Crohn’s and Colitis are autoimmune diseases that impact every aspect of your life. Unfortunately, conventional treatments can have as many long-term side effects as the disease itself. Stephanie Grutz, a nurse practitioner specializing in Crohn’s disease, joins me to talk about her own experience as someone with Crohn’s and how taking an integrative healthcare approach to managing her disease transformed her life and helped her take her power back.
Listen to the Episode
Move Your Lymph System by:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Practice yoga
- Dry brushing daily
- Wear compression stockings
- Walk often
About Stephanie Grutz
Stephanie Grutz is a board-certified family nurse practitioner, certified in integrative medicine who also specializes in IV nutritional therapy.
She has a passion for providing her patients with integrative healthcare services and teaching other practitioners alternative ways to approach health & wellness!
Taking an Integrative Approach to Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s and Colitis are autoimmune diseases that impact your bowels, not dissimilar to Irritable Bowel Disease or Syndrome. Unfortunately, the treatment options provided by conventional, western medicine may lead to even more long-term health problems as you age.
Stephanie Grutz describes how she took control of her own healing journey by exploring an alternative, integrative approach to Crohn’s where she now feels in charge. The first aspect she took back control of was her diet. By reducing gluten and dairy, she discovered these foods were huge triggers for her Crohn’s.
Stephanie also shares why she eliminated the pathogens in her life, reduced her stress, and removed her exposure to chemicals and molds. Doing all of this helped her regain control of her life and quell her most severe symptoms.
Your Lymph Nodes, Gut Absorption, and Fecal Matters
One of the biggest improvements to your overall health is incorporating lymphatic drainage into your daily routine. As a society, we don’t walk as much as we used to, which means that our lymph system – an essential system for removing toxins from our bodies – doesn’t drain as well as it should. Stephanie gives her best tips for helping your lymph system drain.
Her other biggest recommendation for people with Crohn’s and Colitis is IV therapy. IV therapy bags drip vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients directly into your bloodstream without having to go through your gut – meaning you’re bypassing the spot where your body is unable to absorb them. Stephanie says this was a game-changer for her healing.
Finally, we talk about the roles of both fecal transplants and enemas and how they can impact your healing. We do stress the importance of seeking out fully trained and qualified medical practitioners if you’re thinking of going this route.
Are you interested in taking an integrative approach to help treat your Crohn’s and Colitis? Would you like to know how to incorporate IV therapy into your healthcare routine? Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“What is our immune system supposed to do in our body? It’s supposed to help keep us healthy and strong. So while [prednasone] is depressing the stuff that’s flaring, it’s also creating cancer cells and other abnormal cells that aren’t really supposed to be in our body.” [6:32]
“Our lymph system helps our blood vessels remove the toxins from our body. If our lymph system is stagnant in any way, our toxins are lingering in our bodies.” [13:24]
“Once you get diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, or cancer, or something like that, it’s a lifelong journey. It doesn’t have to be unempowering. I think the biggest thing for me was becoming empowered and taking control of my health. When I was in the western medicine model, I was told I was a victim, that this wasn’t my fault. Once you take the focus off yourself, it makes you powerless. I couldn’t do anything about it if it was in my genes, but I could do something about it if it was in my toxic lifestyle. The biggest thing is taking your power back and being in charge of your health.” [33:28]
In This Episode
- A description of Crohn’s and Colitis diseases [3:30]
- What the conventional approach to inflammatory bowel disease is [5:00]
- Why immune-suppressing drugs may lead to serious health concerns later in life [7:00]
- How your diet can influence inflammation in your body [8:30]
- What lymphatic drainage therapy is [13:30]
- Why it’s essential to move your lymph system [14:00]
- How to incorporate IV therapy into your healing process [18:30]
- What it’s like getting a fecal transplant [24:00]
- The role of enemas for IBD and IBS [32:00]
Links & Resources
Follow Stephanie Grutz on Instagram
Steph Grutz 0:03
How do we make this person happy in this moment? Versus how is this person going to feel in 30 years?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Stephanie Gretz. She has a similar name as myself and also has a private practice here in Iowa. You're going to get to hear her story about how she healed from her autoimmune condition using detox methods, IV therapy and a fecal transplant. Her story is particularly relevant as world IBD day was this month. Let's get started.
