“The sound of the crickets kept me awake … again!” I complained to my fiancé Henry for the third night in a row. He was surprised; I’m not one to agitate easily. “They always sound like that. Just think of them as soothing nature sounds,” he said, trying to ease my irritation. I gave him a frustrated smile and yanked the earplugs from my ears. I knew something wasn’t quite right. Why were the chatty crickets bugging me like crazy?!
“Your nutrient levels might be low. Let’s get some bloods done,” Kirsty Wirth from Kultured Wellness suggested when I voiced my frustrations about the crickets over our weekly video call. “You can get very sensitive to sounds when you’re low in nutrients. It’s a sign your body is working overtime to rid toxins from your body,” she explained with a knowing smile. “Go and get yourself some liver pâté.”
I had just started the Kultured Wellness one-on-one program and was struggling through my first cleanse. Wirth is the founder of Kultured Wellness, an Australian-based company dedicated to providing quality education, programs and products to support optimum gut health. Since starting Kultured Wellness in 2015, she has helped over 2000 people with illnesses such as autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and arthritis right through to learning and behavioural issues in autism, sleep issues, fertility issues, Alzheimer’s disease and mental health.
I consider myself a healthy person; I exercise daily, eat lots of fruit and veg, avoid dairy and gluten due to sensitivities and try my best to say no to sugar. Despite this, however, I experience major bloating, brain fog and irregular menstrual cycles and have done so for about seven years. I just accepted this to be my “normal” way of being until I heard Wirth share her story in a health podcast.
As she spoke, I was drawn to Wirth’s incredible depth of knowledge about gut health and the warmth of her words. With honesty, she shared how a lifetime of significant gut health issues had affected her and her family’s health.
I started the Kultured Wellness program in March and, under the expert guidance of Wirth, I successfully moved into stage one: ketosis. This phase utilises the body’s ability to produce ketones. When fat is metabolised for energy in the absence of carbohydrates, ketones are what fuel the body. Being in ketosis can help to improve the immune system, kill bad bacteria and parasites and reduce inflammation markers.
At the beginning, my diet was very restrictive. I was avoiding carbs, sugar, gluten, dairy (except for butter and ghee), soy, grains, nuts, seeds, high-fructose fruit and raw foods.
In their place, I added good fats, protein, lots of bone broth, liver pâté, organ meats, dulse flakes and a plethora of steamed vegetables. I also fermented everything in sight, including bananas and carrots, and introduced a few gut-health superstars: the Kultured Wellness coconut yoghurt and coconut kefirs. Easy to make at home, the cultures are jam-packed with powerful live probiotics and taste delicious.
Along with the Kultured Wellness medicinal blends, I supported my gut with activated charcoal tablets, bentonite clay, biofilm digestive enzymes and gut-sealing powder. I made sure I took plenty of time to rest, did coffee enemas when I was experiencing tough detox symptoms like headaches, and started a mouth biome cleansing routine which consisted of tongue scraping, coconut oil pulling, and rinsing my mouth with hydrogen peroxide.
With my new list of foods to avoid, the daily herbal tonics and detoxing protocol including regular coffee enemas, there was a lot going on in those first few months. I didn’t mind, though, because by the six-week mark, I was starting to feel really good. I was waking up without a bloated stomach, had energy in the afternoon and was falling in love with fermented foods.
I was also enjoying learning about gut health on the online Kultured Wellness platform. In the user-friendly program, Wirth shares the latest gut-health research, education modules, homework exercises, videos and much more. The incredibly dense and extensive collection of knowledge, grounded in the latest scientific evidence, forms the basis of the legacy she is creating.
Early on in the program, Kultured Wellness organised a Microba stool test for me. Microba is an Australian-based company that uses rigorous scientific methods to deliver in-depth gut microbiome testing and analysis.
The results of my Microba Insights test surprised me. My protein digestion and fibre levels were very low, and my sugar levels were high. My GABA, an important neurotransmitter that helps to reduce depression and anxiety, was average and my butyrate levels were low. During our regular catch-up, Wirth and I discussed the detailed Microba results and she shared many insights. “Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that is very important for gut health,” she said. “Butyrate is the main fuel source for gut cells. It helps to keep the gut cell barrier intact, can reduce inflammation and helps control appetite.”
I spent a few more hours reading my Microba report, learning of all the different species in my gut, the species it lacked and what I could do to increase my microbial diversity.
About three months into the program, as I was completing my usual morning coffee enema, I was surprised to see that I had passed three worms. Immediately, I emailed Wirth to let her know. She replied with, “Excellent news! You’re creating an environment they no longer want to live in!”
Under Wirth’s instruction, I went to the doctor to provide a stool sample. They ran two tests which both came back positive for Dientamoeba fragilis, a parasite that is commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. The parasite, which can cause abdominal pain, loose stools, fatigue and weight loss, had probably overstayed its welcome by about seven years. It was time for it to go!
Over the course of the six-month gut health protocol, I did three cleanses: a candida cleanse and two parasite cleanses. After my last (but not final) cleanse, it was time for another Microba test. Compared to my first test, my GABA and butyrate levels had gone through the roof! My digestion potential had increased exponentially, and my fibre and protein levels had soared. “Your folate is off the charts. That is brilliant news!” Wirth exclaimed, adding that folate or folic acid play an important role in cell repair. But, the most exciting news of all was that my parasite had finally checked out!
“The real question is: how do you feel?” she asked me. I looked at her with a smile. “Like a new woman. Like my 23-year-old self again. I’m experiencing high energy, incredible mental clarity and I’m free from yucky gut issues. I’m also free from the shackles of screeching crickets and parasites!”
To learn more, visit kulturedwellness.com