Friday, August 26, 2011

Going Gluten Free

I have many adventures to write about yesterday's trip to Toronto (if I ever get around to it.  If I don't, the purpose for which I went made it a *very* successful day) but I will do that another time.  Today, is about health stuffs.

The doc put me on antibiotics, a bit to my protest.  Listen, if you know I'm taking these, you know I'm trying anything at this point.  We've almost completely run out of options (well, *I* think that, I know he still has stuff in mind).  These were the antibiotics that are trying to target certain bacteria in the gut that may be causing my problems (more on this later).  Ugh... they've made me so sick.  It's difficult to go anywhere so I've been boarded up in this apartment quite a lot, except for the purposes of work, appointments or (necessary) errands.  And when I do go out, I heavily medicate (wheee! more drugs!  /sarcasm).  I can't decide if I want to stay on them (I'm about half way done its course).  I keep telling myself 'short-term suffering for long-term gain' but I don't even know if they'll work!  Have I subjected my body to vulnerability without just cause?  Am I curing with medication when I've believed things can be cured through food/diet or lifestyle?  I just don't know.  Then he said it again (also in our previous visit)....

"You should try a gluten-free elimination diet for 4 weeks."

Last time I pretended not to hear him.  What are you talking about gluten free?  No breads?  Toast?  Pasta?  Cookies? (gasp! cookies!) No French cooking?!?! (how much gluten free French cooking do you know of?)  I think I might just cry at this point.  BEER!?!?  Denial is NOT just a river in Egypt.

So when he said it this time, I was ready to listen.  I still protested, don't get me wrong.  But what I soon realized was whining, was actually panic.  I don't know how to eat WITHOUT eating those things.  No oatmeal in the morning?  No toast as a filler between snacks, or before bed?  No grilled cheese sammiches?!  No relaxing beer on a Friday night at the pub?  Depressing.  But, if I want to feel better, I HAVE to try it.  Remember?  I'm trying anything.

The reason is thus (and I'm probably going to explain this totally wrong, so I apologize in advance); when I eat carbs (and I eat a lot, my friend), my gut can only process so much at a time.  What's leftover, ferments.  The bacteria in there is whoopin' it up, havin' a party (as it was explained to me, "it's like giving a kegger to a frat party").  More carbs?  More keggers.  That's what causes the pain, the sickness.  Your gut says, "Woa, too much!" and finds ways of elimination (I guess the frat boys are on their way home at this point).

So this also brings to suggestion about a fructose sensitivity (for the same fermentation/bacteria problem).  Now, I don't have an 'outright' problem with fruit.  I seem to ingest small enough portions at a time for it not to bother me; which isn't to say it's not a culprit, but I'll be cognizant of it for now.  It sure as hell explains why I can't drink apple cider (one drink of that and the pain, discomfort and sickness that ensues is enough to last me the year).

There's a six-food elimination diet (cow's milk, nuts & tree nuts, soy, shellfish and wheat/gluten - also see here) that's possible (it also seems to tie in with eosinophilic esophogitis which I'd never heard of until now), but he doesn't want me to go to that extreme right away.  Right now he just wants me to eliminate gluten and dairy.  If I try any first, I'll try the gluten (dairy will be easy, I don't consume THAT much.... or do I?).

So.. I've been spending the last few days mentally preparing.  What day I'll actually choose to give 'er a go?  No idea. Maybe Sept 1.  Which is right around the corner.  And I haven't begun shopping for gluten free foods.  Oh, please shoot me.

Wish me luck!


hydra said...

I do wish you luck, Perovskia, especially as I may have the same thing. Though oddly enough, I ate an apple picked fresh off the tree today and all my tummy discomfort went, about 20 minutes after eating the apple. Coincidence or miracle? I really don't know but I shall try it again. Which antibiotic are you on?

Perovskia said...

Thanks, Hydra. It's going to take a lot of discipline. Eek!

Amoxi-clav. It was making me too sick, so I've since gone off it.

Yes, it's possible about the apple! I'd research it more!

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