Welcome to another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast. today. My guest is Stephanie Gretz, who's a board certified family nurse practitioner certified in integrative medicine who also specializes in IV nutritional therapy. She has a passion for providing her patients with integrative health care services, and teaching other practitioners alternative ways to approach health and wellness. Welcome to the show, Stephanie.
Steph Grutz 1:11
Hi, thanks for having me.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:13
Well, tell me your story. It's so powerful. I know you personally you're a nurse practitioner from Iowa as well. So kind of tell us a bit of your health journey how you became so interested in specialized in functional medicine?
Steph Grutz 1:24
Yeah. So when I was in my early 20s, I was I just graduated as a nurse, I started my career. And at that same time, I got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. And there was a whole story and process behind that it took years to kind of dig down into like, Oh, this is how that happened. But in that journey, I was falling to Western medicine, like what do I need to do? What pills do I need to take? And you know, at that time, again, being a nurse, I trusted the doctors, I just wanted to do what was best for my body. And, you know, as I started researching, because I'm like, gosh, I'm a healthy person, why is this happening to me?
And so I look at my diet, my lifestyle on the week? Well, you know, I read this research article about pathogens causing autoimmune disease, or toxins. So it bring these articles into my, at that time I was seeing a rheumatologist, I bring them in and he said, There's nothing you can do about this, you have to take these medications forever. This is this is your destiny. And you know, when I was looking at like the medication side effects, I couldn't get pregnant on the methotrexate and the prednisone that I was on.
And longevity wise, when I was going to be like a grandparent, the likelihood of me having cancer or something being on these drugs was really high. So I was like, I need to do something else. And at the same time, I was getting sicker. So I knew that route wasn't working for me. So when I was in school, I started I just kept on my educational journey. And I became a nurse practitioner when I was 28. And at that time, I was getting really sick. And I think the stress of boards and starting a new position changing cities for my work. It all just kind of crumbled down at the same time and I was diagnosed at that time with Crohn's
Dr. Stephanie Gray 3:18
co listeners what that is to just in case they don't know.
Steph Grutz 3:21
Yeah, so you've probably heard of irritable bowel disease IBD. There's IBD. There's IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is like inflammation of the GI tract. Where if IBD is an autoimmune type inflammation of the GI tract. So Crohn's disease can start anywhere from the mouth to the anus, and all sorts of colitis, which is the other the brother of it is usually in the large intestine. So I had the Crohn's disease, it was primarily in my small and large intestine.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 3:51
So Crohn's and Colitis are inflammatory in nature, right? inflammatory bowel diseases. So you already had some inflammation, it sounds like in your joints, if you were seeing a rheumatologist and now suddenly, all this stress gonna dis cascade?
Steph Grutz 4:05
Yes. And so you know, at that time, it was misdiagnosed it was, they called it seronegative rheumatoid arthritis when I was first diagnosed, which means there was no blood markers for rheumatoid arthritis, but my joints were achy, they were enlarged. So they that's what they diagnosed me with. But in reality, looking at it, everything starts in the gut. So all of these extra symptoms that I was having, I had some weird skin patches on my face. It was all stemming from my gut. But at that time, I had no idea what was going on.
So then going back, I was hospitalized for a week at that time. And it was kind of at the point where I was looking into leaky gut. And at that time, it wasn't really well known what was leaky gut, and I was reading the symptoms and I'm like, Oh my gosh, this is everything that I have. And that's kind of where my journey started in looking at integrative medicine.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 4:56
So tell us what the conventional approach is. I guess you kind have already have two inflammatory bowel disease. So even as a nurse practitioner, like we know kind of what what the treatments are. So tell us again, kind of what you were offered, if you tried some of those did they help. And then let's pursue conversation on what an integrative approach to inflammatory bowel disease is. And kind of, we'll just say what interventions you different interventions you tried.
Steph Grutz 5:19
So typically, with any autoimmune disease, Western medicines approach is turning off the immune system so that the, our immune markers are attacking themselves, that's what they think is happening in the body. So they want to hush the immune system. So the biologics, the steroids, everything like that is put into our body to hush the immune system. So at first, you feel amazing. So when I was placed on prednisone, I felt great, like my ankles didn't hurt anymore, I could walk, my inflammation was down, but the more that I would be on it, the less effective the drugs would be.
