I'm Chrystie, The Gut Health Nutritionist
Eventually all of this led to my body failing in several ways. I lost my period (duh, I had no estrogen), I couldn't lose weight no matter how hard I tried, had night sweats, hot flushes, and crippling fatigue, as well as developed severe IBS and acid reflux.
I went to my GP, who was quite concerned because of the the symptoms I was experiencing, so she referred me to a specialist. At this point I was pretty concerned myself that there was something majorly wrong because I was so sick, so when the specialist told me it was “just IBS” and didn’t provide any explanation on what that meant or how I could fix it, I felt pretty helpless. At the time, that was the worst possible thing someone could say to me because I was already barely unable to work, had zero social life and could eat only a select few foods without feeling nauseous and spending my day on the toilet.
I knew there must be more to it than my digestive system just randomly decided to shit itself.
Over this time, because I was unable to work much i would just sit at home researching the human body and trying to work out what might be wrong with me. Eventually I discovered functional medicine which was the missing link I was looking for.
I’m really grateful that you’re taking the time to get to know me and hear my story. I'm sharing it with you because if yours is anything like mine, you’re in the right place and I’m here to help.
I started my career in health and fitness six years ago as a fitness instructor and then personal trainer. I fell in love with weight training and eventually started competing in bodybuilding competitions in the figure category. I competed four times over 3 years, sticking to a very strict high protein/low fat diet, and training six days per week and sometimes twice per day.
During my time competing I consumed a lot of sports supplements, low calorie foods full of artificial ingredients and very little fat. I reached a very low body fat percentage by the time I got on stage, but was never able to maintain it after the competition. I went through this process four times in the space of three years, dropping and then gaining 10% body fat each time.
On top of all this stress I put my body through and all the inflammation I caused, I received some bad advice and made some stupid decisions which involved me taking an estrogen blocker known as Tamoxifen. This is a drug used in breast cancer patients to reduce estrogen levels, which is commonly used in the bodybuilding industry because low estrogen levels means less water retention and a drier, harder, leaner physique. At the time I believed what everyone around me was saying; that it is safe and normal, "everyone does it". Now I know what I know about hormones, I know that manipulating your hormones is never a good idea.
I switched to a holistic based GP who suggested SIBO may be causing my symptoms. At the time, I didn’t have money to spend on the test, but I decided to go ahead and research treatment so I could at least begin making some changes that might help me. I designed a healing protocol for myself based on my research, and after 6 weeks on this plan, I knew I’d finally found my answer. Most of my symptoms were completely gone and I started to feel energetic and like myself again.
From this point on, I continued to learn about nutrition, eventually enrolling to study nutritional science and becoming a qualified nutritionist.
Throughout my own healing journey I realised that I wasn’t the only one suffering and that there were many others who had fallen through the cracks and needed the help. It’s the worst feeling to know you are running out of options for help; that you feel horrible and nobody seems to believe you or know what to do.
In 2018, I set up my business The Gut Health Nutritionist and since then have helped hundreds of people overcome their digestive and chronic health issues. I have a particular interest in helping people uncover the root cause of their health issues, rather than labeling people and providing only a band-aid solution or worse, no solution at all.
I hope my story gives you the courage to share yours and reach out for the help you need. If this sounds like you, then I am super excited for you and the healing journey you are about to begin. Read more about how you can work with me here.