This is not my typical post, but I wanted to share with you all what has been going on with me over the last few months. I have been battling what seems like endless health issues over the past year and a half and it was time to finally get to the bottom of it. I was tired of being tired all the time and sick of being sick whenever I ate. It’s a New Year and time for a New Me!
Have you ever gone to the doctor for something you’ve been experiencing, hoping to get a quick fix and then come out with a new life plan? Your life changes in an instant? I know that has happened several times to me – once when my dad was diagnosed with cancer and second, for me, just a few weeks ago.
Let’s back up for a second. I have dealt with my fair share of intestinal issues since my gall bladder was removed when I was 19. I found out I had Crohn’s right after I turned 20. All was well for years, until my dad passed away suddenly. About 3 months after his passing I got very sick and the tests started. They found that I not only have Crohn’s, but also Celiac and Ulcerative Colitis. I began taking medicine and it alleviated the issues and all was well again.
Until it wasn’t.
About a year and a half ago I began experiencing severe pain in my stomach in the evening hours. It got to the point that I couldn’t eat after 4pm and if I did, my stomach would get hard and bloated, almost like I was 8 months pregnant – only I wasn’t! It was not only painful, it was frustrating. It didn’t matter what I ate or when, this happened nearly every night.
Then, in January 2016 we found I was pregnant. The symptoms seemed to persist for another couple months and then finally resolved. I was relieved. Before I found out I was pregnant, I started taking a health supplement that was supposed to heal your gut and help – I thought it was working. I was thrilled. The rest of the pregnancy I had hardly any issues with my intestines, which was good since I had terrible trouble with my hips and back.
It wasn’t until about 8 weeks after delivery that I started experiencing the same symptoms again. I called up my GI doctor for an annual visit and we devised a plan. Because of the medicine that helped me through the episodes included an antihistimine, we believed this might all be due to allergies – food allergies. So off to the allergist I went.
On December 19th, I was able to complete my allergy testing and we found some interesting results. Some were shocking and some I suspected, but now confirmed. For those that do not know, the skin test can easily give false positives, so we eliminate all positive results for at least 2 weeks and then reintroduce them one at a time. So for now, I have eliminated the following from my diet: pork, tuna, shellfish, corn, wheat/gluten, apples, apricots, oranges, celery, sweet potatoes, cashews, sunflower/safflower, coffee, tea, parsley, yeast and egg whites. Whew! What a list!
After I realized that there were in fact foods I could still eat and reorganized my thinking, it hasn’t been that bad. The hardest part is avoiding yeast and corn, because they are in EVERYTHING! I have to check medicine labels as well as food labels now, which proved problematic as I suffered a terrible cold last week, of which I’m still recovering.
I can honestly say it hasn’t been easy. I’ve lost some weight, which isn’t a bad thing, but more importantly I feel so much better. I have not had to take the nightly medicine for the bloating, which is great. And now I am actually dreading the reintroduction of these foods. I don’t want to hurt and feel like that again, but I know it is just a process and will only last a short time. Over the next few weeks I will begin reintroducing each of these foods one at a time and will then have a definitive answer on my true allergies. Some of them, I already know and don’t need to reintroduce, such as shellfish, pork and wheat/gluten.
As my lifestyle changes and I find new and healthier ways to eat with all these allergies, I hope to share some of my new favorite recipes with you all. I am anxious and nervous about this new life, but I am excited to feel better and get my body back in to shape!
Do you have any food allergies? What about New Year’s Resolutions?