Hello again my friends. As promised I said I would come back and share my updated GI health story with you all…
If you followed way back, you know for the longest time I had been dealing with GI issues. It wasn’t until a random conversation at the gym, that the idea of a parasite was brought up and I asked to be tested.
I came back positive…very positive
Blasto was his..their..name. And making my tummy miserable was their game.
I was treated. Twice.
Medical interventions for them buggers, well they suck.
As I had told you all afterwards, basically the treatment for parasites is a full on ‘death by meds’ to your gut flora. It doesn’t matter if they are useful or not, they will all be killed off. That was not pleasant, as they are integral for digestion and so I was left being unable to tolerate a lot of foods because I just couldn’t break them down like a normal person.
No veggies. No high fibre foods. No red meat. Careful with too much fat in one sitting…it goes on. And the award for the most “unhealthy” dietitian goes to…
The biggest sadness that came from that was the loss of some of my favourite foods…
My beloved oats were kicked to the curb after my stomach spazzed so hard that I almost passed out.
I still needed carbs. I’m an athlete and I’m also a notorious carb-burner. Everything became rice.
Cream of rice replaced my precious oats.
I went through 5-6 bags of Lunderberg brown rice cakes a week because I used them as “easy on the tummy” carbs.
I learned to accept it and was content.
…Minus the lack of being able to go out. But hey, life sucks sometimes so I had to move on.
I was under the impression that now my gut just had to heal, but I was very wrong.
Fast forward two years, I’m entering my Master’s program and probably the most school pressure and stress I will ever face, and here I was the sickest I have been since my eating disorder.
I knew there was something wrong. I have known the entire time but it was frustrating because the medical system would just yell at me for being underweight and say either…
~”gaining weight is hard, it may be uncomfortable.”
~You know we don’t normally treat parasites…” <- Really something is stealing my nutrients from my body and you don’t think thats an issue?
~”Maybe this is just “Chelsea”..Maybe this is just the way you are”
~Oh and just for shits and giggles…. “you’re so small. You have no blood” <- Bravo GI doc…
Here I was trying my best to just eat my maintenance and I felt like every medical professional was against me. I told them I was bloated 24/7, felt full randomly all the time and just didn’t feel normal anymore and they didn’t listen.
“It’s just the past ED…”
It wasn’t until a few months ago where things got really bad.
Dumping syndrome (I will spare you the lovely details, go look it up if you would like to know..) began happening multiple times a week..
My iron levels and overall blood levels were falling through the floor
My electrolytes all fell
My last blood pressure check was 90/55 (today)
My kidney and liver function were compromised
And I just looked grey all the time. I still do because it hasn’t stopped yet.
I had pretty much given up at this point but the doctors finally looked concerned and I began seeing them more than my friends, or it felt like it, but they did nothing except tell me I was a concern. As a last resort I sent out a message to my friend, Andrew, an NP and he ordered me the GI map test (basic sense, its a map of your entire gut biome, good and bad, plus other markers of gut health and stress).
On top of some other critters, Blasto made his appearance once again along with a lovely sheet full of red markers stating I had SIBO (bacterial overgrowth), leaky gut (high zonulin levels), parastic pathogens AND the calprotectin signals that I should be checked for Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) and/or infection.
So I have the problem diagnosed right?!? They will believe me know right?!?
Wrong. Well at least from the MD side. My family doc didn’t even know how to read the fricken report.
ND had a much more active approach. Andrew listened and gave me his parasite purging/ gut healing protocol.
I take a lot of supplements (especially right now, low absorption..) but I have never taken so many pills in my life.
It is a liver support + parasite purge + gut healing protocol and I would be at it for about 6-8 months. So that was where I sat. MD continued to be useless until they scheduled me into a new Gastro doctor in Burlington.
So to a new GI I went, that was this past Saturday. Much nicer doctor and more open. He doesn’t think the parasite is my biggest concern but has put me in for a gastric emptying test and a colonoscopy for two weeks.
*** Any friends reading this who sees me in two weeks..please do not be alarmed. Colonoscopies make me look like death after… ***
So, after a pretty emotionally draining weekend (thank god for my bf..honestly), I now get to wait. Wait for that horrible test and continue to feel the same way for two weeks.
I’m not trying to sound whiny and complain but I have to admit that I’m a bit scared to say the least. I know I have to know but the test itself and the results scare me. Most say that they don’t think I have Crohns but the possibility is there.
Pun intended, that scares the shit out of me.
But we wait and until then, I will continue to keep doing me and staying busy because you know what? I need to do what I need to do. It will be good so I need to just move past it.
This is my journey of gut healing and I want to share this not for sympathy..
PLEASE PLEASE don’t think I’m sharing this to get an “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” Other people have things way worse to go through. I’m doing this, being vulnerable, because more people than ever have been having stomach issues and I hope this can reach them and if they have questions they can ask me or it can give them some idea on what things to ask their medical team.
My goal is always to educate and relate. If I can help one person stand up for themselves and seek help and GET some relief, this post has served its purpose.
I will keep you updated my friends. Thank you for always having my back.