After living for years with gut health issues, Laura finally found successful treatment with GIThrive and took control of her health.
For most of her life, Laura Rice suffered from severe gastrointestinal (GI) tract issues. She experienced IBS symptoms: bloating, constipation, and so much pain that she could barely get out of bed. She was prediabetic and on her way to becoming fully diabetic. As a teacher, she must stand all day, interact with students and faculty and carry out her lessons. Her symptoms caused much discomfort and pain during her work.
“Just being in pain every day, it caused somewhat of a depression,” Laura recalls her experiences before GIThrive. “I wanted to be in a good mood, but my body was telling me it hurt.”
Though her doctor was helpful, Laura needed a nutritionist. After enrolling in GIThrive through her school’s benefit packages, she got in contact with medical professionals that provided the guidance to take back control of her health. Read about Laura’s journey below and how she turned her life around.
How GIThrive helped Laura
At the peak of her gut health issues, Laura experienced debilitating pain and had daily fatigue. Before GIThrive, she ate several foods that commonly triggered IBS, such as artificial sweeteners and junk food. She did not have access to information about how to maintain a gut-healthy diet. Eventually, she decided to take matters into her own hands and kept track of which foods caused her indigestion and inflammation. However, she still needed professional help.
“I tried a lot of things, and I failed at it. I just didn’t know what my body needed,” Laura says. “I was always thinking to myself, ‘Is this what life is going to be like? Bloated stomach, painful constipation?’”
Laura admitted that she was cautiously hopeful when she first started. The GIThrive app was “cute,” but due to failed past experiences, Laura wasn’t sure if it was actually going to help her manage her symptoms and help her stay on track. After enrolling in GIThrive, Laura met her GIThrive nutritionist, Rachel. She told Rachel about her GI issues, anxiety, and the foods that caused her pain. Rachel informed Laura about the types of proteins and ways to eliminate sugars to work on prediabetes. She also worked with Laura to figure out more foods that triggered symptoms and inflammation.
With all this new knowledge, Laura has learned which foods are healthy and easier on her gut while realizing that healthy food can be delicious. Before, she’d have chips and peanuts for dinner. Now, she views healthy foods as exciting opportunities to try new recipes. Working with Rachel made Laura “feel empowered” to take control of her health.
She also works with Courtney, her GIThrive health coach, on exercise. Courtney helped Laura look at exercise not as something she has to do but more as something to look forward to doing. With Courtney’s advice and guidance, Laura figured out which exercises she likes and works for her—and most importantly, what she enjoys. Laura likes riding her bike or walking with her husband, and she looks forward to these activities. Exercise is no longer something she has to do. Rather, it is something she gets to do.
“I got paired with the perfect people. They’re so professional and so kind and so motivating. They make me feel like I can do this.” Laura says. “If they did not give me the support they do now, I think I would’ve stopped participating. I know that I have a team–people who really care—and it’s finally working.”
“It was a complete life change.”
Laura has mentioned to her supervisor and school nurse how much the app has changed her life. When asked how she felt about GIThrive and its resources, Laura said, “I would say it was a complete life change. It took me from a down, defeated, sick person to a person who feels completely different.”
Laura’s journey was long and difficult, but with the help of GIThrive, she could take control of her health and life. She has gained the knowledge needed to improve and maintain gut health and now knows what works for her and what doesn’t. Everyone deserves the resources and support for a healthier gut and healthier life.