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.

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