When my digestion broke down and energy levels tanked after failing to recover from a virus, I turned to supplements hoping for a fix.
Many were a waste of money, but several good supplements did help support my energy, musculoskeletal system, immune system, correct deficiencies, and help me digest my food along the way.
Now that I’m fully recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E., I no longer take daily supplements except one, which I’ll share later in this post.
Today, I am chatting with Rorie, who I recently connected with, about her personal experience with gut health and supplements.
Disclaimer: Rorie is independent from this blog. I am not receiving any incentive from this, and this is not medical advice. Rorie did not have ME/CFS, which my blog primarily focuses on, but her health story resonated with me.
Gut health chat with Rorie
Liz: Rorie, can you give us a background on your health journey and what made you interested in gut health? (PS. Loving the Golden Girls calendar hanging on your fridge!)
Hi Liz, thanks for inviting me for a chat on my favorite subject!
My knowledge of gut health came as an accident. From the time I was born, I was plagued with anything that could be caught on the skin.
Through the years, I must say I was prescribed everything from prescription steroid creams, oils, and over the counter skin creams, but all they would do is just soothe it, and it never went away.
Liz: As I’ve come to personally learn the hard way, things that focus on stopping symptoms frequently come with side effects and don’t solve the problem. What made you consider something another approach?
At a networking meeting, I randomly purchased vitamins from a woman who was selling it for weight loss. I wasn’t interested in that, I just wanted to support her. I thought it couldn’t hurt!
I purchased the X Factor multi-vitamin by Plexus with Aloe Vitamins. At the end of the second month, I began to notice my skin clearing and my nails getting stronger and very long.
I had taken vitamins off and on my whole life from CVS and Walgreens, but I never really saw a difference.
Liz: Aye. Because there is no regulation on supplements and little research, it’s hard to know what’s legitimate.
True. Unlike other supplements which had gone in the trash, I kept taking these because they worked for me.
Fast forward a few months later, an acquaintance made a Facebook post about the very vitamins I’d been taking. I learned the Aloe Vera in them apparently helps the vitamins absorb at a 300% absorbency compared to other products.
[Liz note: Here is an independent study I found showing how Aloe Vera increases the bioavailability of Vitamins C and E.]
I had the greatest AHA at that moment because I knew they worked for me, when drug store brands had not, but I didn’t know why.
I reached out to her and learned about other products which focused on optimal gut health, something I also struggled with. I began also taking a Magnesium and Vitamin C combination called BioCleanse for regularity, their probiotic ProBio5, and another product called Slim that assists with glucose metabolism and feeds healthy microbes in our gut.
Another four months in, my total health was honestly transformed. No more constipation, inflammation, puffiness, and inches lost all over my body. I felt just a burst of energy.
And I stopped needing all my prescription creams.
[Disclaimer: Claims made are not medical advice and supplements are not evaluated by the FDA.]
Liz: Most of us who had health issues have looked for something to alleviate the symptom, whether it’s Excedrin or a prescription drug. Why, in your experience, is this the case?
Liz, I find that due to so many remedies offered out there, providers only being trained on medicine/prescriptions, most people refuse to take responsibility for their own health. They aren’t even aware that they can question their provider or do their own research. I understand if you are not in the medical field, you feel that you don’t have to know anything, “that’s what they pay the doctors for.”
Another fact you probably didn’t know about me is that I have been a medical coder/auditor for the past 30 years. I have reviewed thousands of charts and now that I am aware of gut health, I find it so hard to review charts and see so many people dependent on several medications. I was that patient also.
Liz: And why is the treat-the-symptom approach not effective in your personal opinion?
For me, the creams and pills I was taking never got to the root cause as to WHY I was having these symptoms in the first place.
I know dermatologists don’t like to hear it, but if you replenished your nutrients and healed your gut, you might never have to visit another one.
[Disclaimer: This is not medical advice.]
Liz: Unless you’re moley like my husband! He’s had to get some suspicious ones removed. Skin issues, though, was never my problem. Do people have to have the exact same symptoms for similar solutions to help them?
