immediate relief so you can take back your life and begin to see you on the horizon again.

Once you are on semi-stable ground, once you have some symptom control in place, you’ll have the mental capacity to begin to learn about your illness, learn more about all that IBD entails. And that’s step 3 of your roadmap:

The Knowledge is Power Step.

Before this point, and I know it’s so hard to do, but I highly recommend that as much as you can, you stay off the internet. Don’t google Crohn’s or colitis. or go on Facebook groups or other social media sites.  You’ll only get more sick and more anxious. And you may even get sucked in with the drama of toxic people who try to bring you down with them.

But now that you have your immediate challenge/s sorted and quieted a bit, now it’s time to become a sponge and learn all you can.

Besides what your doctor is telling you, what other options are out there? And once you’ve soaked up as much as you can, you’re in a steadier state, you can ask yourself: Do I feel most comfortable with a medication only approach, a more natural approach or a combination of the two? What modalities sound intriguing to me? Now is a good time in stage 3 to peruse many of my episodes from the podcast to get ideas about what options are out there for you. There’s loads of information in the last 85 episodes. Like episode 26 where I talk about the benefits of far infrared light therapy or episode 45 all about good coffee substitutes, or episode 66 where I dive into gut healing herbal teas, or episode 75 it’s all about your IBD work life balance. So many good ones, and now is the time to start binge listening, soaking up all the information like a sponge.

And keep in mind, you’re still going for B+ mom status here. There’s no place for perfection when you’re trying to find ways to get into and maintain remission. You can pretty much assume that throughout your life, you will be making changes to how you care for your IBD from time to time. As life changes, so will your chronic illness. So the choices you make in stage 3, your knowledge step, these choices you are making can always be tweaked. You never need to feel like you are signing your life away. You’re just trying on possibilities here and that can be very exciting and very rewarding.

In step 3, with so much information out there on the internet and in friend groups and from well-meaning family members, and heck from our doctors too– if you find yourself getting overwhelmed or anxious, it’s OK to take a break. Step 3 doesn’t need to happen in one day or even in a week.

Little bits of information, in bite sized pieces is best if we want all this knowledge to say with us.

And as you research and think about all your options, a murky path will start to illuminate. You’ll start to feel pulled instinctively in a certain direction. Because there’s so much to consider and so many decisions to make in step 3, journaling during this time can be really helpful. Get your thoughts out and write whatever comes to your mind. For some, just the act of writing will help center your thoughts. You may never even need to read what you write. For others, re-reading what they write is the key to understanding, but journaling about anything and everything during this fresh, raw, and new time can be really profound.

And if you need it, if you wonder about how much weight you should give to each idea that you find, I highly recommend you get a second opinion. Not necessarily about your diagnosis, but about your treatment plan. Remember, every doctor is different. Contrary to popular belief, as much as medicine is a science it is also very much an art and your doctor is the artist. Find out what a different approach might look like if you’re feeling called to do that.

Then, when you’re ready, when you feel like you have enough knowledge, make a preliminary decision.

Meds only— you might say, let’s start small with anti inflammatories, the 5 ASA’s like Lialda, Pentasa or Apriso and see what happens. Or let’s go with the big guns and go straight to biologics like Stelara or Humira. Or you might decide it feels right to go natural all the way. Food, lifestyles, mindset… Or maybe a combination approach where you take medication and use an IBD healing diet as well.

There is no one size fits all answer. There’s only the one that fits for you. And it just has to fit for you right now. It doesn’t have to fit you for life.

Remember, it’s OK to move forward even if the path is murky. B + mom is where you want to be. You don’t need to have all the answers to begin.

Once you complete Step 3 on our IBD roadmap, you should begin to feel like you’ve taken some of your lost control and you’ve taken it back. When we gain knowledge and formulate a plan, we tend to feel more centered, grounded, and in control. Win or lose, that’s the power of Step 3 and fulfilling Step 3 is how we get to move on to step 4.

