top of page

Moving in a Holistic Direction to Heal my IBS

When I first decided to see a doctor for my persistent bloating, gas, and nausea, I considered starting with on a holistic route. I was never shut off to the idea of seeing a doctor who specialized in functional or naturopathic medicine. Growing up, my family always went to a chiropractor for misalignments or allergies, and I had done alternative forms of medication to get rid of migraines in the past. It was nothing new to me to see a doctor that was "unconventional".

However, I started with the traditional, conventional route, because I thought it was the right thing to do. Clearly, it was not.

Going the Conventional, Traditional, Gastroenterology Route

After being told by a gastrologist that "We don't know what causes IBS and there is nothing you could do to heal it", I knew I had to move in a different direction if I wanted to heal my digestive issues. Walking out of the gastrologist's office in 2021, I felt absolutely defeated. It had taken me over a year and a half to be able to see an in-network doctor post-COVID, when I was out of state attending college at the time. We went through a variety of tests that had taken time, money, and many phone calls for approval from my medical insurance. And when the results came back inconclusive and the gastrologist diagnosed me with generalized IBS, my body was screaming at me that there had to be something more.

I knew in the back of my mind I could not walk away without an answer. It seemed impossible that I would just randomly start having severe digestive issues after no prior history of it. And after returning home from 5 months abroad, I figured it would be some parasite or bacteria that was causing me pain. When all tests came back negative, I still did not accept this as my final result. Something had to have cause this sudden onset of IBS symptoms.

By first going the traditional, conventional route for my digestive issues, I ended up being back to square one: Time to step into the world of functional medicine. Just where do I begin?

My Symptoms Before Finding a Holistic Doctor

By the time I found a new, holistic doctor who accepted my health insurance, my symptoms heavily worsened. I would become intensely bloated - like, severe distended and swollen belly, it was painful to move - after about every meal. More often than not, I would wake up feeling that way. I was not going to the bathroom regularly (and sometimes would have to run to the bathroom). I was gassy, crampy, lethargic, depressed, and just overall felt sick.

It started impacting my day to day, as I did not understand what was making my symptoms worse/better. Every meal felt like it was hurting me. It didn't matter what I ate, how I ate it, and what time of day I ate it at, my meals were making me feel so sick. I also started to experience severe migraines again; something that had not happened in a few years. I was absolutely desperate to see anyone and try anything to make my symptoms go away.

When I did find a holistic doctor in NYC, it was not something I initially planned on. Yes, I had the intentions to find a holistic doctor, but I was paralyzed with making the decision. I had no clue how to find one, plus I just moved to NYC and did not exactly have the budget for alternative medicine.

The Worst Day Turned into an Opportunity

One summer day, I was bedridden from a severe migraine, and I knew I had to find a chiropractor that same day to help relieve it. Seeing a chiropractor for migraines was something that helped me in high school, so after 16 hours of intense pain, I knew I had to make the move to find one in my new neighborhood.

With new medical insurance thanks to my big girl job, I managed to find a chiropractor in-network that could take me within the hour. When going to their office, I had to complete a new patient form with my entire medical history. After my first appointment (and the migraine finally cleared!), the chiropractor reached back out to me because they noticed as part of my medical history, I have IBS.

They went on to explain how they helped former patients with IBS completely heal from it by doing supplements and diet changes. They were also able to help me find new tests that did a complete analysis of my gut microbiome and potential pathogens. Learning about their background (deeply rooted in chemistry, physiology, and biology) and former patient history, I was extremely open to the idea of working with a holistic chiropractor to heal my IBS.

I have to be honest; I was not too keen on seeing a holistic chiropractor for my IBS. Besides, I had a horrible experience with a "holistic doctor" a few months prior, disguised as a preachy, over-the-top chiropractor (more on that later). I did not want to go down that route again.

But I was in an extremely desperate position. I was thousands of miles away from home, sick every day. I had no understanding of how to find a doctor that I could afford, and I just wanted to be healthy. So, having an empathetic, trusting, and genuinely curious doctor in my corner made it so easy to commit to healing with them. Also, they could understand the relationship between my body, and the functions of it not working properly (i.e. my digestion).

Putting My Health First

I understood a holistic approach was absolutely necessary. I deserved a doctor who took my IBS symptoms seriously, could get to the root cause of them, and set up a protocol that helped my body heal. Whether that was getting rid of parasites, bacteria, or finding a food trigger, I wanted to heal without intense antibiotics and over-the-counter medication a traditional doctor typically prescribes.

Instead, I needed someone who could help guide me through this journey and treat the root cause, not just my symptoms. My health, had to be my priority.

I continued to work with the same holistic chiropractor from June 2021-January 2023. Within that time frame, we discovered I had had Candida overgrowth and a severe gut imbalance that were contributing to my IBS symptoms. We were able to treat it with a tailored diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes.

Learn more about Candida Overgrowth here.

Where I am at Today on my Holistic Health Journey

As of June 2023, I am still on this holistic, healing journey. I have been working for the past year to get control of my Candida overgrowth but have grown suspicious that something else could be triggering my IBS. After the initial protocol with the holistic chiropractor, my symptoms have gotten worse. I eventually came to the point where working with the same holistic chiropractor has run its course. I think they did everything she could to help heal me, but it was time I received a second opinion.

So, that is where I am at now. I found a new, naturopathic doctor in NYC that specializes in digestive disorders. I will continue to record my journey with her, learning more about my body, the deeper-rooted issues of my IBS, and new ways of healing. I have not given up on working with holistic and naturopathic doctors, because the time and money I am spending with them, will cure my IBS. By going the unconventional route, I am saving myself from having to continue treating my illness, and God forbid worse illnesses, down the line. You cannot only address your symptoms alone, but you must take a comprehensive approach health and well-being and treat the root cause of your health issues. That way, you can prevent greater and more intense diseases down the road.

I am only 24, but if I do not take my health issues seriously, I will one day be forced to pay attention. Time to be proactive about your health journey, now!


Recent Posts

See All


Untitled design (1).png

Welcome! If you made it here, you are probably looking for answers on where to begin your wellness journey. I'm Jessica, and I started my gut health journey over 3 years ago. As an avid foodie and wellness enthusiast, I hope to inspire you on your realistic wellness journey.

See What Is On

Untitled design (2).png
bottom of page