Monday, June 7, 2010

Digesting Knives

So ever since I had my gall bladder removed in February of 2009, I've had stomach problems of one kind or another. Initially, my upset stomach could definitely be traced back to my lack of a gallbladder, usually when I'd had something fried or some protein that wasn't particularly lean. Then it just became vague, I'd get an upset stomach eating seemingly innocuous foods. Towards the middle of my pregnancy the problem went away. I was optimistic that it was over. I guess pregnancy is just weird that way, because now its come back with a vengeance.

About two weeks ago, I got tired of it. I decided that it can't be my lack of gallbladder anymore, that there must be something else wrong. So I went to my doctor, and she tested me for several things, among them a gluten intolerance disease (Celiac disease) and lactose intolerance. All the tests turned up negative. Which, I have to admit, was disappointing on some level. It's frustrating to be unwell for no discernible reason. I decided to forgo the trip to a specialist. I didn't want to go through a lot of invasive testing to get a diagnosis of exclusion (IBS) and then be told to take Imodium and get on with my life.

I really wasn't sure where to go from there. I didn't want to continue to see doctors, but I wanted to feel better. Saturday we went to Barnes and Noble after lunch, and I of course, ended up in the bathroom. Naturally, you can't take books you haven't bought into the bathroom. However, I have a Nook, and once you're in the store, you can read ebooks (most of them) for free while you're there. So, I decided to browse the health section. I stumbled upon a book called 'What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About IBS'. With IBS, of course, in big bold yellow letters. Let me tell you, sometimes its nice to have Nook; other people can't tell what you're reading. Anyway, I discovered through the book (which I ended up buying) that most people who have the symptoms of IBS have some sort of food intolerance or allergy. It said something to the effect that testing for one doesn't bring up evidence of the other. So I could have a sensitivity to dairy, just not an allergy. In addition to food sensitivites, many people also have a build of of yeast in their intestines, which totally throw off the balance of organisms in there. I can totally see myself having waaay too much yeast. The number of times I've been on antibiotics in the last two years, and IV antibiotics, is staggering! Then there's the fact that I went over board with soda when the pregnancy ended. Simple sugars feed the yeast, so they just keep on growing, even possibly putting down roots in your digestive tract. Yeah. I wanted to take a scalding hot shower after I read that.

So anyway, I came up with a plan, guided by the book. For at least two weeks I am going to avoid all foods containing gluten and casein (milk and wheat protein). I'm also not going to have any soda (caffeine can aggravate things) or juice so I can starve the yeast so it will die. I'm also going to take a pro-biotic in the hopes that it'll help restore the balance in my digestive system. After two weeks, I'll introduce a potentially problematic food and see what happens. I think I'm going to find a sensitivity to dairy. I think my body is just so out of whack right now that it just can't deal with it.

So far today I've had eggs (over hard), pineapple and celery with peanut butter (life is good when you can have peanut butter!), and I've felt pretty good. My stomach doesn't feel like it's trying to digest kitchen knives. I'm pretty optimistic that this will get to the root of things. I'll keep you posted :)


  1. Glad to hear you're feeling better! Have you tried probiotics or probiotic yougurt? I went through a spell where my stomach hurt every single day and I was running to the bathroom after a sip of water... and the probiotics definitely did help. I used Align but I know there are other (better?) ones out there.

  2. I've used Align (and had mixed results), but I want to take the acidophiles specifically, as that's one kind of bacteria that lives in there. Right now, yogurt causes misery, so I'm avoiding it.

  3. Katie,

    I have tons on information on this topic. Please let me know if you'd like me to share =) Hugs to you!!