Sanity: Doing Something Different to Get Different Results
Sunday, February 25, 2018
After having a very difficult year (to the day almost) with my digestive system and doing a lot of 'internet research' I have decided that I am going to not only follow the Low FODMAP (or low residue) food plan recommended by GI doctors for IBS but also add to that the 'gluten free' food plan recommended for celiac disease which I now suspect I may have also.
I subscribe to an email distribution list for any articles of 'interest' from WebMD.com. I have turned to this website for several years when I want some quick and simple answers to what symptoms I may or may not have. On recent addition that the site has added has been chat live with a medical doctor which I have done once. It is a conservative and traditional site so you will find answers that are considered mainstream and ones you would probably hear across the desk from your own PCP. Most recently they have also started 'weighing in' on all of the naturopathic herbal supplements that have their own 'following'. They are very careful not to promote supplements (they would be out of business if they did since doctors do make a lot of side money from prescribing medications for many lifestyle diseases) but to simply evaluate. I feel that it is a 'safe' site to visit without any dire consequences should you choose to follow any of the topics mentioned. Again, I am not promoting this site but just saying that I have found it to be useful especially when I didn't have health insurance.
One of the emails caught my attention since I have a recurring symptom with my tongue and inside of my mouth which impacts my ability to eat some solid foods. The article was titled 'What does your tongue say about your condition of your health?" or something to that affect. It was a slideshow and, quite frankly, some of the photos were kind of gross to look at. I found my interior of my mouth and tongue and the caption underneath the photo said 'indication of celiac disease'. So, after viewing the slideshow I searched for celiac disease. What I found was something that I didn't expect. Out of 12 symptoms in adults I had 11. When I shared this with my husband, Paul, without saying anything other than that I wanted to share some information with him, he said the same thing.
What tipped the conclusion for me was 1) my late Mom had C-Diff (it is even listed on her death certificate) and my younger sister has diverticulosis and 2) I have had digestive problems for half of my adult life although this past year it has peaked in terms of severity. Having a family connection is one sign to have it confirmed with a physician although the article warned that a diagnosis may take up to 4 years and sometimes even slips through the diagnostic tests as 'inconclusive'. I know of two people who did follow the rigors of going from doctor to doctor only to be told that the symptoms which I have viewed were not an indication of a 'disease' or 'condition' present. My mother-in-law nearly died before it was confirmed that she had C-Diff. She also went the rounds of various doctors and it took a couple of years before she did receive a diagnosis, confirmation and a treatment plan. She was in her late 80s and her health really suffered as a result. As one of her dear friends said, "We almost lost her." She just celebrated her 90th birthday in December and the difference between her health is like night and day.
Call it impatience or a desire to get some kind of measured relief but I need to take action now. I can follow up or through with doctors if what I do isn't working for me. It is just how I do things. So, I took notes from the subsequent article regarding the food plan recommended for those who suffer (and that is a very accurate term) from celiac disease. I immediately went and ordered all of the recommended foods from the list offered. The hardest food product to find (and we checked two stores) was the gluten-free bread. I may have to order that from Amazon.com and just freeze a couple of loaves.
These were and are my symptoms as they were listed in this article: iron deficiency (I have had this confirmed twice in 2016 and 2017 in a routine blood test at a doctor's office), bone or joint pain, arthritis, anxiety (and depression although I do not have that at this time), tingling numbness in hands and feet, seizures(I do not have these TG but it is good to note this), irregular menstrual periods (I am in perimenopause and it is quite difficult with a lot of pain, cramping and at times heavy bleeding), itchy skin (called dermatitis herpetiformis). Also the biggest drawback from having the iron deficiency (anemia in my case) is that my body is not absorbing nutrients which causes (and I do experience) fatigue, mouth sores, the horrible itchy skins with sores and then scabs and chronic pain.
Given this scenario what do I have to lose? What I do 'hope' to 'gain' from this is an abatement of my aforementioned symptoms and a return to a better quality of digestive health. So, starting today I am going to follow the recommended gluten-free food plan for this digestive disease. I am going to follow it for 4 weeks and I will journal how I am doing during this time. I will report weekly and give an update on how the previous week went.
"Seek and you shall find." I sure hope that I do.