As you’ve heard me reference a number of times throughout the blog, I have struggled with daily stomachaches and cramping since 2005. Yup, you read that correctly… I have had a stomachache almost daily since I moved out to Boston in 2005. What in..the..Yes, I have no idea how I’ve lived with it for this long, either.
To give you a bit of history, I have struggled with stomach pain that, at times, significantly impacted my quality of life (and more specifically, that time I was taking the T back home after a night out and a girl rudely stated to her boyfriend that she wanted to get away from me because she thought I was a drunk, when instead, I was doubled over in stomach pain. Oh, the nerve.).
After discussing the concerns with my doctor, she sent me to see a gastroenterologist, who then recommended that I partake in a colonoscopy. The best part? Minutes before being put under, my doctor asked why anyone would have ordered me to undergo a this procedure, when she, in fact, was the one who ordered the colonoscopy. AWESOME.
I’m assuming the results of the procedure came up null and void, because I don’t remember any follow-up. Looking back, I wished I had been armed with the information that I have currently, in order to discuss my concerns more closely. While I haven’t undergone allergy testing since high school (another long story), I’m assuming that doctor would have informed me if something was wrong, namely Celiac, etc.
A few months later, I continued to present my concerns to my doctor, who then prescribed my colon an anti-depressant. No really, they gave me a low dose of antidepressants in order to suppress my overly active and b*tchy colon. Slap on a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and we have ourselves a problem solved.
Actually, not so much. The antidepressants didn’t work and I still struggled with stomach pain. Years of research and a little dabbling in paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free living, I may have found an answer to my prayers.
Yes, my friends, I think I am “intolerant” to both wheat and dairy. I have successfully navigated an entire month on low carb, no gluten (well, to the best of my ability. Dang Chris’s late night burrito this Saturday), and no dairy (again, dang those nachos last Friday. Sigh.) and what I have to report is pretty hamazing.
1. I have little to no gas, cramping, bloating, and/or daily diarrhea.
That’s right, you read it here, folks. After suffering from daily diarrhea for 10 years (TMI, much?). I finally have happy and healthy bowel movements. Let’s just say, Chris notices the moment I start consuming dairy/wheat. Its an unfortunate experience for everyone.
2. I have honestly, honestly, honestly, not been as hungry as in the past.
While I have always been a big eater and love me a good snack (and hefty meal) I have noticed that my hunger pangs have been kept at bay. Could be the increase in protein, fat, veggies, and water consumption, but at the very least, I don’t feel as ravenous as normal.
3. Cravings have remained dormant.
What has been really interesting as of late, is the fact that I haven’t noticed the intense cravings that I normally get around my crash time of 3 p.m., in addition to dreaming/thinking/sleeping/breathing about food 24/7 like I had in the past. I actually haven’t craved much in way of any type of food, be it carbs, sugars, nachos, etc. I’m assuming its because my blood sugar levels are being kept at bay, but regardless, its had a noticeable affect.
(Thanks, Palenola! Paleo, Granola. Mmmm…and it’s locally made.)
4. I actually have energy (on the days I get enough sleep).
A few things to add to this: Ya’ll know how tough it is to be a school psychologist, thanks to my constant complaining. Its easy to feel fatigued when lots of emotions are being thrown in your face throughout the day. I also wake up super early, and if I don’t go to bed at my prescribed bedtime of 10 p.m., I feel like a sloth. Furthermore, I began taking thyroid medication about a year ago, and I truly believe in the gut-thyroid connection. No wheat. Lots o’ sleep. Its all been a godsend.
Sadly, I haven’t experienced significant weight loss, which I’m assuming is from the thyroid issue. I seriously fluctuate between the same 3-5 lbs, and have done so since grad school ended (and my regular life could commence). I wish I could be like some people, such as Michael from Slowly Tri-ing, who like a boss, lost about 7-8 lbs in the first week of a very low carb diet (less than 30 g of carbs a day).
Given the changes I have experienced over the last month, I anticipate that I will be continuing this trial and error period and parlay it into a lifestyle.
Have any of you, readers, suffered from intolerable food intolerances? What did you do about it? Ever have a colonoscopy? The build up is pretty awful, isn’t it.