I FINALLY got to see a gastroenterologist yesterday! I have never been so excited to go to the doctor. I had to wait a few weeks to see him since my insurance just changed at the start of the month. I was eager to start working with someone to get these digestive issues figured out.
I was recommended this doctor by Brittany, and since we both think fairly similarly when it comes to health I knew that he’d be a good fit. Then I looked him up and realized he was an ND grad (he was wearing an ND bowtie at the appt!!) and it was a total win. He’s my favorite.
I brought a list of my past medical history, including my eating disorder and recent weight gain for hormonal issues, as well as my current medications and a list of symptoms. He talked to me for a while about what was going on and we talked about a plan of attack. I was very happy with the amount of time he spent with me and how open he was to my thinking and my concerns.
As expected, he thinks I likely have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is not a diagnosis but rather a collection of symptoms with no other known cause. He suggested an elimination diet so that I can find my triggers and learn how to manage it myself. Apparently IBS is fairly common about 5-10 years after an eating disorder and that he sees lots of people like me.
We are doing some testing to rule out other things– an FSH test since I’ve been so exhausted as well as a bacterial overgrowth test and a celiac genetic test. I’ll get the results of those in the next week or so.
He doesn’t want to diagnose me with anything if not completely necessary, but understands that I want to eliminate any major problems and figure out what’s going on. I also told him I’d like to be tested because with a history of an eating disorder, cutting out any food group sends up red flags. Obviously this is for digestive purposes, but many people don’t know that or don’t believe that and so might think I’m trying to eat less again.
So now, since I’ve got the go ahead and recommendation of my doctor, I’ll have to start an elimination diet. I’m going to take some time to plan it out and figure out how I’m going to do this (and mentally prepare myself since this is not going ot be fun or easy) but luckily Brittany is going to help me with it! She (and Sarah!) are the digestive issue PROS.
The doctor was on board with a Paleo-ish plan since it eliminates gluten and dairy as well as processed foods which commonly upset digestion. I’ll also look into other common triggers and read about good elimination diet plans to see how best to do this. I’m going to be taking digestive enzymes, a good probiotic, and some l-glutamine powder as well. I’d love tips.
I actually got really frustrated and upset last night. My stomach hurt, I was exhausted, I randomly broke out in a rash on my arm, and I felt completely clueless about what to eat. I worked so hard the past few years to develop a healthy relationship with all foods — to become more outgoing and go with the flow — and now I’m having to rein it all in and eat very restrictively again. I’m not worried about it turning into some sort of eating disorder relapse, I just don’t want to be that girl again. I don’t want to be picky or cause problems. I don’t want to miss out on fun.
JC gave me a little pep talk about it not being my fault and how many people deal with things so much worse than this. I’ll just do what it takes to feel better and it’ll all be fine. He has been SO wonderful to put up with me the past few months that I’ve been bloated and complaining and feeling down and bad. I’m so grateful, and I’m going to do my best to have a positive outlook.
On a different note, I saw my weight for the first time in over 2 years since the doctor printed out some papers for me and my vitals were listed. But that’s a story for another day…