Monday, January 06, 2014

Getting to the Bottom of Things

You may not know this, but I've been living with a seriously disturbed stomach for quite a while now.  Symptoms include bloating, diahrrea, constipation (rarely), acid reflux and occasionally nausea.  It's been bad enough that I rarely go anywhere that doesn't have a toilet handy because I never know where or when it's going to hit.

My doctor doesn't seem to believe in gluten intolerance or celiac disease and had repeatedly diagnosed me with giardia (sans testing), prescribed flagyl multiple times which makes me even sicker and tells me to take Metamucil, which doesn't do anything to help my symptoms but does cause me to blow up.

When I say "blow up", I mean I look like someone has inserted a bicycle pump nozzle into my navel and started pumping.  My jeans go from slightly loose to skin-tight in a matter of minutes.  It makes getting dressed for the day something of a conundrum.

Add to this the fact that I am diabetic.  I used to be under very good control but this last year seems to have spiraled out of control in spite of nothing really changing about my diet.  I take Metformin and my doctor wants me to take 2000 mg a day, which makes me incredibly ill.  Can't leave the house ill.  So I take 1000, which still makes me sick but not as bad as the 2000.  Some days I skip it altogether because I just can't face feeling that bad. 

I've wondered about it.  Do I have cancer?  IBS?  Crohn's?  Will my stomach wind up killing me?

My grandfather died last October and in November, I traveled to England for his funeral, with a side trip to North Wales to visit my grandmother.  While in Wales, my diet was very simple.  Bread, cheese, eggs.  There's not much in the way of greens or vegetables this time of year there.  I faced this diet with quite a bit of trepidation and feared that most of my stay would be spent in the bathroom.  To my surprise, I felt better while staying there than I had in years.  I "forgot" to take my metformin and still felt better than usual.  I still stayed away from the very sweet stuff and the white stuff (simple carbs), but I actually felt GOOD.

When I came home, I started feeling bad again - in spite of trying to maintain my UK diet in the US.  I wondered what the difference was.  As it turned out, the bread I was eating in the UK was not made of genetically modified wheat, whereas almost all bread in the US IS.  Wheat here has been tweaked genetically to the point that it isn't really wheat anymore.

I read a book recommended to me by my friend Sandy (finally - she's been pushing this book for a while), and it made a lot of sense to me, especially in light of my recent travel experience.  It's called "Wheat Belly" by William Davis, MD.  In it, he explains why he believes "wheat" is the cause of the sudden surge of diabetes, gluten intolerance and celiac disease.  It makes sense to me, but I want to see for myself.

To that end, I am embarking today on a 6-week trial of going without wheat.  I want to see how this affects my weight, my diabetes and my feeling of well-being.  I can tell you that I don't feel all that great today.  I had spaghetti for dinner last night and brownies for dessert (a last-meal sort of thing).  Today I've had 2 eggs with a slice of swiss cheese.  Lunch and snacks for the day are packed, consisting of hummus, carrots, blueberries, yogurt, and turkey roll-ups (turkey and cheese rolled together like a wrap without the wrap).  I'll be drinking lots of water too.

These are my starting numbers:  148 fasting blood sugar.  Weight 238. 

Let's see if going wheat-free will change these numbers for the better!

6 comments:

DSC Comm Center said...

Good luck! I hope that it works for you and that you finally get some relief...and the diet just happens to coincide with the WW Simple Start, too...lol

Ann Ward said...

I hope this works for you! My MIL had a lot of the same problems, cut out wheat and now does much better. Good luck!!

Mom said...

Do you remember when I couldn't leave the house because the diarrhea was so bad? Dr. finally took me off and started me on insulin. Diarrhea stopped immediately. I cannot underestand why your Dr. doesn't kknow about this side effect. This from a simple internet search:

GENERIC NAME: METFORMIN - ORAL (met-FOR-min)

BRAND NAME(S): Glucophage

Warning | Medication Uses | How To Use | Side Effects | Precautions | Drug Interactions | Overdose | Notes | Missed Dose | Storage

WARNING: Metformin can rarely cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition called lactic acidosis. Stop taking metformin and get medical help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms of lactic acidosis: unusual tiredness, dizziness, severe drowsiness, chills, blue/cold skin, muscle pain, fast/difficult breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat, stomach pain with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Mom

Jill said...

Ih ope this works too, we dont know anything about GMOs only that our farmer friends are 'for' them and our 'crunchy' friends are against them. We're scared to ask, basically.

Pamela said...

I had a comment and accidentally closed my browser.. and now I can't remember what I was going to say.
?????? But know I'm pulling for you!

SwampAngel65 said...

I hope you'll be able to figure out what's wrong, even before your 6 weeks is up. If not, maybe you just need to move to Wales!