Trying New Things

Elizabeth Roberts Health Guide

    In past blogs I've written about the various diets I've tried and foods I've cut out of my life to help manage my IBD and IBS symptoms. Well, here's a new one for you. A little more than two months ago I went completely gluten-free (GF). Since May I had been dealing with serious and uncomfortable bloating and gas - not symptoms that had ever caused me issues before. These new symptoms were so bothersome that I actually found myself not eating just so the symptoms wouldn't appear.


    Quickly realizing what I was doing and that not eating wasn't an option I started keeping another food diary. After just a few days I saw that bread and pasta were big culprits in my bloating/gas issue. So, I stopped eating them. Then I started researching gluten-intolerance and decided to go gluten-free. This is a lot easier today than it was the first time I tried it 10 years ago. I was able to find many gluten-free products in my normal, everyday grocery store like GF pasta, GF crackers, Rice chips, GF cereal, and GF bread and baking mixes.

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    At about week 3 of my GF diet I saw my gastroenterologist and was given a basic blood test for Celiac disease which came back negative. He also tested stool samples to make sure I was dealing with a parasite - I'm not. He gave me the choice of having further testing to really rule out Celiac disease, but for the moment I've decided to stay gluten-free and have also added a digestive enzyme and ginger pills to my daily routine. These have helped even more and I no longer have any bloating or gas.


    In addition to seeing my gastroenterologist I am also seeing an Integrative medicine doctor - think Andrew Weil - he's an M.D. but looks at health first from a holistic, vitamin approach, lifestyle approach, before diving into prescribing every pharmaceutical known to man. This is the doctor who suggested the digestive enzymes and ginger. He also had me increase my daily amount of B vitamins as well as Vitamin D - both supposed to be helpful with the gut. That said, I'm seeing him tomorrow to discuss the vitamin regime as I've not had a good experience with the increase in B vitamins. Every time I take them I get very fatigued, whirly-headed (not dizzy exactly, but very spacey and just can't focus), and have a slight tingling and coldness in my hands. From what I've read these can all be signs of too much vit. B in my system. Needless to say, I've stopped taking them and now feel fine. But it took me about 10 days to figure out it was the vitamins and not a cold or another previous problem I'd had with dizziness.


    So, for now I'm sticking with my GF diet, the digestive enzymes and ginger. I've had no diarrhea, have two normal BMs per day, and am actually thinking I'll try to reduce my Asacol dose in another month.


    I'll keep posting as I find out anything else new. Hope all are well.   


Published On: August 19, 2009