If you read my last post about the SCdiet possibly being helpful for IBDers, then here's the follow-up I promised after the appointment with my doctor to review all of my test results - some I already knew, some I suspected, and some were a surprise to me.
1st - A Complete Surprise - As mentioned previously, perhaps the most important thing he found out is that I am completely intolerant of any all types of dairy. I do not genetically posess the ability to break down any dairy products. I cannot believe that with all the GI's, nutritionists, and Naturopaths I've seen over the past years NOBODY found this. According to this doctor this can cause major problems in the digestive tract.
2nd - I am gluten-intolerant - I already knew this but it's confirmed again.
3rd- I cannot break down fruit & sugar together - I didn't know this could even be an issue. If I want to eat one I have to do so without the other. So, I can't eat a peach pie which has sugar in it, but I can eat a peach. Or I can eat a chocolate cake with sugar, but not with a raspberry sauce on top. None of this really matters for me right now since I'm on the SCD which doesn't allow sugar anyway. BTW - honey isn't sugar so it is allowed on the SCDiet.
4th - My adrenal glands aren't working right, and my cortisol levels are out of whack. Adrenal and cortisol levels of a healthy person throughout the day should look like a ski slope, with your highest cortisol level being in the morning and your lowest level at night. Mine is just a straight line throughout the day. Which is most likely why I never feel rested, am tired, and emotional.
5th - I am estrogen dominant - I suspected this.
6th - I am hypoglycemic (Low blood sugar) - I suspected this as well.
And my production of Reverse T3 is high - so my thyroid is hyperactive which is caused by both stress and auto-immune issues.
7th - I have leaky gut - I already knew it.
8th - and most interesting - My stool tests showed no mucus or elevated WBC's or gut infections. According to this doctor my stool test results (done by Metametrix) do not make me look like an Ulcerative Colitis (UC) patient. They make me look like an MC (microscopic colitis) patient with severe dairy intolerance which can cause UC-like symptoms because of over-consumption of dairy products.
He said I am the 2nd person who has been referred to him who was diagnosed with UC who actually has MC with severe dairy intolerance.
How this is relevant to me is this:
After my first colonoscopy 12 years ago I was diagnosed with MC - I had no blood in my stool just severe diarrhea (20-30 BM's/day) and severe weight loss. After the colonoscopy I got sicker because of the prep and anesthesia and lost even more weight so I ate mostly yogurt, cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, milk, etc. All dairy, right? To which I've been intolerant since birth, apparently. My symptoms got worse - the weight loss continued and blood and mucus now became a constant part of my bowel movements. When I talked to my GI and told him about the blood, mucus, and continuing weight loss he changed my diagnosis to UC, without another scope to confirm it. My recollection of why we didn't do another scope at that time is because of how sick the first scope seemed to have made me. But, looking back on it now with this new knowledge, it could have been that I got so much sicker after that first scope because of all the dairy products I was eating.
So, it's not a confirmed fact yet, and won't be until I have another colonoscopy to check my colon, but there is a very good chance that I have MC with severe dairy intolerance not UC.
This current doctor is thinking that by getting my adrenals and thyroid under control, removing ALL dairy from my diet forever (which I've done for 3 weeks so far), eating the SCDiet for at least one year, maybe two, and following the fruit/sugar rule once I am off the SCD, will make a monumental difference to my health. He also thinks that within 3-6 months we'll probably be able to ween me off the Asacol I've taken for 12 years - I've tried getting off it more than 3 times but each time I've done so the severe diarrhea and weight loss return, sometimes with blood in the stool, sometimes without. But, whenever my gut flared in the past I always went back to yogurt and cheese to calm things down which was probably making it all worse.
As he told me, having MC is also IBD and serious, but the dairy intolerance is probably what can make it even worse and more severe and is serious in-and-of itself.
If you haven't been tested for food intolerances do it - it's a simple little finger prick blood test - created by O.G. Carroll back in the 1970s and my doctor sent it off to Windrose Naturopathic Clinic in Spokane Washington - (509) 327-5143. Try calling them and seeing if they can tell you who does the test where you live.
For now, that's where I am and what I know. Personally, I don't care much about the name of what I have if I can just figure out how to get it all under control and begin to thrive. But from a health insurance point-of-view, if I've had UC on my health records all these years and not really had it then I'm ticked - especially since I am self-employed and pay monumental prices to have health insurance. If/when I have another scope, if it doesn't show any UC-type scar tissue, along with my first scope report, I might be able to get that diagnosis changed - whether it makes a difference, since MC is still IBD, I don't know. But right now that isn't my priority. Getting my health on a thriving track is first and foremost. I'll worry about the rest later.
I hope my story is helping others. This has been a long journey for me so far and the journey continues with new information and treatment options. I've learned that you just have to keep looking for answers because even when it seems like you have one, it might not be the right one.
Best to all,
Author, Living with IBD & IBS - www.ibdandibs.com
Published On: June 27, 2011