Monday, April 25, 2011

My Digestive Health and TMI

Ryan from No More Bacon recently posted on Attune Food's blog about digestive health in your overall health. He posed the question to readers, when did you become aware of digestive health and any effects on your overall health. 

My response was: 
  1. I was diagnosed as “Lactose Intolerant” in my early pre-teen years. It sucked… you see I love ice cream, but I learned early on that you have to give and take in this world, and you can’t always get what you want (cue song!)
    Later on, my doctor said that my intolerance was more of a sensitivity, and that I could have some lactose products, but to keep it to a minimum and in moderation.
    5 years ago, I had my gallbladder removed and my whole digestion system was thrown off kilter, it took nearly a year before I was finally able to get “regular” again.
    I’ve learned over the years that you’ve got to adapt and listen closely to what your body is trying to tell you, don’t always use medication to cover those symptoms, if your body can’t handle it, you’ve got to have to know it all to stop eating it.
    Thank you for this inspiration, I feel a blog post coming on!

    Being a kid, a kid who LOVED dairy, especially ice cream, being diagnosed as lactose intolerant, my gosh, was like a death sentence.  I thought that life was over. Then I got introduced to a medication that would allow me to enjoy some dairy products, I still couldn't drink milk, eat cheese and then wash it all down with ice cream, but I still could enjoy the occasional dairy product. 

    And this may be too much TMI, but if I did consume too much dairy, well then it was several quick trips to the bathroom, which I then would also treat with yet another medication. 

    A few years later, my body was apparently over it's Lactose Intolerant stage, and I could once again freely consume lactose without medications. This wasn't by some diagnosis, more trial and error, I would forget to take my pills, but then have no after effects, etc. 

    While in college, I had what is now known as a gallbladder attack, at the time they thought it was food poisoning.  I had another attack after I graduated from college, I was home, and drove myself to the ER. It was there that they performed a ultrasound of my gallbladder and saw that I had stones there. After meeting with some more doctors, I elected to have my gallbladder removed. And let me tell you anytime you have abdomen surgery, you feel that every part of your body is connected to your abdomen/abdominal muscles.  Laughing hurt!

    After I had my gallbladder removed, my doctor told me that it would be trial and error as to what I could eat and I'd have to see. Some people had no effects, and could continue eating as they normally would. Others, found that their diets would be restrictive.  For the next year, I couldn't travel far from a restroom, especially after eating.  Again my doctors would recommend a medication to help with the frequent bathroom visits. 

    It took about a year for the bile to regulate in my digestive system. You see, instead of having a gallbladder than can store the excess bile that is created, bile is just free flowing in my digestive system. So when I eat fatty meat or a fatty meal, there usually isn't enough bile to help break down the food.  And my system ends up dumping a lot of it before it's all been properly digested. 

    Since that time, I've learned that I simply cannot eat any breakfast meat... this includes BACON, I feel for you Ryan! And that I really have to limit fried foods. Also I've realized that I cannot eat large meals first thing in the morning, that I can typically tolerate a light to moderate breakfast, but nothing really heavy.  If I want to eat french toast, I typically have to have a piece of fruit or something small about an hour before. 

    Trust me, I've taken a lot of crap from the guys that I work with (firefighters) about being picky. It's not that I am picky, but I'd rather not be stuck in the bathroom when a call comes in!  The guys will sometimes cook eggs or homefries in the bacon grease, and I've realized that I cannot eat food cooked that way. It's really been a trial and error, and VERY frustrating at times. 

    During this time, I realized that I didn't really want to be on any medication that was in regards to my digestive health, if my body says I shouldn't be eating it, well then, I need to not be eating it. Not taking pills that mask my problems so I can eat certain foods. I think I would be better off not eating breakfast meats, fried food, etc, in excess. It's not good for my digestive or my overall health ;-) 


Yum Yucky said...

My hubby used to have to take up to 16 lactose pills just to have 2 slices of pizza. But then I started removing all refined white flour products from his diet. And you know what? That is what cured him from the lactose issue. he no longer needs pills to eat anything. Interesting, huh?

annelies at attune foods said...

Thanks for sharing your story Cassie. I'm glad to see Ryan's story inspired you to share your own. I think you are right on about listening to your body- that's pretty insightful! said...

Love it Cassie! I can totally feel you on the gall bladder thing. I just had mine out in January and I'm still not sure I've got all of it figured out yet. I've seen my weight fluctuate quite a bit and I'm still getting a feel for what I can and cannot eat.

Who needs bacon anyway?! (I do. Don't tell :)

katdoesdiets said...

I think this is such a great lesson for all of us on how important it is to pay attention to how what we eat makes us feel and affects our body.


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