Step 4 is all about sticking with your plan and being patient.

Healing the gut takes time. Finding your path to initial remission can take time.

Over my years as a health coach I’ve seen clients who want to try something for one day or three days and then ditch it because they’ll tell me, it didn’t work for them. Gut healing doesn’t usually work that way. It’s very rare that it does.

That doesn’t mean it’s not possible or even that it’s not likely that healing will take place. But gut healing is about one step forward, two steps back. But over time, those one steps forward, they add up.

Patience and going tortoise slow are going to be your mantras during step 4.

Patience is my friend. Patience will guide me to success.

The tortoise wins the race in the end so I will be the tortoise.

I want you to practice patience and I want you to be the tortoise, but I don’t want you to feel like you are wasting your time. And this is where two incredible resources come into play. Two resources that if you cultivate now, you will be able to keep in your arsenal for the rest if your life.

#1 is your Food-Mood-Poop journal. This is the most critical piece that’s missing so often from this step because it’s tedious and it’s time consuming. If you are a Cheeky Podcast lifer, I’m hoping you’ll stay with me for just a sec while I catch up anyone who hasn’t heard me mention the power of the Food-Mood-Poop Journal before. In a very quick gut shell, your FMP Journal is the place you record what you eat, how it affects you, your mood, your poop and your other symptoms.

Now you may fancy yourself Wonder Woman, I certainly do from time to time. You might think I can remember what I eat. It’s all in my mind. I can remember what treats me good and what sends me to the porcelain throne or the bed in pain. I can even watch how these things change over time, but trust me mama, I’m going give it to your straight right now. You can’t. Even Wonder Woman has her limits. We moms have way too much going on in our lives to remember this type of minutia that isn’t written down.

Are journals are time-consuming? Yes, I’m not going lie. They can be. But keeping a journal like this (and mine is really streamlined) is very time limited and trust me, you will benefit so much from this now, and whenever you’re struggling down the road with a flare up. Devoting some time to your Food-Mood-Poop Journal now will get you to the finish line so much faster and then be able to get you off the journal that much sooner.

Food-Mood-Poop Journal. Do it. You will thank me for it. And Stage 4 is the place to begin. If you want to get started with a tried and true, client and Gut Love Community member tested FMP Journaling System that works, get your hands on my FMP journal. It’s free, it’s fabulous and it’s yours at

OK, I mentioned there are two resources you’ll want to adopt in Step 4. The second one is your Wheel of Wellness. Can I get an amen for the Wheel of Wellness?

Long time listeners, you know what I’m talking about. First time listeners, it’s time to begin the process of cultivating your Wheel of Wellness— your well-rounded support tools that encompass everything in your life that helps you feel your best—mind, body, and soul.

It won’t be anywhere near done when the stage is over, and that’s OK. That’s perfect actually. The goal here in Stage 4 is just to get you started. The good news is that you already have the first spoke in your wheel in place. Whether it was choosing gut healing food, or supplements, or a medication or a mixed approach… Remember you already did that back in Step 3. You are working that one thing, you are choosing patience and persistence to see how it works for you. Now it’s time to start putting some other pieces in place that support your current approach, your gut health and your overall health. There’s a reason we don’t start with your Wheel of Wellness from stage 1, right from the get go. Putting together a fully functioning Wheel of Wellness, with all its spokes and moving parts is just too overwhelming in the beginning stages. It’s too much. It will spread you to thin and leave you feeling like you’ve started all these projects you just can’t complete. And nothing frustrates our mom brains more than uncompleted projects!

So, we start here in Step 4 to add to the resources we’ve already gathered with more gut healing options that become the support system to keep your most important gut healing modalities working at their peak.

Think of your Wheel of Wellness it like a beautiful tiered wedding cake with the bottom layer being the strong support for the rest of the cake. Is it as beautiful as the upper most piece with all of it’s fancy decorations? Nope, probably not. But it is no less necessary, because without the strong support of that bottom layer, your wedding cake would fall flat.

