Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Journey to wellness...

I can't believe I am actually blogging. I am not a writer mostly because I am not good at it. I don't enjoy writing and therefore its one of the only things in life that I procrastinate with. But Ive decided that blogging may not only help me on this journey, but help others going through the same thing. The worst
part of this is I feel alone. I know that by sharing my experiences, I may be able to help someone not feel this way. I need to fill you on the boring background in order to tell you where I am today and why I am going to such drastic measures to feel good.

I have been on a journey the last 6 months that lead me to today. To make a very long story short...I have been dealing with stomach issues my whole life. I think that when I was younger, it was more of a nervous stomach but nonetheless, limited me from doing things. It got really bad after I got married and the stomach "issues"(pain, nausea, burning, gas, bloated) got worse. It got to the point where those issues lead to anxiety/panic attacks. My stomach would hurt, my mind would focus on it making my belly worse and that would make me worry more... it would be a huge back and forth between my gut and my mind.

So I did what any person would do, I saw a gastro. We did every test under the sun-endoscopy, ultra sounds, digestive tests, gall bladder--you name it. They came up with nothing. I finally went to Johns Hopkins and saw a doctor who was both a gastro and a psychiatrist. Didn't make sense to me either. But there is a direct link from your mind to your gut... The doctor did some really bizarre tests (too embarrassing for print) and basically told me that I had a motility issue- and that he was going to put me on an antidepressant and something to relax me (klonipin). I didn't take the antidepressant but the other med did help relax me and my gut.

SO I survived over the years eating very bland...I just learned to deal with the issues. I would eat the frozen yogurt and get the severe bloating after. It was worth it or so I thought. Many foods I ate triggered noticeable reactions but it didn't stop me. I dealt with fatigue all the time that never slowed me  down for one minute. I walked around in a fog a lot-it was very hard for me to focus but again, you wouldn't know it by watching me.  I didn't realize the continued eating things that my system did not agree with would cause further issues.

This summer I took the best vacation ever. I went to Canyon Ranch in Lenox Ma. My husband and I love fitness, eating well, and just the atmosphere you have there. It was a vacation that I knew would be relaxing but I decided it was time to focus on my health. I wanted to focus on feeling good--because after years and years of feeling not right, my symptoms started to get worse. My adrenal glands were fatigued beyond relief. The headaches were I would pop advil like candy. By the way, I am sure the advil did not help my stomach. And my sleep was disturbed which required me to take things to help me sleep. And lastly, my stomach would get so bloated that I looked 8 months pregnant.

I learned something very interesting at Canyon Ranch (they have lectures during the day and I took almost all of them) I learned that when you eat things that you are "allergic" to or things that your body cannot tolerate, it causes inflammation. With time, that inflammation can cause disease, like cancer, heart disease etc...I also have an autoimmune disease which at this point is stable. (hashimotos which is a thyroid disease) By continuing with the habits I have, I was headed for disease.

I took a ton of blood work at the Ranch. I also was tested for parasites, yeast, name it. And I was test for food intolerances. The results of that blood work came back that I am intolerant to gluten, dairy, eggs and some other random foods. I tried eliminating those from my diet and although I felt a little better, I still had so many of the above symptoms and they were becoming unlivable. (if I am being honest, I really was only about 75% there but I thought that was great)

Brings me to present day...I started with a new dr a month or so ago. He is a chiro--but  he specializes in helping people who can't seem to get help from regular drs. He gave me a whole host of blood tests and he insisted I use a lab called cyrex which has the most accurate gluten tests. Mine came back that I have leaky gut  and I have a huge gluten intolerance.

At this point, I am desperate to feel better and I have to trust that dealing with this leaky gut will help me on so many levels. He told me I have to go on the repairvite detox diet. I am sure you are saying "what?" Basically for two weeks, I have to be on a very strict diet to basically clear out my system. To supplement, he gave me a powder that I have to drink once a day to help my system get balanced. Instead of telling you what I can't eat (list is too long) I will tell you what I can.

*Most Veggies (no potato, tomatoes or mushrooms)
*Fermented Foods (mixed pickle, pickled ginger, sauerkraut)
*Low gyycemic fruit (apples, pears, cherries, berries)
*Coconut, Herbal tea, Olive Oil

THATS IT. My first thought was, I cannot live without coffee. I cannot live without a sweet. I cannot live without my corn chips. But then again, I cannot live with feeling this way. I did get him to agree to let me have brown rice and he only agreed because I was not reactive to it.

Despite the fact that I had a cup of coffee on the way to the dr, and a cup of chex mix cereal (mmm), I was committed to doing the diet, no matter how hard it was. My husband and I spent the day at the supermarket buying things that I can eat (go ahead you can laugh because there is not much that I can buy) He also spent the day making me lunches for the week (salad/grilled chicken) and cutting up fruits and veggies to snack on. I also drank the mix...not sure why I thought it would be clear and tasteless. It was not very good

I can tell you that Day 1 is tough. I am tired and cranky. I am bloated like you wouldn't believe because I think since I have only had veggies, fruit and a little chicken/rice , my belly is not happy. I keep thinking how am I going to get through my work day tomorrow and think about making decisions when all I keep focusing on is what I can't have. Food is occupying all my thoughts. That and coffee-and I did try tea today (no truvia and honey allowed) and it was not the same.

But hoping that everyday gets easier and easier. For now, my goal is to stick to this...try and vary what I eat as far as proteins. And get through the detox period because I know its going to be tough.

I will apologize now to my family and friends because unfortunately, you have to live with me during the next two weeks.