My name is Alyssa Thornton, I’m 27 and I have only been able to eat meat, rice, oatmeal and sea salt for 2 years.
When I eat foods I am intolerant of, I become debilitated for one to two weeks. I experience so much brain fog I can’t think properly, communicate or do work. My body aches and I become weak, as if I have the flu. My ears ring and ache. I wake up in the middle of the night with heart palpations. I toss and turn all night, despite my extreme and constant fatigue. I experience crippling anxiety and depression. I get extremely bloated. My vision blurs. My hair falls out, I have 1/3 of my hair left. I’ve lost 20 pounds so I’m around 110 lbs now.
I avoid any foods that I cannot tolerate but I still experience all of these symptoms every day, just to a lesser degree.
When I was about 20, I fell in love with exercising and living a healthy life style. Despite the fact that I was seemingly doing all the right things, everything went downhill. When I was 23, I was prescribed antibiotics 3 times in 1 year (for an infection that the antibiotics never solved-the infection was/is a gut issue, which the antibiotics made worse). I was unaware of the damage taking antibiotics so often would cause. (Luckily, Kaiser is now stricter on prescribing antibiotics, so, hopefully this won’t happen to other people). Since then, my health has steadily deteriorated. After experiencing a traumatic event, things went downhill. My body shifted to a state of constant stress, fight or flight mode, which I’ve never got out of. During that time, I was working a very stressful night job while going to college, and the lack of sleep contributed to my poor health. I slowly started reacting to more and more foods and things became worse.
I graduated but I haven’t been able to start a career because I cannot think and simply do not feel well enough to function. On days where I don’t feel completely crappy, I know I’m smart enough and I have it in me, I am just not capable of it right now. On bad days, I actually believe I’m just not smart enough and I’ll never feel better.
What keeps me going is the love I have for my dogs, nephews, family and friends. I love them so much and they deserve the old me, energetic and happy.
I have found that I have extremely poor gut heath which has led to many issues an imbalances in my body. Intestinal permeability, leaky gut, SIBO, candida overgrowth, adrenal fatigue, anemia, nutritional/mineral deficiencies, etc.
The human gut is more complex than previously thought and has a huge impact on whole-body health. A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep, and effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases.
The good news is that I know what is wrong with me and I’ve caught it before my immune system completely deteriorates and catches something worse. The bad news is that NOTHING has helped, despite my dedication.
I have gone to countless doctors and done countless labs-blood work, stool tests, you name it. I’ve tried countless treatments-acupuncture, ALL of the supplements, reiki, meditation, sauna, ice baths, etc., I’ll try anything my doctors suggest. I’ve spent so much money, time and effort, to no avail.
Reversing this damage is very challenging- With where I’m at now, it takes YEARS of consuming healthy foods, probiotics, fermented foods and supplements to reverse the damage, but with my food limitations, I can’t consume any of these healing supplements and foods. The walls of my stomach are eroded and most of my good bacteria has vanished.
So here is the last thing that I haven’t tried- FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) It is essentially putting a very healthy persons poop in my body, 10 times! Probably sounds gross to most people, but I’m so desperate that I think it sounds amazing, lol. It is exactly what I need. I need to put an abundance of good and diverse bacteria back into my gut. Rebooting the gut bacteria with a transplant can often cure or treat diseases with few other treatment options (C. Diff., Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, IBS, and many more). I am so excited to have found this treatment. It’s been used for many years in Chinese medicine and has been safely and successfully practiced in mainstream medicine.
I learned that I could only get this treatment done outside of USA, as it was recently banned by the FDA, for now- clinical trials and stool testing is in the works (unless you have a C. Diff infection, as FMT saves the lives of those suffering with it!) It was banned by the FDA because a man died from an infection after FMT. The testing done on the stool that this man received was not rigorous enough. I have found a leader in FMT in the UK, who freezes the stools for 3-6 months and tests the stool samples multiple times to avoid this exact scenario. They have successfully performed over 14,000 FMT procedures.
Inevitable depression followed my findings of this amazing opportunity, because I don’t have the money to pay for travel and procedure costs any time soon. I need to come up with $8k to cover my travel to the UK and procedure costs. I already have a mountain of healthcare debt and I can’t get approved for any more loans as I already have my student debt, car loan and healthcare loan.
Back to the positives, I had a virtual consultation with a doctor who has analyzed my gut microbiome labs and is confident that FMT will finally resolve many of my food intolerances, greatly improve my immunity and bring me back to life. When I am able to eat more foods, I can resolve some of the health conditions a lack of nutrients has brought about- adrenal fatigue, anemia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, etc. I can get my life back.
I’ve gotten used to not being able to eat out or eat at family members homes for b-days, etc., but it would be really nice to be able to attend gatherings again. I am fortunate to have a huge family with many extended cousins, which means lots of family get togethers. For the last few years, I have experienced discomfort, pain and fatigue which make holding a conversation extremely hard, if I make it out of the house at all. I’ve isolated myself, which has only made everything worse. Being in my own thoughts and constantly thinking about what I could have done to avoid this, and how long this is going to last. On bad days I don’t know who I am anymore. On good days I know I’m buried in here somewhere. You don’t realize how hard not being able to eat food is until you can’t eat anything. I’m hungry for food and for who I used to be. Happy, strong, healthy and energetic, with a full stomach.
My family, dogs and what friends I have left have really been what’s held me together. I live for them but it’s time I live for myself, too. On my 27th birthday, I asked my mom not to invite anyone over for dinner, but she did anyways. The reason why I asked her not to was because I felt so horrible for not attending my cousins’ birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I wanted to cry that night, half happy half sad because I felt like I don’t deserve their love, when I haven’t even been present. I want so badly to be there for these amazing people again because they have been so amazing to me for my entire life.
If you’d like to help, please support me by donating. If you cannot donate, no worries, you can help me by reposting this and getting the word out. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. <3