Oh no, not on your wedding day!

Now, the cool thing about your Wheel of Wellness (and maybe the frustrating thing about it as well) is that no two IBDer’s wheels will look alike. What you put into your Wheel of Wellness will most assuredly be different that mine. We are all individual and what we need as our bottom layer support structure is different as well. This can be frustrating for some mamas who are looking for a cookie cutter option to squash their IBD, but I’ve been in the C + C trenches enough to know that we call have to carve out our own path.

But what I can do to help you connect with what might become an integral spoke or spokes in your Wheel of Wellness is to tell you about the types of things to consider when you are adding to yours.

Your support system—who are the people around you that you count on for IBD support? Your spouse, your friends, your mom, your co-worker, your online buddies? Keep that support system close to your heart, now especially in your early days with IBD. You need them now the most.

Your movement practice- we all need a movement practice, whether it’s competition level weight lifting or restorative yoga or walking in nature and everything in between. No matter what type of movement you choose, choose the one that’s best for you where you are currently at. For example, if you can’t get off the toilet in the morning, a get up and go morning kick boxing movement program is probably not the best option for you. Choose a practice that is right for where you’re currently at knowing you’ll add on to it as you get healthier.

Your stress management tool belt- Oh, stress. It’s a killer. Literally. It strips you from your ability to fully fight your Crohn’s and colitis. It even causes breakdowns that lead to flare ups. We all know how important it is to find ways to manage the stress in our life. Adding this spoke to your Wheel of Wellness is crucial. If you need help in this area, don’t forget, I’ve got a resource for that. You can download my free and fabulous Stress Management Toolbelt Kit. It’s got all kinds of great ideas to help you manage your acute stress as well as your chronic stress. Getting your toolbelt is super easy. Just go to and you’ll find it there.

Your spirituality or faith is another possible spoke in your Wheel of Wellness. I’ll tell you what, when the chips are down, when you just feel like you can’t take it one more day, your faith can be the one thing that pulls you through. I think I told you this before, but it bares repeating. When my mom was given 6 months to live with liver cancer, it was her faith and her indelible spirit that helped her last not just 6 months, but six years before passing away. Faith my dear, it’s a powerhouse spoke in your Wheel of Wellness.

Your Wheel of Wellness may also include supportive practitioners besides your main doctor like a health coach to help you engage fully with healing modalities you’ve chosen, or to educate you on supports you may not have thought about, and be your head cheerleader support system as you move through your gut healing journey. You supportive practitioners may also include an acupuncturist or a functional medicine provider that looks at root cause healing for your IBD. Maybe a Craniosacral Therapist or a Reiki practitioner. You don’t need every type of course, but find one or two that support your needs as you continue your healing journey.

I just want to mention two more ideas for your Wheel of Wellness before we move on. Because these are ideas that might spark some insight or motivation in you to act, no matter where you’re at on your path with IBD.

Your self-care practice is HUGE. Now listen, I almost gag when I say that phrase, self-care. It is so overused and so misunderstood that it’s lost its weight. But it is so overused for a reason. It’s important mama. And it’s something we suck at! Too much mom guilt, too many kid responsibilities, too many irons in the fire, too many multi-tasking moments. We need our time. We need to know who we are away from all the demands of our life. Overused or not, self-care is needed for you now more than ever and the positive impact it will have on your physical health when you take the time for you is astounding.

The last Wheel of Wellness idea I want to mention today is to include some form of meditation and/or also therapy. As a former mental health counselor myself, I’m biased in this area, but I can also tell you from personal experience how vitally important these two healing modalities have been in my life. Therapy—when I was first diagnosed, it was life changing. My mom took me to a therapist who practiced medical hypnotherapy. Forget what you know about stage entertaining hypnotists, this is not what it’s about. The right hypnotherapist can have a huge impact on your gut health. As can a therapist who practices cognitive behavioral therapy as well as dialectical behavior therapy and so many more types. Meditation came into my life much later, but I highly recommend that as well. Mediation doesn’t have to be about quieting your mom brain. It can be about focused visualizations to assist your digest system in doing what it wants to do… heal.

