Tuesday, May 22, 2012
So, for those that have been keeping up, I've been battling some ongoing health issues the last year. And as a warning, this blog might be a little TMI, but hey I need to get this out somehow! And I know there are a lot of people out there with IBS, or similar symptoms, so any input on the world wide web that might help someone else...the better, I think.
Back to my saga.
I was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowl syndrome) last fall, after a plethra of diagnostic tests that included an MRI, endoscopy and colonoscopy, 2 blood panels (which included CBCs and Chem-7s, ciliac tests)...the whole nine yards. But after significantly increasing my fiber uptake, increasing water consumption and increasing exercise, at least one a month I have still been getting awful bouts of my symptoms. I'm talking missing a day of work, intestinal cramps so bad I feel like barfing and can't stand up straight, need to lay on the couch for 3 days bad. The prescription meds I have help alleviate those, but they're on an as needed basis- there is medication out there that will control the IBS that you take daily. But, I've been dreading the thought of having to go on meds for the rest of my life to control this. But, reaching my wits end, I was slowly resigning myself to this fate.
Until some late-night internet research came into play. Through some websites with clout (i.e., medical websites hosted by hospitals and the like), I discovered that sometimes that even if you don't have cilliac disease, but have IBS decreasing your gluten intake (the main remedy for controlling cillic) can significantly improve or in some cases, eliminate the IBS symptoms altogether. And for those that don't know, gluten is a protein found in many processed foods with flour carbs, such as pasta, cereal, oatmeal, etc., but it can also be found in condiments, sauce, soups, cheese, processed meats...the list is endless. So Sunday, May 20th, I decided that I would go gluten free for two months, to see if it helps my IBS at all. I'm not going to lie, the research I've done so far which tells me what I can and cannot eat makes me want to cry a bit...but finding gluten free cookies at the store lifted my spirits a bit! It seems like gluten is in EVERYTHING, so I know I won't be completely gluten free, but I know I'll be significantly reducing my intake, probably by at least 90%. A small part of me is hoping this doesn't work. I love products with gluten. LOVE. I love baking. I love cereal. I love drinking beer (though the gluten free beer I had at Goose Island Brewery Sunday was delish!). All those things are going to be so hard to cut out of my life the next few months. But if this little experiment works, and I don't have to go on meds to manage my IBS for the rest of my life....I'll take that outcome rather than pump myself full of prescription drugs any day.
So wish me luck and if you know of any good gluten free resources or have any personal experiences with this I would LOVE to hear from you!!!!