So then the next drug would be added in and that's kind of the course of action for a lot of autoimmune disease to where you start with basics. And then you get on, they're called for IBD. They're called Five amino solicite acid, the five asase. And then it goes to immunomodulating drugs like Remicade in the biologics, that the humera, the Remicade, the IV stuff, so it's, again, more potent, harsher, anti inflammatory, anti immune things so that our body doesn't produce the inflammatory symptoms. But with that, again, over time, it's quieting the immune system, and what is our immune system supposed to do in our body, it's supposed to help keep us healthy and strong.
So while it's suppressing the stuff that's kind of flaring, it's also creating cancer cells and other abnormal cells that aren't really supposed to be on our body. So there's that balance that is there. And in western medicine, we're like this microscopic approach where we just look at the cute stuff. Well, how do we make this person happy in this moment? Versus how is this person going to feel in 30 years, or 20 years, you know, and in the worrisome thing stuff, is that right now, there's so many kids being diagnosed with autoimmune disease. And so we're putting them on all these immune suppressants. But we're not thinking about them when they're at childbearing age, or when they want to be grandparents. So what quality of life are we having on them right now?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:25
Yeah, that's amazing that you and your 20s, we were already thinking of this, you were already thinking, Oh, my gosh, what about the long term side effects? Yes, yeah.
Steph Grutz 7:32
How am I going to be a grandparent if I if I'm on all these medications, right. And, and so that's really where my journey started in functional medicine was like, Okay, I looks like my diet can change, I did testing and my gut was full of pathogens, my lifestyle was toxic, stress, mental, all of that, you know, just going through all of the things of a 20 year old. And yeah, I was inundated with chemicals and different toxins. So it was really about peeling the seeds, like peeling the layers of an onion, just one at a time taking away the toxic burdens of my body and starting to really heal from the inside out.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 8:12
So that's kind of the functional approach that you pursued. So can we dive into that? And like, what can you tell the listeners kind of what pathogens you found? How you found them? Was that on a stool test, whatnot, what toxins you found, you're exposed to? kind of already, I guess we kind of covered the stress, obviously, you're taking boards and new job and you know, relocation, you had high stress there. Can we dive into those layers, but also into diet? Like and how strongly you feel diet changes can influence inflammation in your body?
Steph Grutz 8:42
Yes. So the first thing that I did, and again, I was in my 20s, I didn't know a lot about functional medicine, so I was kind of doing it blindly. Yeah, I started working with an acupuncturist, because, you know, in the Midwest, there wasn't a lot of functional medicine practitioners I could find and she actually did muscle testing with me. And I don't know if the listeners really know about muscle testing, but it's kind of like an autonomic nervous system testing trigger that our bodies say what what we're okay with or not. And I think that's helpful in some ways, and not helpful and others but we did that and I did an elimination diet. So I completely eliminated gluten, dairy, soy, fish, eggs, nuts, just to really go back to very basic foods, and then to reintroduce those about four weeks after I took them out. And when I reintroduced I reintroduced one thing at a time very slowly.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 9:35
And did you have bowel changes? Like did you know was it I don't want to say easy, but sometimes it's even. It's easier when patients have a strong reaction immediately. Like they eat gluten and they get diarrhea or they get a headache, or brain fog. I feel like I'm intoxicated. I just can't it affects my nervous system, where you easily able to identify which foods were your biggest triggers or No, no,
Steph Grutz 9:57
I wasn't. My body isn't something thing that's like, wow, I do one thing and all of a sudden, it's magical. It's not like that. But I knew I felt better. And that was the biggest thing. But I will tell you out of the hundreds of patients that I've helped from then on, I always have them do a gluten free dairy free diet for four weeks, no matter what, just to kind of reset their body, I can tell you 99% of them after they do that, if they have gluten or dairy, they will feel it. So it's like kind of resetting the body to let their bodies tell them how they feel. Because, you know, we're so toxic at some point that it's like, oh, we need to do a clean up so that we can truly listen to our body again.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 10:36
Sure. So did the acupuncturist. And were you saying she kind of found pathogens through muscle testing.
