“It’s been the most pivotal change I’ve ever experienced.”
Listen to the episode now:
Quick Episode Recap
After three decades of gut and skin struggles, plus anxiety, Nicole finally found answers and healing with a root cause approach. The primary cause: parasites.
In this episode, we discuss…
- What Nicole’s early health struggles looked like
- Her search for answers and how she found them outside of conventional medicine
- The gut infections and dysbiosis behind her symptoms
- How she uncovered and treated parasites
- The link between parasites and mood
- The parasite protocol that worked for her and her change in symptoms
- And how Nicole navigated proactive medical decisions because of a family history of cancer
Nicole is a former ballerina turned writer and holistic wellness coach, based outside of Boulder, Colorado. After spending the better part of 3 decades battling IBS and a conventional health approach that left her without answers, she turned to functional medicine and Eastern methodologies – thus giving her the root cause answer she had been looking for: parasites. In addition to overcoming her gut challenges, Nicole also made the decision to have several preventive surgeries in 2021 and 2022 to offset her high risk (+45%) for breast and ovarian cancer, thus allowing her to take control of her health and related health anxiety that had dominated so much of her life previously. Hers is a story about digging in deeper to find answers, honing in on intuition, and leveraging a holistic approach in order to feel better – mind, body, and soul.
Download Nicole’s free Parasites 101 Guide (use the password rebuildingmyhealth). It’s a brief yet comprehensive overview of how parasites might be at the root cause of your symptoms, along with helpful hints regarding cleansing and ongoing maintenance.
And be sure to schedule a complimentary 30-minute discovery call to take the next steps to work through any existing gut health or stress management issues you may be facing.
Nicole’s Health Success Story
After more than three decades of not getting answers from doctors, Nicole Lavery found clues to her lifelong digestive challenges in an unlikely place: scrolling Instagram.
From her earliest days, Nicole had struggled with tummy aches, often leaving her nauseous and uncomfortable. Doctor after doctor labeled it as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). With a family history of the same, no one looked very deeply.
“I saw countless doctors who would either prescribe me an antispasmodic, suggest therapy, and/or shake their heads in total confusion – saying that, since my labs and previous tests all looked OK, then there was nothing else they could do,” she says.
And through it all, she lived a physically demanding life. What began as tap dancing in kindergarten led to intense training in her teens that included New York City’s Joffrey Ballet.
Then after college, she embarked on an equally intense 15-year corporate career.
For Nicole, less than 100% wasn’t an option with any of it, but her lifestyle certainly didn’t help her gut health.
Meanwhile, a significant family history of breast and ovarian cancer began requiring multiple scans and tests every year and fueled her anxiety.
The Choices that Changed Her Life
Tired of a get-nowhere conventional route, Nicole turned to Eastern medicine and other alternative approaches. She found some symptom relief with acupuncture, chiropractic, and therapies like Reiki. She would feel better for a time and then hit a rough patch.
Nicole began making lifestyle changes and choices that ultimately gave her peace of mind and freedom from relentless health worries.
Doctors had estimated Nicole’s cancer risk to be at least 45 percent. While she does not have the BRCA gene, 10 women on her mother’s side have been diagnosed with female cancers.
When a second aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, Nicole made the difficult decision to reduce her risk of cancer by proceeding with a bilateral double mastectomy with reconstruction. Not long after, she moved ahead with a salpingectomy to remove her fallopian tubes.
To help make those decisions, she looked inward.
“Intuition is such a powerful gift because we can just sit with what we feel like makes the most sense for us, what’s going to lead to either a life of distress or a life of comfort,” she reflects. “Only we know what we can manage.”
Addressing Digestive Dysbiosis and Parasites
As she healed from surgeries, her neverending hunt for relief for her digestive issues finally led her to find and follow practitioners with a root-cause approach. Ultimately, testing uncovered candida, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and leaky gut.
She began a number of steps to help heal her dysbiosis and repair her gut. However, it wasn’t until she began a parasite protocol that she saw real healing.
“A couple of practitioners that I had been working with at the time said, ‘Oh, we’re 100% certain you have parasites,’ which I thought, ‘Well that’s kind of a stretch.’ But once I learned more about them, everyone on this planet has parasites. It’s really just a matter of, are your symptoms exhibiting?”
Nicole followed a Cellcore parasite protocol for 60 days, with a focus on full moon times – when parasites are most active. She supported her body’s drainage pathways with specific supplements and sauna sweats.
She increased and added anti-parasitic foods such as pumpkin seeds, raw garlic, apple cider vinegar, and others, plus fermented foods to increase beneficial bacteria. She removed foods parasites love such as sugar, gluten, and dairy. And she made sure to drink more water, add electrolytes, and improve sleep quantity and quality.
After her parasite cleanse, for the first time, her digestion was normal. Years of rashes faded. And surprisingly, she felt an unprecedented level of calm as her anxiety eased.
“It’s been the most pivotal change I’ve ever experienced really,” she reflects. “I kind of thought this is going to really help my gut and my digestion, and believe me it has, it has helped my gut immensely. I’m able to retain nutrients that parasites have basically been feeding off of for the better part of three decades. That has such a ripple effect on all aspects of health and I think I really discounted that when I started the cleanse.”
A New Career Path
Throughout her journey, Nicole connected stress to her symptom flares. To help ease her stress, this lifelong Dallas native moved to Colorado and quit her job – opening the door for a new opportunity.
In her healing journey, she became her own health coach, navigating the options and emotions of every choice. That inspired her to help others going through similar challenges. Through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she earned certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and aptly, named her business Working Through It.
Now, she merges her favorite part of her corporate career – coaching and mentoring others – with her passion for integrative health.
“Know you’re not alone and a lot of this is reversible,” she says. “With the right approach and the right mindset, you can get to feeling a lot better than how you’re feeling now. You just have to have the right guidance and the right information about your body.”
The information on this site is for educational and inspirational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of qualified professionals. Keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. Always consult your healthcare practitioners before beginning new approaches or treatments. Some links on Rebuilding My Health may be affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission - with no additional cost to you - if you make any purchases using those affiliate links. Rebuilding My Health is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Learn more.