Nancy, 44

Why did she come to me?

Her main complaints were fatigue, IBS with bloating and alternating constipation and diarrhea. Low mood was also an issue presenting with anxiety, depression and mood swings.  She was additionally concerned that she perhaps had some kind of food intolerance such as lactose or salicylate intolerance but was not sure.

She had a previous history of fibroids and pelvic adhesions, frequent illness and antibiotic use, and migraines. There was a family history of cancer, hypertension and diabetes that concerned her.  Additionally, she was experiencing typical peri-menopausal symptoms such as poor concentration and memory, hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia.  She also had a tendency to crave carbohydrates (especially potatoes).  Stress was a big factor in her life both now and previously.

Her initial MSQ (Medical Symptom Questionnaire) score was 85. *

* I like to use the MSQ (Medical Symptom Questionnaire) when a client starts a programme and when they finish it in order to see what symptoms have improved and by how much.  If someone’s score is over 100 then they have very many severe symptoms indeed. Moderate is considered 50-100, mild 10-50 and optimal below 10.

What did we do?

We did a basic blood test to check thyroid and iron levels to make sure these were not contributors to the fatigue.  These results came back normal which ruled them out as a problem.  We also did a comprehensive stool test to see what was happening with digestion.  This showed that some “unfriendly” bacteria had set up house and could be causing her digestive symptoms and some signs that there was a possible intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”) issue.

We made some adjustments to her diet to add foods into rebalance her gut bacteria and a supplement programme to address digestive issues.

I also recommended a couple more tests: a DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) to see what was happening with her hormones and their metabolites (by-products); and a comprehensive neurotransmitter test (urine) to see if there was anything showing up with mood in there.

The DUTCH test revealed that some of the hormone by-products Nancy was producing could be concerning, especially in light of her family history.  Additionally, it showed that cortisol levels tended to be low in the morning and afternoon, corresponding with her low energy.  Vitamin B12 and B6 markers were ok.  The neurotransmitter test results corresponded with her low mood and anxiety.  I explained to Nancy how this can be a result of lack of nutritional co-factors, stress, or genetic factors – or indeed all three of those.

I pulled together the results of the stool, DUTCH and neurotransmitter test to explain how I saw how the “pieces of her puzzle” fit together and to explain what I thought we should do about it.

We tweaked her protocol a bit with some different supplements and discussed how poor sleep hygiene and stress were probably major contributing factors and what to do to try to address these.

What was the result?

We worked together for about 6 months. Digestion improved greatly and energy levels were continually improving – she’d reached a point where she could wake up by 8.30am without an alarm clock which was a vast improvement. Migraines were gone. She had a bout of Covid in the middle of our programme which was a setback as it made her very tired again for a few weeks.

By the end of our programme her MSQ was down to 37 – a reduction of 48 points. A fabulous improvement!

In her own words:

My digestive issues are gone! The fatigue and low mood are a lot better too.  As a GP, I thought I had tried everything for my bloating and fatigue, but working with Sharon was such an eye-opener, and effective! She is thorough, holistic and a joy to work with. Insight into the cellular pathways that as a GP, we just do not learn!  I would definitely recommend her!