Steph Grutz 10:42
So she did some pathogens through muscle testing. And then later on, I did multiple stool testing. And that's where I, I found different yeast parasites, bacteria. Gosh, I've done about every test under the rug, I say, on my own and a ones on my own research subjects. So anything that I could do test wise, I would check in further on we can get down to this, but like I you know, I went to Mexico and had a fecal transplant in 20. Oh,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:09
God, that you did that. Yes, we should go there. But hey, that let's come back to that. Yeah. Yeah, you've literally done like everything,
Steph Grutz 11:17
everything. Yeah. And the thing is, is that I'm like, I'm a patient, and I'm a provider. So when I'm trying to help my patients on the healing journey, like I want to know what their experiences as well. So I can say, I literally have done that. I've done every thing. So So yeah, I'm always trying new things, for sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:36
So back to your layers that you peel back. These are the layers we peel back in almost every patient who comes to see us who wants an integrative approach. You changed your diet, you explored and treated pathogens, you reduce stress. What about chemicals? Where did you find your highest chemical exposure was anything super revealing there?
Steph Grutz 11:53
So at that time, when I was originally diagnosed with seronegative, rheumatoid arthritis, a couple of weeks prior to being diagnosed, I went on a 16 hour trip with my dad who owned a lot he, he does lawns, he owns his own lawn business. And we went on a 16 hour trip in his band. So you know, it's full of chemicals. And I mean, I just laid a mattress in the back of his van and slept in it. Yeah, so I know that that was like something that totally rock formation. You know, there's always like the needle in the haystack type thing there was, there was other things that I found out later.
But just being around those chemicals growing up, and the foods that I ate, you know, I wasn't eating organic foods. I had mold mold in our basement. And I mean, we'd be in rooms with mold, and not even think twice about it. So it was all of those that were kind of built up. And I did a lab test called HLA Dr. It's a panel that you can run. And I saw that I was a very, I'm a very poor detoxifier. So no matter what I was doing, if I wasn't pulling those things out, they were just kind of circulating in my body. So I definitely had a major toxic overload just from chronic exposures.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:08
Sure, sure. Well, let's stay on the detox topic for a moment, because this is also where lymphatic drainage therapy comes in. I know you're a big fan of that. So is that something that you recommend for your patients? Is that something you heavily utilize? Tell us about lymphatic therapy?
Steph Grutz 13:23
Yeah, so our lymph system is basically it lines the blood vessel system, and it takes out the toxins. So if our lymph system is stagnant in any way, our toxins are being kind of, they're just kind of lingering in our body. And you know, back in the olden days, we would ride horses, and we'd be walking constantly and moving. And that's what naturally got the limp flowing. And in today's world were more sedentary sitting down at desk jobs are not moving the length. So it's just getting congested in our body, and toxins aren't leaving.
So I recommend lymph therapy to almost every one of my patients. You don't have to be big, you don't have to have the quote unquote, like the fluid in the legs and stuff like that you can be of regular size and that lamps can hide. So it's really important to move lymph, there's a lot of lymph massage therapists that will help. And what I found with my patients are some really good physical therapists that do live in my town. So I send orders over there, their insurance pays for it. So it's, you know, a double benefit.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:30
And from home since we're not riding horses anymore, well, most of us aren't. What are some of the techniques that you advise your patients do?
Steph Grutz 14:37
Yeah, there's so many things that they can do and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money, which is the best so, you know, the cheapest thing is deep breathing. Just sitting every day and focusing on your breath, moving your belly in and out, helps move live doing yoga can help move, move live drybrushing and you can go on YouTube, and you can find hundreds of videos on Have a dry brush, but getting a $5 brush like it's a bamboo bristles, you can work the lymph system and you can usually start at your extremities and go towards the big pathways in the center of your body.
I have a lymph plate behind me actually where I stand on it for 10 minutes a day in the lift played is just a vibrator. So it has different settings, but it vibrates your body to stimulate the horse riding the movement of the wave of the limb. So there's compression stockings that you can wear. If you have some fluid in your legs. You can do compression devices that actually pump in different parts of your body. So those are the biggest easiest ways that you can start moving the limp.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:46
Between the fumes from car exhaust industrial emissions, and as many of us have experienced recently, smoke from forest fires, the air we breathe is often filled with harmful pollutants. But did you know that the EPA has shown that indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. This is why at my clinic and at my home I use air Doctor air filters. These filters are 100 times more effective than ordinary purifiers and help capture smoke viruses, bacteria, pollen, mold and dust mites. In fact, they capture 100% of some of the most dangerous ultra fine particles as small as point 003 microns in size. And that's pretty small.
