Success Story: Tina, 29, Bloating, Acne, Bacterial Vaginosis and Support After Long Term Antibiotics
What were her symptoms?
I started seeing Tina after the Covid lockdown restrictions, where she, like many others, were struggling with the repercussions of reduced social contact and increase in WFH. These feelings of loneliness had exacerbated Tina's symptoms and stress leading her to reach out to The Natural Balance for help.
Tina's symptoms were varied but seem to be connected to a few key life events:
Overseas trip to Tunisia in 2013
The aftermath of a negative relationship
Longterm antibiotic use from 2010
In our initial consultation we identified her primary concerns and pieced together how the above events were connected:
Bloating and irregular bowel movements started after Tunisia trip
Mild acne which flares up in line with gut health
Bacterial vaginosis which started after taking antibiotics for acne
In addition, these primary concerns were accompanied with other less desirable symptoms such as thinning hair, weakened immune system, worsening hayfever, slight change in period cycle length, lowered confidence especially in relationship, low motivation, poor sleep and fatigue.
Where did we start?
First things first, we reviewed what Tina was eating so we could try to get the bloating minimised and improve the regularity of her bowel movements. Often, getting this natural bodily function into routine is a huge win for clients and greatly improves their daily mood. Tina was already aware of some foods that were possible triggers, such as dairy, garlic and onion, so we started a FODMAP protocol whereby we could assess through the process of reintroduction what foods were the specific triggers.
We had calls every week during month one and then we moved to calls every 2 weeks. This gave us enough time at the start to really support her with the minefield which can be FODMAP and as Tina gained confidence we spaced out the calls so the body had more time to heal.
Secondly, Tina was instructed to try to find ways to relax and wind down. Her highly stressful job and poor sleep routine was not giving her body a chance to rest, recover or repair. Stress is a common contributor to inflammation and as were were trying to soothe her gut and skin, additional stress would work against us. Some simple changes Tina made were that she started to journal before bed, or put her phone away and read instead, and reintroduced yoga a few times a week.
Within 6 - 8 weeks Tina's bowel movements were more regular and of better consistency, bloating was reduced and episodes of smelly gas almost completely gone. Her mental health was improving too, and she was able to pin point exact triggers in her day whether this be due to work, or eating foods that she were triggers.
What did we do long term?
Long term the focus was on Tina's hormonal health; her acne, thinning hair and vaginal microbiome. A combination of supplements were used in conjunction with a FODMAP protocol to rebalance both her gut and vaginal microbiome. This makes it easier for her body to support a healthy blood sugar balance which is vital keeping hormones in check.
As part of her diet, Tina was also encouraged to include more protein and healthy fats in her diet to reduce cravings, especially for sugar, and introduce flaxseeds which work wonders for inflammation and pain associated with female hormones and periods. Behind the scenes we moved into the reintroduction and maintained phase of her FODMAP protocol.
Looking at her blood test results
We also looked at some blood testing to try to understand at a cellular level if there was more going on, and identified that Tina's iron and Vitamin D levels were low - both can contribute to hair thinning, poor sleep and lowered immunity.
Lastly, as part of our holistic approach at The Natural Balance, we continued to prioritise activities and routines that benefitted Tina's mental health. Slow but strength building exercise such as yoga and pilates, testing different forms of breathing or meditation techniques and maintaining journalling habits.
What changes did Tina see?
Within 4 months her bloating was mostly gone, only triggered with certain foods. Her bowel movements were regular and her period had returned to a regular cycle with much less pain. The bacterial vaginosis was also kept in check with the probiotic use.
Tina's skin was still incredibly sensitive to certain foods and hormonal changes throughout the month but was seeing improvements. Knowing which foods triggered her acne and bloating also gave Tina the decisiveness to avoid. She also noticed she was losing much less hair which was a huge win!
How can we help you do the same?
I see so many women like Tina and Daisy whose gut health or hormonal imbalance truly affects their day to day. If anything of Tina's experience sounds like you, it is so worth seeking help for your symptoms.
Want to learn more about Gut Health and IBS? Check out our specialist webpage with more information about IBS, SIBO and Gut disorders
At The Natural Balance we work holistically addressing the entire body, not individual parts. We have package options tailored for everyone, so why not book a free 20 minute consultation with us today to see how we can help you.
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Kelly is a Registered Nutritional Therapist who focuses on positive physical and mental wellbeing, achieved through diet, lifestyle, sleep and exercise. Having struggled for years with IBS and hormonal imbalance, and increasingly frustrated with the lack of support and helpful advice from her GP, Kelly began her own journey of healing the body from the inside out. After seeing huge improvements she quit her job to study nutrition and focus on harnessing the healing powers of food to help other people in similar situations.