Thursday, 3 April 2014

Who will rid me of this turbulent.... something?

If only it were as easy as having Petunia assassinated.

Mind you, if it had been that easy this would have been a rather short-lived blog. Swings and roundabouts as always.

By way of summary, I’ve decided to give in and go back to the doctors. I’ve been resisting this for some time as I really don’t take kindly to the thought of going back down the gastroenterology route once more. I’ve been telling myself I can put up with all the various shenanigans my digestive system likes to engage in, if only I didn’t have to go back and fight my way through all the lowest common denominator rubbish the GP would drag me through before actually listening to me again.

Truth be told though, I can’t. Aside from all the usual things, spending nigh on a month so bloated that my clothes don’t fit properly  and being in pain as a result of the most normal of bodily functions is just that one step too far. Actually, it’s several steps too far but I’m exceedingly stubborn. The fact remains I should probably have done this some time ago.

Nothing in my diet has changed in that time so there’s nothing I can point to in terms of why things have suddenly gotten so much worse again. Especially when you consider that up to the last couple of months I’d been without more than moderate trouble in this area for the best part of a year. I really don’t have even the faintest idea what has happened.

So, never one to sit around and wait for the solution to walk through my door (hurry up, would you?) I’m going back to keeping a diary so hopefully I can bypass some of those initial hurdles with the doctor and give them something to work from.

(Image from

I’m also going gluten free for at least a month to see what effect if any that has. I don’t expect gluten is the true source of the problem, but if cutting out bread and pasta and the like helps with the bloating (which I suspect it may do) then I think it’s worth a try. Once I’ve had my trial of that, I’ll try going dairy free.

When I referred to lowest common denominator with the GP earlier, this is actually where some of that feeling stems from. When I first started to develop bowel symptoms the first thing I was told was “Try a week without gluten and dairy and come back”.

Er, no. If you’re going to go free of something to test for an intolerance then do it properly. When you consider the fact an ex-colleague of mine (who was a diagnosed celiac) repeated to me that it takes six years for all traces of gluten to leave the system, what exactly do the doctors expect to happen in a week?

I strongly suspect with answers like those they actually just want to delay having to deal with you. Current thinking for those wishing to go down the Paleo diet route is that you need to remove the offending food groups for thirty days to see a difference. So, thirty days of gluten free here I come.

In light of this decision I went gluten free shopping last night after a quick horror-filled dash around our kitchen confirmed that almost everything in the known world has gluten in it. Aside from the obvious, the yoghurts we currently had in (Activia) contain wheat flour which came as a bit of a surprise. I also wasn’t too happy to find gravy was out too. However, I have now discovered Bisto Best (the glass jar variety) are suitable for celiacs, so that’s something of a blessing.

After copious amounts of eye-watering at some of the prices I encountered, I came away with some yoghurts which use tapioca instead of wheat flour (Shape in this case, but there’s a fair few about), gluten free pasta and some gluten free ginger cake slices so I have a go-to if I want a sugar fix, which I suspect I might. I also found some gluten-free self raising flour and a bag of ground almonds – thankfully there’s an easy equivalent gluten-free recipe for the apple and cinnamon cake I make, so the other half’s birthday cake later in the month is saved.

Other than that, basically I’m swapping sandwiches for salads at lunch time and having fruit and a yoghurt for breakfast instead of cereal. Main meals are planned to be mostly meat and veg so if nothing else I’ll be clean eating like a pro for the thirty day period. Here’s to hoping I see some results.

I’ve mentioned food intolerance tests before, but the main reason I have yet to have them done is the expense. A month has not occurred yet where I have £200+ spare to play with. This week however I discovered a company who live here who offer hair testing instead of blood testing, which if I understand the science behind it correctly is better for showing generalised patterns, whereas blood tests are much preferred for emergency or minute-to-minute analysis. 

I’m familiar with hair testing through work (it’s the preferred method to test for drug and alcohol levels) so know a bit more about it, but another large appeal is that it’s much cheaper. Over £120 cheaper than the previous best quote I’d seen in terms of blood testing.

I might just be on to something there!

I’ve also purchased a copy of Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD, since I’ve enjoyed the DVD I have from her series so far. I’ve heard good things in terms of results for 30 Day Shred and some of the appeal lies in the fact that there are three levels of intensity to the workout, so if the limits of the Fibro dictate that I have to stay at level one then that’s fine, but I’ve also got the opportunity to try something a little harder if I feel up to it.

(Could start being highly relevant after this 30 days.... Original X all the Y meme from Hyperbole and a Half)

Whilst I’m not under any illusion I have much in the way of excess weight to lose, it would be nice to feel that whilst I work against  all the extreme bloating and water retention, underneath it I’m getting into good shape. It would be pleasant to think that at some point in the future I’ll be rid of those side effects and maybe get the courage up to show off a little.

As it’s me than the latter is extremely doubtful but stranger things have happened at sea.

Now I’m thinking about it though, probably not very many *wink*.

Have you had any attempts at exclusion diets or experiences of food intolerance? I’d love to hear them and hope to share mine as I go forwards.

Wishing you many spoons

1 comment:

  1. Good luck! I went GF, soy free, and then vegan for the better part of 6 years. I've just added gluten back in and I am one happy camper! The only cereals I was able to buy off the shelf were Kix and the various Chex cereals. Stupid malt flavoring… Yeah. Gluten is in freaking everything. Seriously, best of luck to you. It's an undertaking. I had to eliminate a great deal of things due to allergies uncovered by the blood testing, a few of those being eggs and almonds so the paleo route is more or less completely closed to me. Bleh.

    Petunia and her relatives across the globe do love to wreak havoc, don't they? I sure wish they'd settle down and go extinct already.