They have a proprietary dual action carbon gas trap voc filter, which combines two types of media activated carbon to remove gas and odors and potassium or manganite to deactivate certain volatile organic compounds VOCs like formaldehyde. Air DRS auto mode uses the professional grade air quality sensor to assess the air in the room and immediately adjust to correct levels of air filtration. The sensor will also alert you when your air quality is compromised by changing its indicator lights from green to yellow or red. I discovered this feature almost immediately after installing my ER doctor at home when the indicator light went from green to red. It got me wondering why the air was so bad and I did some digging.
It turned out there was a problem with my furnace. After it was fixed air Doctor sensor immediately turned back to green. Had I not discovered the issue with the help of their doctor, we could have ended up with much greater problems. I often recommend the air doctor to my patients dealing with mold toxicity. Of course, I always recommend they remove themselves from the mold exposure as soon as possible. But I understand it takes time to remediate the home. So in the meantime, as well as on an ongoing basis, I recommend they get air doctors running in their homes. One of these machines would be a great Christmas gift for a loved one stopped by the integrative health and hormone clinic if you'd like to see different sizes, or visit the bonus tab of my website, your longevity blueprint.com to find a special link for $280 off the 83,000 using code Gray 15.
That's capital G ra y 15. And watch for even greater promotions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But you must use my link which we'll post in the show notes. Awesome. So that's something I take in that you early on Incorporated is in your journey, healing journey to help with detox. I know something else you heavily specialize in is IV therapy, which can help support the immune system but also help with detox. So let's go there. So tell us kind of how you've utilized IV therapy, why you explored that I don't know what part of your journey you you pursued in getting IV therapy yourself and then how you offer that to your patients. So kind of tell us how that was incorporated into your journey.
Steph Grutz 18:21
So right away when I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2014. I knew that I wasn't getting the nutrients that I needed. My gut was inflamed. And I just felt malnourished. So I was like, How can I bypass my get and get nutrients into my cells. And that's when I found IV therapy. There really wasn't anything around the Midwest. So I flew to California and did some training. And I was like, you know, this is amazing. It made me feel really good and rejuvenated. So I knew that there was something that would help other people.
So that's when I kind of started incorporating it in my own practice, just for like IBD and IBS, it's helping heal the tissues from bypassing the gut so that we're not having to have our gut work really hard to absorb nutrients. And just with a lot of IBD patients, when we do testing, it's never there's no such thing as an autoimmune disease per se, there's always a root cause so like digging back peeling the layers, there's always pathogens or something going on. So IV therapy can really help with like, removing pathogens and just help with really supporting the system and healing. Sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:34
So can you give the listeners some examples of what you would put in an IV bag for patients? So you mentioned nutrients so specifically what nutrients and then we'll kind of have you take it away?
Steph Grutz 19:45
Yeah, so with like IV D, a lot of our patients do. We call it the gut health bag where they has B vitamins, minerals, and the most important thing is amino acids. So we do amino acids to really They're the building blocks I have a protein. So we really like to. Yes. So we support their guts with that. If they have pathogens, we will do something called Blood ozone, where and that's probably a whole nother episode. But we take blood and we mix it with oxygen and ozone. And that can help remove pathogens from the body as well. So those are some of the the main things we do for IBD patients. But there's so many other things just again, the high quality nutrients.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:30
Yeah. So even from an immune supportive standpoint with our current, I don't know what what you call it, health of the nation. IV vitamin C can be very helpful. So is that something that you use in high doses with your patients?
Steph Grutz 20:43
Yes, so we put vitamin C and ever they have ours. And it's again, it's really important to have quality nutrients. So our vitamin C is tapioca based, not corn, because again, corn is GMO inflammatory. So we put that in most all of our bags. And then yeah, we do a lot of high dose vitamin C, which for some people like high dose is like 50,000 milligrams, you know, when you think about a supplement that you're taking orally, you're taking maybe 500,000, this is like 50,000 milligrams. And that really turns from being an antioxidant to an oxidant. And with the oxidant powers, it can go around, it can help kill off abnormal pathogens, it can help with abnormal cells, like cancer cells. And the beauty of it is that vitamin C doesn't harm your normal cells. So that can be a really powerful player for people as well.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:37
Awesome. For my detox standpoint, do you use much glutathione IV.
