If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll know that I actually FINALLY went to the doctor about my stomach issues that I’ve had for at least a good six month now.
I take probiotics regularly and while they help considerably, there are still moments of annoyance where my stomach has all sorts of attractive noises coming out of it. It’s a little embarrassing to have a ton of gurgling when you’re sitting across the table from your student and her parents talking about her grades and issues in classes.
So, I saw my doctor two weeks ago (at like 7:00pm thankfully she does a late evening once a week since I work super far away from her office now), She listened to some of the rumbling; partially with her stethoscope and partially from across the room because it’s just THAT loud. She’s like, “yeah….that seems like it’s probably pretty uncomfortable.”
I love my doctor. She’s hilarious.
She felt around everywhere asking if I had any pain, which I don’t — happily. It’s just uncomfortable.
First thing she says, “I want you to try eliminating dairy from your diet for two weeks.”
I almost started crying.
She said she likes to try common food intolerances for issues like this first before going into higher level exams or referring out to digestive doctors. She also said if the dairy doesn’t work, she would want me to try no gluten for two weeks.
I said I loved her….I don’t know about that so much anymore.
She also wanted me to have a blood test done to check white blood cells and just my general health to make sure there wasn’t something else going on. All of that came back perfect. I mean it said I was anemic…which….DUH; I’ve been anemic probably since I was born. But, my white blood cells were normal, liver and kidneys are perfect; everything is great, so likely not some weird internal issues.
She also wants me to check my gallbladder. Again, she knows me, so she knows I’m paranoid. She told me that she’s like 90% positive my gallbladder is fine, but Ih ad like 2 symptoms of possible gallbladder issues and she also said that almost any GI worth their degree will have me check it anyway; so this way it’s already done.
So, I went off dairy. My life was hell. I love milk…and cheese….and ice cream…and yogurt.
The worst part? I though I was off dairy for the two days after my appointment? I wasn’t really. I had a couple boxes of wheat thins, that I’m obsessed with, and somehow it didn’t click in my head that these actually have milk products despite the fact that they’re ranch flavored.
Don’t laugh at me.
I finally went fully dairy-free the next day. I was irrationally angry about it, too. I didn’t walk around in a funk or anything, but I audibly grumbled when I saw a cheese commercial or when Devon would eat something with dairy in it.
Dairy is delicious; I could live on it forever.
Initially, I actually felt really good. A lot of rumbling and noise died down and I was slightly hopeful that maybe this was it. They make dairy products for lactose intolerance and digestive enzymes and whatnot. So, I wouldn’t have to give it up completely, I would just have to change how I ate it. I could live with that.
A few days into my restricting, my stomach started to feel weird again. At first I though it felt differently; maybe I was just hoping it was different, but within a couple days of it being weird, it was fully back to all the rumbling and gurgling and whatnot. I was annoyed.
I called my doctor, who told me to let her know if symptoms return. And I’m just like, “guess what’s back?!?!?”
The basic gist of our long conversation is that it’s not a dairy intolerance; which partially made me happy and partially made me sad. Because it’s not my favorite food group, but it’s also likely something that I’ll live with forevers.
I asked her, while she’s not a digestive specialist, what she thinks it is, just in her medical opinion. And she gave me the answer I’ve also suspected for quite awhile: IBS. Mostly because some of what I do helps; I take probiotics (which help the most), I regularly drink water that detoxifies my gut, which also helps, peppermint also relieves a lot of the rumbling (which is very common for IBS sufferers), and because it sort of comes and goes. I don’t suffer 24/7 and I can sometimes go a couple weeks with absolutely no gut issues and then they just return unexpectedly.
So, now I get to go to a GI doctor. He can do a lot more than she can to examine everything and treat the issues. It’s something I may live with forever, or there maybe something to relieve a lot of the annoyances; which would be nice.
I’m still having my gallbladder checked; just in case. And I’m currently keeping a diary of what I eat and my symptoms to see if there is any sort of trigger to how I feel. I actually found an app that I downloaded on my phone for IBS tracking called Bowelle (cute, right?) I can track what I eat, symptoms, stress level, etc and it creates charts and visuals of your life for you; which is perfect for me.
Despite possibly having an actual medical issue, I celebrated my lack of lactose intolerance by getting a bacon cheeseburger and a milkshake from Five Guys after I spoke with my doctor. Healthy? Nope. But, was it delicious? HELL YES! And it did not make me feel sick, either. #winning.
At this point, I see my new GI doctor on October 4th and we’ll see what he says and go from there.
But for now……..