Thursday, February 20, 2014

Unexpected inspiration to overcome my IBS

While writing my health history post, I looked through old emails and blog posts to piece my story together with as much accuracy as possible. I never expected that digging through old journals and blogs would give me hope and encouragement, which is what happened when I re-read this post concerning my IBS that I wrote on May 29, 2011:
The probiotics I started two weeks ago are working wonders on my IBS issues.  They aren't the sole factor, however; cutting out dairy and other IBS-no-no's has made a huge difference.  The other day I picked up some rice protein powder and glutamine at Whole Foods to take daily as well. I have been thinking seriously about writing a letter to my gastroenterologist I saw twice before I canceled my third appointment.  The Dr. that put me on meds right after her IBS diagnosis, without even mentioning diet change or probiotics.  Meds that do not address the cause of my IBS in the first place, but rather, unsuccessfully attempt to cover up the symptoms.  And meds that are addictive. I stopped taking the pills after a week or two of no change.  And online research.  Then I read about 6 books from the library about IBS.  That's the best thing I could have done for my health.  Never underestimate the value of a public library!  If your doctors won't tell you anything, you must learn for yourself. Research. Read. Ask.  Be your own advocate. Anyway, the letter would express my astonishment and disappointment that GI-specialist-Dr. didn't explain the cause of IBS to me, nor inform me of trigger foods to avoid or supplements that help rebuild a healthy digestive system. I would spin it to have a positive tone.  Your meds didn't work, but look what is working for me.  I hope you share these known dietary changes and supplements with your IBS patients...
I never did write that letter to my former gastroenterologist. But this old post was great to revisit.  I'd completely forgotten about the progress I clearly had made that summer.  Things fell back to "normal" because I moved back to Spain a few months later. The glutamine, protein powder, and probiotics did not make their way into my suitcase, and my diet completely changed when I moved. 

It's been nearly three years without signs of improvement, so this gives me hope that with more research and experimentation I can distance myself from this IBS once again. But this time for good.


This post originally appeared on Have Your Health, a blog of mine active from 2013-14, which no longer exists.
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