Those are just some of the options out there for your Wheel of Wellness. You may have something completely different in yours. Everyone’s wheel of wellness is different and everyone’s wheel of wellness will change over time. We are not stagnant in life, why should our Wheel of Wellness never change?

And that’s why during this step, Step 4 we are just thinking in terms of getting it started on this immense project. B+ work all the way! If you just get one or two spokes added to your Wheel of Wellness besides your main health hub, during Step 4, that would be absolutely freaking amazing.

So what’s the right amount of time here, how much time should you give this Step 4 to fully percolate? Usually 1 to 3 months before making any changes. Remember I said at the beginning of this step, I see lots of mamas saying I did it for 3 days (maybe a week) and it didn’t work so I’m moving on. Not so fast my speedy friend. Take the time, your body needs to catch up to your brain.

So let’s say you decided that diet was the key to finding remission, and you started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Give Stage 4 with your Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System and adding in one or two key Wheel of Wellness pieces, and give that one to three months before making any decisions about moving forward. That doesn’t mean that you are looking for “I am healed” in three months, that means that you see forward moving progress. Healing takes the body time to catch up to what’s going on in our mind. Same goes for approaches like medication only or supplements or even if you choose a mixed approach.

And the last but so important thing I’ll say on this subject is that when you’re taking into account that 1 to 3 months, be really honest with yourself and assess did I really do everything that I could do within my power and according to my plan that I put in place to help myself heal. If you were hit or miss, if you didn’t take your medicine some days and you took it other days, if you ate out at McDonald’s once a week… you didn’t really do your plan as planned.

It’s OK, we’re all human and we’re all in this together. No judgment. We’re not going for perfectionism, but we are going for maximum effort. So if you can’t say that you put forth maximum effort then absolutely give this stage a bit more time so you really know what works and what doesn’t before moving on.  

You’ve made it to Step 5 my friend.

In Step 5 it’s time to assess and tweak.

If a minimum of one month has passed or a maximum of three months has passed, it’s time to take stock. As I mentioned earlier, this method and these 5 Steps are not about a prescribed plan. It’s not about following a particular dogma or road to healing. It’s about following the road that best serves you for the time that you’re currently in. I can’t stress this enough mama.

I see so many ladies out there, grasping for the one true healing modality—following the path they’ve some guru or so called expert take, only to find themselves in the same miserable place they started in, or in some cases worse off. It breaks my heart when I see this.

The bad news is that there is no one perfect path to quieting your IBD symptoms, but on the flip side, the good news is that there are loads of individually proven paths that you can use to tweak and change and formulate as you design your own proven path to health. There are lots of ways to heal and in Step 5 of this process, and it’s time to celebrate because you made it to the assessing and tweaking phase.

So, in Step 5 we ask, how has that road been serving me? It’s time to figure that out. And you can access and process this thoroughly by asking yourself a few key questions.

#1 Am I better off or worse than when I started this plan?

It’s really that simple. We don’t have to overcomplicate it.

If your answer to this question is I’m not just better I am fantastic, I am great, I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life… keep doing what you’re doing and every so often, keep asking yourself this same question. Because I can almost guarantee that there will come a time in your life when you’re going to answer this question and the answer isn’t going to be I feel fantastic, I feel terrific, I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life. As life moves on and as our life changes direction and stress and circumstances and things that are not under our control and all happen, your plan will need to be revised. And when that’s the case, I want you to continue on with my next question.

If your answer to question number one is yeah, I’m better but I’m not exactly where I want to be, either in this moment or over time, it’s time to ask yourself question #2.