Steph Grutz 21:41
So we have like what we call immune boost. So again, the good amount of vitamin C, nutrients, and then we will push will use glutathione at the end, like just to help their body detox. And again, glutathione is an amazing antioxidant. So we use that in specific ways. And with people with IBD. We just are careful with what we do we start low and slow, because people can have methylation issues in other ways that nutrients have a difficult time getting into cells. So we just want to make sure that they're tolerating everything. Okay.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:13
Sure. And even IV DSI, just for the listeners, IV therapy is not just for those patients. It's really for everyone. Anyone struggling with like you mentioned autoimmune diseases, if they just are commonly frequently sick patients with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cancer, anything else you want to add? I know you're huge fans.
Steph Grutz 22:31
Yeah, just say athletes. I mean, we do a lot of Preventative Medicine lists, you know, the viruses going around right now. And especially after holiday season, people, if the first sign of feeling down and depleted, they'll come in and get an IV just to kind of kick it before it gets bad. And I mean, people notice a big difference. And that's why it's so popular. It's really again, you're giving your your gut the rest that it needs, and still getting your cells and nutrients.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 23:01
Awesome. So back to those layers, layers that you use you used on yourself and also with your patients. I guess we'll circle back around to the fecal transplant. So tell us at what point you decided to pursue that, like how were you not getting better? Or were you was that the cherry on the top of the cake? Or?
Steph Grutz 23:18
Yeah, I was feeling good. And I you know, constantly getting better, right? It's like once, that's why I call it the layers of the onion, because like, once you heal something, then something else shows up. So it's like, oh, I'm doing so well. And then it's like, okay, this is going to be the time that the toxins, the chemical toxins come out that we need to heal. So, you know, we keep going like that. So I be getting better, but I still like Okay, what else is there and fecal transplants were always at the forefront of my mind. Like I want to do this because I heard so many good stories about it. I did a lot of research before I did it.
And there's a medical hospital that I went to a few times like just to do a detox week or you know, just go and get away in Mexico that I really trusted in life. And they actually use the fecal transplants from the states and with the states. To qualify for a fecal transplant in the United States, you have to have C. difficile, just one specific bacteria. And it has to be you have to do a whole regimen prior you have to have antibiotics. And if you fail, so many regiments, then you can do the fecal transplant. So I wasn't a candidate in the States. I had C Diff at one point, but it wasn't showing up at the time that I wanted it. So Mexico was a place that I had to go to get it.
But again, this place they took the fecal transplant that I basically get in the States, they brought that to the Mexico hospital. So I did it and knowing going in, I knew that my Crohn's was mostly in my small intestines. So with the study, they show a lot of good results when it's in the lower large intestine. Okay, you know, right right by the right Don't ens area. So I just wanted to try it. And so we did. The way that you can insert fecal transplants, there's many different ways they can do an NG tube where they put a tube down your nose, you can do, what I call is capsules where you take capsules of the FMT and you orally take it, and then they can do stuff like enemas, or colonoscopy ease.
So my first one was a cold colonoscopy, they inserted it. And then the next few days, I did the capsules of the transplant, which was like 36 capsules. In one dose, it was pretty bad. And I mean, it doesn't, you don't taste anything like it's fine, but it's just taking 36 capsules of anything is is overwhelmed. So we did I did that. And again, like I didn't notice a big change, but I was really thankful that I did it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:56
You might not know this, but building a healthy gut or gastrointestinal system is one of the most important things you should be working on to maintain your health and longevity. That's why actually in my book, Your longevity blueprint, I devote the entire first chapter to the gut, and like to compare the gut or gastrointestinal system to the foundation of your home, you have to have a strong gastrointestinal system upon which to build great health. So with that in mind, I want to share a few tips to help you do just that.
The first step with improving your gut health is to clean up your diet, removing inflammatory foods, foods you may have sensitivities towards and treating gut infections. Like I mentioned, I get into this in a lot more depth in chapter one of my book. Once you've done that, however, there are also some amazing nutrients that exists to help you heal further. Two of my favorite your longevity blueprint combination powder products for helping patients heal their guts are called gut shield and gi support. Gut shield contains several important ingredients including glutamine and zinc.
