It’s a new year, which means everyone is jumping on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon, and apparently I’m no different. There’s zero reasons why I couldn’t have changed my eating habits in the past, I just honestly thought I could deal with the consequences of eating things I enjoyed, but maybe didn’t agree with me.
I’ve had digestive issues for almost as long as I can remember. I remember embarrassing situations in Jr. High and High School where I’d have to pray that I didn’t have bathroom issues throughout the day. I remember times in college during exams where I had to excuse myself to use the facilities multiple times…. shit sucks… literally. So this has been something I’ve been dealing with for a while now, but for the longest time I’ve been able to semi-manage it and get by with my life, but things are different now… I have a family.
When I had issues previously it was just me that missed out on things. If I felt like shit one day/night and couldn’t go out, I was the only one that suffered. Sure, my friends were all heartbroken and upset that I wasn’t there to hang out with them, but ultimately they survived, and I was the one spending my Friday night sitting at home by myself annoyed. Now, I have a wife and a daughter who I want to be able to spend time with outside of our house without having to worry about where the nearest bathroom is, or if we’re going to have to cut our day/night short cause I feel like shit. My wife and I have been married for almost five years, and our daughter is almost two, and thankfully, within that time I haven’t had any major incidents that required me missing out on anything, but towards the end of the year there were a couple times where I almost missed out on stuff, and one time where I actually did miss out on something that I was super excited about… so it was time for a change.
If you’ve been reading or following this blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I’m not a huge fan of food. I don’t get super excited about going to new restaurants to try new foods, or anything like that. I do, however, enjoy going out to restaurants to hang out with friends and family, the food has always been secondary for me. So because of this, when we do go out, I tend to order the same things all the time, so I’ve kind of been able to figure out what ‘might’ set me off and what doesn’t. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like I’m 100% in my predictions, but I’m guessing that’s because maybe I eat something that I know is fine, but a day or two earlier maybe I ate something I wasn’t sure of and it decides to attack me when I’m out, instead of when I first ate it.
Which leads me into doctors visits.
Since I’ve been dealing with this for so long I have seen doctors about it. It’s not like I waited 35 years before trying to do anything about this (although I did probably wait too long in general). About 7-8 years ago I saw a gastroenterologist to discuss these problems, but aside from shoving his finger in my ass, he didn’t really have anything else to say other than maybe give up lactose. In his defense though, he was a friend of my father in-law and was just seeing me as a favor to him, and I probably didn’t ask the right questions or push for any testing since it wasn’t really affecting anyone but me at the time. So I don’t blame that doctor at all for not moving forward with any other testing.
Fast forward to a couple years after that, I decided it was time to see another gastro doc to see if I suffered from the latest ‘gluten-free’ fad that was going around. At that point I really didn’t know anything about going gluten-free or why all of a sudden tons of people claimed to be allergic to gluten, but I soon found out. Gastro doc #2 scheduled me for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy to check to see if he could determine what was going on by getting a look at my insides.
After having both procedures done, and have a blood test that helps test for celiacs, everything came back inconclusive. There were no signs that I was suffering from celiacs, and they couldn’t see anything else that would possibly be wrong… so basically IBS.
After reading some stuff on the internet and seeing what other people had to say about it, I can honestly say I don’t have it nearly as bad as some of other people out there, but it still sucks when I do have issues.
Knowing that there was nothing majorly wrong (as in like cancer or something intreatable) was a bit of a relief, but still annoying that there wasn’t a specific cause that could be treated, or something I could just stop eating. So that’s why I decided to see an allergist this past week.
I was under the assumption that there were breath tests scratch tests and things like that, that I could do to try and determine which foods to stay away from. The scratch tests mainly tests for allergies that could possibly kill you, not really digestive sensitivities, and the breath tests aren’t super accurate, nor do medical doctors really practice them (outside of the sucrose test I believe). So in light of that, the allergist recommended an elimination diet and gave me two options. I could either eat plain chicken and white rice for a week and then slowly introduce new foods, one at a time, the next week, see how a feel, then introduce another, etc.. If something made me feel shitty, stop eating that and move on to the next food. It seems tedious and boring, and even though I don’t care for food, for the most part, I don’t want to be eating chicken and rice forever, so the FODMAP diet was the only other idea.
The FODMAP diet basically limits your intake of food that is known to pull water into your intestines, and since diarrhea happens because of too much water in the intestines that doesn’t get absorbed, this seemed like a solid plan. There are a million other sites out there that will explain to you what foods are actually allowed on the FODMAP diet, so I won’t get into those, but that’s what we’re trying now.
So we’ll see what happens. This site may turn into something it was never meant to be, or I’ll just continue eating random food and writing about it as usual. Either way, the food I eat is about to change drastically and I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more write ups on FODMAP friendly things, but probably not about sushi, even though sushi is gluten free, I still despise sushi.
I haven’t been tracking my ongoing progress as it happens, but I did just publish an update post so you can see how I’ve survived 6 months on the low FODMAP diet…