After a horrific bout with the Norwalk virus in 2016 my gut changed and I couldn’t tolerate food, turning to mostly vegan plant based food choices. My body in truth does not fully function on a vegan or vegetarian diet and when I was able I introduced more nutrient dense foods once again into my eating practice I jumped on board.
A life long allergy to certain foods were long ago eliminated from my eating and having been diagnosed with gluten and lactose intolerance a decade ago it wasn’t the problem. Recently being diagnosed with histamine intolerance I had already modified my life to support this condition. The truth was my gut was still not happy or settled causing horrible discomfort and problems once more.
My mystery issue from the Norwalk virus became clear in 2019 when I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by my specialist at Womans College Hospital. I thought my food allergy eliminations were all I had to do on top of every other modification to solve my IBS condition, I was wrong.
Having lived with gut issues for 50 long years there was so much I didn’t know. For example I didn’t know it wasn’t normal to have an aching, bloated and upset stomach by dinner time. I didn’t know other people went out to eat at a restaurant and weren’t sitting in agony by dessert. I didn’t know that having regular upset stomach and frequent bouts of vomiting all through life was not normal. I didn’t know that certain common foods were not supposed to give you instant and intolerable headaches. I didn’t know that a doctor could have diagnosed my condition years ago but staying consistent with doctors never truly listening to my health concerns, I was left living in an a world of hurt.
The summer of 2021 my IBS flared like a smouldering summer forest fire. This time I altered some eating practices while I armed myself with knowledge. The things I learned were shockingly simple. By November, I put my IBS eating plan into full swing. As well, I take a supplement before each and every meal. Taking several weeks to do a complete elimination I was left with an extremely simple food plan accounting for my other gut issue conditions. It wasn’t easy but it was working within days, the feeling of a happy settled gut was unbelievable. I was truly hesitant to begin a reintroduction eating plan. Especially because I began dropping inflammation from ME and Fibromyalgia rather effectively and safely.
I began the reintroduction when ready learning very quickly what I can and cannot tolerate as well as how much or little. My inflammation and weight gain from my conditions continue to happily decrease. Truthfully although I have a plethora of knowledge and experience I wasn’t sure I could control my out of control body again. A disappointing thought when I had spent so many years working through various gut issues and regaining control of my body afterwards with huge successes. I continue to become more like my old bodily image daily, gifting two large bags of clothes for donation. I think I am most happy to see my hourglass figure returning to form and being able to fit my feet into my colourful converse once again.
The moral of this story is never to give up on yourself. I suppose being a picky eater as a child is a warning sign for the future, one that should never be ignored. A child reacting to food within their body is a sign, a sign to listen. You will always be your best advocate, likely you will learn this young. By age eleven I was already advocating to eliminate my weekly allergy shots as I identified the Friday night headaches and nausea not worth the suffering.
If you hit a wall, turn around and find another path. You are worth it whatever it takes. Most likely you will be the one and only person who gets to the bottom of your issues often after those who should support and treat you have turned a blind eye or stopped listening. It is not until all underlying conditions within ones body have been identified and treated that you will begin once again to see the light. You are worth the fight and I warn you you will need to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, but you are the only one who can do it.
It is now a year later that I finish writing this blog. I have consistently and considerably been dropping weight ever since I began the IBS treatment. I have lost the equivalent of three 10 lb bags of potatoes, come down two to three clothing sizes and I am able to experience more movement daily with pacing causing more weight loss. My stomach is now identifying when I am full during meals which it never did before and I don’t require as much food as I once did to function. All in all, it is a win all around.