For the past 10 years, I’ve developed digestive problems that slowly have grown worse and worse. In the last 2-3 years, I would have aches in my lower abdomen and bloating every single day, sometimes ballooning up so much that I looked like I was 6 months pregnant.
I decided to take action this summer and consulted a naturopath, who, by the way, is awesome. She instructed me to go on the brown rice diet (no red meat, no dairy, no gluten-containing grains, no nightshade vegetables, no processed sugars of any kind) for 3 weeks, after which time I would be able to slowly reintroduce foods to find out what I may be sensitive to.
I ended up being on the diet for 4 weeks, during which time I lost 5 pounds off my 130 pound frame (caused by the decrease in calories ingested) but noticed dramatical improvement: no bloating, no pain, more energy and less acne. Also I noticed my frequent migraines just went away.
This past Monday was gluten day: I was allowed to eat gluten at each meals. And the reaction didn’t take long to come: by the end of the day I looked pregnant, my tummy ached and I had a migraine. To me the results were obvious: gluten sensitivity.
Learning you have a food intolerance is pretty overwhelming. My mom is fructose intolerant, so I’ve witnessed first-hand the pain and confusion a person goes through when they find this out. For me, I was relieved to know there was a solution (albeit a complicated one) to my problems. Yet the whole process of figuring out what I can and cannot eat is pretty overwhelming, and I am slowly figuring this out.
On Friday, I reintroduce dairy in my diet. There is a chance that dairy could also be a problem for me, and I am anxious to find out. I have to say though, that if I can have dairy, I am juggling the idea of going dairy-free, or at least cutting back on dairy, as my research has lead me to believe that my acne is probably caused by hormonal imbalances caused by my diet (which was grain and dairy heavy). I’m also considering cutting back on nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes and peppers) as they have been know to cause pain in the joints, and may explain my constant joint-popping and the hip pains I sometimes have. Something to think about, as nightshade veggies are my favorites!
In the meantime, I have enjoyed my life without stomach pain and bloating for the last 4 weeks, and I am motivated to keep it up. I will now need to find a way to incorporate more calories in my restricted diet (bananas for example) to stabilize my weight, and stay healthy.
To be continued!