# 2- What can make my plan better? What, in my heart, with the amazingly fined tuned intuition I know I have if I just trust and listen to my inner self, what is my intuition telling me that it’s not working for me? What about this plan that I created does work?

And when you have those tweaks in mind, ask yourself how can I fit these tweaks into my lifestyle? How can I best make a new plan to make the changes that I need to make a new habit to become part of my life? Because that’s the hard part, often times we know what we need to do but it’s about the actual planning and implementing that tends to trip us up. So don’t just ask yourself the question what’s working and what’s not working? Ask yourself how can I implement? How can I make these changes that I need to make a new habit in my life?

And lastly, if you’re answering these questions with thoughts like: I really don’t have the foggiest idea where to start or if your saying no, I am really no better off than when I started. I’m not in the right direction and I don’t know where to go from here. It’s time for question #3.

Question #3 is: Who can help me figure this out?

If you’re feeling like you need to make tweaks, but you’re just not sure where to start or what those tweaks even should be… or if you’re saying I’ve done everything I could for the last 1 to 3 months and it’s just not working for me, now it’s time to get some additional help.

And often times this is where I come in. Often times people will have done some version of steps one through five– maybe they’ve done it to a T or maybe they’ve done pieces and parts of it, but some version of the stages we just went over and they realize that they just need more support. They need an outsider and a guide, but also support from someone who gets it. Someone who has been in a similar IBD situation, someone who’s just a few steps ahead of them on their gut healing journey.

So if this is where you are at, it’s a really good time to get in touch because this is exactly what I do as a coach. I don’t prescribe meds like your doctor does. I help you process and weigh all of your options, and help you see some options you didn’t see before because sometimes you’re too close to the situation or don’t have access to all the resources or the latest research on what’s working in the field of Crohn’s and colitis. This is where I can be a great support for you and the beauty of it for me is that I get to witness and be a part of your journey and your transformation as you get to the bottom of what will work for you. It’s a beautiful thing and one of my favorite things in life!

If this sounds like the kind of support you need and if a free 30-minute IBD consultation with me where the focus is 100% on you and your specific challenges, you can book that with me at

Now maybe the services that I provide isn’t what you need. It does happen from time to time. What other options might be available to you? Is there a doctor in your area with a different approach than what you’ve been working towards so far? Maybe there’s a book or a class or a course… whatever helps you and gives you more knowledge that you can then turn that into help for your situation, that’s the direction to go in this tweaking stage.

Like I said, I’m here for you. It’s what I do, it’s my passion and mission in life to help others with IBD. To help lighten the load for as many IBD mamas as I can. But other healthcare professionals are available as well, so if you find that you get to Step 5 and you’re still lost, please don’t stop there. Help is still available. You’re hope should not be diminished. This is a monster of an illness and sometimes we need a couple go-arounds before we find our way. But find someone who can guide you. Someone who can keep things moving forward for you. That’s what it’s all about.

OK my love, those are your 5 stages, Your “I Was Just Diagnosed with IBD” 5 Step Road Map. If you’re newly diagnosed or if you’re just stuck feeling overwhelmed and anxious and stressed and sick and tired all the time, I hope that this gave you a roadmap forward. Let’s go over our 5 steps one last time. This is a good time to write them down so you’ll have this information at your fingertips whenever you need it.

Step 1- breathe a sigh of relief. You know what this is and that can be freeing. There’s hard work to be done so take a moment with yourself to center, get grounded, and gather your energy for the fight that’s coming.

Step 2- Formulate your starter plan. This is just your initial plan to get you out of your most pressing problem. It’s not your forever, but it needs to be a powerful enough treatment to get you living life again. And in this stage, be open to whatever works. Maybe you’re not a fan of meds, but they could really get you over the hump. Maybe you feel like all the foods bother you so why would you look at healing foods. Trust me, there are ones that bother you more than others, it’s about making a starter plan to start to figure it out. Your starter B+ plan. You can do it.

