Wednesday, August 19, 2015

IBS is a Crap Diagnosis

Whole30 pro tip: Mindlessly eating healthy food in front of the tv will make you feel as bad as mindlessly eating junk food in front of the tv. Lesson learned. Always be mindful of what you're putting in your body (and how much of it).

Today is day 31 of my Whole30: Project Wedding and I have to admit, I'm feeling pretty discouraged. This is my fourth or fifth Whole30 over the last year. That's almost half a year of eating paleo. And for the most part, when I'm not Whole30-ing, I eat fairly healthy. I definitely notice a difference in how I feel when I'm not eating paleo/Whole30 though. I'm more tired, I constantly feel bloated, my clothes just don't fit right, I'm always uncomfortable, my eczema comes back, and I get a lot more pimples. One thing doesn't ever seem to change, no matter how healthy I eat, and that's my stomach/digestive issues.

I've been dealing with this since roughly my senior year of high school (which was EIGHT years ago). Back then and during college, I attributed those problems to all the junk food I ate back then, especially during college. Over the last year and a half, I've cleaned up my diet. In fact, the Whole30 helped me discover food allergies I had no idea I had. The hives that I had broken out in numerous times prior to that and during my first Whole30 completely stopped once I cut out beef and pork. To my disappointment, none of those food allergies were the cause of my stomach issues.

I had an extremely hard week a few months back and ended up at the doctor's office. I had to do tests and give samples (you don't even want to know how gross that is...and for those of you who do know, I'm sorry). The doctor's diagnosis? That particular bad week was probably food poisoning. But overall, I probably just have IBS. She gave me a muscle relaxer to help with the pain and cramping I experience and told me to "just take Immodium whenever I need it."

I accepted that for a few days. Then I decided that I'm an otherwise healthy 26 year old woman and I don't want to take copius amounts of muscle relaxers and Immodium pretty much every day for who knows how long. IBS is a crap diagnosis, in my opinion. And after our wedding and honeymoon is over, I will be going to see a specialist to get more/better answers. I will not accept that someone who is young, healthy, eats paleo at least 90% of the time, and exercises regularly has to take medication daily for potentially the rest of my life.

Frankly, it's just not fair. I started the Whole30 way back when to try to eliminate the problems I was having so that I'd be 100% healthy for our wedding and honeymoon. No one wants to feel like this on their wedding day, in a white dress of all things. And yet, here I am, less than a month before the wedding, and my situation has not gotten better. Sure, I now know a few things that definitely exacerbate my problems, like coffee (which I avoid most days, but sometimes, the need for caffeine is more important). But I can't seem to further pinpoint exactly which foods are giving me problems--if any.

I can't help but feel frustrated and disappointed. There are a lot of things I wanted to do before the wedding that aren't happening now (and really just aren't important), like getting my teeth whitened. But I just wanted to feel perfectly healthy on my wedding day. I didn't want to have to worry about how my stomach would feel that day. But here I am, worried about how my dress will fit. Will I be bloated? What if I have to go once my dress is already on? What if I eat the wrong thing at some point throughout the day? What if the alcohol I drink makes me sick?

Everyone keeps saying everything will be fine. And almost everything will be fine. But the likelihood that I will feel like literal crap on my wedding day is very high because that area of my life seems to be completely out of my control.