"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Taking Matters In My Own Hands, Part 1

by - Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Since about a year or so ago and especially during the last six months in particular I have been dealing with symptoms from an unknown cause and I am slowly growing tired of the ever sprouting new surprise symptoms that add to the complexity of my already full shopping list of unwanted aches and pains that still continue to wax and wane. I've tried almost everything, I've blamed everything and I am far beyond frustrated. Something isn't right, I know it, but what? I'm consistently having trouble with stomach problems, bloating in particular. I'm experiencing stomach pain and cramps also. At first I blamed the bloating and cramps on Endometriosis as I usually experience those symptoms with the disease but experiencing it almost daily is just not the norm for me. Not to mention that my skin is suffering from mild acne and blemishes- the cause completely unknown and unresponsive to treatment.

I've noticed that around the time my skin started bothering me, everything else went downhill also and now everything is just one big tangled mess that seems will never be unraveled. I've never had such trouble with my skin until now. Although only mild, the blemishes don't heal and every other morning guaranteed, I'll wake up with a new spot or blemishes. Thank God for foundation, seriously. My skin used to heal. A healthy diet consisting of fresh vegetable juice daily used to work. I've blamed the IUD (mirena) that I had inserted for the treatment of Endometriosis and had it removed to see no improvement (luckily I didn't get it out for that reason alone). I've blamed my vitamin D deficiency, I've blamed the arthritis meds, I've blamed facial cleansers, I've blamed makeup. I've tried switching different cosmetic products to see  hardly any improvement whatsoever. I've tried skin supplements, antibiotics and nothing seems to provide me with much hope of an answer.

(image via weheartit.com)

Along with the skin issue, I found myself back at the doctors a few months ago complaining that I was still struggling with stomach problems. I was given a "suspected" diagnosis of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and given a supplement to try. If the supplement failed, I was told to prepare for more tests and possibly being found to be lactose intolerant. To tell you the truth, I didn't even bother with the supplement (it seemed a waste of $30 and not to mention I had to take it a ridiculous amount of times per day) because I'm not convinced it's just IBS. So with that, I did some research and upon my findings I decided to take matters into my own hands.

After researching I discovered that I have all the symptoms of a lactose intolerance and the evidence towards a link between rheumatoid arthritis and lactose intolerance is really quite alarming. Apparently there is evidence between a link in acne also. Why does this not surprise me. Seeing as I noticed that my problems erupt after eating, I decided it couldn't hurt to try a dairy free diet, especially if it meant no unnecessary tests. By eliminating the bulk of dairy from my diet for over six weeks now I have noticed improvement, but it's not the solution. I've noticed that after I've had a big binge, consuming foods like biscuits, I'll struggle. So now this has me confused. A gluten problem? Is it dairy or gluten? According to research (I should really stop researching, it's doing my head in) it could be one of three things- I have all the symptoms of a lactose intolerance, coeliac disease or a stomach ulcer.

I've had weird stomach pains for years, it's nothing new and because of the amount of medications I'm on, a stomach ulcer has been questioned on more than one occasion, but to find out if I have a stomach ulcer requires more tests my gp didn't want to put me through. Which is really plain darn negligent if you ask me! So I don't know what the heck to do anymore, admit defeat and accept another round of tests? I think this is a sensible option rather than just beating around the bush and ending up on the road to nowhere. I have a funny feeling it's a food related problem and based upon further research (this must stop) and naturopathic tests, (see I didn't come up with this all on my own) I think I just might be right....


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