What the holy HELL?

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What the holy HELL?

Post by wmdkitty on Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:55 am

I'm on a medically-mandated diet (no gallbladder, can't eat anything greasy or high in fat), I'm doing really good at sticking to it (with the occasional minor "treat"), but now my digestive tract is just being a bitch.

I feel nauseous after eating. Then about two hours (give or take) later, I get really bad stomach cramps. You don't want to know what happens when the food hits the other end -- it's like something out of R'lyeh.

I feel like my intestines are trying to escape!

*sigh*

I hope it's just something mundane and easily remedied, like swallowing too much air when I eat, but I'm worried that I may have developed (yet another) food sensitivity. Nutritionally, I really can't afford for the "Can Eat" list to get any shorter!

/whiny rant
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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:38 am

Uh-oh, Kitty.

I suspect I know somewhat how that feels. I was diagnosed with IBS about ten years ago. Since I began having catastrophic digestive problems around the time my dad was severely injured in a car accident and later died, my doctor said it was probably largely the result of the incredible stress I was under. He said it could well resolve itself once I wasn't so stressed.

Unfortunately, even after life went back to what passes for normal, I was still having diarrhea from another planet and wondering if there was anything I could eat that wouldn't produce those horrific cramps with explosive results.

Sadly, my doctor was little to no help in advising me. His only advice was not to eat too much raw fiber since that often triggers IBS episodes.

To make a long story short, I experimented over a period of about three years and discovered that I must carefully balance my intake of raw and cooked fiber and must avoid gluten and dairy but for a bit of either about once a month. Once I discovered those two apparent food sensitivities, regulating my digestion became somewhat less of a balancing act akin to that of a high-wire artist.

Unfortunately, as you say, one can develop new sensitivities at any point, and you definitely don't need another when your diet is already severely restricted.

I hope you're able to find out what the problem may be and to feel better soon.
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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by gillyflower on Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:33 am

Dot, thank you for posting this! I had my gallbladder out 7 years ago and no one ever mentioned a diet or avoiding certain foods to me. That's life with military doctors. This morning I've done some research online and it seems that everyone responds a little differently and has to find out what works for them, like you have.

Weight gain afterwards seems to be something everyone fights, though. I have developed a sweet tooth after a life of not caring for sweet things much. Grrr...

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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by John T Mainer on Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:46 pm

One thing to remember is that it may be your cultures, not you that are having the problem. Since your digestion is about 60% your grunt work, and 40% the biochemical mojo of your onboard bacteria, the change in your diet mandated by the loss of the gallbladder, combined with a die off from antibiotics is going to leave your insides a bit of a warzone.

You should ask your doctor, or public health nurse, what they recommend for restoring your internal cultures. Once you have the flora and fauna tailored to what you are actually feeding them, you should notice less bloating, more even digestion, higher energy state, and easier waste.

The big thing is, keep your diet stable, and let your insides achieve a new equilibrium, once the war for territory in you is done, the new inhabitants will be better able to serve you.

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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:28 pm

gillyflower wrote:Dot, thank you for posting this! I had my gallbladder out 7 years ago and no one ever mentioned a diet or avoiding certain foods to me. That's life with military doctors. This morning I've done some research online and it seems that everyone responds a little differently and has to find out what works for them, like you have.

I should clarify. I haven't had gallbladder trouble.

Thing is, Gilly, you may not have any food intolerances. Of course, anyone can develop them, but my research indicates that they're more common among those with personal or family histories of allergies and auto-immune disorders.

Oddly enough, people with hayfever and other allergy-related respiratory tract problems may find that their symptoms are greatly relieved or eliminated when they discover food intolerances and eliminate those foods from their diets. That's been my experience. I was miserable in spring and fall, sometimes barely functional with sinus drainage, chronic sinus infections and an occasional asthma attack. Worst of all, my sense of smell was gradually being eroded by all the congestion to the point that food had an interesting texture oftentimes, and that was about it.

My doctor pooh-poohed that changing my diet could have been what caused my sudden improvement. However, I ate no grains or dairy at all for two months and found my sense of smell almost restored after barely two weeks of that regimen. I now have much less sensitivity to pollens that I know bother me as long as I strictly avoid these two foodstuffs. I don't bury my nose in goldenrod, for sure, but I'll sneeze a bit when it's in bloom and maybe have to pop a decongestant, and that's it. I rarely need a decongestant anymore.

I've had only one IBS episode in the past five years, and that was due to my having eaten dairy for four days in succession while on vacation. I said, "Uh-oh, I know what caused that one!", went back to avoiding it strictly and was fine again.

Weight gain afterwards seems to be something everyone fights, though. I have developed a sweet tooth after a life of not caring for sweet things much. Grrr...

You might experiment with cutting all refined white sugar out of your diet. While it's not necessarily the cause of any problems, some people find they're sensitive to the chemicals used in the refining process. I've read that that's especially likely for those with food allergies or sensitivities as well as for those who've had digestive problems.
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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:46 pm

Meant to add that John makes an excellent point. I take probiotics daily, and those have made a substantial difference for me.

