Settling Your Stomach
Carrie Sink helps clients achieve wellness through gut health
During a severe bout of pneumonia as a child, CARRIE SINK was treated with cancer medications that she says destroyed her body. “Afterwards, things snowballed,” she says.
Sink became chronically ill, suffering for ten years from headaches, stomach pain, chronic fatigue – and frequented hospitals and doctor’s offices. “Coming out of my teenage years, I started to not feel well again,” Sink says. “And I refused to accept it.” She examined her diet and made incremental changes. “I began nourishing my body with whole foods and introduced natural and botanical herbs. And after six to nine months, the headaches and stomach pains went away,” she says.
Sink’s journey to healing led her to share her story and motivate others. She studied at an integrative nutrition program and is now a board-certified holistic health coach and wellness practitioner. She started private practice eight years ago and teaches her clients how to nourish their bodies using real food and upgrade their health with lifestyle changes. She specializes in working with individuals who suffer from constant bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic gut pain, constipation, or anyone struggling with low energy, terrible sleep, or unhealthy eating patterns.
Now at Made Well Center for Wholeness, Sink’s special focus is gut health and the gut-brain axis, a communication system linking the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. “For example, if you’ve ever been nervous about public speaking and felt butterflies in your stomach or your stomach starts to rumble and your brain tells you, ‘I need to use the bathroom.’ That’s how the gut-brain axis works,” she says.
Sink starts with an initial intake where she learns about a client’s full health history. “I want to hear about your family and work life, favorite foods, what you like to do for fun. We also go back to childhood – what were your eating habits as a child,” Sink says. From there, she starts with three areas: nutrition, lifestyle, and supplements.
“Our bodies utilize nutrients from foods as fuel to nourish us,” Sink says. “It replenishes good bacteria in our gut and fights inflammation.”
An individual’s lifestyle can also affect their gut health. “Our nervous system is in either fight or flight or rest and digest. Digestion needs energy to do its job. If we’re in fight or flight, that energy goes elsewhere,” Sink says. “Stress can weaken the gut lining and toxins enter the bloodstream which can causes brain fog, anxiety, and chronic fatigue.”
For those who have made foundational changes and still have problems, Sink integrates gut mapping, a stool test that detects microbes that may be disturbing gut balance, contributing to illness, and triggering symptoms. “I use this test to target supplements such as herbs, botanicals, vitamins, and minerals based on what a client needs. But you cannot supplement your way out of not eating or sleeping well and not moving,” Sink says. “I analyze the results, then customize the approach to the individual. I want you to be equipped and confident to learn how to respond, nourish, and honor your body.”
Sink says it’s easy to become overstimulated and recommends doing an inventory of your body. “Jot down what’s causing you physical and mental pain. Pick one or two things and create a healthy habit around that. When that’s mastered or part of your lifestyle – add something else. Don’t do everything all at once. Your journey will be more relaxed and successful. Slow down, pause, and be real with yourself. If you’re still overwhelmed, seek additional counsel.”