Glutamine is the most important non essential amino acid for gut healing and zinc is a top mineral for gut healing as well. Got shelled also contains n acetyl D glucosamine and aloe vera and acetyl D glucosamine is a mucin precursor that has been shown to increase the production of mucus within the GI tract. This is beneficial in coding the tract and protecting it. That shield also contains diglycerides licorice root extract also known as DGL, a form of licorice root that does not contain glycerin which can raise blood pressure. Licorice has been known to treat and heal ulcers, it works as a demulcent. to sue the irritated tissue. It's antispasmodic, anti inflammatory and anti allergenic aloe vera has been used throughout history to promote a normal inflammatory response.
You may have used it on your cuts, scrapes or burns as a child, studies have shown the aloe vera is also specifically beneficial to the gastric mucosa in part through its ability to balance stomach acid levels and promote healthy mucus production. All these gut healing nutrients are packed into one little scoop of powder that can be added to a beverage of your choice or mixed into a smoothie. I recommend patients consume this consistently for at least three months for gut healing. My second favorite product for gut healing is called gi support a gut healing protein powder containing glutamine as well.
The difference here is that gi support is also loaded with natural anti inflammatories like turmeric, it also contains a Ramona galectins which serve as prebiotic fiber and it contains green tea extract also known as EGCG. A potent antioxidant that further helps to reduce inflammation. It's the Cadillac of gut healing patterns because it has protein, the amino acid, glutamine, prebiotics, anti inflammatories, and antioxidants all in one scoop.
And yes, it can be combined with gut shield. Consider taking the synergistic one daily while focusing on cleaner eating. These products aren't needed forever, but they sure help expedite the healing process of your gut lining. Check out more product information on our website and use code heel gut for 10% off either product that's gut shield or GI support at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the show. Do you have any pre and post testing on yourself? Like did you do a stool test before and stay with us after to see like if your floor changed or just out of curiosity?
Steph Grutz 29:01
So I did the pre testing. And then this was February 2020. When I did it, it was like right before the basically the world shutdown. And so afterwards, I was using American gut to test my flora. And they stopped doing regular testing to get into the COVID stuff. So I still have the test kit. Because it doesn't matter when I do it. I can do it a couple years later. Is that fecal transplant from that person or the multiple people that you get it from most successful? Yeah, it will. It will change your gut microbiome forever. So I am going to get that done. But at that time I couldn't which was very disappointing to me.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:41
super interesting. I hesitate even saying this on the the show but I was literally just talking to my brother about a South Park episode where they have fecal transplant where they and I'm not saying the listeners should watch that. I mean it's it's not a great show. But in general, I want to say Get up and that a fecal transplant is a meticulous process. It's not something that you can just do at home from a friend's donor, you know, stool specimen like, this is serious business. So, so I'm glad that you had this, you know, professionally, wherever you want to go.
Steph Grutz 30:15
And I think that's one of the biggest things too, because there's people that when you have something like IBD, it's serious, and it definitely affects your quality of life. So people do anything for to do anything. And again, like, like you said, Stephanie, it's like less than 1% of Americans qualified to be a donor for fecal transplants. Like, were you on antibiotics in the past five years? Have you ever done drugs? Are you on any medications? What is your science?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:48
The microbiome, right?
Steph Grutz 30:49
Yeah. When I first started researching this, like way back in 2014, there was a study that came out that was showing when people were having like the fecal transplants for C. diff, if they got because they were at that time, we didn't know much. So they were taking a lot of random samples. And if they took in obese person's fecal transplant and gave it to someone of normal BMI, their BMI would change in Africa. Yeah, yeah. So that's how important so like, when you want a donor, like you don't want a donor that you know, you you want a donor that's super healthy, and that doesn't, even mental health wise, like, It all connects? So, yeah, again, so it's really important to know your donors for sure. for that?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:32
Well, I'll be interested to hear in upcoming years, what your post stool test looks like, because that I just find that such valuable data, so few people have done what you got done. So it'd be interesting to hear,
Steph Grutz 31:43
thanks for reminding me, because I'm gonna get that I want to do it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:47
I want to kind of stay on the I don't want to say poop topic for a minute. But I know, enemas are also something that you advise for your patients in general. So can we talk about that briefly? And is that something that you've used as well?