Step 3- The knowledge is power step. Now that you’ve got your barring’s and you’ve quieted your worst problem with whatever means necessary, you have the energy to do some research, dig deep into your options. Food, medicine, lifestyle… a combo approach. Whatever it is, get started here with imperfect awesome mama B+ effort.

Step 4- is probably the biggest, hardest step. It’s all about sticking with your plan and being patient while it plays out. During this time, you are putting in a solid effort for 1 to 3 months. You are using your Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System. You are just starting to cultivate your Wheel of Wellness with one or two spokes. You’re not changing every 3 days, you are in for the long haul.

Step 5- In Step 5, it’s time to assess and tweak. What’s working? What isn’t? If it’s all working, keep doing you mama. If there’s small parts to tweak or even large areas, it’s all good. It’s all just information you can use to help you move forward. If what you have done over the last 3 months isn’t working, you are not a failure, you are resilient, you are powerful, and you will keep searching for answers. Because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that there are answers. We just have to keep turning over stones to find them.

And if you are struggling, if you just feel like you are hitting your head against a wall repeatedly, it’s time to reach out. Let’s work together to see if we can put some of the puzzle pieces together for you. That’s my sweet spot. It’s what I do best. Remember there’s a link to book a free 30-minute IBD consultation call with me in the show notes, or you can also just go to to book there as well.

My friend, the early days of IBD are rough. I hope this information just helped you see that there is an illuminated path forward. Use these steps to shape your journey and know I’m here to help you along the way.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy gut healing journey. Chat soon!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

{#herIBDstory} That Stoma Life with Beth Coldrick

This week’s episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD is extra special because it’s a #herIBDstory episode where I get to connect with real life IBD rockstars and highlight their inspiring stories.

Today’s story is full of the kind of inspiration we all need.

Beth Coldrick is an IBD gal, stoma rocker, skincare entrepreneur, and all around positive soul. You are just going to love her and relate to her story.

Beth is the Founder of BAO Skincare, and a long-time sufferer of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. And over the last 10 years she has been on and off steroids, managed her diet and lifestyle accordingly, and has had three life changing surgeries. She now lives with a permanent stoma bag after her final surgery in August 2020.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • Beth’s step by step guide to what her stoma surgeries looked like
  • The importance of finding support in areas your doctor can’t help you with
  • The realities of working and living with IBD

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Connect with Beth:

Happy_Stoma_Life on Instagram

Bao Skincare on Instagram

Beth’s Website

Other Resources:

Hannah Witton’s YouTube Channel

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

IBD Q & A Giveaway #2

It’s IBD Q and A Giveaway #2 Day!

We did this over a year ago on the podcast, way back in Episode 20 so it’s been a while. I love doing this type of episode. It’s so fun and meaningful for me to connect with you on this level. So thanks for sending in your Q’s.

There were some juicy ones and ones I think we all can relate to so that’s the beauty of this. Even if it’s not your question being asked, you can still benefit.

Plus, there’s a giveaway attached to this Q and A episode so let’s keep it fun and light today to lift our spirits and let’s dive in with your most pressing Q’s.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • The 2 sneaky rules you should always break when you go the the hospital
  • Your best gut healing store-bought snack options (there’s loads of them!)
  • The gut healing remedies I never travel without

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Mentioned in This Episode:

Join our Gut Love Community

Get Your Stress Management Toolbelt Kit

Food-Mood-Poop Journal

Awesomely Easy On-The-Go Snack List

Episode 80: The Secret to Manageable, Tolerable, Even Enjoyable Colonoscopies

Episode 65: Eating Beyond Your 4 Walls Part IV: Gut Happy, Healthy Travel with Crohn’s and Colitis

Episode 10: How to Find a Doctor You’ll Rave About


Thrive Market

Find a Functional Medicine Provider

Find an Integrative Medicine Provider

Connect With Karyn:

Karyn on Facebook

Schedule Your FREE 30-Minute IBD Consult