Weighing The Benefits

A little over a week ago, I started to experience really terrible abdominal pain and cramping that only got worse over time. I ended up leaving work early on Wednesday because I needed to lie down and made two doctor’s appointments out of desperation– one with my primary care doctor and one with my gastroenterologist. I basically had these severe rolling pains that would come and go, and would last during the day and at night. I even contemplated a trip to the emergency room on Wednesday night, but stuck it out until I went to the doc.  I really thought I had appendicitis, though I am glad to report it wasn’t that.

My primary care doctor gave me a pain medicine precription (which I did not take) and advised me to hold out until I saw the gastro on Friday. My gastro worried that I had an obstruction in my intestines and had me go for an abdominal x-ray. She told me she would call immediately if anything really bad came up, and since I haven’t heard, I take that as a good sign. I also had some blood work done, and am pretty much waiting for the results. She did not advise me to restart medication I used to be on for intestinal inflammation, and instead is having me hold out to see how I feel. She told me to lay off high fiber foods and eat low fiber foods, in case fiber was aggravating my system. Under the elimination diet I am on, my fiber intake must have been off the charts since all I am eating is pretty much oatmeal, lentils, pinto beans, nuts and tons of veggies. Of course, I took her advice, and my pain started to subside a bit. I still don’t feel one hundred percent, but I do feel better.

So, here I am, forced to weigh the benefits of being on this elimination diet right now. I don’t blame it at all for my issues, since my pain started before the diet began, but I can’t help to wonder if the high fiber I was ingesting made my pain worse. As of now, I am not following the plan one hundred percent, only because I need a bigger range of foods to eat right now so I can keep my fiber intake at bay. I hate to throw in the towel, but it’s night the right time for me to cut out a bunch of foods.

What I am doing though, is I will be avoiding some of the most reactive foods whenever I can, like garlic and caffeine, and record how I feel. I also plan on meeting with my dietitian this week to see how I should proceed in terms of phase 2 of the diet, whether I should proceed at all. I guess we’ll see, but as of now, I am just going to eat well, with enough fruits and veggies, but not too many!

I also knew before starting the diet I would cheat a few times since I had longstanding plans with friends and my husband to celebrate the end of my school year. Given that I decided the diet wasn’t working for me at the time, I allowed myself to eat what I felt like eating!

Here’s some pics of my two cheat meals. . .

On Thursday night (before my gastro appointment and when I was still experiencing intermittent pain), I went with my best friends from work to Papa Razzi to celebrate the last day of school. Papa Razzi is a local spot that serves delicious Italian cuisine.

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I had a few breadsticks,

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a piece of focaccia and olive oil,

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a cranberry and goat cheese salad,

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and a few slices of margherita pizza.  Everything was delicious!

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On Friday, with my husband, we rang in the summer with a visit to one of our favorite Indian restaurants.  I knew at this time not to go fiber crazy.

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We started with some pappadum and chutneys.

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I had a bit of papri chaat (Indian nachos) but kept the chickpeas to a minimum.

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I also indulged in a veggie samosa.

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I had a small piece of naan. . .

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some white rice. . .

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and paneer tikka masala, which I am sure had no fiber in it!

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As of today, I feel almost back to normal.  While I kind of feel bummed I didn’t do a full ten days of the elimination plan, I realize it wasn’t worth sticking to considering the digestive issues I was experiencing.  I’ll keep you updated on where I go from here!  The one thing I am proud of throughout all of this is how I stayed med-free and let my body do the healing naturally.

Have you ever consumed too much or too  little fiber?  No shame– we speak freely about digestive issues here!

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