“Look at me doing everything correctly and these skinny jeans still feel skin-tight,” my 37-year-old patient Denise said during our first consultation. “I’m gassy, bloated, feel emphatically un-sexy, and often get depressed for absolutely no reason.”
Denise consulted me because she struggled with post-birth-control syndrome (PBCS) after she made the difficult decision to go off the pill. Reviewing her health history, I noticed Denise’s doctor had recently prescribed several rounds of antibiotics for a urinary-tract infection (UTI). Also, Crohn’s disease ran in her mom’s side of the family and her father’s side had a history of severe depression. As a doctor who helps women treat autoimmune disease and balance their hormones, I drew the parallel between Denise’s symptoms and her gut health.