By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Debbie is a 43 year old lady who came to see me for help with aches and pains and morning stiffness. Debbie had seen me several years ago. Back then she needed help with weight loss and getting sugar cravings under control. She did manage to lose 12 kilos and she kept most of it off.
Debbie had recently regained some weight. She wasn’t able to exercise at her usual intensity, and she felt quite depressed about that, which led to snacking on sugary treats. Debbie isn’t a coeliac, but avoids gluten because it causes abdominal bloating and gas. Although recently Debbie has had irritable bowel symptoms. She attributes it to the gluten free biscuits she’s been snacking on. Debbie works from home, which makes it challenging for her to stick to a healthy eating plan and structured meal times.
The aches and pains and stiffness in the morning are new symptoms for Debbie that just started a couple of months ago. I wasn’t surprised that she had started to experience irritable bowel syndrome, as gut problems (particularly bacterial overgrowth) are associated with joint and muscle problems in a lot of people.
Debbie said to me “I hobble out of bed like an 85 year old. It takes me 20 minutes of moving around before I can start to walk normally. A hot shower really helps”. Throughout the day Debbie experiences mild pain in her knees and elbows. Her mother and aunt suffered with osteoarthritis, and Debbie’s sister has fibromyalgia. She was concerned that the pain she experienced in her body would be permanent.