Photo courtesy of Darius Bashar
If Lazur (pronounced Ley-ZR) were asked when his gut issues began, he’d probably say it was when he and his wife took a trip to Mexico years ago. After drinking tainted water, he contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection that causes bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and exhaustion. At the time, he blamed the flu and stayed in bed, but his gut pain persisted. He soon became dehydrated and was hospitalized.
“Initially, no one knew what was wrong with me,” he remembers. “I went through multiple tests, X-rays, and MRIs, but no one was able to figure out why I was having all the symptoms, along with fever. One doctor even suggested exploratory surgery,” he says incredulously.
By the time they finally came to an accurate diagnosis, Lazur was too weak to get out of bed and had lost a significant amount of weight. He was given high doses of antibiotics, along with other medications, to ease his gastrointestinal cramping. Nearly three weeks later, he was discharged. But Lazur never truly recovered.
Through the years, he suffered intermittent bouts of diarrhea, nausea, and cramping. Then the bouts of diarrhea eventually turned to constipation. Lazur attributed the change to his work. Constant travel and dinner meetings made it impossible for him eat healthier or to exercise.
“After traveling for several days, I had no desire to do anything but relax,” he says. Dinner meetings, drinks, after work, and the two/three-sodas-a-day diet didn’t help much. He was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia and then Type II diabetes. But because his IBS-type bouts weren’t frequent, Lazur mostly ignored the symptoms, sometimes taking over-the-counter medications to ease them.
“I don’t know why I ignored my doctors’ advice,” Lazur says. “I don’t know why I kept eating red meat, bread, pasta and all the foods that I knew worsened my symptoms. And I can’t explain why I chose not to exercise regularly. Then my father passed away. He had Type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, IBS, and depression. He was also on kidney dialysis. I realized then that could be me someday.”
Lazur began researching his health issues online and unearthed articles that made him understand the severity of his condition. Eventually, he discovered that the high doses of antibiotics he took while in the hospital may have changed the natural microflora in his gut health. He came to understand that all of his health conditions were interconnected, all impacting his gut microbiome.
By the time Lazur decided to turn his life around, there were health issues that could no longer be reversed. Some days Lazur wakes up feeling great, other days it’s hard to even get out of bed and function. According to Lazur, it took a moment of reflection, of seeing himself in his father’s shoes, before realizing that he needed to change his habits.
Today, Lazur exercises four-five days a week. He’s more careful about the foods he eats and follows a careful dietary plan that a nutritionist crafted. He also takes a medical food supplement, Holigos IBS Restore, to reduce his IBS symptoms. While his health has significantly improved, he knows he’ll never get back to his former self.
“While I can’t go back and reverse my old habits, I can, at least, prevent my health from getting any worse. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, and that’s progress.”