June 14, 2012

Stomach "issues" getting old

I have been struggling with some type of gastroinstestinal upset for roughly a year now. Yuck!
Frankly, I don't understand.

(caution, full honesty ahead, no holding back on grossness)
I suffer from bloating, full-feeling (even without eating), naseau, upset stomach, feeling like there's a rock in my stomach, feeling like I need to poo and can't, gas (OMG the gas), and general ill-feeling.
The frequency of my symptoms is growing. Disappointment has followed.
I braved through it at first, as it wasn't all the time, didn't bother me that much. Plus, I was wedding planning, stressed, busy. I figured that my stress and hectic schedule was a factor, and I just wasn't feeling bad enough to pursue a doctor's help. Then, my symptoms shifted, changed, grew in frequency. I started to track my diet and symptoms. I often forgot to record things.
Christmas came and went, with some days of stomach issues, and some days without. I continued tracking my eating and symptoms from about Christmas-time through the wedding. I was nervous about going to the doctor. The idea of a colonscopy scared the sh** (haha) out of me. My dad had recently been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Yuck! Ididn't want to deal with that. I had some similar symptoms to him, but not all. I was in a state of denial.
I didn't really restrict my eating, because I didn't know what was bothering me. I just continued on, coping as best I could. This meant, sitting out on dance parties with my friends (something I super love), leaving social events early, and did I mention the stanky farts? Ugh!
Finally, I had enough. I downloaded the (semi-sporadic) dietary & symptoms diary I had. I poured over the listing. Trying to identify what caused me some issues. The culprit wasn't clear... but, 90% of the time, I had some type of dairy before a stomach issue. Ding, I shall go on a lactose free diet to see what happens (after much mourning of my dear love, cheese).
Then, I went to the doctor. She listened, read through my food/symptom log, and gave her opinions. Well, it does look like you might have a dairy issue, but then again, you show some instances of dairy consumption without issue. (I thought to myself: but, was I really recording all of my symptoms and food accurately???)
The doctor continued on, lots of people also have issues with gluten. So, no real diagnosis right now. It's sort of a trial-and-error thing. Go on a lactose-free diet for a week, see how you feel. If you aren't feeling markedly better, switch to a gluten free diet for a week, see how you feel.
Well, the lactose-free diet has not gone as well as I had hoped/expected. I have had stomach issues most days since being on the diet. So, I'm moving on to the gluten free diet (oh joy). This is going to be even harder. Not to mention that I don't really understand. I've eaten things with wheat in them and felt fine, but eaten the exact same things and had issues (litterally the same meal & snack combo), which leads me to question what a gluten intolerance means. Could it be that I can tolerate smaller amounts of gluten, but when I have too much (in a day, week, whatever) that's when I have issues???
So, readers, I ask of you... do you know anything about gluten intolerance? (trust me, I've attempted much research, but still have a lot of confusion). Any tips, tricks, advice, or experience you have about gluten intolerance is very much appreciated.
*oh, and maybe I'm not even having issues with gluten, maybe it's something else entirely. I don't really know yet.
Thanks for reading, I feel better putting this out there.

1 comment:

willikat said...

You know I have IBS, right? If you want to gchat or chat, I could fill you in on my symptoms and what I did, etc. My GI doc told me that if you eat the same things and sometimes you get sick and sometimes you don't, it can be IBS. I can't diagnose you of course, but it saved me a lot of elimination diets and got me on track to feeling better faster, so if I can provide any info I'd be happy to. (PS: I'm sorry, because chronic stomachaches are the worst things ever. I sat out MANY a dance party, went home and laid down, or suffered through a lot of social situations.)