Our total health consists of three pillars: Blood Sugar Stabilization, Inflammation, Gut Health.
I learned about this from Plexus’s scientific team.
I realized I had issues in all of these areas.
For me my skin, hair, and energy were affected. For others, issues in these areas can present themselves as other troubling symptoms such as joint pain, respiratory issues, mental disorders, or women’s hormonal or autoimmune issues.
What specific dis-eases we have depends on a combination of our genes and environments – but getting these “pillars” in balance can help all of us unlock good health. Correcting my nutritional deficiencies was one thing that helped me improve these these three areas.
Liz: I believe addressing these areas also helped my recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. and helped resolve my several dozen downstream issues – one was actually hair related.
For me, it was good skin for the first time in 36 years! And losing weight.
Do you know that if you focus on the three pillars, weight loss naturally occurs? That’s why I focus on total health more than weight loss.
Remember, skinny doesn’t mean healthy.
Almost every health issue can be traced back to one of those three pillars or a combination of them, so by addressing them all, we are addressing our symptoms at the ROOT.
Liz: Agreed. It’s so interesting how the way “out” of completely different health conditions has many similarities. How have you addressed these pillars beyond supplements?
I believe the supplements helped balance my blood sugar and improve my energy, which made it easier 4 years ago to give up my $60 per week Starbucks habit.
Supporting my blood sugar levels with these supplements made it easier to make healthier choices elsewhere in my life.
I replaced my Sumatra dark coffee with tons of creamer in the morning with Plexus’s Slim, a supplement powder I mix with water containing prebiotic fiber, Chromium, and green coffee bean extract. I call it my “pink drink,” as it’s colored with natural beet root. I was even able to get rid of my Keurig.
Liz: That’s wonderful to hear. So, I have tried many different supplement brands including some of those you sell.
Plexus’s Magnesium and Vitamin C combination BioCleanse I love. It really helps my digestion and the Vitamin C and bioflavinoid co-factors are an added bonus. Magnesium has been extremely helpful through my health recovery and continued wellbeing. I was taking Magnesium glycinate by ‘Pure encapsulations’ for a long time prior and noticed its positive overall effects.
Correcting my magnesium deficiency has really been helpful for me not just with digestion, but also for my brain function and musculoskeletal system.
That’s correct, Magnesium can help in all those areas. Unfortunately most people aren’t getting enough of it.
Close to 90% of us aren’t getting ideal amounts of magnesium and nearly 70% are deficient – getting below the minimum recommended value.
We can get magnesium through many vegetables and other foods, but that’s not always easy.
Liz: Yes. I’ve read those same statistics, too. What are your thoughts to when people say, “if you’re eating a balanced diet then you don’t need any supplements?”
If our bodies are under stress and we’re having issues digesting our food — we often need more nutrients to help us get back into balance. Our digestive organs actually require adequate magnesium to break down our food, so it can be a vicious cycle if we’re low.
There are other reasons, too.
Most Americans today are over-fed, but under-nourished. A lot of it is because of processed foods.
The preservatives and other artificial ingredients in fast food and packaged food actually deplete our body of nutrients, so we need more.
Another issue is soil depletion. There just isn’t the same amount of nutrients or healthy bacteria in our soil today as there used to be. The spinach my grandmother planted in 1956 is not the same as the packaged spinach in our grocery stores.
Liz: That resonates with my personal experience and my research.
I’ve also recently read that we don’t have enough magnesium or iodine in our soil as we used to with industrial farming practices.
And I’ve learned that the body under stress excretes more magnesium.
I’ve also read research showing distinct metabolic dysfunction for different chronic conditions from diabetes to psoriasis to ME/CFS. If our metabolisms are not functioning correctly, it’s going to affect how we process and absorb nutrients.
Yes. As you mention, our bodies need more nutrients when we’re under stress or dealing with chronic illness – so we can up the nutrients and we can find ways to manage stress.
Liz: Agreed. It seems like most people who develop chronic illnesses are dealing with some major form of stress before they get ill.
