Despite digestive issues being something that I've struggled with my entire life, I never really thought I'd be posting about it on the internet. I'm not sure why - I think it stems from the fact that nothing I've tried has ever worked. My symptoms are pretty typical. Constant stomach aches, TERRIBLE bloating (I look 9 months pregnant at all times) and never-ending brain fog. I also have suffered with pretty bad acne from the age of 20. HOWEVER. That is alllllll about to change.
I started this year with one resolution. I wanted to take control of my health. So far, I've done everything in my power to do this. I've seen numerous doctors, specialists and naturopaths to work towards healing my stomach. Unfortunately, as what has happened in the past, I wasn't exactly getting results. I've been told time and time again that it's just IBS and I should take a probiotic here and there and I'll be fine. I've been told countless times that perhaps it's because I'm vegan - which obviously wouldn't make sense, but also I've only been vegan six years and I've had these issues for almost twenty five. I've had suggestions such as 'have you tried herbal tea?!' and 'maybe don't drink water with meals!' - all great suggestions.... but I'm not exactly going to work a miracle with these solutions.
I got my first lot of results when I saw a naturopath. I tested positive for a klebsiella overgrowth, candida and small intestine bacterial overgrowth. This meant I had to go on a strict low-starch diet, avoiding all grains and sugars. THIS WAS THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER DONE. I felt better, and I'm currently waiting to get results back as to whether I have cured these parasites or not. However, once I added each of the food groups back one by one the drama started. I felt worse than before. I was waking up during the night with stomach pains. Things that never affected me before were causing my agony. I had less energy than ever before.
Trying to identify my food intolerances has been one of the biggest difficulties I've encountered. I feel like I've tried everything! I did a bit of Googling about this, and found that there are hundreds of people in the same boat as me. This is an extremely common thing. So, where is my next step?
I've taken out some of the food groups that I eliminated during the low-starch diet, including gluten, soy (insert sad emoji here), garlic (!!!), cashews and sugar. I'm going to try this again, and if this doesn't work, I'll try low FODMAP. I've tried to do the low FODMAP diet previously, however I wasn't going it with someone overseeing me (i.e. naturopath/doctor) and therefore I kind of messed it up.
Fingers crossed I get to the bottom of this - and I'll let you know if I do!