Thursday, September 12, 2019

No, My Food Choices Aren't The Problem

food choices

I have a long history of chronic pain caused by eating and no, it isn't my food choices that are the culprit. I appreciate others being concerned about my well-being but unsought advice gets to be tiresome, particularly when I've been dealing with my health issues since I was 9 and the particular issue of pain when I eat since I was 15. I think I have a good understanding of my own health issues and symptoms.

A lot of people are quick to tell me "It's what you ate", "You shouldn't eat so much" or "You have an allergy, try this diet". I have been tested for food allergies and intolerances, they were all negative. And the pain happens with everything I eat and even a gulp of water is enough to cause excruciating pain and stomach cramps at times. The only things that sometimes don't cause me pain are saltines, tamales, and Arby's Roast Beef Sandwiches and even then I'm sure if I ate enough of them, they would cause pain too. Sure, over eating causes me pain but the pain is just worsened by quantity. Even small meals or snacks cause me pain and discomfort. Reducing my intake of filling foods such as pasta, rice, and bread do help to reduce my pain but I still have pain regardless. I have some level of discomfort with everything I eat - it just varies on severity. And there are times that I can eat something and have one level of pain and eat it again the next day and the pain level is something different.

I started experiencing excruciating pain every time I ate after I had my ostomy reversed via a straight pull thru. I required another surgery within a year to remove adhesions that were causing a stricture of my small intestine. It took several years after this last surgery in 2002 before my body was better able to tolerate food. The pain never fully went away although it did significantly lessen - that is until 2015. With my hospitalization in 2015, I started having chronic pain and nausea when I eat and the nausea occurs sporadically throughout the day and night as well. Additionally, my adhesions now cause me a higher risk of intestinal blockage and now I'm unable to eat raw or undercooked vegetables or I will have a blockage. This makes it harder to eat light, healthy foods in an attempt to further reduce my pain.

Since 2015, I've undergone various procedures and tests and the conclusion is that my chronic pain and nausea are a result of my adhesions worsening again. They're just not to the point of requiring surgery. During a period of testing in 2017, it was discovered that I had C-Diff and that was the cause of worsening my GI symptoms as my stomach and intestine were inflamed and irritated from the infection that was wreaking havoc on my body. I remember during this time I was being told by others to "try this diet, you have food allergies". I held off from trying the diets these individuals suggested because I wanted to give all the testing I was completing a chance to identify a source and for treatments to be tried before I changed my diet. I'm glad I didn't jump on the diet bandwagon as it turned out my weight loss and severe pain were actually due to the infection I didn't realize I had.

I'm glad to hear that certain diets have really helped others and I wish everyone the best of luck but a diet isn't always the answer for everyone's health issues. It certainly isn't the answer for my symptoms.