Friday, December 21, 2012

A new mission

I'm on a new mission... this one is to feel better.

Over the past year, my mission was to teach  myself to run and accomplish the half marathon.  I can see that in 2013, my new mission is to continue to improve in running and strength training, but while doing so on a very restricted diet.  It's been done before, I just may have some challenges. It's going to take a lot of research, a lot of cooking, and a lot of trial and error (and food logging).  I'm particularly sensitive about it because people often feel they need to tell me how I am doing it wrong.  That because I don't eat meat I am automatically not getting enough nutrients.  That I HAVE to eat fish.  I log my food every single day. I am constantly watching to make sure I am getting what I need.  Just because you eat meat doesn't mean you eat healthy by default. Just because I don't eat meat doesn't mean I don't get enough protein.  (exit soapbox).

Anyone who knows me knows that I just haven't been feeling well for the past 6 months. But why? I had this sinking suspicion that it was being caused by dietary issues, but even with my best Nancy Drew practices, it was purely speculation and I wasn't really getting anywhere.  Finally, I gave in and went to the doc.  The gastroenterologist wanted me to add gluten back into my diet, and then a month later go in for an endoscopy to check for celiac disease, gastritis  h pylori bacteria (the bacteria that causes ulcers, gastritis, etc), etc.  I went in for that on Monday and the doc said everything looked great. They took a few biopsies and I will get the results in a week or so.

I also went to a doctor who took my blood panel and sent it off to the Meridian Valley Lab for iGg and iGe testing.  The trick was finding this test - it's not covered by insurance, it's not offered by an allergist or a gastroenterologist.  I found it at the Metro Center Health Center, which specializes in chiropractic, headaches, allergies, and hormonal issues.  The test checks your blood for antibodies having either an immediate (iGe) or delayed (iGg) reaction and breaks it down into low, moderate, and severe classifications so you can determine which foods to avoid. This test helps determine particular foods that might be causing undesirable daily symptoms, migraines, IBS, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  One theory my gastroenterologist had was that I may have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) that is not only flared up by certain foods, but by stress.  Well, fine. But if that's my diagnosis, it doesn't actually tell me what foods are doing it, and IBS isn't curable.  IBS is almost often caused by food intolerance and food sensitives   If I can narrow it down and avoid the foods, I can kill two birds with one stone.  The test cost me $700.00. Here is more information on the test and the differences in allergic reactions:

$700.00 well spent.  Here's what it came back with:

"Low" sensitive foods are not a big deal unless I eat them every day.  In this fell things like corn, shrimp, almonds, avocado, soybeans, chocolate, a bunch of spices, pistachios, cashews, kale, pinto beans, zucchini and yams (there were a lot but these were the highest).  Since I don't eat any of these items on a daily basis, I'll just be careful. The only ones I'll have to watch are soy, kale, and zucchini. I love them all.

"Moderate" foods are to be watched as they may or may not be causing a problem. The reaction is high enough to keep an eye on, but I can test them sooner.  The test: Eliminate for 3-6 months and then try to re-introduce and test for reaction.  So, I will be avoiding the following items:

  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pineapple
  • Green Beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Brewer's yeast (no big deal, I don't drink beer)
  • Mushrooms (sad face) 
  • Spelt 
  • Paprika
  • Poppy seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Alfalfa
  • Water chestnuts
  • Tapioca (I'm nervous about this one, since it's a common ingredient in gluten free goods)
"Severe" foods are to be eliminated completely, but tested for at least 6 months prior to reintroducing:
I had a major reaction to several foods.  So, I will not be eating the following:
  • All dairy (cow and goat), especially cheese, casein, cottage cheese, and milk.
  • Eggs (my reactions were so far off the chart it wasn't even funny). Major sad face.
  • Gluten 
  • Navy beans (random. I don't think I even eat them).
Seeing as how we are about to be on the road for a week and traveling over the holidays, I decided to start my full elimination diet starting on January 1st.  I will just try to choose my food wisely and try not to flare my stomach up too bad in the meantime.


I'm tired of being sick, and I'm tired of complaining about it.  Cooking at home will be no problem, but the reality of the situation is that its almost impossible to go out to eat anywhere.  I'm glad I have scientific proof of what's going on, and hope this is the start of finding the root of the problem, and making this all stop.  I am confident that 2013 means I will finally feel better.

No comments:

Post a Comment