What’s Wrong with My Stomach? My Story.
You might have noticed that I have been experimenting with quite a few diet philosophies in the past year or so. Vegan, Nourishing Traditions, Paleo, Refined-Sugar Free, Gluten-Free.. I’ve developed recipes that fit into all of these categories. I think it’s time to explain why I seem a little scatterbrained.
I have stomach pain. I’m not talking about an occasional sour stomach or a little indigestion here and there, I’m talking about chronic, every day pain. Not sharp pains or writhing pains, but a dull pain and tenderness that doesn’t ever seem to go away. And I still don’t know why.
But let’s back up a minute.
In 2007-ish, back when I was in college and before this blog began, I was having a similar problem with my stomach. Long story short, I ended up seeing a GI where I had an endoscopy that found the bacteria H. Pylori in my system. Relieved to find the answer to my problems, I took the prescribed antibiotics, went on my merry way and promptly forgot the whole thing ever happened.
Fast forward a few years, and my stomach pain is creeping back into daily life. When I first noticed it, I started making changes to my diet- eating more whole foods and less processed stuff, thinking that would help. (I was still eating organic/”natural” processed stuff, but I was making progress.) When I continued to feel sick, I started changing things up again; wondering if it was just a food sensitivity that I needed to uncover. So I began my quest to try an even simpler whole foods style diet to see if I could find the answer to my problem again.
Around this time (early 2012), my sister-in-law was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. This opened up our family to a whole new way of eating- one that we did not understand at first. (We failed miserably at supporting her efforts to heal her body in the beginning- but I think now she knows that we are behind her 100%!) I started to wonder if maybe I could get some results with similar changes.
I started doing some research about things like bone broth, leaky gut syndrome, probiotics and fermented cod liver oil, and suddenly remembered the H. Pylori. A giant light bulb went off in my head. Could my stomach have been deteriorating for the past five years? Is the H. Pylori still in there? Is there any hope to heal it? I decided to work with my sister-in-law’s nutritionist myself to find out.
Now Tricare comes into the picture.
I am so thankful to have healthcare, but I am growing weary jumping through their hoops and waiting too long for my test results. I am hoping to get a referral to see a GI who will check for permanent damage or ulcerations, but in the mean time, I am starting a new diet protocol which is somewhat overwhelming.
No gluten. Use grains sparingly. Use cheese sparingly (!!!!). No corn. A GAPS/SCD-type diet for now.
I wish I could tell you the end of this story, but it hasn’t happened yet. I am hoping dietary changes will heal my body and I’ll be able to enjoy a meal without pain or let my babies jump on my tummy without me cringing. Until then, I will be wrapping my head around this plan and figuring out what it means to use cheese sparingly (how??). This is part of the reason the new website is so important to me- I want it to be easy for those of you with dietary restrictions to find what you are looking for. I know what it feels like to struggle- to look at a full refrigerator without any idea what to eat. If I can help make that process easier for even one person, I’ll be so glad.
Thanks for sticking with Oven Love through all the ups and downs. I plan on making delicious food no matter what lies ahead.
(If you are having similar issues and would like more details about my journey and my dietary recommendations, I’d love to talk! firstname.lastname@example.org)