Almost half of the people I spoke to who are ill or who now have recovered were dealing with some type of stress when they first got sick. From what you’ve personally observed, does this seem true?
Yes. Stress is not good on the body. But prolonged stress is what I’ve seen can cause inflammation and lead to chronic disease.
Divorce, an ailing parent, trouble with a child – these things can cause prolonged stress, which can activate triggers in the body for autoimmune diseases. A friend whose daughter was sick ended up getting very sick herself with fibromyalgia and many other conditions, likely because her body was in a prolonged fight-or-flight state. She was also going through a divorce, and replaying her husband’s infidelities in her mind. And a friend of mine who started a new stressful new job – he developed major skin issues.
We really need to watch out for prolonged stress.
And deal with things or leave bad situations to get out of the fight-or-flight state. And during these times, consider supporting your body with more nutrients, because the body uses much more of them under stress.
We all need to look out for prolonged stress.
Liz: So true. I can’t underestimate the effects of reducing stress in my life and the work I did to heal my fight-or-flight response for my health recovery.
Leaving a stressful career was key for my recovery, and letting go of my rescuer and problem-solver former tendencies were also helpful which often caused prolonged stress.
Last year, shortly after finally reaching 100% capacity, I had a little health blip when I had stress build-up planning for my wedding (my sleep and my cycle had gotten ‘off sync’). I wasn’t giving my body more nutrients and self-care to counterbalance the stress. But I recommitted to my health and have enjoyed great health since.
I wish I could tell people “take this nutrient and you’ll be better,” but I had to do more to heal.
That being said, correcting my magnesium deficiency has been very supportive for my overall health.
So what supplements Rorie do you still take after seeing your health improve?
I continue to take the X Factor multi-vitamin, the BioCleanse, the Slim pre-biotic and glucose regulator, and the probiotic Probio5 – you can find them all here. I’m afraid to go off after seeing so much improvement from where I was before!
Liz: One thing I have learned is that our bodies have different needs from one another.
I’ve also learned our bodies themselves change over time.
I know some people who recovered their health with the help of vitamin IV drips and others who didn’t find supplements useful. For me, supplements were very helpful in the beginning, but became more of a crutch as time went on.
Now that I’ve fully recovered my health and am “back in balance,” I was able to taper off all my supplements, except I still take Magnesium (from Plexus’ BioCleanse) on a daily basis.
On occasion, I’ll take more Magnesium and other supplements like Zinc (sometimes in high, though always safe doses), to support my body’s natural ability to clear things and bounce back from times of high stress. I’ll also double down on restorative rituals in these times, when in the past I would have tried to “push through.”
I try to have the mentality “this is helping support my body’s natural ability to bounce back / thrive” rather than “this is saving me from harm.”
Liz: So Rorie, I just wanted to ask you: What was your purpose for sharing your story today?
I’m sharing my story to give others hope. And for others to consider another way beyond symptom maskers.
It is my mission to share this information and the three pillars of our health with anyone who has an open mind to receive it. This reminds me of Maya Angelou’s famous quote…
“When you get, give, when you know better, do better, and when you learn, teach.” – Maya Angelou
I’m proud to now sell the supplement products that helped me get back in balance. And I’d be happy to chat with anyone if they’re interested in learning about how they could earn side income as a distributor.
Liz: How can people best contact you, Rorie?
If you would like to contact me for questions (not health advice) about Plexus’s products or earning extra income as a distributor, reach me at gutbustingtruths[at]gmail [dot]com.
If you would like to purchase supplement products, please go to my link: mysite.plexusworldwide.com/2156076.
And if you fall in love with the products and are interested in becoming a distributor, you can select ‘Enroll as an Ambassador.’
Liz: Thanks Rorie for sharing your story and insights with us today!
Watch my video interview with Rorie below:
Note: Any claims made in this post or video are not medical advice nor have been evaluated by the FDA. Rorie is independent from Heal With Liz and I just wanted to share her story. Please consult with a health professional who has earned your trust before considering supplements to understand any contraindications and more. And always trust your gut!