I recommend buying the super-expensive refrigerated brands. The others are all but worthless for me. Might work for you, but I've read that the brands that must be refrigerated are far more likely to have sufficient live bacteria than the shelf-stable ones.

I'm also careful to buy my vitamin supplements at health food stores. I've had less trouble with digestive upsets from those than I have from the commercially available ones. In fact, I absolutely swear by Dr. Tori Hudson's Women's Symmetry vitamins. They can be difficult to find (now can be ordered from vitanica.com) and are expensive but one of the few brands that don't leave me with a nasty vitamin burp for hours and hours. Also, they're gluten-free, dairy-free and free of practically every other common allergen as well.
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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by wmdkitty on Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:59 am

@SG -- I haven't gained weight, I've actually LOST weight! Though I suspect the first three pounds were all gallbladder (and stones).

@John and Dot -- My fridge is more of a freezer, so no go on the liquid probiotics.

Tonight's dinner hasn't had any adverse effects. Yet. We'll see how long that lasts. I'm trying to eat less per sitting, and more frequently, which seems to help as well -- my body doesn't like this bad habit I've developed of eating one meal a day. (It doesn't help that I've been known to completely forget to eat. Rolling Eyes )
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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:41 am

WMDKitty wrote:
@John and Dot -- My fridge is more of a freezer, so no go on the liquid probiotics.

Doesn't go below 32 degrees, though, does it? And I didn't mean liquids. The brands I get are regular gel capsules.

Hell, I dunno. I could easily be paying a wad of money for producer hype that their way-pricey brand is any better.

...my body doesn't like this bad habit I've developed of eating one meal a day. (It doesn't help that I've been known to completely forget to eat. Rolling Eyes )

Holy CRAP, Kitty! That alone could be the cause I should think.

I definitely have to eat something regularly even when I don't much want anything.

Do you stock up of a weekend and individually bag portions of things you can eat so it's easy to grab a little something at regular intervals or have a snack-to-go when dashing off to class or whatever else?

I swear snack Ziplocs are a godsend. When I was working, I'd spend an hour or so of a weekend chopping up veggies and putting dry cereals in those. I kept bite-sized pieces of meat in the freezer, also individually portioned. That way, I could throw a few things in my lunchbag and dash to work rather than going out for a crap lunch or not eating at all.
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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by gillyflower on Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:19 am

That's helped me a lot. I use glass containers though. I chop up veggies which I keep either raw or roasted, keep cooked oatmeal or brown rice, individual portions of soups and stews, in the freezer or fridge. Also I keep a good brand frozen dinner (more stir fry) so that if I am desperate I have something good and good for me to eat.

I used to forget to eat meals too! It is my age - I was always super skinny and had trouble keeping any weight on - but now I'm normal weight and my body is shifting it around. It sucks getting old! I'll try the unrefined sugar. It is just that lovely deserts and cookies are yummy and hard to turn down.

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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:35 am

WMDKitty wrote:@SG -- I haven't gained weight, I've actually LOST weight! Though I suspect the first three pounds were all gallbladder (and stones).

confused What did I say? confused

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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:51 am

gillyflower wrote:I used to forget to eat meals too! It is my age - I was always super skinny and had trouble keeping any weight on - but now I'm normal weight and my body is shifting it around. It sucks getting old!

I was usually too hungry to do that, but in my late teens and 20's, easiest way for me to drop 2-3 lbs. overnight was to skip a couple of meals. Oh, for the days when I had THAT level of metabolism!

I'll try the unrefined sugar. It is just that lovely deserts and cookies are yummy and hard to turn down.

I use some evaporated cane juice but primarily rely upon maple sugar and syrup, honey and agave nectar.

For fantastic desserts if you like to bake, Gilly, you might try Erin McKenna's Babycakes. As the name implies, it's primarily cupcake recipes, but I'm here to tell ya they are absolutely decadent. There are a few larger cake recipes as well as several for cookies. You'll end up buying Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Mix for most and other healthful flours, but many such are readily available in most large supermarkets these days. Her recipes are vegan, gluten-free and largely sugar-free but only in the sense of using healthier sweeteners such as agave nectar. Don't think for a moment they're low-fat or low in calories... every recipe I've tried was absolutely deeeelish. I've found it's easier for me to limit myself to one cupcake instead of chopping off a slab of layer cake or doing that infamous "oh, just one more smallish slice" from a sheet cake.

The only drawback is that a recipe typically makes two dozen or more, and that's a bit much for us to try to store in our apartment-sized freezer even though McKenna's recipes freeze beautifully.

Damn! I'm drooling just thinking of some of the things I've made from that book.
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Re: What the holy HELL?

Post by wmdkitty on Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:08 am

sacrificialgoddess wrote:
WMDKitty wrote:@SG -- I haven't gained weight, I've actually LOST weight! Though I suspect the first three pounds were all gallbladder (and stones).

confused What did I say? confused

Sorry, I was replying to Gilly, and got confused. >.<
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