Steph Grutz 31:57
Yeah. So you know, everybody's different. So I tell people, like, it's not nothing is ever a one size fits all. And sometimes, you know, you know, animals can be really helpful for someone, and they, they could maybe irritate someone else's bowels, or maybe not be of the best. So it's really individualized approaches. But I have used enemas with really great success for a lot of people. There's what we call butyrate enemas that can actually help calm the intestinal inflammation. And that sounds like a natural probiotic type type of animal.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:31
It's a short chain fatty acid. Yes. Think of it as it can feed your good bacteria. Yeah,
Steph Grutz 32:35
yes. So So butyrate is can be used, we can use again, probiotics in different things to help calm the bowel, so they are of benefit for sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:46
What about coffee enemas?
Steph Grutz 32:47
Yeah, IBD. So I like using coffee enemas for cancer patients and in different patients, IV D. It's one of those things that's like, Okay, try it once. See how you feel. And then if you notice that you're feeling well then do it again, because that can help with adrenal function glutathione production. So some people can feel really good. But if your gut is acutely irritated, sometimes the intestines can get irritated from that too. Sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:13
Sure. Well, what would you say is the single most important intervention that kind of turns your condition around? Or do you really think it was just the combination of everything that you did?
Steph Grutz 33:22
Yeah, honestly, I can't attribute it's been everything that I've done in my life. I think that once you get diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, or cancer, or something like that, it's a lifelong journey, that it doesn't have to be on empowering. I think the biggest thing for me was becoming empowered, and taking control of my health. Because when I was in the western medicine model, I was told I was a victim. This wasn't my fault. And once you take the focus off yourself, like it makes you powerless, I couldn't do anything about it if it was in my genes, but it could do something about it if it was my toxic lifestyle, which it was. So that's what I changed. So I think the biggest thing is taking your power back and being in charge of your health.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:09
Love it, love it, love it, love it. Well tell us where listeners can connect with you and find you and where your practices.
Steph Grutz 34:15
I'm in Dubuque, Iowa, and most people follow me on Instagram. My handle is the healthy practitioner. And that's kind of where I spread some some news about detoxing and just to live a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:29
Yeah, so you don't hold back on Instagram so I guess I should circle back around also to kind of tell us your happy ending. So you told us kind of where your health was in your 20s so you know flash forward to now
Steph Grutz 34:43
I my health I am doing well. I am 19 weeks pregnant as of this podcast, so yay.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:49
I was hoping that we're gonna share that Yeah. So I
Steph Grutz 34:53
mean it again that you guys heard half of my story you didn't hear the parts of you know, having major surgery. surgeries and abscesses and stuff like that. So to be able to have a baby and feel really healthy and you know, again have have really good nutrient status is really it's such a blessing. Yes. And I feel great so I I'm just really grateful for everything that has happened in the course of my last you know 20 years
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:20
so awesome awesome awesome. Well let me go back to where listeners can find you so like, tell us your handle i You said Instagram but tell us your handle
Steph Grutz 35:30
really Instagrams my main way so but you can reach me like you can look on www dot balance health.me That's my regular website.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:39
But Instagram is it healthy practitioner
Steph Grutz 35:40
Did you already well healthy practitioner Yeah.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:43
Awesome. I just want to make sure we will post that in the show notes so listeners can follow you. As you know, I conclude every episode asking my guests their top longevity tips. So you you've given us many tips. But what's your top longevity tip if you had to pick one,
Steph Grutz 35:57
healthy air and healthy water get air purifying system wherever you spend the most time work home and get a healthy filtration system for your water so you're not drinking fluoride and chlorine and all of the other toxins that are in typical water
Dr. Stephanie Gray 36:14
mama Yeah, two ways to continuously reduce your your toxic burden, right, reduce the incoming exposure of toxins. Well, thank you so much today for coming on the show and just sharing your story and just being vulnerable. And I'm so happy that you have this happy ending that all your struggles are not in vain. You're now you're you're pregnant and you're able to share your journey with your patients to um to better help them heal. So thank you for introducing us to the integrative approach to inflammatory bowel disease and to IV therapy. So this is great. Thanks for being on the show today.
Steph Grutz 36:42
Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 36:49
As you heard Stephanie made drastic changes in her diet and utilized functional medicine to heal her autoimmune condition. If you want to connect with her further, she has a free upcoming webinar to help you optimize your immune system and I'll post that link in the show notes. I keep telling her she needs to write a book and share her story and I think you would agree. Lastly, if you're interested in pursuing IV nutritional therapy for yourself that is also a service that we offer here at the integrative health and hormone clinic. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint.
And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck, you can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative as always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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