Things have been pretty light here on the old bloggy, but some things have been weighing on my mind, and it’s about time I share a bit of that with you all. . .
A little over a year ago, I gave up dairy and gluten in efforts to heal my inflamed digestive tract. These changes, in combination with a prescribed medicine (because I do have a diagnosed inflammatory condition) from my gastro, seemed to bring some relief to my bloated, faux pregnancy belly, and for a while I felt pretty darn good. Even my husband noticed how much better my stomach area looked– the area that usually took the shape of a small bowling ball actually flattened out quite a bit. To be clear, I wasn’t making these dietary changes because of vanity reasons. I made these changes to my diet because I felt awful and uncomfortable so much of the time.
In consultation with my gastro a few months ago, I stopped taking the medicine she prescribed. In the next year or two, I would like to have a child, and I thought it would be wise just to be off most medications if possible in preparation for that time in the future when I actually do start thinking of having a baby. I stuck to my vegan and low-gluten ways of course, and the result is not so great. Basically, my digestive tract has returned back to the state it was a year ago, and it may even be worse. These days, I am constantly bloated, and my skin around my stomach area is actually tender to the touch. I have random pains and stomach aches and just generally feel bad.
I don’t really know what to conclude right now. Since I started taking meds around the same time I gave up gluten and dairy, I am not sure which change actually helped me so much a year ago, but it seems it was the medicine that actually brought me relief and not my dietary changes, given I am still not eating dairy or gluten. This definitely bums me out– I made those changes to my diet for health reasons, and if they are in fact not helping me, then is the avoidance of dairy and gluten worth it or even necessary (please note that I was never found to be allergic to gluten or dairy either– I just figured I might be sensitive to those foods). Again, I am not sure, but these are the things I am thinking about right now. I have an appointment with my gastro soon, and I will ask her that same question. She was the one who recommended I give up dairy and gluten in the first place, so I am eager to hear her opinion. All I know for now is that my diet right now is not doing anything to help with my issues, or so it seems. But then again, maybe my diet is keeping me from being actually much worse!
So there’s the story. I will definitely keep you updated as to what conclusions I eventually come to. As of now, I have decided to introduce a bit of dairy and gluten back into my diet, no more than once a week when I dine out, to see how my body responds. In fact, my last dinner out included pasta and ice cream! Other than that, I will continue to avoid most gluten and dairy on a day-to-day basis until I can fully assess if dairy and gluten are in fact contributors to my inflammation. I am sort of excited to see where this all goes, but the bottom line is I do not want to cut out whole categories of food (besides meat of course since I will always and forever be vegetarian) if they in fact are not responsible for my gut issues.
What do you all thing? Any advice?