For some reason, I’ve had random stomach issues since this year started (well since 2016 started for those of you who, like me, think more in terms of an academic year than a calendar year). I’m not sure why, I’m not sure if it’s something that’s just been kind of brewing in my body for a long time and finally just came to a head, but it’s annoying.
I started having moderately persistent heartburn issues around mid- January. I’ve had heartburn before, but it’s normally rather infrequently and easily treated by popping a Zantac. Nothing made this go away. My doctor suggested trying Prilosec for two weeks and taking Pepcid AC for more immediate relief while the Prilosec was working. It helped. Then when I stopped after the two weeks, the heartburn came back, so I started taking the Prilosec again.
My mother has had GERD for years, so it might not be THAT far fetched that I’m developing it. Prilosec helped about 90% of the time, so I just moved on for the time.
Then there were two times in February where I thought I ate something that disagreed with me. Once, I’m pretty sure I did as I had stomach pain, indigestion, nausea, etc after eating it. The other time, was just stomach pains.
Around the end of February, I was having stomach issues almost on a daily basis. So much so that my diet was basically the BRAT diet for like a week. I was hungry, I wasn’t nauseous, but my stomach was so bloated and just generally not happy at the presence of almost anything food-like, I didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t just live on toast and applesauce forever. I didn’t feel sick, so a stomach virus wasn’t a thought, I never felt like throwing up, but my stomach got progressively more bloated and annoyed as the day would go on and would spend most evenings feeling miserable. My heartburn also started acting up a bit here, too. Probably from lack of food in my system and my stomach acid not having anything to hold it.
At Devon’s mom’s suggestion, I started taking a probiotic around the first week in March (when I was almost two weeks into an unpleasant stomach). We went over to her house for dinner one weekend and saw that I didn’t eat a lot (which isn’t normal) and saw that I looked uncomfortable. Being the registered nurse that she is, she started asking me questions after I told her that no, I’m sure I’m not sick. She’s all, “well I’m not a doctor, but there could be a few things going on. Have you tried a probiotic? It could just be that some bacteria got into your gut and has caused an imbalance in there.”
I hadn’t tried one, but wasn’t against it.
I felt at least 50% better within about 2-3 days. And in the past month, my stomach has been more normal than it had been in months. I have seen my doctor during this who also thinks it’s possible that I had bacterial imbalance but the heartburn doesn’t work with that theory so much. She’s also questioning an IBS diagnosis with all that I told her. Heartburn can be secondary to IBS, and she thinks it’s something that could have been brewing in me for years. She’s even questioning a hiatal hernia.
Ultimately, she wants me to go to a gastroenterologist and have an endoscopy done to see what is going on in my gut. I, on the other hand, want to try some things first before having a camera stuck down my gullet.
She’s been my doctor for 20 years, so she knows I’ll take the hard route and will allow me to do so. She made me make an appointment with her in a month. During this month, I keep taking my probiotic, stop taking the Prilosec and track my eating habits and stomach issues, if any. I took my last Prilosec this morning, so we will see what happens over the next couple days as it wears off.
I am still hopeful that it’s just a bacteria imbalance that can be cleared up over time with eating good bacteria or even by taking an antibiotic for a few days. I’m almost kind of hopeful that I find a trigger food during all of this so that I know what I need to avoid to keep my stomach content, but so far I haven’t found anything in particular.
I’ll tell ya though, I’d love to have my stomach made of steel back, though. That would be the best day ever.