Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Journey with GI Issues, Part 2

The truth is, I am not certain how many parts there will be to this journey.  What I can tell you is that things seem to be going in the right direction.  I have had a few days in the past month where I felt pretty normal.  So, please keep reading!  I want nothing more than to help people suffering with GI (gastrointestinal) issues.  This experience has opened up a flood of empathy for everyone who cannot just pop into their mouth whatever their brains and tongues feel like!

Recap of Journey, Part 1:
I was a sick child.  I stress this because the point is, I had GI issues since then but just thought of my symptoms as the real/targeted issue.  Many ear infections, asthma, allergies, food intolerances (mainly bananas), sulfa allergy, acne.  Did I mention acne?  Talk about inflammation!!  As miserable as the other symptoms were, acne was emotionally miserable as well.  I strongly believe it has shaped a part of my personality and where I am at today.  I can say my husband saw past it and that speaks volumes to me :)  Joe is amazing.  

Back in the day (which was about 15 years ago) I went on antibiotic after antibiotic to treat acne.  Unfortunately this only fed into my issues.  I did also go through 2 rounds of Acutane - not sure if that is still on the market.  The thing I noticed helped the most was birth control.  I would never go on that again, though.

The doctor who discharged Evan and I when he was born did not prescribe it.  He said when teens or young adults go to the dr with an issue related to menstruation, birth control does not heal it.  It puts it on the back burner and the problems exist in years to come.  Perhaps even new ones.  I will never forget his comments.  His outlook in medicine shaped a part of who I am today.  Unfortunately he did not continue with general medicine (went to emergency) or I would have him to this day.  Okay, I digress.  

Digestion is like setting out to bake a cake.  You have to have all of the ingredients and proper equipment.  Ingredients include digestive juices released in the mouth, stomach, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Saliva, stomach acid, pancreatic digestive enzymes, beneficial bacteria [I advise people to reconsider the claim that yogurt is a sufficient source of ben. bacteria.  It is not a complete truth and in fact the sugars (often times aspartame) will not help a person with digestion problems.  Plain, whole milk fat, organic yogurt is the best option - besides raw and making it yourself which I have not done, yet], and bile are all of the juices those organs need to make in order to assist us with getting the nutrients into our bodies and the excess/waste out of them.  

The equipment includes our organs.  How are they all important?  They are.  Our body is one unit, not a collection of individual mechanisms.  Each organ and process is vital to the next organ and process.  Also, did you know the GI tract is the number one organ in our immune system?!  It is responsible for 70% of our immune system (according to Joe about 5 days ago - Joe works in the scientific/medical field and is my go-to resource). 

So, for me, the thing Dr. Paulson suspected right away was Leaky Gut and a candida (yeast) overgrowth.  

I already dove in to that (here)

The truth is, I should have done a stool sample/test right away.  That would have indicated yeast, parasites, healthy and unhealthy gut flora.  I did do such a test about 3 weeks ago and it came back normal.

However, I did treat for yeast/candida before the test.  These are the supplements I started out with:
My first few months consisted of nutritional and supplemental support to heal my intestinal wall.  If you would like more details I can sure share.  As you can see, it was a lot.  But I had the support of a doctor who told me what to do.  She helped me problem solve along the way.

If you have health concerns, find a doctor to guide you.  Do not let my posts do so.  We are all too unique and my symptoms are likely not exactly like anyone else's.  I would no recommend a general practitioner, though!  Find either a Naturopathic or Integrative Medical doctor.  And, call them ahead of time.  Ask them if they can help you.  If they have helped someone with similar symptoms.  Advocate for yourself.

If you do not advocate for yourself you will suffer.  No one will step up and push it for you.  If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be taken care of.  This is what I have learned.  It has been worth the hundreds+ dollars I have spent because Dr. Paulson is good and is responsive to me, my needs, and my concerns.  Do not settle for less with a doctor.  Do not.

If there is anything more I can help anyone with, I am very open to talking more through email or on the phone :)  I would love it if my suffering was worth more than just taking care of myself.

Since this photo (which was back in September - 3 months ago) I have added and subtracted supplements.  I am now only taking about 8 different ones every day.  Still a lot, but not that much!  I do not think I will post more about this journey for another month or so.  I will say I did start menstruating, finally!  I know this is probably too much information but in my opinion it is a sign that everything I have been doing is working and my body is getting back on tract.  More testament that all of this treatment has been worth it!  GI issues are not normal.  They should not be accepted.  People with them deserve a lot of support.  I hope I have encouraged that.  

2 comments:

  1. Time is so valuable, and I cannot thank you enough for the time and effort you have put into these posts! While they have been a great help to me personally, I am overjoyed to learn that you are getting positive results!!! YAY!!! If I get any helpful information on my end of life, I will be sure to share. In the meantime, I will keep on praying that things continue to move in the right direction for you!

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  2. I am so glad you are starting to see results!

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